First Security Bank sets pace in ROA race

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 591 views 

For the eighth time in the past nine years, Searcy-chartered First Security Bank has the best return on assets (ROA) of the 27 privately-owned banks doing business in Northwest Arkansas. That’s according to an annual list compiled by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal.

The Business Journal tracks data available from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and compiles a list of all banks doing business in the six-county market area (Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Madison, Sebastian and Washington) based on which bank has the best ROA. For a link to a PDF of the list, separated by private and public banks, click here.

A bank’s ROA is a popular metric used to determine its profitability. As defined by the FDIC, it shows the percentage of how profitable a company’s assets are in generating revenue. The higher the ROA, the more money the company is earning in its assets.

Family-owned First Security, owned since 1977 by the Reynie Rutledge family, ended 2019 with an ROA of 1.91%, with assets of $5.82 billion.

Priority Bank is a close No. 2 on the list with an ROA of 1.88%. The First National Bank of Fort Smith is No. 3 with an ROA of 1.86%.

According to the FDIC, 87 Arkansas-chartered banks had a collective ROA of 1.48% at the end of 2019. Five of the 27 private banks on the Business Journal’s list were above that mark. Six of 11 public banks with operations in the region were at or above that mark.

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