Filipino majority-owned bank among best industry performers in USBy Jun Ilagan
FilAm Star/INQUIRER.net News Partner
In its latest listing of the best community banks in the United States, the prestigious New York-based magazine, listed MNB at 176th, with a three-year return on equity or ROE of 8.73 percent.
American Banker managing editor Bonnie Greer said the ranking was based on the community banks’ average return on equity over the past three years.
“These institutions are faring better than their overall peer group—the median ROE for the top 200 rose from 9.57 percent in 2010 to 10.01 percent in 2011 and to 10.15 in 2012—but the pressure on profitability is evident,” wrote Greer.
American Banker caters to thousands of executive-level bankers, providing timely analysis and commentary on the industry players, financial and economic market trends, regulations and business strategies in the banking and financial services sector.
With an updated average ROE of 11.27 during the three-year review period, MNB should be ranking among the top 60 on the list, said bank president/CEO Mukhtar Ali.
Although a relatively young bank, MNB—which reported assets of $170 million in 2012—has fared better than most of its peers due to a strong management team and staff focused on providing the best banking services to its growing clientele in the Bay Area.
“There are about 7,500 community banks in the country, so that puts us in the top 5 percent in terms of Return on Assets and Return on Equity, and that says a lot about MNB’s viability,” Ali said.
It also paints a picture of a bank that continues to weather and rise above the Great Recession, if at all it isn’t over yet.
According to Ali, MNB came out far stronger than many other bigger banks whose operations and very existence were threatened by the recession.
“Our asset size was reduced from its peak, but that was by design,” he explained. “However, our loan portfolio has not changed in size since 2011 and from a banking model, that is very good because size doesn’t always translate to profitability; the stability of the loan portfolio is the more accurate benchmark of profitability.”
Ali added that at present the total asset of MNB is $180 million. The bank, he said, is looking at ending this decade like everyone else with half a billion dollars’ worth of assets.
With an updated average ROE of 11.27 during the three-year review period, MNB should have ranked among the top 60 in the list
Embedded in community
MNB, established in 1982, is a community bank that offers full- service commercial and personal banking services to niche markets and underserved groups in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Headquartered in the Mission District of San Francisco, MNB has been serving a diverse niche markets to include small hotels, apartment developers, gas stations with convenience stores, and a variety of small businesses, especially including those owned by the minority.
MNB operates two branches in San Francisco and one in Berkeley. Its present branch on San Francisco’s 24th Street will soon be moving to the Philippine Center building on Sutter Street, which also houses the Philippine Consulate.
Mission National Bank has been recognized by the Findley Reports on Financial Institutions as a Super Premier performing bank, making it one of the best performing banks in California. It is also an IDC (International Data Corporation) Financial Insights “Superior” rated bank.
Banks rated Superior by IDC “are simply the best by all measures,” according to Ali.
Growing with Lucky Group
The Lucky Group of Companies, which holds 63 percent of MNB, bought controlling interest in the bank to complement its existing core businesses that include money remittance, tourism and travel, a casino, cash checking, lending and communications.
Besides MNB, the Lucky Group—owned and operated by the Medina brothers Rommel, Ruell and Remil—comprises Lucky Money, Lucky Chances Casino, Lucky Tours and Travel, Lucky Check Cashing, Lucky PayDay and Lending, and Lucky Communication.
Headquartered in downtown San Francisco, Lucky Money Inc. is a worldwide money transfer firm that caters to the Filipino market in the United States, as well as to the country’s Indian, Asian, and Latin American communities. It maintains 100 wholly owned and agent-operated money remittance centers located at more than 40 major US cities spread across 13 states.
Lucky Chances Casino, which trail-blazing Filipino-American businessman Rene Medina founded in 1998 in the Bay Area town of Colma, is the first and only Filipino-owned gaming establishment in the United States.