Will Standard Bank retain Trust Barometer top honours?


“As with any relationship, trust is the ultimate driving factor in a commercial transaction.   When I stop to buy burgers for my boys, my trust has been built-up over a period of time.   So it is with any company; and at Ask Afrika we have been measuring the levels of trust perceived in major South African companies, by their own peer group, for nearly a decade.”

So says Sarina de Beer, MD of Ask Afrika.   The company is currently gearing itself up for the 2012 edition of their annual Trust Barometer, with results scheduled for March 2013, and spontaneous nominations from business leaders in South Africa are called for.

Last year Standard Bank took top honours in the measurement, emerging as the most trusted company in South Africa, and also topped .   Included in the top five were SAB, Anglo American, MTN and Woolworths.   What sets the Trust Barometer apart from other measurement systems, is the fact that companies are measured by their peers, and rated on a number of reputation drivers, the most important being establishing an emotional connection, providing quality products and services, as well as being seen to be a responsible corporate citizen.

Trust is a cumulative factor – Standard Bank ranked third in the 2008/2009 survey, rose to first place in 2010 and has maintained its position in the latest survey.   Raymond Ackermann emerged as the most trusted CEO, followed by Jacko Maree and Cyril Ramphosa.   Maria Ramos achieved fourth position overall, for the most trusted CEO, having risen from 10th position in 2010.

Interestingly enough, one does not have to be as high-powered a CEO as Cynthia Carroll (formerly of Anglo-American PLC).   Also scoring well for trustworthiness, in the view of their colleagues, are Basetsana Khumalo and Mamphele Ramphele.   Overall, there seems to be a propensity towards corporate CEOs and business leaders, rather than entrepreneurs; although both Khumalo and Ramphele have a more varied career record.   Various controversies which have surrounded some of the activities of Carroll did not diminish the levels of trusted invested in her by her peers.

As is the case with the international norm for measurement systems in the uncertain economic climate of today, the Ask Afrika barometer has evolved into much more than a statistical exercise.   The people who use the company’s services are at the heart of gauging the trust factor achieved by the 200 plus companies surveyed.   The three most influential reputational drivers measured are the levels of emotional connection, product quality and corporate social responsibility.

Commenting on plans for the next edition of the Trust Barometer, and its potential value to local companies, De Beer says: “Levels of trust are steadily declining in our society, but there is still significant value in being nominated by your peers.   If anyone will know whether your company is trustworthy or not, it is the people who are also in the “hot seats”, on the inside.”

Ask Afrika provides research of international standard, tailored to suit the South African context, and products like its Trust Barometer provide a valuable benchmark for companies and external stakeholders (consumers, clients and customers.)

, , , , ,

No comments yet.