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Robert Trigaux

In latest tally, 39 banks based in Florida receive weakest ratings from Bauer Financial




The Pinellas Park branch of First Home Bank of Seminole, one of the few "zero star" rated banks remaining in the Tampa Bay metro area.

Wake up and good morning. Another sign of our slowly improving economy? The good news is that only 39 Florida-based banks were rated "zero star" or the weakest ranking in Bauer Financial's quarterly assessment of the health of the banking industry. The 39 zero stars are based on Dec. 31, 2011 data only recently made available. In recent years, the number of Florida's zero star banks typically ran in the mid 40s, so the decline is evidence that some zero star banks finally failed and were sold off to healthier institutions or -- the less common scenario -- a few were able to recover and improve their ratings. Bauer rates banks from zero (worst) to five (best) stars.

The better news of the Tampa Bay economy is that very few of the state's most troubled banks are in this metro area. There are none, for example, in Tampa or St. Petersburg or Clearwater. The remaining zero star banks in this metro area are Heritage Bank of Florida in Lutz and First Home Bank in Seminole.

Contrast that with the list of all 39 zero star banks listed below. Look at the concentrations of troubled banks in the Florida Panhandle (Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Graceville, Crestview, Marianna, Destin, etc.), a clear signal that portion of the state (smacked hard by the BP oil spill) has miles to go before a solid recovery, no matter what the happy ads from BP may suggest.

Compare the zero star bank list from September 2011 here and from one year ago (Dec. 31,  2010) here when 44 banks were zero stars.

Here are the 39 zero star rated banks in Florida:

Anchor Commercial Bank, Juno Beach

Bank of Commerce, Sarasota

Bank of Coral Gables, Coral Gables

Bank of Jackson County, Graceville

Bank of Naples, Naples

Beach Community Bank, Fort Walton Beach

Chipola Community Bank, Marianna

CNL Bank, Orlando

Columbia Bank, Lake City

EuroBank, Coral Gables

Fidelity Bank of Florida NA, Merritt Island

First City Bank of Florida, Fort Walton Beach

First Community Bank of Southwest Florida, Fort Myers

First East Side Savings Bank, Tamarac

First Guaranty Bank & Trust of Jacksonville, Jacksonville

First Home Bank, Seminole

First National Bank of Crestview, Crestview

Flagler Bank, West Palm Beach

Florida Capital Bank NA, Jacksonville

Friends Bank, New Smyrna Beach

Grand Bank & Trust of Florida, West Palm Beach

Great Florida Bank, Miami

Gulf Coast Community Bank, Pensacola

Gulfsouth Private Bank, Destin

Heritage Bank of Florida, Lutz

Heritage Bank of North Florida, Orange Park

Independent Bankers Bank of Florida, Lake Mary

Legacy Bank of Florida, Boca Raton

Ocean Bank, Miami

Optimum Bank, Plantation

Pinnacle Bank, Orange City

Premier Bank, Tallahassee

ProBank, Tallahassee

Putnam State Bank, Palatka

Reliance Bank FSB, Fort Myers

Royal Palm Bank of Florida, Naples

Security Bank NA, North Fort Lauderdale

TransCapital Bank, Sunrise

US Century Bank, Miami

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times



[Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 7:47am]


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