NEW YORK (2/5/10)--Forrester Research’s annual Customer Advocacy rankings placed credit unions well ahead of banks after about 70% of credit union members surveyed told Forrester that their financial institution puts their interests first. The closest institution was a financial services company with 64%. Credit unions were ranked higher than banks because they have a different operating model--they are owned by their members--and they emphasize customer service, said Bill Doyle, Forrester vice president (The New York Times Feb. 3). The bottom seven institutions in this year’s rankings were all big banks--Bank of America, Chase, Capital One, TD/Commerce, Fifth Third, Citibank and HSBC. The Forrester survey was featured in a money blog, “The Least-Trusted Banks in America,” on The New York Times website. Forrester’s rankings are based on a survey of 4,500 consumers, who were asked if they agree with the statement: “My financial provider does what’s best for me, not just its own bottom line.” The rankings come just one week after consumers placed credit unions ahead of banks in the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index. Credit unions had a 58% approval rating, compared with 31% for national banks and 53% for local banks. That study was based on data collected in December by the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. (News Now Jan. 28).