Company Quick10K Filing
Schwab Charles
Price41.41 EPS3
Shares1,329 P/E15
MCap55,034 P/FCF11
Net Debt-24,803 EBIT5,567
TEV30,231 TEV/EBIT5
TTM 2019-09-30, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-02-24
10-Q 2020-09-30 Filed 2020-11-09
10-Q 2020-06-30 Filed 2020-08-10
10-Q 2020-03-31 Filed 2020-05-08
10-K 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-02-26
10-Q 2019-09-30 Filed 2019-11-07
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-08-07
10-Q 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-05-08
10-K 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-02-22
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-11-07
10-Q 2018-06-30 Filed 2018-08-08
10-Q 2018-03-31 Filed 2018-05-09
10-K 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-02-22
10-Q 2017-09-30 Filed 2017-11-07
10-Q 2017-06-30 Filed 2017-08-07
10-Q 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-05-08
10-K 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-02-23
10-Q 2016-09-30 Filed 2016-11-07
10-Q 2016-06-30 Filed 2016-08-05
10-Q 2016-03-31 Filed 2016-05-06
10-K 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-02-24
10-Q 2015-09-30 Filed 2015-11-05
10-Q 2015-06-30 Filed 2015-08-06
10-Q 2015-03-31 Filed 2015-05-07
10-K 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-02-23
10-Q 2014-09-30 Filed 2014-11-06
10-Q 2014-06-30 Filed 2014-08-07
10-Q 2014-03-31 Filed 2014-05-07
10-K 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-02-24
10-Q 2013-09-30 Filed 2013-11-06
10-Q 2013-06-30 Filed 2013-08-06
10-Q 2013-03-31 Filed 2013-05-07
10-K 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-02-22
10-Q 2012-09-30 Filed 2012-11-06
10-Q 2012-06-30 Filed 2012-08-06
10-Q 2012-03-31 Filed 2012-05-07
10-K 2011-12-31 Filed 2012-02-24
10-Q 2011-09-30 Filed 2011-11-07
10-Q 2011-06-30 Filed 2011-08-05
10-Q 2011-03-31 Filed 2011-05-06
10-Q 2010-06-30 Filed 2010-08-05
10-Q 2010-03-31 Filed 2010-05-07
10-K 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-02-25
8-K 2020-10-15
8-K 2020-10-02
8-K 2020-09-30
8-K 2020-07-23
8-K 2020-07-16
8-K 2020-06-04
8-K 2020-06-03
8-K 2020-05-27
8-K 2020-05-26
8-K 2020-05-14
8-K 2020-05-12
8-K 2020-04-30
8-K 2020-04-15
8-K 2020-03-20
8-K 2020-03-20
8-K 2020-01-29
8-K 2020-01-29
8-K 2020-01-16
8-K 2019-11-24
8-K 2019-11-24
8-K 2019-10-15
8-K 2019-08-22
8-K 2019-07-22
8-K 2019-07-16
8-K 2019-05-22
8-K 2019-05-15
8-K 2019-04-15
8-K 2019-01-16
8-K 2018-12-13
8-K 2018-10-31
8-K 2018-10-15
8-K 2018-09-25
8-K 2018-07-17
8-K 2018-05-22
8-K 2018-05-15
8-K 2018-04-16
8-K 2018-03-27
8-K 2018-02-22
8-K 2018-01-25
8-K 2018-01-17

SCHW 10K Annual Report

Part I
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
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
Part III
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 Accountant Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary
EX-4.8 schw-12312020xex4810k.htm
EX-10.423 schw-12312020xex10423repla.htm
EX-21.1 schw-12312020xex21110k.htm
EX-23.1 schw-1231302020xex23110k.htm
EX-31.1 schw-12312020xex31110k.htm
EX-31.2 schw-12312020xex31210k.htm
EX-32.1 schw-12312020xex32110k.htm
EX-32.2 schw-12312020xex32210k.htm

Schwab Charles Earnings 2020-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
3002401801206002012201420172020
Assets, Equity
2.82.21.71.10.60.02012201420172020
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
20136-1-8-152012201420172020
Ops, Inv, Fin

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES  AND  EXCHANGE  COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM  10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from ________ to ________

Commission File Number: 1-9700

THE  CHARLES  SCHWAB  CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
94-3025021
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

3000 Schwab Way, Westlake, TX  76262
(Address of principal executive offices and zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:  (817) 859-5000

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock – $.01 par value per shareSCHWNew York Stock Exchange
Depositary Shares, each representing a 1/40th ownership interest in a share of 6.00% Non-Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series CSCHW PrCNew York Stock Exchange
Depositary Shares, each representing a 1/40th ownership interest in a share of 5.95% Non-Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series DSCHW PrDNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒   No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ☐   No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒   No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒   No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, 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.

Large accelerated filer ☒                        Accelerated filer ☐
Non-accelerated filer ☐                        Smaller reporting company         
Emerging growth company

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

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

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

As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $39.3 billion. For purposes of this information, the outstanding shares of Common Stock owned by directors and executive officers of the registrant were deemed to be shares of the voting stock held by affiliates.

As of January 29, 2021, 1,803,049,958 shares of $.01 par value Common Stock and 79,293,695 shares of $.01 par value Nonvoting Common Stock were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Part III of this Form 10-K incorporates certain information contained in the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its annual meeting of stockholders, to be held May 13, 2021, by reference to that document.



THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION

Annual Report On Form 10-K
For Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Item 1.
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F-1



THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION

PART I

Item 1.     Business

General Corporate Overview

The Charles Schwab Corporation (CSC) is a savings and loan holding company. Incorporated in 1986, CSC engages, through its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as Schwab or the Company), in wealth management, securities brokerage, banking, asset management, custody, and financial advisory services. At December 31, 2020, Schwab had $6.69 trillion in client assets, 29.6 million active brokerage accounts, 2.1 million corporate retirement plan participants, and 1.5 million banking accounts.

Principal business subsidiaries of CSC include the following:

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (CS&Co), incorporated in 1971, a securities broker-dealer;
TD Ameritrade, Inc., an introducing securities broker-dealer;
TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc. (TDAC), a securities broker-dealer that provides trade execution and clearing services to TD Ameritrade, Inc.;
Charles Schwab Bank, SSB (CSB), our principal banking entity; and
Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM), the investment advisor for Schwab’s proprietary mutual funds (Schwab Funds®) and for Schwab’s exchange-traded funds (Schwab ETFs).

Unless otherwise indicated, the terms “Schwab,” “the Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our” mean CSC together with its consolidated subsidiaries.

Schwab provides financial services to individuals and institutional clients through two segments – Investor Services and Advisor Services. The Investor Services segment provides retail brokerage and banking services to individual investors, and retirement plan services, as well as other corporate brokerage services, to businesses and their employees. The Advisor Services segment provides custodial, trading, banking, and support services, as well as retirement business services, to independent registered investment advisors (RIAs), independent retirement advisors, and recordkeepers. These services are further described in the segment discussion below.

Effective October 6, 2020, the Company completed its acquisition of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (TDA Holding) and its consolidated subsidiaries (collectively referred to as “TD Ameritrade” or “TDA”). TD Ameritrade provides securities brokerage services, including trade execution, clearing services, and margin lending, through its broker-dealer subsidiaries; and futures and foreign exchange trade execution services through its futures commission merchant (FCM) and forex dealer member (FDM) subsidiary. The TD Ameritrade acquisition is further described in the business and asset acquisition discussion below.

Effective January 1, 2021, CSC changed the designation of its corporate headquarters from San Francisco, California to Westlake, Texas. The Company maintains a nationwide presence across a network of branches and operations centers, and our Westlake location provides a centrally located hub for the Company.

Business Strategy and Competitive Environment

Schwab was founded on the belief that all Americans deserve access to a better investing experience. Although much has changed in the intervening years, our purpose remains clear – to champion every client’s goals with passion and integrity. Guided by this purpose and our vision of creating the most trusted leader in investment services, management has adopted a strategy described as “Through Clients’ Eyes.”

This strategy emphasizes placing clients’ perspectives, needs, and desires at the forefront. Because investing plays a fundamental role in building financial security, we strive to deliver a better investing experience for our clients – individual investors and the people and institutions who serve them – by disrupting longstanding industry practices on their behalf and providing superior service. We also aim to offer a broad range of products and solutions to meet client needs with a focus on transparency, value, and trust. In addition, management works to couple Schwab’s scale and resources with ongoing expense discipline to keep costs low and ensure that products and solutions are affordable as well as responsive to client needs. In
- 1 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION

combination, these are the key elements of our “no trade-offs” approach to serving investors. We believe that following this strategy is the best way to maximize our market valuation and stockholder returns over time.

Management estimates that investable wealth in the United States (U.S.) (consisting of assets in defined contribution, retail wealth management and brokerage, and registered investment advisor channels, along with bank deposits) currently exceeds $50 trillion, which means the Company’s $6.69 trillion in client assets leaves substantial opportunity for growth. Our strategy is based on the principle that developing trusted relationships will translate into more assets from both new and existing clients, ultimately driving more revenue, and along with expense discipline and thoughtful capital management, will generate earnings growth and build long-term stockholder value.

