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Tampa-St. Pete banks made millions in Paycheck Protection Program loans

Margie Manning



Photo: Office desk table with calculator and notebook with PPP Loan text by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0

Half a dozen locally based community banks with a retail presence in Pinellas County had a combined $1.6 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans on their balance sheets at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

The loans were made to 14,572 businesses to help them get through the economic difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

First Home Bancorp (OTCQX: FHBI), the St. Petersburg-based parent company of First Home Bank, led the way, with an outstanding PPP loan balance of $879.5 million on 9,121 loans as of Sept. 30, according to the bank’s call report filed with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

Loan origination fees and net interest income associated with the PPP loans, combined with mortgage banking income, contributed to First Home’s record earnings for the just-ended quarter.

Anthony Leo, CEO, First Home Bank

First Home Bancorp reported Q3 2020 net income of $5.25 million, or $2.20 a share, compared to net income of $1.28 million, or 60 cents a share, in the same three-month period a year ago.

“Our efforts over the prior three years to diversify revenue through the expansion of our mortgage banking operations were key to the company’s record performance in the third quarter of 2020. In addition, as a leading nationwide SBA lender, we were well positioned to be among the region’s foremost producers of PPP loans, driving revenue through origination fees and net interest income,” Anthony Leo, First Home’s CEO, said in a news release. “At the same time, we strengthened our balance sheet substantially in the third quarter with the provision of $7 million to the allowance for loan and lease losses should we experience deterioration in credit quality resulting from adverse economic conditions.”

The Bank of Tampa, Pilot Bank and First Citrus Bank — all headquartered in Tampa and with an active presence in Pinellas County — also reported healthy Q3 profits, while Flagship Bank in Clearwater and Beach Bank, with a growing Tampa-St. Pete presence, had Q3 losses that added to their total losses so far in 2020.

Beach Bank, headquartered in Fort Walton Beach and with an executive office in Tampa, was recapitalized with $100 million in 2018.

“In 2020, Beach has achieved our highest operating income levels since the July 2018 recapitalization of the bank. The 2020 net loss year-to-date is attributed to possible Covid-19 pandemic impacts resulting in a large one-time increase to our loan loss reserves,” said Chip Reeves, Beach Bank’s president and CEO. “Fortunately, through the third quarter,  our client base has proven resilient and those losses have not materialized.”

Related: Beach Bank launches Version 2.0 with a brand refresh

Flagship Bank was acquired just over one year ago by West Florida Bank Corp. West Florida Bank Corp. has been investing in Flagship’s growth, said Bob McGivney, CEO and vice chairman.

Bob McGivney

“As with any business, expenses precede revenue,” McGivney said.

Flagship had about $120 million in assets at the time of the Oct. 24, 2019 purchase. By Sept. 30, 2020, it had $299.7 million in total assets. There were two offices a year ago, in Clearwater and Oldsmar. Since then, the bank has added offices in Tarpon Springs and Largo, and is scouting for a location in St. Petersburg, McGivney said.

Flagship has named John Brenner as St. Petersburg market leader. Brenner spent 35 years at Bank of America before joining GulfShore Bank and staying on after GulfShore was acquired by Seacoast Bank.

Flagship also has about $1.3 million in PPP fees it has not yet recognized.

“If this is a break-even year for us, that’s magnificent,” McGivney said.

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