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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
_______________________________
FORM 10-K

[Mark One]
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from __________to_________
Commission file number 0-17071
FIRST MERCHANTS CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Indiana                                                                          35-1544218
(State or other jurisdiction of                                   (I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization)                               Identification No.)

200 East Jackson Street, Muncie, IN                  47305-2814
(Address of principal executive offices)                   (Zip code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (765)747-1500

Not Applicable
(Former name, former address and former fiscal year,
if changed since last report)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.125 stated value per shareFRMEThe Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Depositary Shares, each representing a 1/100th interest in a share of Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series AFRMEPThe Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant(1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the  Securities  Exchange  Act of 1934  during  the  preceding  12 months  (or for such  shorter  period  that the registrant was required to file such reports),  and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every interactive data file required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files) Yes ☒ No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer
Accelerated Filer
Non-Accelerated Filer
Smaller Reporting Company
Emerging Growth Company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C.7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of
the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No

The aggregate market value (not necessarily a reliable indication of the price at which more than a limited number of shares would trade) of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $1,673,958,000 as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter (June 30, 2023).

As of February 23, 2024 there were 59,339,426 outstanding common shares, without par value, of the registrant.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
DocumentsPart of Form 10-K into which incorporated
Portions of the Registrant’s DefinitivePart III (Items 10 through 14)
Proxy Statement for Annual Meeting of
Shareholders to be held May 7, 2024



TABLE OF CONTENTS

FIRST MERCHANTS CORPORATION
    
   
 Item 1.
 Item 1A.
 Item 1B.
Item 1C.
 Item 2.
 Item 3.
 Item 4.
    
   
 Item 5.
 Item 6.
 Item 7.
 Item 7A.
 Item 8.
 Item 9.
 Item 9A.
 Item 9B.
Item 9C.
    
   
 Item 10.
 Item 11.
 Item 12.
 Item 13.
 Item 14.
    
   
 Item 15.
Item 16.
2


GLOSSARY OF DEFINED TERMS


FIRST MERCHANTS CORPORATION
2021 CAAThe 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020, provided the annual funding for the federal government and also contained several rules giving further COVID-19 relief
ACLAllowance for Credit Losses
ASCAccounting Standards Codification
ASUAccounting Standards Update
AOCIAccumulated Other Comprehensive Income
BankFirst Merchants Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Corporation
BOLIBank owned life insurance
BHC ActBank Holding Company Act of 1956
BSABank Secrecy Act
BTFPBank Term Funding Program created by the Federal Reserve in March 2023
CARES ActCoronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act
CECL
FASB Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, adopted by the Corporation on January 1, 2021.
CET1Common equity tier 1
CFPBConsumer Financial Protection Bureau
CME Term SOFRA forward-looking term Secured Overnight Financing Rate, as administered by CME Group Benchmark Administration Limited.
CODMChief operating decision maker
CorporationFirst Merchants Corporation
COVID or COVID-192019 novel coronavirus disease, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020.
CRAThe Community Reinvestment Act of 1977
DEIDiversity, Equity and Inclusion
Dodd-Frank ActDodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
Economic Growth ActThe Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act enacted in May 2018.
EITFFASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force
ERISAEmployee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
ERMEnterprise risk management
ESGEnvironmental, social and governance
ESPPEmployee Stock Purchase Plan
Exchange ActSecurities Exchange Act of 1934
FASBFinancial Accounting Standards Board
FDICFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FDICIAFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991
Federal ReserveBoard of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
FHLBFederal Home Loan Bank
FOMCFederal Open Market Committee, the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve System
FTEFully taxable equivalent
GAAPAccounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States of America
HoosierHoosier Trust Company, which was acquired by the Bank on April 1, 2021
Indiana DFIIndiana Department of Financial Institutions
IRAInflation Reduction Act of 2022
IRSInternal Revenue Service
Level OneLevel One Bancorp, Inc., which was acquired by the Corporation on April 1, 2022.
LIBOR ActAdjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) Act enacted on March 15, 2022
LIHTCLow income housing tax credit
MBTMBT Financial Corp., which was acquired by the Corporation on September 1, 2019.
OREOOther real estate owned
PCDPurchased credit deteriorated loans
PDIFPublic Deposit Insurance Fund
PPPPaycheck Protection Program, which was established by the CARES Act and implemented by the Small Business Administration to provide small business loans.
ROURight of Use
RSARestricted Stock Awards
Sarbanes-Oxley ActSarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
Savings PlanThe First Merchants Corporation Retirement and Income Savings Plan
SBASmall Business Administration
SECSecurities and Exchange Commission
SOFRSecured Overnight Funding Rate
TreasuryU.S. Department of Treasury
3


FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
The Corporation from time to time includes forward-looking statements in its oral and written communication. The Corporation may include forward-looking statements in filings with the SEC, such as its Annual Reports on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, in other written materials and oral statements made by senior management to analysts, investors, representatives of the media and others. The Corporation intends these forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and the Corporation is including this statement for purposes of these safe harbor provisions. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by the use of words like “believe”, “continue”, “pattern”, “estimate”, “project”, “intend”, “anticipate”, “expect” and similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as “will”, “would”, “should”, “could”, “might”, “can”, “may” or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements include:

statements of the Corporation’s goals, intentions and expectations;
statements regarding the Corporation’s business plan and growth strategies;
statements regarding the asset quality of the Corporation’s loan and investment portfolios; and
estimates of the Corporation’s risks and future costs and benefits.

These forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, among other things, those discussed in Item 1A, “RISK FACTORS”.

Because of these and other uncertainties, the Corporation’s actual future results may be materially different from the results indicated by these forward-looking statements. In addition, the Corporation’s past results of operations do not necessarily indicate its future results.


4


PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS
 
PART I
ITEM 1. BUSINESS.

GENERAL

The Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Muncie, Indiana and was organized in September 1982. The Corporation’s Common Stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol FRME. The Corporation has one full-service bank charter, First Merchants Bank, which opened for business in Muncie, Indiana, in March 1893. The Bank also operates First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (a division of First Merchants Bank). The Bank includes 116 banking locations in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. In addition to its branch network, the Corporation offers comprehensive electronic and mobile delivery channels to its customers. The Corporation’s business activities are currently limited to one significant business segment, which is community banking.

Through the Bank, the Corporation offers a broad range of financial services, including accepting time, savings and demand deposits; making consumer, commercial, agri-business and real estate mortgage loans; providing personal and corporate trust services; offering full-service brokerage and private wealth management; and providing letters of credit, repurchase agreements and other corporate services.

All inter-company transactions are eliminated during the preparation of consolidated financial statements.

As of December 31, 2023, the Corporation had consolidated assets of $18.4 billion, consolidated deposits of $14.8 billion and stockholders’ equity of $2.2 billion.  

HUMAN CAPITAL

As of December 31, 2023, the Corporation and its subsidiaries had 2,162 full-time equivalent employees. Our stated mission to be the most attentive, knowledgeable, and high performing bank requires a dedicated and talented team of colleagues to succeed. Our employees prepare, every day, to deliver a customer and colleague experience that grows the Corporation. We seek to attract, retain and develop a team of diverse, committed colleagues who are capable of delivering a whole-bank delivery approach. And, we promote a work culture of development, growth, internal promotion and career pathing as expressed in Our Team statement:

We are a collection of dynamic colleagues with diverse experiences and perspectives who share a passion for positively impacting lives. We are genuinely committed to attracting and engaging teammates of diverse backgrounds. We believe in the power of inclusion and belonging.

