It should come as no surprise that recent surveys find the majority of
Americans do not trust big banks and believe the fees they charge are
unfair, said the Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC), a group of
merchants concerned about rising credit card swipe fees.
“What is surprising,” said Lyle Beckwith, Sr. Vice President for
Government Relations at the National Association of Convenience Stores,
a MPC member, “is the amount of money the big banks spend on public
relations and advertising without improving their image.”
article and another
about two recent “image” campaigns.
“The big banks’ multi-billion dollar campaigns aren’t moving the needle
on the favorability meter because they continue to stick consumers and
Main Street businesses with unfair, hidden fees. With good reason,
Americans still do not trust big banks,” added Doug Kantor, counsel to
In 2010, the MPC conducted a poll that found a majority of Americans
believes the swipe fees merchants must pay banks to swipe customers’
credit cards are unfair, both to consumers and merchants. Swipe fees
have tripled since 2004 and generate over $50 billion a year in revenue
for banks. Inexplicably, Americans pay eight times more in swipe fees
than Europeans for the same service.
More recent surveys have produced similar findings:
A December “State of the Bank” survey by GoBank found that the vast
majority of Americans don’t fully trust big banks, and many are
“surprised by fees or feel they’re simply unfair.” See here
A Gallup poll, conducted in June 2012, backs up GoBank’s survey. See here.
The GoBank survey asked Americans about their current perceptions of
banks. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say they do not fully trust big banks.
When asked about their bank in particular, the vast majority of people
(87%) do not feel their bank is transparent, and 68% do not perceive
their bank as being “on their side.”
These perceptions are driven in part by Americans’ experiences with bank
fees: 30% say they are sometimes surprised by unexpected bank fees, and
31% claim their bank’s fees are simply unfair. The survey also found
that most Americans viewed the banking industry as one of the least
The Gallup survey found that Americans’ confidence in U.S. banks is at a
record-low 21%, down from 23% in 2010. The number of Americans with a
“great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence is now about half of the
pre-recession level of 41%, recorded in June 2007. Gallup found that
U.S. banks have “seen the greatest decline in confidence of any
institution relative to its historical average.”
In other words, Americans’ confidence in banks is at its lowest level
since Gallup began tracking confidence in banks.
The MPC is working with Members of Congress and consumer groups
concerned about the lack of transparency and competition in the banking
and credit card industries to reform credit card swipe fees.
Rising faster than health care costs, swipe fees are the second highest
expense for merchants and are calculated into consumer prices. Visa and
MasterCard control 80% of the credit card market and set the fees in
secret. Swipe fees on credit cards are higher in the United States than
anywhere else in the industrialized world – including a full eight times
higher in the U.S. than in Europe.
Read more about debit and credit reform here: The
Facts About Debit Reform and The
Facts About Credit Card Swipe Fees.
The Merchants Payments Coalition - UnfairCreditCardFees.com
- is a group of retailers, supermarkets, drug stores, convenience
stores, fuel stations, on-line merchants and other businesses who are
fighting against unfair credit card fees and fighting for a more
competitive and transparent card system that works better for consumers
and merchants alike. The coalition’s member associations collectively
represent about 2.7 million stores with approximately 50 million