Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

The 383 Safest Banks in America

Editor's note: This article is updated as of Sept. 21, 2012, to reflect FDIC data from the second quarter of 2012. 

In America, we have let our guard down when it comes to our banking relationships. We assume that everything will be fine if our bank fails. After all, the FDIC insures our deposits up to $250,000. Why worry? 

I hate to break this to you, but the FDIC's Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) -- AKA the money used to cover bank failures -- has been all but drained. 

In 2007, the DIF had a healthy $52.4 billion. But since 2008 (after the housing meltdown), more than 413 banks have failed, and it's taken a devastating toll on the once-solid reserve fund.

According to the FDIC, the balance in the DIF at the end of Q2 2012 was just $22.7 billion -- almost 57% below where it was before the financial crisis. And while the FDIC also reported that banks are on slightly better financial footing than last quarter, there are still a staggering 732 "problem banks" that are carrying troubled assets totaling $282 billion. By comparison, the FDIC identified just 76 problem banks by the end of 2007.

I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to assume that the FDIC will always be there to cover my savings. Instead, I want to pick the safest bank in my area, so that I know the FDIC will never have to get involved.

Each quarter, I use FDIC data to calculate a very special metric called the "Texas ratio." 

The Texas ratio was first developed by a financial wizard named Gerard Cassidy who used it to correctly predict bank failures in Texas in the 1980s. While the ratio has been excellent at predicting bank failures, it can also be used to find the safest banks in America. 

The math can get complicated (click here if you're interested in the details), but here's what you need to know -- the ratio looks at the number of "bad assets" a bank owns versus the amount of equity in the bank. If there are too many bad assets and/or not enough equity, a bank becomes very vulnerable. The closer the Texas ratio gets to zero, the lower the bank's risk of failure. Once the ratio gets above 1.0, things get a little shaky.

To illustrate, here's a list of the last 10 banks that were seized by FDIC. In every case, the Texas ratio is above 1.0.

 




10 Most Recently Failed Banks
Bank NameHeadquartered InStateRatio
 black; font-size: 11.0pt; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; white-space: nowrap; border-left: medium none; border-right: .5pt solid windowtext; border-top: medium none; border-bottom: .5pt solid windowtext; padding-left: 1px; padding-right: 1px; padding-top: 1px" width="162">St. LouisMO3.92
First Commercial BankBloomingtonMN4.64
Waukegan Savings BankWaukeganIL4.95
Jasper Banking CompanyJasperGA8.14
Second FSL Association of ChicagoChicagoIL9.00
First Cherokee State BankWoodstockGA7.04
Georgia Trust BankBufordGA5.97
The Royal Palm Bank of FloridaNaplesFL2.95
Heartland BankLeawodKS1.49
Glasgow Savings BankGlasgowMO2.01

 

And out of the five largest banks in the United States, none have a perfect score, but Chase and Citibank come closest to the mark. Their scores are highlighted in the chart below, showing the top banks' Texas ratios.

 




5 Largest Banks In The United States
Bank NameHeadquartered InStateRatio
Bank of AmericaCharlotteNC0.22
Chase BankNewarkDE0.07
CitibankSioux FallsSD0.07
Wells Fargo BankSioux FallsSD0.30
U.S. BankCincinnatiOH0.18

 

Right now there are over 7,300 banks in the United States, but only 383 of them can boast a perfect Texas ratio of 0.0.

And the list can change from quarter to quarter. For example, of the 359 banks that had perfect Texas ratios when we last published our list, about 60 no longer do.

That doesn't mean that the banks are no longer safe -- far from it, actually. The highest Texas ratio for a bank that fell off the list was 0.18, which is still a very strong score. 

While some dropped off the list, more than 80 others came on to it. The total number of banks with perfect Texas ratios grew from 359 to 383. Of the new banks on the list, most needed just a slight improvement -- such as from 0.001 to 0 -- to reach the perfect Texas ratio. 

That perfect score is exactly what our list is all about. 

Read on to see if your bank made the list:

Note: The banks listed in bold in the chart below did not appear in the previous version of this list, which was released in June 2012.



