|TEV||1,886||TEV/EBIT||4||TTM 2019-09-30, in MM, except price, ratios|
|Item 1. Business.|
|Item 1A. Risk Factors.|
|Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.|
|Item 2. Properties.|
|Item 3. Legal Proceedings.|
|Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.|
|Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.|
|Item 6. Selected Financial Data.|
|Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.|
|Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.|
|Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.|
|Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.|
|Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.|
|Item 9B. Other Information.|
|Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.|
|Item 11. Executive Compensation.|
|Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.|
|Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.|
|Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services.|
|Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules.|
|Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary.|
|Balance Sheet||Income Statement||Cash Flow|
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended:
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission file number:
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
(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 each exchange on which registered
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. þ
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. ◻ Yes þ
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. þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, 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.
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ◻
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
Aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates, computed by reference to the price at which the common stock was last sold on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2020, was approximately $
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
The Registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement pertaining to the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed or to be filed not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year pursuant to Regulation 14A, is incorporated herein by reference into Part III.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA AND FORECASTS
Market and industry data and other statistical information and forecasts used throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Annual Report”) are based on independent industry publications, government publications and reports by market research firms or other published independent sources. We have not sought or obtained the approval or endorsement of the use of this third party information. Some data also is based on our good faith estimates, which are derived from our review of internal surveys, as well as independent sources. Forecasts are particularly likely to be inaccurate, especially over long periods of time.
Unless the context otherwise indicates, all references in this Annual Report to the “Company,” “we,” “us,” “our” or “ours” or similar words are to Hilltop Holdings Inc. and its direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries, references to “Hilltop” refer solely to Hilltop Holdings Inc., references to “PCC” refer to PlainsCapital Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop), references to “Securities Holdings” refer to Hilltop Securities Holdings LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop), references to “Hilltop Securities” refer to Hilltop Securities Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Securities Holdings), references to “Momentum Independent Network” refer to Momentum Independent Network Inc., formerly Hilltop Securities Independent Network Inc., (a wholly owned subsidiary of Securities Holdings), Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are collectively referred to as the “Hilltop Broker-Dealers,” references to the “Bank” refer to PlainsCapital Bank (a wholly owned subsidiary of PCC), references to “FNB” refer to First National Bank, references to “SWS” refer to the former SWS Group, Inc., references to “PrimeLending” refer to PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank) and its subsidiaries as a whole, references to “NLC” refer to National Lloyds Corporation (formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop) and its wholly owned subsidiaries.
This Annual Report includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included in this Annual Report that address results or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future, and statements that are preceded by, followed by or include, words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “goal,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “probable,” “projects,” “seeks,” “should,” “target,” “view” or “would” or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases, including such things as our business strategy, our financial condition, our revenue, our liquidity and sources of funding, market trends, operations and business, taxes, the impact of natural disasters or public health emergencies, such as the current global outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”), information technology expenses, capital levels, mortgage servicing rights (“MSR”) assets, use of proceeds from offerings, stock repurchases, dividend payments, expectations concerning mortgage loan origination volume, servicer advances and interest rate compression, expected levels of refinancing as a percentage of total loan origination volume, projected losses on mortgage loans originated, total expenses, the effects of government regulation applicable to our operations, the appropriateness of, and changes in, our allowance for credit losses and provision for (reversal of) credit losses, including as a result of the “current expected credit losses” (CECL) model, expected future benchmarks rates, anticipated investment yields, our expectations regarding accretion of discount on loans in future periods, the collectability of loans, cybersecurity incidents and the outcome of litigation are forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance taking into account all information currently available to us. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations are subject to risks and uncertainties and can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. If an event occurs, our business, business plan, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations may vary materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ include, among others:
|●||the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of governmental authorities to the pandemic, which have caused and are causing significant harm to the global economy and our business;|
|●||the credit risks of lending activities, including our ability to estimate credit losses and increases to the allowance for credit losses as a result of the implementation of CECL, as well as the effects of changes in the level of, and trends in, loan delinquencies and write-offs;|
|●||effectiveness of our data security controls in the face of cyber attacks;|
|●||changes in general economic, market and business conditions in areas or markets where we compete, including changes in the price of crude oil;|
|●||risks associated with our concentration in real estate related loans;|
|●||changes in the interest rate environment and transitions away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”);|
|●||the effects of our indebtedness on our ability to manage our business successfully, including the restrictions imposed by the indenture governing our indebtedness;|
|●||changes in state and federal laws, regulations or policies affecting one or more of our business segments, including changes in regulatory fees, deposit insurance premiums, capital requirements and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”);|
|●||cost and availability of capital;|
|●||changes in key management;|
|●||competition in our banking, broker-dealer, and mortgage origination segments from other banks and financial institutions as well as investment banking and financial advisory firms, mortgage bankers, asset-based non-bank lenders and government agencies;|
|●||legal and regulatory proceedings;|
|●||risks associated with merger and acquisition integration; and|
|●||our ability to use excess capital in an effective manner.|
For a more detailed discussion of these and other factors that may affect our business and that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, see Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” herein. We caution that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive, and new factors may emerge, or changes to the foregoing factors may occur, that could impact our business. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements concerning our business attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements above. We do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, relating to the matters discussed in this Annual Report except to the extent required by federal securities laws.
Item 1. Business.
Hilltop Holdings Inc. is a diversified, Texas-based financial holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “Bank Holding Company Act”). Our primary line of business is to provide business and consumer banking services from offices located throughout Texas through the Bank. We also provide an array of financial products and services through our broker-dealer and mortgage origination segments. We endeavor to build and maintain a strong financial services company through organic growth as well as acquisitions, which we may make using available capital, excess liquidity and, if necessary or appropriate, additional equity or debt financing sources. The following includes additional details regarding the financial products and services provided by each of our two primary business units.
PCC. PCC is a financial holding company that provides, through its subsidiaries, traditional banking and wealth, investment and treasury management services primarily in Texas and residential mortgage loans throughout the United States.
Securities Holdings. Securities Holdings is a holding company that provides, through its subsidiaries, investment banking and other related financial services, including municipal advisory, sales, trading and underwriting of taxable and tax-exempt fixed income securities, clearing, securities lending, structured finance and retail brokerage services throughout the United States.
At December 31, 2020, on a consolidated basis, we had total assets of $16.9 billion, total deposits of $11.2 billion, total loans, including loans held for sale, of $10.3 billion and stockholders’ equity of $2.4 billion.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “HTH.”
Our principal office is located at 6565 Hillcrest Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75205, and our telephone number at that location is (214) 855-2177. Our internet address is www.hilltop-holdings.com. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available on our website at http://ir.hilltop-holdings.com/ under the tab “Investor Relations - SEC Filings” as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such reports with, or furnish them to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The references to our website in this Annual Report are inactive textual references only. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report.
Under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”), our business units are comprised of three reportable business segments organized primarily by the core products offered to the segments’ respective customers: banking, broker-dealer, and mortgage origination. These segments reflect the manner in which operations are managed and the criteria used by our chief operating decision maker, our President and Chief Executive Officer, to evaluate segment performance, develop strategy and allocate resources.
The following graphic reflects our current business segment.
On June 30, 2020, we completed the sale of all of the outstanding capital stock of NLC, which comprised the operations of the former insurance segment. As a result, insurance segment results and its assets and liabilities have been presented as discontinued operations in our consolidated financial statements, and we no longer have an insurance segment. Following the sale of NLC, our business units are comprised of three reportable business segments organized primarily by the core products offered to the segments’ respective customers: banking, broker-dealer and mortgage origination.
Corporate includes certain activities not allocated to specific business segments. These activities include holding company financing and investing activities, merchant banking investment opportunities, and management and administrative services to support the overall operations of the Company. Hilltop’s merchant banking investment activities include the identification of attractive opportunities for capital deployment in companies engaged in non-financial activities through its merchant bank subsidiary, Hilltop Opportunity Partners LLC.
For more financial information about each of our business segments, see Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” herein. See also Note 30 in the notes to our consolidated financial statements included under Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
The banking segment includes the operations of the Bank, which, at December 31, 2020, had $13.3 billion in assets and total deposits of $11.4 billion. The primary sources of our deposits are residents and businesses located in Texas. At December 31, 2020, the Bank employed approximately 1,100 people.
The table below sets forth a distribution of the banking segment’s loans, classified by portfolio segment. The banking segment’s loan portfolio includes $3.3 billion in warehouse lines of credit extended to PrimeLending, of which $2.5 billion was drawn at December 31, 2020. Amounts advanced against the warehouse line of credit are included in the table below, but are eliminated from net loans on our consolidated balance sheets.
% of Total
Held for Investment
Commercial real estate:
Commercial and industrial (1)
Mortgage warehouse lending
Construction and land development
1-4 family residential
PrimeLending warehouse lines of credit
Total loans held for investment
|(1)||Included loans totaling $486.7 million at December 31, 2020 funded through the Paycheck Protection Program.|
Our lending policies seek to establish an asset portfolio that will provide a return on stockholders’ equity sufficient to maintain capital to assets ratios that meet or exceed established regulations. In support of that goal, we have designed our underwriting standards to determine:
|●||that our borrowers possess sound ethics and competently manage their affairs;|
|●||that we know the source of the funds the borrower will use to repay the loan;|
|●||that the purpose of the loan makes economic sense; and|
|●||that we identify relevant risks of the loan and determine that the risks are acceptable.|
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act were passed in March and April 2020, which are intended to provide emergency relief to several groups and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the Bank implemented several actions to better support our impacted banking clients and allow for loan modifications such as principal and/or interest payment deferrals, participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) as a Small Business Administration (“SBA”) preferred lender and personal banking assistance including waived fees, increased daily spending limits and suspension of residential foreclosure activities. The COVID-19 payment deferment programs allow for a deferral of principal and/or interest payments with such deferred principal payments due and payable on the maturity date of the existing loan.
We implement our underwriting standards according to the facts and circumstances of each particular loan request, as discussed below.
Business Banking. Our business banking customers primarily consist of agribusiness, energy, healthcare, institutions of higher education, real estate (including construction and land development) and wholesale/retail trade companies. We provide these customers with extensive banking services, such as online banking, business check cards and other add-on services as determined on a customer-by-customer basis. Our treasury management services, which are designed to reduce the time, burden and expense of collecting, transferring, disbursing and reporting cash, are also available to our business customers. We offer our business banking customers term loans, lines of credit, equipment loans and leases, letters of credit, agricultural loans, commercial real estate loans and other loan products, including PPP loans.
Commercial and industrial loans are primarily made within Texas and are underwritten on the basis of the borrower’s ability to service the debt from cash flow from an operating business. In general, commercial and industrial loans involve more credit risk than residential and commercial real estate loans and, therefore, usually yield a higher return. The increased risk in commercial and industrial loans results primarily from the type of collateral securing these loans, which typically includes accounts receivable, equipment and inventory. Additionally, increased risk arises from the expectation that commercial and industrial loans generally will be serviced principally from operating cash flow of the business, and such cash flows are dependent upon successful business operations. Historical trends have shown these types of loans to have higher delinquencies than mortgage loans. As a result of the additional risk and complexity associated with commercial and industrial loans, such loans require more thorough underwriting and servicing than loans to individuals. To manage these risks, our policy is to attempt to secure commercial and industrial loans with both the assets of the borrowing business and other additional collateral and guarantees that may be available. In addition, depending on the size of the credit, we actively monitor the financial condition of the borrower by analyzing the borrower’s financial statements and assessing certain financial measures, including cash flow, collateral value and other appropriate credit factors. We also have processes in place to analyze and evaluate on a regular basis our exposure to industries, products, market changes and economic trends.
