Safe and Sound

Washington Federal, National Association

Seattle, WA
5
Star Rating
Seattle, WA-based Washington Federal, National Association is an FDIC-insured bank founded in 1917. As of December 31, 2017, the bank held equity of $1.98 billion on assets of $15.59 billion.

With 1,829 full-time employees in 238 offices in multiple states, the bank has amassed loans and leases worth $11.11 billion, including real estate loans of $9.99 billion. U.S. bank customers currently have $11.04 billion in deposits with the bank.

Overall, Bankrate believes that, as of December 31, 2017, Washington Federal, National Association exhibited a superior condition, earning a full 5 stars for safety and soundness. Keep reading for an analysis of how the bank did on the three important criteria Bankrate used to score U.S. banks on safety and soundness.

WHAT IS
SAFE AND SOUND?

Find out

THE INSTITUTION'S SCORE

Capital Score

Capital works as a bulwark against losses and affords protection for account holders when a bank is experiencing economic trouble. It follows then that when it comes to measuring an an institution's financial fortitude, capital is useful. When it comes to safety and soundness, more capital is preferred.

On our test to measure capital adequacy, Washington Federal, National Association received a score of 12 out of a possible 30 points, below the national average of 13.13.

One important measure of this buffer is a bank's Tier 1 capital ratio. Washington Federal, National Association's Tier 1 capital ratio was 15.87 percent, higher than the 6 percent level regulators consider adequate, but below the national average of 25.65 percent. A higher capital ratio means the bank will be better able to stand up to economic headwinds.

Overall, Washington Federal, National Association held equity amounting to 12.71 percent of its assets, which exceeded the national average of 12.03 percent.

Asset Quality Score

Bankrate uses this test to estimate the impact of troubled assets, such as past-due mortgages, on the bank's reserves set aside to cover loan losses, as well as overall capitalization.

Having lots of these kinds of assets suggests a bank may eventually have to use capital to absorb losses, diminishing its cushion of equity. Many of those assets are also likely to be in non-accrual status and no longer earning interest for the bank, resulting in reduced earnings and potentially more risk of a failure in the future.

Washington Federal, National Association scored 40 out of a possible 40 points on Bankrate's asset quality test, above the national average of 37.49.

A helpful indicator of asset quality is the percentage of problem assets a bank holds compared to its total assets. As of December 31, 2017, 0.43 percent of Washington Federal, National Association's loans were noncurrent, meaning they were more than 90 days past due or were in non-accrual status. That's below the national average of 1.01 percent.

Banks keep a reserve known as an "allowance for loan and lease losses" to deal with problem assets . Comparing the size of that reserve to the total amount of problem loans can be a widely used indicator when evaluating a bank's ability to manage troubled assets. Unfortunately, the FDIC did not provide information on Washington Federal, National Association's loan loss allowance in its most recent filings.

Earnings score

A bank's earnings performance affects its safety and soundness. A bank can retain its earnings, increasing its capital cushion, or use them to deal with problematic loans, potentially making the bank more resilient in tough times. Banks that are losing money, however, have less ability to do those things.

On Bankrate's test of earnings, Washington Federal, National Association scored 18 out of a possible 30, better than the national average of 15.12.

One important way to measure a bank's earnings is return on equity, or net income (profit, basically) divided by total equity. The most recent annualized quarterly return on equity for Washington Federal, National Association was 9.33 percent, above the national average of 8.10 percent.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, the bank reported net income of $184.2 million on total equity of $1.98 billion. The bank reported an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 1.22 percent, above the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards, and above the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.

WHAT IS SAFE & SOUND?

Bankrate.com's Safe & Sound Ratings provide a star rating system to evaluate the current financial status of financial institutions. The information gathered about banks, credit unions and thrifts is updated as set forth in the Terms of Use of Safe & Sound Ratings and Reports. The Safe & Sound Ratings information is grouped by categories of banks, thrifts and credit unions.

Scoring methodology

Bankrate.com evaluates the financial condition of institutions and assigns a one- to five-star rating for each with five stars representing the highest rating. Institutions with satisfactory performance will generally receive a rating of three or more stars. The majority of institutions fall into the three- to four-star range. An institution with an "NR" rating may be too new to rate or may have limited the publicly available information in their regulatory filings. The "NR" is not an indication of financial strength or weakness. The Safe & Sound rating is believed to be reliable, but the information is not guaranteed. In addition, events since the information was collected may have altered the institution's financial condition.