NameCityState
Oakworth Capital BankBirminghamAL
First Scottsdale Bank, N.A.ScottsdaleAZ
Valley Republic BankBakersfieldCA
Vibra BankChula VistaCA
California First National BankIrvineCA
Capital Bank and Trust CompanyIrvineCA
Evergreen International BankLong BeachCA
1st Enterprise BankLos AngelesCA
Eastern International BankLos AngelesCA
Premier Business BankLos AngelesCA
The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A.Los AngelesCA
Wells Fargo Bank, Ltd.Los AngelesCA
California Republic BankNewport BeachCA
Malaga Bank FSBPalos Verdes Pen.CA
The Merchants National Bank of SacramentoSacramentoCA
Armed Forces Bank of California, N.A.San DiegoCA
Focus Business BankSan JoseCA
First Federal Savings and Loan Association of San RafaelSan RafaelCA
First American Trust, FSBSanta AnaCA
County Commerce BankVenturaCA
AMG National Trust BankBoulderCO
FlatIrons BankBoulderCO
The Bank of BurlingtonBurlingtonCO
Trust Company of AmericaCentennialCO
Young Americans BankDenverCO
First FarmBankGreeleyCO
The Colorado State Bank of WalshWalshCO
The MassMutual Trust CompanyEnfieldCT
The Bank of FairfieldFairfieldCT
Fieldpoint Private Bank & TrustGreenwichCT
Prudential Bank & Trust, FSBHartfordCT
Start Community BankNew HavenCT
The National Iron BankSalisburyCT
Bank of New CastleNew CastleDE
HSBC Trust Company (Delaware), N.A.WilmingtonDE
One South BankChipleyFL
Broward Bank of CommerceFort LauderdaleFL
First Green BankMount DoraFL
FirstCity Bank of CommerceNorth Palm BeachFL
Intracoastal BankPalm CoastFL
Bank of the SouthPensacolaFL
First Navy BankPensacolaFL
The Warrington BankPensacolaFL
Prime Meridian BankTallahasseeFL
Members Trust CompanyTampaFL
NorthStar BankTampaFL
Invesco National Trust CompanyAtlantaGA
Independence Bank of GeorgiaBraseltonGA
Community Business BankCummingGA
Chattahoochee Bank of GeorgiaGainesvilleGA
Verity BankWinderGA
Audubon State BankAudubonIA
Benton County State BankBlairstownIA
City State BankCentral CityIA
Dysart State BankDysartIA
Hartwick State BankHartwickIA
Charter BankJohnstonIA
ITS BankJohnstonIA
Kerndt Brothers Savings BankLansingIA
First State BankManchesterIA
Panora State BankPanoraIA
Pleasantville State BankPleasantvilleIA
Pocahontas State BankPocahontasIA
Peoples Trust and Savings BankRiversideIA
First State BankStuartIA
Swisher Trust & Savings BankSwisherIA
Victor State BankVictorIA
Western Capital BankBoiseID
Arcola First BankArcolaIL
The Atlanta National BankAtlantaIL
The First National Bank of AvaAvaIL
Country Trust BankBloomingtonIL
Buckley State BankBuckleyIL
Farmers State Bank of Camp PointCamp PointIL
American Union Savings and Loan Association, SBChicagoIL
Columbus Savings BankChicagoIL
Washington Federal Bank For SavingsChicagoIL
Cissna Park State BankCissna ParkIL
Collinsville Building and Loan AssociationCollinsvilleIL
Community Bank of EastonEastonIL
Elkville State BankElkvilleIL
Farmers State Bank of EmdenEmdenIL
Farmer City State BankFarmer CityIL
Franklin Grove BankFranklin GroveIL
Grand Ridge National BankGrand RidgeIL
Farmers & Merchants Bank of HutsonvilleHutsonvilleIL
Midland Community BankKincaidIL
Heritage State BankLawrencevilleIL
The Lemont National BankLemontIL
The State Bank of LimaLimaIL
Peoples Bank of MaconMaconIL
Farmers State Bank of MedoraMedoraIL
Nashville Savings BankNashvilleIL
North County Savings BankRed BudIL
Harris Central National AssociationRoselleIL
Sidell State BankSidellIL
Teutopolis State BankTeutopolisIL
