48% of Americans Worry About Money in Banks Following Failures
Following a series of bank failures in recent weeks, some Americans may be wondering about just how safe their deposited funds are. With that in mind, a new poll from Gallup sought to measure banking consumer confidence — and compare those results to a pair of 2008 surveys.
According to the poll, a total of 48% of respondents expressed worry about the safety of funds they had deposited with banks and other financial institutions. This includes 19% who were “very worried” and 29% who were “moderately worried.” Only one-fifth of those polled weren’t worried at all. Notably, Gallup’s polling period came after the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank but before the more-recent failure of First Republic Bank.
Breaking down the responses by demographic, those who make less were more likely to show concern. In fact, 23% of those who make less than $40,000 per year as well as 23% of those making between $40,000 and $99,999 annually stated that they were “very worried,” only 10% of those with salaries over $100,000 said the same. Political affiliation also seemed to play in role in how concerned consumers were, with 21% of Republicans saying they were very worried compared to 13% of Democrats. Independents were more in line with Republicans as 21% were very worried but were slightly more optimistic as 20% showed no worry compared to 17% of GOPers.
The latest poll’s results are similar to findings from a different Gallup poll conducted in 2008 amid a different banking crisis. Following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, 45% of respondents expressed worry about the safety of their money. That total fell to 41% a couple of months later after Congress bailed out a number of institutions with the Troubled Assets Relief Program. Interestingly, in the September 2008 poll, it was Democrats who were far more likely to show worry than Republicans — 55% to 34%, respectively. At the time, George W. Bush was still in office. By December of that same year, with President-elect Barack Obama waiting in the wings, Gallup’s poll found 45% of Dems showing concern compared to 42% of Republicans.
Although news of recent bank failures can be concerning for consumers, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) does insure funds up to $250,000 per depositor. This may not be 100% reassuring to those wondering if their bank is next to fail but it is important to remember nonetheless. Overall, while it’s clear that Americans are a bit spooked following these recent collapses, these fears are likely to wain as time goes on (assuming that no more damage is done). On that note, however, we’ll need to wait and see where these latest banking issues lead.