(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
One Penn Square
P. O. Box 4887
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $2.50 par value
The Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yesx No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨Nox
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. Yesx No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically if any, 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). Yesx No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a 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. (Check One):
Large accelerated filer
Emerging growth company
Smaller reporting 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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No x
The aggregate market value of the voting Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the average bid and asked prices on June 30, 2019, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $2.6 billion. The number of shares of the registrant’s Common Stock outstanding on February 7, 2020 was 164,294,000.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Definitive Proxy Statement of the Registrant for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 19, 2020 are incorporated by reference in Part III.
Fulton Financial Corporation was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania on February 8, 1982 and became a bank holding company through the acquisition of all of the outstanding stock of Fulton Bank, N.A. ("Fulton Bank") on June 30, 1982. In this Report, "the Corporation" refers to Fulton Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries that are consolidated for financial reporting purposes, except that when referring to Fulton Financial Corporation as a public company, as a bank holding company or as a financial holding company, or to the common stock or other securities issued by Fulton Financial Corporation, references to "the Corporation" refer solely to Fulton Financial Corporation. References to "the Parent Company" refer solely to Fulton Financial Corporation. In 2000, the Corporation became a financial holding company as defined in the GLB Act, which gave the Corporation the ability to expand its financial services activities under its holding company structure. See "Competition" and "Supervision and Regulation." The Corporation directly owns 100% of the common stock of Fulton Bank and eight non-bank entities. As of December 31, 2019, the Corporation had approximately 3,500 full-time equivalent employees.
The common stock of the Corporation is listed for quotation on the Global Select Market of The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol FULT. The Corporation's Internet address is www.fult.com. Electronic copies of the Corporation's 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K are available free of charge by visiting "Investor Relations" at www.fult.com. Electronic copies of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K are also available at this Internet address. These reports, as well as any amendments thereto, are posted on the Corporation's website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC").
Banking and Financial Services Subsidiary
The Corporation, through its banking subsidiary, Fulton Bank, delivers financial services within its five-state market area (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia) in a personalized, community-oriented style that emphasizes relationship banking. As recently as 2018, the Corporation had six banking subsidiaries. During 2018, the Corporation began the process of consolidating its banking subsidiaries into Fulton Bank, which was completed in September 2019. The consolidation process resulted in the Corporation conducting its core banking business through a single bank subsidiary, Fulton Bank, which reduced the number of government agencies that regulate the Corporation's banking operations.
The Corporation operates in areas that are home to a wide range of manufacturing, distribution, health care and other service companies. The Corporation is not dependent upon one or a few customers or any one industry, and the loss of any single customer or a few customers would not have a material adverse impact on the Corporation. However, a large portion of the Corporation's loan portfolio is comprised of commercial loans, commercial mortgage loans and construction loans. See Item 1A. "Risk Factors - Economic and Credit Risks - The composition of the Corporation's loan and lease portfolio and competition for loans and leases subject the Corporation to credit risk."
The Corporation offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking products and services in its market area. Personal banking services include various checking account and savings deposit products, certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts. The Corporation offers a variety of consumer lending products to customers in its market areas. Secured consumer loan products include home equity loans and lines of credit, which are underwritten based on loan-to-value limits specified in the Corporation's lending policy. The Corporation also offers a variety of fixed, variable and adjustable rate products, including construction loans and jumbo residential mortgage loans. Residential mortgages are offered through Fulton Mortgage Company, which operates as a division of Fulton Bank. Consumer loan products also include automobile loans, personal lines of credit and checking account overdraft protection.
Commercial banking services are provided to small and medium sized businesses (generally with sales of less than $150 million) in the Corporation's market area. The Corporation's policies limit the maximum total lending commitment to a single borrower to $55.0 million as of December 31, 2019, which is significantly below the Corporation's regulatory lending limit. In addition, the Corporation has established lower total lending limits based on the Corporation's internal risk rating of the borrower and for certain types of lending commitments. Commercial lending products include commercial, financial, agricultural and real estate loans. Variable, adjustable and fixed rate loans are provided, with variable and adjustable rate loans generally tied to an index, such as the Prime Rate or the London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR"), as well as interest rate swaps. The Corporation's commercial lending policy encourages relationship banking and provides strict guidelines related to customer creditworthiness and collateral requirements for secured loans. In addition, equipment finance leasing, letters of credit, cash management services and traditional deposit products are offered to commercial customers.
Wealth management services, which include investment management, trust, brokerage, insurance and investment advisory services, are offered to consumer and commercial customers in the Corporation's market area by Fulton Financial Advisors, a division of Fulton Bank.
The Corporation delivers products and services through traditional branch banking, with a network of full service branch offices. Electronic delivery channels include a network of automated teller machines, telephone banking, mobile banking and online banking. The variety of available delivery channels allows customers to access their account information and perform certain transactions, such as depositing checks, transferring funds and paying bills, at virtually any time of the day. Fulton Bank has 230 branches, not including remote service facilities (mainly stand-alone automated teller machines), and its main office is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The Corporation owns 100% of the common stock of five non-bank subsidiaries, which are consolidated for financial reporting purposes: (i) Fulton Financial Realty Company, which holds title to or leases certain properties where Corporation branch offices and other facilities are located; (ii) Central Pennsylvania Financial Corp., which owns limited partnership interests in partnerships invested primarily in low- and moderate-income housing projects; (iii) FFC Management, Inc., which owns certain passive investments; (iv) FFC Penn Square, Inc., which owns trust preferred securities ("TruPS") issued by a subsidiary of Fulton Bank; and (v) Fulton Insurance Services Group, Inc., which engages in the sale of various life insurance products.
The Corporation also owns 100% of the common stock of three non-bank subsidiaries which are not consolidated for financial reporting purposes. The following table provides information for these non-bank subsidiaries, whose sole assets consist of junior subordinated deferrable interest debentures issued by the Corporation, as of December 31, 2019:
State of Incorporation
Columbia Bancorp Statutory Trust
Columbia Bancorp Statutory Trust II
Columbia Bancorp Statutory Trust III
The banking and financial services industries are highly competitive. Within its geographic region, the Corporation faces direct competition from other commercial banks, varying in size from local community banks to regional and national banks, credit unions and non-bank entities. As a result of the wide availability of electronic delivery channels, the Corporation also faces competition from financial institutions that do not have a physical presence in the Corporation's geographic markets.
The industry is also highly competitive due to the various types of entities that now compete aggressively for customers that were traditionally served only by the banking industry. Under the current financial services regulatory framework, banks, insurance companies and securities firms may affiliate under a financial holding company structure, allowing their expansion into non-banking financial services activities that had previously been restricted. These activities include a full range of banking, securities and insurance activities, including securities and insurance underwriting, issuing and selling annuities and merchant banking activities. Moreover, the Corporation faces increased competition from certain non-bank entities, such as financial technology companies and marketplace lenders, which in many cases are not subject to the same regulatory compliance obligations as the Corporation. While the Corporation does not currently engage in many of the activities described above, further entry into these businesses may enhance the ability of the Corporation to compete in the future.
Supervision and Regulation
The Corporation operates in an industry that is subject to laws and regulations that are enforced by a number of federal and state agencies. Changes in these laws and regulations, including interpretation and enforcement activities, could impact the cost of operating in the financial services industry, limit or expand permissible activities or affect competition among banks and other financial institutions.
The Corporation is a registered bank holding company, and has elected to be treated as a financial holding company, under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended ("BHCA"). The Corporation is regulated, supervised and examined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ("Federal Reserve Board"). Fulton Bank is a national banking association chartered
under the laws of the United States and is primarily regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC"). In addition, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") examines Fulton Bank for compliance with most federal consumer financial protection laws, including the laws relating to fair lending and prohibiting unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices in connection with the offer, sale or provision of consumer financial products or services, and for enforcing such laws with respect to Fulton Bank and its affiliates.
Federal statutes that apply to the Corporation and its subsidiaries include the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act ("GLB Act"), the BHCA, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank Act"), the Federal Reserve Act, the National Bank Act and the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, among others. In general, these statutes, regulations promulgated thereunder, and related interpretations establish the eligible business activities of the Corporation, certain acquisition and merger restrictions, limitations on intercompany transactions (such as loans and dividends), cash reserve requirements, lending limitations, compliance with unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices prohibitions, limitations on investments, and capital adequacy requirements, among other things. Such laws and regulations are intended primarily for the protection of depositors, customers and the Federal Deposit Insurance Fund ("DIF"), as well as to minimize risk to the banking system as a whole, and not for the protection of the Corporation's shareholders or non-depository creditors.
The following discussion is general in nature and seeks to highlight some of the more significant regulatory requirements to which the Corporation is subject, but does not purport to be complete or to describe all applicable laws and regulations.
BHCA - The Corporation is subject to regulation and examination by the Federal Reserve Board, and is required to file periodic reports and to provide additional information that the Federal Reserve Board may require. The BHCA regulates activities of bank holding companies, including requirements and limitations relating to capital, transactions with officers, directors and affiliates, securities issuances, dividend payments and extensions of credit, among others. The BHCA permits the Federal Reserve Board, in certain circumstances, to issue cease and desist orders and other enforcement actions against bank holding companies (and their non-banking affiliates) to correct or curtail unsafe or unsound banking practices. In addition, the Federal Reserve Board must approve certain proposed changes in organizational structure or other business activities before they occur. The BHCA imposes certain restrictions upon the Corporation regarding the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of, or direct or indirect ownership or control of, any bank for which it is not already the majority owner.
Source of Strength - Federal banking law requires bank holding companies such as the Corporation to act as a source of financial strength and to commit capital and other financial resources to each of their banking subsidiaries. This support may be required at times when the Corporation may not be able to provide such support without adversely affecting its ability to meet other obligations, or when, absent such requirements, the Corporation might not otherwise choose to provide such support. If the Corporation is unable to provide such support, the Federal Reserve Board could instead require the divestiture of the Corporation's subsidiaries and impose operating restrictions pending the divestiture. If a bank holding company commits to a federal bank regulator that it will maintain the capital of its bank subsidiary, whether in response to the Federal Reserve Board's invoking its source of strength authority or in response to other regulatory measures, that commitment will be assumed by the bankruptcy trustee and the bank will be entitled to priority payment in respect of that commitment.
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act - In May 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act ("Economic Growth Act") became law. Among other things, the Economic Growth Act amended certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act to raise the total asset threshold for mandatory applicability of enhanced prudential standards for bank holding companies to $250 billion and to allow the Federal Reserve Board to apply enhanced prudential standards to bank holding companies with between $100 billion and $250 billion in total assets to address financial stability risks or safety and soundness concerns. The Economic Growth Act's increased threshold took effect immediately for bank holding companies with total assets of less than $100 billion, including the Corporation.
The Economic Growth Act also enacted other important changes, for which the banking agencies issued certain corresponding proposed and interim final rules, including:
Raising the total asset threshold for Dodd-Frank Act company-run stress tests from $10 billion to $250 billion;
Prohibiting federal banking agencies from imposing higher capital requirements for High Volatility Commercial Real Estate ("HVCRE") exposures unless such exposures meet the statutory definition for high volatility acquisition, development or construction ("ADC") loans in the Economic Growth Act;
Exempting from appraisal requirements certain transactions involving real property in rural areas and valued at less than $400,000;
Providing that reciprocal deposits are not treated as brokered deposits in the case of a "well capitalized" institution that received a "outstanding" or "good" rating on its most recent examination to the extent the amount of such deposits does not exceed the lesser of $5 billion or 20% of the bank's total liabilities;
Directing the CFPB to provide guidance on the applicability of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule to mortgage assumption transactions and construction-to-permanent home loans, as well the extent to which lenders can rely on model disclosures that do not reflect recent regulatory changes.
Given Fulton Bank's size, a number of additional benefits afforded to community banks under applicable asset thresholds are not available to Fulton Bank.
Consumer Financial Protection Laws and Enforcement - The CFPB and the federal banking agencies continue to focus attention on consumer protection laws and regulations. The CFPB is responsible for promoting fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, deposit accounts and other consumer financial products and services and for interpreting and enforcing the federal consumer financial laws that govern the provision of such products and services. Federal consumer financial laws enforced by the CFPB include, but are not limited to, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA"), Truth in Lending Act ("TILA"), the Truth in Savings Act, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The CFPB is also authorized to prevent any institution under its authority from engaging in an unfair, deceptive, or abusive act or practice in connection with consumer financial products and services. As a residential mortgage lender, the Corporation is subject to multiple federal consumer protection statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to, those referenced above.
