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Americans still angry at big banks

By Allison Ross ·
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Posted: 2 pm ET

About a quarter of megabank customers sometimes feel guilty for banking at a big bank, according to a survey on consumer banking released this week.

The Consumer Banking Insights Study found that resentment toward big banks over their role in the financial crisis still lingers among consumers. Two-thirds of Americans say they're still angry at big banks.

"There's definitely pent-up resentment toward the nation's biggest banks," says Gabe Krajicek, chief executive of Kasasa, which partnered with 200 community banks and credit unions to commission the survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

Krajicek says that while the financial crisis broke years ago, people are still feeling the effects today, which may be why it hasn't faded to the back of Americans' minds.

"There are many people who aren't as well employed as they were five or six years ago," he says. "They see the bonuses paid to the big bank executives, and it doesn't feel fair."

The survey found 78 percent of Americans say big banks are to blame for the financial crisis, and 71 percent think those big banks have not yet made up for the role in the crisis.

The survey also found that consumers of big banks report lower levels of trust in and loyalty to their banks than consumers who use community banks or credit unions.

But despite this anger and frustration, the market shares of big banks have been growing, Krajicek says. Less than a quarter of megabank customers said they are at least somewhat likely to switch to a community bank or credit union in the coming year.

One main reason consumers are sticking with big banks is that people think smaller banks can't offer what the big banks can, the survey found.

"There's this perception gap ... where the consumer thinks the best technology, the best features out there, are from the big banks," Krajicek says. He says that perception is not always actually the truth, saying many small banks have mobile apps and other technology and amenities.

Krajicek says small banks can "run themselves ragged" trying to get the latest technology, but the issue is about perception and marketing. "You don't have Samuel L. Jackson telling (consumers) about your rewards program," he says.

Do you bank locally or use a big bank, or a combination?

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September 24, 2014 at 6:08 pm

I left Wells Fargo several years ago, when they started charging monthly fees of anywhere from $8-10/month for balances less than (I think) $2K or so. I'm with Wings Credit Union now, and couldn't be happier. Only thing I don't like about Wings is that their ATM network is a bit limited, especially outside my immediate area. That just means I have to plan ahead and carry some cash when I go out of town. But I will NEVER go back to a big bank!!

September 19, 2014 at 11:56 pm

How about Mega "Wells Fargo"'s funny they don't charge a fee for using their restrooms.....
Customer Service ? A thing of the past with them... ALWAYS WAIT, WAIT, WAIT.... 30 min, 45 min, 60 min, etc.
They ALWAYS have a Wal-Mart Style "Greeter" at the front door, usually a personal banker, but they can NEVER help you....
They bought out Wachovia Bank, and the fees are unreal. Thus they make lots of money. They put all sorts of restrictions on your accounts, which I was never aware of.
Thus, Sun Coast Credit Union is getting all my money in 1 week.

Gaye David
September 19, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Been with my credit union 24 years and I couldn't be happier. Full service, I am not missing out on anything!

September 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

The National Occupy Movement that happened a few years back ( Although I don't agree with everything they did/said )was in part because of the frustration - in many ways - the banks were causing and the unfair ways they seem to get away with stuff. Occupy had a National Leave BofA day that if I remember occurred on Saturday November 5th, 2011. I drove to BofA that Saturday, stood in line with many others, withdrew my accounts and credit card(s) then proceeded to a local non profit Federal Credit Union here in the Los Angeles area. I love it, love it. No greedy fee's, very fair treatment, fair account management practices by the F.C.U. and you get treated like a human with non of the money making shams that you get with the big guys. I swear my blood pressure has gone down %30+ since I left BofA! Non Profit Federal Credit Unions Everybody! The best move you can make!

March 06, 2014 at 2:05 am

BOA is the worst! I nearly lost my home because they DID NOT PAY the property taxes from escrow for two years in a row. I only found out about it because rates had gone down and I went to a smaller bank to refinance. Year three of non-payment of taxes puts your home on the auction block. And then they refused to pay the tax penalties that THEY incurred.

I have difficulty understanding why my own tax dollars went to bail THEM out....what about shutting them down since they are so corrupt!

March 01, 2014 at 8:09 pm

I withdrew all of my funds from banks in about 2007 and moved all to local credit union. Have been much happier since.

March 01, 2014 at 2:47 pm

I agree with both of you. Drew everything I had left from all the big banks. And refuse to have anything to do with any of them again. CROOKS, don't care how they treat the hard working American to get the green. Why? would we want to support them.

Todd Fritsche
March 01, 2014 at 9:45 am

Agreed! Angry at the banks? Not nearly as much as angry at my Congress. Those knuckleheads in DC need to learn who they work for. Articles like this completely miss the point and paint the general populace as a bunch of unknowledgeable fools by thinking we don't really know who was at the source of the problem.

Arleine Demien
March 01, 2014 at 1:14 am

Don't kid yourselves -Banks never took a loss while the taxpayers were "wiped out" in many instances. The congress of corruption is still letting them make more than their fair share of bucks. Look at those dishonest unbalanced interest rates. Charging "high in the sky" interest while the account holders gets "NO" interest. That's what this administration calls honest/fair. What a bunch of corrupt liars in congress & their guy "who never should have been allowed on any ballot, getting by with his lies & ruination of our country.