Bauer gives 44 Florida banks zero stars

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dozens of Florida banks entered 2011 on perilous financial footing, according to Bauer Financial.
The Coral Gables-based bank ratings agency rated 44 Florida-based banks zero stars in the fourth quarter. While that’s down from 45 in the third quarter, three of the previous zero-rated banks failed.
Bauer Financial uses federal regulatory data to rate banks based on capital ratio, profit/loss trends, delinquent loans and other factors. It ranks banks from zero to five stars. It does not rate banks that are too new to evaluate.
It gave nearly 19 percent of Florida banks a “recommended” rating of four or five stars. That’s the lowest for any state in the nation. Bauer Financial gave a “troubled” or “problematic” rating (zero to two stars) to nearly 40 percent of Florida banks. The only states with more problem banks were Arizona (45 percent) and Georgia (43 percent).
In South Florida, there were nine zero-star banks. The new addition was Doral-based U.S. Century Bank, which fell from one star in the third quarter. It received $50.2 million from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). U.S. Century Bank was “well capitalized,” but by a thin margin.
The South Florida banks that could not improve from a zero-star rating were:
• Miami-based Ocean Bank, which was “adequately capitalized”
• Miami Lakes-based Great Florida Bank (Pink Sheets: GFLB), which was “adequately capitalized”
• Sunrise-based TransCapital Bank
• Plantation-based OptimumBank (NASDAQ: OPHC), which was “undercapitalized”
• Bank of Coral Gables, which was “adequately capitalized”
• North Lauderdale-based Security Bank, which was “adequately capitalized”
• Boca Raton-based EuroBank
• Tamarac-based First East Side Savings Bank
After raising capital in the fourth quarter, Home Federal Bank of Hollywood improved to one star from zero stars in the third quarter. All of the banks that had one star were in Palm Beach County. Both Boca Raton-based Legacy Bank of Florida and Juno Beach-based Anchor Commercial Bank had one star and were “adequately capitalized.”
West Palm Beach-based Grand Bank & Trust of Florida was downgraded to one star from two stars, but it has a pending deal to be acquired by First Bank and Trust of Indiantown as part of the new Harbor Community Bank.
West Palm Beach-based Flagler Bank and Palm Beach Gardens-based SouthBank, the other banks rated one star, were still “well capitalized,” but dealing with regulator enforcement actions.
The only new South Florida bank rated two stars (problematic) by Bauer Financial was Fort Lauderdale-based Landmark Bank, which was downgraded from three stars. The local banks that kept their two-star ratings were:
• Fort Lauderdale-based BankAtlantic (NYSE: BBX), which is under orders from regulators to raise capital
• Palm Beach-based Lydian Private Bank, which also is under a regulatory order to raise capital
• Coconut Grove Bank
• Davie-based Regent Bank, a TARP recipient that was told to raise capital
• Homestead-based 1st National Bank of South Florida
• Homestead-based Community Bank of Florida
• Coconut Grove-based Biscayne Bank, a TARP recipient
• Weston-based Community Bank of Broward
• Miami-based Eastern National Bank
• Miami-based Intercredit Bank
• Boca Raton-based Paradise Bank
• West Palm Beach-based First Bank of the Palm Beaches, which was told by regulators to raise capital
• Miami-based Great Eastern Bank of Florida
The South Florida banks that received “recommended” ratings from Bauer Financial did not change in the fourth quarter. Small community institutions West Miami-based Intercontinental Bank, Boynton Beach-based Palm Beach Community Bank and Bank of Belle Glade were rated five stars.
The local banks that earned four stars were Miami-based Northern Trust, N.A., Boca Raton-based 1st United Bank (NASDAQ: FUBC), Oakland Park-based American National Bank, Continental National Bank of Miami and First National Bank of South Miami.
Bauer Financial also sized up national banks with major operations in Florida and other Florida banks near our region:
• Wells Fargo Bank, which also does business as Wachovia: three stars
• Bank of America: three stars
• SunTrust Bank: three stars
• JPMorgan Chase Bank: 3.5 stars
• Citibank: 3.5 stars
• PNC Bank: 3.5 stars
• HSBC Bank: four stars
• Branch Banking & Trust Co. (BB&T) : four stars
• Regions Bank: three stars
• TD Bank: four stars
• New York Community Bank, which also does business as AmTrust: five stars
• Fifth Third Bank: 3.5 stars
• Third Federal Savings & Loan: five stars
• Comerica Bank: four stars
• RBC Bank: three stars
• Port St. Lucie-based First Peoples Bank (NASDAQ: FPBI): zero stars and “undercapitalized”
• Orlando-based CNL Bank: two stars and “adequately capitalized”
• Jacksonville-based Florida Capital Bank: zero stars and “adequately capitalized”
• Stuart-based Seacoast National Bank: two stars
• Orlando-based Seaside National Bank & Trust: three stars
• Iberiabank: five stars
• FirstBank of Puerto Rico, which also does business as FirstBank Florida: two stars
• Banco Popular North America: two stars
• First State Bank of the Florida Keys: three stars
• Bank of Naples: zero stars
• Ft. Myers-based First Community Bank of Southwest Florida: zero stars
• Ft. Myers-based Reliance Bank: zero stars
• Naples-based Royal Palm Bank of Florida: zero stars
• Jacksonville-based EverBank: four stars
South Florida Business Journal - by Brian Bandell

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