Skip to main content

The Community Bank Sentiment Index is an index derived from quarterly polling of community bankers across the nation. As community bankers answer questions about their outlook on the economy, their answers are analyzed and compiled into a single number. An index reading of 100 indicates a neutral sentiment, while anything above 100 indicates a positive sentiment, and anything below 100 indicates negative sentiment.

The Quarter 4 2020 Community Bank Sentiment Index Number is:


This represents a negative reading in economic sentiment by community bankers, coming in one point higher than the Third Quarter 2020 index of 97 and 25 points lower than last year’s Fourth Quarter 2019 index of 123. Community banker sentiment from the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic lockdown continues to take a toll.

Key Highlights: 

  • Four of the seven components in the CBSI indicating positive sentiment increased from the previous survey; the other three components indicating negative sentiment dropped further.
  • Bankers’ outlook for future business conditions improved the most, rising to 120 from 103 in the previous quarter.
  • The regulatory burden component dropped 17 points to an historic low of 40, indicating greater concern that bank regulation will be more heavy-handed in the future.
  • Bankers’ outlook on future profitability remains a concern, falling to 62 from 68 in the third quarter and closer to the record low of 55 in the second quarter of 2020.

Interactive Dashboard

 In this interactive, you can click on a positive, neutral, or negative view in each subcategory to see how those respondents answered other questions. For example, if you click the "they will be better than today" green bar under business conditions, all other subcategories will update to display responses only by those people who believe future business conditions will be better than today. Clicking on the same item a second time will return you to the original display. 

Data Behind the Index

Every quarter, the Community Bank Sentiment Index number will be accompanied with a paper explaining the underlying data. You can read the full report to learn how this breaks down by region and asset size, the influence of technology and impact on merger activity. 

Sentiment Index Findings

Top Category

1129 20th Street, N.W., 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036 | Tel. 202.296.2840 | Fax. 202.296.1928