Which 10 banks have the strongest reputations? | American Banker

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As you’ll see from this list, regional banks are doing a better job bolstering their reputations than the big banks are, according to the 2017 American Banker/Reputation Institute Survey of Bank Reputations.

Each of the 39 banks in the ranking earned an overall reputation score based on feedback from both customers and noncustomers. The banks also received ratings in seven categories that influence perceptions of reputation: products and services, innovation, leadership, workplace, performance, citizenship and governance.

About 12,000 people participated in the survey, answering questions only about specific banks they were familiar with.

What follows are the 10 banks that earned the highest overall reputation scores. Is your bank one of them?

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10. BankUnited
Miami Lakes, Fla.
$27.8 billion of assets
President and CEO: Rajinder Singh

BankUnited, which is yet another new addition to the ranking this year, scored 74.4.

Among customers, its score was 81.1, which put it at No. 18 on that ranking. Its noncustomer score was 70.4, which was high enough for it to just make it into the top 10 on that ranking.

9. First Citizens
Raleigh
$33 billion of assets
CEO Frank B. Holding, Jr.

First Citizens got an overall score of 75.6 points.

Like other banks in the survey, it is viewed more positively by customers than noncustomers. Among customers, its reputation score was 84.4, which is considered “excellent,” while its noncustomer score was 71.9, which is considered “strong.”

This is the first time the North Carolina-based regional bank was part of the reputation survey.

8. BMO Harris Bank
Chicago
$105.4 billion of assets
President and CEO: David Casper

BMO’s overall reputation score jumped 8.8 points to 75.9.

It registered a double-digit improvement with noncustomers and complemented that with a 7.6-point increase among customers.

Training programs like this one help BMO with employee engagement.

7. Webster Bank
Waterbury, Conn.
$25.9 billion of assets
Chairman and CEO: James Smith

Webster Bank scored a 76.4 in its first time as part of the ranking.

Noncustomers also scored it high enough on “innovation” to land it in the top five for that category.

Here’s more on the strategy that is helping Webster thrive.

6. Northern Trust
Chicago
$121 billion of assets
Chairman and CEO: Frederick Waddell

Northern Trust’s overall reputation score shot up 9.4 points to 76.8.

That is just shy of BOK’s 9.6-point jump.

Though Northern Trust improved by 8 points with customers, it made even more progress among noncustomers, with a gain of 10.7 points. It ranked ninth in the customer ranking and fifth in the noncustomer ranking.

5. First Tennessee
Memphis
$29.4 billion of assets
Chairman, President and CEO: D. Bryan Jordan

First Tennessee, another new addition to the ranking, debuted with an overall score of 78.

The banking unit of First Horizon National Corp. has a particularly strong reputation among its customers. Its score of 86.7 with that group landed it in second place in the customer ranking, after USAA.

It also finished second-highest among customers in the “innovation,” “governance” and “citizenship” categories.

Read about how this company cultivates future leaders.

4. Cullen/Frost Bankers
San Antonio
$30.5 billion of assets
Chairman and CEO: Phillip Green

Cullen/Frost’s overall score of 78.8 is up an impressive 6.3 points from last year, thanks to an improvement with both customers and noncustomers.

Its score rose 2.1 points among customers and 12.9 points among noncustomers.

In two categories — “innovation” and “performance” — Cullen/Frost had the highest customer scores of any bank in the survey.

3. BOK Financial
Tulsa
$32.8 billion of assets
President and CEO: Steven Bradshaw

BOK moved up from eighth place to third place this year, with a score of to 79. (Reputation Institute labels scores from 70 to 79 as “strong.”)

Thanks to improvements in how it is viewed by both customers and noncustomers, its overall score jumped by 9.6 points, which is the largest year-over-year increase of any company in the survey.

Though it did better than last year across all seven categories that influence reputation, its gains in the “innovation” and “governance” categories were particularly notable.

Here’s how it became the fastest riser in the reputation rankings.

2. USAA Bank
San Antonio
$81.2 billion of assets
President: Chad Borton (appointed in May)

USAA Bank, which is a new addition to our annual ranking this year, is the only other bank besides Synovus to get an overall score that is considered “excellent.” It ranked second, with a score of 80.3.

But separate the results by customers and noncustomers, and USAA takes the top spot with those who have accounts there. This online-only bank restricts its customers to current and former military members and their families, and they think so highly of USAA that it received the leading score of 87.5 in the customer ranking.

USAA also landed in the top five for all seven categories that influence reputation and came in first in the “products and services” category, with a score of 80.5.

Learn some of USAA’s secrets of success.

1. Synovus Financial
Columbus, Ga.
$30.4 billion
Chairman and CEO: Kessel Stelling

Synovus is at the top of the reputation ranking this year, with a score of 80.7 on a 100-point scale. It improved by 6.9 points from last year and became one of just two banks to earn an “excellent” reputation — an achievement that no banks had managed last year.

Synovus also had the highest or second-highest score in every one of the seven categories that influence reputation.

Get details on what Synovus is doing to stand out.