December 20, 2014

Florida Banks

Snapshots from the Vault

The new shape of the Florida banking industry is emerging. All sectors aren't being created equal.

Mike Vogel | 10/10/2011

Credit Availability

Tom Kuntz
"SunTrust is, and will continue
to be, in the business of making loans to creditworthy borrowers."

— Thomas G. Kuntz
CEO, SunTrust Florida
[Photo: Brook Pifer]

As our CEO Sounding Board indicates, businesses still report lenders aren't lending. Talk to bankers, and they say they are. "We as bankers make money by lending money," says Craig Grant, president of PNC's Florida market. Kevin Gillen, regional president for Florida at TD Bank, says his pipeline is thick with small-business loans. "We've had an outstanding small-business year," Gillen says. Says Thomas G. Kuntz, CEO of SunTrust Florida, "SunTrust is, and will continue to be, in the business of making loans to creditworthy borrowers."

Indeed, research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the National Federation of Independent Business, among others, indicates the bigger problem for most businesses is a lack of sales. But credit is an issue. Lenders that businesses dealt with in the past are struggling still and may not be lending. Regulatory and market pressures have raised underwriting standards.

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EMPLOYMENT
Bank, Thrift and Credit Union Jobs

Bank jobs
» Big banks are hiring in Florida — Wells Fargo hired 1,500 this year, for instance — but overall the banking and credit union sector is down 10,300 jobs since peaking in November 2007 at 106,200 jobs.

» As of July, the most recent month available, the sector posted its seventh consecutive month of job losses compared to the same month in 2010.


Credit Unions

In September, Florida's credit union industry kicked off an image-building campaign. Credit unions want to move more into banks' lending turf, pushing for federal legislation allowing credit unions to increase the percentage of assets they can put into business loans to 27.5% from the current 12.25%. They also want to be able to take deposits from county, city and school governments. The financial meltdown impacted more than the banking industry. Eastern Financial Florida in Miramar collapsed in 2009 and was merged into Space Coast Credit Union, costing the credit union insurance fund $40 million.

Tags: Banking & Finance

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