U.S. Bancorp Gets Low Ranking for Reputation

Major Minnesota employer Wells Fargo ranked 26th out of the 30 banks on the list, two spots below U.S. Bancorp; meanwhile, M&I Bank, which has 27 Minnesota offices, ranked sixth.

In an American Banker ranking that measured the reputations of 30 large U.S. banks, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp fell near the bottom of the pack.

With a score of 60.31, the parent company of U.S. Bank ranked 24th; its score last year was 55.52.

This year, two banks scored higher than 70 on a 100-point scale: Chicago-based Harris Bank (73.09) and Salt Lake City-based Zions Bank (70.22). The Reputation Institute, which conducted the survey that determined the rankings, considers 70 to be the dividing line between average and strong reputations.

Aside from U.S. Bancorp, no other Minnesota-based banks were on the list. But two banks that have a major presence within the state were included in the ranking. Milwaukee-based M&I Bank, which has 26 Twin Cities offices and one Duluth office, ranked sixth with a score of 68.43. And San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, which employs about 20,000 in Minnesota and is among the state's largest employers, ranked 26th with a score of 57.82.

According to the Reputation Institute, consumers evaluate brand reputations based on seven major components: corporate citizenship, financial performance, governance, innovation, leadership, perceived workplace environment and products and services.

Last year, the biggest determining factor for banks was governance, based on a regression analysis of the results. But respondents this year put greater emphasis on performance – or their perception of it- in formulating their opinions about banks, according to American Banker.

One bank that fared particularly well-Birmingham, Alabama-based BBVA Compass, with a score of 66.49, up 5.59 points from last year-sees a strong correlation between social media and reputation. It has assigned senior leaders from across the bank to a social media steering committee. It also has a social media team that monitors and responds to complaints on Twitter and other avenues in order to address negative comments in a way that turns them into positive experiences.

U.S. Bancorp is Minnesota's largest bank-holding company with $308 billion in assets as of the end of 2010. U.S. Bank-which operates 3,069 banking offices in 25 states-is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the country.