For the 15th time since 1984, American Banker has sponsored a nationwide survey to gauge consumers' attitudes toward the banking and financial services industry and some of the choices they make in their banking and investing activities.

As has been the case since 1991, the survey was a collaborative effort with the Gallup Organization of Princeton, N.J., which administered a jointly developed questionnaire in telephone calls to 1,002 U.S. households between March 11 and March 28.

(The previous survey was conducted in October-November 1997.)

Respondents were chosen by random-digit dialing, which ensures a representative sampling of all households with telephones, including unlisted and new numbers.

Interviews proceeded with adult heads of household who said they had at least one account with a financial services provider.

People without a bank or brokerage account, mutual fund, loan, credit card, etc., were excluded.

The statistical margin of error is plus or minus 3% at the 95% confidence level.

This means that on a question answered by all 1,002 people, it is 95% certain that the total population would fall within 3 percentage points of the result.

The sampling error widens on questions answered by smaller groups of respondents.

Gallup's efforts were coordinated by vice president Carole Hewitson in Irvine, Calif. (949-474-7900).

American Banker executive editor Jeffrey Kutler (212-803-8397) was the project editor.

Part One of this two-part overview series on the 1999 survey appeared Tuesday. These and other results will be covered more extensively in a supplement to be published in about three months.

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