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Florida Banks' Loans Veer From Bad to Worse

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ( TheStreet) -- Florida, ground zero for the real-estate crash, had the highest number of banks, and savings and loans with poor-asset quality after Georgia.

While Florida was at the forefront of states that went through the boom-and-bust cycle for residential and commercial property, there have been relatively few bank failures so far. Five Florida institutions have been closed by regulators this year and last, compared with 21 for Georgia and 13 each for California and Illinois. Florida has 301 banks.

The most recent Florida failure was BankUnited of Coral Gables on May 21, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. arranging for the failed thrift's retail deposits and branches to be taken over by an investor group led by former bank executive John Kanas.

Other Florida failures included Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast of Cape Coral, which was shuttered in February, with deposits and branches acquired by TIB Financial Corp. (TIBB); Ocala National Bank, which had its deposits and branches taken over by CenterState Banks of Florida (CSFL - Get Report); Freedom Bank of Bradenton, with deposits and branches purchased by FifthThird Bancorp (FITB - Get Report); and First Priority Bank of Bradenton. First Priority's insured deposits and branches were bought by SunTrust (STI - Get Report), causing losses of $2.1 million in uninsured deposits.

Please see TheStreet.com's interactive Bank Failure Map for a summary of all failed banks and thrifts dating to January 2008.

Strongest Florida Banks and Thrifts

Based on March 31 financial reports, 13 Florida institutions were rated B-plus (good) or higher, which down from 15 the previous quarter.

The ratings encompass a large number of data, placing the greatest weight on capital strength, credit quality and earnings stability. To be considered well-capitalized, most banks and S&Ls need to maintain a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 10%.
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