This study examines the financial situation of the Farm Credit System Banks for Cooperatives using comparative analysis for the period 1978 through 1991. Profitability and leverage measures of the Banks for Cooperatives are compared with similar measures of large commercial banks. The Banks for Cooperatives were found to have performed as well as large commercial banks. Some differences can be explained as compatible with differences in the goals and objectives of a cooperative versus an investor-owned firm. Most differences can be attributed to the financial strength of the Banks for Cooperatives relative to the commercial banking industry.