Credit Unions Twice as Trusted as Big Banks

Read the full report from the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index online.

Sixty percent of financial decision makers in America reported a high degree of trust in credit unions, according to the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index. Only 30 percent said they considered big, national banks trustworthy.

The Index is calculated quarterly using a sample of 1,000 American adults. This quarter’s results showed that Americans are concerned about income inequality and see an improved education system as the best solution.

“Despite Americans’ anxiety over income inequality, they do show increased trust in credit unions,” said the press release accompanying the latest numbers, “with some 60 percent of respondents saying they find credit unions trustworthy; only 30 percent say they trust big, national banks, which tend to be for-profit and invest in financial products that are unfamiliar to many Americans.”

Luigi Zingales, the index’s coauthor and a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, said, “It is not just because of the not-for-profit motive of credit unions. People trust more local than national banks and trust more credit unions than local banks. The more local an institution is, the more trusted it is.”

Overall trust in banks, big and small, came to 38%, and Americans’ trust in the financial system as a whole came in at 27%, reflecting an increase of 3% since last quarter. Large corporations logged the lowest public trust level, at 17%, with the stock market only four points higher at 21%.

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