Credit Unions are rated as the most highly regarded organisations in Ireland for their role in providing trusted financial services to local communities.

That is according to a reputation study by The Reputations Agency. The survey measures the level of trust, respect, admiration and esteem the public has for 100 of the largest, most familiar, and most important organisations in Ireland, along with 25 other reputation indicators. 

Previous winners have included An Post, Bord Bia, and Google.

The top 10 companies regarded by the public in Ireland are: 

1 - Credit Unions
2 - Kellogg's
3 - Aldi
4 - Bord Bia
5 - Boots
6 - Tourism Ireland
7 - Toyota
8 - An Post
9 - Dublin Airport
10 - Kerry Group

Charles Murphy, President of the Irish League of Credit Unions said credit unoins are a cornerstone of local communities. "The trust that members place in their local credit union has been earned, and enhanced, by consistent actions that demonstrate a caring, understanding, people-focused approach. 

"Credit union personnel take time to get to know their members and to understand their needs," he said. "Decisions are made at local level, in the best interest of the members of the credit union. Above all else, people feel valued and respected".

According to the study, this year's average reputation Pulse score was 66.0 compared to 64.4 in 2017, highlighting an increase in trust and confidence for organisations amongst the public. The study is based on the perceptions of 7,094 members of the public who completed the survey between January 5 and March 5, 2018

The number of organisations studied increased from 50 organisations in 2017 to 100 organisations in 2018. New organisations studied include Communicorp, Samsung, Energia, EirGrid and Gas Networks Ireland and the Olympic Council of Ireland.  Public bodies such as An Garda Siochána, the Central Bank of Ireland, and HSE were also included.

Niamh Boyle, Managing Director, The Reputations Agency said  reputation scores rose in Ireland this year, while scores in major global markets such as the UK, US declined for the first time since the end of the recession, with a growing crisis of trust globally, and organisations increasingly judged on aspects of morality and ethics. In Ireland, she said, positive economic indicators such as exports, GDP, FDI, wages, and consumer spending have helped to build trust, respect, esteem, and good feeling towards organisations. 

"Reputation matters as strong reputations help to win customers, attract the right talent, gain support from key stakeholders, and ultimately drive business performance. We see this in the work we do with our clients in helping them to reach their business objectives.  As an illustration, as we come close to reaching full employment in Ireland the war on talent is heating up and building a strong reputation and employer brand has become a key focus for organisations, particularly amongst millennials who care deeply about the reputations of the organisations they choose to work with," Ms Boyle said.

"It’s essential for organisational leaders to have a deep understanding of what is driving their reputation. Armed with insights from this study an organisation can take steps to apply their efforts to the areas that most need to be addressed."