A lot of movement is going on among banking companies with $2 billion to $10 billion of assets.

Of the 196 public and private companies included in this ranking, more than a dozen grew their way into the mid-tier segment during 2012 by climbing above $2 billion of assets, according to data from SNL Financial. (Text continues below.)

Several of these newcomers—Heartland Bancorp, Arrow Financial Corp. and German American Bancorp—debut in the top 25.

Six other companies scrolled off the list because of changes in their size. Half of these shrunk below $2 billion of assets and the other half shot past the $10 billion mark.

As with the banking industry overall, the mid-tier sector generally is doing better than it was a year ago. A quick look at the three-year average return on equity—the measure used as the basis for this ranking—offers evidence of the positive momentum.

Only 25 of the companies here, or 13 percent, come up negative on that metric as of yearend 2012. By comparison, 27 percent of those in our previous mid-tier ranking posted a negative result.

Also this year, 49 of the companies, or 25 percent, had a three-year ROE in the double digits, up from 19 percent previously.

The good performance is widely dispersed from a geographic perspective, with companies from 15 different states landing in the top 25.

Texas is home to four of those top companies and California three. Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, New York and Virginia boast two each, while Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia all have one.

Since those registered as subchapter S corporations are not subject to federal corporate income tax, their data is adjusted accordingly to allow for a fair comparison with their peers.

Excluded from the ranking are banks for which total loans comprised less than 25 percent of total assets at yearend. Also excluded are those for which an average three-year return on equity is unavailable, in some cases because of a blip in SNL data caused by the demise of the Office of Thrift Supervision.

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