Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Florida Appears to Be Headed to 4-Year Low in Bank Closures

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Florida Appears to Be Headed to 4-Year Low in Bank Closures

Article excerpt

AS 2012 ENTERS ITS FINAL

month, the number of bank failures in Florida and nationwide are poised to hit a four-year low.

Eight Florida banks have failed so far this year, compared with 13 in 2011. The most recent was Heritage Bank in Lutz on Nov. 2.

Twenty-nine Florida banks failed in 2010, 14 in 2009 and two in 2008, at the onset of the financial crisis.

Nationally, regulators had closed 50 banks as of Nov. 29, compared with 90 at this point last year. A total of 92 were shut down in 2011, 157 in 2010, 140 in 2009 and 25 in 2008.

Nine of Southwest Florida's community banks have gone under during the recession and its aftermath.

But it has now been 16 months since the last one, which was Sarasota's LandMark Bank in July 2011.

The cost to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s insurance fund from those nine banks is just over $1 billion.

The FDIC carried 732 banks on its most recent problem list, about 10 percent of all banks.

The FDIC's cost to close banks is shrinking, and the agency is cutting fewer deals with buyers to share in future losses from the failures.

SNL Financial reported that the FDIC entered into loss-share agreements with the buyers of 19 of the 50 banks closed this year. That compares with 58 loss-share agreements in all of 2011 and 130 in 2010.

The median cost to the deposit insurance fund at the time of the failure was 21 percent of the bank's assets this year, down from 23 percent the past two years and 29 percent in 2009.

Helbing recognized

Rick Helbing, a certified financial planner in Sarasota, was named among the 150 best financial advisers for doctors by Medical Economics magazine.

Helbing, who founded Suncoast Advisory Group in 1988, has made the list for four straight years.

He specializes in financial planning for doctors, dentists and family owned businesses. His firm recently opened an office in Jacksonville.

Florida low on best-run state list

Some say Florida's economy is improving, others say it continues to struggle. …

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