Americans today are nearly as likely to report a great deal of confidence in banks as those who do not, according to a recent Gallup poll.
Americans’ confidence in U.S. banks increased to 26% in June, up from the record low of 21% a year ago.
Between 2007-2012, confidence in banks fell by half—20 percentage points—but the proportion is starting to balance out as consumers’ confidence has been gaining ground.
The percentage of Americans saying they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” (26%) of confidence in banks is now about the same as those expressing little or no confidence (28%), moving closer to net-positive confidence.
It is not clear what is driving confidence levels, specifically, but Gallup suggests that U.S. banks did well on their “stress tests” and that banks’ balance sheets have improved, as well as their earnings.
While consumer confidence is now at its highest point since June 2008, it remains well below its pre-recession level of 41% measured in June 2007.
“Americans’ confidence in banking remained high through 2006 as borrowing was easy, lending boomed, and the financial bubble of the last part of the decade grew,” writes Gallup Chief Economist Dennis Jacobe.
Given this contact, Americans’ improving perceptions of their banking institutions appear to be “realistic,” notes Gallup.
As a result, this upward trend provides an opportunity for banks, their regulators and their stakeholders to build on and create momentum for increasing Americans’ confidence in the U.S. banking system.
“A strong banking system, including strong public confidence, is essential if the U.S. economy is going to achieve strong, sustainable economic growth,” writes Jacobe.
Written by Jason Oliva