Company Quick10K Filing
ServisFirst Bancshares
Price33.56 EPS2
Shares54 P/E17
MCap1,815 P/FCF18
Net Debt-1,047 EBIT238
TEV769 TEV/EBIT3
TTM 2019-09-30, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-02-26
10-Q 2020-09-30 Filed 2020-10-28
10-Q 2020-06-30 Filed 2020-07-31
10-Q 2020-03-31 Filed 2020-04-30
10-K 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-02-25
10-Q 2019-09-30 Filed 2019-10-29
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-07-30
10-Q 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-04-30
10-K 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-02-28
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-10-30
10-Q 2018-06-30 Filed 2018-07-31
10-Q 2018-03-31 Filed 2018-05-01
10-K 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-02-28
10-Q 2017-09-30 Filed 2017-10-31
10-Q 2017-06-30 Filed 2017-08-01
10-Q 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-05-02
10-K 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-02-28
10-Q 2016-09-30 Filed 2016-11-01
10-Q 2016-06-30 Filed 2016-08-02
10-Q 2016-03-31 Filed 2016-05-03
10-K 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-02-24
10-Q 2015-09-30 Filed 2015-11-03
10-Q 2015-06-30 Filed 2015-08-04
10-Q 2015-03-31 Filed 2015-05-05
10-K 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-03-03
10-Q 2014-09-30 Filed 2014-10-29
10-Q 2014-06-30 Filed 2014-07-30
10-Q 2014-03-31 Filed 2014-04-25
10-K 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-03-07
10-Q 2013-09-30 Filed 2013-10-30
10-Q 2013-06-30 Filed 2013-07-31
10-Q 2013-03-31 Filed 2013-05-01
10-K 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-03-12
10-Q 2012-09-30 Filed 2012-10-31
10-Q 2012-06-30 Filed 2012-07-31
10-Q 2012-03-31 Filed 2012-05-01
10-K 2011-12-31 Filed 2012-03-07
10-Q 2011-09-30 Filed 2011-11-01
10-Q 2011-06-30 Filed 2011-08-03
10-Q 2011-03-31 Filed 2011-05-03
10-K 2010-12-31 Filed 2011-03-08
10-Q 2010-09-30 Filed 2010-11-01
10-Q 2010-06-30 Filed 2010-08-03
10-Q 2010-03-31 Filed 2010-04-30
10-K 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-03-08
8-K 2020-11-16
8-K 2020-11-09
8-K 2020-11-06
8-K 2020-10-21
8-K 2020-10-19
8-K 2020-09-21
8-K 2020-09-08
8-K 2020-07-20
8-K 2020-06-15
8-K 2020-05-06
8-K 2020-04-23
8-K 2020-04-20
8-K 2020-03-16
8-K 2020-01-21
8-K 2019-11-04
8-K 2019-10-21
8-K 2019-10-21
8-K 2019-10-21
8-K 2019-09-16
8-K 2019-08-29
8-K 2019-07-15
8-K 2019-06-17
8-K 2019-05-01
8-K 2019-04-17
8-K 2019-04-15
8-K 2019-03-18
8-K 2019-02-07
8-K 2019-01-22
8-K 2018-12-17
8-K 2018-10-30
8-K 2018-10-17
8-K 2018-10-15
8-K 2018-09-17
8-K 2018-09-17
8-K 2018-08-15
8-K 2018-07-19
8-K 2018-06-18
8-K 2018-05-23
8-K 2018-05-15
8-K 2018-04-16
8-K 2018-03-21
8-K 2018-02-20
8-K 2018-02-09
8-K 2018-01-22

SFBS 10K Annual Report

Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Note 1.     Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Note 2.     Debt Securities
Note 3.     Loans
Note 4.     Foreclosed Properties
Note 5.     Premises and Equipment
Note 6.     Leases
Note 7.     Variable Interest Entities (VIES)
Note 8.     Deposits
Note 9.      Federal Funds Purchased
Note 10.     Other Borrowings
Note 12.      Derivatives
Note 13.     Employee and Director Benefits
Note 14.     Regulatory Matters
Note 15.     Other Operating Income and Expenses
Note 16.     Income Taxes
Note 17.      Commitments and Contingencies
Note 18.     Concentrations of Credit
Note 19.     Earnings per Common Share
Note 20.     Related Party Transactions
Note 21.     Fair Value Measurement
Note 22. Parent Company Financial Information
Note 23.     Quarterly Financial Data (Unaudited)
EX-23 ex_227829.htm
EX-24 ex_227830.htm
EX-31.1 ex_227831.htm
EX-31.2 ex_227832.htm
EX-32.1 ex_227833.htm
EX-32.2 ex_227834.htm

ServisFirst Bancshares Earnings 2020-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

sfbs20201231_10k.htm
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

logo.jpg

 

(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 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 001-36452

 

SERVISFIRST BANCSHARES, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

Delaware26-0734029
(State or Other Jurisdiction of (I.R.S. Employer
Incorporation or Organization)  Identification No.)

                              

2500 Woodcrest Place, Birmingham, Alabama 35209
(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

 

(205) 949-0302

(Registrant's Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

Trading symbol(s)

Name of exchange on which registered

Common stock, par value $.001 per share

SFBS

NASDAQ Global Select Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

(Title of Class)

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

Yes ☐ No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or 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,” “small 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 by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes ☒ No ☐

 

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

 

As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on a stock price of $35.76 per share of Common Stock, was $1,690,486,000.

 

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

 

ClassOutstanding as of February 19, 2021
Common stock, $.001 par value54,085,465

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this annual report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVISFIRST BANCSHARES, INC.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

FORM 10-K

 

DECEMBER 31, 2020

 

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS 4
   
PART I.

 

5
     

ITEM 1.

BUSINESS

5

ITEM 1A.

RISK FACTORS

25

ITEM 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

39

ITEM 2. 

PROPERTIES

39

ITEM 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

40

ITEM 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

40

     
PART II.  

40

     
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

40

ITEM 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

41

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

42

ITEM 7A.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

60

ITEM 8.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

62

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES

103

ITEM 9A.

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

103

ITEM 9B.

OTHER INFORMATION

104

     
PART III.  

104

     

ITEM 10.

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

104

ITEM 11.

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

104

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS 104
ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE 104

ITEM 14.

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

105

     
PART IV.  

105

     

ITEM 15.

EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

105

ITEM 16.

FORM 10-K SUMMARY

108

     
SIGNATURES

 

108

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This annual report on Form 10-K and other publicly available documents, including the documents incorporated by reference herein, contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). These “forward-looking statements” reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, future events and our financial performance. The words “may,” “plan,” “contemplate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “continue,” “expect,” “project,” “predict,” “estimate,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “will,” and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but other statements not based on historical information may also be considered forward-looking. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from any results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These statements should be considered subject to various risks and uncertainties, and are made based upon management’s belief as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management pursuant to “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such risks include, without limitation:

 

 

the global health and economic crisis precipitated by the COVID-19 outbreak;

 

the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on business practices including, without limitation, work from home and similar initiatives that may result in changes in the usage of commercial real estate;

 

the effects of adverse changes in the economy or business conditions, either nationally or in our market areas;

 

credit risks, including the deterioration of the credit quality of our loan portfolio, increased default rates and loan losses or adverse changes in our portfolio or in specific industry concentrations of our loan portfolio;

 

the effects of governmental monetary and fiscal policies and legislative, regulatory and accounting changes applicable to banks and other financial service providers, including the impact on us and our customers of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act;

 

the economic crisis and associated credit issues in industries most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, including but not limited to the restaurant, hospitality, travel and retail sectors;

 

the effects of hazardous weather in our markets;

 

the effects of competition from other financial institutions and financial service providers;

 

our ability to keep pace with technology changes, including with respect to cyber-security and preventing breaches of our and third-party security systems involving our customers and other sensitive and confidential data;

 

our ability to attract new or retain existing deposits, or to initiate new or retain current loans;

 

the effect of any merger, acquisition or other transaction to which we or any of our subsidiaries may from time to time be a party, including our ability to successfully integrate any business that we acquire;

 

the effect of changes in interest rates on the level and composition of deposits, loan demand and the values of loan collateral, securities and interest sensitive assets and liabilities;

 

the effects of terrorism and efforts to combat it;

 

the effects of force majeure events, including war, natural disasters, pandemics or other widespread disease outbreaks and other national or international crises;

 

an increase in the incidence or severity of fraud, illegal payments, security breaches or other illegal acts impacting our customers;

 

the increased regulatory and compliance burdens associated with our bank exceeding $10 billion in assets;

 

the results of regulatory examinations;

 

the effect of inaccuracies in our assumptions underlying the establishment of our loan loss reserves; and

 

other factors that are discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” in Item 1A.

 

The foregoing factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read together with the other cautionary statements included in this annual report on Form 10-K. If one or more events related to these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may differ materially from what we anticipate. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict which will arise. In addition, we cannot assess the impact of each factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.

