The Real Deal Miami

Bank of Belle Glade a rare bright spot for South Florida

January 11, 2010 11:41AM

As regional banks continue to get pounded by commercial real estate losses, Florida banks have performed particularly poorly, accounting for 10 percent of national bank failures in 2009. Bank of Belle Glade is a welcome, if small-scale, exception as the only financial institution based in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast to receive a five-star rating from BauerFinancial for the third quarter. Bank Chairman Steve Prielozny calls his approach conservative and said he sticks to the basics, avoiding marginal deals of any sort. The bank is still in good shape, though not immune to the real estate collapse. Its profit for the first three quarters of 2009 slipped to $208,000 from $370,000 for the same period a year earlier; charge-offs from bad loans grew to $13,000, up from $4,000 in the first three quarters of 2008. [Palm Beach Post]