Only 10% of the community bankers responding to a survey by Pacific Coast Bankers' Bancshares said they would like to participate in the Treasury Department's capital purchase program.
Of the 160 community bankers who participated in the survey, 66% said they do not intend to use the program and 24% said they are undecided.
The $504 million-asset parent of Pacific Coast Bankers' Bank in San Francisco said it conducted the survey Thursday with its broker-dealer unit, Banc Investment Group LLC. It released the results to American Banker on Friday.
More than half of the bankers (51%) said they think the revised economic plan — with the government buying equity stakes in banks and guaranteeing bank debt — would help solve the financial crisis.
But 54% said they do not think the plan is worth the risk to the taxpayer.
Of those who hope to use the capital purchase program, 58% said they would take just the minimum amount of capital.
Six in 10 of the survey participants said they doubt the program would increase lending.
"The injection of capital will increase the capacity to lend, but I do not see how it will increase the willingness to lend," and the potential taxpayer burden is hard to reconcile, one banker wrote. "I do, however, feel better about this revised plan, because of the multiplicative effects of a capital injection versus straight troubled asset purchases."
Others complained that the capital injection could help weak banks survive and that it would be only a minor help to healthy ones.
"This is just like where youth athletics is going," one survey participant wrote. "You can't distinguish a winner from a loser, because everyone gets a trophy."