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In U.S., Confidence in Banks Remains Low
Monday, June 30, 2014 6:20 AM

Twenty-six percent of Americans have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in banks -- unchanged from last year, but up from the record low of 21 percent found in 2012. Americans' confidence in banks is still far below the pre-recession level of 41 percent measured in June 2007, according to the latest Gallup poll.

While slightly more than a quarter of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in banks, an additional 43 percent express "some" confidence. On the other hand, 28 percent have "very little" confidence, and 2 percent volunteer that they have no confidence, all consistent with the percentages seen last year.

Furthermore, while 26 percent is a low percentage in absolute terms, banks actually rank in the middle of a list of 17 U.S. institutions Gallup asked Americans to rate on the confidence scale. In fact, in the June 5-8 survey, more Americans have confidence in banks than in the news media.

When Gallup first measured confidence in banks in 1979, 60 percent of Americans had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence -- a level that has not been matched since. That year, banks ranked second out of nine institutions, landing only behind organized religion. By October 1991, confidence in banks fell to 30 percent, but climbed to 53 percent by 2004 after almost a decade in the 40 percent range.

Confidence in banks stayed relatively high at 49 percent in 2005 and 2006, but dropped eight percentage points to 41 percent in 2007, a year in which confidence in nearly all institutions fell.