Map: Despite Stigma, Most Americans Use Big Banks

GOBankingRates.com

Whether or not people think big banks are a force of evil in the US, most Americans are using them. GOBankingRates.com recently used Federal Reserve data to create a map showing the most used bank in every state, and they say the statistics “[fly] in the face of the stigma of the big, bad bank.”

The investigation was geared towards finding out why Americans prefer big banks now, six years after Lehman Brothers went bankrupt: an event which, according to the site, triggered a series of events that pushed the US into the Great Recession.

The report claims “the answer is yoked to why they’ve always liked them: Because big banks pay big dividends, and not just to their customers.”

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Specifically, big banks employ millions, pay billions in tax dollars and in charitable giving, and are usually the most accessible. “In short, big banks play an integral role in the financial health of their communities — a larger one than they’re often given credit for,” the report stated.

Massachusetts’ biggest bank, Santander, reportedly employs 9,469 people. It also pays over $35 million in taxes annually and gives millions in donations benefitting victims of the Boston Marathon, local hospitals, universities, and community grant programs. (Spanish banking giant Santander took over all Sovereign locations in July, 2013.)

The rest of New England claimed Camden National, Centrix, Merchant’s, Citizen’s, and Webster Banks as their biggest.

Another, less pressing detail learned from the graphic: a surprising amount of big bank logos are not green. (Who’da thought.)

See the full GoBankingRates.com study here.