Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FDIC Order Blasts First Bank Chief

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FDIC Order Blasts First Bank Chief

Article excerpt

In a sharply worded formal order, regulators have told

Jacksonville's tiniest bank to "cease and desist" from the way

it does business or face fines.

First Bank of Jacksonville at 1110 San Jose Blvd, has been

engaged in "unsafe or unsound banking practices, violated

certain laws and regulations, and suffers from weak management,

operational deficiencies, and lack of internal controls," the

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which regulates banks, said in

an order released this week.

The FDIC also pointed its finger at the management of the bank,

which according to regulatory filings, has some $8 million in

assets and the equivalent of three full-time employees. It made

a profit of $35,000 in the first quarter of this year.

"Most of these deficiencies and violations can be traced to the

activities and management of Clyde N. Wells, Jr., the bank's

controlling shareholder and president, and chairman of the

bank's board of directors," the FDIC wrote.

Wells was also characterized as having "limited ability to run

the bank."

Wells, a lawyer by training, said he did not want to comment on

the contents of the order.

"We are disappointed that a cease and desist order has been

entered," he said.

Wells said that the bank's financial strength had been highly

rated by the Community Bankers of Florida, a trade association,

and also two companies that track bank statistics, Bauer

Financial Reports of Coral Gables and Sheshunoff Information

Services Inc. of Austin, Texas.

But the FDIC did not focus on the bank's financial performance

but rather on how it does business.

In a 50-page order, the FDIC painted a picture of a bank that

cannot keep its books straight or correct accounting errors in a

timely manner and has poor internal controls.

"The bank does not routinely follow any definable accounting

procedures" the FDIC wrote.

The bank was criticized for its "imprudent lending practices"

and for violating bank lending statutes. …

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