Make us your home page

With 22 Florida bank failures this year and more to go, state economy stays stuck in slow lane

Twenty-two Florida banks have already failed this year, more than in the previous 10 years combined. Only Illinois, Georgia and California have had more banks go under since January.

The latest Florida banks to fall? Regulators on Friday seized Community National Bank in Bartow and Independent National Bank in Ocala.

More will fail soon. But that's not a bad thing. It's good. Florida has bunches of banks still open but so weak that they can't lend money. They don't want your deposits. They can't find any fresh capital and regulators already are breathing down their necks. They need to be closed and their assets sold to stronger players eager to lend and attract your business again.

This year's 22 failed banks is a good start at ridding the state of dozens of Florida banks beyond rescue. Think of it like the huge glut of home foreclosures we still must work through in this state. Or like the big collective credit card debt hanging over consumers. The faster we can whittle down those financial anvils, the quicker health will return to Florida's economy.

About 280 banks are based in Florida, most of them small. Conservatively, in this economic cycle I'd estimate another 40 or so are likely to be overcome by bad loans and shrinking capital and fall into regulatory hands.

Those banks then will be handed over for disposal and resale to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. By now, the FDIC is tired of seizing dying banks. Nationally, 118 banks have failed since the start of the year. But the FDIC by now is also very good at knowing which healthier institutions or investor groups are eager to deal for failed bank remains.

While Florida banks have failed as far south as Key West and as far north as Panama City Beach, most failures are clustered in the southeast and along the gulf coast from Bradenton south to Naples. That's where the worst collapse of housing and condo prices hurt so many banks.

Only one bank has failed this year in the immediate Tampa Bay market. That would be Tampa's Bank of Florida, which was seized in May. But three have failed in nearby Bradenton, two in Sarasota and five in Naples or Marco Island.

Five Tampa Bay area banks still open are "zero rated" by Bauer Financial as of the first quarter . That's the weakest possible ranking, so weak the odds of reviving in this rough economy are bad. The five are Clearwater's Old Harbor Bank, Apollo Beach's Southshore Community Bank and three in Tampa: First Commercial Bank of Tampa Bay, Progress Bank of Florida and Southern Commerce Bank.

Nearby Cortez Community Bank in Brooksville, Horizon Bank in Bradenton and Landmark Bank of Sarasota are also zero-rated banks, bringing to eight the most vulnerable institutions in the broader Tampa Bay area. All are FDIC insured, which means each customer's deposits are federally insured up to $250,000.

We're making decent headway on the troubled bank front. Let's see if most of those in need of disposal can be dealt with by the end of 2011, when Florida's recovery should be — no, better be — far more apparent.

Florida bank failures since 2000

2010 (so far): 22

2009: 14

2008: 2

2007: 0

2006: 0

2005: 0

2004: 1

2003: 0

2002: 2

2001: 0

2000: 0

Source: FDIC

With 22 Florida bank failures this year and more to go, state economy stays stuck in slow lane 08/23/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 24, 2011 5:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  2. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride


    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.
  3. Would you let your company implant a chip in you?

    Working Life

    Would you ask an employee to get a chip implanted in her hand? Sounds invasive and intrusive. But come Aug. 1, one company in Wisconsin will be giving it a try.

    Three Square Market - a developer of software used in vending machines - is offering all of its employees the option to get a microchip implanted between the thumb and forefinger. [Photo from video]
  4. Daniel Lipton resigns as artistic director of Opera Tampa


    TAMPA — Daniel Lipton has resigned as artistic director of Opera Tampa, the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts announced.

    Daniel Lipton became the artistic director and conductor of Opera Tampa in 2012. Lipton replaced the opera's only previous director, Anton Coppola, who retired. [Times file (2012)]
  5. Throwback Tampa Bay station 102.9 goes from R&B jams to WFLA-AM's conservative talk


    Talk radio station WFLA-AM (970) began simulcasting on 102.9 FM in the Tampa area this morning. 

    Tampa's 102.9 is going from Throwback Tampa Bay to WFLA-AM's news radio.