If you’re interested in opening an online savings account, check this out:
FNBO Direct, Everbank. and ING Direct have all received a four star rating from Bankrate, indicating a high level of solvency and stability. If you’d like to see the complete rundown, please check out my updated list of the safest online banks.
Beyond this, ING Direct’s parent company has received high marks in terms of protecting customers from identity theft. In talking about how well different corners of corporate America do when it comes to protecting their customers, the NY Times Bits weblog put together a rundown of the estimated annual number of “incidents” related to identity theft per billion dollars in deposits for each of the 25 largest banks in the United States.
Interestingly, ING came out smelling like a rose, with just 0.085 incidents per billion dollars in deposits, whereas HSBC came in dead last*, with 21.293 incidents per billion dollars in deposits.
Other notables included Bank of America, which was second worst with 17.646 incidents/billion, Washington Mutual (3rd worst) with 16.163 incidents/billion, JP Morgan/Chase/Bank One (4th worst) with 11.306 incidents/billion, Wells Fargo (5th worst) with 10.117 incidents/billion, US Bank (6th worst) with 9.360 incidents/billion, and Citibank (7th worst) with 7.450 incidents/billion.
One thing that you’ll notice is that, even though these data are scaled against the size of the bank, it’s still the biggest banks that are doing the worst. In fact, the seven worst banks listed above are amongst the nine largest banks on the list.
Despite ING Direct’s major online presence, ING is the fifth smallest bank on the list. This makes me wonder if there’s a meaningful difference in security practices, or if bigger banks are disproportionately targeted by fraudsters because they’re so large and well known.
*Note that this is a rating of each bank overall, and not just their online endeavors.