Bank Rating and Analysis Services

The FDIC does not release its ratings on the safety and soundness of banks and thrifts to the public. There are private companies, however, that rate banks and thrift institutions. The FDIC Library staff has compiled the following list of bank ranking and analytical services as a resource guide for researchers. The list is divided into two major categories: bank ranking services and credit rating/analytical services. Database services, bank securities ratings, and bank rankings by phone are listed separately.

This list should not be construed as an endorsement or confirmation by the FDIC of information provided by these companies.


Bank Ranking Services

The bank ranking services generally cover all financial institutions in a given category, such as banks, bank holding companies, or savings and loans. They assign each institution a letter grade or numerical ranking which is meant to indicate the safety or soundness of the institution. The rankings are determined by entering financial statistics about each bank into a set formula. Formulas vary from service to service, resulting in different, but usually similar, ratings. Most of the formulas use data on some of the five CAMEL factors - capital, assets, management, earnings, and liquidity - to evaluate each bank. Subjective criteria are not considered. Bank ranking publications range in price from approximately $100 to $800 per year.

IDC Financial Publishing P.O. Box 140, 700 Walnut Ridge Dr., Suite 201, Hartland, WI, 53029. Phone: (414) 367-7231 or (800) 525-5457

PRODUCT: Bank Financial Quarterly
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: All FDIC-insured commercial banks and U.S. bank holding companies
RATING METHOD: Rates institutions on a scale of 300 (best) to 1, based on financial statistics, CAMEL factors, and ratios.
OTHER CONTENTS: One line summary of financial statistics and ratios for each institution; peer group distributions; special lists including banks and bank holding companies (BHCs) with high loan delinquency by type, largest lower ranked BHCs, largest higher ranked BHCs, banks and BHCs with large investment portfolios, and banks and BHCs with large non-interest income.

PRODUCT: S&L - Savings Bank Financial Quarterly
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: Thrifts reporting to the OTS and savings banks reporting to the FDIC
RATING METHOD: See above
OTHER CONTENTS: One line summary of financial statistics and ratios for each institution; peer group distributions; state totals; special lists of institutions with delinquent loans and nonperforming assets.

PRODUCT: Credit Union Financial Profiles
FREQUENCY: Updated twice each year. Profiles for institutions with over $50 million in assets updated quarterly.
INSTITUTIONS RATED: All NCUA-reporting credit unions
RATING METHOD: See above
OTHER CONTENTS: Peer group comparisons

PRODUCT: Investment Performance Digest
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings banks, and bank holding companies
RATING METHOD: Rates institutions on a scale of 300 (best) to 1. Portfolios are evaluated as to risk and reward characteristics of total return.
OTHER CONTENTS: Analysis of bank portfolio performance.

PRODUCT: Loan Performance Digest
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings banks, and bank holding companies
RATING METHOD: Rates institutions on a scale of 300 (best) to 1. Evaluates bank loan portfolio performance.
OTHER CONTENTS: Comparison of loan yields to cost of funding, interest-bearing liabilities, and 90-day T-bill returns; analysis of total loan activity; breakdowns by loan type.

LACE Financial Corp. 118 North Court Street, Frederick, MD, 21701.
Phone: (301) 662-1011 Website: www.lacefincl.com

PRODUCT: Quarterly Financial Institutions Rating Service
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: Commercial and state-chartered savings banks, savings and loans, credit unions, and the 100 largest bank holding companies in the U.S.
RATING METHOD: Institutions are assigned ratings from A+ (best) to E, based on ratios representing liquidity, asset quality, capital, and earnings.
OTHER CONTENTS: Summary of financial statistics, ratios, and comparisons to peer group for each institution; ratings for the previous four quarters plus the latest three year-end ratings are listed for each institution.

PRODUCT: Bank Holding Companies Ratings Service
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: All multi-bank holding companies, as well as all one-bank holding companies with total assets greater than $150 million (approximately 1,700 institutions).
RATING METHOD: See above
OTHER CONTENTS: Financial data and ratios on each holding company. Includes comments and analyses on the earnings releases of the larger bank holding companies.

