The Community Bankers Association of Illinois has made its first endorsement in a statewide political race, largely because it believes his opponent has been unfair to community banks.

The trade group is supporting incumbent George Ryan, a Republican, for Illinois secretary of state. His opponent is Democrat Patrick Quinn, currently the state treasurer.

The endorsement is "both pro-Ryan and anti-Quinn," said David E. Manning, director of government relations for the trade group.

"There's no denying that Mr. Ryan's opponent was a major factor in our decision."

One gripe against Mr. Quinn is the "bank lending report cards" he's issued, which rate banks based on loan-to-deposit ratios, market share percentages, and community reinvestment ratings.

The trade group says the ratings have unfairly represented how banks serve their communities.

"Really good community banks have been trashed in the process," Mr. Manning said.

For instance, one bank turned down only three loans out of 250 applications but was ranked poorly because of low loan demand, he said.

A spokesman for Mr. Quinn said many banks are supporting the incumbent treasurer.

"This may be just a handful, a small clique of leaders in CBAI who don' t like Pat Quinn," said Dan Shomon, the spokesman. He said the trade group is upset that Mr. Quinn supports reducing bank fees.

In a press release on the endorsement, Ron Lading, president of the trade group and of Strasburg State Bank, said community bankers now are issuing their own report card: "Mr. Ryan receives an 'A' - Mr. Quinn, an 'F.'"

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