SAFE & SOUND® STAR RATINGS™

Memorandum on findings

1ST EQUITY BANK NORTHWEST

1330 DUNDEE ROAD
BUFFALO GROVE, Illinois 60089

STAR RATING: 2 starstar
Predictive Indicator neutral
As of June 30, 2014
Federal Reserve System Identifier 3203996


HOLDING COMPANY INFORMATION

This bank is not owned by a holding company.

INTRODUCTION

U.S. commercial banks are chartered under either federal or state jurisdiction for the purposes of accepting funds for deposit and extending loans to either individual or business borrowers. Banks are subject to credit, interest rate, and operational risk, and, because of both their public purpose and their importance to the nation’s economy, banks become the object of intense regulatory scrutiny.

U.S. thrift institutions are chartered under either federal or state jurisdiction for the primary purpose of utilizing deposited funds to issue loans secured by real estate. Currently, real estate-backed loans account for approximately 44% of total thrift industry assets, and one-to-four family residential mortgages comprise nearly 62% of the industry’s real estate loan portfolio. Thrift institutions are subject to credit, interest rate, and operational risk, and, during the last twenty years, thrifts have made great strides toward reducing historic mismatches between asset and liability maturities.

The Bankrate proprietary commercial bank rating model analyzes capitalization, asset quality, earnings, and liquidity and produces composite and component "Star" ratings that can be used as a measure of the rated entity's financial safety and soundness. Additionally, early warning components of the model highlight operating characteristics of immediate concern and recommended follow-up actions. "The analyses are not adjusted for TARP funding and those institutions receiving funds may receive ratings that would differ were the TARP funds adjusted out of the analyses. You can check whether or not this institution has received TARP funding and whether or not they have paid it back at http://projects.propublica.org/bailout/list/index."

INSTITUTIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Institution Name 1ST EQUITY BANK NORTHWEST
Report Date June 30, 2014
Report Period 6 months
Star Composite Rating, Percentile Rank 2 /7.00
Predictive Indicator neutral
Earnings Rating, Percentile Rank 1 /2.55
Asset Quality Rating, Percentile Rank 1 /4.72
Capital Rating, Percentile Rank 5 /98.85
Liquidity Rating, Percentile Rank 4 /60.19
Institution Asset Size 38.7920 million
Deposits 30.6480 million
Loans 28.0320 million
Equity 8.0850 million
Net Profit/Loss -56.0000 thousand

COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS

Component star rating: 1 star
Earnings Highlights

Bank profitability is critical to building capital, establishing adequate loss reserves, and providing dividends to shareholders.

Key Earnings information and ratios:Ratio (%)Assessment
Return on Equity-1.11Substantially Below Average
Net Interest Margin2.83Substantially Below Average
Level of Non-interest Income (1)0.01Substantially Below Normal
Overhead (1)2.69Well Below Standard
(1) = As a percentage of average assets
Note: All ratios are based on the latest four quarters of income and expense

Component star rating: 1 star
Asset quality highlights

Asset quality is a major determinant of the viability of any banking institution. Poor asset quality will have a very direct impact upon the other components and bank regulators invest substantial amounts of time and resources in gauging the quality of a bank's loans and investments.

Key Asset Quality information and ratios:Ratio (%)Assessment
Nonperforming Asset Ratio (2)54.21Highly Problematic
Loss Reserve Coverage (3)7.95Substantially Below Normal
Loan Yield4.46Conservative
Asset Growth Rate-26.48Below Normal
(2) = Nonperforming Assets/Equity plus Loss Reserves
(3) = Loan Loss Reserves/Nonperforming Loans

Component star rating: 5 starstarstarstarstar
Capital highlights

Bank capitalization stands as a protection against loss for bank customers, creditors, shareholders, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Regulators place a high degree of importance upon assessments of capitalization and assign regulatory benchmarks as determinants of capital adequacy.

Key measures of Capital Adequacy:Ratio (%)Assessment
Net Worth to Total Assets20.84Well Above Peer Norm
Regulatory Capital Ratio31.95Substantially Exceeded Requirement

Component star rating: 4 starstarstarstar
Liquidity highlights

Liquidity provides funding for normal bank operations and represents a reserve for unanticipated disintermediation. Liquidity can be both an asset and a liability concept.

Key measures of Liquidity:Ratio (%)Assessment
Balance Sheet Liquidity25.11Much Better Than Normal
Purchased Liabilities7.41No Greater Than Average Dependence

Early warning highlights

Early warning indicators identify areas of potential concern, which may lead to financial deterioration and thus, require inquiry or in-depth investigation. For this bank we have noted:

  • Net Interest Margin
  • Non-Interest Income
  • Nonperforming Assets
  • Commercial Real Estate and Construction Lending

Institution Commentary

OVERVIEW of Institution
Organized in 2003, 1ST EQUITY BANK NORTHWEST is a state chartered banking institution, which, as of June 30, 2014, reported $38.7920 million in total assets. At that date, loans and deposits held by the bank amounted to $28.0320 million and $30.6480 million, respectively. The bank's June 30, 2014 equity base of $8.0850 million produced an Equity/Assets ratio of 20.84%, as of that date.

