AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired) - Nearly 8 in 10 Americans (78 percent) feel the big banks are to blame for the financial crisis of 2008, and more than five years later, 66 percent are still angry at the big banks for the crisis, according to the first Consumer Banking Insights Study. Further, nearly half of Americans (49 percent) say that it's important to bank locally.
The banking study -- conducted online by Harris Poll in December 2013 among more than 1,000 U.S. adults (ages 18 and up) and commissioned by more than 200 community banks and credit unions in partnership with Kasasa® -- also found that roughly 7 in 10 Americans (71 percent) believe big banks haven't made up for their role in the financial crisis. Among megabank customers*, one-quarter (26 percent) sometimes feel guilty for doing business with a big bank.
"Following the financial crisis, people really want to support local banks that create jobs and boost local communities," says Gabe Krajicek, CEO behind Kasasa.
Among those who feel it's at least somewhat important to bank locally, growth of their local economy (57 percent) and support of employment in their town (56 percent) are the top two reasons cited. Opposition toward the big national banks is cited as a reason among 30 percent of those who at least somewhat value banking locally.
Banking locally is important for most Americans, with 78 percent saying it's at least somewhat important for them to use a local bank or credit union. Those who do bank locally report very high levels of loyalty and trust when it comes to their bank. Among community bank and credit union customers*, 93 percent say they trust their bank, and 84 percent feel loyal toward their institution.
By comparison, more than half of big bank customers (58 percent) believe their bank doesn't have their best interests at heart, and 42 percent feel their bank takes advantage of them with all the fees. Yet, only about 1 in 4 (23 percent) megabank customers say they're at least somewhat likely to switch their checking account to a local community bank or credit union this year.
"There's still a perception out there that community banks and credit unions can't compete with the big banks when it comes to products and services," Krajicek says. "But if consumers were to research their options, they'd find that perception to be untrue."
About the Consumer Banking Insights Study
Over 200 community banks and credit unions teamed up with Kasasa to conduct the first Consumer Banking Insights Study, which was executed online by Harris Poll from Dec. 26-31, 2013. The study polled 1,020 U.S. adults ages 18 and up to gauge their banking and checking preferences, feelings and behaviors. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
*Throughout this release, "megabank customers" are checking account holders who consider one of the big national banks to be their primary banking institution, and "community bank and credit union customers" are those who consider a local community bank or a credit union to be their primary banking institution.
Additional data from the Consumer Banking Insights Study is available upon request.