Albany Law School will be closed today until 4pm due to the weather.
A new website launched today — the New York Bank Ratings Index, available at
www.NYBRI.org — helps residents of New York State pick the best bank for them based on 20 consumer-focused metrics, which include: cost of checking accounts, credit cards, and check cashing; lending practices; and branch locations.
The ranking of these 19 banks based on performance for the consumer, when including all categories, is as follows:
The project was led by Ray Brescia, Associate Professor at Albany Law School, and Ralph Scunziano, an attorney and recent Albany Law School graduate, with assistance from the Empire Justice Center, and the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD).
The website was developed by Chris Velez, a graduate of the University at Albany's Master of Science in Information Systems program who now teaches Intermediate Interactive Design for the Information Science Department in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Earlier versions of this site were developed as part of a course project taught by Velez. The project is also part of a larger affiliation with UAlbany and Albany Law School, where the schools work together on many levels.
The Bank Ratings Index assesses 19 banks that serve or have served New York State according to 20 different consumer-focused categories, generating a final score and ranking the banks according to their success in providing consumer-friendly services. The website also gives consumers the opportunity to customize the bank ratings to select the best bank for them. An accompanying report on the site details the methodology and findings of the study.
"The findings of this project help consumers choose the bank that's right for them along a range of categories. The accompanying website also allows consumers to customize the rankings, picking those categories that matter the most to them and applying different weights to the categories," explained Brescia. "While many studies are in the business of ranking actors in different contexts, like businesses or elected officials, this is one of the first such ranking systems that allows the customer to personally customize the ranking for the best fit for him or her."
The report was developed over the last year, studying the largest 19 banks by assets operating in New York State. The study was conducted prior to the purchase of First Niagara bank by Key Bank, which was finalized last year. Because First Niagara scored the highest in the ranking, the findings with respect to First Niagara were included in this year's report.