In Northwest Arkansas, Priority Bank sets ROA pace in 2021

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,002 views 

Fayetteville-based Priority Bank has the best return on assets (ROA) of the 29 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 at the end of the previous calendar year. It is published in the April 11 issue of the magazine, separated by private and public banks.

Click here for a PDF of the list of private banks. Click here for a PDF of the list of public banks.

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.

Priority Bank launched in Ozark in 1993 as River Valley Savings Bank. It rebranded to Priority in 1998 and moved its main office to Fayetteville in 2014. The bank ended 2021 with an ROA of 2.81%, with assets of $96.01 million. No other bank with operations in Northwest Arkansas had an ROA greater than 2%.

Firstar Bank of Oklahoma is No. 2 on the list with an ROA of 1.93%. Sterling Bank of Missouri is No. 3 with a 1.81% ROA.

According to the FDIC, 84 Arkansas-chartered banks had a collective ROA of 1.36% at the end of 2021. Nine of the 29 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.