A bank's ability to earn money affects its safety and soundness. Earnings can be retained by the bank, boosting its capital buffer, or be used to address problematic loans, likely making the bank more resilient in times of trouble. Banks that are losing money, however, are less able to do those things.
The First National Bank at St. James did below-average on Bankrate's earnings test, achieving a score of 6 out of a possible 30.
One important way to measure a bank's earnings is return on equity, or net income (essentially profit) divided by total equity. The First National Bank at St. James's most recent annualized quarterly return on equity was 2.87 percent, below the national average of 8.10 percent.
The bank reported net income of $72,000 on total equity of $2.5 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017. The bank had an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 0.23 percent, below the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards and below the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.