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VIENNA, Va. – For its proactive identity theft program, Navy Federal Credit Union has been ranked among the top five financial institutions in the nation. According to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, a consulting firm specializing in Internet banking and payments, the $21 billion credit union was recognized along with Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Zions Bancorp.’s Zion Bank, and E*Trade Financial Corp. Javelin ranked 40 financial institutions including the 20 largest retail banks by assets, and 20 randomly selected retail banks on their online identity-theft prevention, detection and resolution services. The study also revealed that while financial institutions have made some strides in fraud resolution, many could be doing more to help customers prevent and detect fraud in the first place. Only half of the 40 banks surveyed offer 24-hour, seven-day-a week account shutoff services. Forty-five percent allow their customers to opt out of receiving monthly checking account statements in the mail, reducing the opportunities for persons to gain access to personal account numbers. The top financial institutions typically deliver e-mail alerts when changes are made to customers and members’ personal information. The study found that no major bank offered to send alerts when there are changes to credit bureau information, unusual account activity or when personal information on file at a bank such as a phone number or a personal identification number for an ATM card has been changed. Financial institutions at the bottom of the Javelin ranking for identity theft protections were BancWest Corp.’s Bank of the West; Citizens Financial Group’s Citizens Bank; Bank of New York Co.; North Fork Bancorp’s North Fork Bank; and Hibernia National Bank, a unit of Hibernia Corp. To gather data, Javelin deployed researchers to pose as victims of identity theft. The financial institutions were scored on more than 40 categories including e-mail alerts, around-the-clock account monitoring and opting out of paper checking-account statements. [email protected]

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