Regulator seen by public to be as bad as naughty banks

The Financial Services Authority is tarred with the same brush as big, bad banks in a new study by the Reputation Institute which measures the corporate reputation of 140 UK business organisations in its recently released UK Pulse Report.

Top of the pile in the reputation stakes are Alliance Boots and Rolls Royce Aerospace, while after a year of scandals and bad press the Royal Bank of Scotland can be found pretty much propping up the table in position 138.

The troubled bank managed the unlikely feat of performing worse than Imperial Tobacco Company at 137 and only slightly better than British American Tobacco, which attained bottom position.

For the record, Lloyds Banking Group is ranked 136 and Barclays 129. The FSA, the Bank of England and the City of London are also ranked poorly.

In the banking sector, HSBC did the best in the reputational stakes, achieving a mid-table position at 65.

The study was conducted online during January and February this year. A Pulse score is a measure of corporate reputation calculated by averaging perceptions of four indicators – trust, esteem, admiration and good feeling, from a representative sample of at least 100 respondents who are familiar with the company.

A total of 17,853 ratings of the selected companies were obtained from a sample of 5,591 online consumers. Each respondent was allowed to rate a maximum of five companies.