Press Room

Centerstate opens first Treasure Coast branch in Vero Beach

VERO BEACH, FL (June 25, 2010)-, Paul Ivice

 After opening in mid-June, CenterState Bank’s first branch in the Treasure Coast already has collected $4 million in deposits. The former home of Fletcher’s Appliance, a 4,071-square-foot building west of U.S. 1 on 20th Place, was transformed into a bank in two months in a $120,000 construction project designed by Vero architects Peirce & Associates. CenterState’s Treasure Coast Region area executive Andy Beindorf assembled a staff that consists primarily of former IRNB employees. Beindorf was president of Indian River State Bank before it was acquired and stayed on with Royal Bank of Canada after it acquired the Alabama-based company that had bought IRNB, CenterState Bank director Griffin Greene said, “CenterState is solidly established in Florida’s banking business with 38 offices in the central part of the state and $1.8 billion in assets.” Greene added, “The bank hopes to add other offices to its Treasure Coast network in the near future.” Greene is the former IRNB chairman and president of Greene River Packing in Vero Beach. CenterState Bank, an independent Florida-based bank, recently was rated five stars, the highest rating given, by BauerFinancial, an independent bank rating and research firm in Coral Gables. It is the only bank in the Treasure Coast to receive five stars. CenterState Bank of Florida N.A., based in Winter Haven, is owned by a Davenport-based holding company, Centerstate Banks Inc. of Florida N.A., which has three other divisions in the state. Including the other divisions — in Kissimmee, Valrico and Zephyrhills — the holding company now has 39 branches and combined assets of nearly $1.8 billion. That would rank it near the top 10 among Florida-based banks, and about on par with Stuart-based Seacoast National Bank. Beindorf said in a news release, “With a five-star BauerFinancial rating and nearly $2 billion in assets, we are uniquely positioned to quickly become one of the largest and strongest community banks on the Treasure Coast.” Dan Bockhorst, senior vice president and senior lender, said some loans have already been closed, including some commercial lines of credit and one residential mortgage. “Ultimately, we will probably end up with more dollars into commercial loans because they tend to be bigger,” Bockhorst said. Where: 801 20th Place, just west of U.S. 1 between the “twin pairs” of State Road 60 east and west. Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Phone: (772) 299-6860

Polk Banks, Credit Unions Hold Steady

WINTER HAVEN, FL (June 17, 2010)- Rachel Pleasant, The Ledger

Stability is the theme of the most recent report looking at the health of banks and credit unions in Polk County. The first-quarter report from Coral Gables-based BauerFinancial shows nearly all of the county's banks and credit unions maintained their star ratings from the previous quarter. In fact, the only quarter-to-quarter change belonged to Winter Haven's Centerstate Bank of Florida, which improved its rating from four stars to five. BauerFinancial assigns star ratings based on assets, profits or losses and other factors. The ratings range from zero stars to five, with five being the best. BauerFinancial's president, Karen Dorway, said the fact that all of Polk's banks and credit unions held steady from last quarter is an encouraging sign. "That's great news with the way things have been going," Dorway said. "If you picture that we've been in a downward spiral, it appears that we're making that turn. It's not enough of a trend to say that definitively, but that looks like what's happening now." It would take four full quarters of similar results to call these signs of stability a trend, Dorway said. Dorway said BauerFinancial saw signs of stability across the state, which is especially good news because banking is a lagging indicator of the economy. "It takes (financial institutions) longer to start coming back after a downturn. It takes time for customers to fall behind on payments and time for them to catch back up," she said. "There's a feeling that banks have taken most of the losses they're going to take." Still, Dorway said, that doesn't mean we're out of the woods since unemployment remains high; 12. 1 percent in April for Polk, according to the state's Agency for Workforce Innovation, compared to 9.7 percent in April 2009. "That makes it hard to get any momentum," she said. Centerstate Bank of Florida President and CEO John Corbett attributed his institution's positive performance in the most recent report to a willingness to work with customers and give concessions when necessary. Also contributing to the added star was an improving capital ratio thanks to consistent quarterly profits - even during the downturn. In the most recent report, Centerstate Bank of Florida had a quarterly income of $1.46 million. Looking ahead, Corbett is optimistic about the financial industry, though he says the next couple of years won't be easy. "When people are upside down on a house, you don't figure that out overnight," he said. There are two changes of note in this quarter's report. Wachovia is now owned by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. Also, Riverside National Bank of Florida failed in April and merged with TD Bank NA.