In particular, fair lending laws prohibit discrimination in the provision of banking services. Fair lending laws include ECOA and the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), which outlaw discrimination in credit and residential real estate transactions on the basis of prohibited factors including, among others, race, color, national origin, gender, and religion. A lender may be liable for policies that result in a disparate treatment of, or have a disparate impact on, a protected class of applicants or borrowers. If a pattern or practice of lending discrimination is alleged by a regulator, then that agency may refer the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") for investigation. Failure to comply with these and similar statutes and regulations can result in the Corporation becoming subject to formal or informal enforcement actions, the imposition of civil money penalties and consumer litigation.
The CFPB has exclusive examination and primary enforcement authority with respect to compliance with federal consumer financial protection laws and regulations by institutions under its supervision and is authorized, individually or jointly with the federal banking agencies, to conduct investigations to determine whether any person is, or has, engaged in conduct that violates such laws or regulations. The CFPB may bring an administrative enforcement proceeding or civil action in federal district court. In addition, in accordance with a memorandum of understanding entered into between the CFPB and the DOJ, the two agencies have agreed to coordinate efforts related to enforcing the fair lending laws, which includes information sharing and conducting joint investigations; however, the extent to which such coordination may actually occur is unpredictable and may change over time as the result of a number of factors, including changes in leadership at the DOJ and CFPB, as well as changes in the enforcement policies and priorities of each agency. As an independent bureau funded by the Federal Reserve Board, the CFPB may impose requirements that are more stringent than those of the other bank regulatory agencies.
As an insured depository institution with total assets of more than $10 billion, Fulton Bank is subject to the CFPB's supervisory and enforcement authorities. The Dodd-Frank Act also permits states to adopt stricter consumer protection laws and state attorneys general to enforce consumer protection rules issued by the CFPB. As a result, Fulton Bank operates in a stringent consumer compliance environment.
Ability-to-pay rules and qualified mortgages - Under CFPB rules that implement TILA, mortgage lenders are required to make a reasonable and good faith determination, based on verified and documented information, that a consumer applying for a residential mortgage loan has a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms. These rules prohibit creditors, such as Fulton Bank, from extending residential mortgage loans without regard for the consumer's ability to repay and add restrictions and requirements to residential mortgage origination and servicing practices. In addition, these rules restrict the imposition of prepayment penalties and compensation practices relating to residential mortgage loan origination. Mortgage lenders are required to determine consumers' ability to repay in one of two ways. The first alternative requires the mortgage lender to consider eight underwriting factors when making the credit decision. The mortgage lender may also originate "qualified mortgages," which are entitled to a presumption that the creditor making the loan satisfied the ability-to-repay requirements. In general, a qualified mortgage is a residential mortgage loan that does not have certain high risk features, such as negative amortization, interest-only payments, balloon payments, or a term exceeding 30 years. In addition, to be a qualified mortgage, the points and fees paid by a consumer cannot exceed 3% of the total loan amount, and the borrower's total debt-to-income ratio must be no higher than 43% (subject to certain limited exceptions for loans eligible for purchase, guarantee or insurance by a government sponsored enterprise or a federal agency).
Integrated disclosures under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act - Under CFPB rules, mortgage lenders are required to provide a loan estimate, not later than the third business day after submission of a loan application, and a closing disclosure at least three days prior to the loan closing. The loan estimate must detail the terms of the loan, including, among other things, expenses, projected monthly mortgage payments and estimated closing costs. The closing disclosure must include, among other things, closing costs and a comparison of costs reported on the loan estimate to actual charges to be applied at closing.
Volcker Rule - Provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, commonly known as the "Volcker Rule," prohibit banks and their affiliates from engaging in proprietary trading and investing in and sponsoring hedge funds and private equity funds and other private funds that are, among other things, offered within specified exemptions to the Investment Company Act, known as "covered funds," subject to certain exemptions. In October 2019, the federal banking agencies, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the SEC (the "Volcker Rule Regulators") finalized amendments, effective on January 1, 2020, but with a required compliance date of January 1, 2021, to their regulations implementing the Volcker Rule, tailoring compliance requirements based on the size and scope of a banking entity's trading activities and clarifying and amending certain definitions, requirements and exemptions. In January 2020, the Volcker Rule Regulators issued a proposal intended to clarify and amend certain definitions, requirements and exemptions relating to covered funds and the currently effective regulations. The Corporation is currently evaluating the potential impact of the recently finalized and proposed amendments, and the ultimate impact of the amendments on the Corporation's investing and trading activities will depend on, among other things, further rulemaking and guidance from the Volcker Rule Regulators and the development of market practices and standards.
Capital Requirements - The Corporation and Fulton Bank are subject to risk-based requirements and rules issued by the federal banking agencies (the "Basel III Rules") that are based upon the final framework of the Basel Committee for strengthening capital and liquidity regulation. Under the Basel III Rules, the Corporation and Fulton Bank apply the standardized approach in measuring their risk-weighted assets ("RWA") and regulatory capital.
Under the Basel III Rules, the Corporation and Fulton Bank are subject to the following minimum capital ratios:
A minimum Common Equity Tier 1 ("CET1") capital ratio of 4.50% of RWA;
A minimum Tier 1 capital ratio of 6.00% of RWA,; and
A minimum Total capital ratio of 8.00% of RWA.
The Basel III Rules also include a "capital conservation buffer" of 2.5%, composed entirely of CET1 capital, in addition to the minimum capital to RWA ratios outlined above, resulting in effective minimum CET1, Tier 1 and total capital ratios of 7.0%, 8.5% and 10.5%, respectively. The capital conservation buffer is designed to absorb losses during periods of economic stress. Banking institutions with a capital ratio above the minimum, but below the conservation buffer, will face constraints on dividends, equity repurchases, and compensation based on the amount of the shortfall and the institution's "eligible retained income" (that is, four quarter trailing net income, net of distributions and tax effects not reflected in net income). If Fulton Bank fails to maintain the required minimum capital conservation buffer, the Corporation will be subject to limits, and possibly prohibitions, on its ability to obtain capital distributions from Fulton Bank. If the Corporation does not receive sufficient cash dividends from Fulton Bank, it may not have sufficient funds to pay dividends on its capital stock, service its debt obligations or repurchase its common stock. In addition, the restrictions on payments of discretionary cash bonuses to executive officers may make it more difficult for the Corporation to retain key personnel. As of December 31, 2019, the Corporation and Fulton Bank met the minimum capital requirements, including the capital conservation buffer, as prescribed in the Basel III Rules.
The Corporation and Fulton Bank are also required to maintain a minimum Tier 1 leverage ratio (Tier 1 capital to a quarterly average of non-risk weighted total assets) of 4%. The Corporation and Fulton Bank are not subject to the Basel III Rules' countercyclical buffer or the supplementary leverage ratio.
The Basel III Rules provide for a number of deductions from and adjustments to CET1. These include, for example, goodwill, other intangible assets, and deferred tax assets ("DTAs") that arise from net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards net of any related valuation allowance. Mortgage servicing rights ("MSRs"), DTAs arising from temporary differences that could not be realized through net operating loss carrybacks and investments in non-consolidated financial institutions must also be deducted from CET1 to the extent that they exceed certain thresholds. In July 2019, the federal banking agencies adopted final rules intended to simplify the capital treatment for certain DTAs, MSRs, investments in non-consolidated financial entities and minority interests for banking organizations, such as the Corporation and Fulton Bank, that are not subject to the advanced approaches framework (the "Capital Simplification Rules"). The Capital Simplification Rules were effective for the Corporation as of January 1, 2020.
The Corporation and Fulton Bank, as non-advanced approaches banking organizations, made a one-time, permanent election under the Basel III Rules to exclude the effects of certain components of accumulated other comprehensive income ("AOCI") included in shareholders' equity under U.S. GAAP in determining regulatory capital ratios.
Under the Basel III Rules, certain off-balance sheet commitments and obligations are converted into RWA, that together with on-balance sheet assets, are the base against which regulatory capital is measured. The Basel III Rule defined the risk-weighting categories for bank holding companies and banks that follow the standardized approach, such as the Corporation and Fulton Bank, based on a risk-sensitive analysis, depending on the nature of the exposure.
The Capital Simplifications Rules adopted in July 2019 eliminated the standalone prior approval requirement in the Basel III Capital Rules for any repurchase of common stock. In certain circumstances, the Corporation's repurchases of its common stock may be subject to a prior approval or notice requirement under other regulations or policies of the Federal Reserve Board. Any redemption or repurchase of preferred stock or subordinated debt remains subject to the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board.
In December 2017, the Basel Committee published the last version of the Basel III accord, generally referred to as "Basel IV." Among other things, these standards revise the Basel Committee's standardized approach for credit risk (including by recalibrating risk weights and introducing new capital requirements for certain "unconditionally cancellable commitments," such as unused credit card and home equity lines of credit) and provides a new standardized approach for operational risk capital. Under the Basel framework, these standards will generally be effective on January 1, 2022, with an aggregate output floor phasing in through January 1, 2027. Under the current U.S. capital rules, operational risk capital requirements and a capital floor apply only to advanced approaches institutions, and not to the Corporation or Fulton Bank. The impact of Basel IV on the Corporation and Fulton Bank will depend on the manner in which it is implemented by the federal banking agencies.
As noted above, the federal banking agencies have implemented the provisions of the Economic Growth Act that provide certain capital relief pursuant a new and narrower definition of HVCRE exposures that are subject to a heightened risk weight.
Stress Testing and Capital Planning - As a result of the Economic Growth Act and implementing regulations adopted by the Federal Reserve Board and OCC, the Corporation and Fulton Bank are no longer subject to company-run stress testing requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act. The Federal Reserve Board continues to supervise the Corporation's capital planning and risk management practices through the regular supervisory process.
Current Expected Credit Losses Transitional Provisions - In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued an accounting standard update, "Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326), Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments," which replaces the existing "incurred loss" model for recognizing credit losses with an "expected loss" model referred to as the Current Expected Credit Loss ("CECL") model. Under the CECL model, the Corporation is required to present certain financial assets carried at amortized cost, such as loans held for investment and held-to-maturity debt securities, at the net amount expected to be collected. The measurement of expected credit losses is based on information about past events, including historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts that affect the collectability of the reported amount. In December 2018, the federal banking agencies approved a final rule modifying their regulatory capital rules and providing an option to phase in over a period of three years the day-one regulatory capital effects of the CECL model. The final rule also revises the agencies' other rules to reflect the update to the accounting standards.The new CECL standard became effective for the Corporation on January 1, 2020. See "Note 1 - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies - Recently Issued Accounting Standards" in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8. "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" for additional information on CECL and its impact on the Corporation's allowance for credit losses and regulatory capital.
Prompt Corrective Action - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act ("FDICIA") established a system of prompt corrective action to attempt to resolve the problems of undercapitalized institutions. The FDICIA, among other things, establishes five capital categories for FDIC-insured banks: "well capitalized," "adequately capitalized," "undercapitalized," "significantly undercapitalized" and "critically undercapitalized." An insured depository institution is treated as well capitalized if its total risk-based capital ratio is 10.00% or greater, its Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio is 8.00% or greater, its CET1 risk-based capital ratio is 6.50% or greater and its Tier 1 leverage capital ratio is 5.00% or greater, and it is not subject to any order or directive to meet a specific capital level. As of December 31, 2019, Fulton Bank's capital ratios were above the minimum levels required to be considered "well capitalized" by the OCC.
Under this system, the federal banking agencies are required to take certain, and authorized to take other, prompt corrective actions against undercapitalized institutions, the severity of which increase as the capital category of an institution declines, including restrictions on growth of assets and other forms of expansion. Generally, a capital restoration plan must be filed with the institution's primary federal regulator within 45 days of the date an institution receives notice that it is "undercapitalized," "significantly undercapitalized" or "critically undercapitalized." Although prompt corrective action regulations apply only to depository institutions and not to bank holding companies, the holding company must guarantee any such capital restoration plan in certain circumstances. The liability of the parent holding company under any such guarantee is limited to the lesser of five percent of the bank's assets at the time it became "undercapitalized" or the amount needed to comply. The parent holding company might also
be liable for civil money damages for failure to fulfill that guarantee. In the event of the bankruptcy of the parent holding company, such guarantee would take priority over the parent's general unsecured creditors.
