A deal between two south Florida banks that was called off last month is back on again, according to the acquirer.
Edward C. Haynes, president of $100 million-asset Skylake Bankshares, North Miami Beach, said that his bank's application to buy $80 million- asset Kislak National Bank will be re-submitted to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as early as this week.
"We are anxious to accomplish this merger as soon as possible," Mr. Haynes said.
The original application was filed Oct. 17, according to the Fed, but was withdrawn in early December.
Mr. Haynes referred questions about the application to Howard J. Brafman, attorney for Kislak National Bank.
In a faxed statement, Mr. Brafman said the application "was withdrawn so that the banks could respond to the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) concerns of regulators."
On Sept. 29, Kislak National Bank received a "substantial noncompliance" CRA rating from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Neither Mr. Brafman nor Jonathan Kislak, president of North Miami Beach- based Kislak National, returned phone calls seeking further comment. The two banks share a common majority shareholder, Jay I. Kislak, who also did not return phone calls.
"A friendly regulator will sometimes encourage a bank to withdraw its application to save it from the embarrassment of being denied," said Kenneth H. Thomas, a Miami-based consultant.
Mr. Thomas, author of a book on CRA compliance, said he would be surprised if the resubmitted application is approved.
The Fed has rejected deals involving banks with a "needs to improve" CRA rating, a higher grade than Kislak National received.
In a separate statement, Mr. Brafman said that the poor CRA score was due in part to the merger plans. The bank made only seven loans in 1997, according to the statement, "due to the ongoing reorganization process of the bank over the past 18 months, including a pending merger with" Skylake Bankshares.