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Robert Trigaux

Florida's 2010 bank closings hit 10 as state ties Illinois for most failures this year

Bankofbonifaylogo Wake up and good morning. Florida bank failures hit the double digits this weekend with the 10th closing of a Florida bank this weekend in 2010. Consider that at this time last year only three Florida banks had been shut down by regulators.

This weekend's failure was the 104-year-old Bank of Bonifay in Bonifay, a tiny Panhandle town off I-10 about halfway between Tallahassee and Pensacola. It was sold by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to First Federal Bank of Florida in Lake City. Bonifay's five branches reopen this morning as branches of First Federal Bank of Florida.

Why do we care? Because tracking bank failures in Florida is a lot like taking the economic temperature of the state. We're obviously on a much faster failure track this year than last, as suffering banks get closed more quickly as it becomes clear they cannot fix themselves in the latter days of this deep recession.

So Florida has 10 failures of the 68 that have occurred nationwide so far this year. NO state has more failures this year, so far. But none of those 10 are based in the Tampa Bay area. Here are Florida's 10, with links to what happened to each of them, most recent first:

* The Bank of Bonifay, Bonifay.
* Riverside National Bank of Florida , Fort Pierce.
* American First Bank, Clermont.
* First Federal Bank of North Florida, Palatka.
* Key West Bank, Key West.
* Old Southern Bank, Orlando.
* Sun American Bank, Boca Raton.
* Marco Community Bank, Marco Island.
* Florida Community Bank, Immokalee.
* Premier American Bank, Miami.

Plenty more where they came from, unfortunately. Despite some signs of economic improvement, the pace of bank failures is likely to accelerate as the shakeout continues among community lenders with weak capital. As reported by, based on preliminary first-quarter regulatory data supplied by SNL Financial for roughly 92 percent of the nation's 7,300 banks and savings and loan associations, more than 150 are "undercapitalized" based on regulatory guidelines that apply to most institutions.

And how many of those 150-plus are in Florida. Here's a list of 18 Florida banks still operating that were underecapitalized as of the end of the first quarter of 2010, according to SNL (I have removed the names of those Florida banks that have been closed since this list was produced):

Bank of Florida - Southwest Naples
Peninsula Bank, Englewood
Bank of Florida - Southeast Fort Lauderdale 
Wakulla Bank, Crawfordville 
Sterling Bank, Lantana
Coastal Community Bank, Panama City 
LandMark Bank of Florida, Sarasota
Oceanside Bank, Jacksonville Beach
Bank of Florida - Tampa Bay, Tampa 
Old Harbor Bank, Clearwater
Turnberry Bank, Aventura
Putnam State Bank, Palatka
Horizon Bank, Bradenton
Olde Cypress Community Bank, Clewiston
Independent National Bank, Ocala
Haven Trust Bank Florida, Ponte Vedra Beach
Gulf State Community Bank, Carrabelle 
Bayside Savings Bank, Port Saint Joe

Here's the complete, nationwide list of undercapitalized banks as of March 31. Keep in mind the list above shows only banks based in Florida and does not list weak banks headquartered elsewhere that may be operating in this state.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:27am]


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