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Bank of Florida fails; Everbank buys its assets

Regulators on Friday shut down three affiliated struggling banks operating under the Bank of Florida umbrella and sold their assets to Jacksonville-based EverBank.

The three banks had combined assets of nearly $1.5 billion, making their joint failure one of the biggest in the state this year. Riverside National Bank, which failed in April, had assets of $3.4 billion.

Bank of Florida-Southeast had total assets of $595.3 million; Bank of Florida-Southwest had assets of $640.9 million; and Bank of Florida-Tampa Bay had total assets of $245.2 million. The three affiliates operated a total of 13 branches, including two locations in the Tampa Bay area.

All three were closed by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver. The banks' holding company is based in Naples.

Bank of Florida has long been viewed as vulnerable, with its branches and loans centered in some of the most troubled commercial real estate territories in Florida. Bauer Financial had rated all three affiliates as zero stars (the lowest possible rating signifying severely troubled) in its five-star rating system.

The bank last month missed a regulatory deadline to raise more capital, and it disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week that it had entered into a consent order with the FDIC. The bank's stock has been trading below $1 for much of the past year. Its shares closed Friday unchanged at 64 cents, then plummeted more than 60 percent in after-market trading.

The three closings bring the total number of failed banks in the country so far this year to 76 and the total in Florida to 13.

Because of the Memorial Day holiday, Bank of Florida locations will reopen as branches of EverBank under normal business hours starting Tuesday. In a release, FDIC officials said deposits will continue to be federally insured and that Bank of Florida depositors can continue to access money in their accounts over the weekend by writing checks or using ATM and debit cards.

Bank of Florida fails; Everbank buys its assets 05/28/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 28, 2010 9:15pm]
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