Pharmaceutical and banking companies and governments are now seen as more trustworthy

In a major new Ipsos report analysing trust, the Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Monitor 2021, we find that, despite popular belief, we are not experiencing a ‘crisis of trust’.

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  • Carl Phillips Corporate Reputation
  • James Allen Corporate Reputation
  • Tom Cox Corporate Reputation
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Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Monitor - A crisis in trust? New report by Ipsos Corporate ReputationToday, Ipsos publishes the Global Trustworthiness Monitor, a new report analysing trust in 2021, which finds that, despite popular belief, we are not experiencing a ‘crisis of trust’.  The monitor reveals that pharmaceutical, banking companies and governments are now seen as more trustworthy than they were three years ago.

Across 29 countries, a global country average of 31% rate pharmaceutical companies trustworthy (32% of Britons), compared to 25% in 2018. Also, 28% say the same of banking companies (up from 20% in 2018) and 20% of their government (up from 14%). One possible explanation for the improvement could be how these sectors have acted during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By comparison, the trustworthiness of technology companies has declined from 38% to 34%. However, the tech industry remains the most trusted among the nine sectors studied.

The conventional wisdom about trust is still that it is in crisis. In the first wave of the Global Trustworthiness Monitor three years ago, Ipsos challenged this viewpoint by looking at a wide range of data sources and trends from across the world. Our main conclusion then was that, at a global level, trust in most institutions, sectors and professions has been stable for a long, long time, and the changes that have occurred over the last 20 years have been slow and far from dramatic. There is no evidence to suggest that this observation does not still hold true.

Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Monitor: Trust in Sectors | Ipsos Corporate Reputation

Notable Country Differences

Despite being the home of many of the world’s leading technology companies, the United States is one of the few countries in which respondents are more likely to see technology companies as untrustworthy (29%) than as trustworthy (27%). The U.S. shows the largest percentage disagreeing that technology sector companies work to prevent the spread of false information (31%) which may influence their views on the trustworthiness of the sector.

Chileans are notable for their poor view of pharmaceutical companies, with just 12% saying they are trustworthy compared to 58% who say they are untrustworthy; the least favourable score for any country measured.

People in China are particularly positive about banking companies, with nearly two-thirds (63%) considering them as trustworthy compared to just one in ten (11%) who say they are untrustworthy.

Trust in media

Just one in ten (12%) Britons trust the media and compared to the global country average of 19%.  Globally, the most trusted news sources to provide accurate information about politics and current affairs are the more traditional forms of media (newspapers, radio, television), as well as online newspapers and news websites or apps while trust in other digital sources is lower. On average, across all 29 countries surveyed, the most used media formats are online newspapers/news sites, TV and, despite being far less trusted, social media.

Technical note

These are the findings of an Ipsos online survey conducted 25 June – 9 July 2021 via the Ipsos Online Panel system in 29 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China (mainland), Colombia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States. The headline index results for this year are based on the full 29-country sample while trend results look back to previous waves of the survey focus only on the 22 countries which have featured in all three waves of the survey.
The results comprise an international sample of 21,503 adults aged 16-74 in most countries and aged 18-74 in Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States. The samples consist of approximately 1,000 individuals in each of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.S. and 500 individuals in each of Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey.
The samples in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and United States can be taken as representative of their general adult population under the age of 75. The samples in other countries (Brazil, China, Chile, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey) produce a national sample that is more urban and educated, and with higher incomes than their fellow citizens. The survey results for these countries should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of their population.
Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data.
The “Global Country Average” reflects the average result for all countries and markets where the survey was conducted. It has not been adjusted to the population size of each country and is not intended to suggest a total result.
Where results do not sum to 100 or the difference appears to be plus or minus one point more or less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” or not stated responses.
The precision of Ipsos online polls is calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to plus or minus 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to plus or minus 5.0 percentage points. For more information on the use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.
The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.

The author(s)

  • Carl Phillips Corporate Reputation
  • James Allen Corporate Reputation
  • Tom Cox Corporate Reputation

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