Banks explained

September 16, 1990

Here is a column-by-column look at the table on Maryland's banks:

RATINGS: IDC Financial Publishing Inc. (P.O. Box 915, Hartland, Wis. 53029) based its 1990 first-quarter ratings on the financial reports filed for the three-month period by 12,160 banks with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

IDC calculates 38 financial ratios from the reports, compares those values for the various banks and produces a single rating for each banking institution. The chart also shows ratings for the previous three quarters.

The ratings for the first quarter of this year fall into five categories: Superior -- a score of between 200 and 300 -- 2,554 banks; Excellent, between 165 and 199 -- 3,051; Average, between 125 and 164 -- 3,200; Below Average, between 75 and 124 -- 1,800; Lowest Ratios, between 2 and 74 -- 990; and, a Rank of One -- 565.

TOTAL ASSETS (Column 1): Presents total assets of bank or bank holding company in millions of dollars. A bank with $1 billion in assets, for example, would have the entry 1,000.

EQUITY CAPITAL AS % OF ASSETS (Column 2): A bank's equity capital, a critical cushion against future losses, expressed as a percent of assets. Equity capital includes the interest held in subsidiaries and preferred stock. This ratio is a key measure of a bank's financial reserves.

LOAN LOSS RESERVE AS % OF EQUITY (Column 3): The loan loss reserve is a bank's pool of money specifically earmarked to cover future losses from bad loans and charge-offs. Banks typically make quarterly additions to this fund. The size of these additions reflect changes in the quality of a bank's outstanding loans. When compared with columns 4 and 5, it measures the ability of the bank to absorb future loan losses without incurring a reduction in capital.

LOANS PAST DUE AS % OF EQUITY (Column 4): Loans still accruing but 90 days or more past due expressed as a percent of equity capital is one important measure of a bank's loan risk. Together with Column 5, it reflects the overall level of problem assets, including loans, that a bank has in its portfolio. An excess of these types of non-earning assets over a bank's loan loss reserve indicates capital risk, especially if the bank's charge-off rate is significant.

NON-PERFORMING ASSETS AS % OF EQUITY (Column 5): Non-accrual loans, restructured debt and repossessed assets expressed as a percent of equity capital measures the relative size of the bank's loans that are no longer accruing but have not been charged off. Together with Column 4, it reflects the overall level of substandard loans a bank has in its portfolio and can help project possible future losses.

NET INCOME AS % OF ASSETS (Column 6): Net income for the past 12 months, as reported, is divided by last year's average assets, expressed as a percentage. This historically has been used as a common measure of a bank's earnings performance relative to its size.

STOCKHOLDER RETURN ON EQUITY (Column 7): Net income for the past 12 months, as reported, is divided by average total equity capital. A bank's earnings compared with the level of stockholders' investment is also a traditional measure of a bank's performance relative to its size.

NON-INTEREST EXPENSE AS % OF EARNINGS ASSETS FOR PAST YEAR (Column 8): Non-interest or operating expense measures a bank's operating efficiency in relation to the size of its base of earnings assets, including loans and investments. It does not include non-interest income earned from fees generated by services and other operations. Non-interest expense includes salaries and employee benefits, expenses for fixed assets and other overhead costs.

INTERNAL GROWTH RATE OF EQUITY CAPITAL FOR PAST YEAR (Column 9): The internal growth of equity capital is the reinvestment rate of retained earnings after dividends plus the change in the loan loss reserve expressed as a percent of the equity capital and loan loss reserve held a year earlier.

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