Within Investor Services, our competition in serving individual investors spans brokerage, wealth management, and asset management firms, as well as banks and trust companies. In the Advisor Services arena, we compete with institutional custodians, traditional and discount brokers, banks, and trust companies.

Across both segments, our key competitive advantages are:

Scale and Size of the Business – As one of the largest investment services firms in the U.S., we are able to spread operating costs and amortize new investments over a large base of clients, and harness the resources to evolve capabilities to meet client needs.
Operating Efficiency – Coupled with scale, our operating efficiency and sharing of infrastructure across different businesses creates a cost advantage that enables us to competitively price products and services while profitably serving clients of various sizes across multiple channels.
Operating Structure – Providing bank and asset management services to broker-dealer clients helps serve a wider array of needs, thereby deepening relationships, enhancing the stability of client assets, and enabling diversified revenue streams.
Brand and Corporate Reputation – In an industry dependent on trust, Schwab’s reputation and brand across multiple constituents enable us to attract clients and employees while credibly introducing new products to the market.
Service Culture – Delivering a great client experience earns the trust and loyalty of clients and increases the likelihood that those clients will refer others.
Willingness to Disrupt – Management’s willingness to challenge the status quo, including our own business practices, to benefit clients fosters innovation and continuous improvement, which helps to attract more clients and assets.

Business and Asset Acquisitions

Acquisition of TD Ameritrade

Effective October 6, 2020, the Company completed its acquisition of TD Ameritrade. In exchange for each share of TD Ameritrade common stock, TD Ameritrade stockholders received 1.0837 shares of CSC common stock, except for The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank) and its affiliates which received a portion in nonvoting common stock. In connection with the transaction, Schwab issued approximately 586 million common shares to TD Ameritrade stockholders consisting of approximately 509 million shares of common stock and 77 million shares of nonvoting common stock. Upon completion of the acquisition, TDA Holding became a wholly-owned subsidiary of CSC.

TDA provides services to individual retail investors and to RIAs predominantly through the Internet, a national branch network, and relationships with RIAs. At the time of acquisition, TD Ameritrade had approximately 10,000 employees. TD Ameritrade’s sources of net revenues primarily consist of trading revenue, bank deposit account fees, net interest revenue, and asset management and administration fees.

TDA’s trading revenue includes commissions earned on trades of certain securities and derivatives, as well as order flow revenue.
Bank deposit account fees are earned through an insured deposit account agreement with TD Bank USA, National Association and TD Bank, National Association (together, the TD Depository Institutions), as well as bank deposit account sweep agreements with other third-party depository institutions, whereby uninvested cash held by certain brokerage clients is swept into Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured (up to specified limits) money market deposit accounts at the TD Depository Institutions and other third-party depository institutions. See discussion below of the IDA agreement that became effective at the acquisition date.
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TDA’s net interest revenue is generated primarily through margin lending, securities lending activity, as well as segregated and operating cash and investments. Interest-bearing liabilities primarily consist of interest-bearing payables to brokerage clients and long-term debt.
TDA’s asset management and administration fee revenue includes revenues earned on client assets invested in money market funds, other mutual funds, and certain investment programs. TDA’s asset management and administration fees also include referral and asset-based program fees on its client assets managed by independent RIAs utilizing TDA’s trading and investing platforms.

Concurrently with the execution of the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of November 24, 2019, as amended (the Merger Agreement), CSC entered into a stockholder agreement with TD Bank (the Stockholder Agreement), a registration rights agreement with TD Bank and Charles R. Schwab, and an amended and restated insured deposit account agreement with the TD Depository Institutions (the IDA agreement).

Effective upon the merger, Todd M. Ricketts, Brian M. Levitt, and Bharat B. Masrani were elected to CSC’s Board of Directors. Mr. Ricketts was designated by TD Ameritrade pursuant to the terms of the Merger Agreement and Messrs. Levitt and Masrani were designated by TD Bank pursuant to the terms of the Merger Agreement and the Stockholder Agreement between Schwab and TD Bank.

Integration Overview

We anticipate the acquisition of TD Ameritrade will significantly increase our scale to help support the Company’s ongoing efforts to enhance the client experience, provide deeper resources for individual investors as well as RIAs, and continue to improve our operating efficiency. At the time of closing, TDA had approximately $1.6 trillion in client assets and approximately 14.5 million brokerage accounts. We anticipate combining the respective strengths of Schwab and TD Ameritrade will enable the Company to invest in enhanced client experience capabilities and further our financial success to the benefit of clients, employees, and stockholders.

Throughout the integration, the Company plans to generally adopt Schwab platforms and systems, though we’re committed to leveraging material advantages in TD Ameritrade’s platforms when appropriate, as exemplified by our intention to retain TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim® and thinkpipes® trading platforms, education, and tools into our offerings for retail and RIA clients. We also plan to retain TD Ameritrade Institutional’s customizable portfolio rebalancing solution iRebal® as part of our offering for independent advisor clients. Additional technology solutions continue to be evaluated for consideration as part of the combined platform.

Our integration of TD Ameritrade’s operations is expected to occur over 18 to 36 months from the date of acquisition, though planning for integration has been underway since the acquisition was announced on November 25, 2019. In October 2020, the Company began efforts to reduce overlapping or redundant roles across the two firms and to rationalize branch locations of CS&Co and TD Ameritrade, Inc. These and other integration activities are expected to continue throughout the integration process. CS&Co, as well as TD Ameritrade, Inc. and TDAC, will continue to operate as separate broker-dealers to serve their respective clients while integration work continues.

IDA Agreement

In accordance with the IDA agreement, which became effective October 6, 2020, cash held in eligible brokerage client accounts is swept off-balance sheet to money market deposit accounts at the TD Depository Institutions. Schwab provides marketing, recordkeeping and support services to the TD Depository Institutions with respect to the money market deposit accounts for which Schwab receives an aggregate monthly fee, determined by reference to certain yields, less a service fee on client cash deposits held at the TD Depository Institutions, FDIC deposit assessments, and interest on deposits paid to clients. Under the IDA agreement, the service fee on client cash deposits held at the TD Depository Institutions was reduced, relative to TD Ameritrade’s agreement prior to acquisition, by 40%, from 25 basis points to 15 basis points for the life of the agreement. Under TDA’s prior insured deposit account agreement with the TD Depository Institutions, TDA had floors in place which enabled it to carve-out up to $20 billion of floating-rate investments from the applicable service fee during specified low-rate environments. Pursuant to the IDA agreement, the 15 basis point service fee now applies across all designated fixed and floating IDA balances.

Pursuant to the IDA agreement, Schwab will be required to move all uninsured IDA balances out of the IDA sweep program on June 30, 2021. The IDA agreement also provides that starting July 1, 2021, Schwab will have the option to migrate up to $10 billion of IDA balances every 12 months to Schwab’s balance sheet, subject to certain limitations and adjustments. The
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Company’s ability to migrate these balances out of the IDA sweep program is dependent on certain binding limitations specified in the IDA agreement, including the requirement that Schwab can only move IDA balances designated as floating-rate obligations. The amount of Schwab’s initial potential transfer will also be affected by the net growth or decline in the IDA balance from immediately prior to the October 6, 2020 effective date of the IDA agreement through June 30, 2021. In addition, Schwab also must maintain a minimum $50 billion IDA balance through June 2031, and at least 80% of the IDA balances must be designated as fixed-rate obligations through June 2026.

See “Part II – Item 8 – Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” (Item 8) – Note 3 for more information on the TD Ameritrade acquisition. See also “Part II – Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (Item 7) – Capital Management” and Item 8 – Note 15 for additional information on the IDA agreement.

Acquisition of Assets of USAA’s Investment Management Company

On May 26, 2020, the Company completed its acquisition of the assets of USAA’s Investment Management Company (USAA-IMCO) for $1.6 billion in cash. Along with the asset purchase agreement, the companies entered into a long-term referral agreement that makes Schwab the exclusive provider of wealth management and investment brokerage services for USAA members. The USAA-IMCO acquisition has added scale to the Company’s operations through the addition of 1.1 million brokerage and managed portfolio accounts with approximately $80 billion in client assets at the acquisition date. The transaction also provides Schwab the opportunity to further expand our client base by serving USAA’s members through the long-term referral agreement. See Item 8 – Note 3 for more information on the USAA-IMCO acquisition.

Other Acquisitions

During 2020, the Company completed its acquisition of technology and intellectual property of Motif, a financial technology company. The Motif assets help us build on our existing capabilities and help accelerate our development of thematic and direct index investing for Schwab’s retail investors and RIA clients. Also during 2020, the Company completed its acquisition of Wasmer, Schroeder & Company, LLC (Wasmer Schroeder), which adds established strategies and new separately managed account offerings to our fixed income lineup.

Sources of Net Revenues

Our largest sources of net revenues are net interest revenue, asset management and administration fees, trading revenue, and bank deposit account fees. These revenue streams are supported by the combination of bank, broker-dealer, and asset management operating subsidiaries, including those of TD Ameritrade, each of which brings specific capabilities that enable us to provide clients with the products and services they are seeking.

