New report shows three large banks lead Ohio in complaints
By Jamison Cocklin
A first-of-its-kind report that analyzed the banking complaints of thousands of consumers nationwide logged with a government watchdog agency shows that three of Ohio’s largest banks are at the top of the list.
The Ohio Public Interest Research Group analyzed 19,000 banking complaints recorded with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer- complaint database.
The bureau was established in 2010, after the country’s latest recession, with a mission of identifying unfair financial practices, educating consumers and assisting in the regulation of financial institutions.
The Ohio PIRG’s report found that PNC Bank was the most-complained-about in Ohio, followed by Huntington National Bank and Fifth Third Bank, based in Cincinnati. It analyzed complaints filed with the database since March 2012 when it was created.
Most of the complaints filed with the bureau related to checking accounts and problems associated with opening, closing and managing them, as well as withdrawing from them.
Nationally, PNC has 880 recorded complaints, with 114 being logged in Ohio. Huntington has 101 complaints here and Fifth Third has 83, according to the report.
Just 25 banks accounted for 90 percent of all complaints nationwide.
“Huntington is regularly ranked as a national leader for customer satisfaction, which includes designation as one of the Best Banks in America by Money magazine and other prominent consumer studies,” wrote Huntington spokesman William Eiler in an email responding to the report. “Huntington consistently works closely with all customers who raise concerns to strive toward successful resolution.”
Marcey Zwiebel, a PNC spokeswoman, said the report is merely a reflection of PNC’s large footprint in Ohio and the large number of customers it serves. She said the bank’s own measures for customer satisfaction are high, and it continually works to respond to customer concerns.
Huntington is the Mahoning Valley’s largest bank by market share, while PNC is the Valley’s third- largest by the same measure, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Fifth Third Bank does not have a presence in the Valley.