Top California Banks June 2023

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The finest financial institutions in California present a diverse range of offerings tailored to meet a variety of needs, along with competitive interest rates on savings accounts and manageable banking fees. Moreover, these top banks in the state are renowned for providing excellent customer service and ensuring convenient accessibility spanning from the Oregon state border all the way down to the Mexico border.

Leading Banks in California for Physical Branches

California hosts over 130 financial establishments, amounting to a total of $1.19 trillion in assets, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), a United States government agency responsible for insuring bank deposits.

The FDIC reveals that the largest deposit markets in the state fall within California's major metropolitan areas:

  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
  • San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario

Numerous nationwide banks have extensive presence in the Golden State. Prominent financial institutions such as Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America lead the banking sector in California, operating the highest number of branches across the state.

Banks with the Largest Branch Networks in California

The Finest Banks in California for Customer Support

When searching for the best bank, customer service often carries significant weight alongside attractive interest rates and a minimal number of bank fees or fees that are entirely absent.

According to J.D. Power's 2022 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, the following banks excel at providing outstanding care to their customers in California. On average, the state's banks achieved a customer satisfaction score of 625, out of a possible 1,000.

Leading California Banks in Terms of Customer Satisfaction

Different Banking Options in California

Californian consumers have a plethora of choices when it comes to selecting a financial institution that caters to their diverse preferences and requirements. Here are four of the most common types of banks in the state.

Nationwide Banks

The financial landscape in the state is predominated by the colossal banking powerhouses of America, internationally recognized institutions with expansive branch networks. These banks offer an extensive array of financial products, encompassing checking and savings accounts, mortgages, credit cards, and investment services. Among the most prominent banks in California are Chase, Wells Fargo (based in San Francisco), and Bank of America, each boasting trillions of dollars in assets.

Regional Banks

Regional banks have a network of branches that are primarily limited to a specific geographic area, which can be a portion of the United States or exclusively California. These mid-sized banks typically cater to both consumer and business banking needs. The Federal Reserve defines a regional bank as an institution with total assets ranging from $10 billion to $100 billion.

Community Banks

Community banks, which account for over 90% of all banks in the United States, serve specific localized regions. Depositors within these communities derive the greatest benefit from the lending services provided by these banks. Community banks in California often operate with just one or two branches and offer a narrower selection of banking products. According to the Federal Reserve, a community bank holds assets totaling less than $10 billion.

Online Banks

One might not immediately think of online banks when considering Californian banks, as these institutions operate primarily in a virtual, digital space rather than through traditional physical branches. While some online banks provide a comprehensive range of products and services, others focus on specific account types. These banks typically enjoy lower operating costs compared to traditional banks and frequently extend the resulting savings to their customers through competitive interest rates and reduced bank fees.

Choosing the Ideal Bank in California

Selecting the right bank depends on an individual's specific financial circumstances, preferences, and needs. Take into consideration these factors while choosing a financial institution for your banking needs.

Banking Options and Services

Ensure that the banks you consider offer the accounts and services that meet your needs. Common types of accounts include checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and money market accounts. Full-service banks may also provide additional products like credit cards, loans, and investment services.

You might find it advantageous to utilize multiple banks in order to take advantage of their respective strengths. One bank may offer more competitive rates, while another may provide more convenient access to your accounts.

Fee Structure

Many banks impose one-time or ongoing fees for various services. These fees can include charges for maintaining a minimum balance each month or fees for services like overdrafts, non-sufficient funds (NSF), excessive withdrawals, ATM usage, late payments, and wire transfers. It is important to be wary of costly bank fees that can undermine your savings efforts.

Interest Rates

Online banks and credit unions generally offer higher interest rates on deposit accounts compared to traditional banks. By securing competitive annual percentage yields (APYs), you can optimize your savings efforts and work towards achieving various financial goals.


When selecting a bank, it is important to consider not only where you can deposit your money, but also how easily you can access your funds. Look for a bank that offers convenient options for managing your accounts.

If you anticipate needing to withdraw cash frequently, seek a bank that provides fee-free ATM access. Additionally, a highly-rated mobile banking app allows you to manage your finances 24/7 from anywhere in the world, and often includes features such as online bill payment and mobile check deposits.

Customer Support

There may be occasions when you require assistance with your accounts. If the availability of personal interaction is important to you, consider choosing a bank that has local branches or offers personalized customer support via phone. Some banks also provide chat support, virtual assistant services, and other digital support options. Look for a bank that offers support channels that align with your preferred mode of communication.

Considerations for Banking in California

Selecting a bank is a personal decision, as the right bank for someone else may not necessarily meet your specific needs. Evaluate what factors are important to you in a bank, and compare the options available to find the best fit.

If you value the personalized support provided by physical branch locations, compare banks within your specific area in California to locate one that aligns with your requirements.

While a growing number of traditional banks now offer digital banking services, they often lack the competitive APYs offered by the best online banks. If you are comfortable with online banking, opening an account with an online bank can help you avoid fees while accessing higher interest rates. The same goes for credit unions if you meet their membership requirements.

Remember, there is no rule that mandates conducting all your banking activities at a single institution. Using multiple banks can be a beneficial option if you appreciate specific features offered by different banks.

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