General information sources: The FDIC posts a great deal of information about FDIC-insured banks. Information on U.S. thrifts is available from the Office of Thrift Supervision, and information on National Banks is available from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (see the entries for "Office of Thrift Supervision" and "Office of the Comptroller of the Currency"). Also see the financial reports available from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).
More information may be available from the banking department of the state where the bank is located. For example, the New York State Banking Department (212-709-3530 or 1-877-BANK-NYS) provides information about New York banks.
Finding Banks: Many banks are listed in Polk's North American Financial Institutions Directory and The Rand McNally Bankers Directory, though neither directory is comprehensive.
The Office of Thrift Supervision offers an Institution Search with basic information plus Applications, Enforcement history, CRA History, Holding Companies and Related Organizations. The FDIC National Information Center lets you look up FDIC-insured banks, savings associations and bank holding companies including branch locations, online banks and failed banks. as well as foreign banks and bank holding companies. You can also see which banks have bought or been bought by other banks as of a given date and identify headquarters and branch locations.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) posts a database for Finding Credit Unions.
Lexis has a combined database that lets you simultaneously search several bank directories (BANKNG;TDIR).
Profiles: Profiles for many banks are available in the Mergent Bank & Finance Manual; more information is available in the Sheshunoff Bank Quarterly Rating Service. Probably the best source going for information on individual banks is the Thomson Bank Directory ("The Banker's Blue Book") and the Thomson Savings Directory. See also the sources mentioned in "Finding Banks," above.
The Credit Union Directory provides profiles of U.S. Credit Unions; an electronic edition is available on Lexis (BANKING;TCRDIT).
Rankings: Every September the Wall Street Journal publishes a list of "The World's 100 Largest Banks," as well as "The World's 25 Largest Securities Firms." The American Banker compiles lists of the largest U.S. banks. The Federal Reserve posts a list of the Top 50 bank holding companies.
The EIU Country Finance Reports list the largest banks in a particular foreign country.
Web Sites: The Bank for International Settlement links to central bank Web sites. Some key bank Web sites include: