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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.

Record low confidence in banks
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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

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.

Banks, congress and healthcare
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American confidence in banks, though low, is still higher than American confidence in Congress (13%) and Health Maintenance Organizations (19%).

Banks, public schools, criminal justice and TV news
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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

People switching banks
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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.

Why are people leaving their banks?
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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

A third have very little or no confidence
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As of 2012, 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.

East and West confidence
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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.

Geographic Confidence in Banks

Photo: The Bank of America Tower in San Francisco.

Banks doing better?
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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

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.

Why were people leaving banks last year?
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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.

People consider more banks when shopping around
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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.

Half of customers buy products from other banks
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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.

People staying with small banks and credit unions
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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

Savings rates over history
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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

Photo: A bank in Paris.