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The 5 Most Efficient Big Banks in America

By John Maxfield - Oct 26, 2015 at 7:18AM

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When it comes to banks, few performance metrics are more important than the efficiency ratio.

Given their innate complexity, it can be easy to forget that the nation's biggest banks are just like any other business, tasked with operating efficiently in order to maximize shareholder return.

The efficiency ratio is the go-to measure that bank analysts use to assess how well banks like Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB -0.14%), M&T Bank (MTB -1.00%), and Wells Fargo (WFC -0.34%) match up in this regard. This ratio measures the percentage of a bank's revenue that's consumed by operating expenses, with a lower number being better than a higher number.

All three of these banks were among the most efficient lenders in the third quarter of this year, with Fifth Third Bancorp, M&T Bank, and Wells Fargo, all reporting efficiency ratios below 60%. Scroll through the brief slideshow below to discover the other two banks that made the list, as well as the specific efficiency ratios reported in the latest quarter by Fifth Third Bancorp, M&T Bank, and Wells Fargo.

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Stocks Mentioned

Wells Fargo & Company Stock Quote
Wells Fargo & Company
WFC
$41.97 (-0.34%) $0.14
Capital One Financial Corporation Stock Quote
Capital One Financial Corporation
COF
$113.61 (-0.68%) $0.78
M&T Bank Corporation Stock Quote
M&T Bank Corporation
MTB
$164.04 (-1.00%) $-1.66
Fifth Third Bancorp Stock Quote
Fifth Third Bancorp
FITB
$36.00 (-0.14%) $0.05
U.S. Bancorp Stock Quote
U.S. Bancorp
USB
$49.26 (0.32%) $0.15

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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