The United States has over 5,000 banks and savings institutions, but of course, most assets are concentrated in the banks at the top of the list. The 100 most prominent banks in the U.S. have $16.4 trillion in assets.
This enormous number represents more than 80% of the total bank assets in the country, according to Forbes. Naturally, people have to have much trust in the bank they choose to put their money in because a small mistake by a bank can mean severe consequences for someone.
People have to research to choose a trustworthy financial institution; nowadays, most people rely on word of mouth. If people in their close circle trust a particular bank, then the person will choose to bank there.
Choosing a bank where you will feel comfortable and know your money is protected is essential. Unfortunately for banks, the internet also brought about effortless and convenient ways for people to find more information about a financial institution.
It is easy to go online and look for reviews for a specific bank. Within a few minutes, you will know about their customer service practices, all their scandals, any litigations brought against them, how many customer complaints they have had in the last year, their interest rates on loans, and virtually all you need to know to decide between them.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau keeps records of all customer complaints against any bank or financial institution in the country every year, from complaints about loans, credits, mortgages, money transfers, and virtually all banking services. According to C.F.P.B., there have been 2,941,451 complaints made about banking institutions since 2019. Below are ten of the worst banks in the United States.
10. Huntington Bank
Huntington National Bank is a subsidiary of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated, an American bank holding company. The company is one of the largest in the country, ranking number 26 on the list. Huntington Bank mainly operates its bank in the Midwest and has 1047 banking offices in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and many Midwestern states. Huntington Bank has become famous for its many bank fraud cases that leave customers weary.
They have faced several lawsuits, and many clients have left negative reviews online about their poor customer service. C.F.P.B. has received 1,744 complaints about the bank in the last three years and 834 in the last 12 months. Even though Huntington is a regional bank, it is quickly gaining a reputation for not being a good bank to put your money in.
9. Citizens Bank
Citizens Financial Group is an American financial services company. The company is headquartered in Rhode Island and has 1003 bank branches and over 3,000 ATMs across 11 states. It is number 17 on the list of America's largest banks.
In 2008, Citizens bank was under investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission for participation in a mortgage crisis that caused the U.S.U.S. housing market to crash. Over 600 investors sued Citizens bank for aiding and abetting a Ponzi scheme that saw them lose over $100 million.
C.F.P.B. sued the bank in 2020, claiming that it violated the Truth in Lending Act by failing to adequately manage, respond to, and resolve reported credit card disputes. C.F.P.B.s consumer complaints database shows that they have received 1,969 complaints regarding Citizens bank and 698 complaints are from the last 12 months.
8. Citi Bank
Citi Bank is one of the "big four banks'' in the U.S. It is an American financial services institution headquartered in New York City. It is a subsidiary of Citicorp, which CitiGroup owns. Citi Bank is the third largest bank in the U.S.U.S. after Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.
Although Citi bank is one of the biggest banks in the country, its reputation continues to go down the drain. The company has faced countless lawsuits and complaints. The bank is most famous for misleading clients and has been sued many times with allegations that stem from misleading claims, misleading investors, and using misleading sales materials, among others.
In 2012, Citibank, together with four other banks, including the rest of the "big four banks," was fined $26 billion in a historic settlement in the U.S. The settlement was dubbed the National Mortgage Settlement and is the second largest settlement in the country's history.
The bank's lousy reputation also stems from complaints about customer service, which people rate very poor. C.F.P.B. has received over 1000 complaints about Citi Bank this year alone.
7. TD Bank
TD Bank is the United States subsidiary of the Toronto-Dominion Bank Group (TD Bank Group), a Canadian banking and financial services company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. It is one of the largest banks in the country by assets and bank deposits.
The bank operations are confined to 15 U.S states on the East Coast and Washington D.C. The bank has managed to garner a reputation as one of the worst banks in America, according to Monet Talk.
TD Bank has had numerous customers complain about its poor customer service, and many online reviews about the bank are negative. In 2012, the Massachusetts attorney general sued the company for a data breach.
In 2015, it gained a reputation for being annoying as clients filed a class action suit against it for violating the telephone consumer protection act because they allegedly called clients around ten times a day. 8,468 complaints have been made to the C.F.P.B. since 2019, and 3,075 of them since last year.
6. PNC Bank
PNC Bank is a subsidiary of the PNC Financial Services Group, an American financial services holding company. This is one of America's largest banking corporations by assets and has over 2,629 branches and 9,523 ATMs across the country. Apart from regular banking services, it provides asset management, wealth management, and loan servicing services.
The company has faced many legal issues over the years, leading to the decline of its reputation from discrimination and overcharging its Black and Hispanic borrowers, refusing to pay overtime to its employees, embezzlement of funds to getting hit with charges for securities fraud.
It is a no-brainer why the bank gets so many negative reviews online. The C.F.P.B. database shows that they have received 8,474 complaints about PNC Bank in the last three years and 2,691 this year.
