Small banks hurt by housing bust

A BankUnited branch

TEXT OF STORY

We've heard so much about stress test this and stress test that concerning the nation's 19 biggest banks. But what about the smaller guys? And by smaller, I mean those that are just a hair short of really, really big. Those regional banks -- many of which are in Florida -- have seen their capital wiped out by a Sunshine State housing bust. From Miami, Marketplace's Dan Grech reports.


DAN GRECH: Foreclosures and falling house prices have already driven a slew of construction firms in Florida out of business. Florida banks could be next.

Jack McCabe runs McCabe Research, a company that tracks the South Florida lending market. He says Florida could face a dozen regional bank failures in the second half of the year.

JACK MCCABE: If you look at the banks with the largest real estate exposures in their portfolios, that's where the trouble lies.

Florida banks on average have double the level of bad loans compared to banks nationwide. It's second to only Georgia in the number of troubled banks.

BankUnited is Florida's biggest bank, with $14 billion dollars in assets. But its capital is wiped out by real estate losses. It's under orders from the feds to find a buyer or merge.

In Miami, I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...