The Bank offers term financing on commercial real estate that includes retail, office, multi-family, industrial and warehouse properties. Commercial mortgage lending can involve high principal loan amounts, and the repayment of these loans is dependent, in large part, on a borrower’s ongoing business operations or on income generated from the properties that are leased to third parties. Accordingly, we apply the measures described above for commercial and industrial loans to our commercial real estate lending, with increased emphasis on analysis of collateral values. As a general practice, the Bank requires its commercial mortgage loans to (i) be secured with first lien positions on the underlying property, (ii) maintain adequate equity margins, (iii) be serviced by businesses operated by an established management team and (iv) be guaranteed by the principals of the borrower. The Bank seeks lending opportunities where cash flow from the collateral provides adequate debt service coverage and/or the guarantor’s net worth is comprised of assets other than the project being financed.
The Bank’s mortgage warehouse lending activities consist of asset-based lending in which the Bank provides short-term, revolving lines of credit to independent mortgage bankers (“IMBs”). IMBs are generally small businesses, with mortgage loan origination and servicing as their sole or primary business. IMBs use the funds from their lines of credit to provide home loans to prospective and existing homeowners. When the IMBs subsequently sell the loans to institutional investors in the secondary market—typically within 30 days of closing the transaction—the proceeds from the sale are used to pay down and therefore replenish their lines of credit.
The Bank also offers construction financing for (i) commercial, retail, office, industrial, warehouse and multi-family developments, (ii) residential developments and (iii) single family residential properties. Construction loans involve additional risks because loan funds are advanced upon the security of a project under construction, and the project is of uncertain value prior to its completion. If the Bank is forced to foreclose on a project prior to completion, it may not be able to recover the entire unpaid portion of the loan. Additionally, the Bank may be required to fund additional amounts to complete a project and may have to hold the property for an indeterminate period of time. Because of uncertainties inherent in estimating construction costs, the market value of the completed project and the effects of governmental regulation on real property, it can be difficult to accurately evaluate the total funds required to complete a project and the related loan-to-value ratio. As a result of these uncertainties, construction lending often involves the disbursement of substantial funds with repayment dependent, in part, on the success of the ultimate project rather than the ability of a borrower or guarantor to repay the loan. The Bank generally requires that the subject property of a construction loan for commercial real estate be pre-leased because cash flows from the completed project provide the most reliable source of repayment for the loan. Loans to finance these projects are generally secured by first liens on the underlying real property. The Bank conducts periodic completion inspections, either directly or through an agent, prior to approval of periodic draws on these loans.
In addition to the real estate lending activities described above, a portion of the Bank’s real estate portfolio consists of one-to-four family residential mortgage loans typically collateralized by owner occupied properties. These residential mortgage loans are generally secured by a first lien on the underlying property and have maturities up to 30 years. These loans are shown in the loans held for investment table above as “1-4 family residential.”
Personal Banking. The Bank offers a broad range of personal banking products and services for individuals. Similar to its business banking operations, the Bank also provides its personal banking customers with a variety of add-on features such as check cards, safe deposit boxes, online banking, bill pay, overdraft privilege services and access to automated teller machine (ATM) facilities throughout the United States. The Bank offers a variety of deposit accounts to its personal banking customers including savings, checking, interest-bearing checking, money market and certificates of deposit.
The Bank loans to individuals for personal, family and household purposes, including lines of credit, home improvement loans, home equity loans, and loans for purchasing and carrying securities.
Private Banking and Investment Management. The Bank’s private banking team personally assists high net worth individuals and their families with their banking needs, including depository, credit, asset management, and trust and estate services. The Bank offers trust and asset management services in order to assist these customers in managing, and ultimately transferring, their wealth.
The Bank’s services provide personal trust, investment management and employee benefit plan administration services, including estate planning, management and administration, investment portfolio management, employee benefit accounts and individual retirement accounts.
The “Hilltop Broker-Dealers” include the operations of Hilltop Securities, a clearing broker-dealer subsidiary registered with the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and a member of the NYSE, Momentum Independent Network, an introducing broker-dealer subsidiary that is also registered with the SEC and FINRA, and Hilltop Securities Asset Management, LLC. Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are both registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) as non-guaranteed introducing brokers and as members of the National Futures Association (“NFA”). Additionally, Hilltop Securities Asset Management, LLC, Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are investment advisers registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. At December 31, 2020, Hilltop Securities had consolidated assets of $3.2 billion and net capital of $291.2 million, which was
$284.2 million in excess of its minimum net capital requirement of $7.0 million. At December 31, 2020, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers employed approximately 750 people and maintained 51 locations in 19 states.
Our broker-dealer segment has four primary lines of business: (i) public finance services, (ii) structured finance, (iii) fixed income services, and (iv) wealth management, which includes retail, clearing services and securities lending. These lines of business and the respective services provided reflect the current manner in which the broker-dealer segment’s operations are managed.
Public Finance Services. The public finance services line of business assists public entities nationwide, including cities, counties, school districts, utility districts, tax increment zones, special districts, state agencies and other governmental entities, in originating, syndicating and distributing securities of municipalities and political subdivisions. In addition, the public finance services line of business provides specialized advisory and investment banking services for airports, convention centers, healthcare institutions, institutions of higher education, housing, industrial development agencies, toll road authorities, and public power and utility providers.
Additionally, through its arbitrage rebate, treasury management and government investment pools management departments, the public finance services line of business provides state and local governments with advice and guidance with respect to arbitrage rebate compliance, portfolio management and local government investment pool administration.
Structured Finance. The structured finance line of business provides advisory services and centralized product expertise for derivatives and commodities. In addition, this business line participates in programs in which it issues forward purchase commitments of mortgage-backed securities to certain non-profit housing clients and sells U.S. Agency to-be-announced (“TBA”) mortgage-backed securities.
Fixed Income Services. The fixed income services line of business specializes in sales, trading and underwriting of U.S. government and government agency bonds, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, mortgage-backed, asset-backed and commercial mortgage-backed securities and structured products to support sales and other client activities. In addition, the fixed income services line of business provides asset and liability management advisory services to community banks.
Wealth Management. The wealth management line of business is comprised of our retail, clearing services and securities lending groups.
Retail. The retail group acts as a securities broker for retail investors in the purchase and sale of securities, options, commodities and futures contracts that are traded on various exchanges or in the over-the-counter market through our employee-registered representatives or independent contractor arrangements. We extend margin credit on a secured basis to our retail customers in order to facilitate securities transactions. Through Southwest Insurance Agency, Inc. and Southwest Financial Insurance Agency, Inc., we hold insurance licenses to facilitate the sale of insurance and annuity products by Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network advisors to retail clients. We retain no underwriting risk related to these insurance and annuity products. In addition, through our investment management team, the retail group provides a number of advisory programs that offer advisors a wide array of products and services for their advisory businesses. In most cases, we charge commissions to our clients in accordance with an established commission schedule, subject to certain discounts based upon the client’s level of business, the trade size and other relevant factors. The Momentum Independent Network advisors may also contract directly with third party carriers to sell specified insurance products to their customers. The commissions received from these third party carriers are paid directly to the advisor. Hilltop Securities is also a fully disclosed client of two of the largest futures commission merchants in the United States. At December 31, 2020, we employed 117 registered representatives in 18 retail brokerage offices and had contracts with 189 independent retail representatives for the administration of their securities business.
Clearing Services. The clearing services group offers fully disclosed clearing services to FINRA- and SEC-registered member firms for trade execution and clearance as well as back office services such as record keeping, trade reporting, accounting, general back-office support, securities and margin lending, reorganization assistance and custody of securities. At December 31, 2020, we provided services to 129 financial organizations, including correspondent firms, correspondent broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, discount and full-service brokerage firms, and institutional firms.
Securities Lending. The securities lending group performs activities that include borrowing and lending securities for other broker-dealers, lending institutions, and internal clearing and retail operations. These activities involve borrowing
securities to cover short sales and to complete transactions in which clients have failed to deliver securities by the required settlement date, and lending securities to other broker-dealers for similar purposes.
Our mortgage origination segment operates through a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank, PrimeLending, which is a residential mortgage banker licensed to originate and close loans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. PrimeLending primarily originates its mortgage loans through a retail channel, with limited lending through its affiliated business arrangements (“ABAs”). During 2020, funded loan volume through ABAs was approximately 7% of the mortgage origination segment’s total loan volume. At December 31, 2020, our mortgage origination segment operated from over 290 locations in 45 states, originating 18.6%, 10.9% and 6.1%, respectively, of its mortgage loans (by dollar volume) from its Texas, California and Florida locations. The mortgage lending business is subject to variables that can impact loan origination volume, including seasonal and interest rate fluctuations. Historically, the mortgage origination segment has experienced increased loan origination volume from purchases of homes during the spring and summer, when more people tend to move and buy or sell homes. An increase in mortgage interest rates tends to result in decreased loan origination volume from refinancings, while a decrease in mortgage interest rates tends to result in increased loan origination volume from refinancings. Changes in interest rates have historically had a lesser impact on home purchases volume than on refinancing volume.
PrimeLending handles loan processing, underwriting and closings in-house. Mortgage loans originated by PrimeLending are funded through warehouse lines of credit maintained with the Bank. PrimeLending sells substantially all mortgage loans it originates to various investors in the secondary market, historically with the majority servicing released. During 2020, 2019, and 2018, the mortgage origination segment originated approximately $193 million, $149 million, and $97 million, respectively, in loans on behalf of the banking segment, representing up to 1% of PrimeLending’s total loan origination volume during each year. We expect loan volume originated on behalf of the banking segment to increase during 2021 based on approved authority for up to 5% of the mortgage origination segment’s total loan volume. PrimeLending’s determination of whether to retain or release servicing on mortgage loans it sells is impacted by, among other things, changes in mortgage interest rates, and refinancing and market activity. PrimeLending may, from time to time, manage its related mortgage servicing rights (“MSR”) assets through different strategies, including varying the percentage of mortgage loans sold servicing released and opportunistically selling MSR assets. As mortgage loans are sold in the secondary market, PrimeLending pays down its warehouse lines of credit with the Bank. Loans sold are subject to certain standard indemnification provisions with investors, including the repurchase of loans sold and the repayment of sales proceeds to investors under certain conditions.
Our mortgage lending underwriting strategy, driven in large measure by secondary market investor standards, seeks primarily to originate conforming loans. Our underwriting practices include:
|●||granting loans on a sound and collectible basis;|
|●||obtaining a balance between maximum yield and minimum risk;|
|●||ensuring that primary and secondary sources of repayment are adequate in relation to the amount of the loan; and|
|●||ensuring that each loan is properly documented and, if appropriate, adequately insured.|
PrimeLending also acts as a primary servicer for loans originated prior to sale, loans sold to the banking segment and loans sold with servicing retained.
PrimeLending had a staff of approximately 2,700 people, including approximately 1,225 mortgage loan officers, as of December 31, 2020 that produced $23.0 billion in closed mortgage loan volume during 2020, 58.4% of which related to home purchases volume. PrimeLending offers a variety of loan products catering to the specific needs of borrowers seeking purchase or refinancing options, including 30-year and 15-year fixed rate conventional mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages, jumbo loans, and Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), Veterans Affairs (“VA”), and United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) loans. Mortgage loans originated by PrimeLending are secured by a first lien on the underlying property. PrimeLending does not currently originate subprime loans (which it defines to be conventional and government loans that (i) are ineligible for sale to the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”) or Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”), or (ii) do not comply with approved investor-specific underwriting guidelines).
Geographic Dispersion of our Businesses
The Bank provides traditional banking and wealth, investment and treasury management services. The Bank has a presence in the large metropolitan markets in Texas and conducts substantially all of its banking operations in Texas.
Our broker-dealer services are provided through Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network, which conduct business nationwide, with 45% of the broker-dealer segment’s net revenues during 2020 generated through locations in Texas, California and Oklahoma.
