American confidence in banks is at a record low, and this is translating into serious customer action, leaving banks scrambling to find ways to gain and retain customers. For example, one out of ten bank customers switched their main banking institution last year, a J.D. Power and Associates survey found. But that isn't the only way the banking landscape is changing. Keep reading to find out more.
In 2007, before the recession hit, 41 percent of Americans reported having a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in U.S. banks, according to Gallup.com.
As of June 2012, only 21 percent of Americans have confidence in banks, the lowest in 30 years.
Historically, 42 percent of Americans on average have confidence in banks.
Left: A protest outside of a Chicago Wells Fargo.
American confidence in banks, though low, is still higher than American confidence in Congress (13%) and Health Maintenance Organizations (19%).
Banks are about equal to television news when it comes to American confidence, which isn't saying much.
Compare that to the 29 percent of Americans who have great confidence in public schools and the criminal justice system.
Trust in institutions is generally falling across the board.
Photo: Garfield County courthouse, Utah
In 2011, 9.6 percent of bank customers switched their bank, according to a survey by J.D. Power and Associates.
This is true for banks with more than $33 billion in assets.
The J.D. Power and Associates study found that a third of people who switched banks did so because of increased fees.
The study found that poor service and unmet customer expectations were also to blame, according to the L.A. Times
As of 2012, Gallup.com reported that 35 percent of people reported having very little or no confidence in banks.
There are more people who feel this way than who have a great deal of confidence in banks (21 %), according to Gallup.
Photo: A protest last year in Oakland.
Confidence in banks varies across the country. The Midwest has the lowest confidence, declining from 27 percent of people having confidence in banks to 17 percent since last year.
Photo: The Bank of America Tower in San Francisco.
In June of 2012 Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress that "Banking and financial conditions in the United States have improved significantly since the depths of the [financial] crisis," according to Gallup.com.
Banks are struggling to regain the public confidence of decades past, which at times tripled what it is today.
Photo: An old bank teller counter.
In 2010, 8.7 percent of customers said they switched their primary bank, according to another J.D. Power and Associates report.
But last year, according to J.D. Power and Associate vice president of financial service practice Rockwell Clancy, the biggest reason people were leaving their banks was not fees, but because of changes in life circumstances, though fees did play a role.
According to a different J.D. Power and Associate report, people do a little more research now than before when choosing a bank, looking at about 2 banks on average.
In 2010, people who switched banks only considered about 1.6 banks on average.
Americans seem to be more anxious to find the right bank.
Only 43 percent of customers who purchased a banking product did so from their own bank in 2011.
Photo: A Chase bank in McAllen, TX.
Only .9 percent of people defected from a small bank or credit union this year.
This is a stark difference from last year, when 8.8 percent of small bank and credit union customers defected.
photo: America's Credit Union Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire
Back in the late 80s, Americans could put their money in a regular savings account and receive five percent interest off of it. Now that percentage is below one percent.
CD rates also used to give above 5 percent interest, and now are much less, sitting at just over 1 percent for 5 year yields, according to bankrate.com.
Photo: A bank in Paris.