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Stars fall on Mississippi banks: Bauer designates 45 ‘superior’

Nearly half of the Mississippi’s 92 banks and savings and loan institutions received BauerFinancial’s highest rating, a “superior” designation of five stars, for the fourth quarter.

In setting its rating, the Coral Gables, Fla-based BauerFinancial evaluates – among other factors — profitability/loss trend, delinquent loans levels, charge-offs and repossessed assets, the market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, the community reinvestment rating (CRA), historical data and liquidity.

Meanwhile, an additional $15 million in delinquent loans and leases in the quarter caused Cadence National Bank to slip from a single-star to zero rating on Bauer’s ratings of Mississippi’s banks. However, Cadence’s acquisition March 4 by Community Bancorp, LLC, a $1-billion Houston banking investment group, is likely to bring a return of at least some of the regional banking company’s lost stars.

Zero stars is Bauer’s lowest star rating. “These institutions are included on our Troubled & Problematic Report and are facing considerable challenges at this time,” the independent ratings firm noted in its explanation of the ratings system.

Cadence joined Heritage Banking Group of Carthage, which has a zero rating the few quarters. Heritage has been under a federal consent order to increase its Tier capital and has been looking for investors or buyers.

A pair of Mississippi banks – Dekalb’s The Commercial Bank and Mantee’s OmniBank – received two-star rankings, a designation that terms a bank “problematic.”

The Commercial Bank had a 4Q drop in assets to $140.3 million from $151.7 million the previous quarter.

However, the Dekalb bank decreased its late loans and leases to $3.2 million from the third quarter’s $4 million, according to its filings with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Its Tier One leverage capital ratio stood at 8.6 percent at the close of the last quarter.

Mantee’s OmniBank increased its assets in the quarter to $85.4 million from $76.7 million in the same quarter of 2009, the FDIC reported.

Late loans and leases were $2 million in the quarter and $3.6 million in the third quarter, FDIC reports show. OmniBank reported a Tier One capital ratio of 8.53 percent, down from 8.86 percent in the third quarter.

Bauer’s five-star rated banks earn a place in its “Recommended Report.” Here is a list of Bauer’s five-star banks in Mississippi:

>> Bank of Bolivar County: Shelby;

>> Bank of Brookhaven: Brookhaven;

>> Bank of Commerce: Greenwood;

>> Bank of Forest: Forest;

>> Bank of Franklin: Meadville;

>> Bank of Jones County: Laurel;

>> Bank of Morton: Morton;

>> Bank of Okolona: Okolona;

>> Bank of Walnut Grove: Walnut Grove;

>> Bank of Wiggins: Wiggins;

>> Bank of Yazoo City: Yazoo City;

>> BankPlus: Belzoni;

>> Century Bank: Lucedale;

>> Citizens Bank: Byhalia;

>> Citizens Bank: Columbia;

>> Citizens Bank: Philadelphia;

>> Cleveland State Bank: Cleveland;

>> Commerce National Bank: Corinth;

>> Copiah Bank: Hazlehurst;

>> Covington County Bank: Collins;

>> Farmers and Merchants Bank: Baldwyn;

>> First American National Bank: Iuka;

>> First Bank: McComb;

>> First Federal Savings and Loan: Aberdeen;

>> First National Bank of Clarksdale: Clarksdale;

>> First National Bank of Oxford: Oxford;

>> First National Bank of Picayune: Picayune;

>> First National Bank of Pontotoc: Pontotoc;

>> First State Bank: Waynesboro;

>> Great South National Bank: Meridian;

>> Hancock Bank: Gulfport;

>> Jefferson Bank: Fayette;

>> Merchants and Marine Bank: Pascagoula;

>> Mississippi National Bankers Bank: Ridgeland;

>> Newton County Bank: Newton;

>> Oxford University Bank: Oxford;

>> Peoples Bank: Ripley;

>> Peoples Bank and Trust: North Carrollton;

>> Planters Bank and Trust: Indianola;

>> PriorityOne Bank: Magee;

>> Richton Bank and Trust: Richton;

>> Riverhills Bank: Port Gibson;

>> Tallahatchie County Bank: Charleston;

>> The First — A National Banking Association, Hattiesburg;

>> United Mississippi Bank: Natchez.


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