Best Places to Work / Employer of Choice: The Bank will continue to participate in the Best Places to Work surveys in the four states we operate. We constantly strive to be an employer of choice. Onboarding, training, talent assessment and development, career conversations, development planning and a culture of pride in high performance help us achieve employer of choice status. We have identified three core ways in which we will succeed - Authentic, Driven and Collaborative.

Employee Engagement: Our biennial Employee Engagement Survey is conducted by a third-party vendor for confidentiality and anonymity and for increased candid feedback. Results show consistently strong employee engagement with 70 percent of our employees considered to be “highly engaged.” Our response rates are high (83 percent) with the survey results providing valuable feedback that helps managers promote work satisfaction and high contribution. We offer specific and concerted effort in supporting our managers who score under 70 percent engagement.

Education Assistance: First Merchants offers an education assistance program that supports full- and part-time colleagues as they seek degree programs that will help them advance their careers. In 2023, over 60 employees participated in this program.

Corporate Training: Leveraging a blend of custom designed / internally built training programs and external development resources, First Merchants employees are trained and prepared to perform confidently. Role-based training focuses on topics such as privacy, fair banking and many other industry specific topics and regulations. Our training completion rates are very high related to required development (99 percent completion for required courses) and our Learning Management System (LMS) archives all development in the Corporation.

Employee Resource Groups and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: We believe in attracting, retaining, and promoting a diverse workforce. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (“DEI”) initiatives are aimed at promoting the career growth and engagement of all First Merchants employees. We continue that work through our highest profile employee resource groups (“ERGs”), First Women Connections and People of Color ERGs, by promoting the development and career growth of those employees. In 2022, we launched two additional ERGs - Pride and Emerging Professionals. In 2023, we added a Veterans ERG and announced the creation of an InterFaith ERG. Additionally, we have created an Employee Community Call, which hosts monthly Zoom/TEAMS calls that are attended by over 150 employees. Our DEI Steering Committee provides guidance on all efforts.

Talent Assessment, Succession Planning and Career Path: Over 1,400 of our employees participated in our annual Calibration Process (9 Box Talent Assessment) with the goal of identifying specific development action plans to help retain employees with high potential and performance, increase job satisfaction and improve productivity. Talent calibration supports succession and career planning for the Corporation. Development plans are captured in a documented Career Growth Plan for all employees.
5


PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS
AVAILABLE INFORMATION

The Corporation makes its Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, available on its website at https://www.firstmerchants.com without charge, as soon as reasonably practicable, after such reports are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC, including the Corporation. Those filings are accessible on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

ACQUISITION AND DIVESTITURE POLICY

The Corporation anticipates that it will continue its policy of geographic expansion of its banking business through the acquisition of banks whose operations are consistent with its banking philosophy.  Management routinely explores opportunities to acquire financial institutions and other financial services-related businesses and to enter into strategic alliances to expand the scope of the Corporation’s services and customer base. Future acquisitions and divestitures will be driven by a disciplined financial evaluation process and will be consistent with the Corporation’s strategy of community banking, client relationships and consistent quality earnings. As with previous acquisitions, the consideration paid in future acquisitions may be in the form of cash or First Merchants common stock, or a combination thereof. The amount and structure of such consideration is based on reasonable growth, synergies and economies of scale and a thorough analysis of the impact on both long- and short-term financial results. Acquisitions typically involve the payment of a premium over book and market values, and, therefore, some dilution of our tangible book value and net income per share may occur in connection with any future transaction. The Corporation’s ability to engage in certain merger or acquisition transactions, whether or not any regulatory approval is required, will be dependent upon the Corporation’s bank regulators’ views at the time as to the capital levels, quality of management and the Corporation’s overall condition, and their assessment of a variety of other factors. Certain merger or acquisition transactions, including those involving the acquisition of a depository institution or the assumption of the deposits of any depository institution, require formal approval from various bank regulatory authorities, which will be subject to a variety of factors and considerations.

On April 1, 2022, the Corporation acquired 100 percent of Level One Bancorp, Inc. (“Level One”). Level One was headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan and had 17 banking centers serving the Michigan market. Pursuant to the merger agreement, each common shareholder of Level One received, for each outstanding share of Level One common stock held, (a) a 0.7167 share of the Corporation’s common stock, and (b) a cash payment of $10.17. The Corporation issued 5.6 million shares of common stock and paid $79.3 million in cash in exchange for all outstanding shares of Level One common stock. Additionally, the Corporation issued 10,000 shares of newly created 7.5 percent non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock, with a liquidation preference of $2,500 per share, in exchange for the outstanding Level One Series B preferred stock. As part of the preferred stock exchange, each outstanding Level One depositary share representing a 1/100th interest in a share of the Level One Series B preferred stock was converted into a depositary share of the Corporation representing a 1/100th interest in a share of its newly issued preferred stock (Nasdaq: FRMEP). Details of the Level One acquisition can be found in NOTE 2. ACQUISITIONS of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

COMPETITION

The Bank is located in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois counties where other financial services companies provide similar banking services. The Bank faces substantial competition in all areas of our operations from a variety of different competitors, many of which are larger and have more financial resources. Such competitors primarily include national, regional and internet banks within the various markets in which the Bank operates, though the Bank also competes with smaller community banks that seek to offer similar service levels. The Bank also faces competition from many other types of institutions, including, without limitation savings and loans associations, credit unions, finance companies, brokerage firms, insurance companies, and other financial intermediaries.

The financial services industry continues to become even more competitive as a result of legislative, regulatory and technological changes and continued consolidation. Banks, securities firms and insurance companies can operate as affiliates under the umbrella of a financial holding company, which can offer virtually any type of financial service, including banking, securities underwriting, insurance (both agency and underwriting) and merchant banking. Also, technology has lowered barriers to enter and made it possible for nonbanks to offer products and services traditionally provided by banks, such as automatic transfer and automatic payment systems. Many of our nonbank competitors have fewer regulatory constraints and may have lower cost structures. Additionally, due to their size, many competitors may be able to achieve economies of scale and, as a result, may offer broader range of products and services as well as better pricing for those products and services than we can. Finally, the Bank’s competitors may choose to offer lower loan interest rates and pay higher deposit rates.

The Bank believes that the most important criteria to their targeted clients when selecting a bank is the customer’s desire to receive exceptional and personal customer service while being able to enjoy convenient access to a broad array of financial products. Additionally, when presented with a choice, the Bank believes that many of their targeted clients prefer to deal with an institution that favors local decision making as opposed to where many important decisions regarding a client’s financial affairs are made outside the local community.
6


PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

REGULATION AND SUPERVISION OF FIRST MERCHANTS CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

The Corporation and its subsidiaries are subject to extensive regulation under federal and state laws. The regulatory framework is intended primarily for the protection of depositors, federal deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole and not for the protection of shareholders and creditors. Significant elements of the laws and regulations applicable to the Corporation and its subsidiaries are described below. The description is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the statues, regulations and policies that are described. Also, such statutes, regulations and policies are continually under review by Congress and state legislatures and federal and state regulatory agencies. A change in statutes, regulations or regulatory policies applicable to the Corporation and its subsidiaries could have a material effect on the Corporation’s business, financial condition or results of operations.

Bank Holding Company Regulation

The Corporation is registered as a bank holding company and has elected to be a financial holding company. It is subject to the supervision of, and regulation by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve under the BHC Act, as amended. Bank holding companies are required to file periodic reports with and are subject to periodic examination by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve has issued regulations under the BHC Act requiring a bank holding company to serve as a source of financial and managerial strength to the Bank. Thus, it is the policy of the Federal Reserve that a bank holding company should stand ready to use its resources to provide adequate capital funds to the Bank during periods of financial stress or adversity. Additionally, under the FDICIA, a bank holding company is required to guarantee the compliance of any subsidiary bank that may become “undercapitalized” (as defined in the FDICIA section of this Form 10-K) with the terms of any capital restoration plan filed by such subsidiary with its appropriate federal banking agency. Under the BHC Act, the Federal Reserve has the authority to require a bank holding company to terminate any activity or relinquish control of a non-bank subsidiary (other than a non-bank subsidiary of a bank) upon the determination that such activity constitutes a serious risk to the financial stability of any bank subsidiary.

The BHC Act requires the Corporation to obtain the prior approval of the Federal Reserve before:
acquiring direct or indirect control or ownership of any voting shares of any bank or bank holding company if, after such acquisition, the bank holding company will directly or indirectly own or control more than 5 percent of the voting shares of the bank or bank holding company;
merging or consolidating with another bank holding company; or
acquiring substantially all of the assets of any bank.

The BHC Act generally prohibits bank holding companies that have not become financial holding companies from (i) engaging in activities other than banking or managing or controlling banks or other permissible subsidiaries, and (ii) acquiring or retaining direct or indirect control of any company engaged in the activities other than those activities determined by the Federal Reserve to be closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks.

Capital Adequacy Guidelines for Bank Holding Companies (Basel III)

The Corporation and the Bank are subject to certain risk-based capital and leverage ratio requirements under the Basel III capital rules adopted by United States banking regulators. These rules implement the Basel III international regulatory capital standards in the United States, as well as certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The Basel III rules require the Corporation and the Bank to maintain minimum ratios of common equity tier 1 capital (“CET1”), tier 1 capital, and total capital to total risk-weighted assets, and of tier 1 capital to average total assets, all of which are calculated as defined in the regulations. Basel III specifies that CET1 consists primarily of common stock instruments (that meet the Basel III eligibility criteria), retained earnings, and CET1 minority interest. Basel III also defines CET1 narrowly by requiring that most adjustments to regulatory capital measures be made to CET1, and not to the other components of capital. Tier 1 capital consists of CET1 and additional tier 1 capital instruments meeting the specified requirements of Basel III.

Under Basel III, in order to avoid limitations on capital distributions, including dividends, the Corporation must hold a capital conservation buffer of 2.50 percent above the adequately capitalized CET1, tier 1 and total capital to risk-weighted assets ratios.

Specifically, Basel III requires the Corporation and the Bank to maintain:

a minimum ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets of a least 4.5 percent, plus the 2.5 percent capital conservation buffer effectively resulting in a minimum ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 7.0 percent;
a minimum ratio of tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 6.0 percent, plus the 2.5 percent capital conservation buffer effectively resulting in a minimum tier 1 capital ratio of 8.5 percent;
a minimum ratio of total capital (tier 1 plus tier 2 capital) to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.0 percent, plus the 2.5 percent capital conservation buffer effectively resulting in a minimum total capital ratio of 10.5 percent; and
a minimum leverage ratio of 4.0 percent, calculated as the ratio of tier 1 capital to adjusted average consolidated assets.

Basel III also provides for a “countercyclical capital buffer” that is applicable to only certain covered institutions and is not expected to have any current applicability to the Corporation or the Bank.

The aforementioned capital conservation buffer is designed to absorb losses during periods of economic stress. Banking institutions with risk-weighted capital ratios above the minimum but below the conservation buffer will face limitations on the payment of dividends, common stock repurchases and discretionary cash payments to executive officers based on the amount of the shortfall.

7


PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Basel III provides for a number of deductions from and adjustments to CET1. These include, for example, the requirement that mortgage servicing rights, deferred tax assets dependent upon future taxable income and significant investments in non-consolidated financial entities be deducted from CET1 to the extent that any one such category exceeds 10 percent of CET1 or all such categories in the aggregate exceed 15 percent of CET1. Under Basel III, the Corporation and the Bank made a one-time election to filter out certain AOCI components.

Basel III permits banks with less than $15 billion in assets to continue to treat trust preferred securities as tier 1 capital. This treatment is permanently grandfathered as tier 1 capital even if the Corporation should ever exceed $15 billion in assets due to organic growth but not following certain mergers or acquisitions. As a result, while the Corporation’s total assets exceeded $15 billion as of December 31, 2021, the Corporation had continued to treat its trust preferred securities as tier 1 capital as of such date. However, under certain amendments to the “transition rules” of Basel III, if a bank holding company that held less than $15 billion of assets as of December 31, 2009 (which would include the Corporation) acquires a bank holding company with under $15 billion in assets at the time of acquisition (which would include Level One), and the resulting organization has total consolidated assets of $15 billion or more as reported on the resulting organization’s call report for the period in which the transaction occurred, the resulting organization must begin reflecting its trust preferred securities as tier 2 capital at such time. As a result, effective with the April 1, 2022 consummation of the Level One merger, the Corporation began reflecting all of its trust preferred securities as tier 2 capital.

Basel III permits banks with less than $250 billion in assets to choose to continue excluding unrealized gains and losses on certain securities holdings for purposes of calculating regulatory capital. The rules limit a banking organization’s capital distributions and certain discretionary bonus payments if the banking organization does not hold a “capital conservation buffer” consisting of a specified amount of CET1 capital in addition to the amount necessary to meet its minimum risk-based capital requirements.

Historically, the regulation and monitoring of a bank and bank holding company’s liquidity has been addressed as a supervisory matter, without minimum required formulaic measures. The Basel III liquidity framework requires banks and bank holding companies to measure their liquidity against specific liquidity tests that, although similar in some respects to liquidity measures historically applied by banks and regulators for management and supervisory purposes, is now required by regulation. One test, referred to as the liquidity coverage ratio, is designed to ensure that the banking entity maintains an adequate level of unencumbered high-quality liquid assets equal to the entity’s expected net cash outflow for a 30-day time horizon (or, if greater, 25 percent of its expected total cash outflow) under an acute liquidity stress scenario. The other test, referred to as the net stable funding ratio (NSFR), is designed to promote more medium- and long-term funding of the assets and activities of banking entities over a one-year time horizon. These requirements are expected to incent banking entities to increase their holdings of U.S. Treasury securities and other sovereign debt as a component of assets and increase the use of long-term debt as a funding source. However, the federal banking agencies have not proposed rules implementing the Basel III liquidity framework and have not determined to what extent they will apply to U.S. banks that are not large, internationally active banks.

The following are the Corporation’s regulatory capital ratios as of December 31, 2023:
 Corporation
Basel III Minimum Capital Required (1)
Total risk-based capital to risk-weighted assets13.67 %10.50 %
Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets11.52 %8.50 %
Common equity tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets11.35 %7.00 %
Tier 1 capital to average assets9.64 %4.00 %

(1) The Basel III Minimum Capital Required are inclusive of the 2.5 percent capital conservation buffer where applicable.

Impact of CECL Implementation on Regulatory Capital

As discussed in NOTE 1. NATURE OF OPERATIONS AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES and NOTE 5. LOANS AND ALLOWANCE FOR CREDIT LOSSES of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the FASB issued the “current expected credit losses” (“CECL”) accounting standard in 2016 to address concerns relating to the ability to record credit losses that are expected, but do not yet meet the “probable” threshold by replacing the current “incurred loss” model for recognizing credit losses with an “expected life of loan loss” model referred to as the CECL model. While the original implementation date of the CECL model was January 1, 2020, the CARES Act and a related joint statement of federal banking regulators provided financial institutions with optional temporary relief from having to comply with implementation of the CECL standard. This temporary relief was set to expire on December 31, 2020. However, the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (the “2021 CAA”), which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, amended the CARES Act by extending the temporary relief from CECL compliance to, effectively, January 1, 2022. The Corporation elected to delay implementation of CECL following the approval of the CARES Act and, with the enactment of the 2021 CAA, the Corporation elected to adopt CECL on January 1, 2021. As a result, the Corporation has utilized the CECL standard for 2023, 2022, and 2021.

