Two State Banks Rank on Performance List

Two Oklahoma bank holding companies ranked high on a list of the nation’s top performing banks compiled by Bank Director magazine.
Oklahoma City-based BancFirst Corp. ranked 11, while Tulsa-based BOK Financial Corp. ranked 86 on the list.
Other regional banks with a Tulsa presence included Missouri based-Commerce Bancshares (No. 7), UMB Financial Corp. (No. 15) and Texas-based International Bancshares Corp. (No. 18). National banks with a Tulsa presence included JPMorgan Chase & Co. (No. 104) and Bank of America Corp. (No. 121).
A full listing of Bank Director magazine’s Bank Performance Scorecard of Top 150 Banks and Thrifts in the United States can be found at www.bankdirector.com.
“There is not much flash and glitz among this year’s crop of top-performing U.S. banks and thrifts. But given all that’s occurred in the last six months, maybe slow and steady really is the name of the game,” The magazine said in introducing the list.
“In fact, over a recent 12-month period, as the credit and financial markets came unhinged and some of the country’s best-known depository financial institutions teetered on the brink of collapse, ‘steady at the helm’ was the governing mantra for the highest-ranked banks,” Bank Director’s story said.
The five financial institutions atop this year’s scorecard, which ranks the country’s largest 150 banks and thrifts with assets of more than $3 billion, are Glacier Bancorp Inc., Kalispell, Mont.; First Financial Bankshares, Abilene, Texas; SVB Financial Group, Santa Clara, Calif.; Bank of Hawaii Corp., Honolulu, Hawaii, and Westamerica Bancorp., San Rafeal, Calif.
“More so than in the past, geography appears to matter this year. To place in the forefront, it helped to be located west of the Mississippi, mostly in high-growth areas, but also in regions rich in natural resources where the economy was buoyed by swelling commodity prices,” the magazine said. “Size also mattered: Interestingly, none of the best banks or thrifts was a megabank. The top five—and seven of the top 10— are mid-sized financial institutions ranging in asset size from $3 billion to $11 billion.”
The rankings are based on measurement criteria and analysis compiled by Sandler O’Neill & Partners L.P., a New York-based investment banking firm that specializes in the financial services industry. The first two measurement criteria on the Scorecard – return on average assets (ROAA) and return on average equity (ROAE) – are based on publicly available data calculations for the third and fourth quarters of 2007 and the first two quarters of 2008. Additional measurement is based on analysis of two capital adequacy metrics. Capital adequacy includes both the Tier 1 capital ratio and the leverage capital ratio at the close of second quarter 2008. Finally, two metrics measure asset quality at the financial institutions. The first is the ratio of nonperforming assets (NPAs) to total loans and “other real estate owned,” or OREO. The second is percentage of loan-loss reserves to total loans.
Community Bank Deposits, Customers Grow, Survey Says
A survey by the Independent Community Bankers of America and Aite Group LLC, – “The Impact of the Financial Crisis on U.S. Community Banks: New Opportunities in Difficult Times” – finds most community banks faring well during the economic crisis.
The report, which is based on information gathered through a February 2009 survey of 743 community bank respondents, examines the impact of the current financial crisis on community banks.
“While the financial crisis has affected banks of all sizes and in all regions, community banks continue to lend and are typically faring much better than the larger banks because they didn’t participate in the high-risk activities that led to problems we are experiencing,” said ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine. “This survey clearly shows that the vast majority of community banks are well-positioned to survive the economic downturn and, perhaps, even reclaim some of the customers from larger banks.”
Survey highlights include:
? Of the community banks surveyed, 55 percent have seen an increase in deposits as a result of new customer acquisition. Only 17 percent have had customers withdraw deposits from their institutions.
? Community banks are acquiring new customers at a faster rate than in the past. Of the community banks surveyed, 57 percent saw an increase in new retail customers during the third and fourth quarters of 2008 compared to the first half of the year, while 47 percent saw an increase in new business customers.
? Community banks are still lending, and 40 percent have seen an increase in loan origination volume over the last year. Only 11 percent believe the crisis has “significantly” curtailed their institution’s ability to lend. Economic compression and mixed messages from the U.S. government are key factors driving down loan activity.