 

 

4

 

PART I

 

Unless this Form 10-K indicates otherwise, the terms “we,” ”our,” “us,” “the Company,” “ServisFirst Bancshares” and “ServisFirst” as used herein refer to ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc., and its subsidiaries, including ServisFirst Bank, which sometimes is referred to as “our bank subsidiary,” “our bank” or “the Bank,” and its other subsidiaries. References herein to the fiscal years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 mean our fiscal years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively.

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

Overview

 

We are a bank holding company within the meaning of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 and are headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Through our wholly-owned subsidiary bank, we operate 21 full-service banking offices located in Jefferson, Shelby, Madison, Montgomery, Houston, Mobile and Baldwin Counties of Alabama, Escambia and Hillsborough Counties of Florida, Cobb and Douglas Counties of Georgia, Charleston County, South Carolina and Davidson County, Tennessee, which are located in the metropolitan statistical areas (“MSAs”) of Birmingham-Hoover, Huntsville, Montgomery, Dothan, Daphne-Fairhope-Foley and Mobile, Alabama, Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida, Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia, Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina and Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee. We also operate loan production offices in Columbus, Georgia, Sarasota, Florida, and Summerville, South Carolina. Through our bank, we originate commercial, consumer and other loans and accept deposits, provide electronic banking services, such as online and mobile banking, including remote deposit capture, deliver treasury and cash management services and provide correspondent banking services to other financial institutions.  As of December 31, 2020, we had total assets of approximately $11.9 billion, total loans of approximately $8.5 billion, total deposits of approximately $10.0 billion and total stockholders’ equity of approximately $992.9 million.

 

We operate our bank using a simple business model based on organic loan and deposit growth, generated through high quality customer service, delivered by a team of experienced bankers focused on developing and maintaining long-term banking relationships with our target customers. We utilize a uniform, centralized back office risk and credit platform to support a decentralized decision-making process executed locally by our regional chief executive officers. This decentralized decision-making process allows individual lending officers varying levels of lending authority, based on the experience of the individual officer. When the total amount of loans to a borrower exceeds an officer’s lending authority, further approval must be obtained by the applicable regional chief executive officer (G. Carlton Barker – Montgomery, Andrew N. Kattos – Huntsville, B. Harrison Morris, III – Dothan, Rex D. McKinney – Pensacola, W. Bibb Lamar, Jr. – Mobile, Thomas G. Trouche – Charleston, J. Harold Clemmer – Atlanta, Bradford A. Vieira – Nashville or Gregory W. Bryant – Tampa Bay) and/or our senior management team. Rather than relying on a more traditional retail bank strategy of operating a broad base of multiple brick and mortar branch locations in each market, our strategy focuses on operating a limited and efficient branch network with sizable aggregate balances of total loans and deposits housed in each branch office. We believe that this approach more appropriately addresses our customers’ banking needs and reflects a best-of-class delivery strategy for commercial banking services.

 

Our principal business is to accept deposits from the public and to make loans and other investments. Our principal sources of funds for loans and investments are demand, time, savings and other deposits and the amortization and prepayment of loans and borrowings. Our principal sources of income are interest and fees collected on loans, interest and dividends collected on other investments, and service charges. Our principal expenses are interest paid on savings and other deposits, interest paid on our other borrowings, employee compensation, office expenses and other overhead expenses.

 

Certain of our subsidiaries hold and manage participations in residential mortgages and commercial real estate loans originated by our bank in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, respectively, and have elected to be treated as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, for U.S. income tax purposes. Each of these entities is consolidated into the Company.

 

As a bank holding company, we are subject to regulation by the Federal Reserve. We are required to file reports with the Federal Reserve and are subject to regular examinations by that agency.

  

Business Strategy

 

We are a full service commercial bank focused on providing competitive products, state of the art technology and quality service. Our business philosophy is to operate as a metropolitan community bank emphasizing prompt, personalized customer service to the individuals and businesses located in our primary markets. We aggressively market to our target customers, which include privately held businesses generally with $2 million to $250 million in annual sales, professionals and affluent consumers whom we believe are underserved by the larger regional banks operating in our markets. We also seek to capitalize on the extensive relationships that our management, directors, advisory directors and stockholders have with the businesses and professionals in our markets.

 

5

 

Focus on Core Banking Business. We deliver a broad array of core banking products to our customers. While many large regional competitors and national banks have chosen to develop non-traditional business lines to supplement their net interest income, we believe our focus on traditional commercial banking products driven by a high margin delivery system is a superior method to deliver returns to our stockholders. We emphasize an internal culture of keeping our operating costs as low as practical, which we believe leads to greater operational efficiency. Additionally, our centralized technology and process infrastructure contribute to our low operating costs. We believe this combination of products, operating efficiency and technology make us attractive to customers in our markets. In addition, we provide correspondent banking services to more than 350 community banks located in 20 states throughout the United States. We provide a source of clearing and liquidity to our correspondent bank customers, as well as a wide array of account, credit, settlement and international services.

 

Commercial Bank Emphasis. We have historically focused on people as opposed to places. This strategy translates into a smaller number of brick and mortar branch locations relative to our size, but larger overall branch sizes in terms of total deposits. As a result, as of December 31, 2020, our branches averaged approximately $475.0 million in total deposits. In the more typical retail banking model, branch banks continue to lose traffic to other banking channels which may prove to be an impediment to earnings growth for those banks that have invested in large branch networks. In addition, unlike many traditional community banks, we place a strong emphasis on originating commercial and industrial loans, which comprised approximately 38.9% of our total loan portfolio as of December 31, 2020.

 

Scalable, Decentralized Business Model. We emphasize local decision-making by experienced bankers supported by centralized risk and credit oversight. We believe that the delivery by our bankers of in-market customer decisions, coupled with risk and credit support from our corporate headquarters, allows us to serve our borrowers and depositors directly and in person, while managing risk centrally and on a uniform basis. We intend to continue our growth by repeating this scalable model in each market in which we are able to identify a strong banking team. Our goal in each market is to employ the highest quality bankers in that market. We then empower those bankers to implement our operating strategy, grow our customer base and provide the highest level of customer service possible. We focus on a geographic model of organizational structure as opposed to a line of business model employed by most regional banks. This structure assigns significant responsibility and accountability to our regional chief executive officers, who we believe will drive our growth and success. We have developed a business culture whereby our management team, from the top down, is actively involved in sales, which we believe is a key differentiator from our competition.

 

Local decision making has impacted how we have managed our business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ability to use technology-based delivery channels to service our customers in a low-contact environment played an integral part in maintaining social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our regional executives were able to manage their banking operations in compliance with local shut-down orders. Our employees were able to work remotely as needed.

 

Additionally, our decentralized, local credit decision making coupled with our advanced technology-based delivery channels enabled us to offer our customers efficient and timely access to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans. We made over 4,900 PPP loans with an aggregate balance of approximately $1.05 billion during the year ended December 31, 2020.

 

Identify Opportunities in Vibrant Markets. Since opening our original banking facility in Birmingham in 2005, as of December 31, 2020, we had expanded into nine additional markets. Our focus has been to expand opportunistically when we identify a strong banking team in a market with attractive economic characteristics and market demographics where we believe we can achieve a minimum of $300 million in deposits within five years of market entry. There are two primary factors we consider when determining whether to enter a new market:

 

 

the availability of successful, experienced bankers with strong reputations in the market; and

 

 

the economic attributes of the market necessary to drive quality lending opportunities coupled with deposit-related characteristics of the potential market.

 

Prior to entering a new market, historically we have identified and built a team of experienced, successful bankers with market-specific knowledge to lead the bank’s operations in that market, including a regional chief executive officer. Generally, we or members of our senior management team are familiar with these individuals based on prior work experience and reputation, and strongly believe in the ability of such individuals to successfully execute our business model. We also often assemble a non-voting advisory board of directors in our markets, comprised of members representing a broad spectrum of business experience and community involvement in the market. We currently have advisory boards in each of the Huntsville, Montgomery, Dothan, Mobile, Pensacola, Nashville, Atlanta and Charleston markets.

 

6

 

In addition to organic expansion, we may seek to expand through targeted acquisitions.

 

Markets and Competition

 

Our primary markets are broadly defined as the MSAs of Birmingham-Hoover, Huntsville, Montgomery, Dothan, Daphne-Fairhope-Foley and Mobile, Alabama, Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia, Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina and Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee. We draw most of our deposits from, and conduct most of our lending transactions in, these markets.

