Kantar Public MEDIA ALERT: 3RD July, 2012

Kantar Public poll reveals eight out of ten members of the public support increased government involvement in the regulation of the UK banking industry, even if it results in some banks leaving the UK.

Last week saw the emergence of the latest controversy involving the UK banking industry with Barclays being fined £290 million after it was revealed they had sought to manipulate inter-bank lending rates. These revelations have led to calls for a change in the UK’s banking culture as well as revisions to the law that would allow prosecutors greater power when holding bankers to account for alleged wrong doing.

The Kantar Public poll, run online by Lightspeed Research, asked a nationally representative sample of respondents which of the following statements was closest to their opinion:

The government should lead the way in holding banks to account for their behaviour even if this results in some banks leaving the UK and relocating abroad. 82%
The government should be more careful about how it comments on the behaviour of banks given the amount of money that banks pay to the treasury in tax 19%

The poll reveals that a large majority (82%) want to see firmer government action to hold banks to account, even if this results in them relocating abroad. Only a fifth (19%) favoured the view that the government should be more careful in its comments due to the contribution banks make to the public finances.

It was interesting to see that, despite the regions closer proximity to the epicentre of UK banking, respondents in the South of England were no more likely than those in other areas to say that the government should be careful about alienating banks.

In fact it was age that emerged as one of the key drivers of opinion on this issue, with younger people more likely to say that the government needs to be careful in its comments so as to not drive banks out off the UK: 40% of 18-24 year olds chose this option, compared to 19% of those aged 35- 44 and just 11% of those aged 55 and over.

Nick Howat, Head of Social and Political Attitudes research at Kantar Public, comments: “The government faces some hard decisions on how best to moderate the behaviour of banks operating in the UK. Widespread public dissatisfaction with their behaviour is clear but, given their significant contribution to the economy overall, it could prove very challenging to assuage public anger without damaging the UK’s position as the world’s leading financial centre.”

For more information or for the full results of this poll please contact:

Tom Lynch
PR consultant to TNS UK
077 3330 1706

Notes to editors:
The poll consisted of a sample of 6,851 online respondents and was conducted on 2nd June 2012.

All interviews were conducted as online self-completion by Lightspeed Research. The data is weighted to match population totals for age, sex, social grade and region.

Further information is available upon request.

About Kantar Public

Kantar Public is a leading provider of specialist social research, offering insight into public policy to government and not-for-profit clients. Delivering a range of approaches including bespoke proprietary research and consultancy, random probability survey capabilities, as well as social marketing and polling, our work informs policy makers across national and local Government at the highest level. Kantar Public forms part of the Kantar group of companies. For more information please visit us on our website www.tns-bmrb.co.uk.

About Kantar

Kantar is one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By uniting the diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 28,500 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.

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