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Americans growing worried about the safety of their bank deposits

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Recent events may be chipping away at confidence in the U.S. financial system, according to the findings of a Gallup survey.

Nearly half of the 1,013 adults polled said they were “very worried” (19%) or “moderately worried” (29%) about the safety of the money they had tucked away in a bank or other financial institution, Gallup said. About 20% said they weren’t worried at all. Almost a third said they’re “not too worried.”

The level of concern expressed in the poll is similar to the findings that Gallup found shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September, 2008. However, this is not a survey that Gallup conducts regularly, so it is difficult to say how attitudes have changed over time. Still, a December 2008 reading had shown sentiment had already improved from those worst levels as steps were taken to ease the impact of the financial crisis.

When the poll was conducted from April 3-25 this year, Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank had already failed. Since then, regulators have taken possession of First Republic and sold its assets to JPMorgan Chase. On Thursday, a number of regional bank stocks sank, with Los Angele-based PacWest cratering more than 46%. That stock is now down 86% this year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. — created in 1933, during the depths of the Great Depression — backs deposits up to $250,000 per depositor. For those with accounts above the insured limit, there are several steps that can be made to protect more than 250,000.

According to Gallup, those who identify as Republican or independent as well as those with middle- and lower-incomes were more likely to be concerned about their money. The same was true for Americans without a college degree, it said.


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