COMPOSITE SUMMARY
Bankrate believes that, as of June 30, 2014, this bank exhibited a below average condition, characterized by substantially lower than normal overall, sustainable profitability, very questionable asset quality, very strong capitalization and seemingly ample liquidity.

EARNINGS ANALYSIS
For the twelve months ended June 30, 2014, the bank recorded a net loss of $-90.0000 thousand. The bank experienced a return on average assets (ROA) of -0.21% over the latest four quarters. Year earlier twelve month results amounted to a a net loss of $-201.0000 thousand, or a -0.38% ROA over the most recent four quarters at that time. An ROA of at least 1.0% is deemed satisfactory in accordance with banking industry standards, and the industry's annualized ROA for the twelve months of 2014 was approximately 1.03% for commercial banks and 1.13% for thrift institutions.

We have concluded that for the four quarters ending June 30, 2014, the bank achieved substantially below average return on equity , and, as noted, sustained an actual loss for that period . We deem net interest margin to have been substantially below average, and the reported percentage should cause inquiry into balance sheet composition, asset yields, and liability costs. Noninterest income was substantially below normal, and management should be questioned as to the outlook for this source of revenue. We also observed overhead ratios that were well below standard, a sign of strict expense control. Importantly, net interest margins, noninterest income components, and overhead expense levels represent operating factors that combine to impact overall operating results.

ASSET QUALITY ANALYSIS
The bank revealed, as previously stated, very questionable asset quality. Our conclusion with respect to asset quality incorporates our analysis of data depicting regional economic conditions as well as our computations of a highly problematic June 30, 2014 nonperforming asset ratio, substantially below normal reserve coverage for nonperforming loans; and much greater than average holdings of commercial real estate and construction loans, two categories that can intensify credit risk. The bank's current level of nonperforming assets could lead to sharp write-downs and consequent substantial loss provisions. Hence, careful monitoring and additional inquiry are warranted.

Commercial real estate and construction loans should be examined for:

  • Loan underwriting and appraisal standards that differ from normal bank guidelines.
  • Loan-to-value benchmarks deemed not in conformance with prudent underwriting requirements.
  • Speculative construction activity.
  • The deferral of interest payments during construction periods.
  • The funding of the entire amount of construction costs and land valuation.


Other asset categories, such as farm and consumer loans, which may carry more than usual default potential, should not have a substantial negative impact upon future results.

Loan yield can measure financial reward versus credit risk. Excessive loan yield may be an indicator of existing or future problems. Our loan review indicates that the bank has assumed a seemingly prudent position between credit risk and financial reward.

CAPITAL ANALYSIS
For the one year period ended June 30, 2014, the bank reported an approximately normal rate of growth in equity capital. Balance sheet structural changes, through the one year period of time ended June 30, 2014, have highly improved the bank's capital position. Our analytical methodology does take into account the quantity, quality, and durability of net worth, and, as set forth above, we have determined, based upon our series of tests, that the bank demonstrates very strong capitalization. We have calculated the bank's June 30, 2014 Total Risk-Based Capital position, a computation used by industry regulators, and have concluded that this bank substantially exceeded the requirement, set by regulation, for this test.

LIQUIDITY ANALYSIS
As of June 30, 2014, the bank displayed Much Better Than Normal balance sheet liquidity and a No Greater Than Average Dependence upon wholesale, or non-core liabilities, which include all borrowings, such as Federal Home Loan Bank Advances, and CD's greater than $250,000.

Accounting principles require some securities to be categorized as "Available-for-Sale." Changes in market value of these securities are reflected through the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) net worth of the institution. Based upon the bank's present balance sheet, changes in the value of the current level of securities reported as "Available-for-Sale" are almost certain to have a substantial impact upon future net worth of the bank.

INSTITUTION SUMMARY
This bank has been rated below average.

Negative factors that impacted that rating follow:

  • Earnings
  • Asset Quality

Positive factors that impacted that rating follow:

  • Capitalization

As noted previously, early warning indicators, possibly requiring specific investigation include:

  • Net Interest Margin
  • Non-Interest Income
  • Nonperforming Assets
  • Commercial Real Estate and Construction Lending

PREDICTIVE INDICATOR
As stated, we have determined a composite Star rating for this bank of 2 starstar , indicative of a below average financial condition. At times, financial conditions of banks change rapidly and significantly. Hence, our Safe & Sound Star ratings should not be deemed predictive of likely future ratings. However, in view of early warning indicators set forth within this report, in combination with the institution's financial data, we believe that the Star rating for this institution is unlikely to change within the ensuing twelve month period.

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