In addition, regulators consider both risk-based capital ratios and other factors that can affect a bank's financial condition, including (i) concentrations of credit risk, (ii) interest rate risk, and (iii) risks from non-traditional activities, along with an institution's ability to manage those risks, when determining capital adequacy. This evaluation is made during the institution's safety and soundness examination. An institution may be downgraded to, or deemed to be in, a capital category that is lower than is indicated by its capital ratios if it is determined to be in an unsafe or unsound condition or if it receives an unsatisfactory examination rating with respect to certain matters.
Brokered Deposits - The FDICIA and FDIC regulations limit the ability of an insured depository institution, such as Fulton Bank, to accept, renew or roll over brokered deposits unless the institution is well-capitalized under the prompt corrective action framework described above, or unless it is adequately capitalized and obtains a waiver from the FDIC. In addition, less than well-capitalized banks are subject to restrictions on the interest rates they may pay on deposits. In December 2019, the FDIC issued a proposed rule that seeks to bring brokered deposits regulations in line with modern deposit taking methods and that may reduce the amount of deposits that would be classified as brokered. The impact on the Corporation and Fulton Bank from any changes to the brokered deposit regulations will depend on the final form of the proposed rule and the development of market practices and structures.
Loans and Dividends from Bank Subsidiary - There are various restrictions on the extent to which Fulton Bank can make loans and other extensions of credit (including credit exposure arising from repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements, securities borrowing and derivative transactions) to, or enter into certain transactions with, its affiliates, which include the Corporation and its non-bank subsidiaries. In general, these restrictions require that such transactions: are limited, as to any one of the Corporation or its non-bank subsidiaries, to 10% of Fulton Bank's regulatory capital (20% in the aggregate to all such entities); satisfy certain qualitative limitations, including that any covered transaction be made on an arm's length basis; and, in the case of extensions of credit, be secured by designated amounts of specified collateral.
For safety and soundness reasons, banking regulations also limit the amount of cash that can be transferred from Fulton Bank to the Parent Company in the form of dividends. Generally, dividends are limited to the lesser of the amounts calculated under an earnings retention test and an undivided profits test. Under the earnings retention test, without the prior approval of the OCC, a dividend may not be paid if the total of all dividends declared by a bank in any calendar year is in excess of the current year's net income combined with the retained net income of the two preceding years. Under the undivided profits test, a dividend may not be paid in excess of a bank's undivided profits. In addition, banks are prohibited from paying dividends when doing so would cause them to fall below the regulatory minimum capital levels. See "Note 11 - Regulatory Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" for additional information regarding regulatory capital and dividend and loan limitations.
Federal Deposit Insurance - The deposits of Fulton Bank are insured up to the applicable limits by the DIF, generally up to $250,000 per insured depositor. Fulton Bank pays deposit insurance premiums based on assessment rates established by the FDIC. The FDIC has established a risk-based assessment system under which institutions are classified and pay premiums according to their perceived risk to the DIF. In addition, the FDIC possesses backup enforcement authority over a depository institution holding company, such as the Corporation, if the conduct or threatened conduct of such holding company poses a risk to the DIF, although such authority may not be used if the holding company is generally in sound condition and does not pose a foreseeable and material risk to the DIF.
FDIC assessment rates for large institutions that have more than $10 billion in assets, such as Fulton Bank, are calculated based on a "scorecard" methodology that seeks to capture both the probability that an individual large institution will fail and the magnitude of the impact on the DIF if such a failure occurs, based primarily on the difference between the institution's average of total assets and average tangible equity. The FDIC has the ability to make discretionary adjustments to the total score, up or down, based upon significant risk factors that are not adequately captured in the scorecard. For large institutions, including Fulton Bank, after accounting for potential base-rate adjustments, the total assessment rate could range from 1.5 to 40 basis points on an annualized basis. An institution's assessment is determined by multiplying its assessment rate by its assessment base, which is asset based.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "Tax Act"), which was signed into law on December 22, 2017, disallows the deduction of FDIC deposit insurance premium payments for banking organizations with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more. For banks with less than $50 billion in total consolidated assets, such as Fulton Bank, the premium deduction is phased out based on the proportion of the bank's assets exceeding $10 billion.
Anti-Money Laundering Requirements and the USA Patriot Act - The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 ("Patriot Act"), which amended the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 ("BSA"), and other anti-money laundering ("AML") laws and regulations impose affirmative
obligations on a wide range of financial institutions to maintain appropriate policies, procedures and controls to detect, prevent and report money laundering and terrorist financing.
Among other requirements, the Patriot Act and related regulations impose the following requirements on financial institutions:
Establishment of AML programs;
Establishment of a program specifying procedures for obtaining identifying information from customers seeking to open new accounts, including verifying the identity of customers within a reasonable period of time;
Establishment of enhanced due diligence policies, procedures and controls designed to detect and report money laundering; and
Prohibition on correspondent accounts for foreign shell banks and compliance with recordkeeping obligations with respect to correspondent accounts of foreign banks.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the Patriot Act and other AML laws and regulations could have serious legal, financial, regulatory and reputational consequences. In addition, bank regulators will consider a holding company's effectiveness in combating money laundering when ruling on BHCA and Bank Merger Act applications. In addition, financial institutions are subject to customer due diligence requirements, issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, to identify and verify the identity of natural persons, known as beneficial owners, who own, control, and profit from legal entity customers when those customers open accounts. The Corporation has adopted policies, procedures and controls to address compliance with the Patriot Act and other AML laws and regulations, and will continue to revise and update its policies, procedures and controls to reflect required changes. See Item 1A. "Risk Factors - Legal, Compliance and Reputational Risks - Failure to comply with the BSA, the Patriot Act and related AML requirements, or with sanctions laws, could subject the Corporation to enforcement actions, fines, penalties, sanctions and other remedial actions."
Commercial Real Estate Guidance - Under guidance issued by the federal banking agencies, the agencies have expressed concerns with institutions that ease commercial real estate underwriting standards, and have directed financial institutions to maintain underwriting discipline and exercise risk management practices to identify, measure and monitor lending risks. The agencies have also issued guidance that requires a financial institution to employ enhanced risk management practices if the institution is exposed to significant concentration risk. Under that guidance, an institution is potentially exposed to significant concentration risk if (i) total reported loans for construction, land development, and other land represent 100% or more of total capital or (ii) total reported loans secured by multi-family and non-farm residential properties, loans for construction, land development, and other land loans otherwise sensitive to the general commercial real estate market, including loans to commercial real estate related entities, represent 300% or more of total capital, and the outstanding balance of the institution's commercial real estate loan portfolio has increased by 50% or more during the prior 36 months.
Community Reinvestment - Under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 ("CRA"), Fulton Bank has a continuing and affirmative obligation, consistent with its safe and sound operation, to ascertain and meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low- and moderate-income areas. The CRA does not establish specific lending requirements or programs for financial institutions, nor does it limit an institution's discretion to develop the types of products and services that it believes are best suited to its particular community. The CRA requires an institution's primary federal regulator, in connection with its examination of the institution, to assess the institution's record of meeting the credit needs of its community and to take such record into account in its evaluation of certain applications by such institution. The assessment focuses on three tests: (1) a lending test, to evaluate the institution's record of making loans, including community development loans, in its designated assessment areas; (2) an investment test, to evaluate the institution's record of investing in community development projects, affordable housing, and programs benefiting low- or moderate-income individuals and areas and small businesses; and (3) a service test, to evaluate the institution's delivery of banking services throughout its CRA assessment area, including low- and moderate-income areas. The CRA also requires all institutions to make public disclosure of their CRA ratings. As of December 31, 2019, Fulton Bank was rated as "satisfactory." Regulations require that Fulton Bank publicly disclose certain agreements that are in fulfillment of CRA. Fulton Bank is not a party to any such agreements at this time.
In December 2019, the OCC and the FDIC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking with the stated intention to (i) clarify which activities qualify for CRA credit; (ii) update where activities count for CRA credit; (iii) create a more transparent and objective method for measuring CRA performance; and (iv) provide for more transparent, consistent, and timely CRA-related data collection, recordkeeping, and reporting. However, the Federal Reserve Board has not joined the proposed rulemaking. The impact on Fulton Bank from any changes to the CRA regulations will depend on the final form of the proposed rule and how it is implemented and applied.
Standards for Safety and Soundness - Pursuant to the requirements of FDICIA, as amended by the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 ("Riegle-Neal Act"), the federal bank regulatory agencies adopted guidelines establishing
general standards relating to internal controls, information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate risk exposure, asset growth, asset quality, earnings, compensation, fees and benefits. In general, the guidelines require, among other things, appropriate systems and practices to identify and manage the risks and exposures specified in the guidelines. In addition, the agencies have adopted regulations that authorize, but do not require, an agency to order an institution that has been given notice by an agency that it is not satisfying any of such safety and soundness standards to submit a compliance plan. If the institution fails to submit an acceptable compliance plan or fails in any material respect to implement an accepted compliance plan, the regulator must issue an order directing corrective actions and may issue an order directing other actions of the types to which a significantly undercapitalized institution is subject under the "prompt corrective action" provisions of FDICIA. If the institution fails to comply with such an order, the regulator may seek to enforce such order in judicial proceedings and to impose civil money penalties.
The guidelines prohibit excessive compensation as an unsafe and unsound practice and describe compensation as excessive when the amounts paid are unreasonable or disproportionate to the services performed by an executive officer, employee, director or principal shareholder. The federal banking agencies have issued guidance that provides that, to be consistent with safety and soundness principles, a banking organization's incentive compensation arrangements should: (1) provide employees with incentives that appropriately balance risk and reward; (2) be compatible with effective controls and risk management; and (3) be supported by strong corporate governance, including active and effective oversight by the banking organization's board of directors. Monitoring methods and processes used by a banking organization should be commensurate with the size and complexity of the organization and its use of incentive compensation.
During the second quarter of 2016, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the federal bank regulatory agencies and the SEC proposed revised rules on incentive-based compensation arrangements at specified regulated entities having at least $1 billion in total assets (including the Corporation and Fulton Bank), but these proposed rules have not been finalized.
Fulton Bank is subject to regulatory guidelines establishing standards for safeguarding customer information. These regulations implement certain provisions of the GLB Act. The guidelines describe the federal bank regulatory 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. These guidelines, along with related regulatory materials, increasingly focus on risk management and processes related to information technology and the use of third parties in the provision of financial services. In October 2016, the federal banking agencies issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on enhanced cybersecurity risk-management and resilience standards that would apply to large and interconnected banking organizations and to services provided by third parties to these firms. As proposed, these enhanced standards would apply only to depository institutions and depository institution holding companies with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more; however, it is possible that if these enhanced standards are implemented, the Federal Reserve Board will consider them in connection with the examination and supervision of banking organizations below the $50 billion threshold. The federal banking agencies have not yet taken further action on these proposed standards.
In addition, certain states have enacted laws establishing consumer privacy protections and data security requirements in their respective states. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) gives California residents new rights to receive certain disclosures regarding the collection, use, and sharing of “Personal Information,” as well as rights to access, delete, and restrict the sale of certain personal information collected about them. The CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020, and Fulton Bank will need to comply with the CCPA in serving the small number of its customers that are residents of California. Privacy and data security legislation remained a priority issue in 2019. Attempts by state and local governments to regulate consumer privacy have the potential to create a patchwork of differing and/or conflicting state regulations.
Federal Reserve System - Federal Reserve Board regulations require depository institutions to maintain cash reserves against specified deposit liabilities. The dollar amount of a depository institution's reserve requirement is determined by applying the reserve ratios specified in the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation D to an institution's reservable liabilities (primarily net transaction
accounts such as NOW and demand deposit accounts). A reserve of 3% must be maintained against aggregate transaction account balances of between $16.9 million and $127.5 million (subject to adjustment by the Federal Reserve Board) plus a reserve of 10% (subject to adjustment by the Federal Reserve Board within a range of between 8% and 14%) against that portion of total transaction account balances in excess of $127.5 million. The first $16.9 million of otherwise reservable balances (subject to adjustment by the Federal Reserve Board) are exempt from the reserve requirements. Fulton Bank is in compliance with the foregoing requirements.
