Gallup: Most Americans Still Lack Confidence in Banks

While the U.S. economy has recovered in the years following the worst of the financial crisis, this time has not yet healed Americans’ confidence in banks, which continues to languish below 30% for the eight straight year following the 2007-2009 recession, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Just 27% of U.S. adults now say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in banks, accord to the sample of 1,027 adults aged 18 and older surveyed by Gallup. In addition to those expressing high confidence in banks, nearly half say they have “some” confidence in them, while 26% have “very little” or no confidence.

Despite less than one-third of Americans lacking confidence, this percentage is slightly higher than the lows during the Great Recession and its aftermath.

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“Low confidence in banks is not unprecedented, and Americans’ views of the institution have recovered in the past from severe dips,” Gallup writes.

The current share of adults who say they have confidence in banks is just half of what it was in 2004, when 53% expressed confidence in the institution. In 1979, confidence was a record high of 60%, according to Gallup.

Confidence in banks began to fall in 2005 and 2006, Gallup noted. By 2007, with home prices starting to decline after peaking in 2006, banking confidence dipped to 41% before falling further to 32% in June 2008 after the recession began. By June 2009, just 22% of Americans expressed confidence in banks, just slightly worse than today’s level.

Income also factored into the confidence levels of survey respondents and how they feel towards banks. Adults from households earning less than $30,000 annually (33%) were more likely than those in the middle (24%) and higher (22%) income brackets to express high confidence in banks.

Based on the survey results, it is clear that the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis continues to affect Americans’ perceptions of the banking industry. Despite signs of recovery over the years, Gallup notes that views of the U.S. economy’s overall health remain negative, and Americans are not more willing to feel confident about banks.

“Regaining Americans’ trust in recent years, then, appears to be a heavier lift for the banking industry,” Gallup writes. “And it is unclear when—or if—Americans’ confidence in banks will be restored to what it was a decade ago.”

View the Gallup poll.

Written by Jason Oliva