American Banker has opened the application period for a new program that will identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in the banking industry. The initiative is in partnership with Best Companies Group, which will review a combination of employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys in generating the list of honorees.

At a time when a number of expansion-minded banks are aggressively recruiting qualified talent, recognition as a best-in-class employer can be a powerful asset. To be considered for participation, companies must have at least 50 employees working in the United States. Commercial or retail banks are eligible, as are the commercial or retail banking units of diversified financial services companies. (In the case of banking units, only the bank unit will be considered as eligible and the unit must meet the 50-employee requirement.) There is no cost to participate.

Honorees will be recognized in three separate categories based on asset-size of the applicant: less than $3 billion; between $3 billion and $10 billion; and more than $10 billion.

Those not eligible for participation include any organization whose parent company's primary business is not in financial services, such as organizations that are set up specifically to house a credit card business. Credit unions also are excluded from this program.

All participating companies will receive a complimentary "Employer Benchmark Summary" report. For a nominal fee, participants can purchase the optional "Employee Feedback Report" summarizing the results of the employee survey. The report also includes several benchmark reports and anonymous employee responses to the 2 open ended survey questions. This report provides critical comparison details on what makes an organization an American Banker Best Bank to Work For.

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