In February, GoBankingRates launched its first ever Financial Institution Awards with the goal of recognizing banks and credit unions in the U.S. that are leading the industry in service and community involvement. We’re pleased to announce that not one, but two institutions have been named winners.
All financial institutions in the running for the FI Awards were judged in three categories:
1. Community Involvement - Is the institution making an impact within the community it serves? How does leadership within the organization reach beyond simply providing financial services to benefit the community?
2. Member Incentives/ Special Promotions - What types of incentives and promotions are offered by the institution to help its customers maximize their finances and gain access to low-cost financial products and services?
3. Customer Service - Are customers provided personalized, friendly banking experience that establishes the institution as having a positive role in their financial lives?
First Place – Intermountain Community Bank
GoBankingRates awards First Place in the Financial Institution Awards to Intermountain Community Bank for exceeding its industry peers in all three categories.
In terms of customer service, Intermountain Community Bank’s track record is impressive. According to the bank, “ICB is proud to live our mission by listening to our customers at every stage of their lives to help them determine and meet their expressed financial goals as well as to offer steps to future solutions.” They’re business practices are based on the core values of 1. No Excuses Leadership,2. Deep Sense of Caring, 3. Sense of Urgency, 4. The Right People, 5. High Expectations, 6. Playful Celebration and 7. Hit Conflicts Head-On (issues, not people).
When it comes to promotions and incentives, ICB continues to stand out from competition, explaining, “Our ‘incentive plan’ is to make our customers individually and collectively successful. Our track record and customer feedback proves that we are giving our targeted customers exactly what they want and need.”
Sealing the win, however, is Intermountain Community Bank’s integral role in its community, both as a reliable financial institution and as a fundamental source of support and resources during rough economic times.
ICB tells us, “In 2008, when the core of the industry and our economy was shaken, our bank stepped up very publicly to support and rebuild the dignity of our rural and small town markets. An initiative called Powered by Community was born, pulling together collaborative efforts to support charities, retool and counsel local businesses, and retain and retrain our workforce.”
In fact, Intermountain Community Bank contributed $153,641 and 2,598 volunteer hours to causes and organizations such as local food banks and animal shelters, Think Pink! for the Cure, Caldwell Rodeo Night, Rising Stars Therapeutic Riding Center and the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in 2012 alone.
Intermountain Community Bank also celebrates “Community Stars,” a program established by the bank in order recognize individuals or groups who demonstrate excellence in community leadership, activism and support. Community Stars are nominated by civic or charitable organizations and receive a grant of $1,000 to contribute to the charity of their choice.
Finally, ICB is a Better Business Bureau Integrity Counts! Honoree, as well as a winner of the Idaho Governor’s Brightest Star for Volunteerism Award.
About Intermountain Community Bank
Intermountain Community Bank is a locally-operated division of Panhandle State Bank, operating branches throughout southwest Idaho (Weiser, Payette, Nampa, Caldwell and Fruitland), as well as in Ontario, Oregon. The bank was developed by community members with the goal of “creating a community resource that was run by local leaders and invested in local businesses and people.”
Second Place – America First Credit Union
America First Credit Union was named runner-up in the Financial Institution Awards because of their outstanding commitment to members.
The credit union also participates in a number of community programs designed to improve financial literacy and overall well-being of nearby residents, including:
- The Community Assistance Program (CAP): Established in 1989 to assist the homeless and less fortunate, America First distributed more than $18,000 from the CAP to seven partner organizations last year.
- Warm the Soles: The credit union participates in Warm the Soles each year, providing new shoes to economically disadvantaged children. Last year, America First donated shoes for over 700 children throughout Utah and in Nevada, using more than $41,000 in donated funds to purchase the shoes.
- The Greater Good employee volunteer effort: America First established the Greater Good in 2012, a program with the goal of motivating and enabling employees to effectively volunteer under the leadership of America First.
Further, besides participating in these volunteer efforts and many others, America First explains their financial products and services are “inherently beneficial to the members.” In addition to providing the lowest possible loan rates to those who qualify, the credit union also invests in adding branches and technology, such as free online banking and bill pay, free checking with rewards and free online financial planning, in order to enhance the member experience.
America First also boasts a Net Promoter Score of 83.2 percent, one of the highest rankings among national credit unions.
About America First Credit Union
America First is a federally-chartered credit union founded in 1939 by a group of like-minded individuals in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the mission to provide superior financial services to its members, the chief concern being their financial well-being.
Today, the credit union offers locations throughout Utah and Nevada, offering 103 full-service branches to a membership base of more than 597k. In fact, America First CU is the 7th largest credit union in the U.S. by membership.
Stay Tuned for the Next Financial Institution Awards
GoBankingRates would like to thank these financial institutions and all others that entered for participating in the FI Awards. Local institutions have the power to positively impact individuals and communities, and we look forward to recognizing more banks and credit unions that go above and beyond in the areas of community involvement, promotions and customer service.
We’ll be announcing our next Financial Institution award period soon — be prepared to nominate your favorite bank or credit union next.