London: Britons tell 657 lies a year, and most blame bankers and MPs for their dishonesty, a survey has revealed.
In the study, commissioned by Chartered Insurance Institute, four in five of those polled said lies were now a part of day-today life.
Despite the recent outcry over MPs` expenses, 41 percent admitting to over-claiming at work.
Nearly half of respondents also admitted stealing a small item from a shop, travelling on a train without a ticket or purposefully damaging purchased goods to get their money back.
Meanwhile, nearly one in three said they had asked for a refund on worn clothing, kept the cash after finding a wallet or made a false insurance claim.
Nine in ten said the Internet and mobile phones made it easier to lie, according to the survey of more than 2,000 people.
Some 88 percent of those polled said that dishonesty among authority figures alleviated their guilt.
David Thomson, from the Chartered Insurance Institute, said major firms needed to lead by example.
“There has clearly been a breakdown in ethics across the entire spectrum of society and the decline in trust in institutions is at the heart of this,” a news daily quoted him as saying.