GoBankingRates.com conducted a poll via Google Consumer Surveys measuring consumer preference of banking options: national banks, local community banks and credit unions. From June 13-15, 2013, GoBankingRates’ online poll obtained 1,508 responses representing the general U.S. population. The results were statistically significant, with local community banks being preferred by 41.2 percent of responders, credit unions by 34.4 percent, national banks by 22.9 percent and 1.5 percent responding with “other.” The poll had a root-mean-square error of 2.3 percent.
Demographic breakdown was as follows:
- The male response rate was 51.6 percent and the female response rate was 48.4 percent.
- Women preferred local community banks more than men did, 45.2 to 37.8 percent, respectively.
- Men preferred banking with nationwide institutions more than women did, 25.8 to 20.3 percent, respectively.
- Men and women almost equally responded in preference for credit unions, 34.4 to 33.5 percent, respectively.
- Responders 65+ in age preferred local community banks more than participants in any other age range, at 50.5 percent. 25-34 year olds preferred local community banks the least, at 33.5 percent.
- Those in the 34-44 age range preferred credit unions more than other responders, at 37.3 percent. 18-24 year olds preferred credit unions the least, at 25.4 percent.
- 18-24 year olds preferred national banks over credit unions and local community banks, at 38.5 percent. Respondents in the 65+ age category preferred national banks the least, at 17.6 percent.
- Respondents in the Midwest region of the United States preferred local community banks the most, at 50.8 percent. Those in the U.S. West preferred it the least, at 34.0 percent.
- Participants in the U.S. West preferred credit unions most, at 40.9 percent. Those from the U.S Midwest preferred credit unions the least, at 28.5 percent.
- Respondents from the Northeast region of the United States preferred national banks the most, at 26.6 percent. In comparison, those in the U.S. Midwest preferred national banks the least, at 20.2 percent.
- Those living in major cities preferred credit unions (36.7 percent) and nationwide bank (25.6 percent) options, whereas those living in rural communities heavily preferred local community banks, at 49.7 percent.
- Regardless of income, responders varied little in terms of preference for local community banks, with $25,000-$49,999 income earners at 43.9 percent and those earning $75,000-$99,999 at 35.4 percent.
- Credit unions were most preferred by income earners in the $100,000-149,999 range, at 46.2 percent, whereas those in the $75,000-$99,999 range preferred it the least, at 27.8 percent.
- National banks were preferred most by income earners in the $75,000-$99,000 range, at 34.2 percent. Those in the $25,000-$49,999 range preferred national banks the least, at 20.0 percent.