The Central National Bank and Trust CompanyAtticaIN
Forethought Federal Savings BankBatesvilleIN
Everence Trust CompanyGoshenIN
Ossian State BankOssianIN
Farmers Bank & TrustAtwoodKS
The Bendena State BankBendenaKS
The Farmers State Bank of Bucklin, KansasBucklinKS
The Stock Exchange Bank, Caldwell, KansasCaldwellKS
Bank of CommerceChanuteKS
The State Bank of Conway SpringsConway SpringsKS
Flint Hills BankEskridgeKS
The City State BankFort ScottKS
The Liberty Savings Association, FSAFort ScottKS
Garden City State BankGarden CityKS
BANKWEST OF KANSASGoodlandKS
The Citizens State BankGrainfieldKS
The Citizens National BankGreenleafKS
Signature BankHaddamKS
The First National Bank of HarveyvilleHarveyvilleKS
Citizens State Bank and Trust CompanyHiawathaKS
First Kansas BankHoisingtonKS
The First National Bank of HowardHowardKS
The Citizens State BankHugotonKS
Millennium BankJunction CityKS
The Nekoma State BankLaCrosseKS
Leonardville State BankLeonardvilleKS
The Citizens State BankMiltonvaleKS
The Montezuma State BankMontezumaKS
The First Security BankOverbrookKS
National Advisors Trust Company, FSBOverland ParkKS
Bank of Prairie VillagePrairie VillageKS
Prescott State BankPrescottKS
1st Bank of TroyTroyKS
Bluegrass Community BankDanvilleKY
Hart County Bank and Trust CompanyMunfordvilleKY
Sebree Deposit BankSebreeKY
Tri-State Bank and TrustHaughtonLA
Lakeside BankLake CharlesLA
Mutual Savings and Loan AssociationMetairieLA
West Carroll Community BankOak GroveLA
Bank of Oak RidgeOak RidgeLA
Home Federal BankShreveportLA
Boston Trust & Investment Management CompanyBostonMA
Fidelity Management Trust CompanyBostonMA
Fidelity Personal Trust Company, FSBBostonMA
Mercantile Bank and Trust CompanyBostonMA
Bank of Cape CodHyannisMA
Northmark BankNorth AndoverMA
Nuvo Bank & Trust CompanySpringfieldMA
Legg Mason Investment Counsel & Trust Company, N.A.BaltimoreMD
T. Rowe Price Savings BankBaltimoreMD
Revere BankLaurelMD
Ann Arbor State BankAnn ArborMI
Comerica Bank & Trust, N.A.Ann ArborMI
Bank of BirminghamBirminghamMI
Auto Club Trust, FSBDearbornMI
JPMorgan Chase Bank, DearbornDearbornMI
Altura State BankAlturaMN
State Bank of BellinghamBellinghamMN
American State Bank of ErskineErskineMN
The First National Bank of HermanHermanMN
State Bank of JeffersJeffersMN
Vantage Bank (Formerly known as Kent State Bank)KentMN
State Bank of LismoreLismoreMN
Liberty Savings Bank fsbSaint CloudMN
Bank 21CarrolltonMO
Parkside Financial Bank & TrustClaytonMO
Missouri Bank and Trust Company of Kansas CityKansas CityMO
Community Bank of MemphisMemphisMO
Bank of MindenMindenminesMO
Wells Bank of Platte CityPlatte CityMO
Midwest Federal Savings and Loan Association of St JosephSaint JosephMO
Edward Jones Trust CompanySaint LouisMO
Scottrade BankSaint LouisMO
TIAA-CREF Trust Company, FSBSaint LouisMO
First Federal Savings and Loan AssociationAberdeenMS
The Bank of Bolivar CountyShelbyMS
Davidson Trust Co.Great FallsMT
Bank of MontanaMissoulaMT
Cedar Hill National BankCharlotteNC
Premier Commercial BankGreensboroNC
Coastal Bank & TrustJacksonvilleNC
Mount Gilead Savings and Loan AssociationMount GileadNC
Tarboro Savings Bank, SSBTarboroNC
Grant County State BankCarsonND
Farmers State Bank of Crosby, N.D.CrosbyND
Heartland State BankEdgeleyND
Sargent County BankFormanND
Liberty State BankPowers LakeND
Merchants BankRugbyND
Strasburg State BankStrasburgND
Peoples State Bank of VelvaVelvaND
