With the economy in turmoil after the outbreak of the coronavirus, banks and credit unions across the country have been forced to step up their game. Local banks and credit unions are mainstays in American life, offering low-cost financial products and personalized customer service. Their branches are where thousands of communities in the United States build and manage their wealth. Never before have their services been more in demand.
Small and midsized banks were some of the most active participants in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into millions of small businesses nationwide to help them retain staff and survive beyond the pandemic. From banks to credit unions, lenders are also helping customers with relief efforts like temporary forbearance, or low-cost lending and refinancing options to take advantage of rock-bottom interest rates. When the economy recovers, these lenders are likely to continue offering the most competitive rates on mortgages, consumer loans, and deposit accounts as activity picks up.
But there is a massive divergence on how well banks are at doing this. To gauge which firms have the most satisfied customers, Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to survey nearly 25,000 people in the U.S. about their banking relationships. The result is our third annual look at the Best-In-State Banks and Credit Unions.
Consumers were asked 20 questions about their financial dealings. The banks and credit unions were rated on overall recommendations and satisfaction, as well as five subdimensions (trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice). Overall scores ranged from 74.8 to 95.6. Only 2.6% of all banks and 3.5% of all credit unions made our list.
National financial institutions with branches in at least 15 states were excluded from the final rankings. About a dozen nationwide banks were omitted including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Citigroup PNC Financial, U.S. Bank, Truist Financial, and Wells Fargo. Navy Federal Credit Union, which operates in over 30 states, was the only credit union eliminated for its scale.
Between one and five banks and up to 10 credit unions in larger states were awarded best-in-state designation, based on the number of responses in each state. Overall, 182 credit unions and 135 banks qualified. Americans generally gave their banking institutions good reviews on satisfaction with scores of 4.2 on average on a scale of one to five. But banks can’t touch credit unions; they averaged 4.5.
There are more than 5,200 credit unions with 120 million members…