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Confidence in Banks Rises to Post-Recession High

Americans' confidence in U.S. banks rose in June, bouncing back from last year's record low, ""Gallup"":http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx?ref=logo reported.

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According to the results of Gallup's latest yearly poll, 26 percent of Americans surveyed said they have ""a great deal"" or ""quite a lot"" of confidence in banks, up from last year's low of 21 percent. While the share of confident Americans increase, the share of those expressing little or no confidence was down to 28 percent from last year's 35 percent, closing the gap further.

According to Gallup, the percentage of confident Americans is now at its highest point since June 2008 but remains well below its pre-recession level of 41 percent in 2007. While banks ranked fairly low compared to other institutions in the survey (placing 10th among 16 institutions), confidence increased for that segment more than it did for any other institution in the last year.

""It is not clear exactly what is driving Americans' improved confidence in banks, but most authorities agree that U.S. banks did well on their 'stress tests' and that banks' balance sheets are much improved, as are their earnings,"" said Gallup chief economist Dennis Jacobe. ""Given this context, Americans' improving perceptions of their banking institutions appear to be realistic.

""In turn, this provides an opportunity for banks, their regulators, and their stakeholders to build on and create momentum for increasing Americans' confidence in the U.S. banking system. A strong banking system, including strong public confidence, is essential if the U.S. economy is going to achieve strong, sustainable economic growth,"" he concluded.

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