Many shoppers support regulation

10 July 2012

LONDON: At least a third of shoppers around the world believe banks, insurance providers and packaged food companies should be subjected to stricter regulation, Ipsos MORI has revealed.

The research group polled 19,216 people in 24 markets, and found 37% agreed banks faced "too little" regulation, whereas 24% thought they had "too much", and the remainder supported the current balance.

Some 35% suggested the regulatory burden on insurance providers was overly severe and 22% held the opposite view. These totals stood at 33% and 12% respectively for packaged food manufacturers.

Elsewhere, 27% of interviewees favoured tightening the rules for the soft drinks industry and 11% perceived the existing restrictions as insufficient. Such figures came in at 24% and 17% for retailers.

A 52% majority of Europeans supported greater restraints being placed on banks, standing at 43% in North America, though 15% of consumers there thought the regulatory burden was too high.

Only 28% of the sample from Asia Pacific wanted similar limits to be put on banks and 27% did not. Returns here reached 24% and 39% for Latin America, versus 21% and 30% in the Middle East and Africa.

The main issues shoppers hoped banks would address are operating transparency on 51%, and securing local jobs on 42%. Enhancing financial strength and lending responsibly both registered 39%.

Excessive profits hit 37% here, ahead of investing in communities on 29%, and executive compensation on 27%, matching the numbers for repaying government loans or financial assistance.

In brand terms, Visa had the highest score when the proportion of positive ratings awarded by participants were subtracted from the negative, on 50%, with MasterCard on 45% and Amex on 25%.

When looking at the most trusted firms across all sectors, Nestlé, the packaged goods manufacturer, led on 58%, Coca-Cola, the soft drinks expert, on 54%, and Johnson & Johnson, the healthcare giant, on 40%.

Milorad Ajder, managing director of Ipsos MORI's Reputation Centre, said payment and consumer products firms shared certain traits.

"They are visible, convenient and there when we need them to purchase the products and services we trust, coupled with not being embroiled in the financial crisis and the scandals that have tarnished the rest of the financial industry," Ajder said.

By contrast, Royal Bank of Scotland yielded just 6%, as did JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. Wells Fargo and Societe Generale received 8% each.

Data sourced from Ipsos MORI; additional content by Warc staff