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BOKF investors steadily bank on balanced style

BY DON MECOY Published: November 15, 2009

/> Gary Simpson, a finance professor at Oklahoma State University, said rejecting government assistance was a wise move.

"To me, it’s another way to say we’re in better shape,” said Simpson, Oklahoma Bankers Association chair of commercial bank management at OSU’s Spears School of Business.

"There’s a pretty big difference between TARP banks and non-TARP banks,” Simpson said. "The ones that took the money, almost without exception, needed it.”

BOK Financial has generated more than $50 million in profits in every quarter this year. Chief Financial Officer Steven Nell noted that half of BOK’s like-sized peers lost money during the most recent quarter.

Troubled loans in the commercial real estate sector and in BOK’s Phoenix, Ariz., operation have grown, but the business continues to exceed regulatory capitalization levels and its operations are strongest in Oklahoma, where its core business is based, Nell said.