As part of a March 27, 2020 joint statement of federal banking regulators, an interim final rule that allowed banking organizations to mitigate the effects of the CECL accounting standard on their regulatory capital was announced. Banking organizations could elect to mitigate the estimated cumulative regulatory capital effects of CECL for up to two years. This two-year delay was to be in addition to the three-year transition period that federal banking regulators had already made available. While the 2021 CAA provided for a further extension of the mandatory adoption of CECL until January 1, 2022, the federal banking regulators elected to not provide a similar extension to the two year mitigation period applicable to regulatory capital effects. Instead, the federal banking regulators require that, in order to utilize the additional two-year delay, banking organizations must have adopted the CECL standard no later than December 31, 2020, as required by the CARES Act. As a result, because implementation of the CECL standard was delayed by the Corporation until January 1, 2021, it began phasing in the cumulative effect of the adoption on its regulatory capital, at a rate of 25 percent per year, over a three-year transition period that began on January 1, 2021. Under that phase-in schedule, the cumulative effect of the adoption will be fully reflected in regulatory capital on January 1, 2024.


8


PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Bank Regulation

The Bank is subject to the primary regulatory oversight, supervision and examination of the FDIC and the Indiana DFI. These agencies have the authority to issue cease-and-desist orders if they determine that activities of the Bank regularly represent an unsafe and unsound banking practice or a violation of law. Federal law extensively regulates various aspects of the banking business such as reserve requirements, truth-in-lending and truth-in-savings disclosures, equal credit opportunity, fair credit reporting, trading in securities and other aspects of banking operations. Current federal law also requires banks, among other things, to make deposited funds available within specified time periods.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), an independent federal agency created under the Dodd-Frank Act, was granted broad rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement powers under various federal consumer financial protection laws, primarily with authority over banks and their affiliates with assets of more than $10 billion. As the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was the fourth consecutive quarter that the Bank reported assets exceeding $10 billion, effective as of the beginning of the second quarter of 2020, the Bank and its affiliates became subject to CFPB supervisory and enforcement authority. See “- Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” and “- Consumer Financial Protection” below for additional information.

Bank Capital Requirements

Capital adequacy is an important indicator of financial stability and performance. The Corporation and the Bank are subject to various regulatory capital requirements administered by the federal banking agencies including, in the case of both the Bank and the Corporation, the Basel III requirements discussed above under “- Capital Adequacy Guidelines for Bank Holding Companies (Basel III)” and, in the case of the Bank, the “prompt corrective action” requirements discussed below under “- FDIC Improvement Act of 1991 (FDICIA).” Under the regulations, a capital category is assigned to the regulated entity, which is largely determined by four ratios that are calculated according to the applicable regulations: total risk-based capital, tier 1 risk-based capital, common equity tier 1 capital, and tier 1 leverage ratios. The ratios are intended to measure capital relative to assets and credit risk associated with those assets and off-balance sheet exposures of the entity. The capital category assigned to an entity can also be affected by qualitative judgments made by regulatory agencies about the risk inherent in the entity’s activities that are not part of the calculated ratios.

There are five capital categories defined in the regulations, ranging from “well capitalized” to “critically undercapitalized”. Classification of a bank in any of the undercapitalized categories can result in actions by regulators that could have a material effect on a bank’s operations. Quantitative measures established by regulation to ensure capital adequacy require the Bank to maintain minimum amounts and ratios of total risk-based capital, tier 1 capital and common equity tier 1 capital, in each case, to risk-weighted assets, and of tier 1 capital to average assets, or leverage ratio, all of which are calculated as defined in the regulations. Banks with lower capital levels are deemed to be “undercapitalized”, “significantly undercapitalized” or “critically undercapitalized”, depending on their actual levels. The appropriate federal regulatory agency may also downgrade a bank to the next lower capital category upon a determination that the bank is in an unsafe or unsound practice. Banks are required to monitor closely their capital levels and to notify their appropriate regulatory agency of any basis for a change in capital category.

FDIC Improvement Act of 1991 (FDICIA)

The FDICIA requires, among other things, federal bank regulatory authorities to take “prompt corrective action” with respect to banks, which do not meet minimum capital requirements. For these purposes, FDICIA establishes five capital tiers: well capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized and critically undercapitalized. The FDIC has adopted regulations to implement the prompt corrective action provisions of FDICIA.

The “prompt corrective action” regulations require the following for “well capitalized” status:

•    a minimum CET1 risk-based capital ratio of a least 6.5 percent;
•    a minimum tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 8.0 percent;
•    a minimum total risk-based capital ratio of at least 10.0 percent; and
•    a minimum leverage ratio of 5.0 percent.

The FDICIA generally prohibits a depository institution from making any capital distributions (including payment of a dividend) or paying any management fee to its parent holding company if the depository institution would thereafter be “undercapitalized.” “Undercapitalized” banks are subject to growth limitations and are required to submit a capital restoration plan. A bank’s compliance with such plan is required to be guaranteed by the bank’s parent holding company. If an “undercapitalized” bank fails to submit an acceptable plan, it is treated as if it is “significantly undercapitalized”. “Significantly undercapitalized” banks are subject to various requirements and restrictions, including an order by the FDIC to sell sufficient voting stock to become “adequately capitalized”, requirements to reduce total assets and cease receipt of deposits from correspondent banks, and restrictions on compensation of executive officers. “Critically undercapitalized” institutions may not, beginning 60 days after becoming “critically undercapitalized,” make any payment of principal or interest on certain subordinated debt, extend credit for a highly leveraged transaction, or enter into any transaction outside the ordinary course of business. In addition, “critically undercapitalized” institutions are subject to appointment of a receiver or conservator.
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PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

As of December 31, 2023, the Bank was “well capitalized” based on the “prompt corrective action” ratios described above. It should be noted that a bank’s capital category is determined solely for the purpose of applying the FDIC’s “prompt corrective action” regulations and that the capital category may not constitute an accurate representation of the bank’s overall financial condition or prospects.

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

The Dodd-Frank Act has had a broad impact on the financial services industry, including significant regulatory and compliance changes. Although most of the required regulations of the Dodd-Frank Act have been promulgated and implemented (or are being implemented over time), there are additional regulations yet to be finalized by the authorized federal agencies. The changes resulting from the Dodd-Frank Act have impacted the profitability of the Corporation’s business activities, required changes to certain business practices, and imposed more stringent capital, liquidity and leverage requirements, and, when fully implemented, may further adversely affect our business. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act has resulted, and in the future will likely result, in:

increases to the cost of the Corporation’s operations due to greater regulatory oversight, supervision and examination of banks and bank holding companies, including higher deposit insurance premiums;
limitations on the Corporation’s ability to raise additional capital through the use of trust preferred securities, as new issuances of these securities can no longer be included as tier 1 capital;
reduced flexibility for the Corporation to generate or originate certain revenue-producing assets based on increased regulatory capital standards;
limitations on the Corporation’s ability to expand consumer product and service offerings due to stricter consumer protection laws and regulations; and
as the Corporation’s assets now exceed $10 billion, compliance with the Durbin Amendment has resulted in a material reduction of interchange fee income paid by merchants when debit cards are used as payment.

