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RBC rates among best in returns

Demopolis-based Robertson Banking Company (RBC), ranked 42nd on a list of 200 community banks across the United States for average return on equity over a three-year period.

USBanker, a national trade publication, released its annual ranking in the June issue, which became available Wednesday.

The rankings show Robertson, which has branches in Marengo and Tuscaloosa counties, with a three-year average return on equity of 14.38 percent.

Al Garrett, President and CEO of Robertson Banking Company, said many of the bank’s successes are rooted in the communities in which they serve.

“The key to our return on equity are the markets we’re in,” he said. “Historically, Demopolis, Linden, Thomaston, and now Tuscaloosa, are very solid markets, not a lot of volatility.”

Gary Holeman, RBC’s Senior Vice President, said another key to the bank’s fiscal health has been that they purposefully dodged many of the problems now plaguing some of the banking industry giants.

“We didn’t get into any sub-prime lending,” he said. “We didn’t take any of the huge credit risk that many of the large banks did. That’s a boom and bust business. We’re very conservative in what we do.”

Garrett said the majority of company’s return on equity, which was 17.21 percent for 2008, was reinvested into the bank.

“Our strategic plan calls for future growth,” he said. “Reinvesting those returns puts us in position to take advantage of opportunities.”

Community banks are defined as smaller banks with a local board of directors and they make up nearly 97 percent of all banks in the United States.