Forbes rates Columbia Bank as tops

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TACOMA, Wash. — Among its list of “America’s Best and Worst Banks 2015,” Forbes Magazine recently named Columbia Bank the best in Washington.

No. 17 overall, Columbia Bank made a significant jump from its No. 31 position last year. The list, on which Columbia Bank has appeared since 2011, ranks 100 of the largest publicly traded banks and thrifts in the country.

“The Forbes list is meaningful recognition for us since it acknowledges not just our growth, but our commitment to providing a strong and secure community bank to best serve our customers,” said Melanie Dressel, president and CEO of Tacoma-based Columbia Bank and its parent company, Columbia Banking System Inc.  “We were very gratified to be ranked the best in Washington and second in the Pacific Northwest for the fourth year in a row. “

Data for the list was provided by financial data provider SNL Financial, and was based on regulatory filings of public banks and thrifts as of Sept. 30. The data does not reflect Columbia Bank’s most recent acquisition of Intermountain Community Bancorp (“Intermountain”), the parent company of Panhandle State Bank in northern Idaho, which became effective Nov. 1.

The study gauged the health of the 100 largest publicly traded banks and thrifts based on key financial metrics including:

• Net interest margin.

• Nonperforming loans (NPLs) as a percentage of loans.

• Nonperforming assets as a percentage of assets.

• Reserves as a percentage of NPLs.

• Two capital ratios (Tier 1 and risk-based) and leverage ratio.

The rankings also factor revenue growth for the latest 12 months based on data from FactSet Research Systems.

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