FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair has informed the Florida Bankers Association that higher CAMELS rated banks can apply for the Treasury Capital Program, but it will subject those banks to further regulatory scrutiny.

Another regulator with a federal banking agency informed the Florida Bankers Association as follows:

CAMELS ratings are not the sole determinant and each situation will be looked at individually. Based on what we know thus far, we think many 3-rated banks will meet the standards as long as there are no mounting deficiencies that suggest future prospects are poor or that additional downgrades are likely. Further, it is possible that certain 4-rated banks will qualify, as long as conditions are stable or improving. We also think that a larger number of troubled banks might warrant TARP approval if there is an accompanying injection of private capital.

In addition to the above, banks with less than satisfactory CRA ratings are not likely to be approved. Further, banks with certain risk factors such as high concentrations of construction and development loans will be subject to closer scrutiny, although that will not necessarily disqualify them.

Although ultimate approval for troubled banks remains unlikely, it is very clear that regulators want troubled banks to present proposals for consideration under the TARP Capital plan, and that no regulator wants to be blamed for erroneously pushing a struggling bank out of the program.