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L-R (clockwise): SchoolsFirst FCU CEO Bill Cheney; Clark County CU CEO Matt Kershaw; Northrop Grumman FCU CEO Mark Rabinowitz; Honda FCU CEO Steve Brandon; and San Diego County CU CEO Teresa Campbell.
L-R (clockwise): SchoolsFirst FCU CEO Bill Cheney; Clark County CU CEO Matt Kershaw; Northrop Grumman FCU CEO Mark Rabinowitz; Honda FCU CEO Steve Brandon; and San Diego County CU CEO Teresa Campbell.

SchoolsFirst & Four Other CUs Lead in Forbes’ Annual Rankings

Out of 147 credit unions recognized nationwide, this year’s top-five honorees of Forbes’ “America’s Best Credit Unions in Each State” went to four credit unions in California and one in Nevada!

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues would like to congratulate all five CEOs from both states whose credit unions achieved the following rankings this year:

  • No. 1: SchoolsFirst FCU (Tustin, CA) — CEO Bill Cheney.
  • No. 2: Clark County CU (Las Vegas, NV) — CEO Matt Kershaw.
  • No. 3: Northrop Grumman FCU (Gardena, CA) — CEO Mark Rabinowitz.
  • No. 4: Honda FCU (Torrance, CA) — CEO Steve Brandon.
  • No. 5: San Diego County CU (San Diego, CA) — CEO Teresa Campbell.

“While we are honored to represent all credit unions in both states, it is truly impressive to see these five institutions gain national awareness,” said Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra. “Thank you for leading the way in everything you do! The service your credit unions provide to your communities out of every local option offered in the financial services marketplace displays unparalleled leadership and commitment to the credit union philosophy and your member-owners.”

The No. 1 honoree, SchoolsFirst FCU, is California’s largest credit union, serving more than 1.3 million school employees and their families — and managing $28 billion in assets. This is the fifth consecutive year SchoolsFirst has earned a spot among the top-ranking credit unions on Forbes’ annual rankings. The credit union was founded in 1934 when 126 school employees pooled together just $1,200 to establish a member-owned cooperative to help improve each other’s lives.

“It’s an honor to receive this recognition for the fifth year in a row,” said Bill Cheney, CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU. “Our number one priority is member service, and we take pride in looking out for the best interests of our members to help them achieve financial wellbeing. We are truly grateful for our loyal members and dedicated team who make this recognition possible.”

The 147 credit unions honored this year were selected from more than 4,700 headquartered throughout the United States. To create the top-rankings list, Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista and surveyed approximately 31,000 U.S. residents. Participants were asked to name all the banks and credit unions where they have a checking or savings account and evaluate these institutions based on customer service, the quality that financial-advice representatives offer, whether fees are transparent and reasonable, ease of navigating the credit union’s website, onsite branch services, and the overall level of trust that credit unions inspire.

Large national banks and credit unions with branches in more than 15 U.S. states — such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Navy Federal Credit Union — were excluded so the list reflected “the best” of regional institutions and smaller ones, Forbes stated.

Additionally, online reviews and ratings posted on Google Reviews between March 2020 and April 2023 were evaluated for each credit union. These reviews and ratings accounted for 20 percent of the scoring, while surveys accounted for 80 percent.

“For many people seeking a savings and checking account or hoping to secure a loan, a bank is their first stop. But an increasingly popular banking choice is a credit union, a nonprofit financial institution owned and controlled by the people who use its services,” the Forbes article states. “The rising appeal of the credit union makes sense. People who bank with a credit union, which is insured by the NCUA, are more than ‘customers’ — they’re known as ‘members’ or ‘owners,’ and they all tend to share a commonality.”

The piece went on to describe the common-bond nature that credit union members have with employers, affiliated organizations, and local/geographic regions.

“As nonprofits, credit unions return the money they make to their members by offering reduced fees, higher savings rates, and lower loan rates,” the articles states. “In other words, credit union members invest in each other.”

You can view the additional full-length piece Forbes published here, entitled “Meet the Best Banks and Credit Unions in Each State,” including sections on credit unions versus banks, a brighter financial future, and ranking methodology.

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