NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns have disappeared, the U.S. government has gotten into the banking business, Bank of America's
So what else is new?
Still, 29 of 8,200 banks and thrifts received A-plus financial-strength ratings in the second quarter, down from 32 three months earlier, according to a complete review by TheStreet.com Ratings. A total of 583 institutions got ratings of A-minus (excellent) or better, and 1,100 were awarded B-plus or higher. To be sure, that was a decline from 1,175 in the previous quarter.
The institutions rated A-plus had capital ratios greatly exceeding the 5% tier 1 leverage ratio and 10% total risk-based capital ratio required for most banks and thrifts to be considered "well-capitalized" under regulatory guidelines.
The A-plus list is dominated by community banks, which need to build close relationships with local business customers to make profitable loans while also attracting low-cost checking deposits. Knowing the customer plays a major role in maintaining credit quality.
Without regulatory reform, the largest banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase
However, judging from the long-term conservative ratings model used by TheStreet.com Ratings, well-run community banks will still be able to compete.