Required reserves must be maintained in the form of either vault cash, an account at a Federal Reserve Bank or a pass-through account as defined by the Federal Reserve Board. Pursuant to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the Federal Reserve Banks pay interest on depository institutions' required and excess reserve balances. The interest rate paid on required reserve balances is currently the average target federal funds rate over the reserve maintenance period. The rate on excess balances will be set equal to the lowest target federal funds rate in effect during the reserve maintenance period.
Acquisitions - The BHCA requires a bank holding company to obtain the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board before:
the company may acquire direct or indirect ownership or control of any voting shares of any bank or savings and loan association, if after such acquisition the bank holding company will directly or indirectly own or control more than five percent of any class of voting securities of the institution;
any of the company's subsidiaries, other than a bank, may acquire all or substantially all of the assets of any bank or savings and loan association; or
the company may merge or consolidate with any other bank or financial holding company.
Prior regulatory approval is also generally required for mergers, acquisitions and consolidations involving other insured depository institutions. In reviewing acquisition and merger applications, the bank regulatory authorities will consider, among other things, the competitive effect of the transaction, financial and managerial issues, including the capital position of the combined organization, convenience and needs factors, including the applicant's CRA record, the effectiveness of the subject organizations in combating money laundering activities, and the transaction's effect on the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system.
The Change in Bank Control Act prohibits a person, entity or group of persons or entities acting in concert, from acquiring "control" of a bank holding company or bank unless the Federal Reserve Board has been given prior notice and has not objected to the transaction. Under Federal Reserve Board regulations, the acquisition of 10% or more (but less than 25%) of the voting stock of a corporation would, under the circumstances set forth in the regulations, create a rebuttable presumption of acquisition of control of the corporation.
Permissible Activities - As a bank holding company, the Corporation may engage in the business of banking, managing or controlling banks, performing servicing activities for subsidiaries, and engaging in activities that the Federal Reserve Board has determined, by order or regulation, are so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident thereto. As a financial holding company, the Corporation may also may engage in or acquire and retain the shares of a company engaged in activities that are financial in nature or incidental or complementary to activities that are financial in nature as long as the Corporation continues to meet the eligibility requirements for financial holding companies, including that the Corporation and each of its U.S. depository institution subsidiaries remain "well-capitalized" and "well-managed."
A depository institution is considered "well-capitalized" if it satisfies the requirements of the Prompt Corrective Action framework described above. A depository institution is considered "well-managed" if it received a composite rating and management rating of at least "satisfactory" in its most recent examination. If a financial holding company ceases to be well-capitalized and well-managed, the financial holding company must enter into a non-public confidential agreement with the Federal Reserve Board to comply with all applicable capital and management requirements. Until the financial holding company returns to compliance, the Federal Reserve Board may impose limitations or conditions on the conduct of its activities, and the company may not commence any new non-banking financial activities permissible for financial holding companies or acquire a company engaged in such financial activities without prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board. If the company does not timely return to compliance, the Federal Reserve Board may require divestiture of the financial holding company's banking subsidiaries. Bank holding companies and banks must also be well-capitalized and well-managed in order to acquire banks located outside their home state. A financial holding company will also be limited in its ability to commence non-banking financial activities or acquire a company engaged in such financial activities if any of its insured depository institution subsidiaries fails to maintain a "satisfactory" rating under the CRA.
Activities that are "financial in nature" include securities underwriting, dealing and market making, advising mutual funds and investment companies, insurance underwriting and agency, merchant banking, and activities that the Federal Reserve Board, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines to be financial in nature or incidental to such financial activity.
"Complementary activities" are activities that the Federal Reserve Board determines upon application to be complementary to a financial activity and that do not pose a safety and soundness issue.
Enforcement Powers of Federal Banking Regulators - The Federal Reserve Board and other U.S. banking agencies have broad enforcement powers with respect to an insured depository institution and its holding company, including the power to (i) impose cease and desist orders, substantial fines and other civil penalties, (ii) terminate deposit insurance, and (iii) appoint a conservator or receiver. Failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations could subject the Corporation or Fulton Bank, as well as their officers and directors, to administrative sanctions and potentially substantial civil and criminal penalties.
In addition, under the BHCA, the Federal Reserve Board has the authority to require a bank holding company to terminate any activity or to relinquish control of a non-bank subsidiary upon the Federal Reserve Board's determination that such activity or control constitutes a serious risk to the financial soundness and stability of a depository institution subsidiary of the bank holding company.
Federal Securities Laws - The Corporation is subject to the periodic reporting, proxy solicitation, tender offer, insider trading, corporate governance and other requirements under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Among other things, the federal securities laws require management to issue a report on the effectiveness of its internal controls over financial reporting. In addition, the Corporation's independent registered public accountants are required to issue an opinion on the effectiveness of the Corporation's internal control over financial reporting. These reports can be found in Part II, Item 8, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data." Certifications of the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer as required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the resulting SEC rules can be found in the "Signatures" and "Exhibits" sections.
The executive officers of the Corporation are as follows:
Office Held and Term of Office
E. Philip Wenger
Director of the Corporation since 2009 and Director of Fulton Bank, N.A since 2019. Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation since January 2013. Mr. Wenger previously served as President of the Corporation from 2008 to 2017, Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation from 2008 to 2012, a Director of Fulton Bank, N.A. from 2003 to 2009, Chairman of Fulton Bank, N.A. from 2006 to 2009 and has been employed by the Corporation in a number of positions since 1979.
Mark R. McCollom
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation since March of 2018. Mr. McCollom joined the Corporation in November 2017 as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Designee. Before joining the corporation he was a Senior Managing Director, Chief Administrative Officer and COO of Griffin Financial Group, LLC. Prior to his role at Griffin Financial Group, Mr. McCollom was the Chief Financial Officer of Sovereign Bancorp, Inc. He has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Curtis J. Myers
Director of the Corporation since 2019 and Director of Fulton Bank, N.A. since 2009. President and Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation since January 1, 2018. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fulton Bank, N.A. since May 2018. Mr. Myers served as Senior Executive Vice President of the Corporation from July 2013 to December 2017. President and Chief Operating Officer of Fulton Bank, N.A. since February 2009. He served as Executive Vice President of the Corporation since August 2011. Mr. Myers has been employed by Fulton Bank, N.A. in a number of positions since 1990.
David M. Campbell
Senior Executive Vice President, and Director of Strategic Initiatives and Operations since December 2014. Mr. Campbell joined the Corporation as Chief Administrative Officer of Fulton Financial Advisors, a division of Fulton Bank, N.A. in 2009, and was promoted to President of Fulton Financial Advisors in 2010. He has more than 30 years of experience in financial services.
Beth Ann L. Chivinski
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of the Corporation effective June 1, 2016. Previously, she served as the Corporation’s Chief Audit Executive April 2013 to June 2016 and was promoted to Senior Executive Vice President of the Corporation in 2014. Prior to that, she served as the Corporation’s Executive Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer from June 2004 to March 31, 2013. Ms. Chivinski has worked in various positions with the Corporation since 1994.
Meg R. Mueller
Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Business since January 1, 2018. Ms. Mueller served as Chief Credit Officer of the Corporation from 2010 - 2017 and was promoted to Senior Executive Vice President of the Corporation in 2013. Ms. Mueller has been employed by the Corporation in a number of positions since 1996.
Angela M. Sargent
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the Corporation since July 2013. Ms. Sargent served as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer from 2002 to 2013 and has been employed by the Corporation in a number of positions since 1992.
Angela M. Snyder
Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Banking since January 1, 2018. She heads the Corporation's Consumer Banking line of business. Ms. Snyder joined the Corporation in 2002 as President of Woodstown National Bank she then served as Chairwoman, President and CEO of Fulton Bank of New Jersey until 2019, when the Corporation consolidated that bank into Fulton Bank, N.A. Ms Snyder served as Chairwoman of the New Jersey Bankers Association in 2017. She has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Daniel R. Stolzer
Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary since January 1, 2018. Mr. Stolzer joined the Corporation in 2013 as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Prior to joining the Corporation, Mr. Stolzer served as chief counsel special projects at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, PA and deputy general counsel at KeyCorp in Cleveland, OH. He has more than 30 years of experience working in financial services law beginning with work at several law firms, including Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in New York City where he was a member of the Corporate Securities and Capital Markets practice groups.
Bernadette M. Taylor
Senior Executive Vice President, and Chief Human Resource Officer since May 2015. In 2001, she was promoted to Senior Vice President of employee services. She served as Executive Vice President of employee services, employment, and director of human resources before her promotion in 2015 to Chief Human Resources Officer. Dr. Taylor joined the Corporation in 1994 as Corporate Training Director at Fulton Financial Corporation.
(1) As of December 31, 2019
Item 1A. Risk Factors
An investment in the Corporation's securities involves certain risks, including, among others, the risks described below. In addition to the other information contained in this report, you should carefully consider the following risk factors.
ECONOMIC AND CREDIT RISKS.
Difficult conditions in the economy and the financial markets may materially adversely affect the Corporation's business and results of operations.
The Corporation's results of operations and financial condition are affected by conditions in the economy and the financial markets generally. The Corporation's financial performance is highly dependent upon the business environment in the markets where the Corporation operates and in the United States as a whole. Unfavorable or uncertain economic and market conditions can be caused by: declines in economic growth, business activity or investor or business confidence; limitations on the availability, or increases in the cost, of credit and capital; changes in the rate of inflation or in interest rates; high unemployment; governmental fiscal and monetary policies; the level of, or changes in, prices of raw materials, goods or commodities; global economic conditions; trade policies and tariffs affecting other countries as well as retaliatory policies and tariffs by such countries; geopolitical events; natural disasters; public health crises, such as epidemics and pandemics; acts of war or terrorism; or a combination of these or other factors.
Specifically, the business environment impacts the ability of borrowers to pay interest on, and repay principal of, outstanding loans and leases and the value of collateral, if any, securing those loans and leases, as well as demand for loans, leases and other products and services the Corporation offers. If the quality of the Corporation's loan and lease portfolio declines, the Corporation may have to increase its provision for credit losses, which would negatively impact its results of operations, and could result in charge-offs of a higher percentage of its loans. Unlike large, national institutions, the Corporation is not able to spread the risks of unfavorable local economic conditions across a large number of diversified economies and geographic locations. If the communities in which the Corporation operates do not grow, or if prevailing economic conditions locally or nationally are unfavorable, its business could be adversely affected. In addition, increased market competition in a lower demand environment could adversely affect the profit potential of the Corporation.
The Corporation is subject to certain risks in connection with the establishment and level of its allowance for credit losses.
The allowance for credit losses consists of the allowance for loan and lease losses, which is recorded as a reduction to loans and leases on the consolidated balance sheet, and the reserve for unfunded lending commitments, which is included in other liabilities on the consolidated balance sheet. While the Corporation believes that its allowance for credit losses as of December 31, 2019 was sufficient to cover incurred losses in the loan and lease portfolio on that date, the Corporation may need to increase its provision for credit losses in future periods due to changes in the risk characteristics of the loan and lease portfolio, thereby negatively impacting its results of operations.
The allowance for credit losses represents management's estimate of losses inherent in the loan and lease portfolio as of the balance sheet date. Management's estimate of losses inherent in the loan and lease portfolio is dependent on the proper application of its methodology for determining its allowance needs. The most critical judgments underpinning that methodology include: the ability to identify potential problem loans and leases in a timely manner; proper collateral valuation of loans and leases evaluated for impairment; proper measurement of allowance needs for pools of loans and leases evaluated for impairment; and an overall assessment of the risk profile of the loan and lease portfolio.
The Corporation determines the appropriate level of the allowance for credit losses based on many quantitative and qualitative factors, including, but not limited to: the size and composition of the loan and lease portfolio; changes in risk ratings; changes in collateral values; delinquency levels; historical losses; and economic conditions. In addition, as the Corporation's loan and lease portfolio grows, it will generally be necessary to increase the allowance for credit losses through additional provisions for credit losses, which will impact the Corporation's operating results.
If the Corporation's assumptions and judgments regarding such matters prove to be inaccurate, its allowance for credit losses might not be sufficient, and additional provisions for credit losses may be necessary. Depending on the amount of such provisions for credit losses, the adverse impact on the Corporation's earnings could be material.
