Most Valley banks, credit unions earn high marks

Seven of nine Valley-based community banks and 11 of 15 credit unions headquartered in Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties earned five-star “superior” ratings in a report issued this month by Florida-based BauerFinancial.

BauerFinancial rates financial institutions on a quarterly basis using data provided by banks to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and by credit unions to the National Credit Union Administration. The rankings encompass financial performance metrics including assets, capital ratios, quarterly and year-to-date net income, and the proportion of non-performing assets such as bank loans that are 90 days or more past due or foreclosed real estate. The latest ratings are based on the fourth quarter of 2015 and were unchanged for Valley banks and credit unions from the prior quarter.

Five-star banks in the region were Central Valley Community Bank, Fresno First Bank, Murphy Bank and Security First Bank, all based in Fresno; Porterville-based Bank of the Sierra, and Suncrest Bank and Valley Business Bank in Visalia.

Premier Valley Bank (now operating as a business unit of Iowa-based bank-holding company Heartland Financial USA) in Fresno received a four-star “excellent” rating, and Fresno’s United Security Bank was rated at 3 1/2 stars or “good.”

Valley-based credit unions receiving five stars were Educational Employees Credit Union, First California Federal Credit Union, Fresno County Federal Credit Union, Fresno Fire Department Credit Union, Fresno Grangers Credit Union, Greater Valley Credit Union, San Joaquin Power Employees Credit Union and United Local Credit Union, all of Fresno; Hanford-based Families and Schools Together Federal Credit Union and Kings Federal Credit Union; and Valley Oak Credit Union in Three Rivers.

The So-Val Tel Federal Credit Union in Fresno, Tucoemas Federal Credit Union in Visalia and Tulare County Federal Credit Union in Tulare each received four-star ratings. The Fresno Police Department Credit Union is unrated because it does not have federal share insurance through the National Credit Union Administration.

BauerFinancial deems its five- and four-star banks and credit unions as recommended; institutions with two or fewer stars are considered troubled or problematic.