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Northwest Bancshares named among 100 most trustworthy

Northwest Bancshares, parent of Northwest Savings Bank, has been named one of America's 100 most trustworthy companies in the latest issue of Forbes magazine.

The Warren, Pa.-based regional bank was included in the annual list of publicly traded companies that are "models of openness and integrity" based in large part on transparency, according to Forbes.

The companies on the list "have consistently demonstrated transparent and conservative accounting practices and solid corporate governance and management," the article said. "They do not play games with revenue and expense recognition or with asset valuation."

Forbes hired Los Angeles-based GMIRatings, formerly Audit Integrity until a merger, to select the most trustworthy out of 8,000 public companies.

Every quarter, GMI calculated an accounting and governance risk score for each company based on their financial reporting, transparency, fiscal policies, management behaviors, corporate governance and risk factors. Companies were penalized for unusual or excessive executive pay, high management turnover, substantial insider trading compared with peers or high levels of short-term executive pay.

To qualify for the list, companies had to have market values of $250 million or more, high GMI scores and no restatements or amended filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission or enforcement actions by the SEC.

Northwest, whose headquarters is just over the Pennsylvania line from Western New York, is the only company in this region to make the list. The bank's New York region has 14 branches in Western New York and four in the Rochester area.

"Northwest remains committed to the highest standards of integrity with our customers, employees and shareholders," said William J. Wagner, Northwest's president and CEO. "In today's economic and political environment, our efforts to provide a high level of transparency and strong corporate governance have become more important than ever."