Robust Banking Sector Augur Well for Home Market Growth


The robust banking and financial institutions operating locally, statewide, and nationally should help keep the home market in Sarasota on its healthy track. Recent stress tests by the Federal Reserve showed that the largest national banks operating in the Sunshine State are in now a better position to cope with a severe downturn similar to the recent Great Recession. Conducted annually, these bank checkups are mandated under the federal Dodd-Frank Act in order to monitor performance of the US banking industry and enable adoption of preemptive measures to avoid a repeat of the last economic downturn.

All of the biggest banking institutions which operate in Southwest Florida passed the Fed test. These include the top three—Sun Trust, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America—which together holds almost 50% of consumer banking deposits in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Those in the top 10 banks in the region which also cleared the test include JPMorgan, Chase, BB&T, BMO, Northern Trust, Regions and Fifth Third. PNC Bank and Comerica, which runs a wealth management operation in Sarasota, also passed the Fed checkon the country’s banking institutions’ capital sufficiency to weather another financial crisis.

Small lenders get upgrades

Robust Banking Sector Augur Well for Home Market Growth

Financial observers believe that the positive results of the recent Fed scrutiny indicate the strong recovery of the banking industry which redounds to the benefit of the home loan market. They also contend that this shows that the finance sector has fortified itself to better cope with a meltdown similar to that in 2008, which was on record as the worst experienced since the Great Depression.

Significant improvements were likewise noted under a separate analysis by BauerFinancial Inc. for smaller banks in Southwest Florida. Three Sarasota-based banks—Sabal Palm Bank, Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida, and Insignia Bank, improved their ratings in this analysis.

Sarasota investment advisor make waves

Notably, too, a homegrown fund manager, Global Financial Private Capital, is making its presence felt nationally. Representatives of this Sarasota-based SEC registered investment advisor (RIA) were invited to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) February, 25th 2014.

Invitations on the ringing of the NYSE bell to signal start of a trading day has become a tradition in recent years to honor achievers in business and industry. Founded in 1994, Global Financial now manages over $3 billion in assets and plans to expand its staffing to 250 in 2014, a big leap from its single-desk operation in its early years.

Global Financial has been cited by REP magazine as the 46th largest RIA in the US. It was also recognized as one of the country’s eight fastest-growing RIA for 2012 and was ranked by Forbes magazine among the Top 50 Wealth Managers in 2013.

While there has been a dramatic improvement in the health of the banking industry, there are still some institutions which remain vulnerable should another financial crisis occurs, the recent Fed and Bauer analyses showed. It would still be prudent, therefore, for those who plan to engage the home loan market to have the professional advice of a reputable broker or realtor.