Now that it is under regulatory orders to improve its capital ratios, BankUnited Financial Corp. in Coral Gables, Fla., plans to cut 12% of its staff, or about 160 employees.

The $14.3 billion-asset BankUnited said late Friday that it had signed a consent order with the Office of Thrift Supervision requiring the improved capital ratios and restricting certain lending.

Most of the cuts will be made in BankUnited's residential lending operations. The company, which lost $93.1 million in the first half, estimated it would save about $11 million with the initiative.

The consent order requires BankUnited to have a minimum Tier 1 core capital ratio of 7% and a minimum total risk-based capital ratio of 14% by yearend. The company is trying to raise about $400 million of capital.

The order also precludes BankUnited from originating any loans that may result in negative amortization, including payment option adjustable-rate mortgages, and from originating loans with reduced or no documentation.

BankUnited may not pay dividends or make capital distributions without prior written approval from the OTS.

By late Monday, BankUnited's share price had increased 7.4%, to $1.02

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