Bayside Savings Bank was doing just fine until veteran Panhandle banker Terry Dubose made an offer that was too good to refuse.
Founded in October 2003, Bayside Savings was a small thrift based in Apalachicola
and was almost immediately profitable. Two years after it opened, the thrift had $80 million in assets.
Then came Dubose.
The chief executive of nearby Coastal Community Bank, Dubose offered nearly $19 million for Bayside — triple what shareholders invested three years earlier.
The board quickly accepted the offer.
But it was not long until some began regretting their decision. Their careful way of doing business was quickly abandoned.
Dividends rose sixfold in the first year Dubose was in charge. Salaries and overhead expenses increased $415,000 — even though the bank did not add a single employee or expand its office space, according to FDIC data.
The bank's former chief executive said Dubose used the bank "just like you would use your personal credit card."
Stewart Shoaf, one of Bayside's founding directors, said attempts to change Dubose's approach toward running the bank were pointless.
"When he came to meetings, he didn't ask our advice, he'd tell us what he was doing," Shoaf said.
Dubose tried to sell Bayside Savings for $4.5 million in May 2010 to save another Panhandle bank he controlled — Coastal Community Bank.
But the deal fell through and both lenders were shuttered by regulators two months later.
Dubose did not return three phone calls to his Panama City Beach home and a message left in person with his son.