Belfast Telegraph

Britons believe firms focus too much on making money, report finds

Public trust in business is low, with most people believing firms focus too much on making money rather than giving back to local communities, a study shows.

Research by manufacturing giant Siemens and the IPPR think tank also revealed that two out of five people think businesses do not pay their fair share of taxes.

A similar number of the 2,000 surveyed said they do not trust companies to look after employee pensions.

Just over half said they were more likely to deal with firms that behave responsibly.

Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK, said: "Unless a business fundamentally believes in creating social value and being an integral part of the community, it simply won't succeed.

"Right now we are at an all-time low when it comes to public confidence in all UK businesses and their ability act responsibly. We need to understand what can be done to address this, to move business closer to society."

Michael Jacobs of IPPR said t he loss of trust in British businesses was "alarming", adding: "Our economy cannot have economic growth, create jobs and raise incomes without successful businesses.

"This means that businesses need to raise their game. They not only need to behave responsibly - paying their taxes, paying decent wages, providing skills training, building local supply chains, contributing to their local communities - they need to be seen to be doing so."