An overseas accent is better for success in commercial life than an English regional one, a survey of business people has revealed.
The study claimed sounding like Vera Duckworth is bad for business
Among the English accents tainted with business failure are Scouse, Brummie, Cockney, Geordie and the West Country.
The Aziz Corporation found that Home Counties, American, Scots, European, Indian or Asian were prized accents.
"If you sound like Vera Duckworth you will face prejudice in business," said Khalid Aziz, its chairman.
Mr Aziz added: "Although it may not be politically correct to believe that accents matter nowadays, it is very apparent from our research that popular prejudices still exist.
The survey found 77% of business people thought a Home Counties accent was a sign of success in business followed by 73% favouring an American accent, 63% a Scottish accent, 52% continental European and 25% believing Indian or Asian accents were successful.
However 64% of business people regarded those with a Liverpudlian accent unsuccessful, closely followed by a Birmingham or West Midlands accent, 63%, Cockney, 52% and Geordie or West Country 48%.
It also found that businessmen who speak with an Indian or Asian accent were considered to be hardworking and reliable by 69% of their peers, a higher rating than any other accent. Those with US accents were considered to be diligent by 66% of their peers, followed by 61% favouring a Scottish accent and 50% preferring a Home Counties accent.
However, only 24% of executives consider those with a Scouse accent to be hardworking.
Said Mr Aziz: "If you want to get ahead in business and don't speak the Queen's English, it is better to sound as if you are from America, Europe, India or indeed Scotland than from any English region.
"Accents can speak louder than words. Even if you think like Albert Einstein, the reality is that if you sound like Vera Duckworth you will face prejudices in the business world.
"In the light of these results we would advise individuals to consider softening rather than changing broad accents.
He added: "Experience shows that the key is to avoid using localised vocabulary, which others may not recognise."
But Mick Ord who coordinated the BBC's Voices Project said: "I would have thought what is more important is how intelligent or how efficient you are."
He said surveys about accents tended to be very subjective and superficial.
"It's a bit like saying who is your favourite band?"