Only one area bank gets an 'A' in Weiss Ratings

Only one area bank gets an 'A' in Weiss Ratings

Only one bank in East Central Illinois got an "A" rating from Weiss Ratings, a Florida-based firm that rates banks and insurance companies.

That bank was First Trust & Savings Bank of Watseka.

It was among five banks in Illinois that earned an A from Weiss. Only one bank in Illinois received a higher grade. That was Germantown Trust and Savings in Breese, which received an A+.

Weiss Ratings uses a different – and apparently stricter – system for evaluating banks than BauerFinancial does.

While BauerFinancial gave its top rating (5 stars) to 39 banks in East Central Illinois, only one bank in the area got an A from Weiss. Four others got an A-.

Both services base ratings on data from quarterly bank reports filed with federal regulators, but BauerFinancial uses stars for its ratings, while Weiss uses letter grades.

Weiss says its ratings take into consideration the bank's capitalization, asset quality, profitability, liquidity and stability.

For the most part, Weiss Ratings and BauerFinancial agreed on some of the lowest-rated banks in the area. Based on June 30 data, BauerFinancial gave CIBM Bank (Central Illinois Bank) and Centrue Bank "2-star" or "problematic" ratings.

Both of those banks got D- grades from Weiss Ratings. Joining them in that category were Regions Bank, State Farm Bank and Citizens National Bank of Paris. BauerFinancial gave those three banks "3-star" or "adequate" ratings.

BauerFinancial also gave "3-star" ratings to six other banks. Those banks were: Bank of America, Dewey Bank, Fisher National Bank and MainSource Bank, all of which received D grades from Weiss; plus Busey Bank and Federated Bank of Onarga, each of which got D+'s from Weiss.

Some banks – particularly tiny banks – got drastically different ratings from the two firms.

For instance, Weiss gave a very weak grade – an E- – to Milford Building & Loan. That same bank got a "4-star" ("excellent") rating from BauerFinancial.

Craig Luke, managing officer at Milford Building & Loan, said Monday he was surprised by the Weiss rating. He said he knew only of the BauerFinancial rating. He said the bank, which has been in business 128 years, has zero foreclosures.

Of the 39 banks that got 5-star ratings from BauerFinancial, one got an "A" from Weiss, four got A-'s; five got B+'s; nine got B's; 11 got B-'s; five got C+'s; two got C's, and two got C-'s.

The two getting C-'s were Sidell State Bank and the Sumner National Bank in Sheldon.

"A" ratings are "excellent"; "B" ratings are "good"; "C" ratings are "fair"; "D" ratings are "weak" and "E" ratings are "very weak."

– A: First Trust and Savings Bank, Watseka.

– A-: Prairie State Bank & Trust; Soy Capital Bank & Trust, Decatur; Vermilion Valley Bank, Piper City; Woodforest National Bank.

– B+: Country Trust Bank, Bloomington; First National Bank of Nokomis; Scott State Bank, Bethany; State Bank of Arthur; State Bank of Lincoln; First Financial Bank, Terre Haute, Ind.

– B: Bank of Rantoul; Buckley State Bank; Community Bank of Hoopeston; Farmer City State Bank; Farmers-Merchants National Bank, Paxton; First Federal Savings & Loan, Mattoon; First Federal Savings Bank of Champaign-Urbana; First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust; The First National Bank, Mattoon; First National Bank of Arcola; First Neighbor Bank, Toledo; Philo Exchange Bank.

– B-: Bank of Gibson City; Commerce Bank, N.A.; DeWitt Savings Bank, Clinton; Farmers State Bank, Danforth; First National Bank of Ivesdale; First National Bank in Georgetown; First National Bank of Chrisman; First National Bank of Ogden; First National Bank in Paxton; First National Bank & Trust, Clinton; First Savings Bank, Danville; Heartland Bank and Trust, Bloomington; Iroquois Farmers State Bank; Kenney Bank & Trust; Longview State Bank, Sidney; State Bank of Bement; State Bank of Cerro Gordo.

– C+: BankChampaign; Cissna Park State Bank; First State Bank, Monticello; Freestar Bank; Gifford State Bank; Hickory Point Bank & Trust; Iroquois Federal Savings & Loan; Midland States Bank, Effingham; State Bank of Chrisman; Villa Grove State Bank.

– C: First Bank & Trust Savings Bank, Paris; Flanagan State Bank; Old National Bank; Tuscola National Bank.

– C-: Edgar County Bank & Trust; First National Bank of Sullivan; Hardware State Bank, Lovington; Marine Bank, Springfield; Sidell State Bank; Sumner National Bank, Sheldon.

– D+: Busey Bank; Federated Bank, Onarga; First Midwest Bank; Illinois National Bank, Springfield; PNC Bank; United Community Bank, Oakwood.

– D: Bank of America; Citizens State Bank, Milford; Dewey Bank; First National Bank of Catlin; Fisher National Bank; MainSource Bank; JP MorganChase Bank.

– D-: CIBM Bank; Centrue Bank; Citizens National Bank, Paris; Regions Bank; State Farm Bank.

– E-: Milford Building & Loan.

– F: Arcola Homestead (FDIC subsequently intervened).

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