23 Charleston area locations
One of the oldest banks in the country, Wachovia can trace its ancestry back to the Bank of Charleston, and like many local institutions, its past is sullied by slave-owning and profiteering. Fortunately, the Wachovia Foundation is doing its part to make amends, funding programs like a breast cancer initiative at the Hollings Cancer Center that focuses its efforts on African-American, Hispanic, and disadvantaged women. The bank's efforts are also aimed at education and diversity, such as the Citadel's summer reading program which matches mentors and at-risk students. Doing its part gets Wachovia regularly recognized for its widespread philanthropy, which must be one good reason why locals vote it Best Bank year after year.