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Financial Trust Index: Faith in U.S. banks slides

The Financial Trust Index reports that 9 percent fewer Americans "trust" their banks than did six months ago.

The Pulse is down today on news that only 23 percent of Americans say they trust the U.S. financial system. That’s according to the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School’s quarterly Financial Trust Index, which “captures the amount of trust that Americans have in the institutions in which they can invest their money.”

The Index found that just 3 in 10 Americans have faith in their bank. That’s down from 39 percent just six months ago. With little lending happening in recent years, banks have looked to a new sources of revenue: fees imposed on everything from using an ATM to talking to a teller in person. In fact, these fees have helped JP Morgan Chase and numerous other banks record profits in 2011.

Banks may have lost some of our trust in recent months, but they have a long way to fall before they’re as doubted as the stock market. A paltry 16 percent of those surveyed reported trusting the markets with their hard-earned cash.

The Index also found that anger over the current financial situation is up dramatically in the past couple years. People reporting to be “angry” or “very angry” rose from 50 percent in 2009 to 62 percent in the most recent survey.

About the author

Joel Patterson is the Associate Producer of Marketplace Money.

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