Three Quarters of Americans View Banks Favorably, New Poll Finds

By Pete Winn | December 21, 2011 | 5:30 PM EST

FILE - In this July 13, 2010 file photo, Bank of America's headquarters are shown in Charlotte, N.C. The government has sued the nation's largest banks, along with a handful of other financial institutions and executives, for violating federal and state laws in the sale of home mortgage-backed securities. Among the 17 institutions targeted by the lawsuits were Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

( - Sorry, Occupy Wall Street. Americans may be angry at the federal government, but the overwhelming majority of them are not mad at banks, according to a new Reason/Rupe poll.

More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans have a favorable view of their local bank, while only 17 percent have an unfavorable view.

But only 32 percent have a favorable view of the federal government.

The national poll asked 1,200 adults on cell phones and landlines -- “For each of the following entities, please tell me if your impression is very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable” -- about everything from banks and cell phones to schools and grocery stores.

Despite high food prices, grocery stores fared the best, with 88 percent of Americans saying they liked their local grocery store.

They also overwhelmingly seem to like their cell phones and their Internet Service Providers.

There was also grudging support for state and local government.

Some results:

-- “The Company That Makes Your Cell Phone” (73 percent net favorable)

-- Internet Service Provider (69 percent net favorable)

-- local school system (58 percent net favorable)

-- local government (58 percent net favorable)

-- State government (50 percent net favorable)

The Federal government scored dead last. Only 9 percent of Americans have a “Very Favorable” view of the federal government; 23 percent are “mostly favorable”; 30 percent “mostly unfavorable”; 32 percent “very unfavorable” and 6 percent had no opinion.

This Reason-Rupe poll, conducted Dec. 3-13, 2011, surveyed a random, national sample of 1,200 adults by telephone (777 on landlines, 423 on cell phones). The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The poll was conducted for the Reason Foundation by NSON Opinion Strategy.

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