TIAA is in talks to buy EverBank Financial Corp., the largest Florida-based lender by deposits, for about $2.5 billion as it seeks to expand in internet banking, according to Reuters.

The deal would add to TIAA’s wealth-management business and give the financial-services firm, led by former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson, a platform for providing personal and business loans in the U.S. EverBank is primarily an online bank with about 3,000 employees and just 12 branches at the end of last year.

EverBank said last week it was in “advanced negotiations” to sell itself to a “well-respected financial-services company” for $19.50 a share along with payments to holders of preferred stock, according to a statement. Reuters on Wednesday said the potential buyer was TIAA, citing people familiar with the talks that it didn’t identify.

Michael Cosgrove, a spokesman for Jacksonville-based EverBank, declined to comment Wednesday. A spokesman for TIAA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

EverBank shares gained 3.1 percent to $18.56 at 9:30 a.m. in New York. The stock has climbed 13 percent this year, reaching a market capitalization of about $2.3 billion.

Online Bank

EverBank, which went public in 2012, provides personal and business loans across the U.S. and operates a wealth-management division. The firm had $27.4 billion of assets and $18.8 billion of deposits as of June 30. Its name also adorns the stadium that’s home to the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

Small and mid-sized lenders are facing increasing pressure to sell or merge with rivals to better handle compliance costs associated with increased regulatory scrutiny brought by the financial crisis. F.N.B. Corp. agreed to buy Yadkin Financial Corp. for about $1.4 billion on July 21, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce agreed in June to buy Chicago-based PrivateBancorp Inc. for $3.8 billion.

EverBank was among a number of small lenders that raised money from private-equity firms to stabilize balance sheets after the financial crisis. Its two largest investors are buyout firms Sageview Capital LP, which held more than 8 percent of its outstanding common shares as of March 31, and funds managed by TPG Capital Management LP, which held about 7 percent, according to a proxy filing.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE