An eclectic group emerged from the first quarter as top-performing lenders based in Arkansas. Measured by return on assets, the group of 10 represented large and small banks sprinkled around the state and a credit union. Two of the lenders are led by women.
First National Bank of Altheimer kept that name from the time it was chartered in 1955 until it moved from Jefferson County to Mountain View in 2009 and reorganized as Ozark Heritage Bank. Now another name change is in the works, along with a new state charter.
Fourteen lenders based in Arkansas produced returns on equity (ROE) that topped 13 percent during 2014. The banks were scattered across the state and represented some of the largest and smallest financial institutions.
With national unemployment at 8.3 percent and the statewide rate at 7.3 percent, it's easy to believe that there must be thousands of young professionals desperate for jobs all across the state. Not quite.