For Immediate Release: SNL Financial Announces Top 100 Best Performing Community Banks for 2014

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State Bank of Texas takes the top spot in SNL's ranking of community banks between $500 million and $5 billion in assets

Announced today, SNL Financial released its annual ranking of 2014’s top 100 best performing banks in two categories: community banks with assets between $500M and $5B and community banks with assets less than $500M. Of the companies with assets between $500M and $5 B, Dallas-based State Bank of Texas earned the top place. This is the first time the bank has made it to SNL's top 100 list. Coming in as first and second runners-up, respectively, were Biscayne Bank of Coconut Grove, Florida and St. Martin Bank and Trust Company, of Saint Martinville, Louisiana.

For this ranking, SNL defined community banks as institutions with between $500 million and $5 billion in assets and 60 or fewer offices. In addition, at least one-third of the bank's balance sheets must be composed of loans and less than half of those loans can be attributable to credit card lending. Moreover, the bank had to be well-capitalized according to regulatory standards and could not have a majority of revenue derived from nontraditional banking activities.

SNL ranked companies at the bank holding company level if consolidated data was reported; otherwise, the commercial bank subsidiary was used. Thrifts and companies that have parents with assets above $5 billion were excluded. Based on these criteria, 805 companies were eligible for the $500 million to $5 billion ranking.

In the category of best-performing community banks with assets under $500 million, Cherokee, Okla.-based Farmers Exchange Bank took the top spot for the second year in a row. Grand Ridge, Ill.-based Grand Ridge National Bank jumped to second place from No. 32 in 2013 after posting strong improvements in return on tangible assets, net interest margin and loan growth. Bank 7 of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma ranked in third place.

For this ranking, SNL looked at commercial banks with less than $500 million in assets at year-end 2014, 60 or fewer offices, and loan portfolios accounting for more than one-third of total assets. Additionally, the bank's loan portfolio had to consist of less than 50% credit card loans and no more than half of the bank's revenue could be from nontraditional banking activities. Banks also had to be well-capitalized according to 2014 regulatory standards. Companies with a parent with more than $500 million in assets were generally excluded as well. Based on the above criteria, 3,921 banks were eligible for the ranking.

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, 2014. The metrics used include 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 for loans including those held for sale. SNL measured each company's standard deviation from the mean of each metric. The standard deviations were equally weighted then added together to calculate a performance score for each company. Furthermore, the scores were capped to help normalize the data.

Click here to see list of the top 100 community banks between $500 million and $5 billion in assets for 2014 and here for the full report.

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

Click here to see the list of the top 100 community banks under $500 million for 2014 and here for the full report.

Click here for the 2013 ranking of the top 100 community banks under $500 million.

Recognition: SNL will recognize the top performers in person at the fourth annual SNL Community Bankers Conference, April 15-16th, at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida. The conference features community bankers and advisors from across the country sharing operational and financial strategies they've found useful in driving profitability. Details and registration 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. For more information, visit http://www.snl.com.

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Christina Twomey
SNL Financial
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