CenterState continues shopping spree for Florida banking business

CenterState Bank is setting the stage to become the largest community banking company in the state of Florida with its two recent acquisitions of Harbor Community Bank and Sunshine Bank. The proposed mergers would result in $10.1 billion in assets, $6.6 billion in loans and $8.1 billion in deposits.

Both mergers are expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2018. They are also independent of each other.

In a press release distributed as the acquisitions were announced, John Corbett, President and CEO of CenterState Corporation said, “Our partnerships with Harbor Community Bank and Sunshine Bank are the logical next step to fulfill our vision of becoming Florida’s bank.”

He added, “We are excited to welcome Harbor’s employees as well as Sunshine’s employees to the CenterState family and look forward to working with them.”

Coming on the heels of acquiring Gateway Financial Holdings of Florida and Platinum Bank Holding Company in 2017 as well as Hometown of Homestead Banking Company and Community Bank in South Florida in 2016, the recent acquisitions certainly solidify CenterState’s presence in Florida.

Florida echoes the national trend seen in the banking industry of the disappearance of the community bank. According to the Federal Reserve, the total number of commercial banks insured by the FDIC has decreased 28% since 2008.

In a 2017 Federal Reserve survey of 611 community bankers across the nation, 11% said they “received and seriously considered an acquisition in the last 12 months. The survey also stated that 19% of responding bankers made an acquisition bid during that same period.

According to recently appointed CenterState Bank President Mark W. Thompson, “My focus will be to optimize the organic growth of our Bank while maintaining the culture which has really helped to differentiate CenterState.”

To date, no changes in customer services or benefits have been announced. Based in Fort Pierce, Harbor Community Bank has 46 branch locations and three loan offices throughout 19 counties in Florida.

Sunshine, headquartered in Plant City, is the parent company of Sunshine Bank and operates 18 banking locations in seven Florida counties along I-4.

CenterState, headquartered in Winter Haven, Florida, is a financial holding company which owns CenterState Bank, N.A. The bank provides a full range of consumer and commercial banking services to individuals, businesses and industries through 78 bank offices located in 28 counties throughout Florida. CenterState also provides correspondent banking and capital market services to approximately 600 community banks nationwide.

By Kathryn Pizzurro

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