Ray Brescia of Albany, along with Albany alum Ralph Scunziano, the Empire Justice Center, and the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) have created a New York Bank Ratings Index. The web site is here; a report on the project here, and Ray also has a Medium op-ed titled Putting Consumer Protection in the Hands of the Consumer: New York’s New Bank Ratings Index. Here's the report's abstract:
New York State is one of the financial capitals of the world, and individual consumers of banking services have a wide range of commercial banks to choose from, all of which provide a dizzying array of products and services. With the details of many of these products and services buried in the fine print of consumer agreements or in the back pages of bank websites, the consumer is sometimes at a loss when choosing which bank to use as his or her primary bank when looking to open a checking account, use an ATM, send a remittance, or open a credit card account. The New York Bank Ranking Index (NYBRI) attempts to take some of the guesswork out of choosing a bank. It evaluates the nineteen largest banks in New York State by awarding points to each bank based on how well the banks meet consumer needs in twenty consumer-focused categories. In its current form, the NYBRI weighs each of these categories equally. The index then ranks the banks by giving a cumulative score under each category and lists them out highest to lowest. Consumers can also go to the accompanying website, to customize a ranking based on their own preferences in terms of the categories to use in scoring the banks and the relative weights to assign these categories. This report provides background information on the NYBRI, explains the process by which we completed the ranking and scoring for the nineteen largest banks serving individual bank customers in New York State, scores the banks and offers the final ranking, and then supplies the individualized data for each bank in an appendix. While we focus on New York State in this study, other jurisdictions can utilize the methodology used here for their own communities.
Ray adds: This initiative is totally transportable to other communities. Happy to discuss with anyone the idea of doing that.