Americans Lose Faith in Banks

Posted June 23, 2008 at 7:32am

In the last year, there’s been a steep drop in how confident Americans are about their banking system, according to a poll today from Gallup.

The percentage of people saying they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in U.S. banks has fallen to 32 percent — down from 41 percent in June 2007 and 49 in June 2006. The lowest point since Gallup has conducted this poll was in 30 percent in October 1991.

The pollsters don’t seem to find these results surprising, given the subprime mortgage crisis and the consumer credit crisis. They note: “The precipitous nature of the recent decline in consumer confidence in banking is probably best reflected by how it compares to what has been happening with confidence levels in other institutions. While confidence in banks remains above the record-low level of Congress and the low levels of many other institutions, banking has been the only U.S. institution to experience a significant drop in confidence over the past year.”

Today’s findings match other polls reflecting Americans’ gloomy economic mood.

The poll was conducted June 9-12 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent points.