Awards and Honors

The Best Banks in New England

Our Annual Survey Shows What Customers Think The Top Banks Are

Keith Griffin

September 16, 2020

Best Banks of New England

Annually, the prestigious Banking Choice Awards are presented by American Business Media, publishers of “Banking New England,” and Rivel Banking Benchmarks.

Vincent M. Valvo, president and CEO of American Business Media, said, “Customers can choose to bank wherever they want. The Banking Choice Awards determine which banks do it best.”

The Banking Choice Awards are based upon the results of the Rivel Banking Benchmarks, the largest and most comprehensive measure of banking customer experience in the world. The benchmarks are conducted independent of any financial institution biannually by Rivel (, the marketing and investment community research firm and pioneer in the online measurement and tracking of customer experience for banking institutions.

Bruce Paul, Rivel’s managing director, said, “The Rivel Banking Benchmarks, part of our CXLign division, help banks increase revenue by giving them a clear, objective view of what their customers really think of them. We eliminate the bias of internal bank surveys in which happy customers are five times more likely to respond than unhappy or ambivalent ones, thus creating skewed (and unrealistic) results. We put your ratings in context, showing the banks exactly how their scores compare to those of their competitors within their local trade area – not to an irrelevant basket of similar-sized banks from other parts of the country.”

The Rivel Banking Benchmarks were developed by Paul, one of the most respected experts in banking research who developed the CX tracking and brand research programs for seven of the top 15 North American banks. The Benchmarks use the same best-in-class approach used to build the CX programs for the world’s largest banks, now provided to community banks at a small fraction of the cost. 

“We strongly believe that customer loyalty is a bank’s primary asset. To improve that loyalty, you must measure and track it. The Benchmarks therefore enable banks to understand exactly what their customers and prospects think of them, their people, their channels, and their products so banks can make customer-centric decisions to grow their business,” added Paul.

In New England, the interviews, reviews and institutions represented broke out this way among the four states covered: 

  • Massachusetts: 11,099 interviews and 313,842 reviews and 281 institutions
  • Connecticut: 6653 interviews and 180,130 reviews and 148 institutions
  • Rhode Island: 2329 interviews and 56,868 reviews and 62 institutions
  • New Hampshire: 2657 interviews and 59,849 reviews and117 institutions

Survey respondents are part of a statistically representative sample of households and businesses in each state. The total respondent pool is representative by geography, gender, income, ethnicity, and age profile of the state, based upon the most recent government census. Given the large sample size, the results are also representative of household penetration and business penetration of each banking institution within each state. 

The survey is double blind: respondents are not told the subject of the interview beforehand, and we do not know which banks they use before initiating the interview. This approach minimizes bias and provides the most objective results possible.

The Customer Experience Benchmarks ask respondents to evaluate up to 53 different metrics about each institution they use for banking services. These include the following metrics used for the Banking Choice Awards: overall quality, customer service, tools & technology.

The Prospect Brand Benchmarks ask respondents about their impressions of banks they do not yet use. These marketing and brand metrics include community contribution, measured in the Banking Choice Awards.

View the winners.

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