The appearance of HSBC at the head of the banking sector - one of six newcomers to go straight to the top of its respective category - masks one of the table's greatest reversals of fortune: that of Midland, which, prior to its takeover, was consistently voted Britain's least admired clearer. There is tumult elsewhere - among the regional electricity companies, for example. The previously dominant trio - Yorkshire, Southern and East Midlands - have all been displaced. Eastern, in contrast, moves from eighth position to first. In the media sector the recent upheavals in commercial television have had a similarly profound effect. The two formerly most admired broadcasters, Central and LWT, have disappeared following last year's takeovers (the former by Carlton, now in second place). First place is taken by Flextech, the former oil services company that, now majority-owned by US giant TCI, has recast itself as a cable TV business. Flextech in turn has built a 20% stake in HTV, which, apparently gaining from the link, moves up to third place.
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