PRODUCT: Savings and Loan Ratings Service
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: All federally-insured savings and loans regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision
RATING METHOD: See above
OTHER CONTENTS: Two pages of financial data and ratios on each thrift.

Sheshunoff Information Services P.O. Box 13203, Capitol Station, Austin, TX, 78711-3203. Phone: (800) 505-8333

PRODUCT: The Bank Quarterly, Ratings and Analysis
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS Rated: All FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings banks
RATING METHOD: Rates banks on a scale of 99 (best) to 0. Ratings are based on financial statistics and comparisons to peer institutions.
OTHER CONTENTS: Summary for each bank showing loan exposure in construction, commercial real estate, consumer, and agricultural loans; financial ratios; percentile rankings on key ratios comparing each bank to peer institutions; national and state averages; state and regional trends and maps; lists of largest banks by category.

PRODUCT: The S&L Quarterly, Ratings and Analysis
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: All federally-insured S&Ls
RATING METHOD: Rates S&Ls on a scale of 99 (best) to 0, based on financial statistics and comparisons to peer institutions.
OTHER CONTENTS: Summary for each bank showing loan exposure in home mortgage, mortgage pool securities, 5+ family dwellings, and commercial real estate loans; percentile rankings on key ratios comparing each S&L to peer institutions; national and state averages; lists of largest S&Ls by category.

SNL Securities P.O. Box 2124, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Phone: (804) 977-1600

PRODUCT: SNL Quarterly Bank Digest
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: Publicly traded banks and all U.S. banking companies
RATING METHOD: Banks are ranked on a scale from A+ (best) to D.
OTHER CONTENTS: Two-page company reports provide market ratios, investor ownership, corporate profiles, earnings estimates, book value and earning per share histories, loan composition, and four years/five quarters of financial data.

PRODUCT: SNL Quarterly Thrift Digest
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: 400 publicly traded thrifts. Summary data only is provided for S&Ls and savings banks.
RATING METHOD: See above
OTHER CONTENTS: See above

Thomson BankWatch 61 Broadway, Third Floor, NY, NY, 10016.
Phone: (212) 845-0300 Website: www.bankwatch.com

PRODUCT: United States Scoring Model
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: 12,000 U.S. banks and thrifts
RATING METHOD: Computer-generated scores based on CAMEL methodology ranging from 1 (high) to 5.


Bank Rankings by Phone

Bauer Group P.O. Drawer 145510, Coral Gables, FL 33114-5510.
Phone: (800) 388-6686

PRODUCT: Ratings by phone (provided at no charge, compliments of sponsor banks)
INSTITUTIONS RATED: All federally-insured banks, savings and loans, and credit unions
RATING METHOD: Ratings consist of five (best) to zero stars
OTHER PRODUCTS: Ratings by phone also include a follow-up report. Other lists available are:

  1. Statewide Bank and Thrift Report ($50) Financial highlights and ratings for all banks and S&Ls operating in one state.
  2. Statewide Credit Union Reports ($50) Financial highlights and ratings for all credit unions operating in one state.
  3. Troubled and Problematic Bank and Thrift List ($75) List of U.S. banks and thrifts that Bauer classifies as "troubled." Troubled institutions are either "undercapitalized," "significantly undercapitalized," "critically undercapitalized," or "problematic" (experiencing operating problems).
  4. Undercapitalized Credit Union List ($50) List of federally-insured credit unions in the U.S. with a Bauer's adjusted capital ratio of less than 3%.
  5. Recommended Bank and Thrift List ($40) For each of 6 U.S. regions, lists banks and thrifts operating well above regulatory capital guidelines and meeting other criteria.

