Ireland remains one of the least trusting countries globally – Edelman

The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer has placed Ireland second from the bottom in a league table measuring levels of trust in 27 countries.

Overall levels of trust in Ireland has fallen 2 points to 37pc during the past 12 months.

The barometer finds that NGOs in Ireland remain the most trusted institution despite a significant fall of 10 points to 48pc. And business is the second most trusted institution in Ireland, despite a further three point decline to 38pc.

Trust in media is down another three points to 34pc and has now fallen 11 points since 2013. Of the 27 countries surveyed only Japan (31pc) and Turkey (20pc) have lower levels of trust in media.

And, despite a five-point increase to 26pc, Government remains the least trusted of the four institutions in Ireland.

The technology sector (68pc) remains the most trusted industry sector and has recorded a five-point increase over the past 12 months. While banking and financial services are still the least trusted sectors, both recorded increases in trust levels over the past 12 months. Trust in financial services increased 10 points to 30pc and trust in the banking sector rose six points to 21pc.

Traditional media (newspapers, radio and television) continue to be the most trusted source of information in Ireland (56pc) whereas globally online search engines have become the most trusted source of news. Irish newspapers – print and online – are more trusted than search engines as the first source for general news (37pc), the first source for breaking news (37pc) and the first source for validating news (33pc).

Academics or industry experts were the most trusted spokespeople at 78pc, with CEOs and Government officials the least trusted, at 34pc and 33pc respectively.

Over two-thirds (70pc) of respondents said they refuse to buy products and services from a company they do not trust, while 73pc will criticise them to a friend or colleague. On the other hand, 82pc chose to buy products from companies they trusted, with 74pc recommending those companies to a friend.

“Ireland’s post crisis recovery is dependent on both economic growth and institutional recovery,” said Edelman Ireland managing director, Joe Carmody. “Despite improving economic sentiment this year’s trust barometer Ireland findings highlight, how Ireland remains a profoundly distrusting society. With the barometer also highlighting the very tangible benefits of improving trust levels, both to organisations and society, the findings raise questions as to why organisations are failing to take action to regain lost credibility.”

Globally, trust in government, business, media and NGOs is now below 50pc in half of the countries surveyed.

“There has been a startling decrease in trust across all institutions driven by the unpredictable and unimaginable events of 2014,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman. “The spread of Ebola in West Africa; the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, plus two subsequent air disasters; the arrests of top Chinese Government officials; the foreign exchange rate rigging by six global banks; and numerous data breaches, most recently at Sony Pictures by a sovereign nation, have shaken confidence.”

For the first time, the Barometer also looked at trust and its link to innovation. Globally, 51pc of respondents believe innovation is happening too quickly. In Ireland this figure is just 44pc, with 29pc feeling it is happening too slowly and 22pc judging the pace to be just right. Despite this, 52pc do agree that new developments need to be tested more, with 78pc suggesting that test results should be made available for the public to review.