CEO Pete Vrontakis' little business bank debuted as the best start- up bank in 1993, and last year was the best all-around lender. This year, it repeated as the best all-around lender and, remarkably, was the most cost-efficient community bank as well.

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First Bank of Lincoln, Montana

Being the only bank in an isolated town has its benefits, and CEO Roger Kornder has taken full advantage of them. The little bank on the Continental divide has been the best all-around small-business lender among community banks for two years running.

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First National Bank of Keystone,

West Virginia

The irrepressible J. Knox McConnell continues his quest to make more money than any other bank in the world, and his First National claimed the top three-year ROA and ROE for the second straight year. Eight more years to go to reach his goal of being the most profitable bank in the country for 10 years in a row.

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