Veribanc P.O. Box 461, 27 Water St., Wakefield, MA 01880.
Phone: (800) 442-2657

PRODUCT: Instant Ratings by phone ($10 for the first rating and $5 for each additional rating)
INSTITUTIONS RATED: All U.S. banks, savings banks, savings and loans, and credit unions RATING METHOD: Ratings consist or a blue (highest), green, yellow, or red code and three (high) to zero stars
OTHER PRODUCTS: Ratings by phone also include written confirmation. Ratings by phone with in-depth follow up are available for $57.50. Other lists available are:

  1. Short Form Report ($25-$40) Overview of an institution or bank holding company designed for people without a financial background.
  2. Ribbon Bank Report ($35) Highest rated banks in a selected region.
  3. Bank Research Report or S&L Research Report ($45) In-depth report designed for investors.
  4. Holding Company Research Report ($95) In-depth report which contains a breakout of data and ratings for each of the commercial bank members of a bank holding company.
  5. Bank and Thrift State Ratings Report ($110) Key financial measures and ratings for all banks and S&Ls in a state.
  6. Watchlist Report ($110) Tracks any 50 institutions selected.


Credit Rating/Analytical Services

Unlike the ranking services, the companies listed in this section generally cover a limited number of large institutions. Researchers gather and analyze detailed information on the condition of each bank and release a rating of the bank's credit risk. Different ratings may be released for long-term and short-term credit. Recent events, changes in management, the general economic climate, and other factors are considered by analysts when formulating a credit rating. Subscriptions to credit rating services range from approximately $3,000 to $13,000 per year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has designated certain rating agencies as "nationally recognized statistical rating organizations" (NRSROs). Some federal regulations assign more favorable treatment to securities that are highly rated by NRSROs than to those that are unrated or which fall into a lower rating category. As of August, 1992, the NRSROs were: 1) Duff and Phelps Inc. 2) Fitch Investors Service, Inc. 3) IBCA 4) Moody's Investors Service, Inc. 5) Standard & Poor's Corporation 6) Thomson BankWatch, Inc.

Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Service 55 East Monroe St., Chicago, IL, 60603. Phone: (312) 368-3100

PRODUCT: Duff & Phelps Financial Service
FREQUENCY: Varies
INSTITUTIONS RATED: Selected U.S. bank holding companies and banks
RATINGS METHOD: Ratings are assigned by financial analysts to senior debt, subordinate debt, short-term debt, and preferred stock.

Fitch Investors Service L.P. One State Street Plaza, NY, NY, 10004.
Phone: (212) 908-0500

PRODUCT: Fitch Research
FREQUENCY: Varies
INSTITUTIONS RATED: About 100 banks and bank holding companies, in addition to countries, insurance companies, finance companies, and other financial institutions. Ratings consist of separate ratings for credit trend, senior debt, short term debt, commercial paper, preferred stock, and CDS. A credit trend indicator denotes if an institution's financial fundamentals are improving, declining, or stable.
RATING METHOD: Ratings are assigned by financial analysts. Long-term investment grade ratings range from AAA (best) to BBB-. Long-term speculative ratings range from BB+ (best) to D. Short-term ratings range from F-1+ (best) to D (default).
OTHER CONTENTS: Research reports are three to eight pages long and contain a written summary and evaluation, ratings, and five years of financial highlights and asset quality data. Quarterly Finance Company Stats report contains individual company statistical updates.

IBCA 280 Park Ave., NY, NY, 10017. Phone: (212) 687-1507

PRODUCT: International Bank Ratings and Research
FREQUENCY: Varies
INSTITUTIONS RATED: Approximately 500 financial institutions and 60 sovereigns worldwide
RATING METHOD: Ratings are assigned by financial analysts. Individual banks are rated on a scale from A (best) to E; short term ratings range from A1+ (best) to D; and long-term ratings range from AAA (best) to C. Legal ratings, which evaluate the likelihood of a bank's country providing financial support if it is necessary, range from 1 (best) to 5. Other contents: Overview of ratings and current opinions of each bank, detailed individual reports on financial institutions, rating updates and changes, banking system and prudential regulations documents which profile the banking systems of foreign countries.

PRODUCT: U.S. Bank Service
FREQUENCY: Varies
INSTITUTIONS RATED: Approximately 40 bank holding companies along with their bank subsidiaries, and eight investment banks
RATING METHOD: See above
OTHER CONTENTS: Bank holding company reports contain about eight pages of text, plus financial statistics and peer group comparisons, and financial statistics for bank subsidiaries.

