Confidence in the nation's banks and thrifts has eroded considerably since the mid-1980s, even though an overwhelming number of Americans have faith in their own bank and believe that their money is safe, a Los Angeles Times Poll shows.
The results also suggest that while most Americans express limited confidence in the soundness of banks and savings and loans in general, few have yet to be personally hurt by the banking crisis.
Just 36 percent of those surveyed in the Times Poll expressed a lot of confidence in the nation's commercial banks.
Although unchanged from a similar Gallup survey last year, the figure is down from the roughly half who expressed a high level of confidence in banks in Gallup surveys from 1981 through 1988.
"Far more people have faith in their own bank than in the industry as a whole. That helps contribute to the stability of the system," Times Poll Director John Brennan said.