Texas seems to have the strongest credit union brands occupying top spots in the annual ranking of financial institutions as rated by Bancography Inc. a Birmingham consulting firm.
Based on such factors as service quality, image and market awareness, the firm found Austin Telco in first place for CUs above $1 billion and InTouch CU of Plano, Tex. first under $1 billion.
"Texas, a state that has weathered the recession better than almost all others, dominates the rankings of the strongest brands while only a smattering of institutions from the economically troubled Southeast and West Coast regions reached the list," said Bancography in issuing its 2010 annual Brand Value Index, now in its third year.
Among the large CUs above $1 billion ranking behind Austin Telco were: Chevron CU of Oakland, Calif.; EECU of Fort Worth; Mountain America FCU, West Jordan, Utah and Local Government CU, Raleigh, N.C.
The top five among smaller CUs behind InTouch were: Navy Army CU, Corpus Christ, Tex.; First Community CU of Houston; Gwinnett CU, Lawrenceville, Ga. and Complex Community, Odessa, Tex.
In selecting the winners, Bancography, www.bancography.com, said it found the economic downturn has affected branding practices "in much the same way it has impacted the overall economy."
In the large credit union asset tier, only six of last year's top 25 retained their status from a year ago and this "reflects the volatility in both the industry and the broader economy.
Outside of Texas, Bancography said it found four Wisconsin and three Pennsylvania CUs in top brackets and "notably these three states have also remained near immune to bank failures overr the past three years."
Winning the top branding rank among large banks was Northern Trust of Chicago, Intrust Bank of Kansas in the second tier and First National Bank of Texas in the lowest tier.