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Published: Wednesday, 6/23/2010

Ratings out for local financial institutions; 2 area credit unions receive lowest mark

BLADE STAFF

One local bank and some area credit unions have improved financial ratings by a respected industry study, but a couple of other institutions still are as low as they can go.

Both Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union and Toledo Teamsters Federal Credit Union received the lowest rating possible - receiving zero stars because of "significant challenges" - from BauerFinancial Inc., a Coral Gables, Fla., firm that rates such institutions based on financial data in the first quarter.

Toledo Urban, which had $3.8 million in assets when the first quarter ended, received a zero-star rating at the end of last year. Toledo Teamsters, with $5.8 million in assets, was downgraded from one star, which indicates "troubled," according to BauerFinancial.

Both credit unions had financial losses in the first quarter and were undercapitalized, said Karen Dorway, BauerFinancial's president and director of research.

Suzette Cowell, chief executive of Toledo Urban, said ongoing corporate credit union stabilization charges are hitting small institutions like hers hard.

"We can't get bailout money because we're not like the banks," Ms. Cowell said.

No officials from Toledo Teamsters could be reached for comment yesterday.

Waterford Bank of Sylvania

Township, meanwhile, received the highest five-star, "superior" rating from BauerFinancial. The bank, which opened in 2007, moved up from a four-star "excellent" rating because it continues to do well, Ms. Dorway said.

"It's really a matter of continued solid performance from its initial period," she said.

Waterford Bank, which had $283 million in assets yesterday, was gratified with the top rating, said Larry Boyer, executive vice president and one of the bank's founders.

"For us to get that rating before a three-year period is really good," Mr. Boyer said. "We are profitable, and we continue to grow. We have good assets, and that's the key."

Champion Credit Union of Toledo with $47.4 million in assets at the end of the first quarter, also received a five-star rating, up from four stars the previous quarter, and Maumee Educators Federal Credit Union, with $3.8 million in assets, received a four-star rating, up from a three-star, "adequate" rating. The Commodore Perry Federal Credit Union of Port Clinton, which had $27.6 million in assets, also improved from three stars to four stars.

Toledo Metro Federal Credit Union and First Ohio Credit Union of Fostoria, meanwhile, were among other northwest Ohio financial institutions that were downgraded one star each by BauerFinancial. Toledo Metro, with $31.4 million in assets, received a three-star rating and First Ohio, with $78 million in assets, received a four-star rating.

Metamora State Bank, with $59 million in assets, was downgraded a half star from four stars, BauerFinancial said.

- Julie M. McKinnon



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