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Florida's Weakest Banks Vanish

Stocks in this article: BAC WFC STI NTRS BKU RJF PRK

Most of the undercapitalized banks on the above list are operating under regulatory orders to achieve and maintain total risk-based capital ratios higher than 10%.

The list also includes financial strength ratings provided by Weiss Ratings. Weiss Ratings uses a very conservative ratings model, placing the greatest weight on capital strength, credit quality and earnings stability to assign ratings ranging from A-plus (Excellent) to E-minus (Very Weak).

The largest Florida institution with NPA exceeding 15% as of June 30 was Vision Bank of Panama City, which is a subsidiary of Park National Corp. (PRK) of Newark, Ohio. Vision Bank's NPA ratio was 16.58% as of June 30, improving from 23.37% the previous quarter. The bank's total risk-based capital ratio was a very strong 22.347%. The holding company has been profitable for the past 12 quarters, reporting second-quarter earnings to common shareholders of $18.9 million, or $1.22 a share, with an ROA of 1.11%, according to SNL Financial. Park National Corp. owes $100 million in government bailout funds received in December 2008, through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.

The Florida bank with the highest concentration in nonperforming assets as of June 30 was Southern Commerce Bank, NA of Tampa, with NPA of 30.72%. The bank is operating under a May 2010 consent order with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and as of June 30 was in compliance with the order's higher capital requirements, with a total risk-based capital ratio of 26.85%, while the agreement called for the bank to achieve and maintain a total risk-based capital ratio of 11%.

Florida's Largest Banks

Here are the 10 largest Florida banks, along with key metrics as of March 31:

Out-of-state players dominate deposit gathering in Florida. Based on the most recent deposit market share data provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Bank of America NA (the main banking subsidiary of Bank of America (BAC)) was the market share leader with 18.3% of deposits in the Sunshine State as of June 30, 2010.

Wells Fargo Bank NA (the main subsidiary of Wells Fargo (WFC)) had a 16.1% deposit market share in Florida, and SunTrust Bank (held by SunTrust Banks (STI)) was third, with a 10.1% market share.

The largest bank chartered in Florida is Northern Trust, NA, which is a subsidiary of Northern Trust Corp. (NTRS) of Chicago. The Florida subsidiary earned $33.4 million during the second quarter, for a return on average assets of 1.04%, improving from earnings of $28.5 million and ROA of 0.91% during the first quarter.

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