Make us your home page


Robert Trigaux

With Florida's 42 severely troubled banks, watch for out-of-state buyers to pour into state



Wake up and good morning. Anyone want to buy a bank in time for Christmas? The latest quarterly list of Florida banks -- rated by health by Bauer Financial -- is out and predictably there are still a bunch of severely troubled financial institutions based in the Sunshine State that will probably fail and be sold by federal regulators. The implication? There are very few healthy buyers in Florida (the failed and newly capitalized BankUnited in Coral Gables is one of a few) of struggling Florida banks, so the majority of scavenging purchasers will come from out of state.

The good news is such buyers will bring fresh capital to Florida banks whose own capital has been slowly drained by mostly real estate loans gone bad. The curve ball in all this is a lot of new players are coming to Florida and we do not yet know much about them. So we'll see plenty of new competition -- hurray -- but also the need for caution as we get to better acquainted with these new arrivals.  Florida's landscape is riddled with the remains of out-of-state banks (especially from the Midwest) that arrived in the state with high hopes and were blown out of the water by tougher competition and dubious real estate lending. 

Normskalickyceostearnsbank Two newcomers that did opt to enter Florida recently by buying failed banks from the FDIC are Stearns Bank of St. Cloud, Minn., and Louisiana-based IberiaBank of Lafayette.

Stearns has taken over at least five failed financial institutions in the past year, expanding its name into Florida and Georgia, and adding to its reach in Minnesota. And as a result of acquiring new banks, its staff increased 73 percent, with assets increasing 60 to 65 percent. Says the local Minnesota St. Cloud Times:

"It’s not just dumb luck that he wound up banging gongs and buying bad banks. (Stearns CEO Norm) Skalicky’s foresight to unload troubled loans, tighten lending and buy failed banks may have been the right combination to put the business in a place other owners wish they could be. 'This is not by accident that this is happening,' said the North Dakota native and former Army officer."

Stearns recently acquired the Florida's failed First State Bank and Community National Bank of Sarasota County. First State Bank has locations in Sarasota, Venice, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo and Seminole. Community National Bank of Sarasota County has locations in Venice and North Port.

Iberiabanksign IberiaBank last month bought two failed banks with 37 offices from the FDIC: Orion Bank in Naples, and Century Bank, a full service federal thrift headquartered in Sarasota. Says Daryl G. Byrd, IberiaBank CEO:

"We welcome the clients of Orion Bank and Century Bank to the IberiaBank family. These two companies possess very strong deposit market share positions in five very attractive Florida MSAs (metropolitan statistical areas, or metro areas), with outstanding growth characteristics."

The deals means IberiaBank lands in Florida with a 20th-place market share in the state. Here's a complete PowerPoint presentation by the bank that explains in depth what the bank has purchased in Florida.

Let's make it easy. Here is the most recent Bauer Financial list of Florida banks with "Zero star" ratings. That means that on a scale from 0 (weakest) to 5 (Strongest) stars, these are the most troubled banks based in the state as of Sept. 30, the latest data available. Many of these banks will fail and then be sold by federal regulators. Some will probably survive but have a long uphill climb. Keep in mind this list only includes banks headquartered in Florida.

American First Bank: Clermont
Bank of Bonifay: Bonifay
Bank of Florida - Southwest: Naples
Bank of Florida - Southeast: Fort Lauderdale
Bank of Florida - Tampa Bay: Tampa
Bank of Miami N.A.: Coral Gables
Bayside Savings Bank: Port St. Joe
Coastal Bank: Merritt Island
Coastal Community Bank: Panama City Beach
Community National Bank At Bartow: Bartow
First City Bank of Florida: Fort Walton Beach
First Commercial Bank of Tampa Bay: Tampa
First East Side Savings Bank: Tamarac
First Federal Bank of North Florida: Palatka
First National Bank of Florida: Milton
First Peoples Bank: Port Saint Lucie
Florida Community Bank: Immokalee
Gulf State Community Bank: Carrabelle
Haven Trust Bank of Florida: Ponte Vedra Beach
Horizon Bank: Bradenton
Key West Bank: Key West
Landmark Bank of Florida: Sarasota
Liberty Bank: Naples
Marco Community Bank: Marco Island
Ocean Bank: Miami
Olde Cypress Community Bank: Clewiston
Peninsula Bank: Englewood
Peoples First Community Bank: Panama City
Premier American Bank: Miami
Putnam State Bank: Palatka
Republic Federal Bank N.A.: Miami
Riverside National Bank of Florida: Fort Pierce
Royal Palm Bank of Florida: Naples
Security Bank N.A.: North Lauderdale
Southshore Community Bank: Apollo Beach
Sterling Bank: Lantana
Sun American Bank: Boca Raton
Sunrise Bank: Cocoa Beach
Sunshine State Community Bank: Port Orange
Turnberry Bank: Aventura
Union Credit Bank: Miami
Wakulla Bank: Crawfordville

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:26am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours