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.”
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.