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More about our data & how it’s updated

Our search engine has been updated to include 2020 data

We wanted to inform those who use our site that we recently updated our search engine with data from June 2020. We thought this would give us the opportunity to clarify where we get our data, how we use it, and how frequently we’re able to update it.

We download our data from the FDIC and the NCUA, which are federal institutions which monitor and provide support to banking institutions. This data is publicly provided in spreadsheets, which are then compiled into our search engine to provide our metric with the most recent data on banks and credit unions. This includes data on what kind of lending the banks are doing, where their branches are located, and more. To learn more about how we analyze this data to provide you with Better Banking Options in your area, check out our metrics.

Although data is reported by these federal banking institutions quarterly, the BBO site is owned and operated by a small team, so we’re able to update our systems about twice a year. We feel this is more than enough, as banking data typically only changes marginally from quarter to quarter.

As a final data-related note, we encourage our readers to pay attention to federal banking legislation, as this determines what data banks and credit unions are required to report. For example, until recently, most banks were required to report how much of their housing lending is done in low- and moderate-income census tracts, which allowed analysis of not only what kinds of loans are made but to whom they are made. Now, so few banks are required to report those statistics that we cannot use them in any meaningful way.

It’s important for banks and credit unions to be as transparent as possible with their data, to hold them accountable, and to let consumers decide for themselves where they want their deposits being used.


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