The 10 Most Hated Banks of the Past Year

Beware these financial institutions: They elicited more consumer complaints than any other banks in 2017.

The 10 Most Hated Banks of the Past Year Photo by maxriesgo / Shutterstock.com

Are you in the market for a new bank? Maybe you are shopping around to make sure you get the best yield on savings.

Analyses and rankings — such as you’ll find in articles like “The Best Banks for Your Money” — are a great starting point. But what about customer satisfaction and other factors that aren’t easily quantified?

For starters, ask around when researching financial institutions, as we explain in “10 Tips for Finding a Bank With More Bang for Your Buck.”

Another resource is the Consumer Complaint Database maintained by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The federal agency publishes complaints about financial products and services to this public database after giving the complained-about companies a chance to respond.

Attempting to wade through the database on your own can be intimidating. It contains hundreds of thousands of complaints and can be searched in various ways. A recent LendEDU analysis of the database enables you to quickly tell which banks garnered the most complaints in 2017, however.

The analysis covered more than 200,000 complaints about all types of financial products received by the CFPB between Jan. 1 and Dec. 10 last year.

Based on that, LendEDU found that the 10 institutions that drew the most complaints last year were:

  1. Wells Fargo & Co.: 8,465 complaints
  2. Bank of America Corp.: 8,069
  3. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (includes Chase Bank): 7,747
  4. Citigroup Inc. (includes Citibank): 6,600
  5. U.S. Bancorp (includes U.S. Bank): 2,338
  6. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (includes PNC Bank): 1,374
  7. SunTrust Banks Inc.: 1,159
  8. Citizens Financial Group Inc. (includes Citizens Bank): 782
  9. Fifth Third Bancorp (includes Fifth Third Bank): 698
  10. BB&T Corp.: 680

Finding the right bank for you

While the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database can be a useful resource for comparison shoppers, you shouldn’t put too much weight on these complaints. By its own admission, the CFPB doesn’t verify all claims made in complaints.

I’ve walked away from a couple of banks on that list, but it wasn’t over customer service or anything else that merited complaining to the CFPB. I simply wanted more for my money — as in higher interest rates.

Generally, you’ll find better rates — among other account benefits — at online-only banks, or possibly a credit union. Both types of institutions tend to have lower overhead costs than traditional banks. And neither type of institution appears on the list above.

I found the best interest rates for my savings and checking account at an online bank. It even had lower fees to boot.

For help finding a higher-yielding savings or checking account or certificate of deposit, try out Money Talks News’ account comparison tool.

Then, if you find a bank worth switching to, check out “5 Simple Steps to Painlessly Switch Banks.”

So, what’s your take on the most complained-about banks of 2017? Sound off by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

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