Florida Is Latest State To Pass Autonomous Car Law

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Florida governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that allows autonomous cars to operate on the roads without requiring a human being to be behind the wheel, according to reports. Florida is now the third state to pass such a law, behind Texas and Michigan.

Blockchain, Bitcoin In Space. Also, Florida

Bank Innovation

Payments Startups Technology Virtual Currency Bitcoin BlockChain Cloud Constellation Florida Ripple SolarCoin SpaceBeltYou might have seen Ripple’s news yesterday, but turns out that is not the only big development in blockchain this week—it’s now exploring the final frontier.

Florida bankers create holding company, agree to buy Flagship Community

BankThink

West Florida Banking is made up of bankers who ran Jefferson Bank of Florida, which is now part of CenterState Banks. Community banking M&A Commercial banking Florida

Florida Prisons Delete $11M Worth Of Inmate Music Purchases

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Following a switch in contractors that reportedly caused prisoners to lose access to music that they purchased, an inmate in a Florida prison is suing the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) in a class action suit.

Florida’s top bank regulator placed on leave after sexual harassment complaint

BankThink

State officials are looking into a sexual harassment complaint filed against Ronald Rubin, Florida's recently-appointed top banking regulator. Sexual harassment Financial regulations Florida

First Busey to buy South Florida wealth management firm

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Community banking Wealth management M&A FloridaThe Illinois company will gain six offices after it buys Investors' Security Trust.

Besieged Florida banking regulator avoids firing — for now

BankThink

Florida Gov. Sexual harassment Consumer banking Financial regulations Ron DeSantis FloridaRon DeSantis is attempting to sort out allegations of sexual harassment against the state's banking commissioner and counterclaims of a political setup.

Starbucks Delivery Lands In South Florida Thanks To Uber Eats

PYMNTS

South Florida residents will be able to get Starbucks food and drinks delivered thanks to a new partnership with Uber Eats. According to a report in the South Florida Business Journal , the partnership between Starbucks and Uber Eats in South Florida kicked off earlier this week, enabling people to order from 100 stores. Delivery coffee delivery Florida News starbucks Uber Eats What's Hot

First American adds to Florida operations with Continental acquisition

BankThink

M&A Commercial lending Community banking FloridaThe Illinois bank is buying a bank formed in the 1970s to serve Cuban-Americans.

Asked to resign, Florida’s top banking regulator claims corruption

BankThink

Sexual harassment Financial regulations FloridaRonald Rubin was asked by the state’s chief financial officer to resign after a review of an Inspector General’s report detailed allegations of sexual harassment. Instead, Rubin is countering with accusations against the CFO.

American Dream Miami Receives Approval From Florida Officials

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million-square-foot American Dream Miami — potentially the most expensive mall ever built — has received approval from officials in a Florida county. Retail American Dream Miami brick and mortar Florida malls News real estate shopping What's HotThe 6.2 The project, which is being developed by Triple Five Worldwide Group of Companies , is estimated to come at a cost of $4 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. While the project was originally slated to have 1.5

Miami 156

Walmart Plans $200M Investment In Florida

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To drive new-store construction and innovations, Walmart is planning on investing an estimated $200 million in its Florida business. Elise Vasquez-Warner, a vice president and regional general manager for Walmart in Florida, said, “Customers have told us they want the convenience of shopping how, when and where they want. And, though the retailer’s Pickup Tower is available at more than 15 Florida Walmart stores, the company plans to expand that service as well.

Central Florida Educators to Acquire Florida Bank

Keith Leggett's Credit Union Watch

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union (Lake Mary, FL) has announced a deal to acquire Fidelity Bank of Florida (Merritt Island, FL). Central Florida Educators Credit Union has $1.9 Fidelity Bank of Florida has $174 million in assets and two offices -- one in Seminole County and the other in Brevard County. billion in assets. The transaction, which awaits regulatory and shareholder approval, is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019.

Two Alleged Hackers Indicted In Florida For Lynda Breach

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Following a data breach at learning platform Lynda in 2016, two hackers were indicted in Florida this month on charges of extortion and hacking. One alleged hacker lived in Florida, while the other was a Canadian citizen who was a Toronto resident, according to reports.