Furthermore, banking regulators may require the Corporation to make additional provisions for credit losses or otherwise recognize further loan and lease charge-offs or impairments following their periodic reviews of the Corporation's loan and lease portfolio, underwriting procedures and allowance for credit losses. Any increase in the Corporation's allowance for credit losses or loan and lease charge-offs as required by such regulatory agencies could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation's financial
condition and results of operations. See Item 7. "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Financial Condition-Provision and Allowance for Credit Losses."
The FASB's Accounting Standards Update 2016-13, effective for the Corporation as of January 1, 2020, substantially changes the accounting for credit losses on loans, leases and other financial assets held by banks, financial institutions and other organizations. The new standard requires the recognition of credit losses on loans, leases and other financial assets based on an entity's current estimate of expected losses over the lifetime of each loan, lease or other financial asset, referred to as the Current Expected Credit Loss ("CECL") model, as opposed to the existing "incurred loss" model, which required recognition of losses on loans, leases and other financial assets only when those losses were "probable." In December 2018, the bank regulatory agencies approved a final rule modifying the agencies' regulatory capital rules and providing an option to phase in over a period of three years the day-one regulatory capital effects of adoption of the CECL model. The Corporation expects to recognize a one-time cumulative-effect adjustment to the allowance for credit losses as of the date of adoption of the CECL model. The determination of the one-time cumulative-effect adjustment, and the determination of the allowance for credit losses in future periods, under the CECL model depend significantly upon the Corporation's assumptions and judgments with respect to a variety of factors, including the performance of the loan and lease portfolio, the weighted-average remaining lives of different classifications of loans and leases within the loan and lease portfolio and current and forecasted economic conditions, as well as changes in the rate of growth in the loan and lease portfolio and changes in the composition of the loan and lease portfolio, among other factors. As under the existing incurred loss model, if the Corporation's assumptions and judgments regarding such matters prove to be inaccurate, its allowance for credit losses might not be sufficient, and additional provisions for credit losses might need to be made. Depending on the amount of such provisions for credit losses, the adverse impact on the Corporation's earnings could be material. See "Note 1 - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies - Recently Issued Accounting Standards" in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8. "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data."
The composition of the Corporation's loan and lease portfolio and competition for loans and leases subject the Corporation to credit risk.
Approximately 72% of the Corporation's loan and lease portfolio was in commercial loans, commercial mortgage loans, and construction loans at December 31, 2019. Commercial loans, commercial mortgage loans and construction loans generally involve a greater degree of credit risk than residential mortgage loans and consumer loans because they typically have larger balances and are likely to be more sensitive to broader economic factors and conditions. Because payments on these loans often depend on the successful operation and management of businesses and properties, repayment of such loans may be affected by factors outside the borrower's control, such as adverse conditions in the real estate markets, adverse economic conditions or changes in governmental regulation.
Furthermore, intense competition among both bank and non-bank lenders, coupled with moderate levels of recent economic growth, could increase pressure on the Corporation to relax its credit standards and/or underwriting criteria in order to achieve the Corporation's loan growth targets. A relaxation of credit standards or underwriting criteria could result in greater challenges in the repayment or collection of loans should economic conditions, or individual borrower performance, deteriorate to a degree that could impact loan performance. Additionally, competitive pressures could drive the Corporation to consider loans and customer relationships that are outside of the Corporation's established risk appetite or target customer base. See Item 7. "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Financial Condition-Loans and Leases."
The Corporation is subject to interest rate risk.
The Corporation cannot predict or control changes in interest rates. The Corporation is affected by fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government, including those of the Federal Reserve Board, which regulates the national money supply and engages in other lending and investment activities in order to manage recessionary and inflationary pressures, many of which affect interest rates charged on loans and leases and paid on deposits.
Net interest income is the difference between interest earned on interest-earning assets and interest paid on interest-bearing liabilities. Net interest income is the most significant component of the Corporation's net income, accounting for approximately 75% of total revenues in 2019. Changes in market interest rates, in the shape of the yield curve or in spreads between different market interest rates can have a material effect on the Corporation's net interest margin, or the difference between interest earned on loans, leases and investments and interest paid on deposits and borrowings. The rates on some interest-earning assets, such as loans, leases and investments, and interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits and borrowings, adjust concurrently with, or within a brief period after, changes in market interest rates, while others adjust only periodically or not at all during their terms. Thus, changes in market interest rates might, for example, result in a decrease in the interest earned on interest-earning assets that is not
accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the interest paid on interest-bearing liabilities, or the decrease in interest paid might be at a slower pace, or in a smaller amount, than the decrease in interest earned, reducing the Corporation's net interest income and/or net interest margin. See Item 7. "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Net Interest Income."
Changes in interest rates may also affect the average life of loans and certain investment securities, most notably mortgage-backed securities. Decreases in interest rates can result in increased prepayments of loans and certain investment securities, as borrowers or issuers refinance to reduce their borrowing costs. Under those circumstances, the Corporation would be subject to reinvestment risk to the extent that it is not able to reinvest the cash received from such prepayments at rates that are comparable to the rates on the loans and investment securities which are prepaid. Conversely, increases in interest rates may extend the average life of fixed rate assets, which could restrict the Corporation's ability to reinvest in higher yielding alternatives, and may result in customers withdrawing certificates of deposit early so long as the early withdrawal penalty is less than the interest they could receive as a result of the higher interest rates.
Changes in interest rates also affect the fair value of interest-earning investment securities. Generally, the value of interest-earning investment securities moves inversely with changes in interest rates. In the event that the fair value of an investment security declines below its amortized cost, the Corporation is required to determine whether the decline constitutes an other-than-temporary impairment. The determination of whether a decline in fair value is other-than-temporary depends on a number of factors, including whether the Corporation has the intent and ability to retain the investment security for a period of time sufficient to allow for any anticipated recovery in fair value. If a determination is made that a decline is other-than-temporary, an other-than-temporary impairment charge is recorded.
The planned phasing out of LIBOR as a financial benchmark presents risks to the financial instruments originated or held by the Corporation.
The London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") is the reference rate used for many of the Corporation's transactions, including variable and adjustable rate loans, derivative contracts, borrowings and other financial instruments. However, a reduced volume of interbank unsecured term borrowing, coupled with legal and regulatory proceedings related to rate manipulation by certain financial institutions, has led to international reconsideration of LIBOR as a financial benchmark. The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA"), which regulates the process for establishing LIBOR, announced in July 2017 that the FCA intends to stop persuading, or compelling, banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021.
Regulators, industry groups and certain committees (e.g., the Alternative Reference Rates Committee) have, among other things, published recommended fallback language for LIBOR-linked financial instruments, identified recommended alternatives for certain LIBOR rates (e.g., the Secured Overnight Financing Rate as the recommended alternative to U.S. Dollar LIBOR), and proposed implementations of the recommended alternatives in floating rate instruments. At this time, it is not possible to predict whether these recommendations and proposals will be broadly accepted, whether they will continue to evolve, and what the effect of their implementation may be on the markets for floating-rate financial instruments. The uncertainty surrounding potential reforms, including the use of alternative reference rates and changes to the methods and processes used to calculate rates, may have an adverse effect on the trading market for LIBOR-based securities, loan yields, and the amounts received and paid on derivative contracts and other financial instruments. In addition, the implementation of LIBOR reform proposals may result in increased compliance and operational costs.
Changes in interest rates can affect demand for the Corporation's products and services.
Movements in interest rates can cause demand for some of the Corporation's products and services to be cyclical. For example, demand for residential mortgage loans has historically tended to increase during periods when interest rates were declining and to decrease during periods when interest rates were rising. As a result, the Corporation may need to periodically increase or decrease the size of certain of its businesses, including its personnel, to more appropriately match increases and decreases in demand and volume. The need to change the scale of these businesses is challenging, and there is often a lag between changes in the businesses and the Corporation's reaction to these changes.
Price fluctuations in securities markets, as well as other market events, such as a disruption in credit and other markets and the abnormal functioning of markets for securities, could have an impact on the Corporation's results of operations.
The market value of the Corporation's securities investments, which include mortgage-backed securities, state and municipal securities, auction rate securities, and corporate debt securities, as well as the revenues the Corporation earns from its trust and investment management services business, are particularly sensitive to price fluctuations and market events. Declines in the values
of the Corporation's securities holdings, combined with adverse changes in the expected cash flows from these investments, could result in other-than-temporary impairment charges.
The Corporation's investment management and trust services revenue, which is partially based on the value of the underlying investment portfolios, can also be impacted by fluctuations in the securities markets. If the values of those investment portfolios decrease, whether due to factors influencing U.S. or international securities markets, in general, or otherwise, the Corporation's revenue could be negatively impacted. In addition, the Corporation's ability to sell its brokerage services is dependent, in part, upon consumers' level of confidence in securities markets. See Item 7A. "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk."
Changes in interest rates or disruption in liquidity markets may adversely affect the Corporation's sources of funding.
The Corporation must maintain sufficient sources of liquidity to meet the demands of its depositors and borrowers, support its operations and meet regulatory expectations. The Corporation's liquidity management policies and practices emphasize core deposits and repayments and maturities of loans, leases and investments as its primary sources of liquidity. These primary sources of liquidity can be supplemented by Federal Home Loan Bank ("FHLB") advances, borrowings from the Federal Reserve Bank, proceeds from the sales of loans and use of liquidity resources of the Corporation, including capital markets funding. Lower-cost, core deposits may be adversely affected by changes in interest rates, and secondary sources of liquidity can be more costly to the Corporation than funding provided by deposit account balances having similar maturities. In addition, adverse changes in the Corporation's results of operations or financial condition, downgrades in the Corporation's credit ratings, regulatory actions involving the Corporation, or changes in regulatory, industry or market conditions could lead to increases in the cost of these secondary sources of liquidity, the inability to refinance or replace these secondary funding sources as they mature, or the withdrawal of unused borrowing capacity under these secondary funding sources.
The Corporation relies on customer deposits as its primary source of funding. A substantial majority of the Corporation's deposits are in non-maturing accounts, which deposit customers can withdraw on demand or upon several days' notice. Factors, many of which are outside the Corporation's control, can cause fluctuations in both the level and cost of customer deposits. These factors include competition for customer deposits from other financial institutions and non-bank competitors, changes in interest rates, the rates of return available from alternative investments or asset classes, changes in customer confidence in the Corporation or in financial institutions generally, and the liquidity needs of the Corporation's deposit customers. Further, deposits from state and municipal entities, primarily in non-maturing, interest-bearing accounts, are a significant source of deposit funding for the Corporation, representing approximately 12% of total deposits at December 31, 2019. State and municipal customers frequently maintain large deposit account balances substantially in excess of the per-depositor limit of FDIC insurance, and may be more sensitive than other depositors to changes in interest rates and the other factors discussed above. Advances in technology, such as online banking, mobile banking, digital payment platforms and the acceleration of financial technology innovation, have also made it easier to move money, potentially causing customers to switch financial institutions or switch to non-bank competitors. Movement of customer deposits into higher-yielding deposit accounts offered by the Corporation, the need to offer higher interest rates on deposit accounts to retain customer deposits, or the movement of customer deposits into alternative investments or deposits of other banks or non-bank providers could increase the Corporation's funding costs, reduce its net interest margin and/or create liquidity challenges.
Market conditions have been negatively impacted by disruptions in the liquidity markets in the past, and such disruptions or an adverse change in the Corporation's results of operations or financial condition could, in the future, have a negative impact on secondary sources of liquidity. If the Corporation is not able to continue to rely primarily on customer deposits to meet its liquidity and funding needs, continue to access secondary, non-deposit funding sources on favorable terms or otherwise fails to manage its liquidity effectively, the Corporation's ability to continue to grow may be constrained, and the Corporation's liquidity, operating margins, results of operations and financial condition may be materially adversely affected. See Item 7A. "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk-Interest Rate Risk, Asset/Liability Management and Liquidity."
LEGAL, COMPLIANCE AND REPUTATIONAL RISKS.
The Corporation and Fulton Bank are subject to extensive regulation and supervision and may be adversely affected by changes in laws and regulations or any failure to comply with laws and regulations.