PrimeLending provides residential mortgage origination products and services from over 290 locations in 45 states. During 2020, an aggregate of 61% of PrimeLending’s origination volume was concentrated in ten states, with 36% concentrated in Texas, California and Florida, collectively. Other than these ten states, none of the states in which PrimeLending operated during 2020 represented more than 3% of PrimeLending’s origination volume.
Employees and Human Capital Resources
At December 31, 2020 we employed approximately 4,900 full-time employees and less than 50 part-time employees. Our employees are not represented by any collective bargaining group. Management believes that we have good relations with our employees.
We encourage and support the growth and development of our employees and, wherever possible, seek to fill positions by promotion and transfer from within the organization. Continual learning and career development are advanced through annual performance and development conversations with employees, internally developed training programs, customized corporate training engagements and seminars, conferences, and other training events employees are encouraged to attend in connection with their job duties.
Our human capital objectives include attracting, training, motivating, rewarding and retaining our employees. The safety, health and wellness of our employees is a top priority. The COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique challenge with regard to maintaining employee safety while continuing successful operations. Through teamwork and the adaptability of our management and staff, we were able to transition during the peak of the pandemic, over a short period of time, to a rotational work schedule allowing employees to effectively work from remote locations and ensure a safely-distanced working environment for employees performing customer-facing activities, at branches and operations centers. All employees are asked not to come to work when they experience signs or symptoms of a possible COVID-19 illness and have been provided paid time off to cover compensation during such absences. On an ongoing basis, we further promote the health and wellness of our employees by strongly encouraging work-life balance, offering flexible work schedules, and keeping the employee portion of health care premiums to a minimum.
Employee retention helps us operate efficiently and achieve one of our business objectives, which is being a high-level service provider. We believe our commitment to our core values (integrity, collaboration, adaptability, respect and excellence) as well as actively prioritizing concern for our employees’ well-being, supporting our employees’ career goals, offering competitive wages and providing valuable fringe benefits aids in the retention of our top-performing employees. At December 31, 2020, approximately 25% of our current staff had been with us for ten years or more.
We face significant competition in the business segments in which we operate and the geographic markets we serve. Many of our competitors have substantially greater financial resources, lending limits and branch networks than we do, and offer a broader range of products and services.
Our banking segment primarily competes with national, regional and community banks within the various markets where the Bank operates. The Bank also faces competition from many other types of financial institutions, including savings and loan associations, credit unions, finance companies, pension trusts, mutual funds, insurance companies, brokerage and investment banking firms, asset-based non-bank lenders, government agencies and certain other non-financial institutions. The ability to attract and retain skilled lending professionals is critical to our banking business. Competition for deposits and in providing lending products and services to consumers and businesses in our market area is intense and pricing is important. Other factors encountered in competing for deposits are convenient office locations, interest rates and fee structures of products offered. Direct competition for deposits also comes from other commercial bank and thrift
institutions, money market mutual funds and corporate and government securities that may offer more attractive rates than insured depository institutions are willing to pay. Competition for loans is based on factors such as interest rates, loan origination fees and the range of services offered by the provider. We seek to distinguish ourselves from our competitors through our commitment to personalized customer service and responsiveness to customer needs while providing a range of competitive loan and deposit products and other services.
Within our broker-dealer segment, we face significant competition based on a number of factors, including price, perceived expertise, quality of advice, reputation, range of services and products, technology, innovation and local presence. Competition for recruiting and retaining securities traders, investment bankers, and other financial advisors is intense. Our broker-dealer business competes directly with numerous other financial advisory and investment banking firms, broker-dealers and banks, including large national and major regional firms and smaller niche companies, some of whom are not broker-dealers and, therefore, are not subject to the broker-dealer regulatory framework. Further, our broker-dealer segment competes with discount brokerage firms that do not offer equivalent services but offer discounted prices and certain free services. We seek to distinguish ourselves from our competitors through our commitment to personalized customer service and responsiveness to customer needs while providing a range of investment banking, advisory and other related financial brokerage services.
Our competitors in the mortgage origination business include large financial institutions as well as independent mortgage banking companies, commercial banks, savings banks and savings and loan associations. Our mortgage origination segment competes on a number of factors including customer service, quality and range of products and services offered, price, reputation, interest rates, closing process and duration, and loan origination fees. The ability to attract and retain skilled mortgage origination professionals is critical to our mortgage origination business. We seek to distinguish ourselves from our competitors through our commitment to personalized customer service and responsiveness to customer needs while providing a range of competitive mortgage loan products and services.
Overall, competition among providers of financial products and services continues to increase as technological advances have lowered the barriers to entry for financial technology companies, with consumers having the opportunity to select from a growing variety of traditional and nontraditional alternatives, including online checking, savings and brokerage accounts, online lending, online insurance underwriters, crowdfunding, digital wallets, and money transfer services. The ability of non-banking financial institutions to provide services previously limited to commercial banks has intensified competition. Because non-banking financial institutions are not subject to many of the same regulatory restrictions as banks and bank holding companies, they can often operate with greater flexibility and lower cost structures.
Government Supervision and Regulation
We are subject to extensive regulation under federal and state laws. The regulatory framework is intended primarily for the protection of customers and clients, and not for the protection of our stockholders or creditors. In many cases, the applicable regulatory authorities have broad enforcement power over bank holding companies, banks and their subsidiaries, including the power to impose substantial fines and other penalties for violations of laws and regulations. The following discussion describes the material elements of the regulatory framework that applies to us and our subsidiaries. References in this Annual Report to applicable statutes and regulations are brief summaries thereof, do not purport to be complete, and are qualified in their entirety by reference to such statutes and regulations.
The Dodd-Frank Act, which significantly altered the regulation of financial institutions and the financial services industry, established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and requires the CFPB and other federal agencies to implement many provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Several aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act have affected our business, including, without limitation, capital requirements, mortgage regulation, restrictions on proprietary trading in securities, restrictions on investments in hedge funds and private equity funds (the “Volcker Rule”), executive compensation restrictions, potential federal oversight of the insurance industry and disclosure and reporting requirements.
Recent Regulatory Developments. New regulations and statutes are regularly proposed and/or adopted that contain wide-ranging proposals for altering the structures, regulations and competitive relationships of financial institutions operating and doing business in the United States. Changes in leadership at various federal banking agencies, including the Federal Reserve, can also change the policy direction of these agencies. Certain of these recent proposals and changes are described below.
The CARES Act, which became law on March 27, 2020, provided over $2 trillion to combat COVID-19 and stimulate the economy. The law had several provisions relevant to financial institutions, including the following:
|●||Institutions are allowed to not characterize loan modifications related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a troubled debt restructuring and are allowed to suspend the corresponding impairment determinations for accounting purposes.|
|●||The Community Bank Leverage Ratio was temporarily reduced to eight percent (8%). This provision terminated on December 31, 2020.|
|●||A borrower of a federally backed mortgage loan (VA, FHA, USDA, FHLMC and FNMA) experiencing financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic may request forbearance from paying such mortgage by submitting a request to the borrower’s servicer affirming such borrower’s financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency. Such a forbearance will be granted for up to 180 days, which can be extended for an additional 180-day period upon the request of the borrower. During that time, no fees, penalties or interest beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated as if the borrower made all contractual payments on time and in full under the mortgage contract will accrue on the borrower’s account.|
|●||A borrower of a multi-family federally backed mortgage loan that is current as of February 1, 2020, may submit a request for forbearance to the borrower’s servicer affirming that the borrower is experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency. A forbearance will be granted for up to 30 days, which can be extended for up to two additional 30-day periods upon the request of the borrower. During that time of the forbearance, the multi-family borrower cannot evict or initiate the eviction of a tenant or charge any late fees, penalties or other charges to a tenant for late payment of rent. Additionally, a multi-family borrower that receives a forbearance may not require a tenant to vacate a dwelling unit before a date that is 30 days after the date on which the borrower provides the tenant notice to vacate and may not issue a notice to vacate until after the expiration of the forbearance.|
The CARES Act provided approximately $350 billion to fund loans to eligible small businesses through the SBA’s 7(a) loan guaranty program. These loans were 100% federally guaranteed (principal and interest) through December 31, 2020. An eligible business could apply for a PPP loan up to 2.5 times its average monthly “payroll costs” limited to a loan amount of $10.0 million. The proceeds of the loan could be used for payroll (excluding individual employee compensation over $100,000 per year), mortgage, interest, rent, insurance, utilities and other qualifying expenses. PPP loans have: (a) an interest rate of 1.0%; (b) a two-year loan term to maturity; and (c) principal and interest payments deferred for six months from the date of disbursement. The SBA guaranteed 100% of the PPP loans made to eligible borrowers. The entire principal amount of the borrower’s PPP loan, including any accrued interest, is eligible to be reduced by the loan forgiveness amount under the PPP so long as employee and compensation levels of the business are maintained and 75% of the loan proceeds are used for payroll expenses, with the remaining 25% of the loan proceeds used for other qualifying expenses.
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (the “PPFA”) enacted on June 5, 2020 modified the PPP. The PPFA increased the amount of time that borrowers have to use PPP loan proceeds and apply for loan forgiveness and made other changes to make the PPP more favorable to borrowers.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (“Appropriations PPP Amendments”) is a pandemic relief portion of the much larger Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which was signed by the President on December 27, 2020. The Appropriations PPP Amendments, among other things, reauthorize and modify the PPP by appropriating more than $284 billion to the PPP so businesses can apply for forgivable loans for the first time; permit businesses that had previously received a PPP loan to apply for a second PPP loan subject to generally more restrictive eligibility criteria and reducing the maximum amount of proceeds available; enable debtors-in-possession or trustees of bankruptcy estates to apply for a PPP loan; appropriate funds for a $600 stimulus check for most Americans with an adjusted gross income lower than $75,000; extend federal unemployment benefits until March 31, 2021; extend the eviction moratorium for tenants with annual incomes of less than $99,000 until January 31, 2021; as well as other appropriations to address the pandemic. See “Risk Factors —As a participating lender in the PPP, the Company and the Bank are subject to additional risks of litigation from the Bank’s clients, or other parties regarding our originating, processing, or servicing of loans under the PPP, and risks that the SBA may not fund some or all PPP loan guaranties.”
The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (the “AML Act”) was enacted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 when the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted by more than a two-thirds majority to override a Presidential veto effective on January 1, 2021. The AML Act is the most significant revision to the anti-money laundering laws since the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism of 2001, as amended (the “USA PATRIOT Act”). The AML Act clarifies and streamlines the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970, as amended, (the “Bank Secrecy Act”) and anti-money laundering (“AML”) obligations in the following ways: requires U.S. entities and entities doing business in the United States to report into a national registry maintained by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) certain beneficial ownership information, subject to exceptions; modernizes the statutory definition of “financial institution” to include (i) entities that provide services involving “value that substitutes for currency,” which includes stored value and virtual currencies and (ii) any person engaged in the trade of antiquities, including an advisor, consultant or any other person who deals in the sale of antiquities; enhances penalties for Bank Secrecy Act and AML violations, including claw back of bonuses; increases AML whistleblower awards and expands whistleblower protections; requires the Secretary of the Treasury to establish and update every four years National AML Priorities, which are incorporated into the Bank Secrecy Act compliance programs at financial institutions subject to the Bank Secrecy Act; permits collaborative arrangements between financial institutions to participate in common activity or pool resources related to AML or Bank Secrecy Act compliance; provides for an annual review of Bank Secrecy Act regulations by the Secretary of the Treasury that is reported to Congress; and requires the Secretary of the Treasury to review the dollar thresholds and reporting requirements relating to currency transaction reports and suspicious activity; among other amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act.
On May 24, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (“EGRRCPA”), which included amendments to the Dodd-Frank Act and other statutes that provide the federal banking agencies with the ability to tailor various provisions of the banking laws and eased the regulatory burden imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act with respect to company-run stress testing, resolutions plans, the Volcker Rule, high volatility commercial real estate exposures, and real estate appraisals.
