NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- American Express remained on top of a list of most trusted U.S. companies for the fifth consecutive year, a survey released Monday said.
Google, Countrywide Financial, Bank of American and Weight Watchers all dropped out of the top 20, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday with Google, perhaps, the victim of its own success, surveyor Larry Ponemon said.
Ponemon said some companies "suffer from big company syndrome."
"People figure that if you're big and collecting data, there must be an issue," he said.
Privacy issues rank high among consumer concerns.
In the survey, 45 percent of the respondents indicated they believed they had control over their personal information, a number that's dropped from 48 percent in 2007 and 56 percent in 2006.
The top 10 most trusted companies for 2008 included, in order after American Express, eBay, IBM, Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard, Proctor & Gamble, Apple, Nationwide and Charles Schwab.
Last year, Google came in at No. 10 in the Ponemon Institute survey that is co-sponsored by TRUSTe.