The FINANCIAL — Confidence in the stability of the U.S. banking system is up a bit this month but still remains at discouraging levels.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 47% are at least somewhat confident in the stability of the U.S. banking system. While that’s up six points from a month ago, it’s way down from 68% in July 2008. A few months after that, as the financial industry meltdown became visible in September 2008, 64% still had confidence in the banking industry. Confidence fell rapidly after that to hit a low of 39% in February 2009. Since that time, confidence has stayed in the low-to-mid-40s.
Now 50% do not have confidence in the banking system. The latest figures include 12% who are Very Confident in that system and 11% who are Not at All Confident.
Thirty-eight percent (38%) of adults are at least somewhat worried the money they have in the bank will be lost due to a failure, but that includes just nine percent (9%) who are Very Worried. Fifty-eight percent (58%) are not worried about losing their money to a bank failure, with 14% are Not At All Worried.
Lower income Americans are more worried than others about the possibility of losing their money. Among those who make less than $20,000 a year, 47% are at least somewhat worried about the possibility and 20% are Very Worried. Among those who make more than $75,000 a year, just 26% are even somewhat worried, and just five percent (5%) are Very Worried.
As long as the banking system remains solvent, lower income Americans are far less likely to actually lose their money due to a bank failure. Only those with very large bank balances fall outside the protection of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Concern about this scenario peaked in February 2009 when 39% were worried about losing their money in the bank. That number dropped to 25% in August 2009.
Non-investors are more worried than investors about losing their money in a bank failure.
Separate polling finds that the Wall Street bailouts remain very unpopular with most believing they were bad for the economy. That’s partly because most Americans believe that the government is more concerned with making Wall Street firms profitable than making the financial system work for the rest of us.
Overall, 68% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that government and big business already work together against the interests of consumers and investors.
Consumer confidence reached a two-year high on January 7 this year but has been declining ever since.
Americans are divided about whether the unemployment rate is going to head up or down over the coming year.
Homeowners continue to hold little hope for the value of their house in the short-term and show no new confidence in long-term recovery.