Unless you are a very logical thinker, math isn’t the easiest or most fun activity. Especially when it comes to your most important asset, your money. That is why many rely on banks and bankers to take care of their finances. But how should you choose a bank? Is one better than the other? One thing is for sure, they definitely aren’t all equal. Let’s look at the best banks in the US.
Bank of Hawaii—Not only has this bank ranked in the #2 spot two years in a row on the Forbes list of Best Banks in America, but it also topped the list in 2010. A return of average equity of 16.2% over the last 12 months makes this bank one of the most profitable in the US and it doesn’t stop there. Its ratios for both nonperforming loans (NPLs) to total loans and nonperforming assets to total assets (NPAs) are among the lowest in the industry.
U.S. Bank—In 2012, US Bank was ranked number one bank for senior checking, basic checking and student checking. Why? While it doesn’t have the perks that some banks offer such as fee reimbursement for ATM access, US Bank offers free checking with a very small minimum—lower than most banks. If you can’t meet this minimum, you can still avoid the fees by having a low direct deposit amount. Over 65? You won’t have to worry about any maintenance fees. In fact, US Bank’s senior checking comes with free money orders, free cashier’s checks and a 50% discount on a safe-deposit box. US Bank was also one of the first to offer a remote check deposit app.
Signature Bank—Signature Bank has appeared in the top 10 of Forbes list of the Best Banks in America three consecutive years. Not only does signature bank provide banking on a personal level, but they also operate Signature Financial, LLC and Signature Securities Group Corporation, both subsidiaries of the bank. While Signature Financial offers equipment finance and leasing, transportation financing and taxi medallion financing, Signature Securities Group provides investment, brokerage, asset management and insurance products and services. This bank ranks above others for its over qualification to be considered well capitalized.
First Republic Bank—Private Asset Management Magazine named First Republic Bank The Best Private Bank in North America for a reason and this is not the first time. First Republic won top honors in the category “Private Banking – Client Service” in 2012 and the magazine also named First Republic “Best Private Bank in North America” and “The Best Private Client Service” back in 2011. Founded in 1985, First Republic Bank and its subsidiaries provide private banking, private business banking and private wealth management. If that is not enough, First Republican Bank was also rated #3 on Forbes List of Best Banks in 2011. I’d say they deserve to be on the list, do they not?
State Street—Any bank that has survived since the 1700s is a sure bet for success, but the numbers also speak for themselves. State Street began when John Hancock approved the charter for Union Bank in 1792 and was merged with State Street Trust in 1925. With all the financial troubles our country has found itself in since the bank’s beginning, I would say that’s a pretty impressive history. Not to mention State Street now operates in 39 countries with $23.4 trillion in assets and continues to be financially strong by not having the commercial loan books other big name banks have. Instead, State Street plays the role of a custodian bank that services institutional investors worldwide. State Street ranked in the top 10 of six out of eight areas Forbes uses to rate banks.