Scottsdale Independent

Washington Federal named No. 1 bank in Arizona by ‘MONEY’

Mike Brown, Washington Federal’s Arizona regional president. (submitted photo)

Scottsdale-headquartered Washington Federal, which has 31 branches across Arizona and is celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout 2017, has been named the “Best Bank in Arizona” by MONEY and Money.com.

Using data from Bankrate.com, MONEY identified one bank in each state in its November 2017 edition, according to a press release.

To pick the honorees for each state, MONEY evaluated the largest 90 brick-and-mortar banks, 50 credit unions, and 15 online banks, as identified by bank consultancy firm Novantas. Bankrate.com, MONEY’s project partner, collected data on fees, interest rates, and account requirements for checking and savings accounts.

Using Bankrate’s data, MONEY compared more than 800 accounts and 18,000 data points, the press release stated.

Washington Federal earned the honor in Arizona, in part, due to being the only bank MONEY surveyed in Arizona that offers basic checking without a monthly fee or an out-of-network ATM fee.

“It’s been a busy fall for us – between this honor and opening our first-ever Arizona regional headquarters, which is located at 6720 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale,” said Mike Brown, Arizona regional president, in a prepared statement.

Mr. Brown also noted the recently opened 10,000-square-foot space housing the Arizona executive leadership team, the business banking division, the commercial real estate divisions, and the equipment finance division, which is led from a national level out of Arizona.

Founded in 1917 as a small neighborhood bank in Ballard, Wash., Washington Federal has grown to be one of the strongest banks in the U.S., the press release stated.

Backed by 100 years of relationship-based service, the bank now operates 236 offices across eight states and serves retail, small business and commercial clients. With $15 billion in assets, Washington Federal has one of the highest capital ratios among the nation’s 100 largest publicly traded banks.

According to Mr. Brown, he thinks another key to the Arizona honor by MONEY is Washington Federal’s commitment to being a portfolio lender on the mortgage side of the business.

“As a portfolio lender, when we make a loan our clients trust us to not only fund the loan but manage it for the life of the loan. To put a more human face on it, owning our own loans enabled us to keep 3,000 families in their homes during the Great Recession,” Mr. Brown said in a prepared statement. “We worked with homeowners who had temporarily fallen on hard times, and today 96 percent of those families are current on their mortgage payments.”