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Consumers more confident in credit unions than banks

Confidence in credit unions remains high.

Confidence levels in credit unions remain high while faith in big banks has decreased. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 26 percent of Americans have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in banks. This is up from a record low in 2012, but is still much lower than the 41 percent in June 2007 - before the latest recession. Confidence fell 19 points in 2008 and 2009, which Gallup believes is in response to the recession.

More people in the U.S. have "very little" confidence (26 percent) in banks, according to the poll. One reason for this lack of faith in big banks is that consumers feel customer service is inconsistent, according to Credit Unions Online. The service a customer receives at their local branch, online or over the phone differs.

Banks aren't communicating the information customers want to hear either, Credit Union Online reported. And the banks' promises aren't trusted either. Because of these communication issues, banks aren't gaining the community loyalty they once had. Additionally, consumers don't believe banks have their best interest at heart.

In contrast, the ways in which banks are floundering may be the ways in which credit unions are gaining people's confidence. The percentage of Americans using a credit union is about 46.2 percent, according to the World Council of Credit Unions.

While almost half of consumers are putting their trust in credit unions, a recent survey by Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union found CEO confidence has grown. As of April, confidence grew three points from the previous quarter to hit 30.32. This is the first time the confidence index has been over 30 points since the third quarter of 2007, according to Catalyst.

Unlike banks, credit unions are not for profit and when there's a profit, it's shared with their active members -not separate stockholders. These factors make a positive impression on consumers and may be two of the reasons confidence in credit unions is improving while confidence in banks is lagging behind.