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Springfield, MO

Three Missouri banks among nation's best

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The turmoil in the national banking market led Forbes Magazine to bring in experts to analyze the health of the nation's largest banks and thrifts - and Missouri institutions more than held their own in the list.

For its Dec. 30 list of "America's Best and Worst Banks," Forbes brought in Charlottesville, Va.-based market research firm SNL Financial to analyze the country's 100 largest financial institutions, and three Missouri banks finished among the top eight.

SNL Financial considered eight financial measures in its rankings: return on average equity, net interest margin, non-performing loans as a percentage of loans, non-performing assets as percentage of assets, reserves as a percentage of NPLs, two capital ratios (Tier 1 and risk-based), and leverage ratio. The banks were ranked on each of the criteria, with those rankings added together to create the final list.

Kansas City-based UMB Financial, which has three branches in Springfield and 10 in southwest Missouri, was No. 2 on the list. The bank, with assets of $10.2 billion, recorded the fourth-lowest non-performing loan ratio - 0.7 percent - among the 100 on the list, according to Forbes' Web site.

No. 3 on the list is Commerce Bancshares, also based in Kansas City. "There must be something in the water in Kansas City, as the city is home to two of the three top banks in our ranking," Forbes said in the story. Commerce, with assets of $18 billion, is the largest bank among the Top 10 and has 17 area branches.

Checking in at No. 8 is Jefferson City-based Central Bancompany. The holding company for 12 banks, including Empire Bank and Ozark Mountain Bank in southwest Missouri, has total assets of $9 billion and returned 10.5 percent on its average equity in the past 12 months, 10th best on the list.

Topping the list was Bank of Hawaii, while the worst bank of the bunch was Flagstar Bancorp, based in Troy, Mich.[[In-content Ad]]

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