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WASHINGTON-According to the 2003 American Banker/Gallup Consumer Survey, consumers are feeling increasingly neglected by their financial institutions, particularly credit unions. While American Banker reported that respondents who were very satisfied with their primary financial institution dropped from 55% to 63% last year, credit unions rated the largest drop among consumers from 76% to 63%. Banks decreased from 61% to 54% and thrifts fell three percentage points to 55%, the Banker reported. Analysts have said that many consumers are disappointed with their financial institutions’ handling of their refi’s, according to the banking daily. “As credit unions get bigger, it’s a constant challenge to try and retain that personalized feel,” Jay E. Johnson, an executive vice president at Callahan & Associates Inc., told the Banker. CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica was quoted as saying that the quality of service at large credit unions has not fallen, but that some consumers may see consolidation as a thorn in their sides. This sentiment has led 20% of those surveyed to open an account at a small bank or credit union in the past year, while 8% responded that they “seriously considered” it. Corporate scandals also affected responses as those surveyed said that was the key factor in their lack of confidence in the financial services sector, the Banker reported.

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