Make us your home page

Florida banks still lag behind national recovery

Despite steady improvement since the financial crisis, the percentage of troubled banks in Florida is still nearly three times the national average, a new analysis indicates.

In its latest quarterly report, financial ratings agency Bauer Financial estimates 18.3 percent of some 270 Florida banks it tracks are troubled and problematic, a rating that signifies an institution is vulnerable to failing. That compares with a national average of 6.2 percent.

Only two states are in worse shape. In Georgia, 23.1 percent of banks rate as troubled and problematic; in South Carolina, it's 19.4 percent.

In a healthy economy, ideally no more than 5 percent of institutions would fall into the troubled category, said Karen Dorway, Bauer's president and director of research.

Dorway gave credit to Florida for making strong progress considering the depths of its credit and lending problems.

"The situation was so bad. It's not surprising it's taking longer to work out," she said. "It's a long process … with foreclosures. It's a very tedious situation to work out of the legacy repossessions, in particular."

Bauer, which is based in Coral Gables, rates banks and credit unions on a five-star system based on criteria such as capital ratios, liquidity and level of delinquent loans. Two stars or below puts institutions in the troubled tier. To be recommended requires a minimum of four stars.

Nationwide, 74.5 percent of all banks were recommended this past quarter, the highest level in seven years. Fewer than half of the banks made the cut in just three states: Georgia (42.2 percent), South Carolina (44.8 percent) and Florida (49.2 percent).

One reason for the overall higher ratings: Bank failures and industry consolidation have eliminated a lot of weak performers. There are fewer than 7,000 commercial banks today nationwide, down from nearly 8,000 a decade ago and more than 14,000 in the 1980s.

Rankings aside, Florida has come a long way.

Back in 2010, Florida led the country with 29 bank failures, followed by 13 failures in 2011. Only four Florida banks failed last year; none so far this year.

Another benchmark: Two years ago, there were 39 zero-star banks in Florida. Today, there are only 12. The closest one to Tampa Bay is in the Sarasota area.

Florida fared much better in Bauer's breakdown of credit union health. About 85 percent of the state's credit unions were recommended, while only 1.3 percent received the troubled label. That's better than the national figures, where 76.5 percent of credit unions were recommended and 3.5 percent were troubled.

For ratings on banks and credit unions, go to

Florida banks still lag behind national recovery 06/12/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 12, 2014 6:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel


    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.