According to Gallup, Americans’ confidence in U.S. banks is now at a record-low 21%, down slightly from 23% in the past two years and one percentage point below the 22% found in 2009. The percentage of Americans saying they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in U.S. banks is now about half the pre-recession level of 41%, recorded in June 2007.
These bleak perceptions of the nation’s banks are consistent with ongoing banking issues worldwide, including the continuing crisis in Europe, particularly regarding European banks. However, the reality is that U.S. banks are much stronger now than they were during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress on June 7 that “banking and financial conditions in the United States have improved significantly since the depths of the [financial] crisis.”
Gallup’s most recent polling suggests banking perceptions have a long way to go before they improve to the degree monetary authorities suggest is the new reality.