Public trust in charities fell back in 2017 from the recent high experienced at the start of the year, the latest research shows.
Figures from the research consultancy nfpSynergy, based on regular surveys carried out with a representative sample of 1,000 adults in Britain, show the proportion of people who said they trusted charities "a great deal" or "quite a lot" had fallen from 64 per cent in February last year to 60 per cent in November.
But researchers found that trust in charities fell and bounced back over the course of the year, having dipped to 55 per cent in August.
The score of 64 per cent in February 2017 was the highest level of trust in charities recorded by nfpSynergy since May 2013, when it reached 66 per cent.
Trust in charities was 47 per cent in October 2015, the lowest level found by nfpSynergy since 2007, when it was 42 per cent.
The fall in trust in charities in 2017 meant that the sector fell from third on nfpSynergy’s list of institutions and public bodies in February last year to fifth, having been overtaken by the police and schools.
But it is an improvement on 2015, when charities were in 12th place on the list.
The NHS and the armed forces remained first and second on the list respectively.
Researchers found that trust in the Fundraising Regulator and its predecessor, the Fundraising Standards Board, had more than doubled since 2009, rising from 15 per cent to 37 per cent by November last year.
Political parties came bottom of the list, trusted by 13 per cent of respondents to the survey.