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Latest family business poll from the Institute for Family Business shows family firms more than twice as likely to be trusted than those on the stock market.

Key Findings

  • More than half (55%) say being a family firm is important to business trustworthiness

  • Only 26 per cent say being listed on the stock market is important to business trustworthiness

  • Strong values (88%), heritage (73%) and commitment to local community (71%) key to business trustworthiness

  • Quality of products (94%) and staff (93%) ranked highest

  • Fifty three per cent believe family firms have stronger values than non-family businesses

People are more than twice as likely to trust family businesses as they are a company listed on the stock market, according to a new YouGov poll for the Institute for Family Business (IFB), published today.

Fifty five per cent (55%) of people say being a family firm is important in trustworthiness. Only 26 per cent (26%) say being listed on the stock market is important.

Values are key. Eighty eight per cent (88%) say an important factor for a company to be trusted by them is that it has strong values. Fifty three per cent (53%) say family businesses have stronger values than other companies – only nine per cent (9%) disagreed.

Family businesses employ more than nine million people, contribute over a quarter of UK GDP and pay more than £84 billion in tax. They number some of the largest and most successful companies in the UK, including Clarks, Dyson, Warburtons, Primark, JCB, Speedo, Glenfiddich, Yorkshire Tea, Aunt Bessie’s, Ginsters, Selfridges, Wates and Walkers Shortbread.

The most important factors in business trust are:

  • Quality of products and services (94%)

  • Staff (93%)

  • Value for money (90%)

  • Strong values (88%)

  • Company heritage (73%)

  • Commitment to the local community (71%)

  • Being UK-based (65%)

  • Having won awards for its products/ services (65%)

  • Being a family business (55%)

  • Being owned by the same family for generations (54%)

The survey also found that people recognise that family businesses make an important contribution to the UK economy (71%) and play an important role in creating employment (53%).

Their commitment to looking after their customers also gives family firms an advantage over non-family businesses, with more than half (52%) of consumers recognising that they offer higher standards of customer care – only eight per cent (8%) disagreed.

Responding to the survey’s findings, IFB Director General Mark Hastings said: “Trust is a critical issue for businesses. Family businesses not only score well for trust, but have an advantage over other companies.”

“Strong values are the key to what makes family firms different. Living those values is giving family firms an edge over listed 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.”

“Britain’s family business sector provides more than nine million jobs and produces a quarter of GDP. They are the backbone of the economy and number many of the UK’s largest and most successful companies. More than seven in ten people agree that family business makes an important contribution to the UK economy.”

“Now is the time for Government and other businesses to work more closely with the sector and help put trust back into business.”


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