BankWatchFlorida Bank Ratings

Frequently Asked Questions

I can't find my bank, but I know it operates in Florida. What should I do?

Your bank may be listed under another name. Visit your bank's website. It will often list alternate business names or parent companies in small type at the bottom of the page or on an "About" page. For example, Mercantile Bank is a division of Carolina First Bank, so you'll find a star rating for Carolina First. Also, new institutions may take up to three months to appear. Additionally, some foreign banks have FDIC-insured U.S. branches, which won't appear.

How do I find a highly rated bank near me?

BankWatch only shows only where a bank is headquartered, not where it does business. But browsing lists of 4-star banks and 5-star banks may help you identify a bank with branches in your area.

My bank's rating has dropped to 1 star, and BauerFinancial calls it "troubled." What should I do?

If your bank or credit union's rating has dropped below Bauer's recommended ratings of 4 stars and 5 stars, first be sure that your deposits fall below federal insurance limits. Then consider moving your business to a healthier institution. Note that a less than ideal rating doesn't indicate pending failure. If a bank is in the midst of raising capital, for example, it may see a higher rating in the next quarter. The line graph of its rating over past quarters may help you evaluate its longer-term health.

How does BauerFinancial assign its ratings?

BauerFinancial reaches its bank ratings by analyzing bank and credit union data reported to federal regulators. Their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by BauerFinancial or the St. Petersburg Times and tampabay.com.

How can I find out whether my bank is FDIC-insured?

Visit Bank Find or call toll-free 1-877-275-3342 (1-877-ASK-FDIC). The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insures deposits in most banks and savings institutions.

How much of my money is protected by the government?

The standard limit for FDIC-insured deposits is $250,000. The FDIC provides an Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator, and encourages consumers to use it every time they make changes to their accounts. Read more questions and answers from the FDIC.

What happens when a bank fails?

FDIC is often appointed as receiver and typically sells the assets of the bank to another institution the day it takes over. It offers additional information on failed banks on its website.

How is a credit union different from a bank?

A federal credit union is a nonprofit, cooperative financial institution owned and run by its members. Members pool their funds to make loans to one another.

How is my credit union protected?

Florida credit union deposits up to $250,000 are backed by the National Credit Union Administration. Use its Share Insurance Estimator to check that your savings are covered. Also, check NCUA's credit union directory.

I'm doing some research. Do you sort banks by region?

No. But you may sort banks and credit unions that do business in Florida by city or state, among other categories, on our bank list and credit unions list.

How often are BauerFinancial's star ratings updated?

At least four times a year, generally in mid March, June, September and December.

Do banks and credit unions pay to be rated?

No, says BauerFinancial, nor can an institution elect not to be rated. BauerFinancial rates all U.S. chartered banks and all federally insured credit unions with assets of at least $1.5 million. For star ratings of banks that operate outside Florida, visit BauerFinancial.com.

Should I check other bank ratings sites?

Other sites offer free ratings, such as Bankrate.com and Weiss Ratings. It's always a good idea to compare multiple independent sources.

Sources: St. Petersburg Times, FDIC, NCUA, BauerFinancial

Banks by stars

  • 5.0 stars 39 (20)
  • 4.0 stars 38 (19)
  • 3.0 stars 130 (65)
  • 2.0 stars 48 (24)
  • 1.0 stars 7 (4)
  • Startup 4 (2)
  • FDIC-Owned 4 (2)
  • 0 stars 50 (25)
  • Credit unions by stars

  • 5.0 stars 76 (38)
  • 4.0 stars 47 (24)
  • 3.0 stars 32 (16)
  • 2.0 stars 9 (5)
  • 1.0 stars 1 (1)
  • Not rated 6 (3)
  • 0 stars 3 (2)
  • Frequently asked questions

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    About BankWatch

    Florida bank ratings site BankWatch is a service of the Tampa Bay Times and tampabay.com, based on bank ratings provided by BauerFinancial, an independent bank research firm in Coral Gables. Questions or comments about our site? Visit our FAQ or e-mail business editor Graham Brink at gbrink@tampabay.com. Find more Florida business news at money.tampabay.com, and follow us on Twitter at @SPTimesMoney.

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