To identify America’s Best Banks,

Newsweek worked in partnershi­p with Lendingtre­e, which culled candidates from an initial universe of more than 2,625 Fdic-insured financial institutio­ns. Lendingtre­e applied filters to create a short list of candidates in each category, based on the most salient features for each bank type or account, supplied the data and made recommenda­tions for scoring. The final proprietar­y ranking system was developed by Newsweek, based on the factors that would be most important to consumers. Data sources included Depositacc­ounts. com, the FDIC, NCUA and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, mobile app reviews and the individual banks and credit unions.

Best Bank winners were assessed on more than 30 factors, such as financial health, customer service, account and loan options, interest rates and fees. The best big bank in each state needed to have at least one branch per 100,000 residents and $10 billion in assets; the best small bank in each state needed less than $10 billion in assets and had to be among the five banks with the most branches in the state. For best big bank by metro area, a bank needed at least one branch per 100,000 residents in the location. For best customer service, a bank needed a timely response rate on at least 97 percent of complaints filed with the CFPB. Financial institutio­ns needed at least one branch to win for best checking, savings and traditiona­l checking accounts. Only banks without a single physical branch were considered for the online bank categories. Credit union winners were selected from a pool of 125 credit unions that anyone can join.

Newsweek exercised final editorial judgment when selecting winners. The complete data set was last updated by Lendingtre­e on July 28, 2021. Interest rate informatio­n is accurate as of September 9, 2021.

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