 

According to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) reports, total deposits in each of our primary market areas have expanded from 2010 to 2020 (deposit data reflects totals as reported by financial institutions as of June 30th of each year) as follows:

 

   

2020

   

2010

   

Compound Annual Growth Rate

 
   

(Dollars in Billions)

 

Jefferson/Shelby County, Alabama

  $ 45.6     $ 22.6       7.27

%

Madison County, Alabama

    9.5       6.5       3.87

%

Montgomery County, Alabama

    7.6       4.6       5.15

%

Houston County, Alabama

    3.3       2.1       4.62

%

Mobile County, Alabama

    8.6       6.0       3.67

%

Baldwin County, Alabama

    5.4       3.2       5.37

%

Escambia County, Florida

    5.9       4.2       3.46

%

Hillsborough County, Florida

    38.0       21.4       5.91

%

Sarasota County, Florida

    16.8       11.8       3.60

%

Cobb County, Georgia

    18.2       9.5       6.72

%

Douglas County, Georgia

    2.1       1.4       4.14

%

Charleston County, South Carolina

    14.1       7.9       5.96

%

Davidson County, Tennessee

    50.2       20.8       9.21

%

 

Our bank is subject to intense competition from various financial institutions and other financial service providers. Our bank competes for deposits with other commercial banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions and issuers of commercial paper and other securities, such as money-market and mutual funds. In making loans, our bank competes with other commercial banks, savings and loan associations, consumer finance companies, credit unions, leasing companies, interest-based lenders and other lenders.

 

The following table illustrates our market share, by insured deposits, in our primary service areas at June 30, 2020 (the most recent date such numbers were reported by the FDIC), as reported by the FDIC:

 

Market

 

Number of Branches

   

Our Market Deposits

   

Total Market Deposits

   

Ranking

   

Market Share Percentage

 
   

(Dollars in Millions)

 

Alabama:

                                       

Birmingham-Hoover MSA

    3     $ 3,932.1     $ 52,063.5       4       7.55

%

Huntsville MSA

    2       1,065.2       10,457.9       3       10.19

%

Montgomery MSA

    2       906.1       9,400.9       4       9.64

%

Dothan MSA

    2       713.0       3,989.4       1       17.87

%

Mobile MSA

    1       403.8       8,758.2       8       4.61

%

Daphne-Fairhope-Foley MSA

    1       46.4       5,414.8       20       0.86

%

Florida:

                                       

Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent MSA

    2       545.6       7,629.0       6       7.15

%

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA

    1       325.4       101,248.1       30       0.32

%

Georgia:

                                       

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell MSA

    3       610.8       193,980.5       25       0.31

%

South Carolina:

                                       

Charleston-North Charleston MSA

    1       252.6       17,469.4       12       1.45

%

Tennessee:

                                       

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro MSA

    1       552.2       80,992.8       19       0.68

%

 

7

 

The following table illustrates the combined total deposits for all financial institutions in the counties in which we operate as a percent of the total of all deposits in each state at June 30, 2020, as reported by the FDIC:

 

Alabama

    61.8

%

Florida

    8.6

%

Georgia

    7.1

%

South Carolina

    13.4

%

Tennessee

    26.0

%

 

Our retail and commercial divisions operate in highly competitive markets. We compete directly in retail and commercial banking markets with other commercial banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, mortgage brokers and mortgage companies, mutual funds, securities brokers, consumer finance companies, other lenders and insurance companies, locally, regionally and nationally. Many of our competitors compete by using offerings by mail, telephone, computer and/or the Internet. Interest rates, both on loans and deposits, and prices of services are significant competitive factors among financial institutions generally. Providing convenient locations, desired financial products and services, convenient office hours, quality customer service, quick local decision making, a strong community reputation and long-term personal relationships are all important competitive factors that we emphasize.

 

In our markets, our five largest competitors are Regions Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, BBVA Compass, Truist and Synovus Bank. These institutions, as well as other competitors of ours, have greater resources, serve broader geographic markets, have higher lending limits, offer various services that we do not offer and can better afford, and make broader use of, media advertising, support services, and electronic technology than we can. To offset these competitive disadvantages, we depend on our reputation for greater personal service, consistency, flexibility and the ability to make credit and other business decisions quickly.

 

Lending Services

 

Commercial Loans

 

Our commercial lending activity is directed principally toward businesses and professional service firms whose demand for funds falls within our legal lending limits. We make loans to small- and medium-sized businesses in our markets for the purpose of upgrading plant and equipment, buying inventory and for general working capital. Typically, targeted business borrowers have annual sales generally between $2 million and $250 million. This category of loans includes loans made to individual, partnership and corporate borrowers, and such loans are obtained for a variety of business purposes. We offer a variety of commercial lending products to meet the needs of business and professional service firms in our service areas. These commercial lending products include seasonal loans, bridge loans and term loans for working capital, expansion of the business, or acquisition of property, plant and equipment. We also offer commercial lines of credit. The repayment terms of our commercial loans will vary according to the needs of each customer.

 

Our commercial loans usually are collateralized. Generally, collateral consists of business assets, including accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, or real estate. Collateral is subject to the risk that we may have difficulty converting it to a liquid asset if necessary, as well as risks associated with degree of specialization, mobility and general collectability in a default situation. To mitigate this risk, we underwrite collateral to strict standards, including valuations and general acceptability based on our ability to monitor its ongoing condition and value.

 

We underwrite our commercial loans primarily on the basis of the borrower’s cash flow, ability to service debt, and degree of management expertise. As a general practice, we take as collateral a security interest in any available real estate, equipment or personal property. Under limited circumstances, we may make commercial loans on an unsecured basis. Commercial loans may be subject to many different types of risks, including fraud, bankruptcy, economic downturn, deteriorated or non-existent collateral, and changes in interest rates. Perceived and actual risks may differ depending on the particular industry in which a borrower operates. General risks to an industry, such as an economic downturn or instability in the capital markets, or to a particular segment of an industry are monitored by senior management on an ongoing basis. When warranted, loans to individual borrowers who may be at risk due to an industry condition may be more closely analyzed and reviewed by the credit review committee or board of directors. Commercial and industrial borrowers are required to submit financial statements to us on a regular basis. We analyze these statements, looking for weaknesses and trends, and will assign the loan a risk grade accordingly. Based on this risk grade, the loan may receive an increased degree of scrutiny by management.

 

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Real Estate Loans

 

We make commercial real estate loans, construction and development loans and residential real estate loans.

 

Commercial Real Estate. Commercial real estate loans are generally limited to terms of five years or less, although payments are usually structured on the basis of a longer amortization. Interest rates may be fixed or adjustable, although rates generally will not be fixed for a period exceeding five years. In addition, we generally will require personal guarantees from the principal owners of the property supported by a review by our management of the principal owners’ personal financial statements.

 

Commercial real estate lending presents risks not found in traditional residential real estate lending. Repayment is dependent upon successful management and marketing of properties and on the level of expense necessary to maintain the property. Repayment of these loans may be adversely affected by conditions in the real estate market or the general economy. Also, commercial real estate loans typically involve relatively large loan balances to a single borrower. To mitigate these risks, we closely monitor our borrower concentration. These loans generally have shorter maturities than other loans, giving us an opportunity to reprice, restructure or decline renewal. As with other loans, all commercial real estate loans are graded depending upon strength of credit and performance. A higher risk grade will bring increased scrutiny by our management, the credit review committee and the board of directors.

 

Construction and Development Loans. We make construction and development loans both on a pre-sold and speculative basis. If the borrower has entered into an agreement to sell the property prior to beginning construction, then the loan is considered to be on a pre-sold basis. If the borrower has not entered into an agreement to sell the property prior to beginning construction, then the loan is considered to be on a speculative basis. Construction and development loans are generally made with a term of 12 to 36 months, with interest payable monthly. The ratio of the loan principal to the value of the collateral as established by independent appraisal typically will not exceed 80% of residential construction loans. Speculative construction loans will be based on the borrower’s financial strength and cash flow position. Development loans are generally limited to 75% of appraised value. Loan proceeds will be disbursed based on the percentage of completion and only after the project has been inspected by an experienced construction lender or third-party inspector. During times of economic stress, construction and development loans typically have a greater degree of risk than other loan types.

 

To mitigate the risk of construction loan defaults in our portfolio, the board of directors and management tracks and monitors these loans closely. Total construction loans increased $72.2 million to $593.6 million at December 31, 2020. There were $1.0 million in charge-offs on construction loans during 2020 and no charge-offs during 2019. The amount of construction loans rated as substandard decreased from $4.3 million at December 31, 2019 to $235,000 at December 31, 2020.

 

Residential Real Estate Loans. Our residential real estate loans consist primarily of residential second mortgage loans, residential construction loans and traditional mortgage lending for one-to-four family residences. We will originate fixed-rate mortgages with long-term maturities. The majority of our fixed-rate loans are sold in the secondary mortgage market. All loans are made in accordance with our appraisal policy, with the ratio of the loan principal to the value of collateral as established by independent appraisal generally not exceeding 85%. Risks associated with these loans are generally less significant than those of other loans and involve bankruptcies, economic downturn, customer financial problems and fluctuations in the value of real estate, and homes in our primary service areas may experience significant price declines in the future. We have not made and do not expect to make any “Alt-A” or subprime loans.

