While its house was burning down, BankUnited of Coral Gables, Fla., was on a deposit-gathering spree.

Florida's largest lender had been under the gun to reverse its negative Tier 1 capital ratio since being slapped with cease-and-desist order in September by the Office of Thrift Supervision. The institution was raking in the deposits with high-yield certificates of deposit and other savings instruments, paying what rates above those of competitors in the Miami/Dade County region. When the music stopped on May 21, its core deposits stood at $8.6 billion, up more than a 21 percent from the year before.

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