Complete Belief in Financial Institutions Low

May 19, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Boomers & Older | Brand Metrics | Data-driven | Financial Services | Youth & Gen X

Very few Americans find statements by financial institutions completely believable, according to a recent Harris Poll.

Accounting Firms Generate Most Belief
Accounting firms generated the highest percentage of Americans who find statements by their spokespeople completely believable, which was only 5%. A mere 2% of Americans find statements from investment firms, health insurance companies, mortgage companies and credit card companies completely believable.


Accounting firms also generated the highest net percentage of consumer belief in their statements (combining those who find their statements somewhat believable with those who find their statements completely believable) – 67%. Banks followed with 62%. At the other end of the spectrum, government agencies that regulate financial institutions generated net belief of 47%, and credit card companies came in last with 36% net belief in their statements.

Echo Boomers Most Trusting
Echo Boomers, those aged 18-33, are across the board more likely to find statements made by these companies more believable than older generations. Three-quarters of Echo Boomers (74%) find statements made by accounting firms to be believable (completely or somewhat) compared to 63% of Gen Xers (those aged 34-45).


Almost two-thirds of the youngest generation (65%) says they find statements by the government agencies that regulate financial institutions to be believable. Compare this with 43% of Gen Xers, 41% of Baby Boomers (those aged 46-64) and 36% of Matures (those aged 65 and older) who say the same.


Partisan Differences
Republicans and Democrats have some differences over how believable they find statements by those in the financial world. Seven in ten Democrats (70%) and two-thirds of Independents (66%) say they do not find any statement by credit card companies to be believable compared to 56% of Republicans who say the same. Two-thirds of Republicans (65%) say they do not find statements made by government agencies that regulate financial institutions to be believable compared to 40% of Democrats who say this.

Finance Seen as Too Powerful
A sizable majority of Americans think big business and banks and financial institutions have too much power in Washington, DC, according to the results of another recent Harris Poll. Eighty-three percent of Americans said banks and financial institutions are too influential on the federal government.

Although Republicans have an image of supporting finance, Republicans and Democrats agreed that banks and financial institutions wield too much political power. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans and 83% of Democrats said that banks and financial institutions have too much power.

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between April 12 and 19, 2010 among 2,755 adults (aged 18 and over). 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. Where appropriate, these data were also weighted to reflect the composition of the adult online population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.


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