Former CFPB staffer named Florida's banking commissioner

BankThink

State regulators Licenses and charters CFPB House Financial Services Committee FloridaRonald Rubin, who was a CFPB enforcement attorney, will head an office overseeing nearly 200 state-chartered banks.

Latest credit union-bank deal in Florida

BankThink

M&A Community banking Earnings Consolidations FloridaPower Financial Credit Union's deal for TransCapital Bank marks the fourth time this year a bank has agreed to be sold to a credit union in that state.

BancorpSouth announces acquisitions in Florida, Texas

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Community banking M&A Growth strategies Capital Mississippi Texas FloridaThe Mississippi company will pay more than $200 million for the parent companies of Texas Star Bank and Summit Bank.

Florida remains hotbed for deals between credit unions, banks

BankThink

Fairwinds Credit Union's deal for Friends Bank marks the third time this year that a Florida bank has agreed to be sold to a credit union. Community banking Credit unions M&A Florida

McDonald’s Testing Out Breakfast Catering In Florida

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McDonald’s is testing out a breakfast catering service in Central Florida in an attempt to compete with eateries like Panera Bread. The service is available at all 195 restaurants in Central Florida, and during breakfast hours only. Delivery Fast food Catering McDonald's McDonalds Catering McDonalds Delivery McDonalds Florida News Retail Uber Eats What's Hot

How did Donald Trump become a Florida bank's client in chief?

BankThink

Recruiting Community banking Digital banking Trump administration FloridaThe president's big loan from, and sizable deposits with, Professional Bank in Boca Raton have raised some eyebrows.

Organizers plan bank in central Florida

BankThink

Silver River Community Bank is the fifth de novo in Florida to apply with the FDIC in the last three years. Community banking De novo institutions Capital FDIC Florida

Florida bank is biggest to be sold to a credit union

BankThink

MidFlorida Credit Union has agreed to buy the $730 million-asset Community Bank & Trust of Florida in Ocala. Community banking M&A Consumer lending Credit unions Branch deals Florida

Organizers planning new bank in the Florida Keys

BankThink

Community banking M&A De novo institutions Capital FloridaGulf Atlantic Bank would be the eighth bank in the market, and just the second with local ownership.

McDonald’s Tests Delivery In Florida

PYMNTS

Retail delivery Florida food delivery McDonald's UberEATSWhoever said, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” probably feels a bit silly right now. That’s because 2017’s newest addition to the food delivery space isn’t your average plucky, cleverly named startup with a mobile app and a dream. It’s legacy fast-food giant McDonald’s.

Bank deal to boost Central Florida Educators FCU's business lending

BankThink

credit union has agreed to buy Fidelity Bank of Florida, which the SBA designated as a certified lender in 2017. M&A Consolidations Integrations Strategic buyers Community banking FloridaThe Lake Mary, Fla.,

Venezuelan bank spins off Mercantil in Florida

BankThink

The transaction was set up to give Mercantil more autonomy to expand in South Florida, Houston and New York. Community banking Capital Growth strategies Florida Venezuela

Mercantil in South Florida adds OCC alumnus to board

BankThink

Corporate governance Community banks Growth strategies OCC FloridaJohn Quill, a former deputy comptroller, had a key role deciding which banks could participate in the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Brazilian financial giant to buy BAC Florida Bank for $500 million

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Community banking M&A Growth strategies FloridaBanco Bradesco said it will use the acquired bank to expand its investment offerings in the United States.

Florida Man Charged In Connection With Illegal Bitcoin Exchange

PYMNTS

prosecutors late last week charged a Florida man in connection with an illegal bitcoin exchange. According to a report by Reuters , Ricardo Hill, 38, was arrested in Florida in October and charged with conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting firm. was operated by Anthony Murgio of Florida and owned by Gery Shalon, the Israeli accused of being behind the JPMorgan hack and that of other companies.

Florida Man Sentenced For Processing More Than $10 Million In Illegal Bitcoin Transactions

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A Florida man was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison for helping criminals process millions of dollars in illegal bitcoin transactions. Murgio, his father and another man admitted to operating a fake Florida-based business called the Collectables Club, which allowed criminals to buy bitcoins to launder their money under the pretense they were buying stamps and sports memorabilia.

