WASHINGTON (1/28/10)--Credit unions have a higher approval rating on trust than banks, according to the latest Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index (The Wall Street Journal
Jan. 28). Credit unions had a 58% approval rating, compared with a 31% approval rating of national banks and 53% of local banks. Banks in which the government has a stake were trusted the least, with a 21% approval rating, the report said. The study was based on phone surveys to consumers in the U.S. Data was collected in late December by the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. “The Trust Index reveals that what has made credit unions successful--service to members, transparency in operation, a real feeling of ‘ownership’ in the institution--are values that are honored by the American public,” said Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica. “The fact is, credit unions did not start the fire leading to the financial meltdown--but they can play a significant role in helping Americans recover from it.” Paola Sapienza, one of the study’s authors, noted that trust in credit unions and community banks is much higher than in national banks, “consistent with academic evidence that local [institutions] have more transparency, fewer hidden fees and better customer service compared to national banks.” Other findings from the study:
* About 61% of respondents support regulating financial institutions, compared to 65% of those surveyed in June; * Roughly 58% support executive pay caps, down from 65% in June; * Nearly 66% of respondents want to see homeowners get help, compared with 68% saying so in June; and * About 51% of respondents said they were angry at the current economic situation, compared with 60% in December 2008.