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); Freedom Bank of Bradenton, with deposits and branches purchased by FifthThird Bancorp ( FITB); and First Priority Bank of Bradenton. First Priority's insured deposits and branches were bought by SunTrust ( STI), 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%.

Largest Florida Institutions

The following table includes capital, earnings and asset-quality ratios for the 10 largest Florida banks and thrifts.

After BankUnited failed, the biggest remaining Florida institution is Northern Trust NA of Miami, a subsidiary of Northern Trust Corp. ( NTRS), which has a financial-strength rating of B (good).

Raymond James Bank FSB of Saint Petersburg, a unit of Raymond James Financial ( RJF), was rated C-minus (fair), a downgrade from C-plus, as a result of a first-quarter net loss of $7.6 million and a relatively low risk-based capital ratio.

BankAtlantic of Fort Lauderdale was rated D-minus, unchanged from the previous quarter, as the institution reported a net loss of $40.6 million for the first quarter and continued to suffer from nonperforming residential construction and land development loans. BankAtlantic is a subsidiary of BankAtlantic Bancorp ( BBX), which in turn is controlled by BFC Financial Corp ( BFCF).

IronStone Bank of Fort Meyers, held by First Citizens BancShares ( FCNCA), was rated C, a downgrade from C-plus, after the thrift posted a first-quarter net loss of $6.7 million.

Weakest Florida Banks

Seven Florida institutions are included in TheStreet.com's recent list of Undercapitalized Banks and Thrifts as of March 31.

Florida had 22 banks and thrifts with nonperforming assets comprising more than 10% of total assets as of March 31. That was the highest for any state except Georgia, which had 39. Nonperforming assets include loans past due 90 days or more, or in nonaccrual status, along with repossessed real estate.

Free Bank and S&L Ratings

TheStreet.com Ratings issues independent and very conservative financial-strength ratings on the nation's 8,300 banks and savings and loans. These are available at no charge on the Bank & Thrift Ratings Screener.

The writer owns shares in Riverside Banking Co., the holding company for Riverside National Bank of Florida, of Fort Pierce, a former employer.

Philip W. van Doorn joined TheStreet.com Ratings in February 2007. He is the senior analyst responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. He also comments on industry and regulatory trends. Mr. van Doorn has fifteen years experience, having served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Florida, and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Long Island University.

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