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UK family firms thump public companies when it comes to trust

The UK public is more than twice as likely to trust a company if it is family owned than if it is publicly listed, new research from the Institute for Family Business (IFB) reveals.

A poll, conducted by international market research firm YouGov for the family business organisation, found 55% of the population thinks family ownership is important to business trustworthiness. Only 26% thought this for public companies.

Fifty-three per cent of the public believed family businesses were more likely to have “strong values” compared to other companies.

This was regarded as an important factor in establishing trust, according to 88% of respondents.

However, it was product quality that was the number one concern for respondents, with 94% saying it was important for trustworthiness. Staff was the next most important factor (93%), followed by value for money (90%).

But IFB director general Mark Hastings said “strong values” was the area where family businesses could really set themselves apart from public companies.

"Family businesses pride themselves on carrying strong family values throughout their business practices - maintaining trust is essential when your name is above the door,” Hastings said.

The survey also found 73% of the British public believes family businesses make an important contribution to the economy, and 53% think they play an important role in creating employment.

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