October 25, 2014

Banking

Florida Bank Scorecard

Mike Vogel | 12/1/2009
Florida Bank Failures (2008-October 2009)
Bank / City Closed Assets
BankUnited FSB / Coral Gables
Buyer: BU Financial Holdings (W.L. Ross & Co., Carlyle Investment Management, Blackstone Group)
May 21, 2009 $12.8 billion
Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast / Cape Coral
Buyer: TIB Bank, Naples
Feb. 13, 2009 $539 million
First State Bank / Sarasota
Buyer: Stearns Bank, St. Cloud, Minn.
Aug. 7, 2009 463
Freedom Bank / Bradenton
Buyer: Fifth Third Bank, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Oct. 31, 2008 287
First Priority Bank / Bradenton
Buyer: SunTrust Bank, Atlanta
Aug. 1, 2008 259
Ocala National Bank / Ocala
Buyer: CenterState Bank of Florida, Winter Haven
Jan. 30, 2009 223.5
Flagship National Bank / Bradenton
Buyer: First Federal Bank of Florida, Lake City
Oct. 23, 2009 190
Integrity Bank / Jupiter
Buyer: Stonegate Bank, Fort Lauderdale
July 31, 2009 119
Community National Bank of Sarasota County
Buyer: Stearns Bank, St. Cloud, Minn.
Aug. 7, 2009 97
Hillcrest Bank Florida / Naples
Buyer: Stonegate Bank, Fort Lauderdale
Oct. 23, 2009 83
Partners Bank / Naples
Buyer: Stonegate Bank, Fort Lauderdale
Oct. 23, 2009 65.5
Source: FDIC

The quarter began with more depressing news for the Florida banking industry. Gathered in Tampa in October, members of the Florida Bankers Association heard a presentation from state Office of Financial Regulation commissioner J. Thomas Cardwell. By his office’s count, more than one out of three state-chartered financial institutions — 38% of 336 institutions — representing 48% of the assets held in the state-chartered banks, foreign banks and credit unions were on a state watch list.

“It’s really bad out there,” says Benjamin C. Bishop Jr., chairman of investment bank Allen C. Ewing & Co., Jacksonville.

A couple of weeks after Cardwell spoke, federal regulators shut down three more Florida banks, bringing the state’s total since the recession began to 11. (Eight of the 11 were in Collier, Lee, Sarasota and Manatee counties — the I-75 failure corridor.) Seven of 10 Florida-based banks were unprofitable as of the second quarter. Florida also was home to the recession’s second-costliest bank failure, Miami’s BankUnited.

Cardwell The Office of Financial Regulation, headed by Thomas Cardwell, says 38% of state-chartered institutions are on a state watch list.
The recession has hammered bank earnings, but Miami independent bank consultant and economist Ken Thomas says it’s also time to consider whether regulators let too many new banks start. The state approved 110 banks since 2000. That means the industry needed more than 400 qualified CEOs, CFOs, chief lending officers and senior compliance officers and on the order of 1,000 directors to serve on the banks’ boards. “We had too many new banks with unqualified senior management and boards,” Thomas says.

For the next year, Florida banks will continue to suffer as they incur real estate lending losses and the legal and administrative expense of working through failed real estate. That means the businesses that depend on lenders also will suffer. Thomas and Bishop say it will be 2011 before the industry returns to good news.

Craig Grant "We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities in Florida."
— Craig Grant, regional president, PNC Florida
Still, “The smart money knows Florida will be back,” Thomas says. Indeed, Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group, which acquired Cleveland-based National City bank last year, opened two branches in Palm Beach County in November and expects to open a number of branches in Broward as it expands in Florida, says Craig Grant, regional president for PNC Florida. “We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities in Florida,” Grant says.

A small consolation for the industry’s unemployed: The FDIC has been hiring for its new, temporary Jacksonville office focused on dealing with failed banks in the eastern United States and their assets. Jacksonville was chosen because of the pool of potential employees and because many assets it will oversee are within driving distance of the office. The FDIC expects to have hired 500 people by year-end.

PNC Financial
PNC Financial is banking on Florida bouncing back. Last year, it bought National City bank, expanding its Florida presence — and it’s planning to open more offices.

Tags: Around Florida, Banking & Finance

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