Florida banks, pummeled by the real estate bust and Great Recession, are improving but still lag far behind the industry's resurgence elsewhere in the country, a new analysis shows.
Nearly 70 percent of banks nationwide are now recommended by the Coral Gables financial rating agency Bauer Financial. That's the highest level since the end of 2007.
In Florida, meanwhile, less than 39 percent of banks make the recommended list, up strongly from the 25 percent level a year ago but a lingering reminder of just how deep the problems were here.
To be recommended, a bank has to score four or five stars on the company's five-star rating system. Four stars means "excellent" and five means "superior."
On the opposite side of the spectrum are banks billed as "troubled and problematic," receiving two or fewer stars.
Among the encouraging statistics: Only eight U.S. banks failed in the last quarter while 43 improved enough to be removed from the troubled and problematic list "the old-fashioned way —hard work," Bauer Financial said.
The number of troubled and problematic banks in Florida fell only slightly over the year, from about 38 percent to 34 percent.
Florida had 19 of the bottom-of-the-barrel, zero-star banks as of the fourth quarter of 2012, down from 25 in the third quarter. None of the zero-star banks are in the Tampa Bay area.
For a full listing or specific bank and credit union ratings, go to www.bauerfinancial.com.