Regulators shut down Florida's only black-owned bank Friday, selling its deposits and most of its assets to another African-American-owned bank.

Peoples National Bank of Commerce, a $38 million-asset institution in Miami, became the fifth bank overall -- and the second owned by minorities -- to fail this year. Its two branches and all but $3.6 million of its other assets were acquired by $108 million-asset Boston Bank of Commerce, the only bank to submit a bid.

Boston Bank also purchased $34 million of the bank's deposits, at a discount of $1.8 million.

Peoples National was the object of several enforcement actions in recent years. According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the bank had poor lending and record-keeping practices, an ineffective board, and problems with year-2000 preparedness.

The OCC said the bank was unprepared to handle an "ambitious growth program" that included the 1996 acquisition of Jefferson Bank of Broward County, Fla. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Peoples' failure will cost the Bank Insurance Fund about $2.2 million.

In March the FDIC closed Victory State Bank of Columbia, S.C., a minority-owned institution, and sold most of its assets and deposits to African-American investors.

-- Scott Barancik

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