? Despite most community banks’ lack of participation in subprime lending, the implications of larger bank activities have begun to trickle down. Of community banks surveyed, 73 percent have seen an increase in their traditionally low loan delinquencies and charge-offs since the start of the crisis. The significant growth in quarterly net charge-offs for the industry is driven primarily by the largest banks.
“By striving to serve their customer’s best interests without straying from traditional practices, most community banks have been able to grow deposits, acquire new customers, better position themselves in the eyes of customers and maintain stable financial statements,” said Christine Barry, research director with Aite Group and author of this report. “Some community banks feel they are seeing more opportunities today than they have in the past several decades. But in order to remain competitive with larger banks, community banks must continue to strengthen their operations and better leverage technology throughout the crisis.”
Tax Resources Available at State’s Official Web Site
With the tax season deadline fast approaching, the Oklahoma Tax Commission and OK.gov remind Oklahomans that help is available online at www.OK.gov, Oklahoma’s official Web site.
“Oklahomans have many options available to them on our Web site when it comes to filing their income tax returns,” said Paula Ross, Tax Commission spokesperson.
The Oklahoma Tax Commission Web site provides information, answers to frequently asked questions, and several options, including Free File for those who qualify, on e-filing of income tax returns.
“We encourage electronic filing. It enables faster refunds and more accurate returns,” continued Ross. “With electronic filing, Oklahomans can receive their refund within seven to 10 days, less with direct deposit, as opposed to paper filing, which can take eight to 10 weeks of processing time.”
The online resource site, available at http://www.ok.gov/about/tax_resource.html, comprises a number of resources from the Oklahoma Tax Commission and Internal Revenue Service to assist Oklahomans with filing their 2008 Income Tax Return before the April 15 deadline. The site has direct links to Oklahoma’s free e-file options, downloadable forms, Oklahoma accountant directory, free income tax assistance information, and other valuable contact information and resources.
SpiritBank Introduces Web Site
SpiritBank has launched a redesigned Web site at www.SpiritBank.com. The new site will continue to focus on banking information but will also offer a number of added features and more functionality:
? Easy site navigation: Get anywhere on the site faster with new menu options.
? All-new search feature: For visitors who know exactly what they are looking for, they can find it with the new powerful search box.
? Fewer clicks: Only three clicks to get anywhere on the site.
? Up-to-date loan rates and specials.
The new site includes more details and customer interaction. Visitors to the site can watch videos of customers who tell their unique experiences with the bank, use free financial calculators, read articles focused on personal finance and more. Small business viewers will find a full resource center with tools such as business templates, strategic partner information and a full listing of upcoming events that are open to the public. BOSC Expands In Texas
BOSC has added a public finance banking group to compliment its existing brokerage service offerings in place in the Texas market.
In Texas, and its other markets, BOSC already offers brokerage solutions such as institutional investments, financial risk management, derivatives and retail investment centers.
Senior Executive Vice President Steve Bradshaw of BOSC’s parent Tulsa-based BOK Financial Corp. said adding the public finance service is consistent with the organization’s growth strategy.
“BOSC has worked diligently to expand its Texas client base for brokerage services and has delivered consistent, positive results,” Bradshaw said. “Adding this public finance group is a key element of our strategy to expand market share and provide exceptional service to our clients with full-service banking.”
The Public Finance Division of BOSC has a history of providing public finance in other markets including Oklahoma over its 89-plus year history. BOSC also provides services in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah.
Scott Grauer, executive vice president of BOK Financial’s Wealth Management Division, said BOSC is focused on hiring the industry’s best talent to lead each of the markets it serves.
“We are very pleased to offer this group’s expertise to the Texas market,” Grauer said. “They have 82 combined years of experience working in Texas.”
Managing Director William J. Gumbert has been appointed as director of Texas Public Finance. He has more than 22 years of experience within the municipal finance industry. Serving as a financial advisor and investment banker, Gumbert has completed more than $20 billion of debt financings in the national capital markets, including the use of fixed rate and variable rate debt obligations.



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