 

Consumer Loans

 

We offer a variety of loans to retail customers in the communities we serve. Consumer loans in general carry a moderate degree of risk compared to other loans. They are generally more risky than traditional residential real estate loans but less risky than commercial loans. Risk of default is usually determined by the well-being of the local economies. During times of economic stress, there is usually some level of job loss both nationally and locally, which directly affects the ability of the consumer to repay debt. Risk on consumer-type loans is generally managed through policy limitations on debt levels consumer borrowers may carry and limitations on loan terms and amounts depending upon collateral type.

 

Our consumer loans include home equity loans (open- and closed-end), vehicle financing, loans secured by deposits, and secured and unsecured personal loans. These various types of consumer loans all carry varying degrees of risk.

 

Commitments and Contingencies

 

As of December 31, 2020, we had commitments to extend credit beyond current amounts funded of $2.6 billion, had issued standby letters of credit in the amount of $66.2 million, and had commitments for credit card arrangements of $286.1 million. 

 

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Investments

 

In addition to loans, we purchase investments in securities, primarily in mortgage-backed securities and state and municipal securities. No investment in any of those instruments will exceed any applicable limitation imposed by law or regulation. Our board of directors reviews the investment portfolio on an ongoing basis in order to ensure that the investments conform to the policy as set by the board of directors. Our investment policy provides that no more than 60% of our total investment portfolio may be composed of municipal securities. All securities held are traded in liquid markets, and we have no auction-rate securities. We had no investments in any one security, restricted or liquid, in excess of 10% of our stockholders’ equity at December 31, 2020.

 

Deposit Services

 

We seek to establish solid core deposits, including checking accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts and a variety of certificates of deposit and IRA accounts. To attract deposits, we employ an aggressive marketing plan throughout our service areas that features a broad product line and competitive services. The primary sources of core deposits are residents of, and businesses and their employees located in, our market areas. We have obtained deposits primarily through personal solicitation by our officers and directors, through reinvestment in the community, and through our stockholders, who have been a substantial source of deposits and referrals. We make deposit services accessible to customers by offering direct deposit, wire transfer, night depository, banking-by-mail and remote capture for non-cash items. Our bank is a member of the FDIC, and thus our deposits (subject to applicable FDIC limits) are FDIC-insured.

 

Other Banking Services

 

Given client demand for increased convenience and account access, we offer a range of products and services, including 24-hour telephone banking, direct deposit, Internet banking, mobile banking, traveler’s checks, safe deposit boxes, attorney trust accounts and automatic account transfers. We also participate in a shared network of automated teller machines and a debit card system that our customers are able to use, and, in certain accounts subject to certain conditions, we rebate to the customer the ATM fees automatically after each business day. Additionally, we offer Visa® credit cards.

 

Asset, Liability and Risk Management

 

We manage our assets and liabilities with the aim of providing an optimum and stable net interest margin, a profitable after-tax return on assets and return on equity, and adequate liquidity. These management functions are conducted within the framework of written loan and investment policies. To monitor and manage the interest rate margin and related interest rate risk, we have established policies and procedures to monitor and report on interest rate risk, devise strategies to manage interest rate risk, monitor loan originations and deposit activity and approve all pricing strategies. We attempt to maintain a balanced position between rate-sensitive assets and rate-sensitive liabilities. Specifically, we chart assets and liabilities on a matrix by maturity, effective duration, and interest adjustment period, and endeavor to manage any gaps in maturity ranges.

 

Seasonality and Cycles

 

We do not consider our commercial banking business to be seasonal.

 

Supervision and Regulation

 

Both we and our bank are subject to extensive state and federal banking laws and regulations that impose restrictions on, and provide for general regulatory oversight of, our operations. These laws and regulations restrict our permissible activities and investments, impose conditions and requirements on the products and services we offer and the manner in which they are offered and sold, and require compliance with protections for loan, deposit, brokerage, fiduciary, and other customers, among other things. They also restrict our ability to repurchase stock or pay dividends, or to receive dividends from our bank subsidiary, and impose capital adequacy and liquidity requirements. These laws and regulations generally are intended to protect customers (including depositors), the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund and the banking system as a whole, and generally are not intended for the protection of stockholders or other investors. The consequences of noncompliance with these, or other applicable laws or regulations, can include substantial monetary and nonmonetary sanctions.

 

In addition, we are subject to comprehensive supervision and periodic examination by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the Alabama State Banking Department (the “Alabama Banking Department”), among other regulatory bodies. These examinations consider not only compliance with applicable laws, regulations and supervisory policies of the agency, but also capital levels, asset quality, risk management effectiveness, the ability and performance of management and the board of directors, the effectiveness of internal controls, earnings, liquidity and various other factors. We also will be subject to comprehensive supervision and periodic examination by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) with respect to most federal consumer protection laws if our total assets are greater than $10 billion for four consecutive quarters. Our total assets were greater than $10 billion at the end of the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2020, and we expect our total assets to be greater than $10 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2021. For that reason, we expect to be subject to comprehensive supervision and periodic examination by the CFPB after that date.

 

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The results of examination activity by any of our federal bank regulators potentially can result in the imposition of significant limitations on our activities and growth. These regulatory agencies generally have broad discretion to impose restrictions and limitations on the operations of a regulated entity and take enforcement action, including the imposition of substantial monetary penalties and nonmonetary requirements, against a regulated entity where the relevant agency determines, amount other things, that such operations fail to comply with applicable law or regulations or are conducted in an unsafe or unsound manner. This supervisory framework, including the examination reports and supervisory ratings (which are not publicly available) of the agencies, could materially impact the conduct, growth and profitability of our operations.

 

The following discussion describes select material elements of the regulatory framework that applies to us. The description is not intended to summarize all laws, regulations and supervisory policies applicable to us and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the statutes, regulations and supervisory policies described. Further, the following discussion addresses the select material elements of the regulatory framework as in effect as of the date of this annual report on Form 10-K. Legislation and regulatory action to revise federal and state banking laws and regulations, sometimes in a substantial manner, are continually under consideration by the U.S. Congress, state legislatures and federal and state regulatory agencies. Accordingly, the following discussion must be read in light of the enactment of any new federal or state banking laws or regulations or any amendment or repeal of existing laws or regulations, or any change in the policies of the regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over our operations, after the date of this annual report on Form 10-K.

Bank Holding Company Supervision and Regulation

 

Because we own all of the capital stock of the bank, we are a bank holding company under the federal Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHC Act”). As a result, we are primarily subject to the supervision, examination and reporting requirements of the BHC Act and the regulations of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”).

 

Acquisition of Banks

 

The BHC Act requires every bank holding company to obtain the Federal Reserve’s prior approval before:

 

 

acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of any voting shares of any bank if, after the acquisition, the bank holding company will, directly or indirectly, own or control more than 5% of the bank’s voting shares;

 

acquiring all or substantially all of the assets of any bank; or

 

merging or consolidating with any other bank holding company.

 

Additionally, the BHC Act provides that the Federal Reserve may not approve any of these transactions if such transaction would result in or tend to create a monopoly or substantially lessen competition or otherwise function as a restraint of trade, unless the anti-competitive effects of the proposed transaction are clearly outweighed by the public interest in meeting the convenience and needs of the community to be served. The Federal Reserve also is required to consider the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the bank holding companies and banks concerned and the convenience and needs of the community to be served. The Federal Reserve’s consideration of financial resources generally focuses on capital adequacy, which is discussed in the section below titled Supervision and Regulation—Bank Supervision and Regulation – Capital Adequacy” and the consideration of convenience and needs of the community to be served includes the institution’s performance under the Community Reinvestment Act.

 

Under the interstate banking and branching sections of the BHC Act, if adequately capitalized and adequately managed, we or any other bank holding company located in Alabama may purchase a bank located outside of Alabama. Conversely, an adequately capitalized and adequately managed bank holding company located outside of Alabama may purchase a bank located inside Alabama. In each case, however, restrictions may be placed on the acquisition of a bank that has only been in existence for a limited amount of time or will result in specified concentrations of deposits.

 

Change in Bank Control

 

Subject to various exceptions, the BHC Act and the Change in Bank Control Act, together with related regulations, require Federal Reserve approval prior to any person’s or company’s acquiring “control” of a bank holding company. Under a rebuttable presumption established by the Federal Reserve, the acquisition of 10% or more of a class of voting stock of a bank holding company would, under the circumstances set forth in the presumption, constitute acquisition of control of the bank holding company. In addition, any person or group of persons must obtain the approval of the Federal Reserve before acquiring 25% (5% in the case of an acquirer that is already a bank holding company) or more of the outstanding common stock of a bank holding company, or otherwise obtaining control or a “controlling influence” over the bank holding company.

