SNL Financial Announces Top 100 Best Performing Community Banks

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Choice Financial Holdings tops SNL's top-performing community banks between $500M and $5B in assets

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Top 100 best-performing community banks of 2013

Announced today at the 3rd Annual Community Bankers Conference in Dallas, Texas, SNL Financial released its annual ranking of 2013’s top 100 best performing banks in two categories: community banks with assets between $500 million and $5 billion and community banks with assets less than $500 million. Of the companies with assets between $500M and $5B, Grafton, ND-based Choice Financial Holdings Inc. earned the top place. Coming in as first and second runners-up, respectively, were Saint Cloud, MN-based Stearns Financial Services Inc. and Corsicana, TX-based Community National Bank & Trust of Texas, a unit of Community Bank Holdings of Texas Inc. Stearns Financial Services climbed from number 4 in the 2012 ranking.

For banks with under $500 million in assets, the state of Oklahoma boasted 10 of the nation's top 100 performing community banks, including the No. 1 and No. 2 place finishers, Farmers Exchange Bank and Bank 7, respectively. Both banks have benefitted from the booming Oklahoma economy, which some experts believe fared much better during the downturn compared to most states. California-based Capital Bank, rose significantly in the under $500M category ranking this year, reaching the third place spot after falling short of the top 100 the previous three years. The top 10 in the category of banks with assets under $500 million was not without familiar faces though, with Amerasia Bank and Hershey State Bank returning to the top 10 again this year, after placing fifth and seventh, respectively, last year.

SNL ranked the best-performing community banks using six core financial performance metrics that focus on profitability, asset quality and growth for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, 2013. The metrics used were: return on average tangible assets before tax, net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans, adjusted Texas ratio, efficiency ratio, net interest margin and loan growth. SNL measured each company's standard deviation from the mean of each metric. The standard deviations, which are equally weighted, were added together to calculate a performance score for each company.

Methodology: For the ranking of banks with between $500M and $5B, SNL ranked companies at the bank holding company level if consolidated data was reported; otherwise, commercial bank subsidiary was used. Thrifts were excluded, and companies that have parents with assets above $5 billion were also excluded. Based on these criteria, 784 companies were eligible for the top 100 ranking of banks with assets between $500 million and $5 billion, and 4,057 were eligible for the category of banks with assets of $500 million and less.

Click here to see the top 100 community banks between $500 million and $5 billion in assets for 2013.

Click here to read the story on SNL's 2012 ranking of the top community banks between $500 million and $5 billion, and click here to see the full 2012 list.

To see the story on the top 100 community banks with less than $500 million in assets for 2013, click here.

Click here to read the story on SNL's 2012 ranking of the top community banks under $500 million, and click here to see that full 2012 list.

Recognition: SNL recognized the top performers in person at the 3rd annual SNL Community Bankers Conference at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. The conference features community bankers and advisors from across the country sharing operational and financial strategies they've found useful in driving profitability. Details can be found at the SNL Knowledge Center’s website.

About SNL Financial
SNL Financial is a leading provider of financial information on more than 6,500 public companies and 50,000 private companies in the business sectors critical to the global economy: Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Real Estate, Energy, Metals & Mining, and Media & Communications. The SNL information service integrates breaking news, comprehensive data and expert analysis into an electronic database available online and updated around the clock.

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Christina Twomey
SNL Financial
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