Ratings agency says Bank of ND remains strong

BISMARCK, N.D. -- A national ratings agency says the state-owned Bank of North Dakota is in great shape.

Standard & Poor's raised the bank's credit ratings last December. A new review says the ratings are justified.

It says the bank's capital reserves and earnings are strong. Standard & Poor's says the ratings could decline if the state's economy weakens, but it says North Dakota's economic prospects are good right now.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple is chairman of the North Dakota Industrial Commission. The commission is the bank's board of directors.

Dalrymple says the report reflects "the growth and prosperity we are experiencing throughout the state."

North Dakota has the nation's lowest unemployment rate of less than 3 percent. The state treasury is expecting a general fund surplus next year of $1.6 billion.