Net interest revenue is the difference between interest generated on interest-earning assets and interest paid on funding sources. The majority of net interest revenue is derived from a portion of client cash balances awaiting investment and held on Schwab’s balance sheet as part of clients’ overall relationship with the Company. Interest-earning assets are primarily comprised of high-quality fixed income securities, margin loans, and bank loans.

The majority of asset management and administration fees are earned from proprietary money market mutual funds, proprietary and third-party mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and fee-based advisory solutions.

Trading revenue includes commissions earned for executing trades for clients in certain individual equities, options, futures, fixed income securities, and certain third-party mutual funds and ETFs; order flow revenue; and principal transaction revenue earned primarily from actions to support client trading in fixed income securities. Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2019, Schwab eliminated online trading commissions for U.S. and Canadian-listed stocks and ETFs, as well as the base charge on options.

Bank deposit account fees are primarily recognized pursuant to the Company’s IDA agreement, as well as sweep agreements with other third-party depository institutions. Under the IDA agreement, eligible brokerage client accounts are swept off-balance sheet to money market deposit accounts at the TD Depository Institutions. Schwab provides marketing, recordkeeping, and support services to the TD Depository Institutions with respect to the money market deposit accounts for which Schwab receives an aggregate monthly fee, determined by reference to certain yields, less a service fee on client cash deposits held at the TD Depository Institutions, FDIC deposit assessments, and interest on deposits paid to clients.

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Products and Services

We offer a broad range of products through intuitive end-to-end solutions, including robust digital capabilities, to address our clients’ varying investment and financial needs. Examples of these product offerings include the following:
Brokerage – an array of full-feature brokerage accounts with equity and fixed income trading, margin lending, options trading, futures and forex trading, and cash management capabilities including third-party certificates of deposit;
Mutual funds – third-party mutual funds through the Mutual Fund Marketplace®, including non-transaction fee mutual funds through the Mutual Fund OneSource® service, which also includes proprietary mutual funds, plus mutual fund trading and clearing services to broker-dealers;
Exchange-traded funds – an extensive offering of ETFs, including both proprietary and third-party ETFs;
Advice solutions – managed portfolios of both proprietary and third-party mutual funds and ETFs, separately managed accounts, customized personal advice for tailored portfolios, specialized planning, and full-time portfolio management;
Banking – checking and savings accounts, first lien residential real estate mortgage loans (First Mortgages), home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and pledged asset lines (PALs); and
Trust – trust custody services, personal trust reporting services, and administrative trustee services.

These investing services are made available through two business segments – Investor Services and Advisor Services. Schwab’s major sources of revenues are generated by both of the reportable segments, based on their respective levels of client assets and activity. Revenue is attributable to a reportable segment based on which segment has the primary responsibility for serving the client. The accounting policies of the reportable segments are the same as those described in Item 8 – Note 2.

Investor Services

Charles Schwab initially founded the Company over 40 years ago to provide individual investors with access to the financial markets at a reasonable cost. The Company has been expanding offerings over time in response to client needs, aiming to provide a compelling and often disruptive solution in the marketplace. As products and services have evolved over the years, the Investor Services segment has expanded and now includes the Retail Investor, Retirement Plan Services, Mutual Fund Clearing Services, and Off-Platform Sales business units.

Through the Retail Investor business unit, we offer individual investors a multi-channel service delivery model, which includes online, mobile, telephone, and branch capabilities. We provide personalized solutions at competitive prices while giving clients the choice of where, when, and how they do business with us. Financial Consultants (FCs) in Schwab’s branches and regional telephone service centers focus on building and sustaining client relationships. We have the ability to meet client investing needs through a single ongoing point of contact, even as those needs change over time. We believe that this ability to provide those clients seeking help, guidance, or advice with an individually tailored approach – ranging from occasional consultations, to an ongoing relationship with an FC or participation in one of our advisory solutions, which include referral to an independent RIA in the Schwab Advisor Network®, or for clients of TDA, an RIA in the AdvisorDirect® program – is a competitive strength compared to the more fragmented or limited offerings of other firms.

Our service delivery model provides quick and efficient access to a broad lineup of information, research, tools, trade execution, and administrative services, which clients can access according to their needs. For example, clients that trade more actively can use these channels to access highly competitive pricing, expert tools, and extensive service capabilities – including experienced, knowledgeable teams of trading specialists, and integrated product offerings. Management also believes the Company is able to compete with the wide variety of financial services firms striving to attract individual client relationships by complementing these capabilities with a range of investment and banking products.

Schwab seeks to educate and assist clients in reaching their financial goals. Educational tools include workshops, webcasts, podcasts, interactive courses, and online information about investing, from which Schwab does not earn revenue. We also introduced virtual events in 2020 to engage with retail and institutional clients amidst an unprecedented climate. Additionally, we provide various online research and analysis tools that are designed to help clients achieve better investment outcomes. As an example of such tools, Schwab Equity Ratings® is a quantitative model-based stock rating system that provides all clients with ratings on approximately 3,000 stocks, assigning each equity a single grade: A, B, C, D, or F. Schwab Equity Ratings International®, an international ranking methodology, covers stocks of approximately 4,000 foreign companies. In 2020, we launched Schwab Plan, a free digital financial plan designed to help investors establish and stay on track toward their personalized retirement goals. Schwab Plan is available to all Schwab clients with no
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minimum asset requirement, expanding access to retirement planning to the millions of retail investors that Schwab serves. Also in 2020, we launched Schwab Stock Slices, a service which enables investors to own any of America’s leading companies from the S&P 500® for as little as $5 each, even if their shares cost more. Clients can purchase a single stock slice or up to 10 different stock slices at once, commission-free through our online channels.

Clients may seek specific investment recommendations, either from time to time or on an ongoing basis. Schwab provides clients seeking advice with personalized solutions. Our approach to advice is based on long-term investment strategies and guidance on portfolio diversification and asset allocation. This approach is designed to be offered consistently across all of Schwab’s delivery channels.

Schwab Private Client features a personal advice relationship with a designated Private Client Advisor, supported by a team of investment professionals who provide individualized service, a customized investment strategy developed in collaboration with the client, and ongoing guidance and execution.

For clients seeking a relationship in which investment decisions are fully delegated to a financial professional, Schwab offers several alternatives. We provide investors access to professional investment management in a diversified account that is invested exclusively in either mutual funds or ETFs through the Schwab Managed Portfolios and the Windhaven Investment Management® Strategies, or equity securities and ETFs through the ThomasPartners Investment Management® Strategies. During 2020, we completed our acquisition of Wasmer Schroeder, which adds established strategies and new separately managed account offerings to our existing fixed income lineup. We also refer investors who want to utilize a specific third-party money manager to direct a portion of their investment assets to the Schwab Managed Account program. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios®, available since 2015, are for clients who are looking to have their assets professionally managed via a fully automated online investment advisory service. In late 2016, we introduced a hybrid advisory service, now called Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium®, to offer our clients an advisory service which combines unlimited guidance provided by a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and our robo-advice technology to make financial and investment planning more accessible to investors. In early 2020, we launched Schwab Intelligent Income®, a low-cost solution designed to offer a simple, modern way to generate income from existing investment portfolios. Finally, clients who want the assistance of an independent professional in managing their financial affairs may be referred to RIAs in the Schwab Advisor Network. These RIAs provide personalized portfolio management, financial planning, and wealth management solutions.

Clients of TD Ameritrade also have access to a suite of programs designed to meet their specific investment advisory needs. Through TDA’s Essential Portfolios, clients are offered a low-cost automated online investment advisory service with access to goal-oriented ETF portfolios. TDA’s Selective Portfolios offers a broader range of goal-oriented portfolios made up of mutual funds and ETFs, through a combination of automated technology and professional insights. TDA’s Personalized Portfolios offers clients tailored portfolios, supported by a team of investment professionals. Finally, TDA’s AdvisorDirect® referral program provides clients with an introduction to an independent RIA that can assist in developing customized investment strategies around their unique goals.

To meet the specific needs of clients who actively trade, Schwab offers integrated web- and software-based trading platforms, real-time market data, options trading, premium stock and futures research, and multi-channel access, as well as sophisticated account and trade management features, risk management and decision support tools, and dedicated personal support. TD Ameritrade offers clients its award-winning thinkorswim® trading platform, education, and tools, which the Company intends to integrate into the Company’s ongoing offerings.

For U.S. clients wishing to invest in foreign equities, we offer a suite of global investing capabilities, including online access to certain foreign equity markets with the ability to trade in their local currencies. In addition, Schwab serves both foreign investors and non-English-speaking U.S. clients who wish to trade or invest in U.S. dollar-based securities. Schwab provides multi-lingual services to non-English-speaking clients through a combination of its branch offices, web-based and telephonic services.

We also offer equity compensation plan sponsors full-service recordkeeping for stock plans, stock options, restricted stock, performance shares, and stock appreciation rights. Specialized services for executive transactions and reporting, grant acceptance tracking, and other services are offered to employers to meet the needs of administering the reporting and compliance aspects of an equity compensation plan.

