Bankrate's Safe & Sound ratings are comparisons to both industry peer norms and standards. In a very small number of instances, operating strategies that differ from industry norms lead to ratings that are not truly reflective of an institution's financial condition. A Safe & Sound rating of one or two stars does not suggest that we believe direct regulatory action is imminent or even likely but rather only indicates that certain below-average performance factors have been found during the applicable rating cycle. Quarterly updates of Safe & Sound ratings allow us to monitor changes that may occur, and ratings may fluctuate on a quarterly basis.
The most desirable Safe & Sound ratings is five stars; the least desirable is one. Performing institutions will generally receive a rating of three or more stars with the majority of financial institutions falling into the three- to four-star range.