Make us your home page
Instagram

FDIC order creates a problem for First Commercial Bank of Tampa Bay

Albert Salem Jr., chief executive of First Commercial Bank of Tampa Bay, is at wit's end.

A cease-and-desist order disclosed by the FDIC on Friday compels his Tampa bank to halve its total of problem real estate loans to about $9 million.

"We're told to get rid of these loans. … Get rid of them? What do you do with them?" Salem said Monday. "We know we have to get (borrowers) to pay somehow, but you just can't force people to pay something they can't pay.

"People have just been running out of money; they're tapped out."

Salem said First Commercial has already whittled the troubled loan portfolio cited by regulators from $19 million to $15 million and has a two-year window under regulatory guidelines to reach the $9 million.

But he's loath to squeeze his longtime customers, developers that he says were not speculators, but sophisticated and responsible investors.

"They got slammed against the wall because they were ahead of the pack. These were guys that knew what they were doing. They're considered in the top 10 percent of real estate gurus and developers in the state."

He said the bank is trying to walk the line between being "benevolent" and firm in modifying loans.

Salem isn't worried about his institution's stability. The bank still has plenty of capital (about $19 million) to weather economic turbulence and its 30 percent liquidity is twice the level regulators look for. He said news on Friday of the FDIC's intervention didn't spark any run on the bank's $150 million-plus in deposits.

"Our deposits are strong and our people are strong," Salem said. "We're hanging in there. We're going to be fine."

The FDIC, however, could trigger a sale if First Commercial is unable to increase deposits and trim its troubled loans.

In its order, the FDIC said it had reason to believe First Commercial "had engaged in unsafe or unsound banking practices and had committed violations of law and/or regulations."

Among other charges, regulators said the bank was operating with inadequate board supervision, inadequate capital, a large volume of poor quality loans, inadequate oversight of its loan portfolio, and lax underwriting and weak lending procedures.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at jharrington@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8242.

FAST FACTS

First Commercial Bank

What happened?

The FDIC's cease-and-desist order puts First Commercial Bank of Tampa Bay under a strict timetable to improve its operations. This is more severe than a bank that is on the FDIC's undisclosed watch list but not as serious as a bank seizure or forced sale.

What if I'm a customer?

FDIC spokeswoman LaJuan Williams-Dickerson said customers do not have to make any changes to their accounts or worry about the safety of their deposits. The FDIC insures bank deposits up to $250,000. Read more at fdic.gov.

FDIC order creates a problem for First Commercial Bank of Tampa Bay 06/29/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Appointments at Shutts & Bowen and Tech Data highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Legal

    Retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott G. Johnson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office as a senior attorney in the firm's Government Contracts and Corporate Law Practice Groups. Johnson brings 15 years of legal experience and 24 years of naval service to his position. At Shutts, Scott will …

    United States Navy Commander (Retired) Scott G. Johnson joins Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office. [Company handout]
  2. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board

    Retail

    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  3. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares nearly 25 percent

    Business

    CLEARWATER — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  4. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower

    Corporate

    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]
  5. Good news: Tampa Bay no longer a major foreclosure capital of the country

    Real Estate

    Once in the top five nationally for foreclosure filings, the Tampa Bay area no longer makes even the top 25.

    A few short years ago, Tampa Bay was a national hub for foreclosures. Not any more. [Getty Images/iStockphoto]