Large banks are gaining momentum as regional banks stall in the annual American Banker/Reputation Institute Survey of Bank Reputations. Chase even barreled its way into the top 10 of the customer ranking.
Synovus Financial struggled along with its customers during the financial crisis. Now that it's healthy again, it credits the strong ties it built with those customers, and the involvement of its executives in the communities they serve, with helping restore its status as one of banking's most reputable brands.
Want customers and noncustomers to hold your bank in high regard? Then get executives to offer thought leadership on social issues, rather than just having them be a mouthpiece for quarterly earnings. That's what the Reputation Institute recommends, as leadership replaces performance as a key driver of bank reputations.
CenterState in Florida and Union Savings in Connecticut are adding specialists to their retail locations at a time when many other banks are cutting back or have been relying heavily on universal bankers.