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Little trust in US financial system

Wednesday, July 25, 2012    

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A new survey found fewer than one in four Americans trust the financial system and that confidence in large banks is eroding.

The latest quarterly survey issued yesterday by the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School says the 21 per cent of respondents who said they trust the system is the lowest level since the school's March 2009 poll, taken as the global economic crisis unfurled.

The percentage of people who trust banks that operate across the US fell to 23 per cent from 25 per cent in March. Trust in small community banks, on the other hand, rose to 55 per cent from 51 per cent, while confidence in credit unions rose to 63 per cent from 58 per cent.

The survey by telephone of 1,029 people was conducted from June 20 to June 28.

That was after news emerged in mid-May of a multibillion-dollar trading loss at JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in the US.

It also found that the percentage of people who have trust in the stock market was 15 per cent, unchanged from the March survey. Trust in mutual funds fell to 25 per cent from 28 per cent while trust in large companies edged up to 15 per cent from 14 per cent.

The majority of those polled said they have a neutral view of the stock market, with 80 per cent planning to keep their investments in the market as they are. More than half the respondents said they believe a market collapse -- a drop of more than 30 per cent -- is unlikely to occur within the next 12 months.

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