Amerasia Bank in New York has agreed to buy a troubled community bank in Florida.
The $291 million-asset bank will acquire Great Eastern Bank of Florida, says Jimmy Tsai, Amerasia's chief operating officer. The price was not disclosed. The $48 million-asset Great Eastern Bank has offices in Miami and North Miami Beach.
Federal regulators have placed Great Eastern under multiple enforcement orders since 1998, addressing violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, operating with high levels of nonperforming assets, and other issues. At Sept. 30, Great Eastern had negative returns on assets and equity. John Lubera, the bank's president, did not return a call seeking comment.
Amerasia, based in Queens, N.Y., was founded in 1988 by Taiwanese immigrant James Huang. Great Eastern would be Amerasia's first acquisition, Tsai says. He declined to discuss the circumstances behind the deal, including an account of how the banks agreed to the transaction.
At Sept. 30, Amerasia had a 19% return on equity and a 36% efficiency ratio. Noncurrent loans comprising just 0.3% of total assets at the end of the third quarter.