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Confidence in banks rises, but is still low

June 14, 2013 at 1:38 PM   |   Comments

PRINCETON, N.J., June 14 (UPI) -- A recent poll indicates that confidence in U.S. banks is on the rise, researchers at Gallup said Friday.

The percentage of respondents to a recent poll saying they had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in banks has reached the highest level in five years, the survey company said.

The numbers indicate that confidence is not where it was before the recession. In June 2007, as the downturn began to unfold, 41 percent of respondents indicated they had considerable confidence in U.S. banks.

In the June survey, 26 percent indicate they were confident in U.S. banks, which is much closer to the all-time low -- 21 percent in June 2012 -- than it is to the all-time high.

"Between 2007 and 2012, confidence in banks fell by half -- 20 percentage points," Gallup said.

On the other hand, 28 percent of the respondents to the survey this year indicated they had little to no confidence in U.S. banks.

Confidence in banks also looks relatively poor compared to other institutions. Each year, Gallup conducts a survey that attempts to measure confidence in 16 different institutions. In this year's poll, conducted June 1-4, banks were in 10th place.

Banks started out in second place. In 1979, when Gallup first began tracking confidence in U.S. institutions, 60 percent indicated they felt confident about U.S. banks. That was second only to church, Gallup said.

In this year's survey, the military ranked No. 1 with 76 percent indicating they were very confident in the military. Small businesses came in second, followed by the police, churches, the presidency, the medical system, the U.S. Supreme Court, public schools. and the criminal justice system.

Congress came in dead last with 10 percent indicating they were very confident in federal lawmakers.

That was half the rate of the second to last group, health maintenance organizations, a category in which 19 percent of respondents indicated strong confidence.

Results for the survey, which is based on polling 1,529 adults, have a margin of error of plus and minus 3 percentage points it can be said with 95 percent certainty, Gallup said.

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