In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) announced that it intends to cease compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) after 2021. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”) has proposed that the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) is the rate that represents best practice as the alternative to LIBOR for use in derivatives and other financial contracts that are currently indexed to LIBOR. Additionally, the accounting standards setter, Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) recently issued optional guidance that would help ease the potential effects of reference rate reform on financial reporting. The guidance would offer optional expedients and exceptions for applying GAAP to contracts, hedging relationships, or other transactions affected by reference rate reform. Additionally, the FASB issued specific accounting guidance which permits the use of the Overnight Index Swap rate based on the SOFR to be designated as a benchmark interest rate for hedge accounting purposes. ARRC has proposed a paced market transition plan to SOFR from LIBOR, and organizations are currently working on industry-wide and company-specific transition plans as it relates to derivatives and cash markets exposed to LIBOR.
We cannot predict whether or in what form any proposed regulation or statute will be adopted or the extent to which our business may be affected by any new regulation or statute.
Hilltop is a legal entity separate and distinct from PCC and its other subsidiaries. On November 30, 2012, concurrent with the consummation of the acquisition of PlainsCapital Corporation (the “PlainsCapital Merger”), Hilltop became a financial holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act, as amended by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act”). Accordingly, it is subject to supervision, regulation and examination by the Federal Reserve Board. The Dodd-Frank Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Bank Holding Company Act and other federal laws subject financial and bank holding companies to particular restrictions on the types of activities in which they may engage and to a range of supervisory requirements and activities, including regulatory enforcement actions for violations of laws and regulations.
Changes of Control. Federal and state laws impose additional notice, approval and ongoing regulatory requirements on any investor that seeks to acquire direct or indirect “control” of a regulated holding company, such as Hilltop. These laws
include the Bank Holding Company Act and the Change in Bank Control Act. Among other things, these laws require regulatory filings by an investor that seeks to acquire direct or indirect “control” of a regulated holding company. The determination whether an investor “controls” a regulated holding company is based on all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the investment. As a general matter, an investor is deemed to control a depository institution or other company if the investor owns or controls 25% or more of any class of voting stock, and in certain other circumstances, an investor may be presumed to control a depository institution or other company if the investor owns or controls less than 25% or more of any class of voting stock. Furthermore, these laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent change of control transactions, including those that some or all of our stockholders might consider to be desirable.
Regulatory Restrictions on Dividends; Source of Strength. It is the policy of the Federal Reserve Board that bank holding companies should pay cash dividends on common stock only out of income available over the past year and only if prospective earnings retention is consistent with the organization’s expected future needs and financial condition. The policy provides that bank holding companies should not maintain a level of cash dividends that undermines the bank holding company’s ability to serve as a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the regulatory agencies to issue regulations requiring that all bank and savings and loan holding companies serve as a source of financial and managerial strength to their subsidiary depository institutions by providing capital, liquidity and other support in times of financial stress; however, no such proposed regulations have yet been published.
Under Federal Reserve Board policy, a bank holding company is expected to act as a source of financial strength to each of its banking subsidiaries and commit resources to their support. Such support may be required at times when, absent this Federal Reserve Board policy, a holding company may not be inclined to provide it. As discussed herein, a bank holding company, in certain circumstances and subject to certain limitations, could be required to guarantee the capital plan of an undercapitalized banking subsidiary.
Scope of Permissible Activities. Under the Bank Holding Company Act, Hilltop and PCC generally may not acquire a direct or indirect interest in, or control of more than 5% of, the voting shares of any company that is not a bank or bank holding company. Additionally, the Bank Holding Company Act may prohibit Hilltop from engaging in activities other than those of banking, managing or controlling banks or furnishing services to, or performing services for, its subsidiaries, except that it may engage in, directly or indirectly, certain activities that the Federal Reserve Board has determined to be closely related to banking or managing and controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto. In approving acquisitions or the addition of activities, the Federal Reserve Board considers, among other things, whether the acquisition or the additional activities can reasonably be expected to produce benefits to the public, such as greater convenience, increased competition, or gains in efficiency, that outweigh such possible adverse effects as undue concentration of resources, decreased or unfair competition, conflicts of interest or unsound banking practices.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, effective March 11, 2000, eliminated the barriers to affiliations among banks, securities firms, insurance companies and other financial service providers and permits bank holding companies to become financial holding companies and thereby affiliate with securities firms and insurance companies and engage in other activities that are financial in nature. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act defines “financial in nature” to include: securities underwriting; dealing and market making; sponsoring mutual funds and investment companies; insurance underwriting and agency; merchant banking activities; and activities that the Federal Reserve Board has determined to be closely related to banking. Prior to enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, regulatory approval was not required for a financial holding company to acquire a company, other than a bank or savings association, engaged in activities that were financial in nature or incidental to activities that were financial in nature, as determined by the Federal Reserve Board.
Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a bank holding company may become a financial holding company by filing a declaration with the Federal Reserve Board if each of its subsidiary banks is “well capitalized” under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act prompt corrective action provisions, is “well managed,” and has at least a “satisfactory” rating under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (the “CRA”). The Dodd-Frank Act underscores the criteria for becoming a financial holding company by amending the Bank Holding Company Act to require that bank holding companies be “well capitalized” and “well managed” in order to become financial holding companies. Hilltop became a financial holding company on December 1, 2012.
Safe and Sound Banking Practices. Bank holding companies are not permitted to engage in unsafe and unsound banking practices. The Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation Y, for example, generally requires a holding company to give the
Federal Reserve Board prior notice of any redemption or repurchase of its equity securities, if the consideration to be paid, together with the consideration paid for any repurchases or redemptions in the preceding year, is equal to 10% or more of the company’s consolidated net worth. In addition, bank holding companies are required to consult with the Federal Reserve Board prior to making any redemption or repurchase, even within the foregoing parameters. The Federal Reserve Board may oppose the transaction if it believes that the transaction would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice or would violate any law or regulation. Depending upon the circumstances, the Federal Reserve Board could take the position that paying a dividend would constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice.
The Federal Reserve Board has broad authority to prohibit activities of bank holding companies and their nonbanking subsidiaries that represent unsafe and unsound banking practices or that constitute violations of laws or regulations, and can assess civil money penalties for certain activities conducted on a knowing or reckless basis, if those activities caused a substantial loss to a depository institution. The penalties can be as high as $2.01 million for each day the activity continues. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act authorizes the Federal Reserve Board to require reports from and examine bank holding companies and their subsidiaries, and to regulate functionally regulated subsidiaries of bank holding companies.
Anti-tying Restrictions. Subject to various exceptions, bank holding companies and their affiliates are generally prohibited from tying the provision of certain services, such as extensions of credit, to certain other services offered by a bank holding company or its affiliates.
Capital Adequacy Requirements and BASEL III. Hilltop and PlainsCapital, which includes the Bank and PrimeLending, are subject to capital adequacy requirements under the comprehensive capital framework for U.S. banking organizations known as “Basel III”. Basel III, which reformed the existing frameworks under which U.S. banking organizations historically operated, became effective January 1, 2015 and was fully phased in as of January 1, 2019. Basel III was developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and adopted by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”).
The federal banking agencies’ risk-based capital and leverage ratios are minimum supervisory ratios generally applicable to banking organizations that meet certain specified criteria, assuming that they have the highest regulatory rating. Banking organizations not meeting these criteria are expected to operate with capital positions well above the minimum ratios. The federal bank regulatory agencies may set capital requirements for a particular banking organization that are higher than the minimum ratios when circumstances warrant. Federal Reserve Board guidelines also provide that banking organizations experiencing internal growth or making acquisitions will be expected to maintain strong capital positions substantially above the minimum supervisory levels, without significant reliance on intangible assets.
Final rules published by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the OCC implemented the Basel III regulatory capital reforms and changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other things, Basel III increased minimum capital requirements, introduced a new minimum leverage ratio and implemented a capital conservation buffer. The regulatory agencies carefully considered the potential impacts on all banking organizations, including community and regional banking organizations such as Hilltop and PlainsCapital, and sought to minimize the potential burden of these changes where consistent with applicable law and the agencies’ goals of establishing a robust and comprehensive capital framework. Under the guidelines in effect beginning January 1, 2015, a risk weight factor of 0% to 1250% is assigned to each category of assets based generally on the perceived credit risk of the asset class. The risk weights are then multiplied by the corresponding asset balances to determine a “risk-weighted” asset base.
Under Basel III, total capital consists of two tiers of capital, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 capital consists of common equity Tier 1 capital and additional Tier 1 capital. Below is a list of certain significant components that comprise the tiers of capital for Hilltop and PlainsCapital under Basel III.
Common equity Tier 1 capital:
|●||includes common stockholders’ equity (such as qualifying common stock and any related surplus, undivided profits, disclosed capital reserves that represent a segregation of undivided profits and foreign currency translation adjustments, excluding changes in other comprehensive income (loss) and treasury stock);|
|●||includes certain minority interests in the equity capital accounts of consolidated subsidiaries; and|
|●||excludes goodwill and various intangible assets.|
Additional Tier 1 capital:
|●||includes certain qualifying minority interests not included in common equity Tier 1 capital;|
|●||includes certain preferred stock and related surplus;|
|●||includes certain subordinated debt; and|
|●||excludes 50% of the insurance underwriting deduction.|
Tier 2 capital:
|●||includes allowance for credit losses, up to a maximum of 1.25% of risk-weighted assets;|
|●||includes minority interests not included in Tier 1 capital; and|
|●||excludes 50% of the insurance underwriting deduction.|
The following table summarizes the Basel III requirements fully phased-in as of the period beginning January 1, 2019.
Minimum common equity Tier 1 capital ratio
Common equity Tier 1 capital conservation buffer
Minimum common equity Tier 1 capital ratio plus capital conservation buffer
Minimum Tier 1 capital ratio
Minimum Tier 1 capital ratio plus capital conservation buffer
Minimum total capital ratio
Minimum total capital ratio plus capital conservation buffer
In order to avoid limitations on capital distributions, including dividend payments, stock repurchases and certain discretionary bonus payments to executive officers, Basel III also implemented a capital conservation buffer, which requires a banking organization to hold a buffer above its minimum risk-based capital requirements. This buffer helps to ensure that banking organizations conserve capital when it is most needed, allowing them to better weather periods of economic stress. The buffer is measured relative to risk-weighted assets.
The rules also prohibit a banking organization from making distributions or discretionary bonus payments during any quarter if its eligible retained income is negative in that quarter and its capital conservation buffer ratio was less than 2.5% at the beginning of the quarter. A banking organization with a buffer greater than 2.5% would not be subject to limits on capital distributions or discretionary bonus payments; however, a banking organization with a buffer of less than 2.5% would be subject to increasingly stringent limitations as the buffer approaches zero. The eligible retained income of a banking organization is defined as its net income for the four calendar quarters preceding the current calendar quarter, based on the organization’s quarterly regulatory reports, net of any distributions and associated tax effects not already reflected in net income. When the rules were fully phased-in in 2019, the minimum capital requirements plus the capital conservation buffer should have exceeded the prompt corrective action well-capitalized thresholds.
Hilltop and PlainsCapital began transitioning to the Basel III final rules on January 1, 2015. The capital conservation buffer and certain deductions from common equity Tier 1 capital were fully phased in as of January 1, 2019. During 2020, our eligible retained income was positive and our capital conservation buffer was greater than 2.5%, and therefore, we were not subject to limits on capital distributions or discretionary bonus payments. We anticipate similar results during 2021.
At December 31, 2020, Hilltop had a total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 22.34%, Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 19.57% and a common equity Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 18.97%. Hilltop’s actual capital amounts and ratios in accordance with Basel III exceeded the regulatory capital requirements including conservation buffer in effect at the end of the period.
