Combined with a sluggish economy, the credit crunch has taken its toll on Americans’ esteem for the banking sector. In June 2006, 49 percent of respondents to a Gallup survey said they had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in U.S. banks. By last June, the number was down to 41 percent. And in this month’s poll on the topic, just 32 percent expressed such confidence in U.S. banks. That’s within a couple percentage points of a three-decade low in Gallup’s polling on the topic.
Bankers will feel there’s a certain irony in this downturn in opinion. After all, one can interpret the numbers to mean the general public thought more highly of lenders when they were handing out loans willy-nilly than it does now that they’ve recovered their senses.