Check a bank's ratings for free by running its name through websites that rate banks, such as BauerFinancial, Bankrate and My Bank Tracker. These websites assign ratings to a bank's financial health to help you choose safe, reliable places to deposit your money at the best rates.
BauerFinancial assigns a zero- to five-star rating to financial institutions, with superior banks getting five stars, excellent banks getting four stars, good banks getting 3.5 stars, adequate banks getting three stars, and problematic and troubled banks getting two stars or less. BauerFinancial claims to conduct a thorough assessment of a financial institution to assign a rating, using criteria such as liquidity, profitability, its investment portfolio's market versus book value, level of delinquent loans and repossessed assets, and the community reinvestment rating. Consumers must avoid banks with two stars or less.
Bankrate also follows a five-star rating system with an overall bank rating and separate ratings for a bank's earnings, asset quality, capital and liquidity. It also indicates the bank's percentile ratings for these criteria. Bankrate provides actual financial data for the latest quarter reported, such as total assets, equity, net income, asset size and deposits, as well as its size of loans, return on equity and regulatory capital ratio. It provides assessments of the bank's performance on these additional financial criteria vis a vis other banks, such as "exceeds requirements," "normal," "below peer," "low," or "below standard."
My Bank Tracker assigns an overall letter rating with A+ being highest and D being the lowest. It rates banks according to more than 100 criteria that broadly fall into major categories such as customer reviews, financial health and stability, available products and fees, and use of technology.