03 February 2015
Mistreatment of customers was the biggest ethical concern in business to emerge in 2014, according to the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE).
The IBE analysed major business ethical concerns and lapses in 2014, which were recorded in its media monitoring. In 2014, 478 stories relating to 29 different business ethics issues were reported in the UK media.
Alongside mistreatment of customers, price fixing and bribery and corruption were second and third most reported issues across all industries.
Looking at a breakdown of sectors, mistreatment of customers was the highest reported concern in the utility sector – the energy ombudsman saw an increase of 191% in complaints.
Overall, the financial services sector received the most news coverage in 2014 and accounted for almost two in five (38%) ethics news stories. The IBE identified 181 separate stories – an equivalent of a news story every other day.
Additionally, the Financial Conduct Authority saw a dramatic increase in the number of fines issued throughout 2014 – fines of more than £1.4 billion were handed out in comparison to £424 million in 2013.
The retail sector was the second most covered industry with 60 reported ethical lapses and concerns.
Advertising, charity, chemicals and education sectors received the least mentions over the past year, with one mention each.