Who do consumers trust with their money? Survey findings on banks and crypto regulations


An update published by the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) reported results of their recent poll, and our team found the key findings worthy of sharing. With all eyes on the financial services sector, interest rate changes by the Federal Reserve and its FOMC policy-making body, and a rise in the call for cryptocurrency regulations, the report is gaining attention across both banking and non-bank industries alike.

blog 2 2 2023 1Americans trust traditional, FDIC-insured banks, while they are eager for crypto regulations and skeptical of digital assets and fintech firms to protect their money — by significant margins, noted the CBA in their poll reporting. Fully 70% of respondents chose banks, when asked who they trust most to protect their money. Compared to crypto and fintech firms (5% and 3%, respectively), FDIC-insured banks hold a 13:1 advantage. No doubt that crypto regulations are top of mind across the finserv spectrum.

In summarizing results from the CBA Omnibus Survey, an online poll of more than 1,000 adults in December by ClearPath Strategies, the association issued the following statement:

The landscape is strong for traditional consumer banks, especially when compared to fintech and crypto newcomers. Two-in-three (68%) have a favorable opinion toward FDIC-insured banks, with only 8% holding unfavorable opinions. By contrast, cryptocurrency company favorability is underwater with only one-quarter (29%) holding favorable opinions, and one-third (35%) holding unfavorable opinions.

blog 2 2 2023 2Consumers are drawn to the novelty of peer-to-peer payments apps like Venmo and Zelle, holding similar viewpoints as traditional banks (68% favorable, 8% unfavorable). Self-directed investment accounts and Fintech companies receive similar middling scores with fewer than half favorable (48% and 45%), and roughly one-in-ten unfavorable (10% and 13%).

Top five findings of the CBA survey follow.

  1. Americans believe Congress and the CFPB need to do more to ensure large fintech and crypto firms are subject to increased oversight by federal regulators.
  2. When it comes to protecting their money, consumers overwhelmingly trust banks over these other financial services providers.
  3. The vast majority of Americans are concerned that crypto and fintech firms aren’t held to the same federal regulatory standards as traditional banks. Clearly, consumers are calling for crypto regulations, and share concerns of those who have long-favored such oversight. Crypto users themselves were among the most supportive audiences on this question with 68% supporting additional protection from policymakers.
  4. Fully 86% are at least somewhat or extremely concerned by the regulatory disparity.
  5. Poll participants believe Congress and the CFPB need to do more to protect fintech and crypto users from harm and abuse. Of those, 56% want Washington to implement more safeguards, compared to 24% who believe Congress and the CFPB are doing enough, a 2:1 margin.

“These findings demonstrate that consumers want and need policymakers to ensure large financial services providers operate within the well-regulated, well-supervised financial system. Doing so will provide hardworking Americans the ability to safely benefit from innovations in the highly competitive financial marketplace, with the necessary regulatory transparency, oversight, and consumer protections, said CBA President & CEO Lindsey Johnson.

blog 2 2 2023 3Addressing the importance of advocacy, the CBA analysis on its online poll also noted: “The importance of innovation in financial service offerings and products to meet the needs of consumers and to maintain America’s financial competitiveness, cannot be overstated. But neither can the importance of transparency, market stability, and consumer protection. CBA has long called on policymakers to recognize and respond to the risks associated with the rapid growth of large fintech and other large non-bank providers, which are not held to the same broad federal oversight requirements as traditional banks.”

Speaking of CBA, now is a good time to mention that Team Naehas is gearing up for a new season of events, in-person conferences and connecting with finserv partners. Since March madness will be upon us soon, mark your calendar to stop in and visit us at the Consumer Bankers Association annual CBA LIVE 2023, set for March 27-29, at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. We’ll be at Booth #79 and our team is eager to share winning strategies to support your team. CBA describes it as “a one-stop-shop of the best in retail banking solution providers.” We hope to see you there!

Meanwhile, we’ll keep monitoring the financial services marketplace for more valuable insights, and continue to share the benefits of technology and automation to drive relationships, results, and help those – in traditional banking and crypto (with emerging crypto regulations likely ahead) – to manage offers, disclosures, compliance and related financial services industry compliance.