Sunday, December 17, 2017
Business

A fourth of Florida banks still saddled with 'troubled' rating

Florida's banks are improving overall but a quarter of them are still pegged as problem institutions, third worst behind only Georgia and South Carolina, according to a new analysis.

The latest report from Coral Gables financial rating agency Bauer Financial shows 24.9 percent of Florida banks fall in the "troubled and problematic" category, three times worse than the national average of 7.6 percent. To be considered "troubled and problematic," a bank has to receive two stars or fewer on Bauer's five-star rating system.

Only 45 percent of banks statewide scored well enough in the third quarter to be recommended by Bauer, far shy of the 72 percent recommended rate for all banks nationwide.

Florida only has 15 zero-star banks left, down from 27 last year. However, that's largely because many of the worst banks fall off the list after they fail and their assets are sold to another institution.

Many of the more severely ailing institutions have been in the Panhandle. Tampa Bay has not had any zero star banks throughout this past year.

The relatively few recent one-star banks in the area — First Home Bank in Seminole, Florida Bank and Southern Commerce Bank — have all improved to two stars.

The latest report told a completely different tale for Florida's credit unions. About 84 percent of all credit unions statewide are recommended and a mere 1 percent are considered troubled and problematic.

Among the locally based banks and credit unions receiving five-star "superior" ratings: Central Bank of Tampa; Florida Traditions Bank in Dade City; Hillsboro Bank in Plant City; Jefferson Bank in Oldsmar; NorthStar Bank in Tampa; Raymond James Bank in St. Petersburg; TCM Bank in Tampa; Achieva Credit Union; City-County Employees Credit Union in Clearwater; Florida Central Credit Union; Florida Customs F.C.U.; Railroad and Industrial F.C.U.; St. Joseph's Hospital F.C.U.; Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union; Tampa Postal Federal Credit Union; and USF Federal Credit Union.

Bauer issues its report, in part, as a consumer guide. "While they may look alike on the outside, financial institutions can be worlds apart on their books," the company said in a statement accompanying the third-quarter release. "Know before you go."

For a full listing or specific bank and credit union ratings, go to www.bauerfinancial.com.

Jeff Harrington can be reached [email protected] or (727) 893-8242.

Comments
Tampa flights affected as Atlanta airport outage creates holiday chaos

Tampa flights affected as Atlanta airport outage creates holiday chaos

ATLANTA — While power has been restored to the world’s busiest airport, the travel woes will linger for days. Thousands of people were stranded Monday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where more than 1,000 flights were gro...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Bitcoin futures begin trading on CME, price little changed

NEW YORK — Another security based on the price of bitcoin, the digital currency that has soared in value and volatility this year, began trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Sunday. The CME Group, which owns the exchange, opened up bitcoin f...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

When Brenda Terry was 16 and living in St. Louis, she was a host and food runner at a sports bar where female employees wore cute little cheerleading skirts. One night, she said, a patron grabbed her crotch. She ran to her management team and they de...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Taxpayer subsidies of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

Taxpayer subsidies of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

TAMPA — For the half of the year that Harry Nichols lives in Oldsmar, he plays 18 holes several times a month at Rocky Point Golf Course. On a good day, Nichols said he shoots close to par on the Dana Shores course. And if he’s really lucky, it’ll on...
Published: 12/15/17
Updated: 12/16/17
Pigs can be therapy animals too. So can horses and rats and cats and llamas and … (w/video)

Pigs can be therapy animals too. So can horses and rats and cats and llamas and … (w/video)

Shrieks of laughter echoed off the walls of the hospital as Thunder the mini pig flopped onto his side and the children huddled around him, scratching his pink, hairy belly. He and his wet-nosed partner, Bolt, drew patients in wheelchairs and bandage...
Published: 12/15/17
Vology landlord challenges property tax assessment

Vology landlord challenges property tax assessment

LARGO — Eight months after paying $10.15 million for the office building that houses IT services company Vology, a New York company is suing the Pinellas County Property Appraiser and Florida Department of Revenue contending its $5.5 million tax asse...
Published: 12/15/17
Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

In 2010, Florida was in the throes of an unprecedented housing crisis. One in every eight homes was in some stage of foreclosure. Today, the foreclosure rate is one in every 83. Because of that enormous drop, Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund will s...
Published: 12/15/17
Report: Rich will get still richer unless policies change

Report: Rich will get still richer unless policies change

By ELAINE KURTENBACHTOKYO — Global inequality has stabilized at high levels in recent years, a report said Friday, despite gains among the poor in China and much milder disparities in incomes and wealth in Western Europe. The World Inequality Report ...
Published: 12/15/17
How the Disney/Fox deal will shake up Hollywood

How the Disney/Fox deal will shake up Hollywood

Associated Press NEW YORK — After years of tremors, the earthquake that had long been predicted finally shook Hollywood. Disney’s deal to purchase most of 21st Century Fox ends the era of the "Big Six" major movie studios, toppling one ...
Published: 12/15/17
St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction since 2015, is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2019.The five-story, 137,100-square-foot building will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s...
Published: 12/15/17