Still Banking on Banks

With financial institutions looking awfully shaky, Americans could scarcely be blamed for developing a vivid fear of banks. Judging by a Rasmussen Reports poll fielded earlier this week, a majority of them haven’t done so yet.

After warming respondents up with a couple of questions about the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the survey asked them how worried they are that the money they have in the bank “will be lost in a bank failure.” Even in this uncheery context, just 12 percent said they’re “very worried,” with another 25 percent saying they’re “somewhat worried.” A majority were either “not very worried” (43 percent) or “not at all worried” (18 percent).

The pattern of response was roughly similar when respondents were asked to pass judgment on “the stability of the U.S. banking industry today.” Four percent declared themselves “not at all confident” on that score, and another 27 percent said they’re “not very confident.” Fifty percent were “somewhat confident,” while 14 percent managed to be “very confident.”