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Bank Survey Finds Economy Impacting Financial Goals

Union State Bank recently surveyed their customers to better understand individuals’ financial goals and how the economy may be impacting their immediate plans. Topics included perceptions of the economic landscape compared to the past year, and their financial aspirations for 2024. The bank received over 200 responses to the survey.

“We regularly reach out to our customers for their opinions. As an organization we feel it is important that we are continuously working towards a better banking relationship with all of our customers, and to be able to do that effectively requires constant feedback,” explained Clayton Pappan, Union State Bank’s Director of Marketing.

Based on the survey results, 88% of respondents acknowledge that the economy has at least some level of influence on their financial choices. However, when asked to compare the current state of the economy to that of the previous year the results indicate a mixed sentiment. While 46% of respondents perceive the economy as worse than the previous year, 38% believes it has remained the same. The diversity in responses reflects the complexity of gauging economic conditions and the subjectivity involved in individual perceptions.

“Ultimately the purpose of this survey was to understand what our customers hoped to financially achieve this year, what they felt may be some roadblocks preventing that and how can Union State Bank be a resource,” said Pappan.

Recipients reported a variety of goals, however three goals were recorded more frequently than the rest. “Start or increase contributions to personal savings” was the most popular option, selected by 24% of respondents. “Develop a budget” received 16% of the votes, and “debt consolidation” received 14%. The diverse range of financial goals underscores the individualized nature of personal financial planning.

Fifteen percent of respondents admitted to having no specific financial goals for 2024. And out of all respondents, 43% stated that they do not plan to use any form of resources to develop or assist with their goals in 2024.

“I think the biggest take away from the survey that we had as the financial institution was recognizing a significant percentage of our customer base aren’t focused on planning for the future at the moment. For many the focus is on making through the day, week or month and goals for an entire year are not the immediate priority,” said Pappan. “Our goal is to develop as many resources as possible and make those resources available at no charge to, not just Union State Bank customers, but the general public,” he said.

Avenues respondents plan to use to assist them in achieving their financial goals include field experts such as accountants, financial planners, bank officers or realtors. As well as online resources such as finance-related blogs, websites, or electronic newsletters.

Overall, the survey results provide valuable insights into the complex interplay between the economy, individual perceptions, and financial goals. As individuals navigate their financial journeys in 2024, understanding these dynamics can aid financial institutions, professionals, and individuals alike in fostering a more informed and resilient financial landscape.

About Union State Bank: Founded in 1908, Union State Bank has banking locations serving communities of Arkansas City, Newton, Udall, Winfield, and Wichita in Kansas and in Bartlesville and Edmond, Oklahoma. Union State Bank offers a full range of electronic, deposit and cash management services, as well as business and agriculture, commercial real estate, construction, mortgage, residential and consumer loans. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender, NMLS# 412388