ESPECIALLY PLEASED with the resurgent thrift industry, an increasingly demanding public gave financial institutions better grades this year for service quality.

In the American Banker's annual consumer survey, 61% of respondents were "very satisfied" with the overall performance of their principal financial institutions. The rating, up by two percentage points since 1992, is average for the 10 years of the survey but well below the 66% peaks in 1988 and 1991.

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