Three-Quarters of Americans View Banks Favorably, New Poll Finds

December 21, 2011 - 8:52 PM

Big Banks Lawsuits

FILE - In this July 13, 2010 file photo, Bank of America's headquarters are shown in Charlotte, N.C. The government has sued the nation's largest banks, along with a handful of other financial institutions and executives, for violating federal and state laws in the sale of home mortgage-backed securities. Among the 17 institutions targeted by the lawsuits were Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

(CNSNews.com) - Sorry, Occupy Wall Street. Americans may be angry at the federal government, but the overwhelming majority of them are not mad at banks, according to a new Reason/Rupe poll.

More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans have a favorable view of their local bank. Only 17 percent had an unfavorable view.

Meanwhile, only 32 percent have a favorable view of the federal government.

The national poll of 1,200 adults on cell phones and landlines asked -- “For each of the following entities, please tell me if your impression is very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable” – of a number of things.

Despite high food prices, grocery stores fared the best, with 88 percent of Americans saying they liked their local grocery store.

Americans also overwhelmingly seem to like their cell phones (73 percent) and their Internet Service Providers (69 percent).

Other results were less enthusiastic. There was only grudging support for state and local government:

-- "Your local school system" (58 percent net favorable)

-- "Local government" (58 percent net favorable)

-- "State government" (50 percent net favorable)

-- "Federal government" (32 percent net favorable)

In fact, when it comes to the federal government -- only 9 percent have a “Very Favorable” view of the federal government; 23 percent are “mostly favorable”; 30 percent “mostly unfavorable”; 32 percent “very unfavorable” and 6 percent had no opinion.

This Reason-Rupe poll, conducted Dec. 3-13, 2011, surveyed a random, national sample of 1,200 adults by telephone (777 on landlines, 423 on cell phones). The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The poll was conducted for the Reason Foundation by NSON Opinion Strategy.