Skip to main content  


The business of trust

​Ten years after the financial crisis, trust in business and financial and professional services remains low. The public are still sceptical about the progress that has been made through government, sector and company-led reforms, and people continue to hear negative stories about the sector.

In a climate of great uncertainty, it is more vital than ever that the sector preserves its licence to operate, doing more to meet the growing expectations of customers, stakeholders, and wider society.

The Business of Trust, a City of London Corporation initiative spearheaded by the 2017-18 Lord Mayor, Alderman Charles Bowman, is challenging, supporting and inspiring the sector to operate with integrity and grow its positive impact – economically, socially and environmentally.

Please get in touch

@RB_City / #BusinessofTrust

Insight Paper - Understanding trust in business

At the outset of this work, we asked UK citizens about their level of trust in financial and professional services, and for their recommendations for what businesses can do to increase their trustworthiness. They provided meaningful insights and five CIVIC principles were developed as foundations of trustworthiness. The Civic principles are Competence & Skills, Integrity, Value to Society, Interests to Others and Clear Communication. Download the understanding trust in business brochure (3MB)

The Business of Trust survey - views on the CIVIC principles and actions that can build trust

We surveyed more than 600 individuals from all parts of society to understand their views on trust. 94% of people said they believe the CIVIC principles can help to develop trustworthiness. Integrity was picked as the most crucial CIVIC principle – it was prioritised by 46% of people. Although in contrast to older generations, under 30’s felt Value to Society was the most relevant principle. Results also showed a clear desire, across all ages and sectors, for businesses to have a clear purpose beyond profit-making. Download the Business of Trust survey results (2MB).

CIVIC principles to guide trustworthy behaviour in business

We have coalesced the industry’s various codes of conduct, and with input from an advisory group of expert industry leaders, we have developed a set of CIVIC principles to guide trustworthy behaviour in business. These are:

  • Competence and Skills
  • Integrity
  • Value to Society
  • Interest in Others
  • Clear Communications

For more information on our recommendations, download the Business of Trust brochure.

The Leaders of Tomorrow Network

The Leaders of Tomorrow network, is a diverse group of 60+ next generation FPS leaders, nominated by their CEOs to influence change within their organisations and act as ambassadors for the Business of Trust.

Through the programme, the Leaders of Tomorrow are being inspired to identify the issue where they are passionate for change and to develop practical tools to support boards to engage meaningfully with the trust agenda.

Sustainable change will require a long-term commitment to high standards, good governance and purposeful leadership, so we are planning ahead to ensure the City continues to strive for trustworthiness and for the benefit of wider society.

Why trust matters

Trustworthy and trusted businesses have a clear competitive advantage and drive confidence and belief in an organisation. Taking action to rebuild trust is not just vital for the long-term health of the sector as a whole, it is also important to every individual business across the country, to government, to civil society and the wider public.

If building trust amongst your customers, your employees and your wider stakeholders is important to you, we invite you to work with us. There will be many opportunities and we can achieve most together.

Please contact or follow the conversation on Twitter #BusinessofTrust.

Business of Trust Interviews

Major public figures from business, politics and beyond have endorsed the CIVIC principles and spoken about the actions needed to build trust. 

You can see the full interview series, hosted by the 2017-18 Lord Mayor, Alderman Charles Bowman at Business of Trust Interviews

Read our blogs

​The Responsible City blog offers thoughts, opinions and case studies focusing on responsible business from our Innovation, Inclusion and Growth team and guest contributors.

You can also follow us on twitter.

Trust Toolkit for Primary and Secondary Schools

  • How do we learn to trust?
    How do we learn to trust - primary poster

​Building trust begins at a young age. We have developed an education toolkit for Primary and Secondary schools to enable future generations to explore trust more openly. Created with input from students at City schools and academies, the toolkit contains practical activities for the classroom to help students explore themes related to trustworthiness.

To order these posters for your school/college, please contact Daniel McGrady or Chris Oldham