Eastern Bank, headquartered in Lynn, and Everett Co-Operative Bank have stood out as two of the healthiest banks in the nation according to a recent review by the independent bank-rating agency DepositAccounts.org.
Eastern, which is much bigger than Everett Co-Op and has more than 100 branches, came in 129thout of 6,998 banks reviewed.
“We really appreciate the recognition,” said Eastern Bank spokesman Andrew Ravens. “Eastern Bank has consistently achieve excellent financial ratings and that allows us to do more for our customers, colleagues and the community.”
The only other bank in the region to make the list was the Everett Co-Op.
The Everett Co-op made the Top 200 Healthiest Banks list for the second year in a row, going from 96 last year to 94 this year. They were rated after a review 6,998 banking institutions nationwide and were one of only a few in Massachusetts.
“We’ve been in existence over 125 years,” said CEO Liz Jones. “We have a very strong Board of Directors and a great team effort here. Our assets have grown 300 percent since I came on in 1999. We were at $130 million and as of June 30 we were at $408 million. Our deposits grew 355 percent from $95 million at the end of 1999 when I joined and now we’re up to $340 million. That allows that money we grew in deposits back out into our loan department. We took just over $100 million in loans to $340 million during that same time…It’s all about giving back to the community…We’re never going to offer the highest on a CD or lowest on loans, but we’re certainly going to try. That’s how we have had our success. We are a team and that’s how we have made it work.”
The Everett-based bank has recently secured a location in Lynnfield and has plans to expand there. That will only make the current operations strong, she said – noting that she is about to transition into retirement on Oct. 1.
“We have a lot of customers going up that Route 1 corridor and see it as a great expansion,” she said.
Patrick Russo, community outreach for DirectAccounts.com, said banks are reviewed on three categories, including deposit growth, capitalization and Texas ratio.
Texas ratio is a way to measure a bank’s credit troubles. It is arrived at by comparing the outstanding loans with the amounts of assets available to cover those loans. The higher the ratio, the more severe the potential credit troubles.
“The capitalization for Eastern is 12 percent and Everett is 13.5 percent,” he said. “That’s really good. They’re being responsible and they’re healthy in our opinion…Hopefully this will encourage the banks as it is affirmation from an independent organization that they’re managing their fiduciary duties to their customers. It’s a win-win for banks and for customers.”
DirectAccounts.com began some 10 years ago as a blog that analyzed data from banks and wrote for consumers about what banks were endangered and what banks were healthy. Two years ago, the organization began issuing its Top 200 Banks in the nation and its Top 200 Credit Unions in the nation based on its own rating formulas.
Russo said they have been very credible in evaluating good and bad banks.
“In 2013, exactly 100 percent of the banks we gave a ‘D’ or ‘F’ rating to ended up failing by the end of the year,” he said.