OptimumBank, Interamerican finally free of post-crisis regulatory orders

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Regulators have terminated long-running enforcement actions against two community banks in Florida.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in mid-August released Interamerican Bank in Miami from a seven-year consent order. The Federal Reserve on Sept. 11 freed OptimumBank in Plantation from a nine-year-old written agreement.

Both terminations were announced Friday.

For OptimumBank and its parent, OptimumBank Holdings, the Fed’s action comes a year after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. terminated an April 2010 consent order with the $110.3 million-asset institution.

An OptimumBank spokesman was unavailable to comment on Monday. In July, the bank released a statement noting regulatory difficulties were nearing an end, while promising a “tremendous concerted effort to create a noteworthy, formidable local banking establishment.”

Through the first half of 2019, Optimum reported $38,000 in losses, though all of its loans are current and it had a 13.35% Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio, according to the FDIC. That compares to a 16% ratio of noncurrent loans to total assets in mid-2010, when the bank also had a Tier 1 risk-based capital below 7%.

OptimumBank lost $8.2 million in 2010 and another $14.5 million over the next three years.

Agustin Velasco said Monday that he was “very happy” the September 2012 order had been removed.

An OCC spokesperson declined to say if Interamerican's experience was out-of-the-ordinary despite the order's lengthy duration.

"The length of time required for a bank to satisfy the terms of an enforcement action vary significantly based on the fact and circumstances fo the order and the bank," she said. "I would not compare it to others or try to characterize the usual duration of an action.'

Like OptimumBank, the $199.7 million-asset Interamerican has rebuilt capital and improved credit quality since it was hit with an enforcement action.

Though Interamerican still had $4.4 million of noncurrent loans on June 30, the total was well below the $18.7 million it had on Sept. 30, 2012. At 18.28%, the bank's Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio is substantially higher than the 11.1% reported seven years earlier.

Interamerican earned $1.3 million in the first half of 2019. It lost $12.6 million from 2010 to 2012.

Regulators announced the terminations involving Optimum and Interamerican six months after the Fed terminated an eight-year-old written agreement with the $207 million-asset Cogent Bank in Orange City, Fla. Cogent was doing business as Pinnacle Bank when it agreed to the order in August 2011.

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