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Idaho bank, credit union rank highly on ‘healthy banks’ list

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A Nampa branch of Icon Credit Union, which ranked No. 7 nationwide on a list of healthy credit unions. Photo by Sharon Fisher

Several banks and credit unions based in or serving Idaho are ranked highly on lists of the healthiest banks and credit unions and top community banks nationwide.

The healthy banks list was put out by DepositAccounts.com, a Lending Tree company, which is an online loan marketplace. Altogether, Idaho banks and credit unions rank No. 24 in the U.S. for health.

One Idaho-based credit union, Icon Credit Union, ranked in the top 10.

Banks and credit unions are ranked in health using the “Texas ratio,” defined as comparing the total value of at-risk loans to the total value of funds the bank has on hand to cover these loans, the organization said.

“For example, a bank with $65 million in at-risk loans and $72 million in cash on hand to cover those loans would have a Texas Ratio of $65mm / $72mm, which is 90.3%,” the organization noted. “This figure is approaching the 100% threshold, which is considered very risky.”

Other factors included in calculating the list were deposit growth, or the amount of money that people are putting into the financial institution, and capitalization, or its assets minus its liabilities. Out of the nation’s almost 7,000 banks, 1,368, or 19.6%, ranked at A+.

Using those figures, the healthiest Idaho-based bank, and the only one in the top 200, was Idaho Trust Bank, based in Boise, at No. 119.

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Thomas Prohaska

“It’s a reflection of the opportunities in the Boise marketplace, and the quality of the job our bankers do in building relationships and creating solutions,” said Thomas Prohaska, who was recently named chairman and CEO of Idaho Trust after 24 years as president and co-founder. “It’s not something we applied for, but something that came in the mail and we were notified,” he said.

Idaho Trust, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary and continuing to grow, has been helped by the acquisition of Idaho-based banks, Prohaska said, noting that the number of Idaho-based banks is down to fewer than a dozen.

“A lot of people want to be with someone local,” he said. “It creates a big opportunity that we’re going to try to seize.”

For example, the bank is planning to expand into Eagle, he said, though he wouldn’t provide details or a timeline.

Sunwest Bank, which while not based in Idaho has Idaho branches, ranked No. 57 on the American Banker list of the top 200 publicly traded community banks.

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Trent Wright

“Both of these IBA Member Financial Institutions have a strong standing in the community and excellent leadership,” said Trent Wright, president and CEO of the Idaho Bankers Association. “It is no surprise that they are both named on this list. In fact Idaho’s Community Banks are above the national average in several categories including Net Interest Margin, Return on Assets and Return on Equity.”

The healthiest, and only, Idaho-based credit union on the list was Icon Credit Union, based in Boise, at 7th.

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Connie Miller

“Ranking #7 is exciting for Icon Credit Union, as we continue to make it a top priority to protect our member’s assets,” said Connie Miller, president and CEO. “I’m especially excited to continue to be rated high in the Top 200 classification, which is the result of making low-risk loans, while at the same time being flexible for our members by offering loans to those who are underserved and in a judgment-free manner.”

This was the highest ranking on the list that the credit union had ever achieved, she added.

“This is well deserved recognition for Icon Credit Union,” said Ryan Fitzgerald, vice president, legislative affairs for Idaho, at the Northwest Credit Union Association. “Following the not-for-profit, cooperative credit union model, Icon is making decisions based on what is in the best interests of the members. We congratulate the team at Icon.”

About Sharon Fisher