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Americans' trust in banks, credit unions

Americans' trust in credit unions is much higher than their trust in banks.

A new Harris Poll found half of American adults have lost trust in their banks in recent years. By contrast, 49 percent of respondents said they retained the same level of trust in credit unions. More than three-quarters of respondents said they had a high level of trust in credit unions. In a release, Harris Interactive suggested financial institutions with smaller areas of influence may be more likely to gain Americans' trust - and credit unions certainly qualify on this score.

Other factors that influence trust include personal experience, which is very important to all generations surveyed, with 66 percent of total poll respondents saying it plays a huge role in creating trust. The next most influential factors all tied at 56 percent, and were the quality of products and services, quality of customer care and fees charged. Not very many respondents consider a financial organization's role in the community to be an important factor in developing trust, and even fewer turn to social media to determine whether they should trust a bank or credit union. Predictably, millennials are most likely to cite social media, though still only 15 percent of them say it is an important factor for them.