Less than 50 percent trust their bank

Shoppers pass a branch of Northern Rock in Kingston in London September 15, 2007. Shares in the beleaguered bank jumped almost 14 percent on Wednesday, after the bank scrapped its interim dividend but said it had received approaches including a possible offer for the company. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Almost a quarter of Britons no longer trust lenders of any kind following the near-collapse of Northern Rock and the first run on a bank in over a century, according to a survey.

The poll also found that less than half of the 2,485 people questioned, 46 percent, deemed high street banks to be trustworthy.

After customers struggled for days to withdraw funds through Northern Rock’s Web site, faith in online banking has also been sapped, with only one in four expressing confidence in Internet transactions.

Building societies came out top in the league of trustworthiness, with 48 percent declaring confidence in them.

Joanne Parker, chief executive of firm Teamspirit which carried out the spot survey, said: “The Northern Rock situation has contributed to the low levels of trust that the British public has in companies that look after their money.”

Volatility in the UK’s financial sector has also bashed confidence across financial services, with credit card companies, insurance companies and investment firms all scoring poorly.