The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 18, 2013

Local financial institutions get top marks from service

Star Beacon

— Area financial institutions earned stellar reviews in the latest report from an independent bank research firm.

BauerFinancial Inc. gave five- and four-star ratings to the vast majority of banks and credit unions that do business in the Ashtabula County area, according to a report recently released. The ratings, current as of Monday, are based on March 31 financial data, according to the company’s website.

Here are the results for many local institutions (five- and four-star winners are recommended by BauerFinancial):

•Five Star winners (superior)— Andover Bank; Cortland Savings and Banking Co.; Huntington National Bank; KeyBank; Community First Credit Union: Lakeview Federal Credit Union; Northwest Savings Bank

• Four-Star winners (excellent) — Conneaut Savings Bank; Middlefield Banking Co.; Port Conneaut Federal Credit Union; US Bank; Sherchem Federal Credit Union; FirstMerit Bank

• Three-and-a-half Star winner (good) — JP Morgan Chase Bank

• Three-Star winner (adequate) — Park View Federal Savings Bank

• Two-Star winner (problematic) — Geauga Savings Bank

Cardinal Community Credit Union was not rated by BauerFinancial. The company said companies are not rated if they have less than $1.5 million in assets or are not insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

In its website, BauerFinancial said it begins analysis with raw numbers all financial institutions are obliged to provide the government each quarter. In addition to the capital ratio, other criteria used to determine star ratings include profitability/loss trend, evaluating the level of delinquent loans, charge-offs and repossessed assets, market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, community reinvestment rating (CRA), historical data and liquidity, according to the BauerFinancial website.