Americans Are Losing Trust in Their Banks
Half of American adults say they have lost trust in their banks over the last few years, according to a recent Harris Poll. By comparison, 49% of the respondents said their trust in credit unions has remained the same in recent years.
Banks were not the only institutions to receive a low rating in the poll. Americans also reported losing trust in Wall Street and mortgage lenders, both seeing a 57% decline.
One out of 13 households are unbanked, based on a 2013 study by the FDIC. This equates to nearly 10 million households.
There are several factors that determine how likely Americans are to trust a financial institution. 66% of poll participants said personal experience is the most important factor, while 56% said they looked at the quality of customer care, quality of products and services, or money charged in fees.
Local banks and credit unions with a smaller area of influence have higher trust levels than nationwide financial institutions. Over three-quarters of those surveyed reported a great deal of trust for local credit unions, while 70% said the same for local branches of a regional bank. Only 50% of Americans trust large national banks.
Online-only banks are fighting a battle in establishing trust with a majority of Americans. Only 39% of the respondents have any trust with online-only banks. Not surprisingly, Millennials and Gen X’ers (42%) have more trust in these institutions than older adults (30%). In addition, consumers in the East and West are more likely to trust online-only banks than respondents in the South or Midwest.
The poll surveyed 2,537 Americans between August 13-18, 2014.