 

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Permissible Activities Under the BHC Act

 

Under the BHC Act, a bank holding company is generally permitted to engage in or acquire direct or indirect control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any company engaged in the following activities:

 

 

banking or managing or controlling banks; and

 

any activity that the Federal Reserve determines to be so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident to the business of banking.

 

Activities that the Federal Reserve has found to be so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident to the business of banking include: factoring accounts receivable; making, acquiring, brokering or servicing loans and usual related activities; leasing personal property; operating a non-bank depository institution, such as a savings association; trust company functions; financial and investment advisory activities; certain agency securities brokerage activities; underwriting and dealing in government obligations and money market instruments; providing specified management consulting and counseling activities; performing selected data processing services and support services; acting as an agent or broker in selling credit life insurance and other types of insurance in connection with credit transactions; and performing selected insurance underwriting activities. Despite prior approval, the Federal Reserve may order a bank holding company or its subsidiaries to terminate any of these activities or to terminate its ownership or control of any subsidiary when it has reasonable cause to believe that the bank holding company’s continued ownership, activity or control constitutes a serious risk to the financial safety, soundness, or stability of it or any of its bank subsidiaries.

 

In addition to the permissible bank holding company activities listed above, a bank holding company may qualify and elect to become a financial holding company, permitting the bank holding company to engage in activities that are financial in nature or incidental or complementary to financial activity without posing a substantial risk to the safety and soundness of a depository institution or to the financial system generally. The BHC Act expressly lists the following activities as financial in nature: lending, trust and other banking activities; insuring, guaranteeing, or indemnifying against loss or harm, or providing and issuing annuities, and acting as principal, agent, or broker for these purposes, in any state; providing financial, investment, or advisory services; issuing or selling instruments representing interests in pools of assets permissible for a bank to hold directly; underwriting, dealing in or making a market in securities; other activities that the Federal Reserve may determine to be so closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks as to be a proper incident to managing or controlling banks; activities permitted outside of the United States if the Federal Reserve has determined them to be usual in connection with banking operations abroad; merchant banking through securities or insurance affiliates; and insurance company portfolio investments. For us to qualify to become a financial holding company, the bank and any other depository institution subsidiary of ours must be well-capitalized and well-managed and must have a Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) rating of at least “satisfactory”. Additionally, we must file an election with the Federal Reserve to become a financial holding company and must provide the Federal Reserve with 30 days written notice prior to engaging in a permitted financial activity. We have not elected to become a financial holding company at this time.

 

Support of Subsidiary Institutions

 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Act and Federal Reserve policy require a bank holding company to act as a source of financial strength to its bank subsidiaries and to take measures to preserve and protect its bank subsidiaries in situations where additional investments in a troubled bank may not otherwise be warranted. In addition, where a bank holding company has more than one bank or thrift subsidiary, each of the bank holding company’s subsidiary depository institutions is responsible for any losses to the FDIC as a result of an affiliated depository institution’s failure. As a result, a bank holding company may be required to loan money to a bank subsidiary in the form of subordinate capital notes or other instruments which qualify as capital under bank regulatory rules. However, any loans from the holding company to such subsidiary banks likely will be unsecured and subordinated to such bank’s depositors and perhaps to other creditors of the bank.

 

Repurchase or Redemption of Securities

 

A bank holding company is generally required to give the Federal Reserve prior written notice of any purchase or redemption of its own then-outstanding equity securities if the gross consideration for the purchase or redemption, when combined with the net consideration paid for all such purchases or redemptions during the preceding 12 months, is equal to 10% or more of the company’s consolidated net worth. The Federal Reserve may disapprove such a purchase or redemption if it determines that the proposal would constitute an unsafe and unsound practice, or would violate any law, regulation, Federal Reserve order or directive, or any condition imposed by, or written agreement with, the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve has adopted an exception to this approval requirement for well-capitalized bank holding companies that meet certain conditions.

 

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Bank Supervision and Regulation

 

Generally

 

The bank is an Alabama state-chartered bank and, as such, is subject to examination and regulation by the Alabama Banking Department. The bank is not a member of the Federal Reserve System but is subject to various regulations and requirements promulgated by the Federal Reserve, the CFPB, the Federal Trade Commission, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), and other federal regulatory agencies. State non-member banks are, in addition to regulation by the applicable state regulatory authority, subject to supervision and regular examination by the FDIC. The FDIC and the Alabama Banking Department regularly examine the bank’s operations and have the authority to approve or disapprove mergers, the establishment of branches and similar corporate actions. Both regulatory agencies have the power to prevent the development or continuance of unsafe or unsound banking practices or other violations of law. Additionally, the bank’s deposits are insured by the FDIC to the maximum extent provided by law. The extensive state and federal banking laws and regulations to which the bank is subject are generally intended to protect the bank’s customers (including depositors), the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund and the banking system as a whole, and generally is not intended for the protection of stockholders or other investors. The following discussion describes the material elements of the regulatory framework that applies to the bank.

 

Temporary Relief from Certain Asset-Based Regulatory Thresholds

 

On November 20, 2020, federal banking regulators jointly issued an interim final rule effective December 2, 2020 to provide temporary relief for community banking organizations with less than $10 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2019. The relief came in the form of an exemption from certain regulations and reporting requirements that those institutions would otherwise become subject to as a result of a growth in asset size caused by their participation in PPP and similar federal coronavirus response programs. The interim final rule permits qualifying banks and bank holding companies to use asset data as of December 31, 2019, in order to determine whether various regulatory asset thresholds apply during the calendar years of 2020 and 2021. It also temporarily revises the instructions to various Federal Reserve regulatory reports so that qualifying entities may use their December 31, 2019, asset data to determine reporting requirements for those reports in 2020 and 2021. This means that we and the bank may, through December 31, 2021, determine the applicability of certain asset-based regulatory thresholds using our asset data as of December 31, 2019, since our total assets as of that date were less than $10 billion.  In order to address certain limited instances in which regulatory burden relief would be inappropriate, federal banking regulators have reserved authority in their respective regulations to require a community banking organization to comply with a given regulatory requirement that would otherwise not be applicable to the organization pursuant to the relief provided by the interim final rule.

 

Two prominent regulatory requirements not included in the interim final rule are the Volcker Rule and the supervisory authority of the CFPB that is triggered once an organization attains $10 billion in assets. We discuss the applicability to us of the Volcker Rule and CFPB examination below.

 

Branching

 

Under current Alabama law, and subject to applicable FDIC rules and regulations, the bank may open branch offices throughout Alabama with the prior approval of the Alabama Banking Department. In addition, with prior regulatory approval, the bank may acquire branches of existing banks located in Alabama. While prior law imposed various limits on the ability of banks to establish new branches in states other than their home state, the Dodd-Frank Act allows a bank to branch into a new state by acquiring a branch of an existing institution or by setting up a new branch, without merging with an existing institution in the target state, if, under the laws of the state in which the branch is to be located, a bank chartered by that state would be permitted to establish the branch. This makes it much simpler for banks to open de novo branches in other states. We opened our initial offices in Pensacola, Florida, Nashville, Tennessee, Charleston, South Carolina, and Tampa Bay, Florida, using this mechanism.

  

FDIC Insurance Assessments

 

The bank’s deposits are insured by the FDIC to the full extent provided in the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and the bank pays assessments to the FDIC for that coverage. Under the FDIC’s risk-based deposit insurance assessment system, an insured institution’s deposit insurance premium is computed by multiplying the institution’s assessment base by the institution’s assessment rate. An institution's assessment base and assessment rate are determined each quarter.

 

An institution’s assessment base equals the institution’s average consolidated total assets during a particular assessment period, minus the institution’s average tangible equity capital (that is, Tier 1 capital) during such period. The method for determining an institution's risked-based assessment rate differs for small banks and large banks. Small banks (generally, those with less than $10 billion in assets over four consecutive quarters) are assigned an individual rate based on a formula using financial data and CAMELS ratings. Large banks (generally, those with $10 billion or more in assets over four consecutive quarters) are assigned an individual rate based on a scorecard. The scorecard combines the following measures to produce a score that is converted to an assessment rate: CAMELS component ratings, financial measures used to measure a bank's ability to withstand asset-related and funding-related stress, and a measure of loss severity that estimates the relative magnitude of potential losses to the FDIC in the event of the bank's failure. Assessment rates for both large and small banks are subject to adjustment. Assessment rates: (1) decrease for issuance of long-term unsecured debt, including senior unsecured debt and subordinated debt; (2) increase for holdings of long-term unsecured or subordinated debt issued by other insured banks (the Depository Institution Debt Adjustment or DIDA); and (3) for large banks that are not well-rated or not well-capitalized, increase for significant holdings of brokered deposits. The bank expects to become subject to the large bank scorecard methodology in the second quarter of 2021, and if that occurs, its assessment rate is likely to increase as a result.

