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Majority Of Americans Still Hold A Grudge Against Banks

A series of surveys from Rassmussen Reports reveals that US consumers are holding a grudge against banks whom they hold responsible for the Great Recession.

50% of U.S. Adults favor a plan to break up the top 12 big banks, who collectively control about 69% of the banking industry. 23% oppose breaking up megabanks, while another 27% are undecided.

Consumers believe the financial bailouts were a bad idea, and they would prefer an economic system with more competition and less regulation moving forward. 45% believe the bank bailouts were wrong for the U.S.

71% say the government should let troubled banks go out of business rather than find a way to keep them going — particularly the big ones. That’s up 15 points from 56% in July 2010. Just 19% think that if some of the largest banks in the country reach a point where they can no longer meet their obligations, the government should find a way to keep them in business.

Only 29% of Americans believe the federal government should nationalize some banks that are at risk of going out of business. 51% oppose nationalization, even institutions where serious levels of risk is involved.

53% of American adults are at least “somewhat confident” in the stability of the U.S. banking industry, but that includes a mere 10% who are “very confident.”43% continue to lack confidence in the nation’s banks, with 11% saying they are “not at all confident.”

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( Read More: Consumers Distrust Banks More Than Any Other Industry, Study Shows )

59% of U.S. consumers think it’s at least somewhat likely that the country will soon face another financial industry meltdown similar to the 2008 crisis. 30% think this is unlikely to occur. These figures include 26% who feel another Great Recession is “very llkely,” compared to 4% who feel it’s “not at all likely.”

46% of American adults think it’s at least somewhat likely that the U.S. government might try to tax money in individual bank accounts like they’ve done in Cyprus. Nearly as many (41%), however, view this as unlikely to occur. 13% aren’t sure.

71% think the federal government has not been aggressive enough in pursuing possible criminal behavior by major Wall Street bankers. That’s up from 64% one year ago. Today, only 14% of Americans believe the federal government has taken appropriate action.

48% of American adults think the federal government is more concerned with making Wall Street firms profitable, while just 27% think they are concerned with making sure the U.S. financial system works well for everyone. One-in-four aren’t sure.

57% of U.S. voters believe big banks and other major financial institutions have too much insider influence over the actions of the Federal Reserve. Only 16% disagree, with 27% more who are not sure.

36% support more government regulation of the financial industry. 14% rate federal government oversight of the banking industry as good or excellent. 53% say the government is doing a poor job monitoring banks.

( More: 9 Critical Ways Financial Institutions Should Rebuild Trust With Consumers )

EditorJoin hundreds of the brightest minds in banking at The Financial Brand Forum 2015 — two full days jam-packed with the latest ideas, insights and innovations. Highlights include keynote speaker Josh Reich from Simple, three makeovers live on stage, and the ‘Branch Experience Lab’ in the heart of the exhibit hall.

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