Heritage Bank said to be undercapitalized


400-HERITAGE-BANK-PVBSNL Financial LC, a financial information firm headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, reported to Historic City News that Orange Park-based Heritage Bank of North Florida, with a second location in St Johns County, had the lowest “Tier 1” risk-based ratio of Florida banks coming into the first quarter of this year.

Banks whose Tier 1 risk-based ratio is less than 4% are considered “undercapitalized”; Heritage Bank of North Florida reported a ratio of 2.23%.

According to the data, as of the close of business on December 31, 2012, the benchmark risk ratio for Heritage Bank of North Florida had dropped 77 basis points during the final three months, alone.

The bank, which opened the Ponte Vedra Beach office in February 2002, also reported an adjusted “Texas ratio” of 588.28 percent. Banks with Texas ratios above 100 percent are considered at risk.

Heritage Bank of North Florida, with a location at SR-A1A at CR-210 in Ponte Vedra Beach, was among the banks in the nation with the largest adjusted Texas ratio in the third quarter, according to SNL Financial data.

The reported data indicates that the number of undercapitalized banks, at the close of the fourth quarter, was 41 banks — the lowest it’s been since the fourth quarter of 2009.

Analysts say that the steady decline in the number of undercapitalized banks should not be credited to banks finding their way out of trouble; but rather, 66 bank failures that were reported during the current cycle.

Heritage Bank retains its original owners and four of its founding board members.

“The bank’s senior management team has been working together for over 25 years and has more than a century of combined banking experience,” according to a statement from the bank. “In a recent survey, conducted by an independent research firm, our bank received the highest customer service rating of any bank in its service area.”