At December 31, 2020, PlainsCapital had a total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 15.27%, Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 14.40% and a common equity Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 14.40%. Accordingly, PlainsCapital’s actual capital amounts and ratios in accordance with Basel III resulted in it being considered “well-capitalized” and exceeded the regulatory capital requirements including conservation buffer in effect at the end of the period.
Phase-in of Current Expected Credit Losses Accounting Standard. In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued an update to the accounting standards for credit losses that included the Current Expected Credit Losses (“CECL”) methodology, which replaces the existing incurred loss methodology for certain financial assets. CECL became effective January 1, 2020. In December 2018, the federal bank regulatory 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 resulting from the implementation of CECL. The final rule also revises the agencies’ other rules to reflect the update to the accounting standards. We originally elected to not exercise the option for phase-in. In March 2020, in connection with the economic uncertainties associated with the effects of COVID-19, the agencies’ issued an additional transition option that permitted banking institutions to mitigate the estimated cumulative regulatory capital effects from CECL over a five-year transitionary period. We elected to exercise this option for phase-in.
Volcker Rule. Provisions of the Volcker Rule and the final rules implementing the Volcker Rule restrict certain activities provided by the Company, including proprietary trading and sponsoring or investing in “covered funds,” which include many venture capital, private equity and hedge funds. For purposes of the Volcker Rule, purchases or sales of financial instruments such as securities, derivatives, contracts of sale of commodities for future delivery or options on the foregoing for the purpose of short-term gain are deemed to be proprietary trading (with financial instruments held for less than 60 days presumed to be for proprietary trading unless an alternative purpose can be demonstrated), unless certain exemptions apply. Exempted activities include, among others, the following: (i) underwriting; (ii) market making; (iii) risk mitigating hedging; (iv) trading in certain government securities; (v) employee compensation plans and (vi) transactions entered into on behalf of and for the account of clients as agent, broker, custodian, or in a trustee or fiduciary capacity. On July 22, 2019, the federal banking agencies, among other agencies, published a final rule implementing provisions of EGRRCPA that exclude community banks with $10.0 billion or less in total consolidated assets and total trading assets and liabilities of 5% or less of total consolidated assets from the restrictions of the Volcker Rule. At this time, the Bank does not qualify for this regulatory exclusion.
On November 14, 2019, the federal banking agencies, among other agencies, published a separate final rule to provide greater clarity and certainty about the activities prohibited by the Volcker Rule and to improve supervision and implementation of the Volcker Rule based on the agencies’ experience implementing these provisions since 2013. Compliance with the final rule began January 1, 2021, however, banking entities may voluntarily comply with the final rule in whole or in part prior to the compliance date, subject to the agencies’ completion of necessary technological changes.
In July 2020, the federal banking agencies published a final rule to streamline and improve the covered funds provisions of the Volcker Rule by making the following changes: permitting the activities of qualifying foreign excluded funds; revising the exclusions from the definition of “covered fund” for foreign public funds, loan securitizations, public welfare investments and small business investment companies; creating new exclusions from the definition of “covered fund” for credit funds, qualifying venture capital funds, family wealth management vehicles, and customer facilitation vehicles; permitting certain transactions that could otherwise be prohibited under affiliate transaction restrictions unique to the Volcker Rule; modifying the definition of “ownership interest”; and providing that certain investments made in parallel with a covered fund, as well as certain restricted profit interests held by an employee or director, need not be included in a banking entity’s calculation of its ownership interest in the covered fund.
While management continues to assess compliance with the Volcker Rule, we have reviewed our processes and procedures in regard to proprietary trading and covered funds activities and we believe we are currently complying with the provisions of the Volcker Rule. However, it remains uncertain how the scope of applicable restrictions and exceptions will be interpreted and administered by the relevant regulators. Absent further regulatory guidance, we are required to make certain assumptions as to the degree to which our activities, processes and procedures in these areas comply with the requirements of the Volcker Rule. If these assumptions are not accurate or if our implementation of compliance processes and procedures is not consistent with regulatory expectations, we may be required to make certain changes to our business activities, processes or procedures, which could further increase our compliance and regulatory risks and costs.
Acquisitions by Bank Holding Companies. The Bank Holding Company Act requires every bank holding company to obtain the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board before it may acquire all or substantially all of the assets of any bank, or ownership or control of any voting shares of any bank, if after such acquisition it would own or control, directly or indirectly, more than 5% of the voting shares of such bank. In approving bank acquisitions by bank holding companies, the Federal Reserve Board is required to consider, among other things, the financial and managerial resources and future
prospects of the bank holding company and the banks concerned, the convenience and needs of the communities to be served, and various competitive factors. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Federal Reserve Board to consider “the risk to the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system” when evaluating acquisitions of banks and nonbanks under the Bank Holding Company Act. With respect to interstate acquisitions, the Dodd-Frank Act amends the Bank Holding Company Act by raising the standard by which interstate bank acquisitions are permitted from a standard that the acquiring bank holding company be “adequately capitalized” and “adequately managed” to the higher standard of being “well capitalized” and “well managed”.
Control Acquisitions. The Change in Bank Control Act prohibits a person or group of persons from acquiring “control” of a bank holding company unless the Federal Reserve Board has been notified and has not objected to the transaction. As a general matter, an investor is deemed to control a depository institution or other company if the investor owns or controls 25% or more of any class of voting stock, and in certain other circumstances, an investor may be presumed to control a depository institution or other company if the investor owns or controls less than 25% or more of any class of voting stock.
The Bank is subject to various requirements and restrictions under the laws of the United States, and to regulation, supervision and regular examination by the Texas Department of Banking. The Bank, as a state member bank, is also subject to regulation and examination by the Federal Reserve Board. The Bank became subject to the regulations issued by the CFPB on July 21, 2011, although the Federal Reserve Board continued to examine the Bank for compliance with federal consumer protection laws. If the Bank’s total assets are over $10.0 billion (as measured on four consecutive quarterly call reports of the Bank and any institutions it acquires), the Bank will become subject to the CFPB’s supervisory and enforcement authority with respect to federal consumer financial laws beginning in the following quarter. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank’s total assets were $13.3 billion. Along with continued Federal Reserve consumer supervisory and enforcement, the Bank became subject to CFPB supervisory and enforcement authority, starting in the second quarter of 2020.
The Bank is also an insured depository institution and, therefore, subject to regulation by the FDIC, although the Federal Reserve Board is the Bank’s primary federal regulator. The Federal Reserve Board, the Texas Department of Banking, the CFPB and the FDIC have the power to enforce compliance with applicable banking statutes and regulations. Such requirements and restrictions include requirements to maintain reserves against deposits, restrictions on the nature and amount of loans that may be made and the interest that may be charged thereon and restrictions relating to investments and other activities of the Bank. In July 2010, the FDIC voted to revise its agreement with the primary federal regulators to enhance the FDIC’s existing backup authorities over insured depository institutions that the FDIC does not directly supervise. As a result, the Bank may be subject to increased supervision by the FDIC.
Restrictions on Transactions with Affiliates. Transactions between the Bank and its nonbanking affiliates, including Hilltop and PCC, are subject to Section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act. In general, Section 23A imposes limits on the amount of such transactions, and also requires certain levels of collateral for loans to affiliated parties. It also limits the amount of advances to third parties that are collateralized by the securities or obligations of Hilltop or its subsidiaries. Among other changes, the Dodd-Frank Act expands the definition of “covered transactions” and clarifies the amount of time that the collateral requirements must be satisfied for covered transactions, and amends the definition of “affiliate” in Section 23A to include “any investment fund with respect to which a member bank or an affiliate thereof is an investment adviser.”
Affiliate transactions are also subject to Section 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, which generally requires that certain transactions between the Bank and its affiliates be on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable to the Bank, as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with or involving other nonaffiliated persons. The Federal Reserve has also issued Regulation W, which codifies prior regulations under Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and interpretive guidance with respect to affiliate transactions.
Loans to Insiders. The restrictions on loans to directors, executive officers, principal stockholders and their related interests (collectively referred to herein as “insiders”) contained in the Federal Reserve Act and Regulation O apply to all insured institutions and their subsidiaries and holding companies. These restrictions include conditions that must be met before insider loans can be made, limits on loans to an individual insider and an aggregate limitation on all loans to insiders and their related interests. These loans cannot exceed the institution’s total unimpaired capital and surplus, and
the Federal Reserve Board may determine that a lesser amount is appropriate. Insiders are subject to enforcement actions for knowingly accepting loans in violation of applicable restrictions. The Dodd-Frank Act amends the statutes placing limitations on loans to insiders by including credit exposures to the person arising from a derivatives transaction, repurchase agreement, reverse repurchase agreement, securities lending transaction, or securities borrowing transaction between the member bank and the person within the definition of an extension of credit.
Restrictions on Distribution of Subsidiary Bank Dividends and Assets. Dividends paid by the Bank have provided a substantial part of PCC’s operating funds and for the foreseeable future it is anticipated that dividends paid by the Bank to PCC will continue to be PCC’s and Hilltop’s principal source of operating funds. Capital adequacy requirements serve to limit the amount of dividends that may be paid by the Bank. Pursuant to the Texas Finance Code, a Texas banking association may not pay a dividend that would reduce its outstanding capital and surplus unless it obtains the prior approval of the Texas Banking Commissioner. Additionally, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve Board have the authority to prohibit Texas state banks from paying a dividend when they determine the dividend would be an unsafe or unsound banking practice. As a member of the Federal Reserve System, the Bank must also comply with the dividend restrictions with which a national bank would be required to comply. Those provisions are generally similar to those imposed by the state of Texas. Among other things, the federal restrictions require that if losses have at any time been sustained by a bank equal to or exceeding its undivided profits then on hand, no dividend may be paid.
In the event of a liquidation or other resolution of an insured depository institution, the claims of depositors and other general or subordinated creditors are entitled to a priority of payment over the claims of holders of any obligation of the institution to its stockholders, including any depository institution holding company (such as PCC and Hilltop) or any stockholder or creditor thereof.
Branching. The establishment of a bank branch must be approved by the Texas Department of Banking and the Federal Reserve Board, which consider a number of factors, including financial history, capital adequacy, earnings prospects, character of management, needs of the community and consistency with corporate powers. The regulators will also consider the applicant’s CRA record. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, de novo interstate branching by banks is permitted if, under the laws of the state where the branch is to be located, a state bank chartered in that state would be permitted to establish a branch.
Prompt Corrective Action. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (“FDICIA”) establishes a system of prompt corrective action to resolve the problems of undercapitalized financial institutions. Under this system, the federal banking regulators have established five capital categories (“well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized” and “critically undercapitalized”) in which all institutions are placed. Federal banking regulators are required to take various mandatory supervisory actions and are authorized to take other discretionary actions with respect to institutions in the three undercapitalized categories. The severity of the action depends upon the capital category in which the institution is placed. Generally, subject to a narrow exception, the banking regulator must appoint a receiver or conservator for an institution that is critically undercapitalized. The federal banking agencies have specified by regulation the relevant capital level for each category.
An institution that is categorized as “undercapitalized”, “significantly undercapitalized” or “critically undercapitalized” is required to submit an acceptable capital restoration plan to its appropriate federal banking agency. A bank holding company must guarantee that a subsidiary depository institution meets its capital restoration plan, subject to various limitations. The controlling holding company’s obligation to fund a capital restoration plan is limited to the lesser of 5% of an undercapitalized subsidiary’s assets at the time it became undercapitalized or the amount required to meet regulatory capital requirements. An undercapitalized institution is also generally prohibited from increasing its average total assets, making acquisitions, establishing any branches or engaging in any new line of business, except under an accepted capital restoration plan or with FDIC approval. The regulations also establish procedures for downgrading an institution to a lower capital category based on supervisory factors other than capital. PlainsCapital was classified as “well capitalized” at December 31, 2020.
