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Nancy Feig
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Consumer Mistrust in Banks Growing

By Nancy Feig Consumers don't trust banks. That's what I'm hearing. New immigrants don't trust banks because of bank failures in their home countries. Little old ladies store wads of cash in their mattresses because memories of the Great Depression still haunt them. These consumers often fall into the so-called "unbanked" or "underbanked" category, those that are hesitant to bring their money into any formal financi

By Nancy Feig Consumers don't trust banks. That's what I'm hearing. New immigrants don't trust banks because of bank failures in their home countries. Little old ladies store wads of cash in their mattresses because memories of the Great Depression still haunt them. These consumers often fall into the so-called "unbanked" or "underbanked" category, those that are hesitant to bring their money into any formal financial institution.But now there's another segment of consumers whose mistrust is growing. According to IBM, the most hands-on consumers are the most mistrustful of their financial institutions and that trend is even stronger in younger generations.

I see where this trend is coming from. The younger generation doesn't trust anything. We don't even trust each other. I can't tell you how many times we settle disagreements end with the line, "Oh yeah, well, Google it."

Information is so easy find on the Internet these days, that we are mistrustful of terms that aren't right there in the open for us and we'll move right on to the next place that will give us the information.

We shuffle our money to and from our accounts like we change purses. We check our ING Direct interest rates as often as we check the weather on Weather.com. We want our cell phones and our bank accounts personalized.

And we will switch banks. Heck, I even changed banks two times in 2006. Mostly it was for convenience, but I have friends who have changed bank accounts because of poor customer service. It's easy to do, so why not?

So is this all a result of mistrust? Maybe. But I'd say it's more of a lack of loyalty. It's not necessarily the bank's fault. My generation is used to having choices, options, and quick fixes. It's our way or the highway.

It's not you; it's us.

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