The Small Business Bank Award is given to a bank that receives an “A” from Banking Grades (www.bankinggrades.com). In order to receive an “A,” a bank must use twenty-five percent (25%) or more of its deposits to make loans of one million dollars ($1,000,000) or less. All of this data is contained in a bank’s FDIC call report. For more information about our grading system, click here.
This award is important because it is the only metric that is (1) completely objective; (2) based on data provided directly from the bank; and (3) indicative of a bank’s actual lending record to small businesses.
While Banking Grades updates the grades every quarter (banks file their reports quarterly), the award is issued once a year, based on a bank’s year-end data. Therefore, you may see a bank listed on Banking Grades with a “B” and an award icon.
How can a bank improve its grade?
The formula is simple. A bank must use twenty-five (25%) of its deposits to make loans of one million dollars ($1,000,000) or less. There are no other factors or considerations. There are no teachers’ pets.
Why does Banking Grades only consider loans of $1,000,000 or less? Our bank makes bigger loans to small businesses?
The FDIC call reports have a schedule named “Loans to Small Businesses and Small Farms.” This is the only reliable data we have found to reflect the actual lending performance of a bank. We also believe that most Main Street businesses are taking out loans of $1,000,000 or less. Yes, there are some small businesses that get bigger loans, but until banks start disclosing that information, we will rely on this data point.
Why did MultiFunding launch Banking Grades?
Banking Grades is an extension of what we do – help simplify and demystify the loan world for small business owners. Our core business is helping small business owners find financing. Many of them come to us after visiting bigger banks. They are frustrated and dejected because they have spent time and money at banks that are not really lending to small businesses (despite ad campaigns to the contrary). We hope that Banking Grades helps small business owners save time and find the right lending partner.
Does Banking Grades receive money from any of the banks that it grades?
Yes, sometimes. Banking Grades sells promotional materials, such as plaques, to the ‘A’ banks. This gives a bank the chance to promote its achievement in its branch(es). Banking Grades also licenses a small space on the Bank Report Card page to banks (example here). Banks may use this space to tout their business or dispute their grade. Here’s the bottom line . . . the money isn’t affecting the grade. We have a formula we use to calculate the grade. Yes, its true, money doesn’t buy influence everywhere.