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Published: Thursday, 6/26/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

Credit unions, banks show change in ranks

2 northwest Ohio companies designated ‘‍superior’ ratings

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Jeep Country Federal Credit Union, located in Holland, gained a five-star ‘‍superior’ rating from BauerFinancial Inc. Jeep Country Federal Credit Union, located in Holland, gained a five-star ‘‍superior’ rating from BauerFinancial Inc.
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The financial performance ratings of seven banks or credit unions in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan changed slightly during the first quarter of 2014, according to new data from a Florida firm that tracks the performances of financial institutions nationwide.

Jeep Country Federal Credit Union, founded in 1938 and located in Holland, and Local 50 Plumbers & Steamfitters Federal Credit Union, which began in 1969 and is in Northwood, both moved up to five-star “superior” designations in the latest ratings from BauerFinancial Inc.

BauerFinancial, a leading bank research firm located in Coral Gables, Fla., rates banks and credit unions from zero to five stars each quarter based on the institution’s financial profile.

Laurie Mims, CEO of Jeep Country FCU, said she was not surprised the credit union gained a fifth star from BauerFinancial.

Jeep Country, which primarily serves Jeep plant employees but branched out in 1999 to include a wider swath of the Toledo area and more non-Jeep customers, still benefits greatly from employment at the Jeep plant, which is officially known as the Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly complex.

“We bounce back a lot from five to four stars. It just depends on the quarter,” Ms. Mims said. “But the biggest thing last quarter was the major growth at the Jeep plant. With more workers at the plant the membership growth in our credit union has expanded.”

BauerFinancial regards debt-to-capital ratio as a key performance metric. The National Credit Union Administration requires credit unions to have a capital ratio of 7 percent, but Jeep Country’‍s is 15 percent. “We always have a very high capital ratio,” Ms. Mims said.

The only other institution that improved in the first quarter was Education Plus Credit Union in Monroe, which also saw its rating rise to five-star “superior.”

One bank and three credit unions saw their ratings drop during the quarter that ended on March 31.

Croghan Colonial Bank in Fremont, which in December wrapped up its $28.9 million acquisition of Indebancorp, of Oak Harbor, received a four-star “excellent” rating after being at five stars the previous quarter.

AP Federal Credit Union of Toledo also saw its previous five-star rating slip to four stars in the latest evaluations, as did Erie Community Federal Credit Union of Sandusky. Beacon Mutual Federal Credit Union of Lima dropped to a three-star “adequate” rating from four stars the last quarter, BauerFinancial said.

The ratings of 42 other credit unions and 26 banks in northwest Ohio, and three banks and three credit unions in southeast Michigan, remained unchanged.

Seven credit unions in northwest Ohio received a “not rated” designation because they had less than $1.5 million in assets, or had no federal share insurance through the National Credit Union Administration.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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