Virtually every aspect of the Corporation's and Fulton Bank's operations is subject to extensive regulation and supervision by federal and state regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve Board, OCC, FDIC, CFPB, DOJ, UST, SEC, HUD, state attorneys general and state banking, financial services, securities and insurance regulators. Under this regulatory framework,
regulatory agencies have broad authority in carrying out their supervisory, examination and enforcement responsibilities to address compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including laws and regulations relating to capital adequacy, asset quality, liquidity, risk management and financial accounting and reporting, as well as laws and regulations governing consumer protection, fair lending, privacy, information security and cybersecurity risk management, third-party vendor risk management, and AML and anti-terrorism laws, among other aspects of the Corporation's business. Failure to comply with these regulatory requirements, including inadvertent or unintentional violations, may result in the assessment of fines and penalties, or the commencement of informal or formal regulatory enforcement actions against the Corporation or Fulton Bank. Other negative consequences can also result from such failures, including regulatory restrictions on the Corporation's activities, including restrictions on the Corporation's ability to grow through acquisition, reputational damage, restrictions on the ability of institutional investment managers to invest in the Corporation's securities and increases in the Corporation's costs of doing business.
The U.S. Congress and state legislatures and federal and state regulatory agencies continually review banking and other laws, regulations and policies for possible changes. Changes in applicable federal or state laws, regulations or governmental policies may affect the Corporation and its business. The effects of such changes are difficult to predict and may produce unintended consequences. New laws, regulations or changes in the regulatory environment could limit the types of financial services and products the Corporation may offer, alter demand for existing products and services, increase the ability of non-banks to offer competing financial services and products, increase compliance burdens, or otherwise adversely affect the Corporation's business, results of operations or financial condition.
Compliance with banking and financial services statutes and regulations is also important to the Corporation's ability to engage in new activities or to expand upon existing activities. Regulators continue to scrutinize banks through longer and more intensive examinations. Federal and state banking agencies possess broad powers to take supervisory actions, as they deem appropriate. These supervisory actions may result in higher capital requirements, higher deposit insurance premiums and limitations on the Corporation's operations and expansion activities that could have a material adverse effect on its business and profitability. The Corporation has dedicated significant time, effort, and expense over time to comply with regulatory and supervisory standards and requirements imposed by the Corporation's regulators, and the Corporation expects that it will continue to do so. If the Corporation fails to develop at a reasonable cost the systems and processes necessary to comply with the standards and requirements imposed by these rules, it could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation's business, financial condition, or results of operations.
Failure to comply with the BSA, the Patriot Act and related AML requirements, or with sanctions laws, could subject the Corporation to enforcement actions, fines, penalties, sanctions and other remedial actions.
Regulators have broad authority to enforce AML and sanctions laws. Failure to comply with AML and sanctions laws or to maintain an adequate compliance program can lead to significant monetary penalties and reputational damage, and federal regulators evaluate the effectiveness of an applicant in combating money laundering when considering approval of applications to acquire, merge, or consolidate with another banking institution, or to engage in other expansionary activities. There have been a number of significant enforcement actions by regulators, as well as state attorneys general and the DOJ, against banks, broker-dealers and non-bank financial institutions with respect to AML and sanctions laws and some have resulted in substantial penalties, including criminal pleas. Enforcement actions have included the Federal Reserve Board's Consent Order against the Corporation in 2014 (the "Consent Order"), which was terminated in May 2019, in connection with alleged deficiencies in the Corporation's BSA/AML compliance program. Any violation of law or regulation, possibly even inadvertent or unintentional violations, could result in the fines, sanctions or other penalties described above, including one or more additional consent orders against Fulton Bank or the Corporation, which could have significant reputational or other consequences and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Additional expenses and investments have been incurred in recent years as the Corporation expanded its hiring of personnel and use of outside professionals, such as consulting and legal services, and made capital investments in operating systems to strengthen and support the Corporation's BSA/AML compliance program, as well as the Corporation's broader compliance and risk management infrastructures. The expense and capital investment associated with all of these efforts, including those undertaken in connection with the Consent Order, have had an adverse effect on the Corporation's results of operations in recent periods and could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation's results of operations in one or more future periods.
The Dodd-Frank Act continues to have a significant impact on the Corporation's business and results of operations.
The Dodd-Frank Act has had a substantial impact on many aspects of the financial services industry. The Corporation has been impacted, and will likely continue to be impacted in the future, by the so-called Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, which reduced debit card interchange revenue of banks, and revised FDIC deposit insurance assessments. The Corporation has also been
impacted by the Dodd-Frank Act in the areas of corporate governance, capital requirements, risk management and regulation under federal consumer protection laws.
The CFPB, which was established pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, has imposed enforcement actions against a variety of bank and non-bank market participants with respect to a number of consumer financial products and services. These actions have resulted in those participants expending significant time, money and resources to adjust to the initiatives being pursued by the CFPB. These enforcement actions may serve as precedent for how the CFPB interprets and enforces consumer protection laws, including practices or acts that are deemed to be unfair, deceptive or abusive, with respect to all supervised institutions, which may result in the imposition of higher standards of compliance with such laws. Other federal financial regulatory agencies, including the OCC, as well as state attorneys general and state banking agencies and other state financial regulators, also have been increasingly active in this area with respect to institutions over which they have jurisdiction. See Item 1. "Business-Supervision and Regulation."
Changes in U.S. federal, state or local tax laws may negatively impact the Corporation's financial performance.
The Corporation is subject to changes in tax law that could increase the Corporation's effective tax rates. These law changes may be retroactive to previous periods and as a result could negatively affect the Corporation's current and future financial performance. In December 2017, the Tax Act was signed into law, which resulted in significant changes to the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"). The Tax Act reduced the Corporation's Federal corporate income tax rate to 21% beginning in 2018. However, the Tax Act also imposed limitations on the Corporation's ability to take certain deductions, such as the deduction for FDIC deposit insurance premiums, which partially offset the increase in net income from the lower tax rate.
In addition, a number of the changes to the Code are set to expire in future years. There is substantial uncertainty concerning whether those expiring provisions will be extended, or whether future legislation will further revise the Code.
Negative publicity could damage the Corporation's reputation and business.
Reputation risk, or the risk to the Corporation's earnings and capital from negative public opinion, is inherent in the Corporation's business. Negative public opinion could result from the Corporation's actual, alleged or perceived conduct in any number of activities, including lending practices, litigation, corporate governance, regulatory, compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and disclosure, sharing or inadequate protection of customer information, and from actions taken by government agencies and community organizations in response to that conduct. In addition, unfavorable public opinion regarding the broader financial services industry, or arising from the actions of individual financial institutions, can have an adverse effect on the Corporation's reputation. Because the Corporation conducts its businesses under the "Fulton" brand, negative public opinion about one line of business could affect the Corporation's other lines of businesses. Further, the increased use of social media platforms facilitates the rapid and widespread dissemination of information, including inaccurate, misleading, or false information, which could magnify the potential harm to the Corporation's reputation. Any of these or other events that impair the Corporation's reputation can affect the Corporation's ability to attract and retain customers and employees, and access sources of funding and capital, any of which could have materially adverse effect on the Corporation's results of operations and financial condition.
From time to time the Corporation may be the subject of litigation and governmental or administrative proceedings. Adverse outcomes of any such litigation or proceedings may have a material adverse impact on the Corporation's business and results of operations as well as its reputation.
Many aspects of the Corporation's business involve substantial risk of legal liability. From time to time, the Corporation has been named or threatened to be named as defendant in various lawsuits arising from its business activities (and in some cases from the activities of companies that were acquired). In addition, the Corporation is periodically the subject of governmental investigations and other forms of regulatory or governmental inquiry. For example, the Corporation is responding to an investigation by the staff of the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding certain accounting determinations that could have impacted the Corporation's reported earnings per share. Like other large financial institutions, the Corporation is also subject to risk from potential employee misconduct, including non-compliance with policies and improper use or disclosure of confidential information. These lawsuits, investigations, inquiries and other matters could lead to administrative, civil or criminal proceedings, or result in adverse judgments, settlements, fines, penalties, restitution, injunctions or other types of sanctions, or the need for the Corporation to undertake remedial actions, or to alter its business, financial or accounting practices. Substantial legal liability or significant regulatory actions against the Corporation could materially adversely affect the Corporation's business, financial condition or results of operations and/or cause significant reputational harm. The Corporation establishes reserves for legal claims when payments associated with the claims become probable and the costs can be reasonably estimated. For matters where a loss is not probable, or the amount of the loss cannot be reasonably estimated by the Corporation, no loss reserve is established. However, the Corporation may still incur potentially significant legal costs for a matter, even if a reserve has not been established.
The Corporation can provide no assurance as to the outcome or resolution of legal or administrative actions or investigations, and such actions and investigations may result in judgments against the Corporation for significant damages or the imposition of regulatory restrictions on the Corporation's operations. Resolution of these types of matters can be prolonged and costly, and the ultimate results or judgments are uncertain due to the inherent uncertainty in the outcomes of litigation and other proceedings.
STRATEGIC AND EXTERNAL RISKS.
The Corporation may not be able to achieve its growth plans.
The Corporation's business plan includes the pursuit of profitable growth. Under current economic, competitive and regulatory conditions, profitable growth may be difficult to achieve due to one or more of the following factors:
In the current interest rate environment, it may become more difficult for the Corporation to further increase its net interest margin or its net interest margin may come under downward pressure. As a result, income growth will likely need to come from growth in the volume of earning assets, particularly loans, and an increase in non-interest income. However, customer demand and competition could make such income growth difficult to achieve; and
The Corporation may seek to supplement organic growth through acquisitions, but may not be able to identify suitable acquisition opportunities, obtain the required regulatory approvals or successfully integrate acquired businesses.
To achieve profitable growth, the Corporation may pursue new lines of business or offer new products or services, all of which can involve significant costs, uncertainties and risks. Any new activity the Corporation pursues may require a significant investment of time and resources, and may not generate the anticipated return on that investment. Sustainable growth requires that the Corporation manage risks by balancing loan and deposit growth at acceptable levels of risk, maintaining adequate liquidity and capital, hiring and retaining qualified employees, successfully managing the costs and implementation risks with respect to strategic projects and initiatives, and integrating acquisition targets while managing costs. In addition, the Corporation may not be able to effectively implement and manage any new activities. External factors, such as the need to comply with additional regulations, the availability, or introduction, of competitive alternatives in the market, and changes in customer preferences may also impact the successful implementation of any new activity. Any new activity could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the Corporation's system of internal controls. If the Corporation is not able to adequately identify and manage the risks associated with new activities, the Corporation's business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely impacted.
The Corporation faces a variety of risks in connection with completed and potential acquisitions.
The Corporation may seek to supplement organic growth through acquisitions of banks or branches, or other financial businesses or assets. Acquiring other banks, branches, financial businesses or assets involves a variety of risks commonly associated with acquisitions, including, among other things:
The possible loss of key employees and customers of the acquired business;
Potential disruption of the acquired business and the Corporation's business;
Exposure to potential asset quality issues of the acquired business;
Potential exposure to unknown or contingent liabilities of the acquired business including, without limitation, liabilities for regulatory and compliance issues;
Potential changes in banking or tax laws or regulations that may affect the acquired business; and
Potential difficulties in integrating the acquired business, resulting in the diversion of resources from the operation of the Corporation's existing businesses.
Acquisitions typically involve the payment of a premium over book and market values, and therefore, some dilution of the Corporation's tangible book value and net income per common share may occur in connection with any future transaction. Failure to realize the expected revenue increases, cost savings, increases in geographic or product presence, and/or other projected benefits from an acquisition could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation's business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the Corporation faces significant competition from other financial services institutions, some of which may have greater financial resources than the Corporation, when considering acquisition opportunities. Accordingly, attractive opportunities may not be available and there can be no assurance that the Corporation will be successful in identifying, completing or integrating future acquisitions.
The competition the Corporation faces is significant and may reduce the Corporation's customer base and negatively impact the Corporation's results of operations.
There is significant competition among commercial banks in the market areas served by the Corporation. In addition, the Corporation also competes with other providers of financial services, such as savings and loan associations, credit unions, consumer finance companies, securities firms, insurance companies, commercial finance and leasing companies, the mutual funds industry, full service brokerage firms and discount brokerage firms, some of which are subject to less extensive regulation than the Corporation and have different cost structures. Some of the Corporation's competitors have greater resources, higher lending limits, lower cost of funds and may offer other services not offered by the Corporation. The Corporation also experiences competition from a variety of institutions outside its market areas. Some of these institutions conduct business primarily over the Internet and, as a result, may be able to realize certain cost savings and offer products and services at more favorable rates and with greater convenience to the customer. The financial services industry could become even more competitive as a result of legislative, regulatory and technological changes and continued consolidation. In addition, technology has lowered barriers to entry and made it possible for non-banks to offer products and services traditionally provided by banks, such as funds transfers, payment services, residential mortgage loans, consumer loans and wealth and investment management services. Competition with non-banks, including technology companies, to provide financial products and services is intensifying. In particular, the activity of financial technology companies ("Fintechs") has grown significantly over recent years and is expected to continue to grow. Fintechs have and may continue to offer bank or bank-like products.
