As the crisis on Wall Street spreads, banks, lenders and other financial institutions are doing a poor job of keeping customers in the loop, according to a new survey by Opinion Research Corporation.

Nearly half of the 1,000 investors polled said they felt banks were not communicating with them enough, the New Jersey-based market research firm said. Others had the same complaint for mutual fund providers and brokerage firms.

Despite the recent chaos in the financial markets, most respondents said they believed their assets were safe in the hands of banks, savings and loans, and credit unions. Still, 55 percent said they expected the crisis to have a negative impact on their finances, compared to less than a quarter that said they wouldn't be affected.

"With the stock market on a rollercoaster ride, financial institutions must take proactive measures to reassure their customers and shareholders and bolster confidence in their performance," Jeff Resnick, the firm's president, said in a statement.