Few Americans Trust Big Banks

A new poll indicates that half a decade after the failure of big banking institutions, Americans still don’t have confidence in them.

Few Americans Trust Big Banks Photo (cc) by TerryJohnston

Hesitant to trust big banks? You’re not alone.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that just 13 percent of Americans say they have a great deal of confidence in the financial industry. A whopping 43 percent said they have little or no confidence in big banks.

This is quite the change from 2000, when 36 percent of Americans reported having confidence in big banks.

Understandably, large financial institutions lost a lot of credibility and public trust after the financial crisis. Just a handful of years later, Americans are still wary of big banks.

David Wessel, a contributor to The Wall Street Journal and director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution, said the situation with the banks is a conundrum:

Banks are frustrated that regulators, seared by their failure to head off the worst financial crisis in generations, are being so tough on them. The public is frustrated that the regulators aren’t being tougher, and many members of Congress agree with them.

Now, it’s balancing act time – trying to ensure that the financial system is now safe from crisis while continuing to keep credit flowing to businesses and individuals. But it’s a tenuous balance.

Perhaps Wessel said it best. “Bankers need to remember that the test is not whether something is good for them but whether it’s good for the economy as a whole.”

Where is your confidence level when it comes to big banks? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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