Ocean Bankshares manages the ebb and flow of its customers' finances. It is the holding company of Ocean Bank, which operates about 20 branches throughout South Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Serving area individuals and businesses, Ocean Bank offers traditional deposit products in addition to credit cards, wealth management, and merchant card processing services. Its lending activities are focused on real estate: Residential and commercial mortgages and construction and land development loans account for about 90% of its loan portfolio. The bank also makes business, consumer, and municipal loans. About 25% of Ocean Bank's customers reside outside of the US. The company was founded in 1982.
Life hasn't exactly been a day at the beach for Ocean Bank recently. The bank has struggled during the recession and was the focus of a federal money laundering investigation.
The bank suffered losses as Florida's property market crashed and the country entered a financial recession. In response, Ocean Bank cut costs (it laid off more than 10% of its workforce in 2009) and sold some of its problem loans. The company was then ordered by regulators to raise capital in 2011. In that same order regulators criticized Ocean Bank for having unsafe and unsound banking practices.
Also that year Ocean Bank agreed to pay $11 million to the federal government in order to resolve charges that the bank did not establish an anti-money laundering program between 2001 and 2008. The agreement followed a lengthy investigation into Ocean Bank's dealings with some of its international customers. The US Attorney's office said Ocean bank failed to monitor several of its account that were allegedly used to filter narcotics money. Since the case, Ocean Bank has improved its anti-money laundering program and replaced top executives.
The company is owned by a group of Venezuelan investors. – less