South Florida Business Journal
The third quarter was a strong one for South Florida banks, with a higher number receiving star ratings of “recommended” than in at least the past two years. And for the second quarter in a row, there were a higher proportion of four- and five-star banks in the tri-county area than across the Sunshine State.
Most South Florida-based banks remained strong in the third quarter, with the number of banks awarded “recommended” ratings of four or five stars increasing by two compared to the previous quarter, according to Coral Gables-based Bauer Financial.
The financial research and analytics firm awarded recommended ratings to 41 South Florida banks in the third quarter. That amounts to 83.7 percent of the 49-institution market.
Bauer awards a recommended rating to banks it deems financially stable and unlikely to fail. A “troubled and problematic” rating of two stars or less means the bank’s fiscal health may be in danger.
Of South Florida’s 49 banks, three received star upgrades. For two of those banks that meant earning recommended ratings of four stars. Palm Beach Gardens-based FirstCity Bank of Commerce and Davie-based Floridian Community Bank were upgraded from 3.5 stars to 4 stars in the second quarter. Miami-based Intercredit Bank retained its recommended rating, and was upgraded from 4 to 5 stars.
For the second quarter in a row, the tri-county area had a higher proportion of recommended banks than the Sunshine State as a whole, although Florida’s proportion of recommended banks is also rising. Florida increased its proportion of recommended banks to 81.2 percent in the third quarter, up from 78 percent in the second quarter and 73.9 percent in the first quarter.
Still, relative to bank ratings across the nation, South Florida still lagged. Approximately 86.6 percent of banks in the U.S. received recommended ratings in the third quarter, up from 86 percent of banks in the second quarter and 84.4 percent of banks in the first quarter.
Key West-based First State Bank of the Florida Keys maintained its recommended rating of five stars in the third quarter.