Pursuant to FDICIA, an “undercapitalized” bank is prohibited from increasing its assets, engaging in a new line of business, acquiring any interest in any company or insured depository institution, or opening or acquiring a new branch office, except under certain circumstances, including the acceptance by the federal banking regulators of a capital restoration plan for the Bank.
FDIC Insurance Assessments. The FDIC has adopted a risk-based assessment system for insured depository institutions that takes into account the risks attributable to different categories and concentrations of assets and liabilities. The system assigns an institution to one of three capital categories: (1) “well capitalized;” (2) “adequately capitalized;” or (3) “undercapitalized.” These three categories are substantially similar to the prompt corrective action categories described above, with the “undercapitalized” category including institutions that are undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized and critically undercapitalized for prompt corrective action purposes. The FDIC also assigns an institution to one of three supervisory subgroups based on a supervisory evaluation that the institution’s primary federal regulator provides to the FDIC and information that the FDIC determines to be relevant to the institution’s financial condition and the risk posed to the deposit insurance funds. The FDIC may terminate its insurance of deposits if it finds that the institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC.
The FDIC is required to maintain a designated reserve ratio of the deposit insurance fund (“DIF”) to insured deposits in the United States. The Dodd-Frank Act required the FDIC to assess insured depository institutions to achieve a DIF ratio of at least 1.35% by September 30, 2020. On November 28, 2018, the FDIC announced that the DIF reserve ratio exceeded the statutorily required minimum reserve ratio of 1.35%, ahead of the September 30, 2020 deadline. FDIC regulations provide for two changes to deposit insurance assessments upon reaching the minimum ratio: (1) surcharges on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $10.0 billion or more (large banks) will cease; and (2) small banks will receive assessment credits for the portion of their assessments that contributed to the growth in the reserve ratio from between 1.15% and 1.35%, to be applied when the reserve ratio is at or above 1.38%. Pursuant to its authority in the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC on December 20, 2010, published a final rule establishing a higher long-term target DIF ratio of greater than 2%. Deposit insurance assessment rates are subject to change by the FDIC and will be impacted by the overall economy and the stability of the banking industry as a whole. The FDIC will notify the Bank concerning any assessment credits and the assessment rate that we will be charged for the assessment period. As a result of the new regulations, we expect to incur lower annual deposit insurance assessments, which could have a positive impact on our financial condition and results of operations. Accruals for DIF assessments were $1.8 million during 2020.
The Dodd-Frank Act permanently increased the standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000. The FDIC insurance coverage limit applies per depositor, per insured depository institution for each account ownership category.
Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA requires, in connection with examinations of financial institutions, that federal banking regulators (in the Bank’s case, the Federal Reserve Board) evaluate the record of each financial institution in meeting the credit needs of its local community, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods. These facts are also considered in evaluating mergers, acquisitions and applications to open a branch or facility. Failure to adequately meet these criteria could impose additional requirements and limitations on the Bank. Additionally, the Bank must publicly disclose the terms of various CRA-related agreements.
The Bank received a “satisfactory” CRA rating in connection with its most recent CRA performance evaluation. A CRA rating of less than “satisfactory” adversely affects a bank’s ability to establish new branches and impairs a bank’s ability to commence new activities that are “financial in nature” or acquire companies engaged in these activities. See “Risk Factors — We are subject to extensive supervision and regulation that could restrict our activities and impose financial requirements or limitations on the conduct of our business and limit our ability to generate income.”
Privacy. Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, financial institutions are required to disclose their policies for collecting and protecting confidential information. Customers generally may prevent financial institutions from sharing nonpublic personal financial information with nonaffiliated third parties except under narrow circumstances, such as the processing of transactions requested by the consumer or when the financial institution is jointly sponsoring a product or service with a nonaffiliated third party. Additionally, financial institutions generally may not disclose consumer account numbers to any nonaffiliated third party for use in telemarketing, direct mail marketing or other marketing to consumers. The Bank and all of its subsidiaries have established policies and procedures to comply with the privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
Federal Laws Applicable to Credit Transactions. The loan operations of the Bank are also subject to federal laws and implementing regulations applicable to credit transactions, such as the Truth-In-Lending Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1978, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Service Members Civil Relief Act, the Dodd-Frank Act and rules and regulations of the various federal
agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing these federal laws. Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by the Bank are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates.
Federal Laws Applicable to Deposit Operations. The deposit operations of the Bank are subject to the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Truth in Savings Act and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E issued by the Federal Reserve Board and the CFPB to implement that act. The Dodd-Frank Act amends the Electronic Funds Transfer Act to, among other things, give the Federal Reserve Board the authority to establish rules regarding interchange fees charged for electronic debit transactions by payment card issuers having assets over $10 billion and to enforce a new statutory requirement that such fees be reasonable and proportional to the actual cost of a transaction to the issuer.
Capital Requirements. The Federal Reserve Board and the Texas Department of Banking monitor the capital adequacy of PlainsCapital by using a combination of risk-based guidelines and leverage ratios. The agencies consider PlainsCapital’s capital levels when taking action on various types of applications and when conducting supervisory activities related to the safety and soundness of individual banks and the banking system.
On January 1, 2019, PlainsCapital fully transitioned to the final rules that substantially amended the regulatory risk-based capital rules to implement the Basel III regulatory capital reforms. For additional discussion of Basel III, see the section entitled “Government Supervision and Regulation — Corporate — Capital Adequacy Requirements and Basel III” earlier in this Item 1. At December 31, 2020, PlainsCapital’s ratio of total risk-based capital to risk-weighted assets was 15.27%, PlainsCapital’s ratio of Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets was 14.40%, PlainsCapital’s common equity Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio was 14.40%, and PlainsCapital’s ratio of Tier 1 capital to average total assets was 10.44%.
On December 13, 2019, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the OCC published a final rule modifying the treatment of high volatility commercial real estate (“HVCRE”) exposures as required by EGRRCPA. The final rule clarifies certain defined terms in the HVCRE exposure definition in a manner generally consistent with the call report instructions as well as the treatment of credit facilities that finance one- to four-family residential properties and the development of land. The final rule became effective on April 1, 2020.
The FDIC Improvement Act. FDICIA made a number of reforms addressing the safety and soundness of the deposit insurance system, supervision of domestic and foreign depository institutions, and improvement of accounting standards. This statute also limited deposit insurance coverage, implemented changes in consumer protection laws and provided for least-cost resolution and prompt regulatory action with regard to troubled institutions.
FDICIA requires every bank with total assets in excess of $500 million to have an annual independent audit made of the Bank’s financial statements by a certified public accountant to verify that the financial statements of the Bank are presented in accordance with GAAP and comply with such other disclosure requirements as prescribed by the FDIC.
Brokered Deposits. Under FDICIA, banks may be restricted in their ability to accept brokered deposits, depending on their capital classification. “Well capitalized” banks are permitted to accept brokered deposits, but banks that are not “well capitalized” are not permitted to accept such deposits. The FDIC may, on a case-by-case basis, permit banks that are “adequately capitalized” to accept brokered deposits if the FDIC determines that acceptance of such deposits would not constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice with respect to such bank. Pursuant to a provision in EGRRCPA, the FDIC published a final rule on February 4, 2019 excepting a capped amount of reciprocal deposits from being considered as brokered deposits for certain insured depository institutions. On December 15, 2020, the FDIC also approved a final rule modernizing the FDIC’s overall brokered deposit regulations, reflecting technological changes and innovations across the banking industry. The final rule clarifies when a person meets the deposit broker definition in a way that provides clear rules by which banks and third parties can evaluate whether particular activities cause deposits to be considered brokered. The final rule also identifies a number of bright line categories called “designated exceptions” for business arrangements that automatically satisfy the primary purpose exception, establishes a transparent application process for entities that seek a “primary purpose exception” and modernizes the definition and calculation of the “National Rate Cap”. At December 31, 2020, PlainsCapital was “well capitalized” and therefore not subject to any limitations with respect to its brokered deposits.
Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act. The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act gives “substitute checks,” such as a digital image of a check and copies made from that image, the same legal standing as the original paper check.
Federal Home Loan Bank System. The Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) system, of which the Bank is a member, consists of regional FHLBs governed and regulated by the Federal Housing Finance Board. The FHLBs serve as reserve or credit facilities for member institutions within their assigned regions. The reserves are funded primarily from proceeds derived from the sale of consolidated obligations of the FHLB system. The FHLBs make loans (i.e., advances) to members in accordance with policies and procedures established by the FHLB and the boards of directors of each regional FHLB.
As a system member, according to currently existing policies and procedures, the Bank is entitled to borrow from the FHLB of its respective region and is required to own a certain amount of capital stock in the FHLB. The Bank is in compliance with the stock ownership rules with respect to such advances, commitments and letters of credit and home mortgage loans and similar obligations. All loans, advances and other extensions of credit made by the FHLB to the Bank are secured by a portion of the respective mortgage loan portfolio, certain other investments and the capital stock of the FHLB held by the Bank.
Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). The FAST Act, signed by President Obama on December 4, 2015, provides for funding highways and infrastructure in the United States. Part of the funding for this law comes from a reduction of the dividends paid by the Federal Reserve to its stockholders with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion, effective January 1, 2016. On that date, the annual dividend on paid-in capital stock for stockholders with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion shall be the lesser of: (i) the rate equal to the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the payment of such dividend and (ii) 6 percent. The Federal Reserve Board published a final rule implementing these requirements on November 23, 2016. On December 12, 2019, the Federal Reserve published its annual adjustment to the consolidated asset threshold, increasing it to $10.715 billion in assets through December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank’s total assets were $13.3 billion.
Anti-terrorism and Money Laundering Legislation. The Bank is subject to the USA PATRIOT Act, the Bank Secrecy Act and rules and regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. These statutes and related rules and regulations impose requirements and limitations on specific financial transactions and account relationships intended to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing. The Bank has established a customer identification program pursuant to Section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act and the Bank Secrecy Act, including obtaining beneficial ownership information on new legal entity customers and otherwise has implemented policies and procedures intended to comply with the foregoing rules until such time as FinCEN publishes regulations implementing the Corporate Transparency Act, which is part of the AML Act. As discussed above under “Recent Regulatory Developments,” the AML Act imposes the reporting requirements of beneficial ownership of certain business entities on those entities and not on covered financial institutions, among other amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act.
Incentive Compensation Guidance. On June 21, 2010, the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the FDIC jointly issued comprehensive final guidance on incentive compensation policies (the “Incentive Compensation Guidance”) intended to ensure that the incentive compensation policies of banking organizations do not undermine the safety and soundness of such organizations by encouraging excessive risk-taking. The Incentive Compensation Guidance sets expectations for banking organizations concerning their incentive compensation arrangements and related risk-management, control and governance processes. The Incentive Compensation Guidance, which covers all employees that have the ability to materially affect the risk profile of an organization, either individually or as part of a group, is based upon three primary principles: (i) balanced risk-taking incentives, (ii) compatibility with effective controls and risk management, and (iii) strong corporate governance. Any deficiencies in compensation practices that are identified may be incorporated into the organization’s supervisory ratings, which can affect its ability to make acquisitions or perform other actions. In addition, under the Incentive Compensation Guidance, a banking organization’s federal regulator may initiate enforcement action if the organization’s incentive compensation arrangements pose a risk to the safety and soundness of the organization.
The Hilltop Broker-Dealers are broker-dealers registered with the SEC, FINRA, all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Hilltop Securities is also registered in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Much of the regulation of broker-dealers, however, has been delegated to self-regulatory organizations, principally FINRA, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and national securities exchanges. These self-regulatory organizations adopt rules (which are subject to approval by the SEC) for governing its members and the industry. Broker-dealers are also subject to federal securities laws and SEC rules, as well as the laws and rules of the states in which a broker-dealer conducts business. The Hilltop Broker-Dealers are members of, and are primarily subject to regulation, supervision and regular examination by FINRA.
