America’s Best (and Worst) Banks of 2016

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Since the November elections, the S&P Banks Select Industry Index has risen slightly more than 26%. Financial institutions are widely seen as being significant beneficiaries of President-elect Trump’s push to reduce regulation.

But while investors are cheering, consumers may be less enthusiastic about banks. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has recorded more than 679,000 complaints against nearly 3,000 U.S. banks and financial institutions since July 2011.

Using the CFPB’s data set, researchers at LendEDU ranked the 57 banks in the S&P Banks Select index on the basis of the number of complaints received normalized by the value of a bank’s deposits. Banks with the most complaints per billion dollars in deposits were, of course, the worst and banks with the fewest complaints the best.

Of the 57 banks in the index, the researchers found 12 that had received no complaints at all — or at least no complaints that they could find. All were regional banks, and the largest one, Silicon Valley Bank, has a total of $38.2 billion in deposits. What’s interesting about that bank, which is owned by SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ: SIVB), is that it is also the top holding (2.89%) in the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEMKT: KBE), which tracks the S&P Banks Select index. Good service pays off apparently.

The big (diversified) bank with the fewest complaints was Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA) with 5.78 complaints per $1 billion in deposits, followed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) with a score of 5.82. The country’s other big banks did not fare as well: three ranked in the bottom five and a fourth ranked sixth.

Here are the five worst banks in the country:

  1. TCF Financial Corp. (NYSE: TCB): 12.3 complaints and total deposits of $17.32 billion
  2. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C): 8.58 complaints and deposits of $940.33 billion
  3. Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC): 8.00 complaints and deposits of $1.276 trillion
  4. SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI): 7.67 complaints and deposits of $158.86 billion
  5. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC): 7.24 complaints and deposits of $1.236 trillion

Ranked sixth worst was U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) with 7.14 complaints and deposits of $334.6 billion.

In addition to Silicon Valley Bank, the other 11 banks with no complaints are:

  • Wintrust Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: WFTC) with deposits of $21.31 billion
  • Texas Capital Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: TCBI) with $18.15 billion
  • Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (NASDAQ: OZRK) with $15.12 billion
  • Fulton Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: FULT) with $14.95 billion
  • Hope Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: HOPE) with $10.7 billion
  • United Bankshares Inc. (NASDAQ: UBOH) with $10.58 billion
  • Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) with $10.22 billion
  • Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: PNFP) with $8.67 billion
  • Great Western Bancorp Inc. (NYSE: GWB) with $8.6 billion
  • Glacier Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: GBCI) with $7.31 billion
  • Home Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: HOMB) with $6.84 billion

For more details and description of the methodology used in the study, see the LendEDU website.