Naples bank withdraws application for federal money

Naples-based Bank of Florida Corp. has withdrawn its application for money from the federal Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.

The bank submitted an application in late 2008, but since then the rules for the program and the perception of the program seems to have changed, said Michael L. McMullan, the company’s president and CEO, in a news release.

The company once understood the program to be targeted at healthy institutions. Now it seems to be perceived as a “government bailout of weaker financial institutions,” McMullan said.

“Although the TARP funding, to date, has served as a catalyst to stabilize many financial institutions’ capital ratios, details of what the government now expects of TARP recipients, and the heightened oversight and cost that may result, have made it clear that the current structure of TARP is no longer in line with our strategic initiatives, which include potential acquisitions,” he said.

Withdrawing the application, he said, will be in the best interest of the shareholders.

“We believe we have the capital to continue to weather this economic storm,” McMullan said.

Bank of Florida Corp. is a holding company with $1.5 billion in assets. It’s the parent of Bank of Florida _ Southwest in Collier and Lee counties; Bank of Florida _ Southeast in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties; Bank of Florida-Tampa Bay in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, and Bank of Florida Trust Co.

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