LACE Financial Corp. 118 North Court Street, Frederick, MD, 21701.
Phone: (301) 662-1011 Website: www.lacefincl.com

PRODUCT: US Corporate Service
FREQUENCY: Updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: All FDIC-insured commercial banks and state-chartered savings banks
RATING METHOD: Institutions are assigned ratings from A+ (best) to E, based on ratios representing liquidity, asset quality, capital, and earnings.
OTHER CONTENTS: Two pages of financial data and ratings on each bank. Include write-ups on earnings releases.

Moody's Investors Service 99 Church Street, NY, NY, 10007.
Phone: (212) 553-1658 Ratings desk: (212) 553-0377

PRODUCT: Moody's Credit Opinions/Financial Institutions
FREQUENCY: issued in March, June, September, and December
INSTITUTIONS RATED: Selected domestic and foreign banks and bank holding companies, U.S. thrifts, thrift holding companies, credit unions, finance companies, insurance companies, and sovereign nations. Where applicable, separate ratings are provided for bank deposit notes, long and short term bank deposits, senior and subordinated long-term debt, commercial paper, and preferred stock.
RATING METHOD: Ratings are assigned by financial analysts and based on an overall assessment of the institution. Short-term debt ratings range from Prime-1 (best) to Prime 3 and Not Prime. Long-term debt ratings range from Aaa (best) to C.
OTHER CONTENTS: One-page summary reports on institutions and sovereign nations include two years of statistics and a short text opinion.

PRODUCT: Moody's Statistical Handbook
FREQUENCY: issued August, November, February, and May
INSTITUTIONS RATED: U.S. banks and bank holding companies, with separate ratings for long-term and short-term deposit obligations and long-term and short-term letters of credit.
RATING METHOD: See above
OTHER CONTENTS: One-page summary listing five years of financial statistics for each institution; averages of bank and BHC statistics by asset size and region; ranked lists of banks and BHCs by rating and asset size.

PRODUCT: Moody's Corporate Credit Reports (Bank Credit Research)
FREQUENCY: varies
INSTITUTIONS RATED: Foreign and domestic banks, bank holding companies, and thrifts. Separate ratings for long-term and short-term bank deposits, senior and subordinated long-term debt, and commercial paper.
RATING METHOD: See above
OTHER CONTENTS: One to four page summaries contain detailed statistics and commentary.

Standard & Poors 25 Broadway, NY, NY, 10004. Phone: (212) 208-1146 Ratings desk: (212) 208-1527

Thomson BankWatch 61 Broadway, Third Floor, NY, NY, 10016.
Phone: (212) 845-030 Website: www.bankwatch.com

PRODUCT: BankWatch Ratings and Research
FREQUENCY: Varies
INSTITUTIONS RATED: Approximately 1,000 financial institutions worldwide, including international banks, U.S. banking companies, credit unions, and thrifts. Separate ratings are given for the issuer and for short-term and long-term debt.
Rating method: Ratings are assigned by financial analysts. Issuer ratings are based on the strength of the consolidated financial institution and range from A (high) to E; short-term ratings range from TBW-1 (high) to TBW-4; and long-term debt ratings range from AAA to D.
OTHER CONTENTS: BankWatch subscriptions include a variety of periodic reports, including company profiles, ratings updates, sovereign risk ratings and reports for specific countries, banking system reports for the central banks of specific countries, and articles.


Bank Securities Ratings

Value Line Publishing 220 East 42nd St., NY, NY, 10017-5891.
Phone: (800) 833-0046

PRODUCT: Value Line (Part III, Ratings and Reports)
FREQUENCY: Summary section is updated weekly; reports are updated quarterly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: 1,700 of the most actively traded U.S. stocks, including approximately 70 U.S. banking companies and several Canadian banks
RATING METHOD: Ratings are assigned by financial analysts. Each stock is rated from 1 (high) to 5 for safety and timeliness; company financial strength is rated from A++ (high) to C; and stock price stability, price growth persistence, and earnings predictability are ranked on a scale of 5 to 100 relative to all stocks rated.
OTHER CONTENTS: One-page report on each company includes basic data, operating statistics, projections, a 15 year price history, insider and institutional buy/sell decisions, and several paragraphs of analysis. Industry reports contain overviews and statistics of specific industries (banking, Canadian banking) and industry segments (Midwestern banking).

Standard & Poors Corporation 25 Broadway, NY, NY 10004.
Phone: (800) 221-5277

PRODUCT: Stock Guide
FREQUENCY: Monthly
INSTITUTIONS RATED: 7,000 issues from U.S. companies, including banks, thrifts, and bank holding companies
RATING METHOD: Common stock is rated from A+ (high) to D. Ratings are assigned by financial analysts and based mainly on growth and stability of earnings and dividends.
OTHER CONTENTS: Price range, yield, P-E ratio, dividends paid, earnings, and balance sheet items are shown for each stock.


Database Services

Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. 55 East Monroe St., Chicago, IL, 60603. Phone: (312) 368-3100

PRODUCT: OnLine Ratings Service
FREQUENCY: Updated daily
ACCESS/CONTENTS: Online service is available through via electronic bulletin board using proprietary software.

IBCA 280 Park Ave., NY, NY 1001. Phone: (212) 687-1507

PRODUCT: IBCA on Bloomberg
ACCESS/CONTENTS: Includes updates of rating changes, ratings lists, and credit briefs and perspectives.

Investext 22 Pittsburgh St., Boston, MA, 02210. Phone: (800) 662-7878 Webpage: http://www.investext.com

PRODUCT: Investext
FREQUENCY: Updated daily
ACCESS/CONTENTS: The Investext database contains company and industry research and market intelligence. Online access is available directly from Investext via the I/PLUS Direct service or through commercial database vendors such as Dialog, DataTimes, Dow Jones News Retrieval, and Lexis/Nexis.

Moody's Investors Service 99 Church Street, NY, NY, 10007.
Phone: (212) 553-1658

ACCESS/CONTENTS: Online service is available through proprietary screens on the Bloomberg network. Ratings announcements and current research opinions are included.

SNL Securities P.O. Box 2124, Charlottesville, VA 22902.
Phone: (804) 977-4466

PRODUCT: Bank Data Source
FREQUENCY: Updated daily
ACCESS/CONTENTS: The database covers approximately 385 banks and bank holding companies and includes financial statistics, officer names, stock pricing, and credit ratings from Standard and Poors, Moody's, and Fitch.

PRODUCT: Thrift Data Source
FREQUENCY: Updated daily
ACCESS/CONTENTS: The database covers approximately 350 publicly traded thrifts and thrift holding companies and includes financial statistics, officer names, stock pricing, and credit ratings from Standard and Poors, Moody's, and Fitch.

Standard & Poors 25 Broadway, NY, NY, 10004. Phone: (212) 208-1146

PRODUCT: CreditWire
FREQUENCY: Updated daily
ACCESS/CONTENTS: Online service is available through Bloomberg Financial Markets terminals or direct PC dial-up. CreditWire contains ratings for all corporate issuers rated by S&P in addition to financial institutions ratings. Menu-driven system includes daily headline news and bulletins, new issues and ratings changes, historical ratings information, CreditWatch lists of potential rating changes, analyses and key statistics for all issuers, and commercial paper ratings lists.

Thomson BankWatch 61 Broadway, Third Floor, NY, NY, 10016.
Phone: (212) 845-0300 Website: www.bankwatch.com

PRODUCT: BankWatch on Bloomberg; BankWatch on BondCall; BankWatch on Research Direct
ACCESS/CONTENTS: An abridged online version of the BankWatch service is available through Bloomberg Financial Markets terminals, BondCall, and Research Direct. The database includes update memos, rating change memos, rating lists, credit briefs, and industry research.

Prepared by the FDIC Library, January 1997.