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ABA Unveils New Consumer Polling Data on Major Bank Policy Issues at 2022 Washington Summit

WASHINGTON —

U.S. consumers are happy with their bank, value overdraft protection and support cannabis banking, according to a new survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Bankers Association. The survey found that 9 in 10 Americans with a bank account (89%) say they are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their primary bank and 88% agree they have multiple options when selecting products and services such as bank accounts, loans and credit cards.

The survey, conducted in mid-February and unveiled today during ABA’s 2022 Washington Summit, also provides important perspective from everyday consumers on the costs of maintaining a bank account. The data show that 83% of U.S. adults believe their bank is transparent about disclosing fees, and 62% believe that account fees charged by their bank are reasonable.

“Consumers are clearly happy with their bank, which reflects our industry’s core commitment to helping customers, clients and communities thrive,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “This new survey data show that consumers appreciate and understand the wide array of banking products and services at their disposal.”

The survey also gauged consumers’ view of overdraft fees which have been a focus in Washington recently. Nine in 10 consumers (89%) find their bank’s overdraft protection valuable, and 3 in 4 consumers (74%) who have paid an overdraft fee in the past year were glad their bank covered their overdraft payment, rather than returning or declining payment. Sixty-one percent of consumers think it’s reasonable for banks to charge a fee for an overdraft, and three-quarters of consumers (74%) view overdraft fees as reasonable when large payments like mortgages or rent payments are covered and paid on time. Significantly more consumers indicated they would oppose (54%) rather than support (26%) a government proposal to prevent banks from offering overdraft protection.

“Consumers enjoy a wide range of choices when it comes to financial products and services, and that’s especially true when it comes to overdraft programs,” said Nichols. “What this survey tells us is that Americans value and appreciate overdraft protection, and they understand it’s a helpful service that comes at a reasonable cost. Banks remain committed to ensuring their customers understand and make informed choices about their overdraft options.”

The survey also examined consumer views on cannabis banking. A strong majority of U.S. adults (65%) support allowing cannabis businesses to access banking services such as checking accounts and business loans in states where cannabis is legal, while only 15% oppose. Seven in 10 support Congress passing legislation that allows cannabis businesses to access banking services such as checking accounts and business loans in states where cannabis is legal.

“Consumers clearly agree that now is the time to resolve the ongoing conflict between state and federal law so banks can serve legal cannabis and cannabis-related businesses,” said Nichols. “Doing so will help banks meet the needs of their communities while enhancing public safety, increasing the efficiency of tax collections and improving the financial transparency of the cannabis industry.”

ABA released an accompanying infographic highlighting the survey results. The full results for the survey questions are as follows:

When asked “On a scale of 1-5, where 5 is very satisfied and 1 is very dissatisfied, how satisfied are you with your primary bank?” respondents who have a bank account provided the following responses:

  • 5 - Very satisfied – 54%
  • 4 - Satisfied – 35%
  • 3 - Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied – 9%
  • 2 - Dissatisfied – 2%
  • 1 - Very dissatisfied – 1%

When asked “Do you agree or disagree that you have multiple options to choose from when selecting financial products and services such as bank accounts, loans, and/or credit cards?” consumers provided the following responses:

  • Strongly agree– 53%
  • Somewhat agree – 35%
  • Somewhat disagree – 5%
  • Strongly disagree – 2%
  • Don’t know/no opinion – 6%

When asked “Based on what you know, how transparent do you believe your primary bank is about disclosing the fees you are charged?” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Very transparent – 46%
  • Somewhat transparent – 37%
  • Not transparent – 9%
  • Not at all transparent – 3%
  • Don’t know/No opinion – 6%

When asked “How reasonable is it for your primary bank to charge fees for maintaining your bank account?” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Very reasonable – 30%
  • Somewhat reasonable – 32%
  • Somewhat unreasonable – 16%
  • Very unreasonable – 15%
  • Don’t know/no opinion – 7%

When asked “How valuable do you find the overdraft protection offered by your bank?” consumers provided the following responses:

  • Very valuable – 51%
  • Somewhat valuable – 38%
  • Not too valuable – 6%
  • Nat valuable at all – 1%
  • Don’t know/no opinion – 4%

When asked “Regarding the bank covering your overdraft payment, were you glad the payment was covered, or would you have preferred the bank return or decline the payment?” consumers who have paid an overdraft fee in the past year provided the following answers:

  • Glad the payment was covered – 74%
  • Would have preferred the bank returned or declined the payment – 23%
  • Don’t know/no opinion – 3%

When asked “How reasonable is it, in your opinion, for banks to charge fees for overdrafts?” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Very reasonable – 21%
  • Somewhat reasonable – 40%
  • Somewhat unreasonable – 15%
  • Very unreasonable – 14%
  • Don’t know/no opinion – 9%

When asked “Knowing each of the following, how reasonable is it, in your opinion, for banks to charge fees for overdrafts? Overdraft protection from banks ensures customers’ large payments such as mortgages or rent payments are covered and paid on time in the event these payments overdraft a customer’s account” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Very reasonable – 33%
  • Somewhat reasonable – 41%
  • Somewhat unreasonable – 10%
  • Very unreasonable – 5%
  • Don’t know/no opinion – 12%

When asked “Knowing each of the following, how reasonable is it, in your opinion, for banks to charge fees for overdrafts? Overdraft protection from banks protects customers from late or other penalty fees if payments overdraft a customer’s account” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Very reasonable – 31%
  • Somewhat reasonable – 42%
  • Somewhat unreasonable – 11%
  • Very unreasonable – 5%
  • Don’t know/no opinion – 11%

When asked “Do you support or oppose a government proposal that would prevent banks from offering overdraft protection?” consumers provided the following answers:

  • Strongly support – 12%
  • Somewhat support – 14%
  • Somewhat oppose – 22%
  • Strongly oppose –32%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion – 20%

When asked “Do you support or oppose allowing cannabis businesses to access traditional banking services, like a checking account or business loan, in states where cannabis is now legal?” consumer provided the following answers:

  • Strongly support – 40%
  • Somewhat support – 25%
  • Somewhat oppose – 7%
  • Strongly oppose –8%
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion – 21%

When asked “Do you support or oppose Congress passing legislation that allows cannabis businesses to have access to banking services and financial products (like checking accounts and business loans) in states where cannabis is legal?” consumers provided the following responses:

  • Strongly support – 42%
  • Somewhat support –26%
  • Somewhat oppose – 7%
  • Strongly oppose – 8%
  • Don’t know/no opinion – 16%

About the Survey

This poll was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Bankers Association from February 18-19, 2022, among a national sample of 2,210 adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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About the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $23.7 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $19.7 trillion in deposits and extend $11.2 trillion in loans.

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