November 18, 2008

The research firm that found consumers trusted community banks 300 percent to 400 percent more than the Top Five in spring of this year, said it expects the gap to widen in its follow-up research in January.

"Our suspicion is that the gap will be greater," said Ken Lindenau, a director of Fulcrum, the Linfield, Pa., firm, in an interview with BS&T at the Retail Delivery show in Orlando.

Most of the 604 respondents partly blamed the credit crisis on the then Top Five banks, when Fulcrum's 2008 Banking Study was conducted in March. They were: Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C.; JP Morgan Chase, New York; Citi, New York; Wells Fargo & Co, San Francisco; and Wachovia Corp, Charlotte, since acquired by Wells.

"Three years ago not one respondent raised the issue of 'How secure is my money?' whereas this year the future viability of the bank was second on consumers list of concerns," noted Lindenau.

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