BRADENTON — The latest bank ratings from Bauer Financial show a majority of local banks are either problematic or troubled.
Four Manatee County-based banks received a zero-star rating through the second quarter ending June 30, the lowest rating the Coral Gables firm gives.
Five stars is the highest rating, indicating a superior bank, while two-star rating and less go to banks Bauer Financial deems problematic or troubled.
Bauer Financial rates banks every three months based on financial reports that include capital, non-performing loans and liquidity.
Community Bank of Manatee of Bradenton and Horizon Bank of Bradenton shifted from a two-star category in the first quarter ending March 30 to zero stars this quarter.
Flagship National Bank of Bradenton maintained its zero-star rating from the first quarter, and 1st Manatee Bank of Parrish kept its start-up rating, which means the bank is too new to evaluate.
“We’re going to be at zero because we’re too new to rate,” said Tom Hodgson, president of 1st Manatee Bank, which is nearly two years old.
Manatee River Community Bank of Palmetto was the only Manatee County-based bank to rate higher, but that was in the one-star category.
According to federal regulatory reports, Community Bank of Manatee had $253.3 million in total assets through June 30, and risk-based capital ratio of 7.491.
In order for a bank to be well capitalized, a bank must have a ratio of 10 or higher.
However, Community Bank is expected to get $10 million in new equity through a stock sale to investors.
Community Bank’s sale to individual investors formed under CBM Florida Holdings Co. was approved by state regulators in July and is awaiting final approval from the Federal Reserve.
Bill Sedgeman, chairman of Community Bank of Manatee, is confident the new equity will significantly boost the bank’s rating.
“That will give us a satisfactory rating, whether it be a five or four,” Sedgeman said. “We started early in the year with our capital-raising initiatives and are proceeding to closing, subject to regulatory approval.”
Manatee River Community Bank also expects to gain capital through a pending merger it has with First America Bank of Sarasota.
Manatee River Community Bank, with $159 million in total assets, is adequately capitalized but has a risk-based capital ratio of 9.6 percent.
Allen Langford, president of Manatee River Community Bank, said the merger with First America Bank will fix that as the combined bank will have $285 million in assets.
Sarasota County banks fared slightly better. First America Bank received a four-star rating.
“We’re really looking forward to our merger with First America,” Langford said. “Ultimately, it’s going to benefit both institutions.”
Horizon Bank has $204 million in total assets and a risk-based capital ratio of 6.661 down from 10.01 a year ago.
Charles Conoley, president of Horizon Bank, said the bank is working with the Federal Reserve to raise capital.
“We’re doing some small capital raises, but the bank will be profitable going forward,” Conoley said. “Bauer has rate our bank low before and we’re still here. We’re still making loans, still taking deposits.”
Of the 15 banks headquartered in Sarasota County, six received a three-star rating or higher. Three stars indicates an adequate bank.
The remaining Sarasota County-based banks, however, received two-star ratings or lower.
Century Bank of Sarasota and Peninsula Bank of Englewood were placed in the zero-star category, while First State Bank of Sarasota and Community National Bank of Sarasota County have failed and been taken over by the FDIC.