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S&P Global Market Intelligence Ranks the Best-Performing Community Banks and Credit Unions for 2017

Michigan's Sterling Bancorp, Metro Phoenix Bank, and Fox Communities Credit Union crowned as top-performers in the three rankings

New York, NY, Mar. 26 2018 — S&P Global Market Intelligence, a leader in multi-asset class research data and insight, released its annual rankings of 2017’s 100 best-performing banks in three categories: community banks with assets between $1 billion and $10 billion, community banks with assets less than $1 billion, and top-performing credit unions.

J.P. O’Sullivan, Senior Director of Financial Institutions at S&P Global Market Intelligence said, “We see community banks and credit unions as a critical engine for the overall U.S. economy. The value that community banks and credit unions continue to provide in their communities and local economies is integral to the growth of businesses and people accessing credit. Congratulations to all of the institutions that have displayed a stellar track record of growth in an increasingly competitive market.”

-Click here to see list of the top 100 community banks between $1 billion and $10 billion in assets for 2017.

-Click here to see the list of the top 100 community banks under $1 billion in assets for 2017.

-Click here to see the 2017 ranking of the 50 top-performing U.S. credit unions.

Of the best-performing community banks with assets between $1 billion and $10 billion, Southfield, Mich.-based Sterling Bancorp Inc. earned the top spot; the thrift completed an initial public offering on Nov. 16 and its stock has since returned 21.3% as of March 9, compared to a 8.4% gain for the S&P 500.

In the category of best-performing community banks with assets under $1 billion, Arizona's Metro Phoenix Bank took the No. 1 spot after reporting a 23.39% pretax return on average tangible common equity, strong loan growth and a 5.90% net interest margin..

Aided by a pair of mergers, Appleton, Wis.-based Fox Communities Credit Union dethroned five-time champion Chubbuck, Idaho-based Idaho Central CU, to grab the No. 1 spot in S&P Global Market Intelligence's annual ranking of the 50 top-performing credit unions. Last year, 81-year-old Fox Communities merged with two different Green Bay, Wis.-based credit unions — Horizon Community CU and Harbor CU — which helped the credit union post 17.6% membership growth in 2017 and 21.4% market growth.

S&P Global Market Intelligence will recognize the top performers in person at the seventh annual Community Bankers Conference on April 11-13 at the Four Seasons Resort in Orlando, FL. 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 here.

S&P Global Market Intelligence ranked the best-performing community banks using six core financial performance metrics: pretax return on average tangible common equity, net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans, efficiency ratio, adjusted Texas ratio, net interest margin and loan growth. Each company's standard deviation from the industry mean was calculated for every ranking metric, equally weighted, then added together to calculate a performance score. To help normalize the data and mitigate the impact of outliers, caps and floors were applied for each metric.

S&P Global Market Intelligence defined community banks as institutions with up to $10 billion in assets. In order for a bank to be eligible for the rankings, at least one-third of its balance sheet must be composed of loans, less than half of which could be attributable to credit card lending. Eligible banks had to be well-capitalized according to regulatory standards and could not have a majority of revenue derived from nontraditional banking activities.

For the $1 billion-to-$10 billion ranking, S&P Global Market Intelligence ranked companies at the holding company level if consolidated data was reported; otherwise, the bank subsidiary was used. Companies that have parents with assets above $10 billion were excluded. For the under-$1 billion ranking, companies with a parent with more than $1 billion in assets were excluded. Based on these criteria, 533 companies were eligible for the $1 billion-to-$10 billion ranking, and 4, 383 banks and thrifts were eligible for the under-$1 billion ranking.

S&P Global Market Intelligence ranked the nation's credit unions using five core financial performance metrics: member growth, market growth, operating expense as a percentage of operating revenue, net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans and delinquent loans as a percentage of total loans. To be eligible for the ranking, a credit union had to report more than $500 million in total assets and a net worth ratio of at least 7.0%. Based on these criteria, 538 credit unions qualified for the ranking.

About S&P Global Market Intelligence 
At S&P Global Market Intelligence, we know that not all information is important—some of it is vital. We integrate financial and industry data, research and news into tools that help track performance, generate alpha, identify investment ideas, understand competitive and industry dynamics, perform valuations and assess credit risk. Investment professionals, government agencies, corporations and universities globally can gain the intelligence essential to making business and financial decisions with conviction.

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