Our Retirement Plan Services business unit offers a bundled 401(k) retirement plan product that provides retirement plan sponsors with extensive investment options, trustee or custodial services, and participant-level recordkeeping. Retirement plan design features, which increase plan efficiency and achieve employer goals, are also offered, such as automatic
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enrollment, automatic fund mapping at conversion, and automatic contribution increases. In addition to an open architecture investment platform, we offer access to low cost index mutual funds and ETFs. Individuals investing for retirement through 401(k) plans can take advantage of bundled offerings of multiple investment choices, education, and third-party advice. This third-party advice service is delivered online, by phone, or in person, including recommendations based on the core investment fund choices in their retirement plan and specific recommended savings rates. Services also include support for Roth 401(k) accounts, profit sharing, and defined benefit plans.

Lastly, the Mutual Fund Clearing Services business unit provides open-end mutual fund trading, settlement, and related transactional services to banks, brokerage firms, and trust companies, and the Off-Platform Sales business unit offers proprietary mutual funds, ETFs, and collective trust funds (CTFs) outside the Company and not on the Schwab platform. They are included within the Investor Services segment given their leveraging of the products and services offered to individual investors.

Advisor Services

More than thirty years ago, Schwab supported a small group of entrepreneurial advisors who challenged the industry by creating independent firms. Through the Advisor Services segment, Schwab has become one of the largest providers of custodial, trading, banking, and support services to RIAs and their clients. We also provide retirement business services to independent retirement advisors and recordkeepers. Management believes that we can maintain our market position primarily through the efforts of our sales, support, technology, and business consulting service teams, which are dedicated to helping RIAs grow, compete, and succeed in serving their clients. In addition to focusing on superior service, we utilize technology to provide RIAs with a highly-developed, scalable platform for administering their clients’ assets easily and efficiently. Advisor Services sponsors and hosts a variety of national, regional, local, and virtual events designed to help RIAs of all sizes and complexities identify and implement better ways to expand and efficiently manage their practices.

RIAs who custody client accounts at Schwab may use proprietary software that provides them with up-to-date client account information as well as trading capabilities. The Advisor Services website is the core platform for RIAs to conduct daily business activities online with Schwab, including viewing and managing client account information and accessing news and market information. The website provides account servicing capabilities for RIAs, including account opening, money movement, transfer of assets, trading, checking status, and communicating with our service team. The site provides multi-year archiving of statements, trade confirms, and tax reports, along with document search capabilities. We also provide access to integrations with third-party platforms, which support a variety of advisor needs including client relationship management, portfolio management systems, trade order management, and financial planning. In early 2019, we released Schwab Advisor Portfolio Connect®, a simplified portfolio management solution that is available free of charge to advisors to manage Schwab accounts. It delivers core capabilities and features through an intuitive modern experience, without the need to download and reconcile data.

The Advisor Services website also provides interactive tools, educational content, and thought leadership for advisors turning independent. We offer a variety of services to help RIAs grow and manage their practices, including business, technology, and operations consulting on a range of topics critical to an RIA’s success, as well as an annual RIA benchmarking study to help firms understand key business metrics relative to peers. We also offer an array of services to help advisors establish their own independent practices through a robust prospect consulting offer. To support them throughout their transition, we offer access to business start-up and transition consultants, technology engineers, and dedicated service teams.

Schwab provides extensive educational materials, programs, and events to RIAs seeking to expand their knowledge of industry issues and trends, as well as sharpen their individual expertise and practice management skills. We conduct industry research on an ongoing basis, and hold a series of events and conferences every year to discuss topics of interest to RIAs, including business strategies and best practices. Schwab sponsors and hosts the annual IMPACT® conference, which provides a national forum for the Company, RIAs, and other industry participants to gather and share information and insights, as well as a multitude of smaller events across the country each year.

RIAs and their clients have access to our broad range of products and services, including individual securities, mutual funds, ETFs, fixed income products, managed accounts, cash products, bank lending, and trust services. By functioning as the custodian, Schwab earns revenue associated with the underlying client assets, predominantly through net interest revenue and asset management and administration fees. In this capacity, we do not charge the RIA or end client a custody fee.

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For RIAs on the TD Ameritrade Institutional platform, TD Ameritrade’s thinkpipes® trading platform offers a multitude of features, including real-time charting and efficient trading and allocation. The Company intends to integrate thinkpipes into its ongoing offerings. The Company also plans to retain TD Ameritrade Institutional’s customizable portfolio rebalancing solution iRebal® as part of its offering for RIA clients.

The Advisor Services segment also includes the Retirement Business Services and Corporate Brokerage Retirement Services business units. Retirement Business Services provides trust, custody, and retirement business services to independent retirement plan advisors and independent recordkeepers. Retirement plan assets are held at Charles Schwab Trust Bank (Trust Bank). The Company and independent retirement plan providers work together to serve plan sponsors, combining the consulting and administrative expertise of the administrator with our investment, technology, trust, and custodial services. Retirement Business Services also offers the Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account®, a self-directed brokerage offering for retirement plans.

Corporate Brokerage Retirement Services serves plan sponsors, advisors, and independent recordkeepers seeking a brokerage-based account to hold retirement plan assets. Retirement plans held at Schwab are either self-trusteed or trusteed by a separate, independent trustee. Corporate Brokerage Retirement Services also offers the Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account®, and the Company Retirement Account, both of which are self-directed brokerage-based solutions designed to hold the assets of company-sponsored retirement plans.

Regulation

As a participant in the securities, banking and financial services industries, Schwab is subject to extensive regulation under both federal and state laws by governmental agencies, supervisory authorities, and self-regulatory organizations (SROs). We are also subject to oversight by regulatory bodies in other countries in which we operate. These regulations affect our business operations and impose capital, client protection, and market conduct requirements.

Holding Company and Bank Regulation

CSC is a savings and loan holding company and is regulated, supervised, and examined by the Federal Reserve. CSC’s three depository institution subsidiaries are CSB, CSC’s principal depository institution subsidiary, Charles Schwab Premier Bank, SSB (CSPB), and Trust Bank. On March 20, 2020, CSB and CSPB converted from federal savings associations headquartered in Henderson, Nevada to Texas-chartered savings banks headquartered in Westlake, Texas. Trust Bank is a Nevada-chartered savings bank headquartered in Henderson, Nevada. CSB and CSPB are currently regulated, supervised, and examined by the Federal Reserve, the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the FDIC. Trust Bank is currently regulated, supervised and examined by the Nevada Financial Institutions Division, CFPB, and the FDIC. CSC, CSB, CSPB, and Trust Bank are also subject to regulation and various requirements and restrictions under state and other federal laws.

This regulatory framework is designed to protect depositors and consumers, the safety and soundness of depository institutions and their holding companies, and the stability of the banking system as a whole. This framework affects the activities and investments of CSC and its subsidiaries and gives the regulatory authorities broad discretion in connection with their supervisory, examination and enforcement activities and policies. Below is a discussion of significant regulations.

Regulatory Capital and Liquidity Framework

Banking organizations are subject to the regulatory capital rules issued by the Federal Reserve and other U.S. banking regulators, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the FDIC. In addition to minimum risk-based capital requirements, banking organizations must hold additional capital, referred to as buffers, to avoid being subject to limits on capital distributions and discretionary bonus payments to executive officers.

In October 2019, the Federal Reserve, OCC, and FDIC jointly adopted a final rule which became effective on December 31, 2019 (interagency regulatory capital and liquidity rules) that revised the regulatory capital and liquidity requirements for large U.S. banking organizations with $100 billion or more in total consolidated assets. The rules established four risk-based categories for determining the regulatory capital and liquidity requirements applicable to these institutions based on their total assets, cross-jurisdictional activity, weighted short-term wholesale funding, nonbank assets, and off-balance sheet exposure. CSC is subject to the requirements under Category III based on its total consolidated assets of between $250 billion and less than $700 billion and having less than $75 billion in cross-jurisdictional activity. As of December 31, 2020, CSC had total consolidated assets of $549 billion.
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Capital requirements for Category III banking organizations include the generally applicable risk-based capital and Tier 1 leverage ratio requirements (the “standardized approach” framework), the minimum 3.0% supplementary leverage ratio, the countercyclical capital buffer, which is currently 0%, and for large bank holding companies, the stress capital buffer. As discussed below, starting in 2022, CSC, as a large savings and loan holding company will also become subject to the stress capital buffer requirement. Under the revised capital requirements, Category III organizations are not subject to the “advanced approaches” regulatory capital framework and are permitted to opt out of including accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) in their regulatory capital calculations. CSC made this opt out election, and commencing with the first quarter of 2020, now excludes AOCI from its regulatory capital.

As revised by the interagency regulatory capital and liquidity rules, Category III banking organizations with less than $75 billion in average weighted short-term wholesale funding, which includes CSC, and their depository institution subsidiaries with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets are subject to a reduced liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) rule requiring them to hold high quality liquid assets (HQLA) in an amount equal to at least 85% of their projected net cash outflows over a prospective 30-calendar-day period of acute liquidity stress, calculated on each business day. If an institution’s average weighted short-term wholesale funding over the four most recent quarters is $75 billion or more, it will be required to comply with the full LCR rule and hold HQLA in an amount equal to 100% of its projected 30-day net cash outflows and will also be subject to daily (instead of monthly) liquidity reporting. We anticipate that we will exceed the $75 billion threshold as of the quarter ended March 31, 2021, and will become subject to daily liquidity reporting on July 1, 2021, and the full LCR rule on October 1, 2021.

