Two Tampa Bay area banks have made the ranks of American Banker’s top 200 publicly traded community banks.
First Home Bancorp of St. Petersburg ranked No. 5 with $364 million in total assets and a 17.23 percent three-year return on equity. The bank is one of the largest Small Business Administration lenders in the Tampa Bay area with $19.49 million in loans in 2018, according to Tampa Bay Business Journal research.
Tampa-headquartered First Citrus Bancorp ranked No. 191 on the list with $403 million in total assets and a 9.19 percent three-year return on equity.
The daily trade newspaper and website that ranks community banks based on their median return on average equity said that lower taxes and higher interest rates significantly improved profitability for community banks last year.
The median return on average equity for the 601 institutions that fit the ranking criteria jumped 270 basis points in 2018, to 9.66 percent, it said. The top 200 increased an extra 10 basis points, raising their median return on equity to 12.45 percent.
The listing for First Citrus is one of several accolades this year for the bank. It is a finalist in this year’s Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award and has been recognized by the S&P Global Market Intelligence as the second-best-performing bank stock over the past three years.
“We not only feel privileged but also a sense of duty to help clients become more financially secure and businesses economically successful,” said John Barrett, president and CEO of First Citrus Bank in a statement. “For the past 20 years, no other bank has loaned more of its deposits throughout Tampa Bay than First Citrus Bank — 98 cents of every dollar.”
First Home Bancorp declined to comment on the ranking.
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