FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – One more Florida landmark is about to disappear from the horizon with Tuesday’s approval by federal banking regulators of the sale of hometown BankAtlantic to North Carolina-based BB&T. Most of the nearly 80 BankAtlantic branches will get the new name by the end of the year, but still unknown is how many jobs will be lost by the sale.
The takeover has been in the works for a year, and almost died when a judge raised questions about the terms, The two banks went back and made changes to the deal, won approval, and now, have the blessing of regulators.
The formal sale will happen quickly. Closing was set for Tuesday.
For customers of BankAtlantic, a former Savings and Loan that has been part of Florida’s banking scene for 60 years, little will likely change. BB&T is likely to keep the staff currently at branches, and most branches are expected to remain open, except for a few that overlap with the handful of existing BB&T branches in South Florida.
However, as a hometown bank BankAtlantic’s headquarters operation is in Broward County, and in the consolidation process between the two banks, the approximately 400 people who work at that now unnecessary headquarters are likely at risk.
Some may remain as part of BankAtlantic’s parent company, which will survive as BBX Capital. Still unknown is what the new owner of the bank will do with BankAtlantic’s naming rights to the Panthers’ BankAtlantic Center, or how the new corporate owner will step up to the charitable role BankAtlantic held as a major employer and Broward business leader.