Richmond banks hit a milestone in ratings

Village Bank jumped to a 4-star rating from Bauer Financial.

Village Bank jumped to a 4-star rating from Bauer Financial.

A local bank’s fourth quarter performance helped it leap up yet another notch in the eyes of a well-known financial institution rating firm, while the Richmond market reached a rating level not seen since before the economic downturn.

Midlothian-based Village Bank jumped to a four-star rating from Bauer Financial, a Florida-based company that rates all federally insured banks and credit unions in the U.S. based on capital levels, profits and nonperforming assets.

Bauer uses a star-rated system, where institutions with two stars or fewer are considered “troubled” or “problematic.” Those with four or five stars are considered “recommended.”

Its assessment of institutions’ fourth quarter 2016 performance was released earlier this month.

Village, which has grown stronger over the last several years with sustained profitability, previously had worked its way out of the doldrums of the recession to a 3.5-star rating in the third quarter, after years of being in the lower rungs of Bauer’s measurements.

And in a sign of continued stability of the local banking market, the fourth quarter of 2016 marks the first time since at least 2010 that all banks operating in the Richmond market received either a four- or five-star rating.

Those with five stars were: First Community Bank, Bank of Southside Virginia, Park Sterling Bank, Chesapeake Bank, Bank of McKenney, Sonabank, First Tennessee Bank, Middleburg Bank, TowneBank, Union Bank & Trust, EVB and C&F Bank.

Four-star banks with branches in the area were: SunTrust, M&T Bank, Bank of America, Bank of Lancaster, Fulton Bank, Village Bank, Virginia Commonwealth Bank, New Horizon Bank, Essex Bank, Xenith Bank, Wells Fargo and BB&T.

While 18 of the 28 credit unions based in the Richmond region earned either a four- or five-star rating from Bauer, some didn’t fare quite as favorably.

Spruance Cellophane Credit Union, a small institution in North Chesterfield, fell to a two-star rating.

Virginia State Federal Credit Union, an $8 million institution in South Chesterfield, was one of only three financial institutions in the state to receive a zero-star rating from Bauer.

The others were Valley Community Credit Union in Waynesboro and First State Bank in Danville.

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