Competition may adversely affect the rates the Corporation pays on deposits and charges on loans, and could result in the loss of fee income, as well as the loss of customer deposits and the income generated from those deposits, thereby potentially adversely affecting the Corporation's profitability and its ability to continue to grow. The Corporation's profitability and continued growth depends upon its continued ability to successfully compete in the market areas it serves. See Item 1. "Business-Competition."
If the goodwill that the Corporation has recorded or records in the future in connection with its acquisitions becomes impaired, it could have a negative impact on the Corporation's results of operations.
In the past, the Corporation supplemented its internal growth with strategic acquisitions of banks, branches and other financial services companies. In the future, the Corporation may seek to supplement organic growth through additional acquisitions. If the purchase price of an acquired company exceeds the fair value of the company's net assets, the excess is carried on the acquirer's balance sheet as goodwill. As of December 31, 2019, the Corporation had $532.7 million of goodwill recorded on its balance sheet. The Corporation is required to evaluate goodwill for impairment at least annually. Write-downs of the amount of any impairment, if necessary, are to be charged to earnings in the period in which the impairment occurs. There can be no assurance that future evaluations of goodwill will not result in impairment charges.
Changes in accounting policies, standards, and interpretations could materially affect how the Corporation reports its financial condition and results of operations.
The preparation of the Corporation's financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements, as well as revenues and expenses during the period. A summary of the accounting policies that the Corporation considers to be most important to the presentation of its financial condition and results of operations, because they require management's most difficult judgments as a result of the need to make estimates about the effects of matters that are inherently uncertain, including those related to the allowance for credit losses, goodwill, income taxes, and fair value measurements, is set forth in Item 7. "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Critical Accounting Policies" and within "Note 1-Summary of Significant Accounting Policies," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8. "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data."
A variety of factors could affect the ultimate values of assets, liabilities, income and expenses recognized and reported in the Corporation's financial statements, and these ultimate values may differ materially from those determined based on management's estimates and assumptions. In addition, the FASB, regulatory agencies, and other bodies that establish accounting standards from time to time change the financial accounting and reporting standards governing the preparation of the Corporation's financial statements. For example, see "The Corporation is subject to certain risks in connection with the establishment and level of its allowance for credit losses" above for a discussion of CECL and its impact on the Corporation's allowance for credit losses. Further, those bodies that establish and interpret the accounting standards (such as the FASB, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and banking regulators) may change prior interpretations or positions regarding how these standards should be applied. These changes can be difficult to predict and can materially affect how the Corporation records and reports its financial condition and results of operations.
The Corporation is exposed to many types of operational and other risks, and the Corporation's framework for managing risks may not be effective in mitigating risk.
The Corporation is exposed to many types of operational risk, including the risk of human error or fraud by employees and other third parties, intentional and inadvertent misrepresentation by loan applicants, borrowers or guarantors, unsatisfactory performance by employees and vendors, clerical and record-keeping errors, computer and telecommunications systems malfunctions or failures and reliance on data that may be faulty or incomplete. In an environment characterized by continual, rapid technological change, as discussed below, when the Corporation introduces new products and services, or makes changes to its information technology systems and processes, these operational risks are increased. Any of these operational risks could result in the Corporation's diminished ability to operate one or more of its businesses, financial loss, potential liability to customers, inability to secure insurance, reputational damage and regulatory intervention, which could materially adversely affect the Corporation.
The Corporation's risk management framework is subject to inherent limitations, and risks may exist, or develop in the future, that the Corporation has not anticipated or identified. If the Corporation's risk management framework proves to be ineffective, the Corporation could suffer unexpected losses and could be materially adversely affected.
The Corporation's operational risks include risks associated with third-party vendors and other financial institutions.
The Corporation relies upon certain third-party vendors to provide products and services necessary to maintain its day-to-day operations, including, notably, responsibility for the core processing system that services Fulton Bank. Accordingly, the Corporation's operations are exposed to the risk that these vendors might not perform in accordance with applicable contractual arrangements or service level agreements. The failure of an external vendor to perform in accordance with applicable contractual arrangements or service level agreements could be disruptive to the Corporation's operations, which could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation's financial condition or results of operations, and damage its reputation. Further, third-party vendor risk management has become a point of regulatory emphasis recently. A failure of the Corporation to follow applicable regulatory guidance in this area could expose the Corporation to regulatory sanctions.
The commercial soundness of many financial institutions may be closely interrelated as a result of credit, trading, execution of transactions or other relationships between the institutions. As a result, concerns about, or a default or threatened default by, one institution could lead to significant market-wide liquidity and credit problems, losses or defaults by other institutions. This risk is sometimes referred to as "systemic risk" and may adversely affect financial intermediaries, such as clearing agencies, clearing houses, banks, securities firms and exchanges, with which the Corporation interacts on a daily basis, and therefore could adversely affect the Corporation.
Any of these operational or other risks could result in the Corporation's diminished ability to operate one or more of its businesses, financial loss, potential liability to customers, inability to secure insurance, reputational damage and regulatory intervention, which could materially adversely affect the Corporation.
The Corporation's internal controls may be ineffective.
One critical component of the Corporation's risk management framework is its system of internal controls. Management regularly reviews and updates the Corporation's internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide reasonable, but not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the controls are met. Any failure or circumvention of the Corporation's controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation's business, results of operations, financial condition and reputation. See Item 9A. "Controls and Procedures."
Loss of, or failure to adequately safeguard, confidential or proprietary information may adversely affect the Corporation's operations, net income or reputation.
The Corporation's business is highly dependent on information systems and technology and the ability to collect, process, transmit and store significant amounts of confidential information regarding customers, employees and others on a daily basis. While the Corporation performs some of the functions required to operate its business directly, it also outsources significant business functions, such as processing customer transactions, maintenance of customer-facing websites, including its online and mobile banking functions, and developing software for new products and services, among others. These relationships require the Corporation to allow third parties to access, store, process and transmit customer information. As a result, the Corporation may be subject to cyber
security risks directly, as well as indirectly through the vendors to whom it outsources business functions and the downstream service providers of those vendors. The increased use of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, as well as cloud computing, may also heighten these and other operational risks. Cyber threats could result in unauthorized access, loss or destruction of confidential information or customer data, unavailability, degradation or denial of service, introduction of computer viruses or ransomware and other adverse events, causing the Corporation to incur additional costs (such as repairing systems or adding new personnel or protection technologies). Cyber threats may also subject the Corporation to regulatory investigations, litigation or enforcement actions require the payment of regulatory fines or penalties or undertaking costly remediation efforts with respect to third parties affected by a cyber security incident, all or any of which could adversely affect the Corporation's business, financial condition or results of operations and damage its reputation.
Like other financial institutions, the Corporation continuously experiences malicious cyber activity directed at its websites, computer systems, software, networks and its users. This malicious activity includes attempts at unauthorized access, implantation of computer viruses or malware, and denial-of-service attacks. The Corporation also experiences large volumes of phishing and other forms of social engineering attempted for the purpose of perpetrating fraud against the Corporation, its employees or its customers. While, to date, malicious cyber activity, cyber attacks and other information security breaches have not had a material adverse impact on the Corporation, there can be no assurance that such events will not have a material adverse impact on the Corporation’s business, results of operations, financial condition or reputation in the future.
The Corporation uses monitoring and preventive controls to detect and respond to data breaches and cyber threats involving its own systems before they become significant. The Corporation regularly evaluates its systems and controls and implements upgrades as necessary. The Corporation also attempts to reduce its exposure to its vendors' data privacy and cyber incidents by performing initial vendor due diligence that is updated periodically for critical vendors, negotiating service level standards with vendors, negotiating for indemnification from vendors for confidentiality and data breaches, and limiting third-party access to the least privileged level necessary to perform outsourced functions, among other things. The additional cost to the Corporation of data and cyber security monitoring and protection systems and controls includes the cost of hardware and software, third party technology providers, consulting and forensic testing firms, insurance premium costs and legal fees, in addition to the incremental cost of personnel who focus a substantial portion of their responsibilities on data and cyber security.
There can be no assurance that the measures employed by the Corporation to detect and combat direct or indirect cyber threats will be effective. In addition, because the methods of cyber attacks change frequently or, in some cases, are not recognized until launched, the Corporation may be unable to implement effective preventive control measures or proactively address these methods and the probability of a successful attack cannot be predicted. The Corporation's or a vendor's failure to promptly identify and counter a cyber attack may result in increased costs and other negative consequences, such as the loss of, or inability to access, data, degradation or denial of service and introduction of computer viruses. Although the Corporation maintains insurance coverage that may, subject to policy terms and conditions, cover certain aspects of cyber risks, such insurance coverage may be inapplicable or otherwise insufficient to cover any or all losses. Further, a successful cyber security attack that results in a significant loss of customer data or compromises the Corporation's ability to function would have a material adverse effect on the Corporation's business, reputation, financial condition and results of operation.
Account data compromise events at large retailers, health insurers, a national consumer credit reporting agency and others in recent years have resulted in heightened legislative and regulatory focus on privacy, data protection and information security. New or revised laws and regulations may significantly impact the Corporation's current and planned privacy, data protection and information security-related practices, the collection, use, sharing, retention and safeguarding of consumer and employee information, and current or planned business activities. Compliance with current or future privacy, data protection and information security laws to which the Corporation is subject could result in higher compliance and technology costs and could restrict the Corporation's ability to provide certain products and services, which could materially and adversely affect the Corporation's profitability. The Corporation's failure to comply with privacy, data protection and information security laws could result in potentially significant regulatory and governmental investigations and/or actions, litigation, fines, sanctions and damage to the Corporation's reputation and its brand.
The Corporation is subject to a variety of risks in connection with origination and sale of loans.
The Corporation originates residential mortgage loans and other loans, such as loans guaranteed, in part, by the U.S. Small Business Administration, all or portions of which are later sold in the secondary market to government sponsored enterprises or agencies, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and other non-government sponsored investors. In connection with such sales, the Corporation makes certain representations and warranties with respect to matters such as the underwriting, origination, documentation or other characteristics of the loans sold. The Corporation may be required to repurchase a loan, or to reimburse the purchaser of a loan for any related losses, if it is determined that the loan sold was in violation of representations or warranties made at the time of the sale, and, in some cases, if there is evidence of borrower fraud, in the event of early payment
default by the borrower on the loan, or for other reasons. The Corporation maintains reserves for potential losses on certain loans sold, however, it is possible that losses incurred in connection with loan repurchases and reimbursement payments may be in excess of any applicable reserves, and the Corporation may be required to increase reserves and may sustain additional losses associated with such loan repurchases and reimbursement payments in the future, which could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation's financial condition or results of operations.
In addition, the sale of residential mortgage loans and other loans in the secondary market serves as a source of non-interest income and liquidity for the Corporation, and can reduce its exposure to risks arising from changes in interest rates. Efforts to reform government sponsored enterprises and agencies, changes in the types of, or standards for, loans purchased by government sponsored enterprises or agencies and other investors, or the Corporation's failure to maintain its status as an eligible seller of such loans may limit the Corporation's ability to sell these loans. The inability of the Corporation to continue to sell these loans could reduce the Corporation's non-interest income, limit the Corporation's ability to originate and fund these loans in the future, and make managing interest rate risk more challenging, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation's results of operations and financial condition.
The Corporation continually encounters technological change.
The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. The effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to better serve customers and to reduce costs. The Corporation's future success depends, in part, upon its ability to address the needs of its customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands, as well as to create additional efficiencies in the Corporation's operations. The costs of new technology, including personnel, can be high, in both absolute and relative terms. Many of the Corporation's financial institution competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. In addition, new payment, credit and investment and wealth management services developed and offered by non-bank or non-traditional competitors pose an increasing threat to the products and services traditionally provided by financial institutions like the Corporation. The Corporation may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services, be successful in marketing these products and services to its customers, or effectively deploy new technologies to improve the efficiency of its operations. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry could have a material adverse impact on the Corporation's business, financial condition and results of operations.
