Forbes’ fifth annual ranking of the Best-In-State Banks and Credit Unions was released in June. The list provides a comprehensive look at the elite of America’s smaller financial institutions in 2022. Forbes again teamed up with market research firm Statista to conduct in-depth interviews of more than 26,000 U.S. citizens from all 50 states about the financial institutions where they maintain accounts. Customers provided an overall satisfaction score and answered whether they would recommend an institution to friends and family. They also responded to a detailed battery of questions about satisfaction in six key areas: trust, terms and conditions (including reasonable and transparent fees), branch services, digital services, customer service and financial advice.
Between one and five banks and credit unions in each state were awarded the Best-In-State designation, based on the number of responses in each state. Each bank and credit union on average received completed survey responses from 50 surveys, which queried consumers on topics ranging from mobile banking ease-of-use to transparency of fees and interest rates, plus the hours and accessibility of bank branches.
Here are the Texas-based banks included on the list, along with banks that do business in Texas:
|USAA||San Antonio||15,949||Wayne Peacock||1922|
|First Financial Bank||Abilene||1,484||Scott Dueser||1890|
|Cullen/Frost Bankers||San Antonio||4,553||Phillip D. Green||1868|
|Prosperity Bancshares||Houston||3,704||David Zalman||1983|
|First United Bank||Durant, Oklahoma||1,945||Greg Massey||1900|
|BancorpSouth||Tupelo, Mississippi||6,595||James D. Rollins||1876|
|Centennial Bank||Conway, Arkansas||1,988||John W. Allison||1903|
|Bank of Oklahoma||Tulsa, Oklahoma||4,711||Steve Bradshaw||1910|
|Pioneer Bank||Roswell, New Mexico||147||Christopher G. Palmer||1901|
According to Forbes:
The nation’s 4,839 regional and community banks are much different financial animals than the biggest banks in the U.S. The behemoth banks have substantial chunks of revenue coming from their trading desks, investment banking divisions and global lending operations. By contrast, smaller banks and credit unions operate a more streamlined business model, focusing often exclusively on the fundamental banking functions of taking deposits and making loans.
This emphasis on the blocking-and-tackling of banking means that smaller financial institutions provide a much clearer window into what’s happening in the real economy. It also underlines the importance of customer satisfaction and loyalty in business success—especially in the current economic environment.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the quick economic rebound, macroeconomic forces aligned in favor of the financial sector, as trillions of dollars in federal stimulus checks and Paycheck Protection Program loans flowed through the banking system. Consumers were eager to borrow for bigger homes and new cars, and fewer were falling behind on their payments.
The economic environment in which banks and credit unions operate is now getting more challenging with the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world pursuing a committed course of short-term rate hikes to fight the highest inflation in more than 40 years. By design, the goal is to slow the economy and reel in rising prices by making borrowing more expensive for banks, businesses, and consumers.
As economic tailwinds dwindle and perhaps turn into headwinds, the imperative to maintain customer relationships rises even higher in importance and becomes more urgent business for small banks and credit unions. The firms with the highest levels of customer satisfaction will enjoy a long-term competitive advantage versus less adept practitioners of pleasing and keeping clients.