Forbes announces Atomic Credit Union as one of the Best-in-State


Forbes, an American business magazine, has named Atomic Credit Union as one of America’s Best-in-State Credit Unions 2020 for the third consecutive year!

With the economy in turmoil after the outbreak of the coronavirus, banks and credit unions across the country have been forced to step up their game. Local banks and credit unions are mainstays in American life, offering low-cost financial products and personalized customer service. Their branches are where thousands of communities in the United States build and manage their wealth. Never before have their services been in more demand. “Providing financial services during a catastrophic event, like a natural disaster or a pandemic, is paramount to keeping calm and order throughout our communities. Atomic Credit Union was well prepared for the recent pandemic due to years of annual disaster recovery training and testing of facilities, equipment, and personnel. Atomic was the first financial institution in our markets to re-open their lobbies without appointments. This no doubt further instills a high level of confidence within our membership which relates directly to being recognized by Forbes under the subdimension criteria of Trust. Furthermore, I am proud to state not one employee has been furloughed due to the pandemic. We’ve used this crisis as an opportunity to re-purpose and train employees all the while paying upwards of 10% – 25% per hour hazard pay in a show of appreciation to our front-line employees.” stated C. Elaine Litten, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Small and midsized banks and credit unions were some of the most active participants in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into millions of small businesses nationwide to help them retain staff and survive beyond the pandemic. Atomic COO/General Counsel, Aaron C. Michael stated: “Even during these hard times, Atomic has been committed to safely serving our members. We are proud of being a part of bringing millions of dollars of PPP relief for small businesses across Southern Ohio.” From banks to credit unions, lenders are also helping customers with relief efforts like temporary forbearance, or low-cost lending and refinancing options to take advantage of rock-bottom interest rates. When the economy recovers, these lenders are likely to continue offering the most competitive rates on mortgages, consumer loans, and deposit accounts as activity picks up.

But there is a massive divergence on how well banks are at doing this. To gauge which firms have the most satisfied customers, Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to survey nearly 25,000 people in the U.S. about their banking relationships. The result is our third annual look at the Best-In-State Banks and Credit Unions.

Consumers were asked 20 questions about their financial dealings. The banks and credit unions were rated on overall recommendations and satisfaction, as well as five sub-dimensions (trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice). Overall scores ranged from 74.8 to 95.6. Only 2.6% of all banks and 3.5% of all credit unions made our list.

Between one and five banks and up to 10 credit unions in larger states were awarded best-in-state designation, based on the number of responses in each state. Only 3 of more than 250 credit unions in Ohio made the list. Overall, 182 credit unions and 135 banks qualified. Americans generally gave their

banking institutions good reviews on satisfaction with scores of 4.2 on average on a scale of one to five. But banks can’t touch credit unions; they averaged 4.5.

There are more than 5,200 credit unions with 120 million members across the United States. Member-only credit unions typically have lower fees and offer better interest rates than traditional banks, and the nonprofit model where the members are the owners puts the customer first, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction. Many credit unions founded decades ago by workers of large local businesses, military bases, union groups and industries looking for banking services, have grown into large institutions with tens of thousands of customers, large loan portfolios and sophisticated digital banking services.

Atomic Credit Union ($410M assets), founded in 1955 by a small group of workers at the Atomic Plant near Piketon, Ohio has grown significantly; especially during the past ten years. Membership in Atomic Credit Union increased more than 31,000 members from 2010 to 2020, with over 55,000 members today. “Our growth is in direct correlation with the sub-dimensions Forbes evaluates when declaring the best of the best; trust, branch services, terms and conditions, digital services, and financial advice. To be named on Forbes list of America’s Best-In-State Credit Unions is priceless. I give all the credit to the employees working front and center with the members instilling this level of confidence throughout our membership. To be named on Forbes list for the 3rd consecutive year is a true testament of our commitment to providing value and relevancy to our membership.” stated Thomas D. Griffiths, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atomic Credit Union.

Atomic Credit Union has 13 branch locations throughout southern Ohio with branch number 14 opening this Fall on Western Avenue in Chillicothe, Ohio. They also operate 50 Student-Run Credit Union branches in local area schools. To learn more about Atomic Credit Union, please visit www.atomiccu.com

Atomic Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA, Equal Housing Opportunity Lender.