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Robert Trigaux

Hat trick of bank closings over weekend pushes Florida to nation's No. 1 spot for failures

BankoffloridafailedlogoWake up and good morning. Florida usually likes to rank high on lists. Alas, it became No. 1 over this past weekend on one that it would prefer to avoid. Bank failures in 2010.

With the closure of three more banks, Florida whooshed by Illinois to claim the title of state with the most bank failures this year. The score: Florida 13, and Illinois 11. So far. Other states prominent in the failure race are Georgia (8) and California (6).

Another comparison. We've got 13 Florida failed banks so far this year and we just entered the month of June. In 2009, a total of 14 Florida banks were closed.

What does this mean? Well, Florida has a lot of banks, first of all, so more failures is almost a mathematical given in a recession. The Florida housing bust and commercial real estate crunch are squeezing banks that built their lending on real estate deals, so the higher the inflated market the harder they fall.

Nor is the bank failure process especially scientific these days. There are so many weak banks in the pipeline of potential closures, that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is managing failures. Plenty of other Florida banks should be closed now but the FDIC is busy shopping them around to potential buyers. That takes time. Plus, the FDIC does not have unlimited staff, so bank closings also are a matter of people availability, too.

Here are all 13 Florida bank failures, the latest first, each with links for more information about what happened to them. We'll update this list throughout the year.

13.  Bank of Florida - Southwes t, Naples, May 28

12. Bank of Florida - Southeast, Fort Lauderdale, May 28

11. Bank of Florida - Tampa, Tampa, May 28

10. The Bank of Bonifay, Bonifay, May 7

9. Riverside National Bank of Florida, Fort Pierce, April 16

8. AmericanFirst Bank, Clermont, April 16

7. First Federal Bank of North Florida, Palatka, April 16

6. Key West Bank, Key West, March 26

5. Old Southern Bank, Orlando, March 12

4. Sun American Bank, Boca Raton, March 5

3. Marco Community Bank, Marco Island, February 19

2. Florida Community Bank, Immokalee, January 29

1. Premier American Bank, Miami, January 22

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 10:59am]


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