Peoples State BankWesthopeND
Farmers and Merchants BankAxtellNE
Battle Creek State BankBattle CreekNE
Boelus State BankBoelusNE
Citizens State BankCarletonNE
Farmers State BankCarrollNE
Cedar Rapids State BankCedar RapidsNE
Farmers State BankDodgeNE
The First National Bank of FairburyFairburyNE
The Fullerton National BankFullertonNE
Bank of HartingtonHartingtonNE
The First National Bank of HoldregeHoldregeNE
Farmers State BankHumphreyNE
Bank of LewellenLewellenNE
Home State BankLouisvilleNE
Nebraska State BankLynchNE
Bank of MeadMeadNE
Farmers and Merchants BankMilliganNE
Commercial BankNelsonNE
Bank of Newman GroveNewman GroveNE
NebraskaLand National BankNorth PlatteNE
Bank of OrchardOrchardNE
First National Bank in OrdOrdNE
Nebraska State BankOshkoshNE
Bank of PraguePragueNE
Commercial State BankRepublican CityNE
State Bank of RiverdaleRiverdaleNE
The American National Bank of SidneySidneyNE
Stanton State BankStantonNE
The Bank of SteinauerSteinauerNE
Tri Valley BankTalmageNE
Foundation First BankWaterlooNE
Winside State BankWinsideNE
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (U.S.A.) LimitedHobokenNJ
Cross River BankTeaneckNJ
Bessemer Trust CompanyWoodbridgeNJ
DSRM National BankAlbuquerqueNM
The Carlsbad National BankCarlsbadNM
Western Bank of ClovisClovisNM
Lea County State BankHobbsNM
Valley Bank of CommerceRoswellNM
Eaglemark Savings BankCarson CityNV
Credit One Bank, National AssociationLas VegasNV
HSBC Bank Nevada, National AssociationLas VegasNV
Berkshire Bank Municipal BankAlbanyNY
Alma BankAstoriaNY
PCSB Commercial BankBrewsterNY
Greene County Commercial BankCatskillNY
State Bank of ChittenangoChittenangoNY
Fairport Savings BankFairportNY
Sunnyside Federal Savings and Loan Association of IrvingtonIrvingtonNY
Gold Coast BankIslandiaNY
Provident Municipal BankMontebelloNY
Flushing Commercial BankNew Hyde ParkNY
Bessemer Trust Company, National AssociationNew YorkNY
Delta National Bank and Trust CompanyNew YorkNY
Emigrant Mercantile BankNew YorkNY
Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. USANew YorkNY
Pathfinder Commercial BankOswegoNY
Pioneer Commercial BankTroyNY
WSB Municipal BankWatertownNY
The Baltic State BankBalticOH
Credit First National AssociationBrook ParkOH
Brookville National BankBrookvilleOH
First Federal Savings and Loan AssociationCenterburgOH
The Corn City State BankDeshlerOH
Community First Bank, National AssociationForestOH
The Marblehead BankMarbleheadOH
Nelsonville Home and SavingsNelsonvilleOH
The First National Bank of Powhatan PointPowhatan PointOH
Versailles Savings and Loan CompanyVersaillesOH
Home Savings Bank of WapakonetaWapakonetaOH
Community BankAlvaOK
Peoples State BankBlairOK
Farmers & Merchants BankDukeOK
Prime BankEdmondOK
First State BankElmore CityOK
First American BankErickOK
The First National Bank of NashNashOK
Great Nations BankNormanOK
Community National Bank of OkarcheOkarcheOK
The First National Bank of StiglerStiglerOK
Anchor D BankTexhomaOK
The State Bank of WynnewoodWynnewoodOK
Centerpointe Community BankHood RiverOR
American BankAllentownPA
Manor BankManorPA
Gateway Bank of PennsylvaniaMcMurrayPA
SEI Private Trust CompanyOaksPA
Second Federal Savings and Loan Association of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaPA
The Philadelphia Trust CompanyPhiladelphiaPA
The Haverford Trust CompanyRadnorPA
Talbots Classics National BankLincolnRI
Bryant State BankBryantSD
