Poll Shows High School Students' Distrust of Financial Service Providers

A new national opinion poll of nearly 900 high school students shows that more than two years after the country suffered the massive financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, the majority of respondents harbor a significant amount of distrust toward banks, credit unions, credit card companies, businesses and investment institutions. This sense of distrust is compounded by a lack of understanding about the basic services and products of financial institutions.

"This poll is extremely revealing," said Michael Staten, director of the University of Arizona's Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research, which commissioned The Financial Literacy Group consulting firm to conduct the survey earlier this year. "In addition to students' lack of knowledge about the building blocks of personal finance, which we have seen for years in these types of surveys, it shows the next generation of American consumers now also actively distrusts many of the pillars of the financial services industry.

"Despite their strong suspicion of financial institutions, these students responded that they believe education is important to their futures and that financial success can be achieved with the right financial decisions," said Staten. "This is a hopeful sign and it tells us that more financial education is needed. It may not yet be too late to defuse this sense of cynicism about all things financial, and to prepare these young consumers for the financial choices they will face in adulthood."
For more detailed results, see the link below. An executive summary of the study is available at http://atlantawebpros.com/financial/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/exec_summary.pdf

Also see the June 24 issue of The Wall Street Journal at http://blogs.smartmoney.com/paydirt/2011/06/24/teens-don%E2%80%99t-trust-banks-is-that-a-problem/?mod=rss_&link=SM_home_blogsum

Contact name: 
Michael Staten
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Released date: 
Jul 22 2011