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In the realm of finance, various ratios and indicators help assess the stability and soundness of banks. One such measure is the Texas Ratio. This article aims to comprehensively understand the Texas Ratio, its calculation, interpretation, and significance in evaluating a bank’s health. By exploring its definition, working principles, practical examples, and applications, readers will gain valuable insights into financial analysis.

What is a Texas Ratio?

The Texas Ratio is a financial metric that assesses a bank’s credit risk. It was first introduced during the 1980s Texas banking crisis and gained popularity due to its effectiveness in predicting bank failures. The Texas Ratio helps gauge the institution’s vulnerability to economic downturns and potential insolvency by analyzing a bank’s non-performing loans and capital reserves.

Defining What is Texas Ratio

The Texas Ratio is a simple formula that measures the credit quality of a bank by comparing its troubled assets to its capital. Troubled assets include non-performing loans, loans in default, or at risk of default. The ratio is calculated by dividing the bank’s non-performing loans by its tangible common equity, expressed as a percentage.

How the Texas Ratio Works

The Texas Ratio operates on the premise that when a bank’s non-performing loans increase significantly relative to its capital, it indicates potential financial distress. A higher ratio suggests a higher risk of default and insolvency. On the other hand, a lower ratio implies a healthier financial position for the bank.

Example of the Texas Ratio

Let’s consider a hypothetical bank, ABC Bank, with $500 million in non-performing loans and $1 billion in tangible common equity. To calculate the Texas Ratio, we divide the non-performing loans by the tangible common equity:

Texas Ratio = (Non-performing Loans / Tangible Common Equity) * 100

Using the numbers from our example, the Texas Ratio for ABC Bank would be:

Texas Ratio = ($500 million / $1 billion) * 100 = 50%

ABC Bank’s Texas Ratio is 50%, indicating that 50% of its tangible common equity is exposed to non-performing loans.

How is Texas Ratio Calculated & Interpreted?

To calculate the Texas Ratio, we need two critical pieces of information: the bank’s non-performing loans and tangible common equity. Non-performing loans encompass loans that are either in default or at risk of default, while tangible common equity refers to the bank’s core capital that supports its assets.

To interpret the Texas Ratio, we consider the following guidelines:

  • A ratio below 50%: Generally considered healthy, indicating a low risk of default.
  • A ratio between 50% and 100%: Indicates a moderate level of risk.
  • A ratio above 100%: Raises concerns about the bank’s ability to handle potential losses, signaling a high risk of failure.

It’s important to note that the Texas Ratio should not be the sole determinant of a bank’s financial health. Other factors, such as management quality, regulatory environment, and overall economic conditions, must be considered in conjunction with the ratio.



Non-performing assets

Tangible common equity

Texas ratio

Bank A

$100 billion

$120 billion


Bank B

$50 billion

$80 billion


Bank C

$25 billion

$40 billion



As you can see, Bank A has the highest Texas ratio, meaning it has the most non-performing assets relative to its tangible common equity. This could indicate that Bank A is at a higher risk of failure than Bank B or C.

It is important to note that the Texas ratio is just one measure of a bank’s financial health. Other factors, such as the bank’s asset quality, capital levels, and liquidity position, should also be considered when assessing a bank’s risk of failure.

Here are some additional points to keep in mind when interpreting the Texas Ratio:

  • A 100% or higher ratio is generally considered a red flag, indicating that a bank may struggle to meet its financial obligations.
  • A trending upwards ratio is also a cause for concern, suggesting that a bank’s non-performing assets are increasing.
  • A bank with a high Texas ratio may be more likely to require regulatory assistance or fail.

The Texas Ratio is a valuable tool for investors and analysts to assess the financial health of banks. However, it is essential to remember that it is just one measure of a bank’s risk of failure. Other factors, such as the bank’s asset quality, capital levels, and liquidity position, should also be considered when making investment decisions.

Use of Texas Ratio

The Texas Ratio serves as a valuable tool for regulators and investors in assessing the financial stability of banks. Regulators can use it as an early warning system to identify institutions requiring closer monitoring or intervention. Investors can incorporate the Texas Ratio into their due diligence process when evaluating potential investment opportunities in the banking sector.

By analyzing the Texas Ratio alongside other financial metrics and conducting comprehensive research, investors can make informed decisions regarding the viability and profitability of potential bank investments.


The Texas Ratio, born out of the Texas banking crisis, has emerged as a valuable measure for assessing financial institutions’ credit risk and stability. The Texas Ratio provides insights into its vulnerability to economic downturns and potential insolvency by quantifying a bank’s non-performing loans relative to its capital reserves.

While the Texas Ratio is a valuable tool, it is essential to consider it in conjunction with other indicators and factors affecting a bank’s health. As the financial landscape continues to evolve, the Texas Ratio remains a significant component of the arsenal of tools used by regulators and investors to evaluate and monitor the stability of banks.


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