These NJ banks have the ‘best reputations’ nationwide

TD Bank, Valley National land on American Banker's 2023 list

Jessica Perry//September 12, 2023//

TD Bank


TD Bank


These NJ banks have the ‘best reputations’ nationwide

TD Bank, Valley National land on American Banker's 2023 list

Jessica Perry//September 12, 2023//

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While overall sentiment toward banks has taken a hit in 2023, two financial institutions with Garden State roots are still among the most revered by customers.

Cherry Hill-based TD Bank ranked at No. 2 among customers on American Banker’s most-recent, annual reputation survey, while Valley National Bank of Morristown came in at No. 35 out of the top 40.

According to the publication, overall reputations saw their biggest decline in sentiment since 2018, in part due to some high-profile failures in the industry.

The survey asked consumers to rate their own bank as well as others they were “highly familiar with” on seven factors – products and services, innovation, workplace, conduct, citizenship, leadership and performance – in addition to whether they would use its services, recommend the institution to someone else, or work there. The factors were then indexed to create a cumulative score.

The survey was conducted by reputation consulting group RepTrak. Responses were collected from late April to early June — slightly more than a month after the collapses of Silicon Valley and Signature banks; First Republic Bank failed during the survey period.

Overall, American Banker found that ESG is valued most by regional bank customers, with 49% of respondents calling it “very important,” compared to 45% of non-traditional bank customers and 39% of large bank customers.

In the assessment, American Banker said most of the decline year-over-year was due to the reception of regional banks. Meanwhile, non-traditional banks enjoyed the highest customer sentiment ratings in the analysis with their widest reputational advantage ever.

Digital-native USAA Bank received first-place honors from both customers and non-customers in the rankings for the seventh year running, American Banker said. The Texas-based institution’s customer score was 89 in 2023.

TD’s customer score improved by 1.5 points from 2022 to 2023 to 83.3 points. Valley’s score dropped by 5.5. points for a 2023 customer score of 73.5. Non-customer ratings placed TD at No. 15; Valley was No. 25.

Products and services played an outsize role in shaping public opinions about banks in this year’s survey, according to American Banker, with 19.7% of customers ranking that category as the most important for assessing their bank, up 1.8 percentage points from 2022.

The second most important factor for respondents was conduct.

Making investments

Providence-based Citizens Bank, which has a large regional presence due to its 2022, $3.5 billion acquisition of Investors Savings Bank, placed prominently on the customer list at No. 10.

Vice Chair and Chief Experience Officer Beth Johnson told American Banker that the institution has purposefully worked to engage with its new communities (beyond the Investors deal, the bank added 80 HSBC branches in the Northeast in 2022).

At the beginning of the year, Citizens and the New Jersey Devils launched Jersey Shops, a program to find four Garden State entrepreneurs to showcase during hockey season.

The Community Chest of Eastern Bergen County recently received a grant from Valley National Bank, which will support its mission by making communities in the area stronger and helping people in need. The Chest plans to use the grant to undertake projects related to food insecurity, mental health and services for seniors and young people in the 15 municipalities it serves in eastern Bergen County.
The Community Chest of Eastern Bergen County received a grant from Valley National Bank in 2022 to help support its mission by making communities in the area stronger and helping people in need.

TD is also engaging with its local community in unique ways. In August, the financial institution entered a three-year agreement with New Jersey Citizen Action and the Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey to invest more than $2 billion between 2023 and 2025 in affordable mortgage, community development, small business lending and affordable consumer products and services across the state, and particularly in underserved communities.

Customers can also look forward to a new in-store experience, with branch refreshes set to modernize hundreds of locations over the next several years.

“At TD Bank, we always look for ways to make banking easier, more convenient and more personalized for our customers,” a TD spokesperson said in a statement to NJBIZ regarding the ranking. “We look forward to continuing to go the extra mile for our customers and delivering legendary advice and guidance at every interaction. We’re pleased that our service continues to gain traction with our customers.”

Valley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to a May announcement from the bank, it invested more than $3.4 billion to support its communities in 2022. Beyond New Jersey, Valley also serves New York, Florida, Alabama, California and Illinois.

“Valley has an unwavering dedication to foster positive change in our communities,” Bernadette Mueller, executive vice president and chief CSR-CRA officer, commented upon the release of the bank’s corporate social responsibility report. “Our mission is to give people and businesses the power to succeed and we are proud to achieve this through corporate giving, community service and customized solutions for our communities.”