The Value of Annual Statement Studies for Columbia Bank

by Karen McIver, Credit Administration, on behalf of Columbia Bank

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Columbia Bank is a full-service commercial bank headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, which maintains a wide Northwest footprint with branches in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The bank has found much value in the data and reporting as a long-time user of RMA’s Statement Studies.

Alicia Lovins, a Credit Policy Analyst with Columbia Bank, handles the bank’s Statement Studies submission.

“Because Columbia contributes financial statement data to RMA, we strive to have the most accurate and up-to-date information in our financial statement software database,” she said. “The Credit Information Analytics and Information Technology teams work together to perform a submission test run about a month before the deadline to ensure the data pull runs smoothly and to see where we are on submission numbers. We clean up any duplicates and discrepancies in financial data on both the test and actual RMA pull in order to submit the best version of our data. A final version is pulled on the RMA Statement Studies submission due date to collect the most recent and accurate information possible.”

After the Statement Studies data is distributed by RMA, Columbia Bank uses it throughout its organization. Columbia Bank Senior Vice President Errin Richardson, Asset Based Lending Manager, notes how RMA’s Statement Studies can provide key data for the company.

“I manage a talented team of analysts and collateral (field) examiners within the Asset Based Lending Department. We monitor and audit a bank-wide portfolio of approximately $650MM of the higher-risk, revolving lines of credit that help support a business’s working capital needs,” she said. “RMA’s eMentor website has been a valuable tool for our teams over the years. We specifically use RMA’s Annual Statement Studies organized by NAICS Code to validate a borrower’s financial performance against their industry peers. We have found that RMA provides up-to-date financial data, which can be sorted based on the size of the company, time period, and region. This data makes a big difference in our underwriting and auditing practices to get the best information to our decision makers.”

Richardson also described the benefits she sees from the Training Resources Center.

“On the education side, the Training Resources Center provides modules for education and the Library provides specific articles from the RMA Journal on topics needed to further train on collateral issues, accounting issues, and credit analysis,” she said. “I have used RMA for 31 years now and I will continue to do so as I help develop young bankers.”

RMA Annual Statement Studies is the only source of comparative industry benchmarking data that comes directly from the financial statements of small and medium-size business clients of RMA’s member institutions. For over 100 years, financial services professionals have relied on this data to make better credit and lending decisions. The data is available via book, individual download, or digitally through eStatement Studies and eMentor, RMA’s self-service platform providing access to a multitude of industry research and training resources.

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