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “Economic Growth Act”), which was enacted in May 2018, repealed or modified several provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. In particular, the asset threshold at which banks are subject to annual company-run stress tests were increased from $10 billion to $250 billion under the Economic Growth Act. As a result, the Corporation and the Bank are not subject to the Dodd-Frank Act stress testing requirements.

The Corporation’s management continues to take the steps necessary to minimize the adverse impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on its business, financial condition and results of operation.

Durbin Amendment

Under the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, the Federal Reserve adopted rules establishing standards for assessing whether the interchange fees that may be charged with respect to certain electronic debit transactions are “reasonable and proportional” to the costs incurred by issuers for processing such transactions.

Interchange fees, or “swipe” fees, are charges that merchants pay the Bank and other card-issuing banks for processing electronic payment transactions. Federal Reserve rules applicable to financial institutions that have assets of $10 billion or more provide that the maximum permissible interchange fee for an electronic debit transaction is the sum of 21 cents per transaction and 5 basis points multiplied by the value of the transaction. An upward adjustment of no more than 1 cent to the issuer’s debit card interchange fee is allowed if the card issuer develops and implements policies and procedures reasonably designed to achieve certain fraud-prevention standards. The Federal Reserve also has rules governing routing and exclusivity that require issuers to offer two unaffiliated networks for routing transactions on each debit or prepaid product.

Volcker Rule

The Volcker Rule, which was adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act, places certain limitations on the trading activity of insured depository institutions and their affiliates subject to certain exceptions. The restricted trading activity includes purchasing or selling certain types of securities or instruments in order to benefit from short-term price movements or to realize short-term profits. Exceptions to the Volcker Rule include trading in certain U.S. Government or other municipal securities and trading conducted (i) in certain capacities as a broker or other agent, or as a fiduciary on behalf of customers, (ii) to satisfy a debt previously contracted, (iii) pursuant to repurchase and securities lending agreements, and (iv) in risk-mitigating hedging activities. The Volcker Rule also prohibits banking institutions from having an ownership interest in a hedge fund or private equity fund.

A banking entity that engages in proprietary trading (which excludes the exceptions discussed above) or covered fund-related activities or investments, and has total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion for two years, must implement and maintain a compliance program that meets certain minimum requirements and must also maintain certain documentation with respect to covered fund activities, in each case, as described in the Volcker Rule. While the Corporation’s total consolidated assets first exceeded $10 billion during the quarter ended March 31, 2019, the Volcker Rule has not had, and is not expected to have, a material impact on the Corporation or the Bank.


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PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Deposit Insurance

The Bank’s deposit accounts are currently insured by the Deposit Insurance Fund of the FDIC. The insurance benefit generally covers up to a maximum of $250,000 per separately insured depositor. As an FDIC-insured bank, the Bank is subject to deposit insurance premiums and assessments to maintain the Deposit Insurance Fund. The Bank’s deposit insurance premium assessment rate depends on the asset and supervisory categories to which it is assigned. The FDIC has authority to raise or lower assessment rates on insured banks in order to achieve statutorily required reserve ratios in the Deposit Insurance Fund and to impose special additional assessments. Additionally, the Bank’s Indiana public funds (state of Indiana and its political subdivisions) are insured by the the Public Deposit Insurance Fund (“PDIF”). The PDIF provides insurance to those Indiana public funds deposited in approved financial institutions which exceed the limits of coverage provided by any federal deposit insurance.

Deposit insurance assessments are based on average consolidated total assets minus average tangible equity. Under the FDIC’s risk-based assessment system, insured institutions with a least $10 billion in assets, such as the Bank, are assessed on the basis of a scoring system that combine the institution’s regulatory ratings and certain financial measures. The scoring system assesses risk measures to produce two scores, a performance score and a loss severity score, that will be combined and converted to an initial assessment rate.

The performance score measures an institution’s financial performance and its ability to withstand stress. The loss severity score quantifies the relative magnitude of potential losses to the FDIC in the event of an institution’s failure. Once the performance and loss severity scores are calculated, those scores are converted to a total score. An institution with a total score of 30 or less will pay the minimum base assessment rate, and an institution with a total score of 90 or more will pay the maximum initial base assessment rate. For total scores between 30 and 90, initial base assessment rates will rise at an increasing rate as the total score increases.

The FDIC may also terminate deposit insurance upon a finding that the institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC.

Dividend Limitations

The Corporation’s principal source of funds for dividend payments to shareholders is dividends received from the Bank. Banking regulations limit the maximum amount of dividends that a bank may pay without requesting prior approval of regulatory agencies. Under these regulations, the amount of dividends that may be paid in any calendar year is limited to the bank’s retained income (as defined under the regulations) for the current year plus those for the previous two years, subject to the capital requirements described above. As of December 31, 2023, the amount available for dividends from the Corporation’s subsidiaries (both banking and non-banking), without prior regulatory approval or notice, was $305.9 million.

Brokered Deposits

Under FDIC regulations, no FDIC-insured depository institution can accept brokered deposits unless it (i) is well capitalized, or (ii) is adequately capitalized and received a waiver from the FDIC. In addition, these regulations prohibit any depository institution that is not well capitalized from (a) paying an interest rate on deposits in excess of 75 basis points over certain prevailing market rates or (b) offering “pass through” deposit insurance on certain employee benefit plan accounts unless it provides certain notice to affected depositors. The Corporation and the Bank were well capitalized as of December 31, 2023.

Consumer Financial Protection

The Bank is subject to a number of federal and state consumer protection laws that govern its relationship with customers. These laws include, but are not limited to:
the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, religion or other prohibited factors in the extension of credit);
the Fair Credit Reporting Act (governing the provision of consumer information to credit reporting agencies and the use of consumer information);
the Truth-In-Lending Act (governing disclosures of credit terms to consumer borrowers);
the Truth-in-Savings Act (which requires disclosure of deposit terms to consumers);
the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (governing automatic deposits to and withdrawals from deposit accounts and customers’ rights and liabilities arising from the use of automated teller machines and other electronic banking services);
the Fair Debt Collection Act (governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies);
the Right to Financial Privacy Act (which imposes a duty to maintain the confidentiality of consumer financial records and prescribes procedures for complying with administrative subpoenas of financial records);
the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Regulation C, requiring financial institutions to provide certain information about home mortgage and refinanced loans; and
the respective state-law counterparts to the above laws, as applicable, as well as state usury laws and laws regarding unfair and deceptive acts and practices.


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PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Violations of applicable consumer protection laws can result in significant potential liability from litigation brought by customers, including actual damages, restitution and attorneys’ fees. Federal bank regulators, state attorneys general and state and local consumer protection agencies may also seek to enforce consumer protection requirements and obtain these and other remedies, including regulatory sanctions, customer rescission rights, action by the state and local attorneys general in each jurisdiction in which we operate and civil money penalties. Failure to comply with consumer protection requirements may also result in the Corporation’s failure to obtain any required bank regulatory approval for merger or acquisition transactions that it may wish to pursue or prohibition from engaging in such transactions even if approval is not required. The CFPB, an independent federal agency created under the Dodd-Frank Act, was granted broad rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement powers under various federal consumer financial protection laws, primarily with authority over banks and their affiliates with assets of more than $10 billion. As stated previously, with its assets having exceeded $10 billion for four consecutive quarters, the Bank and its affiliates became subject to CFPB supervisory and enforcement authority effective as of the beginning of the second quarter of 2020.

