Make us your home page

Bradenton's Freedom Bank closed, sold by FDIC

Freedom Bank of Bradenton was closed Friday afternoon by Florida regulators and sold immediately by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to Fifth Third Bank of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Freedom Bank — not to be confused with Freedom Bank of America in St. Petersburg — was a victim of lending problems and thin capital reserves. It is the second bank in Florida and 17th nationwide to fail in 2008. Another Bradenton bank, First Priority Bank, failed in August.

As an indicator of the deepening recession, only three banks failed in the country in 2007. No banks failed in 2006 or 2005.

In August, Freedom chairman Howard Seider and CEO David Zuern outlined in a letter to investors how they would revitalize the troubled bank. In September, bank regulators slapped a 21-point order on the bank to raise new capital and reserve more money against bad loans. The steps taken to meet that order were deemed insufficient, prompting the bank's seizure and sale Friday.

The four branches of Freedom Bank will reopen Monday as Fifth Third Bank. Depositors will automatically become depositors of Fifth Third and will continue to be insured by the FDIC.

Over the weekend, depositors can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks will continue to be processed, and loan customers should make payments as usual.

Freedom had assets of $287-million and deposits of $254-million. Fifth Third agreed to assume all the deposits for a premium of 1.16 percent, and will purchase $36-million of assets.

The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition, to help defray the estimated cost of the bank's failure to the FDIC deposit insurance fund of between $80-million and $104-million.



Customers can call the FDIC toll-free at 1-800-591-2767. This phone number will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, from noon until 5 p.m. Sunday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. thereafter. Information is available on the FDIC's Web site at

Bradenton's Freedom Bank closed, sold by FDIC 10/31/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 6, 2008 5:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more


    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  2. Take 2: Some fear Tampa Bay Next transportation plan is TBX redux


    TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. But the plan remains the same: spend $60 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area interstates that are currently free of tolls. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  3. Palm Harbor boat dealer facing litany of complaints of bad deals


    PALM HARBOR — With an aging father sick in the hospital and a son just graduating high school, Andrew Kashella, in between jobs, knew what he had to do.

    A sign on a front window of Gulf Coast Boat Sales, 37517 Us Highway 19 N, in Palm Harbor, notifies people they are under restructuring  The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has received 20 complaints against Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor. Complainants say they sold the shop their boats and never got paid and/or paid for boats they never received. Pinellas County Consumer Protection is leading the investigation.
  4. To catch a poacher: Florida wildlife officers set up undercover gator farm sting


    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, state wildlife officers created the ultimate undercover operation.

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up an undercover operation. They created their own alligator farm, complete with plenty of real, live alligators, watched over by real, live undercover wildlife officers. It also had hidden video cameras to record everything that happened. That was two years ago, and on Wednesday wildlife officers announced that they arrested nine people on  44 felony charges alleging they broke wildlife laws governing alligator harvesting, transporting eggs and hatchlings across state lines, dealing in stolen property, falsifying records, racketeering and conspiracy. The wildlife commission released these photos of alligators, eggs and hatchlings taken during the undercover operation. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  5. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill


    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Demonstrators protests the passage of a House Republican health care bill, outside the the Capitol in Washington, on May 4. The House took the unusual step of voting on the American Health Care Act before the Congressional Budget Office could assess it. That analysis was released Thursday and it showed the bill would cause 23 million fewer people to have health insurance by 2026. Many additional consumers would see skimpier health coverage and higher deductibles, the budget office projected.