The rankings include the 100 largest U.S. commercial banks and 25 largest thrifts, based on average assets for 1999. The raw data was supplied by SNL Securities of Charlottesville, VA.

Each company’s equity-to-asset ratio, based on average equity and assets for 1999, was divided by the mean for each group. Each company’s return on average equity then was averaged for the four-year period, 1996-1999, and that average was multiplied by its equity-to-asset ratio as a percentage of the median.

Example: A bank’s equity-asset ratio of 8.7% would be 114% higher than the 7.6% median. If that company’s average return on equity for the four years were 16.1%, it would be raised to 18.4% (16.1 x 1.14) to adjust for its higher level of equity.

Each company then was ranked in terms of its adjusted ROE. Next, each company was ranked in terms of its equity growth over the 1996-99 period.

Its equity-growth rank was added to its adjusted ROE rank to obtain the final score. The lower the score, the better.


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