Security National Bank of South DakotaDakota DunesSD
The Security State BankEmerySD
Mansfield State BankMansfieldSD
Menno State BankMennoSD
American State BankOldhamSD
Farmers State BankParkstonSD
American State Bank of PierrePierreSD
Black Hills Community Bank, N.A.Rapid CitySD
Target National BankSioux FallsSD
The Roberts County National Bank of SissetonSissetonSD
The Farmers State Bank of TurtonTurtonSD
Independence Trust CompanyFranklinTN
Nashville Bank and Trust CompanyNashvilleTN
Liberty Capital BankAddisonTX
The First National Bank of AmherstAmherstTX
The First National Bank of AspermontAspermontTX
Business Bank of Texas, N.A.AustinTX
Bandera First State BankBanderaTX
The State National Bank of Big SpringBig SpringTX
Bloomburg State BankBloomburgTX
Citizens National BankCameronTX
Capital Bank of TexasCarrizo SpringsTX
Citizens BankClaudeTX
Brazos National BankCluteTX
First National Bank of Colorado CityColorado CityTX
Columbus State BankColumbusTX
The First State BankColumbusTX
Stockmens National Bank in CotullaCotullaTX
Citizens National Bank of CrosbytonCrosbytonTX
First National Bank in DalhartDalhartTX
First Associations BankDallasTX
First Private Bank of TexasDallasTX
Grand BankDallasTX
Pegasus BankDallasTX
Texas Security BankDallasTX
Tolleson Private BankDallasTX
Amistad BankDel RioTX
Texas Financial BankEdenTX
The First National Bank of EldoradoEldoradoTX
Security State BankFarwellTX
Citizens State BankGanadoTX
The Granger National BankGrangerTX
Gruver State BankGruverTX
Texas Regional BankHarlingenTX
The First National Bank of HicoHicoTX
Houston Business BankHoustonTX
Memorial City BankHoustonTX
First State BankJunctionTX
First National Bank of Lake JacksonLake JacksonTX
The First National Bank of LipanLipanTX
The Lone Star State BankLone StarTX
The Commercial BankMasonTX
The Mason National BankMasonTX
The First National Bank of MertzonMertzonTX
Bank of TexasMidlandTX
Tejas BankMonahansTX
The City State Bank of PalaciosPalaciosTX
Heritage BankPearlandTX
Robert Lee State BankRobert LeeTX
Peoples State BankRockspringsTX
R BankRound RockTX
The Bank of San AntonioSan AntonioTX
The City National Bank of San SabaSan SabaTX
Schwertner State BankSchwertnerTX
The First National Bank of SeymourSeymourTX
Commerce Bank TexasStockdaleTX
First State BankStratfordTX
Texas National BankSweetwaterTX
The First National Bank of TahokaTahokaTX
First State Bank in TuscolaTuscolaTX
Hill Bank & Trust Co.WeimarTX
POINTWEST BankWestTX
First National Bank in WhitneyWhitneyTX
The First National Bank of WoodsboroWoodsboroTX
Zapata National BankZapataTX
OptumHealth Bank, Inc.Salt Lake CityUT
First Electronic BankSandyUT
1st Commonwealth Bank of VirginiaArlingtonVA
E*TRADE United BankArlingtonVA
Chain Bridge Bank, National AssociationMcLeanVA
The Trust Company of VirginiaRichmondVA
Oak View National BankWarrentonVA
Frontier Community BankWaynesboroVA
Core Business BankBellevueWA
Farmington State BankFarmingtonWA
Liberty Bay BankPoulsboWA
Collins State BankCollinsWI
Settlers BankDe ForestWI
State BankGreshamWI
WPS Community Bank, FSBMadisonWI
Marathon State BankMarathonWI
M&I Bank of MayvilleMayvilleWI
Milton Savings BankMiltonWI
Northwestern Mutual Wealth ManagementMilwaukeeWI
Palmyra State BankPalmyraWI
Citizens Bank of Morgantown, Inc.MorgantownWV
First Federal Savings & Loan Association of RavenswoodRavenswoodWV
The Converse County BankDouglasWY
Wyoming State BankLaramieWY
First State BankWheatlandWY