Press Release

New Study Reveals the Best U.S. Banks

Tricia Lesh
Vice President of Marketing

NASHVILLE, TENN., Dec. 14, 2021 – Bank Director, the leading information resource for directors and officers of financial institutions nationwide, released its 2022 RankingBanking study, sponsored by Crowe LLP. Since 2017, Bank Director has analyzed the best in banking through its RankingBanking reports. This year’s study reveals the best U.S. banks: those that balance growth and profitability, deliver long-term shareholder value and execute their goals in a safe and sound manner. Bank Director also further examined these institutions based on the factors that drive this performance: growth, leadership, board oversight and technological innovation.

Banks that excelled in 2020 and early 2021 – the period examined in the 2022 RankingBanking study – “knew how to consistently adapt and pivot while still managing risk,” says Kara Baldwin, a partner at Crowe. “In trying times like these, it takes innovation, a strong leadership team and an active, involved board to weather the storm.”

Bank Director sorted the banks into peer groups based on asset size, selecting the 10 best in each category. The top U.S. Banks are:

Best National Banks (Over $50 Billion)
Bank Name: JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Headquarters: New York, NY

Regional Banks ($50 Billion – $150 Billion)
Bank Name: SVB Financial Group
Headquarters: Santa Clara, CA

Emerging Regional Banks ($15 Billion – $50 Billion)
Bank Name: Western Alliance Bancorp.
Headquarters: Phoenix, AZ

Small Regional Banks ($5 Billion – $15 Billion)
Bank Name: Merchants Bancorp
Headquarters: Carmel, IN

Community Banks (Under $5 Billion)
Bank Name: FS Bancorp
Headquarters: Mountlake Terrace, WA

To determine the top 10 in each category, Bank Director calculated a profitability score based on return on average assets and return on average equity as of year-end 2020. In addition, year-over-year growth in pre-provision net revenue from 2019 to 2020, as well as absolute PPNR as of year-end 2020, was reviewed. Credit quality was examined, based on net charge offs and non-performing loans as a percentage of total loans for 2020. To award building shareholder value, Bank Director included five-year total shareholder return from 2015 to 2020. These factors were ranked and then averaged – with profitability receiving a double weight – to develop a score.

Once the top 10 in each size category were selected, Bank Director then studied each institution across four subcategories that contribute to overall performance – leadership, board, innovation and growth. Each category has its own unique methodology, and each bank’s within-peer rank factored into its final score in the asset size categories. The growth subcategory received a double weight in the final analysis due to its contribution to earnings potential going forward.

The winners in the four subcategories that drive performance are:

Best Growth Strategy
Bank Name: University Bancorp
Headquarters: Ann Arbor, MI

Most Innovative Banks
Bank Name: Bank of America Corp.
Headquarters: Charlotte, NC

Best Leadership Teams
Bank Name: FS Bancorp
Headquarters: Mountlake Terrace, WA

Best Boards
Bank Name: East West Bancorp
Headquarters: Pasadena, CA

Emily McCormick, vice president of research at Bank Director, shared further details on the rankings, stating: “The final list includes the biggest banks, as well as regional and community banks leveraging traditional operating models in robust markets. Many took advantage of the mortgage boom, and some leaned into the digital economy. What they share is a focus on strategy while weathering change in a unique operating environment.”

The 2022 RankingBanking study examines public banks, using data from S&P Global Market Intelligence as well as Securities and Exchange Commission filings, press releases and other public information. Banks were sorted into their respective categories based on their asset size at the first quarter 2021; Bank Director excluded banks that issued announcements before July 1, 2021, that their organization would be acquired or merged into another institution.

To review the full results of Bank Director’s 2022 RankingBanking study, along with previous RankingBanking reports, please visit

About Bank Director
Bank Director reaches the leaders of the institutions that comprise America’s banking industry. Since 1991, Bank Director has provided board-level research, peer insights and in-depth executive and board services. Built for banks, Bank Director extends into and beyond the boardroom by providing timely and relevant information through Bank Director magazine, board training services and the financial industry’s premier event, Acquire or Be Acquired. For more information, please visit

About Crowe LLP
Crowe is a public accounting, consulting and technology firm with offices around the world. Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities. The firm and its subsidiaries also help clients make smart decisions that lead to lasting value with its tax, advisory and consulting services. Their financial services industry team of more than 800 professionals has more than 50 years of experience, works with financial institutions of all sizes and serves more than 1,800 financial services organizations. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact Bank Director’s Director of Marketing, Deahna Welcher at [email protected].

Tricia Lesh

Vice President of Marketing

Tricia Lesh is Vice President of Marketing for Bank Director and manages the production and development projects for and In addition, Tricia is focused on leading the direction of the company’s marketing, public relations and branding initiatives. A graduate of Belmont University, Tricia has more than 20+ years of experience in the financial industry, working in institutions with assets ranging from $500 million to $2.2 billion.