 

In addition to its risk-based insurance assessments, the FDIC also imposed Financing Corporation (“FICO”) assessments to help pay the $780 million in annual interest payments on the $8 billion of bonds issued in the late 1980’s as part of the government rescue of the savings and loan industry. The last remaining FICO bonds matured in September 2019. The final FICO assessment was collected on the March 31, 2019 FDIC invoice and we do not expect any further FICO assessments to be made.

 

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The amount the bank pays to the FDIC in assessments is affected not only by the risk the bank poses to the Deposit Insurance Fund, but also by the adequacy of the fund to cover the risk posed by all insured institutions. From 2008 to 2013, the United States experienced an unusually high number of bank failures, resulting in significant losses to the Deposit Insurance Fund. Moreover, the Dodd-Frank Act permanently increased the standard maximum deposit insurance amount from $100,000 to $250,000, and raised the minimum required Deposit Insurance Fund reserve ratio (i.e., the ratio of the amount on reserve in the Deposit Insurance Fund to the total estimated insured deposits) from 1.15% to 1.35%. To support the Deposit Insurance Fund in response to those circumstances, the FDIC took several extraordinary actions, including imposing a one-time special assessment on insured institutions and requiring institutions to prepay quarterly assessments attributable to a three-year period. The FDIC also has established a higher long-term target Deposit Insurance Fund ratio of 2%. We cannot predict whether, as a result of an adverse change in economic conditions or other reasons, the FDIC will take similar extraordinary actions or otherwise increase deposit insurance assessment levels in the future. Any future increases could have a negative impact on our bank’s earnings.

 

On September 30, 2018, the Deposit Insurance Fund reserve ratio reached 1.36 percent. Banks with less than $10 billion in total assets received assessment credits for the portion of their assessments that grew the reserve ratio from 1.15% to 1.35 percent. The credit began to be applied when the reserve ratio exceeded a target 1.38 percent ratio. As the bank did not yet have $10 billion in total assets at the time of the assessment credits, we recognized a credit of $1.7 million during 2019 as a result of this credit.

 

The FDIC may terminate its insurance of an institution's deposits if it finds that the institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC.

 

Termination of Deposit Insurance

 

The FDIC may terminate its insurance of deposits of a bank if it finds that the bank has engaged in unsafe or unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC.

  

Liability of Commonly Controlled Depository Institutions

 

Under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, an FDIC-insured depository institution can be held liable for any loss incurred by, or reasonably expected to be incurred by, the FDIC in connection with (i) the default of a commonly controlled FDIC-insured depository institution or (ii) any assistance provided by the FDIC to any commonly controlled FDIC-insured depository institution in danger of default. “Default” is defined generally as the appointment of a conservator or receiver, and “in danger of default” is defined generally as the existence of certain conditions indicating that a default is likely to occur in the absence of regulatory assistance. The FDIC’s claim for damage is superior to claims of stockholders of the insured depository institution but is subordinate to claims of depositors, secured creditors, other general and senior creditors, and holders of subordinated debt (other than affiliates) of the institution.

 

Community Reinvestment Act

 

The CRA requires that, in connection with examinations of financial institutions within their respective jurisdictions, the Federal Reserve or the FDIC will evaluate the record of each financial institution in meeting the needs of its local community, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods. These factors are also considered in evaluating mergers, acquisitions, and applications to open an office or facility. Failure to adequately meet these criteria could impose additional requirements and limitations on the bank. Additionally, we must publicly disclose the terms of various CRA-related agreements.

 

Interest Rate Limitations

 

Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by the bank are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates.

 

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Federal Laws Applicable to Consumer Credit and Deposit Transactions

 

The bank’s loan and deposit operations are subject to a number of federal consumer protection laws and regulations, including, among others:

 

 

the Truth-In-Lending Act, as implemented by Regulation Z issued by the CFPB, governing, among other things, the disclosure of credit terms to consumers;

 

the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, as implemented by Regulation X issued by the CFPB, prescribing, among other things, requirements in connection with residential mortgage loan applications, settlements, and servicing;

 

the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, as implemented by Regulation C issued by the CFPB, requiring financial institutions to provide information to enable the public and public officials to determine whether a financial institution is fulfilling its obligation to help meet the housing needs of the community it serves;

 

the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, as implemented by Regulation B issued by the CFPB, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or certain other prohibited factors in all aspects of credit transactions, imposing certain requirements regarding credit applications, and prescribing certain disclosure obligations;

 

the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as implemented in part by Regulation V issued by the CFPB, governing the use and provision of information to credit reporting agencies by imposing, among other things, requirements for financial institutions to develop policies and procedures to identify potential identity theft, requirements for entities that furnish information to consumer reporting agencies (which would include the bank) to implement procedures and policies regarding the accuracy and integrity of the furnished information and respond to disputes from consumers regarding credit reporting issues, requirements for mortgage lenders to disclose credit scores to consumers, and limitations on the ability of a business that receives consumer information from an affiliate to use that information for marketing purposes;

 

the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as implemented in part by Regulation F issued by the CFPB, governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by debt collectors;

 

the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, governing the repayment terms of, and property rights underlying, secured obligations of persons in military service;

 

the Right to Financial Privacy Act, which imposes a duty to maintain the confidentiality of consumer financial records and prescribes procedures for complying with administrative subpoenas of financial records;

 

the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, as implemented by Regulation E issued by the CFPB, governing automatic deposits to and withdrawals from deposit accounts and customers’ rights and liabilities arising from the use of automated teller machines and other electronic banking services; and

 

the Truth in Savings Act, as implemented by Regulation DD issued by the CFPB, governing, among other things, the disclosure of deposit terms to consumers

 

Additionally, the Dodd-Frank Act permits states to adopt consumer protection laws and standards that are more stringent than those adopted at the federal level and, in certain circumstances, permits state attorneys general to enforce compliance with both the state and federal laws and regulations.

 

Capital Adequacy

 

General Information. The federal banking regulators view capital levels as important indicators of an institution’s financial soundness. In this regard, we and the bank are required to comply with the capital adequacy standards established by the Federal Reserve (in our case) and the FDIC and the Alabama Banking Department (in the case of the bank). Such standards are based on the December 2010 final capital framework for strengthening international capital standards, known as Basel III, of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (the “Basel Committee”). The implementation of Basel III for United States institutions began on January 1, 2015. Prior to that date, the risk-based capital rules applicable to us and the bank were based on the 1988 Capital Accord, known as Basel I, of the Basel Committee

 

Current capital standards are designed to make regulatory capital requirements more sensitive to differences in risk profiles among banks and bank holding companies, to account for off-balance-sheet exposure, and to minimize disincentives for holding liquid assets. Assets and off-balance-sheet items, such as letters of credit and unfunded loan commitments, are assigned to broad risk categories, each with appropriate risk weights. The resulting capital ratios represent capital as a percentage of total risk-weighted assets and off-balance-sheet items.

 

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Failure to meet capital guidelines could subject a bank or bank holding company to a variety of enforcement remedies, including issuance of a capital directive, the termination of deposit insurance by the FDIC, a prohibition on accepting brokered deposits, and certain other restrictions on its business. Significant additional restrictions can be imposed on FDIC-insured depository institutions that fail to meet applicable capital requirements.

 

United States Implementation of Basel III. In July 2013, the federal banking agencies published final rules (the “Basel III Capital Rules”) to implement, in part, the Basel III framework issued by the Basel Committee and certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Basel III Capital Rules apply to banking organizations, including us and the bank.

  

Among other things, the Basel III Capital Rules: (i) emphasize common equity tier 1 capital, or “CET1,” which is predominately made up of retained earnings and common stock instruments; (ii) specify that an institution’s tier 1 capital consists of CET1 and additional financial instruments satisfying specified requirements that permit inclusion in tier 1 capital; (iii) define CET1 narrowly by requiring that most deductions or adjustments to regulatory capital measures be made to CET1 and not to the other components of capital; and (iv) expand the scope of the deductions or adjustments from capital as compared to the previous regulations. The Basel III Capital Rules also provide a permanent exemption from a proposed phase out of existing trust preferred securities and cumulative perpetual preferred stock from regulatory capital for banking organizations with less than $15 billion in total consolidated assets as of December 31, 2009.

 

The Basel III Capital Rules provide for the following minimum capital to risk-weighted assets ratios:

 

 

4.5% based upon CET1;

 

6.0% based upon tier 1 capital; and

 

8.0% based upon total regulatory capital.

 

A minimum leverage ratio (tier 1 capital as a percentage of total assets) of 4.0% is also required under the Basel III Capital Rules. The Basel III Capital Rules additionally require institutions to retain a capital conservation buffer of 2.5% above these required minimum capital ratio levels. The capital conservation buffer, which must consist of CET1, is designed to absorb losses during periods of economic stress. Banking organizations that fail to maintain the minimum 2.5% capital conservation buffer could face restrictions on capital distributions or discretionary bonus payments to executive officers.

 

The Basel III Capital Rules became effective as applied to us and the bank on January 1, 2015, with a phase in period that generally extended from January 1, 2015 through January 1, 2019. We and the bank are currently in compliance with Basel III Capital Rules.

 

The Basel Committee, the U.S. federal banking regulators, and other interested parties may propose changes to the Basel III Capital Rules from time to time based on a number of factors, including prevailing economic conditions and policy initiatives. For example, in September 2017 the U.S. federal banking regulators proposed revisions to the Basel III Capital Rules to simplify the capital treatment of certain types of assets, including certain types of mortgage servicing rights, tax deferred assets, and commercial real estate loans. If adopted, those revisions could provide regulatory relief to all but the largest and most internationally active U.S. banks and bank holding companies. Similarly, in December 2017, the Basel Committee published revisions to its regulatory framework in an effort to strengthen credibility in the calculation of risk-weighted assets and otherwise improve existing capital rules in certain respects. At this time, it is unknown whether proposals and revisions such as these will become final rules binding upon U.S. bank holding companies and banks, and it is unclear how they may affect us and the bank. We will continue to monitor these and similar proposals and revisions for adoption and implementation.

 

In December 2017, the Basel Committee published revisions to its regulatory framework that it described as the finalization of the Basel III post-crisis regulatory reforms. Among other things, these revisions are meant to strengthen credibility in the calculation of risk-weighted assets by enhancing the robustness and risk sensitivity of the standardized approaches for credit risk and operational risk and to add new capital requirements for certain “unconditional cancellable commitments,” such as credit card lines. These revisions will be generally effective on January 1, 2022, with an aggregate output floor phasing in through January 1, 2027. Operational risk capital requirements and a capital floor only apply to advanced approaches institutions under current U.S. capital rules.

 

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Prompt Corrective Action. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 established a system of “prompt corrective action” to resolve the problems of undercapitalized financial institutions. Under this system, which was modified by the Basel III Capital Rules, the federal banking regulators have established five capital categories (well capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized and critically undercapitalized) into which all institutions are placed. The federal banking agencies have also specified by regulation the relevant capital thresholds for each of those categories. At December 31, 2020, the bank was well-capitalized under the regulatory framework for prompt corrective action. To be categorized as well-capitalized, the bank had to maintain minimum total risk-based, tier 1 risk-based, CET1 risk-based, and tier 1 leverage ratios of 10%, 8%, 6.5% and 5%, respectively.

 

Federal banking regulators are required to take various mandatory supervisory actions and are authorized to take other discretionary actions with respect to institutions in the three undercapitalized categories. The severity of the action depends upon the capital category in which the institution is placed. Generally, subject to a narrow exception, the banking regulator must appoint a receiver or conservator for an institution that is critically undercapitalized.

 

An institution that is categorized as undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized, or critically undercapitalized is required to submit an acceptable capital restoration plan to its appropriate federal banking agency. A bank holding company must guarantee that a subsidiary depository institution meets its capital restoration plan, subject to various limitations. The controlling holding company’s obligation to fund a capital restoration plan is limited to the lesser of (i) 5% of an undercapitalized subsidiary’s assets at the time it became undercapitalized and (ii) the amount required to meet regulatory capital requirements. An undercapitalized institution also is generally prohibited from increasing its average total assets, making acquisitions, establishing any branches or engaging in any new line of business, except under an accepted capital restoration plan or with FDIC approval. The regulations also establish procedures for downgrading an institution to a lower capital category based on supervisory factors other than capital.

  

Liquidity

 

Financial institutions are subject to significant regulatory scrutiny regarding their liquidity positions. This scrutiny has increased during recent years, as the economic downturn that began in the late 2000’s negatively affected the liquidity of many financial institutions. Various bank regulatory publications, including FDIC Financial Institution Letter FIL-13-2010 (Funding and Liquidity Risk Management) and FDIC Financial Institution Letter FIL-84-2008 (Liquidity Risk Management), address the identification, measurement, monitoring and control of funding and liquidity risk by financial institutions.

 

Basel III also addresses liquidity management by proposing two new liquidity metrics for financial institutions. The first metric is the “Liquidity Coverage Ratio”, and it aims to require a financial institution to maintain sufficient high quality liquid resources to survive an acute stress scenario that lasts for one month. The second metric is the “Net Stable Funding Ratio,” and its objective is to require a financial institution to maintain a minimum amount of stable sources relative to the liquidity profiles of the institution’s assets, as well as the potential for contingent liquidity needs arising from off-balance sheet commitments, over a one-year horizon.

 

In the Basel III Capital Rules, the federal banking regulators did not address either the Liquidity Coverage Ratio or the Net Stable Funding Ratio. However, in September 2014, the federal banking agencies adopted final rules implementing a Liquidity Coverage Ratio requirement in the United States for larger banking organizations. In May 2016, the federal banking agencies issued proposed rules implementing a Net Stable Funding Ratio requirement, also for larger U.S. banking organizations, which proposed rule was still pending final approval as of fall 2018. Neither we nor the bank is subject to either set of rules.

 

The Liquidity Coverage Ratio and the Net Stable Funding Ratio continue to be monitored for implementation, and we cannot yet provide concrete estimates as to how those requirements, or any other regulatory positions regarding liquidity and funding, might affect us or our bank. However, increased liquidity requirements generally would be expected to cause the bank to invest its assets more conservatively—and therefore at lower yields—than it otherwise might invest. Such lower-yield investments likely would reduce the bank’s revenue stream, and in turn its earnings potential.

 

Payment of Dividends

 

We are a legal entity separate and distinct from the bank. Our principal source of cash flow, including cash flow to pay dividends to our stockholders, is dividends the bank pays to us as the bank’s sole shareholder. Statutory and regulatory limitations apply to the bank’s payment of dividends to us as well as to our payment of dividends to our stockholders. The requirement that a bank holding company must serve as a source of strength to its subsidiary banks also results in the position of the Federal Reserve that a bank holding company should not maintain a level of cash dividends to its stockholders that places undue pressure on the capital of its bank subsidiaries or that can be funded only through additional borrowings or other arrangements that may undermine the bank holding company’s ability to serve as such a source of strength. Our ability to pay dividends is also subject to the provisions of Delaware corporate law.

 

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The Alabama Banking Department also regulates the bank’s dividend payments. Under Alabama law, a state-chartered bank may not pay a dividend in excess of 90% of its net earnings until the bank’s surplus is equal to at least 20% of its capital (our bank’s surplus currently exceeds 20% of its capital). Moreover, our bank is also required by Alabama law to obtain the prior approval of the Superintendent of Banks (“Superintendent”) for its payment of dividends if the total of all dividends declared by the bank in any calendar year will exceed the total of (i) the bank’s net earnings (as defined by statute) for that year, plus (ii) its retained net earnings for the preceding two years, less any required transfers to surplus. Based on this, our bank would be limited to paying $382.5 million in dividends as of December 31, 2020, subject to maintaining certain required capital levels. In addition, no dividends, withdrawals or transfers may be made from the bank’s surplus without the prior written approval of the Superintendent.

 

The bank’s payment of dividends may also be affected or limited by other factors, such as the requirement to maintain adequate capital above regulatory guidelines. The federal banking agencies have indicated that paying dividends that deplete a depository institution’s capital base to an inadequate level would be an unsafe and unsound banking practice. Under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991, a depository institution may not pay any dividends if payment would cause it to become undercapitalized or if it already is undercapitalized. Moreover, the federal agencies have issued policy statements that provide that bank holding companies and insured banks should generally only pay dividends out of current operating earnings. If, in the opinion of the federal banking regulators, the bank were engaged in or about to engage in an unsafe or unsound practice, the federal banking regulators could require, after notice and a hearing, that the bank stop or refrain from engaging in the questioned practice.

  

Restrictions on Transactions with Affiliates and Insiders

 

We are subject to Section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act, which places limits on the amount of: a bank’s loans or extensions of credit to affiliates; a bank’s investment in affiliates; assets a bank may purchase from affiliates, except for real and personal property exempted by the Federal Reserve; loans or extensions of credit made by a bank to third parties collateralized by the securities or obligations of affiliates; a bank’s guarantee, acceptance or letter of credit issued on behalf of an affiliate; a bank’s transactions with an affiliate involving the borrowing or lending of securities to the extent they create credit exposure to the affiliate; and a bank’s derivative transactions with an affiliate to the extent they create credit exposure to the affiliate. The total amount of the above transactions is limited in amount, as to any one affiliate, to 10% of a bank’s capital and surplus and, as to all affiliates combined, to 20% of a bank’s capital and surplus. In addition to the limitation on the amount of these transactions, certain of these transactions must also meet specified collateral requirements. The bank must also comply with other provisions designed to avoid the taking of low-quality assets.

 

We are also subject to Section 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, which, among other things, prohibits an institution from engaging in these transactions with affiliates unless the transactions are on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable to the institution or its subsidiaries, as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with nonaffiliated companies.

