In another sign of economic vitality, Florida's home-grown banking industry demonstrated strong bench strength in the latest quarterly analysis by Bauer Financial. The vast majority of commercial banks with headquarters in Florida received five "stars" from Bauer, which is the highest ranking of health on its 0-to-5 scale that the banking industry research firm can assign a financial institution.
Thirteen of the 18 commercial banks based in this metro area received best available five-star ratings. Three more received four stars, one received 3.5 stars and one was assigned a 3-star rating. All of those grades would be considered healthy.
Four banks in smaller towns in Florida received a zero-star rating which typically indicates a bank is struggling either with an excess of bad loans or a chronic lack of capital. Two of those banks are in Fort Walton Beach on the Florida Panhandle. One is based in Mayo in Lafayette County, east of Perry. And a fourth is in Orange City near I-4 in Volusia County.
Credit unions, which provide similar services as banks, also fared well. Of 18 credit unions in the Tampa Bay metro area, 12 received top ratings of 5 stars while the remaining six received four stars.
No credit union in Florida rated by Bauer Financial rated a weak zero star. The financial data used by Bauer is based on June 30 quarterly numbers — the latest available — drawn from federal regulatory filings.