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Here's how Bank Director determined which of the ten biggest banks is the best.
Despite its well-publicized unauthorized account opening scandal, Wells Fargo topped the branch category by showing the best balance of deposit growth and efficiency, and scored well on customer experience reports from Bank Director’s on-site visits.
Chase and runner-up Capital One Financial Corp. stood out for their media spend as a percentage of revenue, and both exhibited strong customer perception metrics.
BB&T had a low cost of funds compared to the other ranked banks, and its acquisitions played a strong role in its core deposit growth, which far surpassed the other banks in the ranking.
Chase has been successful in driving new and existing customers to its mobile products, leading to an impressive digital footprint, measured through mobile app downloads. The bank’s app also scored well with consumers.
Chase most successfully balanced actual results with sizeable investments in technological innovation. These initiatives include an in-residence program and a financial commitment to the CFSI Financial Solutions Lab. Chase has also been an active investor in fintech companies.
Wells Fargo has long been recognized as a national leader in banking to small businesses, largely because of its extensive branch structure, and showed strong loan growth, which is difficult to manage from a large base. Wells Fargo is also the nation’s most active SBA lender and had the highest volume of small business loans.
Chase barely edged out fast-growing Capital One to take the credit card category, outpacing most of its competitors in terms of credit card loan volume and the breadth of its product offering. Chase also scored well with outside brand and market perception studies.
With Merrill Lynch fueling its wealth management division, Bank of America topped the category by scoring highly in a variety of metrics, including number of advisors (more than 18,000 at last count) and net revenue for wealth and asset management, as well as earning high marks for market perception and from Bank Director’s panel of experts.
Big banks serve big businesses well, and finding qualitative differences among the biggest players in this category—Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup—is difficult. But Chase takes the category due to its high level of deposit share, loan volume and market penetration.
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