There can be no assurance, given the past pace of change and innovation, that the Corporation's technology, either purchased or developed internally, will meet or continue to meet the needs of the Corporation and the needs of its customers.
In addition, advances in technology, as well as changing customer preferences favoring access to the Corporation's products and services through digital channels, could decrease the value of the Corporation's branch network and other assets. If customers increasingly choose to access the Corporation's products and services through digital channels, the Corporation may find it necessary to consolidate, close or sell branch locations or restructure its branch network. These actions could lead to losses on assets, expenses to reconfigure branches and the loss of customers in affected markets. As a result, the Corporation's business, financial condition or results of operations may be adversely affected.
The Corporation may not be able to attract and retain skilled people.
The Corporation's success depends, in large part, on its ability to attract and retain skilled people. Competition for talented personnel in most activities engaged in by the Corporation can be intense, and the Corporation may not be able to hire sufficiently skilled people or to retain them. The unexpected loss of services of one or more of the Corporation's key personnel could have a material adverse impact on the Corporation's business because of their skills, knowledge of the Corporation's markets, years of industry experience and the difficulty of promptly finding qualified replacement personnel.
RISKS RELATED TO AN INVESTMENT IN THE CORPORATION'S SECURITIES.
The Corporation's future growth may require the Corporation to raise additional capital in the future, but that capital may not be available when it is needed or may be available only at an excessive cost.
The Corporation is required by regulatory agencies to maintain adequate levels of capital to support its operations. The Corporation anticipates that current capital levels will satisfy regulatory requirements for the foreseeable future. The Corporation, however, may at some point choose to raise additional capital to support future growth. The Corporation's ability to raise additional capital will depend, in part, on conditions in the financial markets at that time, which are outside of the Corporation's control. Accordingly, the Corporation may be unable to raise additional capital, if and when needed, on terms acceptable to the Corporation, or at all.
If the Corporation cannot raise additional capital when needed, its ability to expand operations through internal growth and acquisitions could be materially impacted. In the event of a material decrease in the Corporation's stock price, future issuances of equity securities could result in dilution of existing shareholder interests.
Capital requirements have been adopted by U.S. banking regulators that may limit the Corporation's ability to return earnings to shareholders or operate or invest in its business.
The Corporation and Fulton Bank are subject to capital requirements under the Basel III Rules. Failure to meet the established capital requirements could result in the federal banking regulators placing limitations or conditions on the activities of the Corporation or Fulton Bank or restricting the commencement of new activities, and such failure could subject the Corporation or Fulton Bank to a variety of enforcement remedies, including limiting the ability of the Corporation or Fulton Bank to pay dividends, issuing a directive to increase capital and terminating FDIC deposit insurance. In addition, the failure to comply with the capital conservation buffer will result in restrictions on capital distributions and discretionary cash bonus payments to executive officers. As of December 31, 2019, the Corporation's current capital levels met the minimum capital requirements, including the capital conservation buffer, as set forth in the Basel III Rules. See Item 1. "Business-Supervision and Regulation-Capital Requirements."
In addition, the implementation of certain regulations with regard to regulatory capital could disproportionately affect the Corporation's regulatory capital position relative to that of its competitors, including those who may not be subject to the same regulatory requirements.
The Corporation is a holding company and relies on dividends and other payments from its subsidiaries for substantially all of its revenue and its ability to make dividend payments, distributions and other payments.
Fulton Financial Corporation is a separate and distinct legal entity from its bank and non-bank subsidiaries, and depends on the payment of dividends and other payments and distributions from its subsidiaries, principally Fulton Bank, for substantially all of its revenues. As a result, the Corporation's ability to make dividend payments on its common stock depends primarily on compliance with applicable federal regulatory requirements and the receipt of dividends and other distributions from its subsidiaries. There are various regulatory and prudential supervisory restrictions, which may change from time to time, that impact the ability of Fulton Bank to pay dividends or make other payments to the Corporation. There can be no assurance that Fulton Bank will be able to pay dividends at past levels, or at all, in the future. If the Corporation does not receive sufficient cash dividends or is unable to borrow from Fulton Bank, then the Corporation may not have sufficient funds to pay dividends to its shareholders, repurchase its common stock or service its debt obligations. See Item 1. "Business-Supervision and Regulation-Loans and Dividends from Bank Subsidiary."
In addition, the Corporation has pursued a strategy of capital management under which it has sought to deploy its capital, through stock repurchases, increased regular dividends and special dividends, in a manner that is beneficial to the Corporation's shareholders. This capital management strategy is subject to regulatory supervision. In July 2019, the Federal Reserve Board eliminated the standalone prior approval requirement in the capital rules for repurchase or redemption of common stock. In certain circumstances, however, the Corporation's repurchases of its common stock may be subject to a prior approval or notice requirement under the regulations or policies of the Federal Reserve Board. As a result, the Corporation may not be able to enter the market for stock repurchases on a timely basis when the Corporation's board of directors and management believe such repurchases to be most opportune, or at all.
A downgrade in the credit ratings of the Corporation or Fulton Bank could have a material adverse impact on the Corporation.
Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and DBRS, Inc. continuously evaluate the Corporation and Fulton Bank, and their ratings of the Corporation's and Fulton Bank's long-term and short-term debt are based on a number of factors, including financial strength, as well as factors not entirely within the Corporation's and Fulton Bank's control, such as conditions affecting the financial services industry generally. In light of these reviews and the continued focus on the financial services industry generally, the Corporation and Fulton Bank may not be able to maintain their current respective ratings. Ratings downgrades by any of these credit rating agencies could have a significant and immediate impact on the Corporation's funding and liquidity through cash obligations, reduced funding capacity and collateral triggers. A reduction in the Corporation's or Fulton Bank's credit ratings could also increase the Corporation's and Fulton Bank's borrowing costs and limit their access to the capital markets.
Downgrades in the credit or financial strength ratings assigned to the counterparties with whom the Corporation transacts could create the perception that the Corporation's financial condition will be adversely impacted as a result of potential future defaults by such counterparties. Additionally, the Corporation could be adversely affected by a general, negative perception of financial institutions caused by the downgrade of other financial institutions. Accordingly, ratings downgrades for other financial institutions could affect the market price of the Corporation's stock and could limit the Corporation's access to or increase its cost of capital.
Anti-takeover provisions could negatively impact the Corporation's shareholders.
Provisions of banking laws, Pennsylvania corporate law and of the Corporation's Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of the Corporation or have the effect of discouraging a third party from attempting to acquire control of the Corporation. To the extent that these provisions discourage such a transaction, holders of the Corporation's common stock may not have an opportunity to dispose of part or all of their stock at a higher price than that prevailing in the market. These provisions may also adversely affect the market price of the Corporation's stock. In addition, some of these provisions make it more difficult to remove, and thereby may serve to entrench, the Corporation's incumbent directors and officers, even if their removal would be regarded by some shareholders as desirable.
Certain provisions of Pennsylvania corporate law applicable to the Corporation and the Corporation's Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws include provisions which may be considered to be "anti-takeover" in nature because they may have the effect of discouraging or making more difficult the acquisition of control of the Corporation by means of a hostile tender offer, exchange offer, proxy contest or similar transaction. These provisions are intended to protect the Corporation's shareholders by providing a measure of assurance that the Corporation's shareholders will be treated fairly in the event of an unsolicited takeover bid and by preventing a successful takeover bidder from exercising its voting control to the detriment of the other shareholders. However, these provisions, taken as a whole, may also discourage a hostile tender offer, exchange offer, proxy solicitation or similar transaction relating to the Corporation's common stock, even if the accomplishment of a given transaction may be favorable to the interests of shareholders.
The ability of a third party to acquire the Corporation is also limited under applicable banking regulations. The BHCA requires any "bank holding company" (as defined in that Act) to obtain the approval of the Federal Reserve Board prior to acquiring more than 5% of the Corporation's outstanding common stock. Any person other than a bank holding company is required to obtain prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board to acquire 10% or more of the Corporation's outstanding common stock under the Change in Bank Control Act of 1978 and, under certain circumstances, such approvals are required at an even lower ownership percentage. Any holder of 25% or more of the Corporation's outstanding common stock, other than an individual, is subject to regulation as a bank holding company under the BHCA. In addition, the delays associated with obtaining necessary regulatory approvals for acquisitions of interests in bank holding companies also tend to make more difficult certain methods of effecting acquisitions. While these provisions do not prohibit an acquisition, they would likely act as deterrents to an unsolicited takeover attempt.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
The Corporation's full-service banking branch properties as of December 31, 2019 totaled 230 branches. Of those branches, 96 were owned and 134 were leased. Remote service facilities (mainly stand-alone automated teller machines) are excluded from these totals. The Corporate headquarters is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Corporation owns two dedicated operations centers, located in East Petersburg, Pennsylvania and Mantua, New Jersey.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
The information presented in the "Legal Proceedings" section of "Note 18 - Commitments and Contingencies" in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements is incorporated herein by reference.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
As of December 31, 2019, the Corporation had 164.2 million shares of $2.50 par value common stock outstanding held byapproximately 29,000 holders of record. The closing price per share of the Corporation’s common stock on February 14, 2020 was $16.82. The common stock of the Corporation is traded on the Global Select Market of The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol FULT.
The following table presents the quarterly high and low prices of the Corporation’s stock and per share cash dividends declared for each of the quarterly periods in 2019 and 2018:
Per Share Dividend
Restrictions on the Payments of Dividends
The Corporation is a separate and distinct legal entity from its banking and nonbanking subsidiaries, and depends on the payment of dividends from its subsidiaries, principally its banking subsidiary, for substantially all of its revenues. As a result, the Corporation's ability to make dividend payments on its common stock depends primarily on compliance with applicable federal regulatory requirements and the receipt of dividends and other distributions from its subsidiaries. There are various regulatory and prudential supervisory restrictions, which may change from time to time, that impact the ability of its banking subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other payments to the Corporation. For additional information regarding the regulatory restrictions applicable to the Corporation and its subsidiaries, see "Supervision and Regulation," in Item 1. "Business;" Item 1A. "Risk Factors - The Corporation is a holding company and relies on dividends and other payments from its subsidiaries for substantially all of its revenue and its ability to make dividend payments, distributions and other payments," under "Risks Related to an Investment in the Corporation’s Securities;" and "Note 11 - Regulatory Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8. "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data."
Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans
The following table provides information about options outstanding under the Corporation’s Amended and Restated Equity and Cash Incentive Compensation Plan ("Employee Equity Plan") and the number of securities remaining available for future issuance under the Employee Equity Plan, the Amended and Restated Directors' Equity Participation Plan and the Employee Stock Purchase Plan as of December 31, 2019:
Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights (1)
Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights (2)
Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in first column) (3)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders
(1) The number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights includes 865,068performance-based restricted stock units ("PSUs"), which is the target number of PSUs that are payable under the Employee Equity Plan, though no shares will be issued until achievement of applicable performance goals, and includes 507,268 time-vested restricted stock units ("RSUs") granted under the Employee Equity Plan.
(2) The weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights does not take into account outstanding PSUs and RSUs granted under the Employee Equity Plan.
(3) Consists of 10,137,000 shares that may be awarded under the Employee Equity Plan, 259,599 shares that may be awarded under the Amended and Restated Directors' Equity Participation Plan and 1,624,968 shares that may be purchased under the Employee Stock Purchase Plan. Excludes accrued purchase rights under the Employee Stock Purchase Plan as of December 31, 2019 as the number of shares to be purchased is indeterminable until the shares are issued.
The following graph shows cumulative total shareholder return (i.e., price change, plus reinvestment of dividends) on the common stock of Fulton Financial Corporation during the five-year period ended December 31, 2019, compared with (1) the NASDAQ Bank Index and (2) the Standard and Poor's 500 index ("S&P 500"). The graph is not indicative of future price performance.
The graph below is furnished under this Part II, Item 5 of this Form 10-K and shall not be deemed to be "soliciting material" or to be "filed" with the SEC or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C, or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
Year Ending December 31
Fulton Financial Corporation
NASDAQ Bank Index
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
5-YEAR CONSOLIDATED SUMMARY OF FINANCIAL RESULTS
(dollars in thousands, except per-share data)
SUMMARY OF INCOME
Net interest income
Provision for credit losses
Investment securities gains, net
Non-interest income, excluding net investment securities gains