In October 2020, the Federal Reserve, OCC, and FDIC jointly adopted a final net stable funding ratio (NSFR) rule to strengthen the resilience of large bank and savings and loan holding companies by requiring them to maintain a minimum level of stable funding based on the liquidity characteristics of the holding company’s assets, commitments, and derivative exposures over a one-year time horizon. The requirement is expressed as a ratio of a banking entity’s available stable funding (ASF) to its required stable funding (RSF). Category III banking organizations with less than $75 billion in average weighted short-term wholesale funding, which includes CSC, and their depository institution subsidiaries with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets will be required to maintain ASF in an amount at least equal to 85% of its RSF on an ongoing, daily basis. The final NSFR rule becomes effective on July 1, 2021, and banking entities subject to the rule will be required to publicly disclose their quarterly NSFRs on a semi-annual basis beginning with the first and second quarters of 2023. While we will be subject to the reduced NSFR when the rule goes into effect on July 1, 2021, we anticipate that we will become subject to the full NSFR requirement on October 1, 2021.

Capital Stress Testing

In the final enhanced prudential standards rules adopted concurrently in October 2019 with the interagency regulatory capital and liquidity rules, the Federal Reserve revised the capital stress testing regime applicable to savings and loan holding companies and state-chartered member banks. Under the new Federal Reserve capital stress testing rules, savings and loan holding companies that are Category III banking organizations are required to conduct biennial company-run stress tests in even-numbered years beginning in 2020. In 2020, CSC conducted company-run stress tests, reported the results of its stress testing to the Federal Reserve, and voluntarily published a summary of its stress test results.

In its enhanced prudential standards rules, the Federal Reserve also made Category III savings and loan holding companies subject to an annual supervisory stress testing requirement in which the Federal Reserve conducts its own stress testing analysis to evaluate the ability of a holding company to absorb losses in specified economic and financial conditions over a nine-quarter planning horizon using such analytical techniques as the agency determines are appropriate. This supervisory stress testing requirement will go into effect for CSC beginning with the 2022 stress testing cycle. To implement this requirement, the Federal Reserve also expanded the reporting requirements applicable to savings and loan holding companies commencing in the second quarter of 2020.

In January 2021, the Federal Reserve adopted a new rule making savings and loan holding companies with total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more, including CSC, subject to an annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) process, which requires submission of an annual capital plan to the Federal Reserve. The rule also imposes a stress capital buffer requirement, floored at 2.5 percent of risk-weighted assets, that will replace CSC’s current 2.5 percent capital conservation buffer. The capital plan requirement will become effective for CSC with the 2022 CCAR cycle, and CSC’s initial stress capital buffer requirement will be based on its 2022 CCAR stress testing results.
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Additional Enhanced Prudential Standards

In addition to the revisions to the capital stress testing regime discussed above, the Federal Reserve’s enhanced prudential standards rules will also extend the applicability of certain additional enhanced prudential standards to large savings and loan holding companies, with the specific requirements tailored based on the same four-category framework utilized in the interagency regulatory capital and liquidity rules. These additional enhanced prudential standards, which have been applicable to large U.S. bank holding companies under section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), include: risk management and risk committee requirements; liquidity risk management, stress testing, and buffer requirements; and single counterparty credit limits. CSC will be required to comply with the new risk management and risk committee requirements, as well as the new liquidity risk-management, stress testing, and buffer requirements commencing on January 1, 2021. The new single counterparty credit limits will go into effect for CSC on January 1, 2022.

Insured Depository Institution Resolution Plans

The FDIC requires insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more to submit to the FDIC periodic plans providing for their resolution by the FDIC in the event of failure (resolution plans or so-called “living wills”) under the receivership and liquidation provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. Under this requirement, CSB has been required to file with the FDIC a periodic resolution plan demonstrating how the bank could be resolved in an orderly and timely manner in the event of receivership such that the FDIC would be able to: ensure that the bank’s depositors receive access to their deposits within one business day; maximize the net present value of the bank’s assets when disposed of; and minimize losses incurred by the bank’s creditors. In April 2019, the FDIC imposed a moratorium on resolution plan submissions. More recently, in January 2021, the FDIC announced that it will resume requiring resolution plan submissions for insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more. The FDIC also indicated that it would provide at least 12 months’ notice before firms must submit new resolution plans.

As a savings and loan holding company, CSC is not subject to any separate holding company resolution plan requirement.

Consumer Financial Protection

The CFPB has broad rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement authority for a wide range of federal consumer protection laws relating to financial products. The CFPB has examination and primary enforcement authority over depository institutions with $10 billion or more in consolidated total assets.

Deposit Insurance Assessments

The FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) provides insurance coverage for certain deposits, generally up to $250,000 per depositor per account ownership type, and is funded by quarterly assessments on insured depository institutions. The FDIC uses a risk-based deposit premium assessment system that, for large insured depository institutions with at least $10 billion in total consolidated assets, uses a scorecard method based on a number of factors, including the institution’s regulatory ratings, asset quality and brokered deposits. The deposit insurance assessment base is calculated as average consolidated total assets minus average tangible equity.

Brokered Deposits

In December 2020, the FDIC adopted amendments to its brokered deposits rule to establish a new framework for determining whether deposits made through arrangements between third parties and depository institutions constitute brokered deposits and more specifically to clarify the circumstances under which broker-dealers that place deposits with depository institutions through brokerage sweep arrangements such as CS&Co and TDAC will qualify for the “primary purpose exception” from the definition of a deposit broker. Under the new framework, the FDIC establishes a new “25 percent” business relationship designated exception where a broker-dealer or other third party may qualify for the primary purpose exception by filing a notice with the FDIC indicating that less than 25 percent of its customer assets under administration for a particular business line are placed at depository institutions. The FDIC’s brokered deposit rule amendments becomes effective on April 1, 2021. CSC anticipates that under the new framework funds swept by CS&Co to CSB and Schwab’s other depository institution subsidiaries will continue to qualify for the primary purpose exception, and that funds swept by TDAC under its bank sweep program will become eligible for the primary purpose exception.
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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION

Community Reinvestment Act

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA) requires the primary federal bank regulatory agency for each of Schwab’s depository institution subsidiaries to assess the subsidiary’s record in meeting the credit needs of the communities served by the bank, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and persons. Institutions are assigned one of four ratings (“outstanding,” “satisfactory,” “needs to improve,” or “substantial noncompliance”). The failure of an institution to receive at least a “satisfactory” rating could inhibit the institution or its holding company from undertaking certain activities, including acquisitions or opening branch offices.

Source of Strength

The Dodd-Frank Act codified the Federal Reserve’s long-held position that a depository institution holding company must serve as a source of financial strength for its subsidiary depository institutions, the so-called “source of strength doctrine.” In effect, the holding company may be compelled to commit resources to support the subsidiary in the event the subsidiary is in financial distress.

Broker-Dealer, FCM, FDM, and Investment Advisor Regulation

Our principal broker-dealer subsidiaries, CS&Co, TD Ameritrade, Inc., and TDAC, are each registered as a broker-dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. CS&Co, TD Ameritrade, Inc., CSIM, and certain of our other subsidiaries are registered as investment advisors with the SEC. CS&Co is also registered as an FCM with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex LLC (TDAFF) is registered as an FCM and FDM with the CFTC.

Much of the regulation of broker-dealers has been delegated to SROs. Our principal broker-dealers are each a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). In addition, CS&Co is a member of Nasdaq Stock Market, Cboe EDGX and MEMX and TDAC is a member of NYSE Arca, Nasdaq Stock Market, Cboe EDGX and MEMX. In addition to the SEC, the primary regulators of our principal broker-dealers are FINRA and, for municipal securities, the MSRB. The National Futures Association (NFA) is the primary regulator for CS&Co’s and TDAFF’s futures and commodities trading activities and TDAFF’s forex trading activities.

The principal purpose of regulating these entities is the protection of clients and securities markets. The regulations cover all aspects of the securities business, including, among other things, sales and trading practices, publication of research, margin lending, uses and safekeeping of clients’ funds and securities, capital adequacy, recordkeeping and reporting, fee arrangements, disclosure to clients, fiduciary duties, and the conduct of directors, officers, and employees.

Our principal broker-dealer entities are subject to Rule 15c3-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Uniform Net Capital Rule) and related SRO requirements. The CFTC and NFA also impose net capital requirements. The Uniform Net Capital Rule specifies minimum capital requirements intended to ensure the general financial soundness and liquidity of broker-dealers. CSC itself is not a registered broker-dealer and it is not subject to the Uniform Net Capital Rule. If CS&Co fails to maintain specified levels of net capital, such failure could constitute a default by CSC of certain debt covenants under its credit agreement.

The Uniform Net Capital Rule prohibits broker-dealers from paying cash dividends, making unsecured advances or loans or repaying subordinated loans if such payment would result in a net capital amount of less than 5% of aggregate debit balances or less than 120% of its minimum dollar requirement.

In addition to net capital requirements, as a self-clearing broker-dealer, CS&Co, and as a clearing broker-dealer, TDAC, are subject to cash deposit and collateral requirements with clearing houses, such as the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation and Options Clearing Corporation, which may fluctuate significantly from time to time based upon the nature and size of clients’ trading activity and market volatility.