The consumer protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and the examination, supervision and enforcement of those laws and implementing regulations by the CFPB have created a more complex environment for consumer finance regulation. The CFPB has significant authority to implement and enforce federal consumer finance laws, including the Truth in Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and new requirements for financial services products provided for in the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the authority to identify and prohibit unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices. The review of products and practices to prevent such acts and practices is a continuing focus of the CFPB, and of banking regulators more broadly. The ultimate impact of this heightened scrutiny is uncertain but could result in changes to pricing, practices, products and procedures. It could also result in increased costs related to regulatory oversight, supervision and examination, additional remediation efforts and possible penalties. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act provides the CFPB with broad supervisory, examination and enforcement authority over various consumer financial products and services, including the ability to require reimbursements and other payments to customers for alleged legal violations and to impose significant penalties, as well as injunctive relief that prohibits lenders from engaging in allegedly unlawful practices. The CFPB also has the authority to obtain cease and desist orders providing for affirmative relief or monetary penalties. The Dodd-Frank Act does not prevent states from adopting stricter consumer protection standards. State regulation of financial products and potential enforcement actions could also adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Community Reinvestment Act

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (the “CRA”) requires depository institutions to assist in meeting the credit needs of their market areas consistent with safe and sound banking practice. Under the CRA, each depository institution is required to help meet the credit needs of its market areas by, among other things, providing investment in and credit to low- and moderate-income individuals and small businesses in those communities. These factors are also considered in evaluating mergers, acquisitions and applications to open a branch or facility. The applicable federal regulators regularly conduct CRA examinations to assess the performance of financial institutions and assign one of four ratings to the institution’s records of meeting the credit needs of its community. These ratings are outstanding, satisfactory, needs to improve or substantial noncompliance. During its last examination, a rating of satisfactory was received by the Bank.

Financial Privacy

The federal banking regulators adopted rules that limit the ability of banks and other financial institutions to disclose non-public information about consumers to nonaffiliated third parties. These limitations require disclosure of privacy policies to consumers and, in some circumstances, allow consumers to prevent disclosure of certain personal information to a nonaffiliated third party. These regulations affect how consumer information is transmitted through diversified financial companies and conveyed to outside vendors.

The Bank is also subject to regulatory guidelines establishing standards for safeguarding customer information. These guidelines describe the federal banking agencies’ expectations for the creation, implementation and maintenance of an information security program, which would include administrative, technical and physical safeguards appropriate to the size and complexity of the institution and the nature and scope of its activities. The standards set forth in the guidelines are intended to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer records and information, protect against any anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of such records and protect against unauthorized access to or use of such records or information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to any customer.

Anti-Money Laundering and the USA Patriot Act

A major focus of governmental policy on financial institutions in recent years has been aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The USA Patriot Act of 2001 (the “USA Patriot Act”) substantially broadened the scope of United States anti-money laundering laws and regulations by imposing significant new compliance and due diligence obligations on financial institutions, creating new crimes and penalties and expanding the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

The Bank Secrecy Act (the “BSA”) requires financial institutions to develop policies, procedures, and practices to prevent and deter money laundering, and mandates that every bank has a written, board-approved program that is reasonably designed to assure and monitor compliance with the BSA. In addition, banks are required to adopt a customer identification program as part of their BSA compliance program, and are required to file Suspicious Activity Reports when they detect certain known or suspected violations of federal law or suspicious transactions related to a money laundering activity or a violation of the BSA. The Bank is also required to (1) identify and verify, subject to certain exceptions, the identity of the beneficial owners of all legal entity customers at the time a new account is opened, and (2) include, in its anti-money laundering program, risk-based procedures for conducting ongoing customer due diligence, which are to include procedures that: (a) assist in understanding the nature and purpose of customer relationships for the purpose of developing a customer risk profile, and (b) require ongoing monitoring to identify and report suspicious transactions and, on a risk basis, to maintain and update customer information.

Failure of a financial institution to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, or to comply with all of the relevant laws or regulations, could have serious legal and reputational consequences for the institution, including causing applicable bank regulatory authorities not to approve merger or acquisition transactions when regulatory approval is required or to prohibit such transactions even if approval is not required.
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PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulation
The United States has imposed economic sanctions that affect transactions with designated foreign countries, nationals and others which are administered by the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control. Failure to comply with these sanctions could have serious legal and reputational consequences, including causing applicable bank regulatory authorities not to approve merger or acquisition transactions when regulatory approval is required or to prohibit such transactions even if approval is not required.
Additional Matters

The Corporation and the Bank are subject to the Federal Reserve Act, which restricts financial transactions between banks and affiliated companies. The statute limits credit transactions between banks, affiliated companies and its executive officers and its affiliates. The statute prescribes terms and conditions for bank affiliate transactions deemed to be consistent with safe and sound banking practices. It also restricts the types of collateral security permitted in connection with the bank’s extension of credit to an affiliate. Additionally, all transactions with an affiliate must be on terms substantially the same or at least as favorable to the institution as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with non-affiliated parties.

The earnings of financial institutions are also affected by general economic conditions and prevailing interest rates, both domestic and foreign, and by the monetary and fiscal policies of the United States Government and its various agencies, particularly the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve regulates the supply of credit in order to influence general economic conditions, primarily through open market operations in United States Government obligations, varying the discount rate on financial institution borrowings, varying reserve requirements against financial institution deposits, and restricting certain borrowings by financial institutions and their subsidiaries. The monetary policies of the Federal Reserve have had a significant effect on the operating results of the Bank in the past and are expected to continue to do so in the future.

Additional legislation and administrative actions affecting the banking industry may be considered by the United States Congress, state legislatures and various regulatory agencies, including those referred to above. It cannot be predicted with certainty whether such legislation or administrative action will be enacted or the extent to which the banking industry, the Corporation or the Bank would be affected.
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PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

STATISTICAL DATA

The following tables set forth statistical data on the Corporation and its subsidiaries.

DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS, LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY; INTEREST RATES AND INTEREST DIFFERENTIAL

