Friday, November 11, 2005
Most of us know that public companies have disclosure obligations with the SEC and that members of the public can use these publicly available documents as a primary resource for finding information about a company. But fewer of us are aware about how to locate information about banks. Unlike public companies, banks do not file disclosure documents with the SEC. Instead, banks are required to file with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). And, like the SEC's EDGAR database, the FFIEC has a website called the National Information Center where members of the public can do research and view documents about specific banks. From the links at the top of the page, select "Financial and Performance Reports." From the drop-down menu you will then be asked to select what type of document you're interested in viewing. As a start, select "Schedule HC-Consolidated Balance Sheet." Click "Submit" and then type in the name of a Maryland bank, select MD from the state menu, and you're done. The system will then lead you to a full financial report about the bank. This system also provides another very useful link on the left entitled "Institution Organization Hierarchy." Clicking this link provides a detailed description of how other entities are related to the entity you are researching.