Top 10 Banks That Offer The Best Customer Protection

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Finding a bank that meets all of your needs takes time and research. You want a bank that offers low maintenance fees, high interest rates, and more. Another important feature you should take into consideration is how well the bank protects your personal financial information and shields you from unfair practices.

The Pew Charitable Trusts recently conducted a study of 45 of the largest retail banks in the United States, analyzing each of their disclosure, dispute resolution, and overdraft policies and practices. Pew came up with their results by taking a look at information such as the banks’ fee schedules, disclosure statements, and account agreements.

One area that needs improvement at many banks, according to Pew, is the length of bank disclosure statements. The study found that the median bank disclosure statement for checking account agreements and fee schedules is roughly 40 pages. This poses a challenge for consumers because these disclosures are an important part of understanding the account terms and conditions; however the length may deter them from thoroughly reading the terms. Consequently, the ability to effectively comparison shop may be hindered.

The Pew study categorized each bank’s overall performance in the areas of disclosure, overdraft policies, and dispute resolution into two categories: good practices and best practices. Pew says they consider a bank to be operating under best practices when it clearly and concisely discloses fees and terms, limits overdrafts and end practices that raise overdraft fees, and gives customers an opportunity to choose how to resolve a dispute. Banks that are considered to be operating under good practices offer some protections to their customers, however they are not as expansive or effective. Using a star and check mark system, the Pew study rated each bank on a scale of 1 to 7 for total best practices, and a scale of 1 to 11 for total good practices.

The following are the results of Pew’s analysis of the quality of disclosure practices, overdraft policies, and dispute resolution at the 45 largest U.S. retail banks. Read on to see which banks are in the top 10.

Source: Thinkstock

Best Banks for Consumer Protection

10. Fifth Third Bank

  • Total best practices: 4 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 10 out of 11

9. Bank of Oklahoma

  • Total best practices: 4 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 10 out of 11

8. Citibank

  • Total best practices: 5 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 8 out of 11

7. Charles Schwab Bank

  • Total best practices: 5 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 8 out of 11

6. Bank of America

  • Total best practices: 5 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 8 out of 11

5. USAA

  • Total best practices: 5 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 9 out of 11

4. Frost

  • Total best practices: 5 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 10 out of 11

3. First Republic

  • Total best practices: 6 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 8 out of 11

2. HSBC

  • Total best practices: 6 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 10 out of 11

1. Ally

  • Total best practices: 7 out of 7
  • Total good practices: 11 out of 11

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