Four of 22 banks whose Community Reinvestment Act performance was recently made public by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency earned "outstanding" rankings. The list included 18 "satisfactory" banks, while none was rated "needs to improve" or in "substantial noncompliance."

The four top banks were First Financial Bank of Terre Haute, IN; Union Bank of Gilbert, AZ; First National Bank of Tennessee of Livingston, TN; and Intervest National Bank of New York, NY. The first three had last been rated "satisfactory."

Those with "satisfactory" ratings include Camden National Bank of Camden; AL; Simmons First National Bank of Pine Bluff, AR; Eastern National Bank of Miami, FL; North Atlanta National Bank of Alpharetta, GA; Community State Bank of Ankeny, IA; Bankers Trust Co. of Cedar Rapids, IA; Liberty National Bank of Sioux City, IA; Barrington Bank & Trust Co. of Barrington, IL; The First National Bank of Cunningham of Cunningham, KS; National Bank of Kansas City of Leawood, KS; The First National Bank of Hudson of Woodbury, MN; The Paris National Bank of Paris, MO; Cornerstone Bank of York, NE; The First National Bank of Santa Fe of Santa Fe, NM; First N.B. & Trust Co. of Ardmore of Ardmore, OK; Target National Bank of Sioux Falls, SD; The First National Bank of Pikeville of Pikeville, TN; The First National Bank of Granbury of Granbury; TX; OmniBank of Houston; and Tri City National Bank of Oak Creek, WI.

First Financial, a $2 billion-asset bank with 46 branches in Illinois and Indiana, was last reviewed in 2002. This time, the agency found that the bank had generated an "excellent" volume of loans in Terre Haute; had done a "good" job of originating small loans to businesses in low-and moderate-income areas; had an "excellent" dispersion of small- loans-to-business distribution among businesses with different revenues; and had extended loans "particularly responsive to identified needs." Says Norman L. Lowery, president and CEO: "We've had an outstanding rating probably three times before, which spurred us to action. We've kept doing what we were doing. ...We take it seriously." The bank restructured its compliance area, which allowed for better records.

Union Bank, a $110 million-asset institution, was applauded for having a "more than reasonable" loan-to-deposit ratio; a majority of the bank's loans made inside its Arizona-Iowa assessment area; and having an "excellent" geographic and income dispersion of loans. The bank was last reviewed in 2000. President Kyle Curtis says the bank made a concerted effort to target CRA-designated areas. "We looked at areas that had some incentives and we looked for opportunities," particularly in Phoenix and several rural areas of Iowa, he says. "We have always been a bank that has contributed a lot to the community."

First National Bank of Tennessee, a $411 million-asset institution, was cited for an "excellent" loan-to-deposit ratio of 98 percent; for having 94 percent of the number of loans with the bank's assessment area and 89 percent of the dollar amounts; for having a "good" distribution of loans to borrowers of different income levels and business of different sizes; and for demonstrating "excellent responsiveness to community needs." It was last reviewed in 2002. "The secret is simply this: We went to the staff of the bank, to the team, which we refer to as the family, and looked at each individual and asked, 'What is your passion?'" says Randy E. Graham, president and CEO. Many of those passions intersected perfectly with CRA investments, creating a win-win for the bank and the community.

Intervest, with $476 million in assets, serves New York City and has five branches in Clearwater and Pinellas County, FL. The OCC cited it for its "reasonable" loan-to-deposit ratio of 82 percent; for having a significant majority of loans in its assessment area; for having "good" loan penetration in its area;and for making a "significant" level of community-development loans, "which had a positive impact on the lending test." (c) 2006 U.S. Banker and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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