As a result of our operations in countries outside the U.S., we are also subject to rules and regulations issued by certain foreign authorities, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in Singapore.

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Financial Services Regulation

Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 and USA PATRIOT Act of 2001

CSC and its subsidiaries that conduct financial services activities are subject to the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (BSA), as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, which requires financial institutions to develop and implement programs reasonably designed to achieve compliance with these regulations. The BSA and USA PATRIOT Act include a variety of monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements (such as currency transaction reporting and suspicious activity reporting), as well as identity verification and client due diligence requirements which are intended to detect, report and/or prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In addition, CSC and various subsidiaries of the Company are subject to U.S. sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Human Capital

We believe that hiring people who share our corporate purpose of helping clients achieve their financial goals is an essential element of executing our ‘Through Clients’ Eyes’ strategy, and we seek to attract, retain, and motivate the talent Schwab needs to successfully serve our clients and grow our business. As of December 31, 2020, Schwab had full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, and persons employed on a contract basis, that represented the equivalent of approximately 32,000 full-time employees.

Schwab offers a compensation package that rewards both employee and company performance. The package encompasses an array of compensation components in addition to base pay including performance-based incentive pay, equity awards, recognition awards, and a range of health and wellness benefits. We also offer benefits and resources designed to help our employees achieve their financial goals, including a 401(k) plan, an employee stock purchase plan, financial planning consultations, and disability and life insurance options. In addition, Schwab offers programs to help with employee career growth including development and leadership programs as well as reimbursement for qualified business-related education and training. We also encourage and empower employees to volunteer in the communities where we live and work, offering paid time off for every employee to volunteer in his or her community.

We know that through workplace diversity, we gain a wider range of perspectives and experiences, which supports our strategy and helps us better serve our clients. We focus on attracting a diversity of talent by maintaining a strong employer brand and expanding where and how we meet prospective employees. We recruit from underrepresented communities through targeted campus recruiting, scholarship programs, and partnerships with professional organizations. We also offer coaching programs for college students from underrepresented communities to help develop career skills and learn about internship and career opportunities at Schwab. For Schwab employees, we support a number of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) which are employee-driven and provide support, leadership development opportunities, and connection to our diverse marketplace. Our ERGs are made up of employees who share characteristics or life experiences and are committed to enhancing diversity and inclusion at Schwab. Additionally, our leaders are explicitly responsible for creating an environment where all people can do their best work, and for fostering the development of high-performance teams that recognize the value of diverse perspectives, skills and backgrounds. We regularly request feedback from our employees through surveys.

Available Information

Schwab files annual, quarterly, and current reports, proxy statements, and other information with the SEC. The SEC filings are available to the public over the internet on the SEC’s website at https://www.sec.gov.

On our website, https://www.aboutschwab.com, we post the following filings after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC: annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In addition, the website also includes the Dodd-Frank Act stress test results, our regulatory capital disclosures based on Basel III, and our quarterly average LCR.

All such filings are available free of charge either on our website or by request via email (investor.relations@schwab.com), or mail (Charles Schwab Investor Relations at 211 Main Street, San Francisco, CA 94105).


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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Item 1A.     Risk Factors

We face a variety of risks that may affect our operations, financial results, or stock price and many of those risks are driven by factors that we cannot control or predict. The following discussion addresses those risks that management believes are the most significant, although there may be other risks that could arise, or may prove to be more significant than expected, that may affect our operations or financial results.

For a discussion of our risk management governance and processes, including operational risk, compliance risk, credit risk, market risk, and liquidity risk, see Risk Management and Capital Management in Part II, Item 7.

General Economic and Market Risks

The challenging economic environment triggered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted and will continue to impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

The COVID‑19 pandemic has adversely impacted the economic environment, leading to lower interest rates across the curve and heightened volatility in the financial markets. These developments have had, and may continue to have, a negative impact on our net interest revenue, bank deposit account fee revenue, and asset management and administration fees. Additionally, in March 2020, we experienced a significant increase in client cash balances held at our bank and broker-dealer subsidiaries which caused our Tier 1 Leverage Ratio to decline into the buffer we maintain between our long-term operating objective and our regulatory requirement. This will limit our ability to return excess capital to stockholders, including through share repurchases, until the ratio returns to higher levels.

Credit markets have been, and may continue to be, adversely impacted due to both uncertainty regarding the pandemic’s economic impact and the anticipation that high levels of unemployment will have a significant impact on retail credit and commercial real estate forbearances and delinquencies. We have experienced and may continue to experience higher levels of delinquencies on our portfolios of first mortgages and home equity lines of credit. We also have experienced and may in the future experience material market-driven credit spread movements in certain sectors within our portfolio of investment securities, particularly within our investments in corporate credit securities, asset-backed securities, municipal securities, and commercial mortgage-backed securities.

Certain of our client service response and processing times have increased as a result of very high levels of client engagement and our clients have experienced and continue to occasionally experience delays accessing and using our website and mobile applications. Many of our employees and those of our outsourced service providers are working remotely and this has at times contributed to the increase in response and processing times, particularly when we have experienced the temporary loss of services from some of our outsourced service providers. We consider service quality to be an important part of the client experience and our failure to meet client expectations could result in decreased client satisfaction. The COVID-19 pandemic could make the timely achievement of our TD Ameritrade integration milestones more challenging, particularly with regard to technology and systems.

These and other impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic have had and will likely continue to have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section. The extent to which the COVID‑19 pandemic, or the emergence of another wide-spread health crisis, impacts our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain, including the scope and duration of the outbreak, actions taken by governmental authorities to contain the financial and economic impact and the spread of the outbreak, the effect on our clients, employees, and outsourced service providers, further changes in credit quality and spreads, and reactions in the financial markets.

Developments in the business, economic, and geopolitical environment could negatively impact our business.

Our business can be adversely affected by the general environment – economic, corporate, securities market, regulatory, and geopolitical developments all play a role in client asset valuations, trading activity, interest rates, and overall investor engagement, and are outside of our control. Deterioration in the housing and credit markets, reduction in interest rates, and decreases in securities valuations negatively impact our results of operations and capital resources.

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The monetary policies of the Federal Reserve, which regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States, have a significant effect on our operating results. Actions taken by the Federal Reserve, including changes in its target funds rate and balance sheet management, are difficult to predict and can affect our net interest revenue and bank deposit account fees. These policies could also have implications for clients’ allocation to cash; higher or lower client cash balances have an impact on our capital requirements as well as liquidity implications if such changes in allocation are sudden.

A significant change in client cash allocations could negatively impact our income.

We rely heavily on client cash balances to generate revenue. Cash awaiting investment in a portion of our client brokerage accounts is swept to our banking subsidiaries and those bank deposits are then used to extend loans to clients and purchase investment securities. We also sweep a portion of such cash pursuant to the IDA agreement which requires us to maintain a minimum IDA sweep balance. A significant reduction in our clients’ allocation to cash, a change in the allocation of that cash, or a transfer of cash away from the Company, could reduce our income.
Significant interest rate changes could affect our profitability.

The direction and level of interest rates are important factors in our earnings. A decline in interest rates may have a negative impact on our net interest revenue and our bank deposit account fee revenue. A low interest rate environment may also have a negative impact on our asset management and administration fee revenues when we have to waive a portion of our management fees for certain Schwab-sponsored money market mutual funds in order to continue providing a positive return to clients. The significant reduction in interest rates related to the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a negative impact on our revenue related to interest rates and has caused us to waive management fees for certain funds.

Although we believe we are positioned to benefit from a rising interest rate environment, a rise in interest rates may cause our funding costs to increase if market conditions or the competitive environment induces us to raise our interest rates to avoid losing deposits, or replace deposits with higher cost funding sources without offsetting increases in yields on interest-earning assets can reduce our net interest revenue.

The announced phase-out of LIBOR could negatively impact our net interest revenue and will continue to require significant operational work.

Certain securities in our investment portfolio and the floating rate loans we offer reference LIBOR as the benchmark rate to determine the applicable interest rate or payment amount. We also use LIBOR in many of our financial models, such as those used for capital stress testing, and to determine the dividend rates for certain of our series of preferred stock which begin to float in 2022 and later. If LIBOR is discontinued as announced, there will be uncertainty or differences in the calculation of the applicable interest rate or payment amount depending on the terms of the governing instruments and there will continue to be significant work required to transition to using the new benchmark rates and implement necessary changes to our systems and financial models. This could result in different financial performance for previously booked transactions and may impact our existing transaction data, products, systems, operations, and pricing processes. The calculation of interest rates under the replacement benchmarks could also impact our net interest revenue. In addition, LIBOR may perform differently during the phase-out period than in the past which could result in lower interest payments and a reduction in the value of certain securities in our investment portfolio.

Compliance Risks

Extensive regulation of our businesses may subject us to significant penalties or limitations on business activities.

As a participant in the securities, banking, and financial services industries, we are subject to extensive regulation under federal, state, and foreign laws by governmental agencies, supervisory authorities and SROs. The costs and uncertainty related to complying with such regulations continue to increase. These regulations affect our business operations and impose capital, client protection, and market conduct requirements on us as well as restrictions on the activities that we are allowed to conduct. We become subject to increasing regulatory scrutiny as we grow.

Regulators have broad discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities and examination policies and could prevent us from pursuing our business strategy. Regulators could also limit our ability to grow, including adding assets, launching new products, making acquisitions, and undertaking strategic investments. Our banking regulators could require CSC and/or our banking subsidiaries to hold more capital, increase liquidity, or limit their ability to pay dividends or CSC’s ability to repurchase or redeem shares.
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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Despite our efforts to comply with applicable legal requirements, there are a number of risks, particularly in areas where applicable laws or regulations may be unclear or where regulators could revise their previous guidance. Any enforcement actions or other proceedings brought by our regulators against us or our affiliates, officers or employees could result in fines, penalties, cease and desist orders, enforcement actions, suspension, disqualification or expulsion, or other disciplinary sanctions, including limitations on our business activities, any of which could harm our reputation and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

While we maintain systems and procedures designed to ensure that we comply with applicable laws and regulations, violations could occur. In addition, some legal/regulatory frameworks provide for the imposition of fines or penalties for noncompliance even though the noncompliance was inadvertent or unintentional and even though systems and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations were in place at the time. There may be other negative consequences resulting from a finding of noncompliance, including restrictions on certain activities. Such a finding may also damage our reputation and our relationships with our regulators and could restrict the ability of institutional investment managers to invest in our securities.

Legislation or changes in rules and regulations could negatively affect our business and financial results.

New legislation, rules, regulations and guidance, or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing federal, state, foreign and SRO rules, regulations and guidance, including changes relating to mutual funds, standards of conduct with clients, conflicts of interest, and regulatory treatment of deposit accounts, may directly affect our operations and profitability or our specific business lines. Our profitability could also be affected by rules and regulations that impact the business and financial communities generally, including changes to the laws governing taxation, electronic commerce, client privacy and security of client data. In addition, the rules and regulations could result in limitations on the lines of business we conduct, modifications to our business practices, more stringent capital and liquidity requirements, increased deposit insurance assessments or additional costs and could limit our ability to return capital to stockholders. These changes may also require us to invest significant management attention and resources to evaluate and make necessary changes to our compliance, risk management, treasury and operations functions.

Failure to meet capital adequacy and liquidity guidelines could affect our financial condition.

CSC, together with its banking, broker-dealer, and FCM/FDM subsidiaries, must meet certain capital and liquidity standards, subject to qualitative judgments by regulators about the adequacy of our capital and our internal assessment of our capital needs. The Uniform Net Capital Rule limits the ability of our broker-dealer entities to transfer capital to CSC and other affiliates. New regulatory capital, liquidity, capital planning, and stress testing requirements may limit or otherwise restrict how we utilize our capital, including paying dividends, stock repurchases, and redemptions, and may require us to increase our capital and/or liquidity or to limit our growth. Failure by either CSC or its banking subsidiaries to meet minimum capital requirements could result in certain mandatory and additional discretionary actions by regulators that, if undertaken, could have a negative impact on us. In addition, failure by CSC or our banking subsidiaries to maintain a sufficient amount of capital to satisfy their capital conservation buffer and countercyclical capital buffer requirements would result in restrictions on our ability to make capital distributions and discretionary cash bonus payments to executive officers. Any requirement that we increase our regulatory capital, replace certain capital instruments which presently qualify as Tier 1 Capital, or increase regulatory capital ratios or liquidity, could require us to liquidate assets, deleverage or otherwise change our business and/or investment plans, which may adversely affect our financial results. Issuing additional common stock would dilute the ownership of existing stockholders.

In January 2021, the Federal Reserve adopted a final rule, effective with the 2022 CCAR cycle, making large savings and loan holding companies, including CSC, subject to the CCAR process, which requires submission of an annual capital plan. The plan must include a description of all planned capital actions, including dividends or stock repurchases, over a nine-quarter planning horizon beginning with the first quarter of the calendar year the capital plan is submitted. The rule also imposes a stress capital buffer requirement, floored at 2.5 percent of risk-weighted assets, that will replace CSC’s current 2.5 percent capital conservation buffer for our risk-based capital ratios. The stress capital buffer will equal, as a percentage of total risk-weighted assets, the sum of (i) the difference between a firm’s starting common equity Tier 1 capital ratio and the low point under the severely adverse scenario of the Federal Reserve’s supervisory stress test plus (ii) the ratio of the firm’s projected four quarters of common stock dividends for the fourth through seventh quarters of the planning horizon to risk-weighted assets as projected under CCAR. The imposition of a stress capital buffer requirement could change the way in which our minimum risk-based capital ratios are calculated and make us subject to progressively more stringent constraints on capital actions if we approach our minimum ratios. This could lead to restrictions on our ability to pay or increase dividends or otherwise return capital to stockholders.
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If CSC reaches $700 billion in total assets or $75 billion in cross-jurisdictional activity, CSC will become subject to more stringent Category II requirements, including annual stress testing, the advanced approaches framework, and the inability to opt out of including AOCI in regulatory capital calculations. When CSC’s weighted short-term wholesale funding is $75 billion or more over the four most recent quarters, CSC will become subject to the full LCR rule and daily liquidity reporting and the full NSFR rule (which goes into effect July 1, 2021). CSC anticipates exceeding the $75 billion threshold as of March 31, 2021.

We are subject to litigation and regulatory investigations and proceedings and may not be successful in defending against claims or proceedings.

The financial services industry faces significant litigation and regulatory risks. We are subject to claims and lawsuits in the ordinary course of business, including arbitrations, class actions and other litigation, some of which include claims for substantial or unspecified damages. We are also the subject of inquiries, investigations, and proceedings by regulatory and other governmental agencies.

Litigation and arbitration claims include those brought by our clients and the clients of third party advisors whose assets are custodied with us. Claims from clients of third party advisors may allege losses due to investment decisions made by the third party advisors or the advisors’ misconduct. Litigation claims also include claims from third parties alleging infringement of their intellectual property rights (e.g., patents). Such litigation can require the expenditure of significant company resources. If we were found to have infringed on a third-party patent, or other intellectual property rights, we could incur substantial damages, and in some circumstances could be enjoined from using certain technology, or providing certain products or services.

Actions brought against us may result in settlements, awards, injunctions, fines, penalties or other results adverse to us, including reputational harm. Even if we are successful in defending against these actions, the defense of such matters may result in us incurring significant expenses. A substantial judgment, settlement, fine, or penalty could be material to our operating results or cash flows for a particular future period, depending on our results for that period. In market downturns and periods of heightened volatility, the volume of legal claims and amount of damages sought in litigation and regulatory proceedings against financial services companies have historically increased.

Operational Risk

Security breaches of our systems, or those of our clients or third parties, may subject us to significant liability and damage our reputation.
Our business involves the secure processing, storage, and transmission of confidential information about our clients and us. Information security risks for financial institutions are increasing, in part because of the use of the internet and mobile technologies to conduct financial transactions, and the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, activists, hackers and other external parties, including foreign state actors. Our systems and those of other financial institutions have been and will continue to be the target of cyber attacks, malicious code, computer viruses, ransomware, and denial of service attacks that could result in unauthorized access, misuse, loss or destruction of data (including confidential client information), account takeovers, unavailability of service or other events. Despite our efforts to ensure the integrity of our systems, we may not be able to anticipate or to implement effective preventive measures against all security breaches of these types, especially because the techniques used change frequently or are not recognized until launched, and because security attacks can originate from a wide variety of sources. Data security breaches may also result from non-technical means, for example, employee misconduct.

Given the high volume of transactions that we process, the large number of clients, counterparties and third-party service providers with which we do business and the increasing sophistication of cyber attacks, a cyber attack could occur and persist for an extended period of time before being detected. The extent of a particular cyber attack and the steps we may need to take to investigate the attack may not be immediately clear, and it may take a significant amount of time before an investigation is completed and full and reliable information about the attack is known. During such time we would not necessarily know the extent of the harm or how best to remediate it, and certain errors or actions could be repeated or compounded before they are discovered and remediated, all or any of which would further increase the costs and consequences of a cyber attack.
Security breaches, including breaches of our security measures or those of our third-party service providers or clients, could result in a violation of applicable privacy and other laws and could subject us to significant liability or loss that may not be
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covered by insurance, actions by our regulators, damage to our reputation, or a loss of confidence in our security measures which could harm our business. We may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures or to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures.

We also face risk related to external fraud involving the misappropriation and use of clients’ user names, passwords or other personal information to gain access to our clients’ financial accounts. This could occur from the compromise of clients’ personal electronic devices or as a result of a data security breach at an unrelated company where clients’ personal information is taken and then made available to fraudsters. Such risk has grown in recent years due to the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime and other external parties, including foreign state-sponsored parties. Losses reimbursed to clients under our guarantee against unauthorized account activity could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Technology and operational failures or errors could subject us to losses, litigation, regulatory actions, and reputational damage.

We must process, record and monitor a large number of transactions and our operations are highly dependent on the integrity of our technology systems and our ability to make timely enhancements and additions to our systems. System interruptions, errors or downtime can result from a variety of causes, including changes in client use patterns, technological failure, changes to our systems, linkages with third-party systems and power failures and can have a significant impact on our business and operations. Our systems are vulnerable to disruptions from human error, execution errors, errors in models such as those used for asset management, capital planning and management, risk management, stress testing and compliance, employee misconduct, unauthorized trading, external fraud, computer viruses, distributed denial of service attacks, cyber attacks, terrorist attacks, natural disaster, power outage, capacity constraints, software flaws, events impacting key business partners and vendors, and similar events. For example, we and other financial institutions have been the target of various denial of service attacks that have, in certain circumstances, made websites, mobile applications and email unavailable for periods of time. It could take an extended period of time to restore full functionality to our technology or other operating systems in the event of an unforeseen occurrence, which could affect our ability to process and settle client transactions. Moreover, instances of fraud or other misconduct might also negatively impact our reputation and client confidence in the Company, in addition to any direct losses that might result from such instances. Despite our efforts to identify areas of risk, oversee operational areas involving risk, and implement policies and procedures designed to manage these risks, there can be no assurance that we will not suffer unexpected losses, reputational damage or regulatory action due to technology or other operational failures or errors, including those of our vendors or other third parties.

While we devote substantial attention and resources to the reliability, capacity and scalability of our systems, extraordinary trading volumes, such as those that have recently occurred, could cause our computer systems to operate at unacceptably slow speeds or even fail, affecting our ability to process client transactions and potentially resulting in some clients’ orders being executed at prices they did not anticipate. For example, certain of our client service response and processing times have increased as a result of very high levels of client engagement and our clients have experienced, and continue to occasionally experience, delays accessing our systems during periods when there is an unusually high volume of client activity. Disruptions in service and slower system response times could result in substantial losses, decreased client satisfaction, reputational damage, and regulatory inquiries. We are also dependent on the integrity and performance of securities exchanges, clearing houses, market makers, dealers, and other intermediaries to which client orders are routed for execution and settlement. System failures and constraints and transaction errors at such intermediaries could result in delays and erroneous or unanticipated execution prices and cancelled orders, cause substantial losses for us and for our clients, and subject us to claims from our clients for damages, and cause reputational harm.
 
Our investment management operations may subject us to fiduciary or other legal liability for client losses.

Fund and trust management and administration are complex activities and include functions such as recordkeeping and accounting, security pricing, corporate actions, compliance with investment restrictions, daily net asset value computations, account reconciliations, and required distributions to fund shareholders. Failure to properly perform operational tasks, or the misrepresentation of our services and products could subject us to regulatory sanctions, penalties or litigation and result in reputational damage, liability to clients, and the termination of investment management or administration agreements and the withdrawal of assets under our management.

In the management and administration of funds and client accounts, we use quantitative models and other tools and resources to support investment decisions and processes, including those related to risk assessment, portfolio management, trading and hedging activities and product valuations. Errors in the design, function, or underlying assumptions used in these
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models and tools, particularly if we fail to detect the errors over an extended period, could subject us to claims of a breach of fiduciary duty and potentially large liabilities for make-whole payments, litigation, and/or regulatory fines.

We rely on outsourced service providers to perform key functions.

We rely on external service providers to perform certain key technology, processing, servicing, and support functions. These service providers face technology, operating, business, and economic risks, and any significant failures by them, including the improper use or disclosure of our confidential client, employee, or company information, could cause us to incur losses and could harm our reputation. An interruption in or the cessation of service by any external service provider as a result of systems failures, capacity constraints, financial difficulties, natural disasters, public health crises, political developments or for any other reason, and our inability to make alternative arrangements in a timely manner could disrupt our operations, impact our ability to offer certain products and services, and result in financial losses to us. As a result of certain stay at home restrictions related to the COVID -19 pandemic, we temporarily lost the services from some of our outsourced service providers which contributed to increased client service response and processing times. Switching to an alternative service provider may require a transition period and result in less efficient operations.

We rely on financial intermediaries to execute and settle client orders.

We rely on market makers, dealers, securities exchanges, clearing houses, and other financial intermediaries to execute and settle our clients’ orders. The unwillingness or inability of any of these parties to perform their usual functions coupled with the unavailability of alternative arrangements could result in our clients’ orders not getting executed or settled. This may be due to market volatility, uneconomic trading conditions, capacity constraints, financial constraints, system failures, unanticipated trading halts invoked by securities exchanges, market closures, or other reasons. Our inability to get client orders executed or settled because of the unwillingness or inability of these parties to perform their usual functions could result in client dissatisfaction and reputational harm and expose us to client claims for damages.

Liquidity Risk

A significant decrease in our liquidity could negatively affect our business as well as reduce client confidence in us.

Maintaining adequate liquidity is crucial to our business operations, including transaction settlement, custody requirements, and lending commitments, among other liquidity needs. We meet our liquidity needs primarily from working capital and cash generated by client activity as well as external financing. Fluctuations in client cash or deposit balances, as well as market conditions or changes in regulatory treatment of client deposits, may affect our ability to meet our liquidity needs. A reduction in our liquidity position could reduce client confidence in us, which could result in the transfer of client assets and accounts, or could cause us to fail to satisfy our liquidity requirements, including the LCR. In addition, if our broker-dealer or depository institution subsidiaries fail to meet regulatory capital guidelines, regulators could limit the subsidiaries’ operations or their ability to upstream funds to CSC, which could reduce CSC’s liquidity and adversely affect its ability to repay debt, pay dividends on CSC’s preferred stock, or return capital to common stockholders. In addition, CSC may need to provide additional funding to such subsidiaries.

Factors which may adversely affect our liquidity position include CS&Co and TDAC having temporary liquidity demands due to timing differences between brokerage transaction settlements and the availability of segregated cash balances, fluctuations in cash held in banking or brokerage client accounts, a dramatic increase in our lending activities (including margin, mortgage-related, and personal lending), increased capital requirements, changes in regulatory guidance or interpretations, other regulatory changes, or a loss of market or client confidence in us resulting in unanticipated withdrawals of client funds. As a member firm of securities and derivatives clearing houses, we are required to deposit cash, stock and/or government securities for margin requirements and to clearing funds. The margin requirements may fluctuate significantly from time to time based upon the nature and size of clients’ trading activity and market volatility. For example, as a result of recent market volatility the National Securities Clearing Corporation increased margin requirements for member firms and we were required to deposit additional funds. Clearing houses could also require additional funds from member firms if a clearing member defaults on its obligations to the clearing house in an amount larger than its own margin and clearing fund deposits.

When available cash is not sufficient for our liquidity needs, we may seek external financing. During periods of disruptions in the credit and capital markets, potential sources of external financing could be reduced, and borrowing costs could increase. Although CSC, CS&Co, and TDAC maintain committed and uncommitted, unsecured bank credit lines and CSC has a commercial paper issuance program, as well as a universal shelf registration statement filed with the SEC which can
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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
be used to sell securities, financing may not be available on acceptable terms or at all due to market conditions or disruptions in the credit markets. In addition, a significant downgrade in the Company’s credit ratings could increase its borrowing costs and limit its access to the capital markets.

Credit Risk

We may suffer significant losses from our credit exposures.

Our businesses are subject to the risk that a client, counterparty or issuer will fail to perform its contractual obligations, or that the value of collateral held to secure obligations will prove to be inadequate. While we have policies and procedures designed to manage this risk, the policies and procedures may not be fully effective. Our exposure mainly results from margin lending, clients’ options and futures trading, securities lending, mortgage lending, pledged asset lending, our role as a counterparty in financial contracts and investing activities, and indirectly from the investing activities of certain of the proprietary funds we sponsor.

When clients purchase securities on margin, borrow on lines of credit collateralized by securities, or trade options or futures, we are subject to the risk that clients may default on their obligations when the value of the securities and cash in their accounts falls below the amount of clients’ indebtedness. Abrupt changes in securities valuations and the failure of clients to meet margin calls could result in substantial losses, especially if there is a lack of liquidity. As a result of our TD Ameritrade acquisition, our margin, options and futures business has materially increased and market liquidity may represent an increased risk.

We have exposure to credit risk associated with our investments. Those investments are subject to price fluctuations. Loss of value of securities can negatively affect earnings if management determines that such loss of value has resulted from a credit loss. The evaluation of whether a credit loss exists is a matter of judgment, which includes the assessment of multiple factors. If management determines that a security’s decline in fair value is the result of a credit loss, an allowance for credit losses on the security will be recorded and a corresponding loss will be recognized in current earnings. Even if a decline in fair value of a security is not determined to have resulted from a credit loss, if we were ever forced to sell the security sooner than intended prior to maturity due to liquidity needs, we would have to recognize any unrealized losses at that time.
 
Our bank loans primarily consist of First Mortgages, HELOCs, and PALs. Increases in delinquency and default rates, housing and stock price declines, increases in the unemployment rate, and other economic factors, including from the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, can result in increases in allowances for credit losses and related credit loss expense, as well as write downs on such loans.

Heightened credit exposures to specific counterparties or instruments can increase our risk of loss. Examples include:

Large positions in financial instruments collateralized by assets with similar economic characteristics or in securities of a single issuer or industry;