"The spread of Ebola in West Africa; the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, plus two subsequent air disasters; the arrests of top Chinese Government officials; the foreign exchange rate rigging by six global banks; and numerous data breaches, most recently at Sony Pictures by a sovereign nation, have shaken confidence," Richard Edelman, the president and CEO of Edelman, said in a statement accompanying Tuesday's report.
The missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 went missing in late December 2014 off the coast of the island of Borneo. Wreckage and bodies have since been recovered and have added to a series of air disasters last year including two major incidents for Malaysian Airlines. The Ebola virus has also spread from Africa to several Western nations and in technology, several high-profile data breaches have hit firms including Sony and Apple.
Trust in businesses declined in two-thirds of the countries surveyed, compared to last year, and is now below 50 percent in 11 countries -- the worst showing since 2008 -- the Edelman survey said. The largest drops occurred in Canada, Germany, Australia and Singapore. The decline in the trust of the CEO as a credible representative of a company continued for the third consecutive year, the poll found, with trust levels now at 31 percent in developed markets.