By Daniel Hunter

Corporation tax avoidance is the biggest concern when it comes to public perception on business behaviour in 2014, according to the Institute of Business Ethics.

Executive pay was a close second with 34% identifying it as their main concern. Exploitative labour was also high on people's radars as a result of the Modern Slavery Bill and increased media attention, the Institute said.

The survey suggests that the public generally believes that businesses behave ethically. More than half (58%) said that businesses operate in an ethic manner.

But the public doesn't necessarily think businesses are more ethical than 10 years ago. In fact, they believe the opposite. Just a quarter of those surveyed said businesses are more ethical than a decade ago. But 36% said there had been no change and another 36% said they had gone backwards in terms of how ethically they operate.

Philippa Foster Back CBE, IBE’s Director, said: “While business can take some heart in these results that the British public’s opinion of business behaviour is improving, we are not out of the woods yet. Business needs to listen to the public’s concerns about business behaviour and ensure that it addresses them, or they will lose the fragile trust that has been regained. Consideration must be made of the opinion of the younger generations and those of the working classes who are experiencing business behaviour differently to the general public.”

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