The daily average balance sheet amounts, the related interest income or interest expense, and average rates earned or paid are presented in the following table:
 Average BalanceInterest
 Income /
Expense
Average
Rate
Average BalanceInterest
 Income /
Expense
Average
Rate
Average BalanceInterest
 Income /
Expense
Average
Rate
(Dollars in Thousands)202320222021
Assets:     
Interest-bearing deposits$431,581 $17,719 4.11 %$296,863 $2,503 0.84 %$521,637 $634 0.12 %
Federal Home Loan Bank stock41,319 3,052 7.39 35,580 1,176 3.31 28,736 597 2.08 
Investment securities: (1)
Taxable1,854,438 35,207 1.90 2,056,586 38,354 1.86 1,751,910 29,951 1.71 
Tax-exempt (2)
2,366,475 73,566 3.11 2,653,611 85,292 3.21 2,106,180 70,039 3.33 
Total Investment Securities4,220,913 108,773 2.58 4,710,197 123,646 2.63 3,858,090 99,990 2.59 
Loans held for sale21,766 1,292 5.94 14,715 692 4.70 19,190 747 3.89 
Loans: (3)
Commercial(6)
8,519,706 603,611 7.08 7,877,271 380,621 4.83 6,818,968 276,368 4.05 
Real estate mortgage2,035,488 82,183 4.04 1,471,802 51,853 3.52 916,314 34,783 3.80 
Installment830,006 60,751 7.32 785,520 37,302 4.75 683,925 26,111 3.82 
Tax-exempt (2)
891,008 40,448 4.54 793,743 31,803 4.01 732,253 27,987 3.82 
Total Loans12,297,974 788,285 6.41 10,943,051 502,271 4.59 9,170,650 365,996 3.99 
Total Earning Assets16,991,787 917,829 5.40 %15,985,691 629,596 3.94 %13,579,113 467,217 3.44 %
Total Non-earning Assets1,194,720 1,234,311 1,251,284 
Total Assets$18,186,507 $17,220,002 $14,830,397 
Liabilities:
Interest-bearing deposits:
Interest-bearing deposits$5,435,733 $138,012 2.54 %$5,206,131 $32,511 0.62 %$4,769,482 $14,512 0.30 %
Money market deposits2,884,271 83,777 2.90 2,915,397 19,170 0.66 2,351,803 3,203 0.14 
Savings deposits1,694,230 14,606 0.86 1,927,122 5,019 0.26 1,754,972 1,886 0.11 
Certificates and other time deposits1,923,268 69,697 3.62 881,176 6,239 0.71 783,733 3,718 0.47 
Total Interest-bearing Deposits11,937,502 306,092 2.56 10,929,826 62,939 0.58 9,659,990 23,319 0.24 
Borrowings1,111,472 42,394 3.81 888,392 21,864 2.46 639,791 12,633 1.97 
Total Interest-bearing Liabilities13,048,974 348,486 2.67 11,818,218 84,803 0.72 10,299,781 35,952 0.35 
Noninterest-bearing deposits2,783,996 3,268,417 2,516,241 
Other liabilities226,275 160,922 147,743 
Total Liabilities16,059,245 15,247,557 12,963,765 
Stockholders' Equity2,127,262 1,972,445 1,866,632 
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity$18,186,507 348,486 $17,220,002 84,803 $14,830,397 35,952 
Net Interest Income (FTE)$569,343 $544,793 $431,265 
Net Interest Spread (FTE) (4)
2.73 %3.22 %3.09 %
Net Interest Margin (FTE):
Interest Income (FTE) / Average Earning Assets5.40 %3.94 %3.44 %
Interest Expense / Average Earning Assets2.05 %0.53 %0.26 %
Net Interest Margin (FTE) (5)
3.35 %3.41 %3.18 %
 







______________________________

(1) Average balance of securities is computed based on the average of the historical amortized cost balances without the effects of the fair value adjustments. Annualized amounts are computed using a 30/360 day basis.

(2) Tax-exempt securities and loans are presented on a fully taxable equivalent basis, using a marginal tax rate of 21 percent for 2023, 2022 and 2021. These totals equal $23.9 million, $24.6 million and $20.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022, and 2021, respectively.

(3) Non accruing loans have been included in the average balances.

(4) Net Interest Spread (FTE) is interest income expressed as a percentage of average earning assets minus interest expense expressed as a percentage of average interest-bearing liabilities.

(5) Net Interest Margin (FTE) is interest income expressed as a percentage of average earning assets minus interest expense expressed as a percentage of average earning assets.

(6) Commercial loans included $2.7 million, $4.7 million and $106.6 million of PPP loans at December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
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PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

ANALYSIS OF CHANGES IN NET INTEREST INCOME

The following table presents net interest income components on a tax-equivalent basis and reflects changes between periods attributable to movement in either the average balance or average interest rate for both earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities. The volume differences were computed as the difference in volume between the current and prior year multiplied by the interest rate from the prior year. The interest rate changes were computed as the difference in rate between the current and prior year multiplied by the volume from the prior year.  Volume and rate variances have been allocated on the basis of the absolute relationship between volume variances and rate variances.
 2023 Compared to 2022
Increase (Decrease) Due To
2022 Compared to 2021
Increase (Decrease) Due To
2021 Compared to 2020
Increase (Decrease) Due To
(Dollars in Thousands, Fully Taxable Equivalent Basis)VolumeRateTotalVolumeRateTotalVolumeRateTotal
Interest Income:   
Interest-bearing deposits$1,597 $13,619 $15,216 $(383)$2,252 $1,869 $412 $(716)$(304)
Federal Home Loan Bank stock217 1,659 1,876 166 413 579 — (445)(445)
Investment securities(12,644)(2,229)(14,873)22,353 1,303 23,656 29,977 (8,023)21,954 
Loans held for sale388 212 600 (193)138 (55)26 (60)(34)
Loans67,684 217,730 285,414 76,919 59,411 136,330 4,223 (23,651)(19,428)
Totals57,242 230,991 288,233 98,862 63,517 162,379 34,638 (32,895)1,743 
Interest Expense:   
Interest-bearing deposit accounts1,496 104,005 105,501 1,440 16,559 17,999 3,344 (9,071)(5,727)
Money market deposit accounts(207)64,814 64,607 941 15,026 15,967 1,997 (6,604)(4,607)
Savings deposits(676)10,263 9,587 202 2,931 3,133 465 (2,220)(1,755)
Certificates and other time deposits14,157 49,301 63,458 508 2,013 2,521 (6,211)(10,121)(16,332)
Borrowings6,437 14,093 20,530 5,649 3,582 9,231 (2,521)513 (2,008)
Totals21,207 242,476 263,683 8,740 40,111 48,851 (2,926)(27,503)(30,429)
Change in net interest income (fully taxable equivalent basis)$36,035 $(11,485)24,550 $90,122 $23,406 113,528 $37,564 $(5,392)32,172 
Tax equivalent adjustment using marginal rate of 21% for 2023, 2022 and 2021  647 (4,005)(3,619)
Change in net interest income  $25,197 $109,523 $28,553 

INVESTMENT SECURITIES

In determining the fair value of the investment securities portfolio, the Corporation utilizes a third party for portfolio accounting services, including market value input, for those securities classified as Level 1 and Level 2 in the fair value hierarchy.  The Corporation has obtained an understanding of what inputs are being used by the vendor in pricing the portfolio and how the vendor classified these securities based upon these inputs.  From these discussions, the Corporation’s management is comfortable that the classifications are proper.  The Corporation has gained trust in the data for two reasons:  (a) independent spot testing of the data is conducted by the Corporation through obtaining market quotes from various brokers on a periodic basis; and (b) actual gains or loss resulting from the sale of certain securities has proven the data to be accurate over time.   Fair value of securities classified as Level 3 in the valuation hierarchy were determined using a discounted cash flow model that incorporated market estimates of interest rates and volatility in markets that have not been active.

The following table summarizes the amortized cost, gross unrealized gains and losses and approximate fair value of investment securities available for sale at the dates indicated.
Amortized
Cost
Gross Unrealized
Gains
Gross Unrealized
Losses
Fair
Value
Available for sale at December 31, 2023
U.S. Government-sponsored agency securities$111,521 $— $16,214 $95,307 
State and municipal1,181,029 364 116,222 1,065,171 
U.S. Government-sponsored mortgage-backed securities541,343 462 86,990 454,815 
Corporate obligations12,947 — 1,128 11,819 
Total available for sale$1,846,840 $826 $220,554 $1,627,112 
Amortized
Cost
Gross Unrealized
Gains
Gross Unrealized
Losses
Fair
Value
Available for sale at December 31, 2022
U.S. Treasury$2,501 $— $42 $2,459 
U.S. Government-sponsored agency securities119,154 — 17,192 101,962 
State and municipal1,530,048 438 178,726 1,351,760 
U.S. Government-sponsored mortgage-backed securities608,630 100,358 508,273 
Corporate obligations13,014 — 807 12,207 
Total available for sale$2,273,347 $439 $297,125 $1,976,661 
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PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS


Amortized
Cost
Gross Unrealized
Gains
Gross Unrealized
Losses
Fair
Value
Available for sale at December 31, 2021
US Treasury$1,000 $— $$999 
U.S. Government-sponsored agency securities96,244 437 1,545 95,136 
State and municipal1,495,696 81,734 898 1,576,532 
U.S. Government-sponsored mortgage-backed securities671,684 7,109 11,188 667,605 
Corporate obligations4,031 256 4,279 
Total available for sale$2,268,655 $89,536 $13,640 $2,344,551 

The following table summarizes the amortized cost, gross unrealized gains and losses, approximate fair value and allowance for credit losses on investment securities held to maturity at the dates indicated.

