Consumers are ‘sceptical’ about banks and supermarkets providing legal services because they have concerns about the quality of work, according to a major opinion poll. A survey of public attitudes towards solicitors, commissioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and released this week, found that 69% of respondents ‘agree they would be concerned about the quality of service offered by these organisations’. The report added that ‘there is an overall view that banks and supermarkets cannot provide the same level of service as a firm of solicitors’. The study found such ‘widespread concern’ reflected among all social classes. However, consumers from ethnic minorities were ‘much more positive’ and would prefer using banks or supermarkets rather than a solicitor they did not know. Pollster ComRes interviewed 1,014 people, with booster samples of adults from ethnic minorities and with disabilities, asking 19 questions. This is the second piece of consumer research the SRA has conducted in 18 months. Key findings of the 66-page report include: See also Opinion In 2007, a survey of nearly 1,000 people found that 65% of those who used a solicitor were satisfied with the service they received and that 22% of people had heard of the SRA. The report concluded that there is ‘a clear indication that the public do not feel they have a body to which they can turn in relation to legal services’. This created an opportunity for ‘an organisation to assume the role of thought-leader in the public’s mind as regards solicitors’. At an SRA board meeting last week, board member John Stoker said: ‘The level of public awareness of the SRA is a concern. We ought to ask ourselves whether we ought to be getting the message across more.’ 83% of people who have used a solicitor in the past five years are satisfied with performance. However, nearly a third of people with disabilities were dissatisfied. For those who complain about a solicitor, the organisation most frequently turned to is a citizens advice bureau. 51% of the general public ‘don’t know’ who is responsible for regulating solicitors, while 19% believe it is the government and 9% identify the SRA.