3 area banks downgraded; 6 get upgraded

3 area banks downgraded; 6 get upgraded

Three area banks were downgraded and six were upgraded in the latest ratings from the BauerFinancial rating service, based on data for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

First National Bank of Sullivan was downgraded to 2-star ("problematic") from the 3-star ("adequate") rating it held at the close of the second quarter. The bank had BauerFinancial's highest rating — 5-star ("superior") — at the close of the first quarter.

Only one other bank in the area — First Federal Savings & Loan of Central Illinois, based in Shelbyville and with offices in Windsor and Charleston — has a 2-star rating. That rating was unchanged from the previous quarter.

The other two downgrades affected First National Bank of Ogden, which dropped from 4-star ("excellent") to 3-1/2-star ("good), and Illinois National Bank, which slid from 5-star to 4-star.

The Ogden bank has branches in Royal and St. Joseph, while Springfield-based Illinois National has an area branch in Fairmount.

Two banks — First National Bank of Catlin and Longview State Bank, based in Sidney — were upgraded from 3-1/2-star to 4-star in the latest ratings. The Catlin bank has a branch in Georgetown, while the Sidney bank has branches in Camargo, Newman and Villa Grove.

Meanwhile, four banks were elevated from 4-star to 5-star. They included: Gifford State Bank, First National Bank in Georgetown, the State Bank of Cerro Gordo and First Farmers Bank & Trust.

The Georgetown and Cerro Gordo banks have only one office each. The Gifford bank has branches in St. Joseph and Thomasboro, while First Farmers, based in Converse, Ind., has area offices in Paris and Oakland.

The other 68 banks in East Central Illinois retained the ratings they had at the close of the June 30 quarter.

More than half of the area banks received BauerFinancial's highest rating of 5-star. No area banks received the lowest and second-lowest ratings — zero-stars and 1-star.

First National Bank of Sullivan, in a Sept. 30 call report filed with federal regulators, listed a net loss of $878,000 for the first nine months of 2013. It listed an $806,000 charge-off of commercial and industrial loans.

As of Sept. 30, the Sullivan bank had total assets of $67.1 million.

A call was placed to bank President Paul Hrvol seeking comment on his bank's downgrade, but the call was not immediately returned.

BauerFinancial bases its ratings on capital ratios, profitability trends, levels of delinquent loans, charge-offs and repossessed assets, liquidity, historical data and supervisory ratings by regulatory agencies.

BauerFinancial is one of several bank-rating services. It distinguishes itself from others by making its ratings accessible to the public.

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