5. Credit One Bank
Credit One is an American financial services company that specializes in credit cards. They focus more on people with low credit scores. The bank is a subsidiary of Credit One Financial, affiliated with the Sherman Financial Group. When the bank first opened in 1984, it was a full-service bank that offered many banking services, but it began to narrow down its services until 1995, when it started dealing only with credit card services.
Recently the bank has come under heavy criticism, with many people complaining that the bank charges consumers without authorization, and sometimes the bank does this repeatedly. Customers have also complained about being charged additional, late, or unexplained fees.
The bank has been accused of reporting clients to credit reporting agencies using incorrect information. Even though the company provides credit services to people with poor credit scores, they take advantage of their clients by charging exorbitant fees.
Credit one has faced numerous lawsuits alleging that the company was calling and harassing its customers and another class action lawsuit from a data breach the company experienced in 2019. C.F.P.B. has received over 15,000 complaints about the company since 2019 and over 5,000 in the last year.
4. US Bank
US Bancorp is US Bank's parent company, an American company that provides banking and financial services. It is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the fifth largest bank in the country. The bank provides financial services, including banking, mortgage, trust, investment, and payment services. US Bank has not been left behind in the world of scandals and banks doing fraudulent things to get ahead.
According to Bloomberg Law, just this year, the bank was fined $37.5 million by several regulators because its employees had illegally accessed client information and opened fake savings and checking accounts and numerous credit cards without the knowledge or consent of clients.
Since 2000 the company has paid over $1 trillion in settlements and penalties for lawsuits ranging from violations of consumer protection laws, anti-money laundering laws, employment-related offenses, banking violations, and many more. Complaints made to C.F.P.B. about the company for the last three years are 21,836, and 8,015 are from this year.
3. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is an American banking and financial services provider. It is headquartered in San Francisco, California. The financial institution is the fourth largest bank in the country, ranked by its total assets, market capitalization, and bank deposits.
The bank is also among the "big four banks" in the U.S. alongside JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup. Wells Fargo has been the subject of numerous lawsuits and investigations by regulators.
Its fortunes have also brought great dissatisfaction to its client base as the company faced numerous scandals and litigations. In 2018, the federal reserve barred the company from growing its trillion-dollar asset base because of an account fraud scandal.
Employees of the company created millions of fake savings and checking accounts without their customer's knowledge or consent to meet sales quotas.
The company has faced many litigations for its gross misconduct. From embezzlement scandals, charging people of color higher fees, charging clients excessive overdraft fees, violating credit card laws, discrimination against African Americans, and gender discrimination, to creating fake accounts.
The company has one of the worst reputations of any bank in the U.S. C.F.P.B. and has received 25,625 complaints about the bank since 2019. Nine thousand nine hundred sixty-three complaints are from the last 12 months only.
2. Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank has been involved in several high-profile scandals and controversies over the years. One of the most significant scandals occurred in 2020, when the bank was fined $4.9 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for opening unauthorized accounts and charging customers for services they did not receive. The bank admitted to opening millions of unauthorized accounts between 2008 and 2016, and apologized to affected customers.
In addition to the unauthorized account scandal, Fifth Third Bank has faced allegations of discriminatory lending practices. In 2020, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, alleging that the bank engaged in redlining, or systematically denying loans to borrowers in predominantly minority neighborhoods. The bank denied the allegations and stated that it was committed to fair lending practices.
Fifth Third Bank has also faced criticism for its handling of the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal program designed to provide small businesses with loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the bank was sued by several small businesses who alleged that the bank prioritized larger, more profitable clients over smaller businesses in its processing of PPP loan applications. The bank denied the allegations and stated that it had processed loans on a first-come, first-served basis.
1. Bank of America
Bank of America headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Bank of America Corporate Center. The National Bank of Charlotte acquired it in 1998 and has become the second largest financial institution in the U.S after Chase Bank by JPMorgan.
The bank generates 90% of its revenue from its domestic market in the U.S through consumer banking services like banking, investments, and lending services, including mortgages, credit cards, and business loans. Its main financial services revolve around commercial and investment banking and wealth management.
In 2010, the federal government sued the bank for defrauding several hospitals, schools, and government organizations. This is through illegal investments of proceeds from sales of municipal bonds. C.F.P.B. has received 33,596 complaints about various services from the Bank of America in the last three years. With 12,345 complaints are from this year alone.
This year, the bank had 800 mortgage payment complaints, 903 money transfer complaints, 136 complaints about hidden fees. There are 22 about poor customer service, and 40 about unauthorized transactions. The bank has become one of the worst in America as many customers are unsatisfied with its services. According to FairShake, it was the most hated bank in nine states in America.
You can also read:
- Five Companies Leading The Way Tackling Financial Fraud
- The 10 Best Digital Banks in 2021
- The 20 Richest Banks in the World
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee