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Big firms face a “crisis of trust”, according to lobby group the Forum of Private Business (FPB) (9.2.15). In a survey it found that over three-quarters of respondents think big firms put profits before ethical standards.

Tax avoidance, treatment of suppliers, and late payment were all areas of concern.

The survey also found that 74% of respondents agreed that the majority of big businesses have no concern for small business owners.

Tom Thackray, CBI Head of Enterprise said:

It’s simplistic to portray small businesses, and what’s good for their health, as in conflict with big businesses. What communities and the wider economy need is a supportive environment that helps business as a whole. Collaboration has an important role to play in delivering on jobs and growth.

That’s why the CBI is actively involved in the Government’s Industrial Strategy which brings together big and smaller businesses to identify future challenges and opportunities.

And, the vast majority of businesses know that good supplier relationships are important. There is some bad payment practice out there and that needs to be challenged. We want to see companies publishing simple information online and in their annual reports about their practices. Transparency and trust are key to establishing high performing supply chains for the long term.”

Contributing to the CBI’s trust-in-business campaign, The Great Business Debate, Christina Hamilton, UK Managing Director of Western Union Business Solutions, wrote:

Many large companies place great value on relationships with smaller businesses seeing them, for example, as a pool of innovation and creativity. For other companies, including Western Union, SMEs are vital and valued clients.” Read more here.

Andrew Bester, Group Director and CEO of Commercial Banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said:

I’d like to see a much stronger focus on partnership-building: banks using their position in the UK economy so that small, medium and big businesses all benefit from working together more effectively on all aspects of business, whatever stage they’re at.” Read more here

What do you think? Is there a crisis of trust in business? Do you trust big businesses less than small ones? Why is that? What do companies need to do to increase trust?

Join the debate here and on twitter @bizdebate

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