Jupiter's Integrity Bank latest Florida failure; more to come?
Another one bites the dust. Integrity Bank of Jupiter was closed last Friday, becoming the fourth bank to be shut down by regulators in Florida this year. To protect depositors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Stonegate Bankin Fort Lauderdale, and the sole office of Integrity Bank reopens today as a branch of Stonegate Bank. Depositors of Integrity Bank automatically become depositors of Stonegate Bank.
So what happened? Integrity was a long suffering bank, struggling with weak management and too many bad loans -- a condition obvious long ago to anyone who tracks the health of banks in Florida. You can do this yourself right here. Integrity was a "zero star" bank, according to Bauer Financial, which helps track bank performance. But Integrity is not alone in Florida. Some 20 other Florida banks carry the same zero star rating -- the lowest possible -- and more than a few are likely to suffer the fate of Integrity.
The FDIC estimates that the cost to its deposit insurance fund for seizing and selling Integrity will be $46 million.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist