UMB ranks 16th on Forbes’ best banks list

179036565Forbes recently released its annual list of “America’s Best and Worst Banks 2014.”

UMB Financial at No. 16 and Capital One Financial at No. 20 were the only banks with a local presence to land in the top 20.

In 2012, UMB ranked 21st. Jason Doyle, president of UMB Bank in Colorado Springs, attributed the bank’s rise up the charts to maintaining a strong balance sheet and putting capital to work to grow business with customers’ and shareholders’ best interests in mind.

“Being recognized as one of the best banks in the country by Forbes again this year serves as a great source of pride for everyone at UMB and is a reflection of our commitment to our customers’ best interests and adherence to sound business practices,” Doyle said in an email to the Business Journal.

Although U.S. bank failures dropped to 24 this year from 157 in 2010, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s list of problem banks reduced to 515 from 888 in March 2011, the financial health of the biggest banks is still mixed, according to Forbes.

Since 2009, Forbes has ranked the 100 largest publicly traded banks and thrifts each year. SNL Financial supplied data regarding the asset quality, capital adequacy and profitability of the biggest banks by assets, according to Forbes.com. Banks that were assessed ranged in size from $2.5 trillion JPMorgan Chase (No. 54) to Rockland, Mass.-based Independent Bank (No. 32) with $5.9 billion in assets.

Metrics included  nonperforming loans as a percentage of loans; nonperforming assets as a percentage of assets; reserves as a percentage of NPLs; two capital ratios (Tier 1 and risk-based) and leverage ratio; return on average equity; and net interest margin.

Forbes’ list is based on data from regulatory filings of banks and thrifts through the third quarter of 2013. Although SNL provided the data, Forbes chose the rankings.

In light of  banks’ long, slow recovery, Forbes changed the methodology for the first time by adding revenue growth for the latest 12 months as a component. These days, revenue growth arguably has become a better barometer of health as many banks have strengthened their balance sheets, while revenue growth remains elusive.

In the final ranking, the nine metrics were weighted equally. On Forbes.com, UMB’s assets were listed at $16 billion with return on average equity at 9.4 percent. Capital One’s assets stood at $290 billion, with return on average equity at 10.1 percent. Click here to view the complete list.