Confidence in U.S. Banks Still Low, but Beginning to Climb Again

July 8, 2015 DATAMARK

Americans are still experiencing a crisis of confidence in the U.S. banking system, even though seven years have passed since the financial crisis of 2007-08.

A Gallup poll taken from June 2-7 shows that Americans who express a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in banks is a low 28 percent. That’s up a few points from 2012 (21 percent), but still down from a recent peak of 53 percent in 2004.

The bursting of the housing bubble in 2007 and subsequent government bailout of mortgage lenders and investment houses shook up the banking industry. And as the poll suggests, its effects are still felt today.

Across the entire confidence spectrum, Gallup found that almost half of Americans (45 percent) have “some” confidence in banks, and about a quarter (26 percent) have “very little” confidence or “none at all.”

The Gallup pollsters say history shows that the banking industry can recover from the public’s drop in confidence. During the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1990s, bank confidence dropped from 51 percent in 1987 to 30 percent in 1991. Thirteen years later, confidence had climbed to 53 percent in 2004–when banks were making the kinds of loans that would eventually lead to the mortgage crisis.

Gallup 1979-2015 Confidence

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