The regulations to which broker-dealers are subject cover all aspects of the securities business, including, but not limited to, sales and trade practices, net capital requirements, record keeping and reporting procedures, relationships and conflicts with customers, the handling of cash and margin accounts, experience and training requirements for certain employees, the conduct of investment banking and research activities and the conduct of registered persons, directors, officers and employees. Broker-dealers are also subject to the privacy and anti-money laundering laws and regulations discussed herein. Additional legislation, changes in rules promulgated by the SEC, securities exchanges, self-regulatory organizations or states or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules often directly affect the method of operation and profitability of broker-dealers. The SEC, securities exchanges, self-regulatory organizations and states may conduct administrative and enforcement proceedings that can result in censure, fine, profit disgorgement, monetary penalties, suspension, revocation of registration or expulsion of broker-dealers, their registered persons, officers or employees. The principal purpose of regulation and discipline of broker-dealers is the protection of customers and the securities markets rather than protection of creditors and stockholders of broker-dealers.
Limitation on Businesses. The businesses that the Hilltop Broker-Dealers may conduct are limited by its agreements with, and its oversight by, FINRA, other regulatory authorities and federal and state law. Participation in new business lines, including trading of new products or participation on new exchanges or in new countries often requires governmental and/or exchange approvals, which may take significant time and resources. In addition, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers are operating subsidiaries of Hilltop, which means their activities are further limited by those that are permissible for financial holding companies and subsidiaries of financial holding companies, and as a result, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers and Hilltop may be prevented from entering new businesses that may be profitable in a timely manner, if at all.
Net Capital Requirements. The SEC, FINRA and various other regulatory authorities have stringent rules and regulations with respect to the maintenance of specific levels of net capital by regulated entities. Rule 15c3-1 of the Exchange Act (the “Net Capital Rule”) requires that a broker-dealer maintain minimum net capital. Generally, a broker-dealer’s net capital is net worth plus qualified subordinated debt less deductions for non-allowable (or non-liquid) assets and other adjustments and operational charges. At December 31, 2020, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers were in compliance with applicable net capital requirements.
The SEC, CFTC, FINRA and other regulatory organizations impose rules that require notification when net capital falls below certain predefined thresholds. These rules also dictate the ratio of debt-to-equity in the regulatory capital composition of a broker-dealer, and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under certain circumstances. If a broker-dealer fails to maintain the required net capital, it may be subject to censure, fine, monetary penalties and other regulatory sanctions, including suspension, revocation of registration or expulsion by the SEC or applicable regulatory authorities, and suspension, revocation or expulsion by these regulators could ultimately lead to the broker-dealer’s liquidation. Additionally, the Net Capital Rule and certain FINRA rules impose requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and requiring prior notice to, and approval from, the SEC and FINRA for certain capital withdrawals.
Compliance with the net capital requirements may limit our operations, requiring the intensive use of capital. Such rules require that a certain percentage of our assets be maintained in relatively liquid form and therefore act to restrict our ability to withdraw capital from our broker-dealer entities, which in turn may limit our ability to pay dividends, repay debt or redeem or purchase shares of our outstanding common stock. Any change in such rules or the imposition of new rules affecting the scope, coverage, calculation or amount of capital requirements, or a significant operating loss or any unusually large charge against capital, could adversely affect our ability to pay dividends, repay debt, meet our debt covenant requirements or to expand or maintain our operations. In addition, such rules may require us to make substantial capital contributions into one or more of the Hilltop Broker-Dealers in order for such subsidiaries to comply with such rules, either in the form of cash or subordinated loans made in accordance with the requirements of all applicable net capital rules.
Customer Protection Rule. The Hilltop Broker-Dealers that hold customers’ funds and securities are subject to the SEC’s customer protection rule (Rule 15c3-3 under the Exchange Act), which generally provides that such broker-dealers maintain physical possession or control of all fully-paid securities and excess margin securities carried for the account of customers and maintain certain reserves of cash or qualified securities.
Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). The Hilltop Broker-Dealers are subject to the Securities Investor Protection Act and belong to SIPC, whose primary function is to provide financial protection for the customers of failing
brokerage firms. SIPC provides protection for customers up to $500,000, of which a maximum of $250,000 may be in cash.
Anti-Money Laundering. The Hilltop Broker-Dealers must also comply with the USA PATRIOT Act and other rules and regulations discussed herein, including FINRA requirements, designed to fight international money laundering and to block terrorist access to the U.S. financial system. We are required to have systems and procedures to ensure compliance with such laws and regulations.
CFTC Oversight. Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are registered as introducing brokers with the CFTC and NFA. The CFTC also has net capital regulations (CFTC Rule 1.17) that must be satisfied. Our futures business is also regulated by the NFA, a registered futures association. Violation of the rules of the CFTC, the NFA or the commodity exchanges could result in remedial actions including fines, registration restrictions or terminations, trading prohibitions or revocations of commodity exchange memberships.
Investment Advisory Activity. Hilltop Securities Asset Management, LLC, Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are registered with, and subject to oversight and inspection by, the SEC as investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The investment advisory business of our subsidiaries is subject to significant federal regulation, including with respect to wrap fee programs, the management of client accounts, the safeguarding of client assets, client fees and disclosures, transactions among affiliates and recordkeeping and reporting procedures. Legislation and changes in regulations promulgated by the SEC or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and regulations often directly affect the method of operation and profitability of investment advisers. The SEC may conduct administrative and enforcement proceedings that can result in censure, fine, suspension, revocation of registration or expulsion of the investment advisory business of our subsidiaries, our officers or employees.
Volcker Rule. Provisions of the Volcker Rule and the final rules implementing the Volcker Rule also restrict certain activities provided by the Hilltop Broker-Dealers, including proprietary trading and sponsoring or investing in “covered funds.”
Regulation Best Interest (“Regulation BI”) and Form CRS Relationship Summary (“Form CRS”). Beginning June 2020, the “best interest” standard requires a broker-dealer to make recommendations of securities transactions to a retail customer without putting its financial interests ahead of the interests of a retail customer. The SEC Form CRS requires registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) and broker-dealers to deliver to retail investors a succinct, plain English summary about the relationship and services provided by the firm and the required standard of conduct associated with the relationship and services. Regulation BI heightens the standard of care for broker-dealers when making investment recommendations and imposes disclosure and policy and procedural obligations that could impact the compensation our wealth management line of business and its representatives receive for selling certain types of products, particularly those that offer different compensation across different share classes (such as mutual funds and variable annuities). In addition, Regulation BI prohibits a broker-dealer and its associated persons from using the term “adviser” or “advisor” if the broker-dealer is not an RIA or the associated person is not a supervised person of an RIA.
Changing Regulatory Environment. The regulatory environment in which the Hilltop Broker-Dealers operate is subject to frequent change. Our business, financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected as a result of new or revised legislation or regulations imposed by the U.S. Congress, the SEC, FINRA or other U.S. and state governmental and regulatory authorities. The business, financial condition and operating results of the Hilltop Broker-Dealers also may be adversely affected by changes in the interpretation and enforcement of existing laws and rules by these governmental and regulatory authorities. In the current era of heightened regulation of financial institutions, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers can expect to incur increasing compliance costs, along with the industry as a whole.
PrimeLending and the Bank are subject to the rules and regulations of the CFPB, FHA, VA, FNMA, FHLMC and GNMA with respect to originating, processing, selling and servicing mortgage loans and the issuance and sale of mortgage-backed securities. Those rules and regulations, among other things, prohibit discrimination and establish underwriting guidelines which include provisions for inspections and appraisals, require credit reports on prospective borrowers and fix maximum loan amounts, and, with respect to VA loans, fix maximum interest rates. Mortgage origination activities are subject to, among others, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Housing Act, Federal Truth-in-Lending Act, Secure and Fair Enforcement of Mortgage Licensing Act, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder which, among other things, prohibit
discrimination and require the disclosure of certain basic information to borrowers concerning credit terms and settlement costs. PrimeLending and the Bank are also subject to regulation by the Texas Department of Banking with respect to, among other things, the establishment of maximum origination fees on certain types of mortgage loan products. PrimeLending and the Bank are also subject to the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act established the CFPB and provides mortgage reform provisions regarding a customer’s ability to repay, restrictions on variable-rate lending, loan officers’ compensation, risk retention, and new disclosure requirements. The Dodd-Frank Act also clarifies that applicable state laws, rules and regulations related to the origination, processing, selling and servicing of mortgage loans continue to apply to PrimeLending.
The final rules concerning mortgage origination and servicing address the following topics:
Ability to Repay. This final rule requires that for residential mortgages, creditors must make a reasonable and good faith determination based on verified and documented information that the consumer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms. The final rule also establishes a presumption of compliance with the ability to repay determination for a certain category of mortgages called “qualified mortgages” meeting a series of detailed requirements. The final rule also provides a rebuttable presumption for higher-priced mortgage loans. On December 29, 2020, the CFPB published a final rule creating a new category of “qualified mortgage,” called a seasoned qualified mortgage, for first lien, fixed rate covered loans that meet certain performance requirements, are held in portfolio by the originating creditor or first purchaser for a 36-month period, comply with general restrictions on product features and points and fees, and meet certain underwriting requirements.
High-Cost Mortgage. This final rule strengthens consumer protections for high-cost mortgages (generally bans balloon payments and prepayment penalties, subject to exceptions and bans or limits certain fees and practices) and requires consumers to receive information about homeownership counseling prior to taking out a high-cost mortgage.
Appraisals for High-Risk Mortgages. The final rule permits a creditor to extend a higher-priced (subprime) mortgage loan (“HPML”) only if the following conditions are met (subject to exceptions): (i) the creditor obtains a written appraisal; (ii) the appraisal is performed by a certified or licensed appraiser; and (iii) the appraiser conducts a physical property visit of the interior of the property. The rule also requires that during the application process, the applicant receives a notice regarding the appraisal process and their right to receive a free copy of the appraisal.
Copies of Appraisals. This final rule requires a creditor to provide a free copy of appraisal or valuation reports prepared in connection with any closed-end loan secured by a first lien on a dwelling. The final rule requires notice to applicants of the right to receive copies of any appraisal or valuation reports and creditors must send copies of the reports whether or not the loan transaction is consummated. Creditors must provide the copies of the appraisal or evaluation reports for free, however, the creditors may charge reasonable fees for the cost of the appraisal or valuation unless applicable law provides otherwise.
Escrow Requirements. This final rule requires a minimum duration of five years for an escrow account on certain higher-priced mortgage loans, subject to certain exemptions for loans made by certain creditors that operate predominantly in rural or underserved areas, as long as certain other criteria are met.
Servicing. Two final rules, the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, protect consumers from detrimental actions by mortgage servicers and to provide consumers with better tools and information when dealing with mortgage servicers. The final rules include a number of exemptions and other adjustments for small servicers, defined as servicers that service 5,000 or fewer mortgage loans and service only mortgage loans that they or an affiliate originated or own.
Mortgage Loan Originator Compensation. This final rule revises and clarifies existing regulations and commentary on loan originator compensation. The rule also prohibits, among other things: (i) certain arbitration agreements; (ii) financing certain credit insurance in connection with a mortgage loan; (iii) compensation based on a term of a transaction or a proxy for a term of a transaction; and (iv) dual compensation from a consumer and another person in connection with the transaction. The final rule also imposes a duty on individual loan officers, mortgage brokers and creditors to be “qualified” and, when applicable, registered or licensed to the extent required under applicable State and Federal law.
Risk Retention. This final rule requires that at least one sponsor of each securitization retains at least 5% of the credit risk of the assets collateralizing asset-backed securities. Sponsors are prohibited from hedging or transferring this credit risk,
and the rule applies in both public and private transactions. Securitizations backed by “qualified residential mortgages” or “servicing assets” are exempt from the rule, and the definition of “qualified residential mortgages” is subject to review of the joint regulators every five years.
