Here Are The Institutions Americans Trust The Most – And Least

June 22, 2016

GRBN-US-Consumer-Trust-in-Institutions-June2016US consumers have little trust in most institutions, reports the Global Research Business Network (GRBN) in recently-released study results. Based on US respondents from a 7-country survey covering more than 9,000 respondents, the research indicates that more adults distrust than trust search engines and social media, among others.

Local banks are one of the only institutions in which adults show more trust than mistrust. (For readers interested in financial services, a new MarketingCharts report examines marketing to youth in this vertical.)

Adults are likewise more apt to trust than distrust retailers with loyalty cards and local online stores. But the opposite is true of a range of other institutions, including credit card companies, market research companies, and local media companies. Social media companies see a high degree of distrust, with respondents more than 4 times as likely to distrust (31%) than trust (7%) them. And cross-border e-commerce may have to hurdle some trust issues, too: 47% distrust foreign online stores, compared to just 4% who trust them.

Not surprisingly, respondents have similarly dim views regarding institutions’ regard for their personal data. In fact, trust in personal data protection outweighs distrust in only 2 of the 17 institutions measured: the police; and local banks. While research has long shown that consumers trust financial institutions with their data more than other businesses (see here and here), new Gallup survey results show that just 27% of US adults have either a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in banks overall.

The findings are important, as trust can have quite the impact on consumers’ actions concerning businesses. Trust in corporations appears to be low, with only 1 in 5 consumers globally believing that brands are open and honest.

Additionally, recently-released Gallup data indicates that an average of just 32% of Americans have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence across 14 institutions measured, down from a high of 43% in 2004.

About the Data: The GRBN survey was conducted in nine countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, UK and US) in March/April 2016 with more than 9,000 respondents taking part.

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