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Robert Trigaux

Who's buying the latest banks to fail in Florida?



Fdiclogo Wake up and good morning. The news is less about another Florida bank failing. We're getting used to that. But what's more compelling is who the FDIC is selling these failed banks to and what the buyers' intentions are in Florida. Who are these new banks, anyway?

The latest transaction occurred Friday following the failure of Marco Community Bank. It was Florida's third bank to fail in 2010 and was sold to an institution based in Omaha, Neb. Maybe the cold weather up there prompted Mutual of Omaha Bank to place the winning bid. Here's the press release from the FDIC on the deal.

Let's take a peek at the buyers of the three failed banks in Florida thus far in 2010:

Mutualofomahabanklogousethis Kevinhaleceomutualofomahabnkflorida * Mutual of Omaha Bank: If you're old enough, you remember "Mutual of Omaha" as a big advertiser behind wild animal shows on TV. Now the mutual insurance company's decided, through a bank it has formed, to expand into numerous states, including Florida. Mutual of Omaha even has a loan production office in Tampa, but its first bona fide branch (and official presence in Florida) was opened in January in Naples. So Friday's purchase of failed Marco Community Bank will add another presence in the very southwestern tip of Florida. Said Mutual of Omaha Florida bank president Kevin Hale (in photo, above):

"The opening of our first full service bank in Naples is a significant step as we begin
establishing a true community banking franchise in Florida. Not only will our new Naples bank offer a full suite of services, from mortgage lending and wealth management to commercial banking and trust and estate services, it will also serve as the hub for our Florida expansion and operations."

Premieramericanbankmiamilogo Danhealybondstreetholdingspremieramericanbank * Premier American Bank, Miami: This new bank came into being in January, rising out of the ashes of the failed Premier American Bank of Miami. The old bank was was closed by state regulators and the FDIC sold it to a newly chartered institution with the same nam. A second deal involved the January purchase from the FDIC of the 11 branches of failed Florida Community Bank in Immokalee, a bank that suffered a host of problems, from building loans to weak capital.

As for the buyer, let's hope the lack of information on Premier's Web site -- you know the little things, like a list of who's managing this bank and who's on its board of directions -- is a temporary oversight and not indicative of the bank's lack of concern for public disclosure.

Truth is, Premier American Bank is a subsidiary of Bond Street Holdings LLC in Naples. And who are they? According to Business Week magazine, Bond Street Holdings is an investment group formed last year to acquire banks via FDIC-assisted transactions. Bond Street is led by former North Fork Bancorp chief financial officer Daniel Healy (in photo), who bought Premier American Bank in Miami and Florida Community Bank of Immokalee after raising $440 million. Some see this as a prototype of future bank deals with the FDIC, which is anxious ot find ways to attract new capital to the banking industry. Check out more on this idea here at The Deal.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

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


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