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The Institutional Risk Analyst

© 2003-2024 | Whalen Global Advisors LLC  All Rights Reserved in All Media |  ISSN 2692-1812 

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The IRA Bank Book + Top Ten US Banks

In this edition of The Institutional Risk Analyst, we announce the release of The IRA Bank Book for Q1 2019. We focus on some of the key financial and credit factors affecting the US banking industry. We also provide the detailed credit charts that have become one of the favorite features for readers of our publication.

And with this edition of The IRA Bank Book, we include the Top Ten list of US banking organizations, this quarter selected and sorted by return on equity for the subsidiary bank. Here they are:

Now the really astute members of the group will notice that none on the largest money center banks -- JPMorganChase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) or Citigroup (C) are on the list. You don't see Goldman Sachs & Co (GS) or Morgan Stanley (MS) either.

In fact, U.S. Bancorp (USB) is the only large commercial lender to make the grade. The large zombie banks are just not that efficient and really are more transaction platforms than traditional lenders and depositories.

The other thing to notice is that the first two banks on the Top Ten list American Express (AXP) and Discover Financial Services (DFS) are credit card specialization lenders rather than commercial banks. That's a hint.

All of the banks on this list are exemplary performers and all have unique business models all their own. As our colleague Dennis Santiago at Total Bank Solutions likes to say, the banking industry is a coral reef. Just remember that the smaller fish are more nimble and better able to adjust to changing market conditions.

In this issue of The IRA Bank Book for Q1 2019, we focus on some of the key trends facing the industry in 2019 and beyond, including rising funding costs, the sharp drop in securities holding by banks last year, the prospect for lending growth and securities issuance. The big question for banks and investors in 2019: Did the Federal Open Market Committee kill the market for residential mortgages and asset backed securities (ABS) with the fun and games in December?

Many of our readers ask how they can support our work. The simple answer is to buy our publications. And for you institutional investors, commercial bankers and mortgage professionals looking for professional advice, please feel free to contact us at


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