The Safest Banks you can trustBy Jon C. Ogg and Samuel Weigley

Moody's recent downgrade of 15 of the world's largest banks, along with JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) multibillion-dollar trading loss on risky derivatives, make it clear that certain big banks aren't as safe as depositors might have hoped. Still, consumers have to keep their money somewhere.

While the FDIC guarantees your deposits, it only insures so much, and it offers no help to investors if a bank craters. So to help consumers find the best places to stash their cash, 24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of the safest banks. The criteria were strict, complicated ... and you're probably only interested in the results.

If you're curious about the details of their rating process, read on after the gallery. Otherwise, without further delay, here are the seven safest banks in America:

The Methodology

24/7 Wall St. focused on the universe of the money-center banks, super-regional banks, and banks with retail branches that encompass several states

We screened for banks with a market capitalization of more than $2 billion. We further screened for banks whose share value is be less than 14 times earnings (P/E ratio). The share price to book value had to be less than 2.0. The bank had to have a minimum return on equity of 8% or more. To demonstrate how confident a candidate bank is, it had to pay its common holders a dividend yield of 2.0% or higher.

We also only chose financial institutions with an investment grade credit rating by ratings agencies, and Wall Street analysts had to value the bank's share price above the current price. We also didn't consider regional banks with fewer than 100 branches. All but one stock of the banks on our list trades above $10 per common share. We also gave preference if Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) is an owner of the common shares.

We remained focused on the top 50 banks by assets with a large retail banking presence, so even though the fiduciary banks of State Street Corporation (STT) and Bank of New York Mellon (BK) fit our initial screening criteria, they were not included. The 'problem banks,' which include Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corporation (BAC), were excluded even though it would seem nearly impossible that depositors would have any risk with them. We also chose to avoid regional banks that are located in the troubled Southeast and the entire Pacific Coast where so many faced financial troubles from housing and lending during and after the recession. We left off some of the large banks that have been involved very recently in mergers and acquisitions. Finally, we absolutely eliminated banks where we had concerns about their viability and survival during another recession.

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as Louise responded I am in shock that someone can get paid $9054 in four weeks on the computer. have you read this

July 02 2012 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It would appear the only safe banks are the small ones! Every week we read about another bankking scam now this Barclys mess is going to involve several U.S. Banks they have mentioned jp and citi who knows who else is involved I'll stick with gold as a safe haven the unemployment keeps going up,the euro mess iran, and mid east problems anyone of these can cause big losses in the banks and markets gold may go up an down $50-100 but its alot better than losing it all in the markets

June 28 2012 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

be sure to look for FDIC protection. whatever happened to savings and loans? in this economy, i don't think that credit unions are an answer to banks. maybe just put cash under the mattress. be loyal to your financial institution

June 27 2012 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's Easy .... Serta....... King Coil........ Tempurpedic......Mattress Factory.....Simmions.....Sleepaire....Beautyrest and more.........

June 27 2012 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

“A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.”

June 27 2012 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BOA isnt on there >>>>>>>>>>>>>> hmmmmmmmm
maybe cause they suck

June 27 2012 at 11:00 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

With 240 plus bank failures in the last two years, none of them are safe.

June 27 2012 at 10:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Too bad they didn't include refusing bailout money as part of their criteria.
Of course, if they had, the ONLY bank on this list would have been BOK.

June 27 2012 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

7 safest banks in America are those banks that pay their " Protection or Advertiser money to AOL otherwise they will be bad mouthed to Kingdom Come... if they dont put the money where big Providers want it , especially if they are pro liberal such as AOL, They will have nothing but bad press...The same thing goes for Political Canidates or even retailers such as Walmart...Read the news daily and check it out!!! its TRUE!

June 27 2012 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Closed my Bank of America and WellsFargo accounts almost a decade ago when I found out they were giving "No-Doc" loans to illgal immgrants.

June 27 2012 at 9:53 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply