PRINCETON, N.J., June 27 (UPI) -- Confidence in U.S. banks has dropped to a record low in an annual survey, research firm Gallup said Wednesday.
While confidence in banks fell from 23 percent in 2010 to 21 percent in 2012, banks actually tied for third from the bottom on a list of 16 U.S. institutions, Gallup said.
At the bottom of the list is Congress with a confidence factor of 13 percent, Gallup said, using data based on a survey of 1,004 adults taken June 7-12.
Close to the bottom, Health Maintenance Organizations posted a confidence level of 19 percent.
Banks tied with big business, television news and organized labor, Gallup said. Confidence in each of those four institutions is at 21 percent.
Confidence was measured by asking respondents if they had "quite a lot," or "a great deal" of confidence in each institution.
Gallup said it was not hard to understand why confidence in banks is low, given the recent recession, the massive losses at JPMorgan Chase that have been in the news lately and the credit crunch -- not to mention the financial crisis in Europe.
Moody's Investors Service Friday downgraded the credit rating of 15 global banks, also a contributing factor, Gallup said.
Gallup said the results of the survey have a margin of error of plus and minus four percentage points, a statement that can be said with 95 percent confidence.