Florida Man Robbed Trying To Buy Bitcoin

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According to a report , a man in Florida was allegedly robbed at knifepoint while trying to sell $28,000 in bitcoin. The 32-year-old resident of Lake Worth, Florida, Steve Manos, set up a meeting with two people in West Palm Beach to sell the bitcoin for cash. million from two Florida men who were allegedly involved in the case. While computer breaches and malicious emails are commonplace online, when it comes to bitcoin, it can also be dangerous offline in the real world.

Whole Foods Prime Loyalty Program Launches In Florida

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The program is now being offered in Florida and will be expanded to other Whole Food stores during the summer. Amazon.com is stepping up its battle for grocery store dominance, launching a new loyalty program with Whole Foods for Prime customers on Wednesday (May 16). According to a report in Reuters , the much-anticipated program gives Prime members 10 percent off hundreds of items and deals on weekly specials that rotate.

De novos breed small businesses, Florida Bankers chief says

BankThink

Community banking De novo institutions Alternative investments Investment strategies FloridaAlex Sanchez acknowledges that the U.S. has a lot of banks and many failed in the crisis, but he says a healthy economy needs a fresh supply of community lenders to nurture entrepreneurs.

Bankers fight bill to let credit unions take public deposits in Florida

BankThink

Florida banks say it should stay that way unless tax advantages for credit unions are removed, but credit unions counter that banks are trying to stifle competition. Deposits Law and regulation State taxes Community banking FloridaState law bars credit unions from accepting deposits from cities, counties and other government entities.

Another group plans de novo in Florida

BankThink

Gulfside Bank, which would be based in Sarasota, is angling to become southwest Florida's first new bank in a decade. Community banking De novo banks Capital FDIC Florida

First Citizens adding branches in South Florida with Biscayne acquisition

BankThink

M&A Regional banks Community banking Growth strategies North Carolina FloridaThe North Carolina regional bank will gain four locations and $834 million in loans.

Florida Regulator Approves Vystar's Acquisition of Bank

Keith Leggett's Credit Union Watch

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation on April 18 approved the application to merge Citizens State Bank (Gainesville, FL) into Vystar Credit Union (Jacksonville, FL). The shareholders of Citizens State Bank have approved the transaction. Both applicants state that the transaction will not result in Vystar engaging in any nonconforming or impermissible activities.

Florida Bitcoin Exchange Schemer Gets 16 Months

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A software engineer from Florida was slapped with a 16-month prison term late last week after a court found him guilty of scamming to aid an illegal bitcoin exchange. In November, Ricardo Hill , who was arrested in Florida a month prior, was also charged with conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting firm.

Private investor to buy Florida bank

BankThink

Community banking M&A Capital Florida TennesseeByron DeFoor, who already has majority stakes in two community banks, is planning to buy First Columbia Bancorp.

Walmart Opens State-Of-The Art Online Fulfillment Center In Florida

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Walmart has opened a massive eCommerce fulfillment center in Florida, creating 1,500 jobs and enabling faster shipping to customers or to stores for free pickup. This facility is the sixth addition to the next-generation fulfillment network that Walmart is building to support its eCommerce business and is part of a $450-million investment the retailer is making in Florida in 2017-18.

Florida and New York Clash

New York's State of Mind

Earlier this week, the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Florida, invalidated a state statute that made it a misdemeanor to impose a surcharge […]. Legal Watch New York State credit card surcharge Florida Supreme CourtI knew that would get your attention. The clash to which I am referring has to do with the legality of statutes banning credit card surcharges.

Mercantil Bank in South Florida to rebrand as Amerant

BankThink

Community banking Marketing Growth strategies FloridaThe change comes two months after the bank was spun off from its Venezuelan parent company.

MIDFLORIDA CU to Acquire Community Bank & Trust of Florida

Keith Leggett's Credit Union Watch

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union (Lakeland, FL) announced its intends to acquire the $739-million Community Bank & Trust of Florida (Ocala, FL). Community Bank & Trust of Florida has 11 offices in the counties of Alachua, Marion, and Sumter. In addition, MIDFLORIDA announced it intends to purchase assets of First American Bank (Fort Dodge, IA), which are in southwest Florida.