Amortized
Cost
Allowance for Credit LossesNet Carrying AmountGross Unrealized
Gains
Gross Unrealized
Losses
Fair
Value
Held to maturity at December 31, 2023
U.S. Government-sponsored agency securities$374,002 $— $374,002 $— $64,159 $309,843 
State and municipal1,099,201 245 1,098,956 1,625 152,113 948,713 
U.S. Government-sponsored mortgage-backed securities709,794 — 709,794 — 99,448 610,346 
Foreign investment1,500 — 1,500 — 28 1,472 
Total held to maturity$2,184,497 $245 $2,184,252 $1,625 $315,748 $1,870,374 

Amortized
Cost
Allowance for Credit LossesNet Carrying AmountGross Unrealized
Gains
Gross Unrealized
Losses
Fair
Value
Held to maturity at December 31, 2022
U.S. Government-sponsored agency securities$392,246 $— $392,246 $— $69,147 $323,099 
State and municipal1,117,552 245 1,117,307 647 197,064 921,135 
U.S. Government-sponsored mortgage-backed securities776,074 — 776,074 — 113,915 662,159 
Foreign investment1,500 — 1,500 — 28 1,472 
Total held to maturity$2,287,372 $245 $2,287,127 $647 $380,154 $1,907,865 

Amortized
Cost
Allowance for Credit LossesNet Carrying AmountGross Unrealized
Gains
Gross Unrealized
Losses
Fair
Value
Held to maturity at December 31, 2021
U.S. Government-sponsored agency securities$371,457 $— $371,457 $226 $7,268 $364,415 
State and municipal1,057,301 245 1,057,056 29,593 2,170 1,084,724 
U.S. Government-sponsored mortgage-backed securities749,789 — 749,789 7,957 5,881 751,865 
Foreign investment1,500 — 1,500 — 1,499 
Total held to maturity$2,180,047 $245 $2,179,802 $37,776 $15,320 $2,202,503 


In determining the allowance for credit losses on investment securities available for sale that are in an unrealized loss position, the Corporation first assesses whether it intends to sell, or it is more likely than not that it will be required to sell the security before recovery of its amortized cost basis. If either of the criteria regarding intent or requirement to sell is met, the security’s amortized cost basis is written down to fair value through the income statement. For investment securities available for sale that do not meet the aforementioned criteria, the Corporation evaluates whether the decline in fair value has resulted from credit losses or other factors. In making this assessment, the Corporation considers the extent to which fair value is less than amortized cost, any changes to the rating of the security by a rating agency, and adverse conditions specifically related to the security, among other factors. If this assessment indicates that a credit loss exists, the present value of cash flows expected to be collected from the security are compared to the amortized cost basis of the security. If the present value of cash flows expected to be collected is less than the amortized cost basis, a credit loss exists and an allowance for credit losses is recorded for the credit loss, limited by the amount that the fair value is less than the amortized cost basis. Unrealized losses that have not been recorded through an allowance for credit losses are recognized in other comprehensive income (loss). Adjustments to the allowance are reported in the income statement as a component of the provision for credit loss. The Corporation has made the accounting policy election to exclude accrued interest receivable on investment securities available for sale from the estimate of credit losses. Investment securities available for sale are charged off against the allowance or, in the absence of any allowance, written down through the income statement when deemed uncollectible or when either of the aforementioned criteria regarding intent or requirement to sell is met. The Corporation did not record an allowance for credit losses on its investment securities available for sale as the unrealized losses were attributable to changes in interest rates, not credit quality.


16


PART I: ITEM 1. BUSINESS

The allowance for credit losses on investment securities held to maturity is a contra asset-valuation account that is deducted from the amortized cost basis of investment securities held to maturity to present the net amount expected to be collected. Investment securities held to maturity are charged off against the allowance when deemed uncollectible. Adjustments to the allowance are reported in the income statement as a component of the provision for credit loss. The Corporation measures expected credit losses on investment securities held to maturity on a collective basis by major security type with each type sharing similar risk characteristics, and considers historical credit loss information that is adjusted for current conditions and reasonable and supportable forecasts. The Corporation has made the accounting policy election to exclude accrued interest receivable on investment securities held to maturity from the estimate of credit losses. With regard to U.S. Government-sponsored agency and mortgage-backed securities, all these securities are issued by a U.S. government-sponsored entity and have an implicit or explicit government guarantee; therefore, no allowance for credit losses has been recorded for these securities. With regard to securities issued by states and municipalities and other investment securities held to maturity, management considers (1) issuer bond ratings, (2) historical loss rates for given bond ratings, (3) the financial condition of the issuer, and (4) whether issuers continue to make timely principal and interest payments under the contractual terms of the securities. Historical loss rates associated with securities having similar grades as those in the Corporation’s portfolio have been insignificant. Furthermore, as of December 31, 2023, there were no past due principal and interest payments associated with these securities. At CECL adoption, an allowance for credit losses of $245,000 was recorded on the state and municipal securities classified as held to maturity based on applying the long-term historical credit loss rate, as published by Moody’s, for similarly rated securities. The balance of the allowance for credit losses on investments securities remained unchanged at $245,000 as of December 31, 2023.

The cost and yield for Federal Home Loan Bank stock is included in the table below.
 202320222021
(Dollars in Thousands)CostYieldCostYieldCostYield
Federal Home Loan Bank stock$41,769 7.3 %$38,525 3.1 %$28,736 2.1 %
Total$41,769 7.3 %$38,525 3.1 %$28,736 2.1 %

The Corporation’s Federal Home Loan Bank stock is primarily in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis and it continued to produce sufficient financial results to pay dividends.

There were no issuers included in the investment security portfolio at December 31, 2023, 2022 or 2021 where the aggregate carrying value of any one issuer exceeded 10 percent of the Corporation’s stockholders’ equity at those dates. The term “issuer” excludes the U.S. Government and its sponsored agencies and corporations.

The maturity distribution and average yields for the securities portfolio at December 31, 2023 were:
 Within 1 Year1-5 Years5-10 Years
(Dollars in Thousands)Amount
Yield (1)
Amount
Yield (1)
Amount
Yield (1)
Securities available for sale December 31, 2023      
U.S. Government-sponsored agency securities$— — %$8,945 1.4 %$— — %
State and municipal1,382 2.6 %9,568 2.4 %113,456 3.1 %
Corporate obligations— — %4,859 6.1 %6,929 4.5 %
$1,382 2.6 %$23,372 2.8 %$120,385 3.2 %

 Due After Ten Years
U.S. Government-
Sponsored Mortgage - Backed
Securities
Total
 Amount
Yield (1)
Amount
Yield (1)
Amount
Yield (1)
U.S. Government-sponsored agency securities$86,362 2.3 %$— — %$95,307 2.2 %
State and municipal940,765 3.1 %— — %1,065,171 3.0 %