 

The bank is also subject to restrictions on extensions of credit to its executive officers, directors, principal shareholders and their related interests. These extensions of credit (i) must be made on substantially the same terms, including interest rates and collateral, as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with third parties and (ii) must not involve more than the normal risk of repayment or present other unfavorable features. There is also an aggregate limitation on all loans to insiders and their related interests. These loans cannot exceed the institution’s total unimpaired capital and surplus, and the FDIC may determine that a lesser amount is appropriate. Insiders are subject to enforcement actions for knowingly accepting loans in violation of applicable restrictions. Alabama state banking laws also have similar provisions.

 

Lending Limits

 

Under Alabama law, the amount of loans which may be made by a bank in the aggregate to one person is limited. Alabama law provides that unsecured loans by a bank to one person may not exceed an amount equal to 10% of the capital and unimpaired surplus of the bank or 20% in the case of secured loans. For purposes of calculating these limits, loans to various business interests of the borrower, including companies in which a substantial portion of the stock is owned or partnerships in which a person is a partner, must be aggregated with those made to the borrower individually. Loans secured by certain readily marketable collateral are exempt from these limitations, as are loans secured by deposits and certain government securities.

 

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Commercial Real Estate Concentration Limits

 

In December 2006, the U.S. bank regulatory agencies issued guidance entitled “Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate Lending, Sound Risk Management Practices” to address increased concentrations in commercial real estate (“CRE”) loans. The guidance describes the criteria the agencies will use as indicators to identify institutions potentially exposed to CRE concentration risk. An institution that has (i) experienced rapid growth in CRE lending, (ii) notable exposure to a specific type of CRE, (iii) total reported loans for construction, land development, and other land representing 100% or more of the institution’s capital, or (iv) total CRE loans representing 300% or more of the institution’s capital, and the outstanding balance of the institution’s CRE portfolio has increased by 50% or more in the prior 36 months, may be identified for further supervisory analysis of the level and nature of its CRE concentration risk.

 

In December 2015, the U.S. bank regulatory agencies issued guidance titled “Statement on Prudent Risk Management for Commercial Real Estate Lending” to remind financial institutions of existing guidance on prudent risk management practices for CRE lending activity, including the 2006 guidance described above. In the 2015 guidance, the agencies noted their belief that financial institutions had eased CRE underwriting standards in recent years. The 2015 guidance went on to identify actions that financial institutions should take to protect themselves from CRE-related credit losses during difficult economic cycles. The 2015 guidance also indicated that the agencies would pay special attention in the future to potential risks associated with CRE lending.

 

Privacy and Data Security

 

Under federal law as implemented by Regulation P, financial institutions are required to disclose their policies for collecting and protecting the non-public personal information of their consumer customers. Consumer customers generally may prevent financial institutions from sharing non-public personal information with nonaffiliated third parties except under certain circumstances, such as the processing of transactions requested by the consumer or when the financial institution is jointly offering a product or service with a nonaffiliated financial institution. Additionally, financial institutions generally may not disclose consumer account numbers to any nonaffiliated third party for use in telemarketing, direct mail marketing or other marketing to consumers.

 

The federal banking regulators regularly issue guidance regarding cybersecurity intended to enhance cyber risk management standards among financial institutions. In addition, financial institutions are subject to various state privacy laws that may, among other things, impose data security requirements on all customer information, whether consumer or commercial customer information, and impose data breach notification obligations. The state data breach notification requirements generally apply based on the residence of the consumer and not on the bank’s presence in the state, location of the collateral property, or other variables.

 

Anti-Terrorism and Money Laundering Legislation

 

Our bank is subject to federal laws that are designed to counter money laundering and terrorist financing, and transactions with persons, companies, or foreign governments sanctioned by the United States. These include the USA Patriot Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, the Money Laundering Control Act, and the requirements of the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). These statutes and related rules and regulations impose requirements and limitations on specified financial transactions and account or other relationships, including obligations of a depository institution to verify customer identity, conduct customer due diligence, report on suspicious activity file reports of transactions in currency, and conduct enhanced due diligence on certain accounts. They also prohibit us from engaging in transactions with certain designated restricted countries and persons. We are required by our regulators to maintain policies and procedures to comply with the foregoing restrictions.

 

Failure to comply with these statutes, rules and regulations, or failure to maintain an adequate compliance program, could lead to monetary penalties and reputational damage to our bank. Our banking regulators evaluate the effectiveness of our policies and procedures when determining whether to approve certain proposed banking activities. We believe the policies and procedures implemented by our Board are sufficient to be compliant with these laws.

 

Effect of Governmental Monetary Policies

 

Our bank’s earnings are affected by domestic economic conditions and the monetary and fiscal policies of the United States government and its agencies. The Federal Reserve’s monetary policies have had, and are likely to continue to have, an important impact on the operating results of commercial banks through its power to implement national monetary policy in order, among other things, to curb inflation or combat a recession. The monetary policies of the Federal Reserve affect the levels of bank loans, investments and deposits through its control over the issuance of United States government securities, its regulation of the discount rate applicable to member banks and its influence over reserve requirements to which member banks are subject. We cannot predict, and have no control over, the nature or impact of future changes in monetary and fiscal policies.

 

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Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

 

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act represents a comprehensive revision of laws affecting corporate governance, accounting obligations and corporate reporting. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is applicable to all companies with equity securities registered, or that file reports, under the Exchange Act. In particular, the act established (i) requirements for audit committees, including independence, expertise and responsibilities; (ii) responsibilities regarding financial statements for the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of the reporting company and new requirements for them to certify the accuracy of periodic reports; (iii) standards for auditors and regulation of audits; (iv) disclosure and reporting obligations for the reporting company and its directors and executive officers; and (v) civil and criminal penalties for violations of the federal securities laws. The legislation also established a new accounting oversight board to enforce auditing standards and restrict the scope of services that accounting firms may provide to their public company audit clients.

 

Overdraft Fees

 

Regulation E imposes restrictions on banks’ abilities to charge overdraft fees. The rule prohibits financial institutions from charging fees for paying overdrafts on ATM and one-time debit card transactions, unless a consumer consents, or opts in, to the overdraft service for those types of transactions.

 

Interchange Fees

 

The Dodd-Frank Act, through a provision known as the Durbin Amendment, required the Federal Reserve to establish standards for interchange fees that are “reasonable and proportional” to the cost of processing a debit card transaction and imposes other requirements on card networks. In June 2011, the Federal Reserve implemented a rule, which includes a cap of 21 cents plus .05% of the transaction on the interchange fee for debit card issuers with $10 billion or more in assets. The Bank exceeded $10 billion in assets for the first time as of June 30, 2020. The Durbin Amendment becomes effective for us on July 1, 2022. We do not anticipate that it will have a material impact on our revenue. Furthermore, the Bank has been affected by federal regulations that prohibit network exclusivity arrangements and routing restrictions. Essentially, issuers and networks must allow transaction processing through a minimum of two unaffiliated networks.

 

Compensation Practices

 

Our compensation practices are subject to guidance provided by federal banking regulators designed to ensure that incentive compensation arrangements at banking organizations take into account risk and are consistent with safe and sound practices. During May 2016, several financial regulators jointly issued a proposed rule designed to prohibit incentive-based compensation arrangements that could encourage inappropriate risks by providing excessive compensation or that could lead to a material financial loss. The proposed rule would require incentive-based compensation arrangements to adhere to three basic principles; (1) a balance between risk and reward, (2) effective risk management and controls, and (3) effective governance. It also would require appropriate board of directors (or committee) oversight and recordkeeping and disclosures to the appropriate agency. The proposed rule uses a tiered approach that applies its provisions to covered financial institutions according to the size of the institution.

 

The Volcker Rule

 

In December 2013, five U.S. financial regulators, including the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, adopted a final rule implementing the so-called “Volcker Rule.” The Volcker Rule was created by Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act and prohibits “banking entities” from engaging in “proprietary trading” and making investments and conducting certain other activities with “private equity funds and hedge funds.” Although the final rule provides some tiering of compliance and reporting obligations based on size, the fundamental prohibitions of the Volcker Rule apply to banking entities of any size, including us and the bank.

 

Since the adoption of the final rule in 2013, U.S. financial regulators and other federal agencies have further adopted several changes to the final rule. On January 14, 2014, the agencies adopted an interim final rule permitting banking entities to retain interests in certain collateralized debt obligations backed primarily by trust preferred securities if certain qualifications are met. On July 9, 2019, the agencies adopted a final rule excluding community banks (i.e., those banks having $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets and trading assets and liabilities of 5% or less of total consolidated assets) from the Volcker Rule. On October 8, 2019, the agencies finalized revisions to the Volcker rule that simplified and streamlined compliance requirements for banking entities that do not have significant trading activities, while banking entities with significant trading acti