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Clearwater's Old Harbor Bank fails, its assets sold to Boca Raton's 1st United bank

Long-ailing Old Harbor Bank of Clearwater was closed by regulators Friday and its assets sold to 1st United Bank of Boca Raton.

Old Harbor's seven branches will reopen during normal business hours starting Saturday as 1st United branches.

Old Harbor has long been viewed as vulnerable to failure as one of eight Tampa Bay financial institutions operating under enforcement actions ordering it to raise capital. Bank ratings firm Bauer Financial has given the firm its lowest ranking: a zero-star rating indicating "troubled."

1st United, in contrast, is a top-rated, five-star bank by Bauer, a rating signifying "superior" status. The institution, with $1.3 billion in assets and 15 locations, is considered well capitalized.

1st United has completed two other acquisitions of failed banks, one in Miami and one in Coral Gables. This deal represents 1st United's first foray into the Tampa Bay market.

As of June 30, Old Harbor had about $216 million in assets and $218 million in deposits.

Community Bank & Co., a Manatee County bank growing quickly in the bay area, had planned to buy Old Harbor and recapitalize it with a $25 million investment. But Community Bank's parent company, CBM Florida Holding, backed out of the deal in August.

At the time, CBM chief executive officer Trevor Burgess said the bank was withdrawing its acquisition bid "due to circumstances beyond our control" but did not elaborate.

Old Harbor is the 81st FDIC-insured institution to fail so far this year, and the 12th in Florida.

Clearwater's Old Harbor Bank fails, its assets sold to Boca Raton's 1st United bank 10/21/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2011 9:11pm]
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