CARES Act. As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, which among other things, established the ability of a borrower of a federally backed mortgage loan (VA, FHA, USDA, FHLMC and FNMA) experiencing financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic to request forbearance from paying their mortgage by submitting a request to the borrower’s servicer affirming such borrower’s financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency. Such a forbearance will be granted for up to 180 days, which can be extended for an additional 180-day period upon the request of the borrower. During that time, no fees, penalties or interest beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated as if the borrower made all contractual payments on time and in full under the mortgage contract will accrue on the borrower’s account.
Any additional regulatory requirements affecting our mortgage origination operations will result in increased compliance costs and may impact revenue.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
The following discussion sets forth what management currently believes could be the material regulatory, market and economic, liquidity, legal and business and operational risks and uncertainties that could impact our business, results of operations and financial condition. Other risks and uncertainties, including those not currently known to us, could also negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition. Thus, the following should not be considered a complete discussion of all of the risks and uncertainties we may face, and the order of their respective significance may change. Below is a summary of our risk factors with a more detailed discussion following.
|●||The outbreak of COVID-19 has adversely affected, and will likely continue to adversely affect, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.|
|●||Our allowances for credit losses for loans and debt securities may prove inadequate or we may be negatively affected by credit risk exposures. Also, future additions to our allowance for credit losses will reduce our future earnings.|
|●||As a participating lender in the PPP, the Company and the Bank are subject to additional risks of litigation from the Bank’s clients, or other parties regarding our originating, processing, or servicing of loans under the PPP, and risks that the SBA may not fund some or all PPP loan guaranties.|
|●||Our business is subject to interest rate risk, and fluctuations in interest rates may adversely affect our earnings, capital levels and overall results.|
|●||Our operational systems and networks have been, and will continue to be, subject to an increasing risk of continually evolving cybersecurity or other technological risks, which could result in a loss of customer business, financial liability, regulatory penalties, damage to our reputation or the disclosure of confidential information.|
|●||The financial services industry is characterized by rapid technological change, and if we fail to keep pace, our business may suffer.|
|●||We are heavily reliant on technology, and a failure to effectively implement new technological solutions or enhancements to existing systems or platforms could adversely affect our business operations and the financial results of our operations.|
|●||Our geographic concentration may magnify the adverse effects and consequences of any regional or local economic downturn.|
|●||An adverse change in real estate market values may result in losses in our banking segment and otherwise adversely affect our profitability.|
|●||Changes in the method of determining LIBOR, or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate, may adversely affect interest income or expense.|
|●||Our mortgage origination is subject to fluctuations based upon seasonal and other factors and, as a result, our results of operations for any given quarter may not be indicative of the results that may be achieved for the full fiscal year.|
|●||Our risk management processes may not fully identify and mitigate exposure to the various risks that we face, including interest rate, credit, liquidity and market risk.|
|●||Our hedging strategies may not be successful in mitigating our exposure to interest rate risk.|
|●||Our bank lending, margin lending, stock lending, securities trading and execution and mortgage purchase businesses are all subject to credit risk.|
|●||We depend on our computer and communications systems and an interruption in service would negatively affect our business.|
|●||We are heavily dependent on dividends from our subsidiaries.|
|●||Our indebtedness may affect our ability to operate our business, and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We may incur additional indebtedness, including secured indebtedness.|
|●||We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness, including the Senior Notes, and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness that may not be successful.|
|●||A reduction in our credit rating could adversely affect us or the holders of our securities.|
|●||The indenture governing the Senior Notes contains, and any instruments governing future indebtedness would likely contain, restrictions that limit our flexibility in operating our business.|
|●||We are subject to extensive supervision and regulation that could restrict our activities and impose financial requirements or limitations on the conduct of our business and limit our ability to generate income.|
|●||We may be subject to more stringent capital requirements in the future.|
|●||Our broker-dealer business is subject to various risks associated with the securities industry.|
|●||Market fluctuations could adversely impact our broker-dealer business.|
|●||Our investment advisory business may be affected if our investment products perform poorly.|
|●||Our existing correspondents may choose to perform their own clearing services or move their clearing business to one of our competitors or exit the business.|
|●||Several of our broker-dealer segment’s product lines rely on favorable tax treatment and changes in federal tax law could impact the attractiveness of these products to our customers.|
|●||Our mortgage origination segment is subject to investment risk on loans that it originates.|
|●||The CFPB has issued “ability-to-repay” and “qualified mortgage” rules that may have a negative impact on our loan origination process and foreclosure proceedings, which could adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.|
|●||Changes in interest rates may change the value of our mortgage servicing rights portfolio, which may increase the volatility of our earnings.|
|●||If we fail to develop, implement and maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting in future periods may be adversely affected.|
|●||We ultimately may write-off goodwill and other intangible assets resulting from business combinations.|
|●||The accuracy of our financial statements and related disclosures could be affected if we are exposed to actual conditions different from the judgments, assumptions or estimates used in our critical accounting policies.|
|●||We are dependent on our management team, and the loss of our senior executive officers or other key employees could impair our relationship with customers and adversely affect our business and financial results.|
|●||We are subject to losses due to fraudulent and negligent acts.|
|●||Negative publicity regarding us, or financial institutions in general, could damage our reputation and adversely impact our business and results of operations.|
|●||We are subject to legal claims and litigation, including potential securities law liabilities, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.|
Risks Related to our Business
The outbreak of COVID-19 has adversely affected, and will likely continue to adversely affect, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the global economy and our business, and we believe that it is likely to continue to do so. Since the beginning of January 2020, the outbreak has caused significant volatility and disruption in the financial markets both globally and in the United States. If COVID-19, or another highly infectious or contagious disease, continues to spread or the response to contain it is unsuccessful, we could experience material adverse effects on our business, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations. The extent of such effects depends on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including the geographic spread of the virus, the overall severity of the disease, the duration of the outbreak, the measures that have to be taken, or future measures, by various governmental authorities in response to the outbreak (such as quarantines, shelter-in-place orders and travel restrictions) and the possible further impacts on the global economy.
We are generally exposed to the credit risk that third parties that owe us money, securities or other assets will fail to meet their obligations to us due to numerous causes, and this risk may be exacerbated by the macroeconomic effects of COVID-19. We lend to businesses and individuals, including through offering commercial and industrial loans, commercial and residential mortgage loans and other loans generally collateralized by assets. We also incur credit risk through our investments. Our credit risk and credit losses may increase to the extent our loans or investments are to borrowers or issuers who as a group may be uniquely or disproportionately affected by declining economic or market conditions as a result of COVID-19, such as those operating in the travel, lodging, retail, entertainment and energy industries. During 2020, the significant build in the allowance for credit losses at the Bank was primarily due to the market disruption and related economic uncertainties caused by COVID-19. We may incur further unexpected losses, and the deterioration of an individually large exposure due to COVID-19 could lead to additional credit loss provisions and/or charges-offs, or credit impairment of our investments, and subsequently have a material impact on our net income, regulatory capital and liquidity.
The continuation of the adverse economic conditions caused by the pandemic can be expected to have a significant adverse effect on our businesses and results of operations, including:
|●||further increases in the allowance for credit losses and possible recognition of credit losses, especially if businesses remain closed or substantially limited in their operating capacity, the unemployment rate remains high, consumer and business confidence remains declined, consumer trends continue to change and clients and customers draw on their lines of credit or seek additional loans to help finance their businesses;|
|●||possible constraints on liquidity and capital, whether due to increases in risk-weighted assets related to supporting client activities or to regulatory actions; and|
|●||the possibility that significant portions of our workforce are unable to work effectively, including because of illness, quarantines, sheltering-in-place arrangements, government actions or other restrictions related to the pandemic.|
We also could experience a material reduction in trading volume and lower securities prices in times of market volatility, which would result in lower brokerage revenues, including losses on firm inventory. The fair values of certain of our investments could also be negatively impacted, resulting in unrealized or realized losses on such investments.
Moreover, certain actions taken by U.S. or other governmental authorities, including the Federal Reserve, that are intended to ameliorate the macroeconomic effects of COVID-19 may cause additional harm to our business. Decreases in short-term interest rates, such as those announced by the Federal Reserve late in our 2019 fiscal year and during the first fiscal quarter of 2020, have had, and we expect that they will continue to have, a negative impact on our results of operations, as we have certain assets and liabilities that are sensitive to changes in interest rates.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affects our businesses, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our regulatory capital and liquidity ratios, will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including the scope and duration of the pandemic and actions taken by governmental authorities and other third parties in response to the pandemic. To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business, results of operations and financial condition, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described herein.
Our allowances for credit losses for loans and debt securities may prove inadequate or we may be negatively affected by credit risk exposures. Also, future additions to our allowance for credit losses will reduce our future earnings.
As a lender, we are exposed to the risk that we could sustain losses because our borrowers may not repay their loans in accordance with the terms of their loans. We maintain allowances for credit losses for loans and debt securities to provide for defaults and nonperformance, which represent an estimate of expected losses over the remaining contractual lives of the loan and debt security portfolios. This estimate is the result of our continuing evaluation of specific credit risks and loss experience, current loan and debt security portfolio quality, present economic, political and regulatory conditions, industry concentrations, reasonable and supportable forecasts for future conditions and other factors that may indicate losses. The determination of the appropriate levels of the allowances for loan and debt security credit losses inherently involves a high degree of subjectivity and judgment and requires us to make estimates of current credit risks and future trends, all of which may undergo material changes. Generally, our nonperforming loans and other real estate owned (“OREO”) reflect operating difficulties of individual borrowers and weaknesses in the economies of the markets we serve.
Under the acquisition method of accounting requirements, we were required to estimate the fair value of the loan portfolios acquired in each of the PlainsCapital Merger, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) -assisted transaction (the “FNB Transaction”) whereby the Bank acquired certain assets and assumed certain liabilities of FNB, the acquisition of SWS Group, Inc. in a stock and cash transaction (the “SWS Merger”) and the acquisition of The Bank of River Oaks (“BORO”) in an all-cash transaction (“BORO Acquisition”, and collectively with the PlainsCapital Merger, FNB Transaction and the SWS Merger, the “Bank Transactions”) as of the applicable acquisition date and write down the recorded value of each such acquired portfolio to the applicable estimate. For most loans, this process was accomplished by computing the net present value of estimated cash flows to be received from borrowers of such loans. The allowance for credit losses that had been maintained by PCC, FNB, SWS or BORO, as applicable, prior to their respective transactions, was eliminated in this accounting process.
The estimates of fair value as of the consummation of each of the Bank Transactions were based on economic conditions at such time and on Bank management’s projections concerning both future economic conditions and the ability of the borrowers to continue to repay their loans. If management’s assumptions and projections prove to be incorrect, however, the estimate of fair value may be higher than the actual fair value and we may suffer losses in excess of those estimated. Further, the allowance for credit losses established for new loans may prove to be inadequate to cover actual losses, especially if economic conditions worsen.
While Bank management will endeavor to estimate the allowance to cover anticipated losses over the lives of our loan and debt security portfolios, no underwriting and credit monitoring policies and procedures that we could adopt to address credit risk could provide complete assurance that we will not incur unexpected losses. These losses could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, federal regulators periodically evaluate the adequacy of our allowance for credit losses and may require us to increase our provision for credit losses or recognize further loan charge-offs based on judgments different from those of Bank management. Any such increase in our provision for (reversal of) credit losses or additional loan charge-offs could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
As a participating lender in the PPP, the Company and the Bank are subject to additional risks of litigation from the Bank’s clients, or other parties regarding our originating, processing, or servicing of loans under the PPP, and risks that the SBA may not fund some or all PPP loan guaranties.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act, which included a $349 billion loan program administered through the SBA referred to as the PPP. The Appropriations PPP Amendments, signed by the President on December 27, 2020, among other thin