Best Banks in California
Top story
Best Banks in California
4 min read
By: John Doe

California, more commonly known as the Golden State, has the highest population as well as the largest economy of any other state. When searching for the best California banks, residents have an extensive number of options to choose from as the Golden State is home to over 120 financial institutions. Although online-only banks offer many advantages over traditional banks such as lower fees and higher interest rates, many individuals still prefer traditional banks with walk-in branches for their banking needs. Being able to visit a nearby California bank branch can be very useful when you need to make a cash deposit, provide identification, or speak with a representative in person.

California Cities

According to the FDIC, some of the biggest banks in the nation are located in California.   The following areas make up the state’s largest markets:

  • Los Angeles

  • San Francisco

  • San Diego

  • Inland Empire

California is heavily populated with national banks such as Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, all of which have a large footprint in the state.

Top Ten Banks with the Most Branches in California

  1. Bank of America - 1,167 branches

  2. Chase - 915

  3. Wells Fargo - 867

  4. US Bank - 593

  5. Citibank - 273

  6. BMO Harris - 227

  7. Mechanics Bank - 121

  8. Comerica Bank - 97

  9. Tri-Counties Bank - 81

  10. Westamerica Bank - 80

Top Ten California Banks by Assets

  1. Chase - $450 Billion

  2. Wells Fargo - $320 Billion

  3. Bank of America - $400 Billion

  4. US Bank - $102 Billion

  5. Citibank - $60 Billion

  6. BMO Harris -

  7. Mechanics Bank - $20 Billion

  8. Comerica Bank -

  9. Tri-Counties Bank -

  10. Eastwest Bank -

Best California Banks - Customer Service

  1. US Bank - 667 Index Rating

  2. Chase - 646

  3. Citibank - 634

  4. Bank of America - 628

  5. BMO Harris(previously Bank of the West) - 625

  6. Wells Fargo - 594

Source: J.D. Power & Associates

Types of Banks

National Banks

Some of the biggest banks in the nation, including Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and US Bank, are well-represented in California. From San Diego to Sacramento and all the cities and towns in between, the biggest banks have thousands of branches spread out throughout the state. They offer customers a large range of banking products, such as credit cards, mortgages, checking and savings accounts, and investment services.

Online Banks

Californians have access to and can benefit from the nation's wide selection of online banks.  Online banks tend to offer lower costs and more competitive interest rates than traditional banks due to their lower overhead costs. Some banks offer a full range of products much like the big national banks, while others only offer a limited type of accounts.

Regional Banks

According to the FDIC, regional banks are those that have total assets between $10 billion and $100 billion and are operate within a region of the United States, such as California or a small number of states within the same region. Businesses and consumers can typically choose from a range of financial services provided by these midsize banks.

Community Banks

Community banks have a relatively small branch network, offer a restricted range of banking products and are defined as having total assets of $10 billion or less, according to the FDIC. This group includes most of the nation's banks, which largely offer their products and services to local residents. 

Selecting the Right Bank


Banks may charge fees for a number of reasons, including overdraft fees, insufficient funds, failing to maintain a monthly minimum balance, excessive withdrawals, ATM usage, and late payments. it is very important to make sure you aren't paying unnecessary fees that may eat into your savings.


Things just happen sometimes, and we need our money right away. To ensure that you are never locked out of your account and that you have access to your money when you need it most, find a bank that has a large ATM network and offers fee-free ATM access, online bill payment, and mobile check deposits.

Interest Rates

Compared to traditional banks, online banks and credit unions typically offer greater interest rates on deposit accounts. To ensure that your money works as hard as it can for you and your family, make sure to do your research and select a bank in your state that not only makes it simple for you to access your hard-earned money, but also offers you the highest possible rate of interest.


Best Bank Accounts of 2024

We reviewed nearly every bank account in the country. Check out our winning bank accounts for 2024 broken down by account type, highest rate offered, and more.