You might imagine that a year in the U.S. wracked by a pandemic and social unrest would be bad business for everyone across the board. You’d be wrong.
The economy, the stock market, health insurers and banks had a banner year in 2019, and stocks of banking concerns ratcheted up more than 20% and essentially tracked the gains of the S&P 500 Index.
During the first three quarters of 2019, banks rolled up $180 billion in profits and only 4% of banks failed to turn a profit. Banks ranked as troubled by the Federal Reserve were few and far between and indeed, the list of under-performers was at levels not seen since the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
Tax cuts and a hike in interest rates by the Federal Reserve lined the coffers of most banks. But all was not necessarily well behind the scenes.
A December selloff in 2018 led the Fed to pause interest rate hikes, and then follow up with three rate cuts in 2019. Interest rates plummeted to 1.5% from a recent high of 2.5% just months earlier, and those cuts effected rate-sensitive markets for large lenders.
The largest consumer and trust banks in the nation took a major hit as banks earn the lion’s share of their profits by beating the gap between the interest on loans they hold and the rate of interest those banks owe to depositors.
With a total of more than 5,000 banks and savings firms in the country, the quality and profitability of those institutions is widely divergent. Assets are, as time goes on, more and more concentrated among the largest players. As it stands now, the 100 largest banks and credit unions hold some $14 trillion in assets and that figure represents more than 80% of the total assets held by U.S. banks.
The Banks Best Rates Top Credit Union: Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union in Chicago is our number one choice as the best credit union and that’s due largely to their High-Rate savings account which is now paying 1.65 percent APY and the fact that their High-Rate checking account charges no monthly service fees and requires no minimum balance.
Alliant’s app is also a winner for a wealth of digital features mobile-friendliness.
The Banks Best Rates Top Online Bank: Radius Bank
Radius Bank slots in at number one for online banks on the strength of a spectacular mobile app, excellent ATM fee rebates and more than adequate rates paid for on checking and savings accounts.
Most banks don’t pay any incentives on checking accounts but Radius chips in 1 percent cash back on a variety of debit card transactions.
Radius also, as long as you stay in their network, pays ATM fee rebates on an unlimited number of transactions and keeps fees low even if you transact beyond their network.
With a low minimum to open and account and a waiver on any minimum balance requirements, the minimums required to open a checking or savings account are also relatively low at only $100 to open. Those accounts also require no minimum balances.
The Banks Best Rates Top Mega Bank: Capital One
Capital One leads the market with checking and savings accounts and offers a wide array of credit card and auto loan options. The icing on the cake is that all Capital One’s deposit products are free of fees.
That’s right, no fees or minimums and no fees to charged forchecking and savings accounts.
Their high CD and savings account yields are generally higher than most big banks offer and checking account holders earn some interest.
Capital One also boasts tons of branches and ATM locations – more than 39,000 ATMs via the Allpoint network – and offers customers more than 700 branches for in-person banking.
The Worst Banks in America (So Say Consumers)
This list includes 49 banks and ranks them according to the number of complaints against their total deposits.
The figures come directly from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- TCF National Bank
- SunTrust Banks
- Citizens Financial Group
- Fifth Third Bancorp
- U.S. Bancorp
- Wells Fargo
- Bank of America
If you have a beef with the service at your bank or credit union, you can help yourself and inform your fellow consumers by filing a complaint with the CFPB here…