ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Year Ended December 31, 2019
Commission File No. 0‑22345
SHORE BANCSHARES, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
28969 Information Lane, Easton, Maryland
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code: (410) 763‑7800
Securities Registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class:
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered:
Common stock, par value $.01 per share
Nasdaq Global Select Market
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 16(d) of the Act. ◻ Yes ☑ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days Yes ☑ No ◻
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit files). Yes ☑ No ◻
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company”, and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act): Yes ◻ No ☑
State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter: $ 205,187,524.
The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s common stock as of the latest practicable date: 12,519,624 as of February 29, 2020.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Certain information required by Part III of this annual report is incorporated therein by reference to the definitive proxy statement for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
This Annual Report on Form 10‑K of Shore Bancshares, Inc. (the “Company” and “we,” “our” or “us” on a consolidated basis) contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward looking statements represent plans, estimates, objectives, goals, guidelines, expectations, intentions, projections and statements of our beliefs concerning future events, business plans, expected operating results and the assumptions upon which those statements are based. In some cases, you can identify these forward-looking statements by words like “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” or “continue” or the negative of those words and other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. We caution that the forward-looking statements are based largely on our expectations and information available at the time the statements are made and are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that are subject to change based on factors which are in many instances, beyond our control. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed, or implied by the forward-looking statements. You should bear this in mind when reading this annual report and not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause our financial performance to differ materially from that expressed in such forward-looking statements:
general economic conditions, whether national or regional, and conditions in the lending markets in which we participate that may have an adverse effect on the demand for our loans and other products, our credit quality and related levels of nonperforming assets and loan losses, and the value and salability of the real estate that we own or that is the collateral for our loans;
results of examinations of us by our regulators, including the possibility that our regulators may, among other things, require us to increase our reserve for loan losses or to write-down assets;
our ability to prudently manage our growth and execute our strategy;
impairment of our goodwill and intangible assets;
changing bank regulatory conditions, policies or programs, whether arising as new legislation or regulatory initiatives, that could lead to restrictions on activities of banks generally, or our subsidiary bank in particular, more restrictive regulatory capital requirements, increased costs, including deposit insurance premiums, regulation or prohibition of certain income producing activities or changes in the secondary market for loans and other products;
changes in market rates and prices may adversely impact the value of securities, loans, deposits and other financial instruments and the interest rate sensitivity of our balance sheet;
our liquidity requirements could be adversely affected by changes in our assets and liabilities;
the effect of legislative or regulatory developments, including changes in laws concerning taxes, banking, securities, insurance and other aspects of the financial services industry;
competitive factors among financial services organizations, including product and pricing pressures and our ability to attract, develop and retain qualified banking professionals;
the growth and profitability of non-interest or fee income being less than expected;
the effect of changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and other regulatory agencies; and
the effect of fiscal and governmental policies of the United States federal government.
You should also consider carefully the Risk Factors contained in Item 1A of Part I of this annual report, which address additional factors that could cause our actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements and could materially and adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition. The risks discussed in this annual report are factors that, individually or in the aggregate, management believes could cause our actual results to differ materially from expected and historical results. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors. Consequently, you should not consider such disclosures to be a complete discussion of all potential risks or uncertainties.
The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and, except to the extent required by federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. 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.
The Company was incorporated under the laws of Maryland on March 15, 1996 and is a financial holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHC Act”). The Company is the largest independent financial holding company located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The Company, through its subsidiary, provides commercial banking products and services, including trust, wealth management and financial planning services. The Company and Shore United Bank (the “Bank”) are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employers.
On December 31, 2018, the Company sold the assets and activities of its insurance business, The Avon-Dixon Agency, LLC (“Avon”), a Maryland limited liability company, with two specialty lines, trading as Elliot Wilson Insurance (Trucking) and Jack Martin & Associates (Marine). The Company received net proceeds from the sale of $25.2 million. In addition, the Company discontinued operations of its insurance premium finance business, Mubell, LLC (“Mubell”), a Maryland limited liability company. Additional details related to the sale of Avon and the discontinuing operations of Mubell can be located in Note 2 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of Part II of this annual report.
Banking Products and Services
The Bank is a Maryland chartered commercial bank with trust powers that can trace its origin to 1876. The Bank currently operates 21 full service branches, 23 ATMs, 2 loan production offices, and provides a full range of commercial and consumer banking products and services to individuals, businesses, and other organizations in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Kent County, Queen Anne’s County, Caroline County, Talbot County, Dorchester County and Worcester County in Maryland, Kent County, Delaware and in Accomack County, Virginia. The Bank’s deposits are insured up to applicable legal limits by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”).
The Bank is an independent community bank that serves businesses and individuals in their respective market areas. Services offered are essentially the same as those offered by larger regional institutions that compete with the Bank. Services provided to businesses include commercial checking, savings, certificates of deposit and overnight investment sweep accounts. The Bank offers all forms of commercial lending, including secured and unsecured loans, working capital loans, lines of credit, term loans, accounts receivable financing, real estate acquisition and development, construction loans and letters of credit. Merchant credit card clearing services are available as well as direct deposit of payroll, internet banking and telephone banking services.
Services to individuals include checking accounts, various savings programs, mortgage loans, home improvement loans, installment and other personal loans, credit cards, personal lines of credit, automobile and other consumer financing, safe deposit boxes, debit cards, 24‑hour telephone banking, internet banking, mobile banking, and 24‑hour automatic teller machine services. The Bank also offers nondeposit products, such as mutual funds and annuities, and discount brokerage services to their customers. Additionally, the Bank has Saturday hours and extended hours on certain evenings during the week for added customer convenience.
The Bank originates secured and unsecured loans for business purposes. Commercial loans are typically secured by real estate, accounts receivable, inventory, equipment and/or other assets of the business. Commercial loans generally involve a greater degree of credit risk than one to four family residential mortgage loans. Repayment is often dependent upon the successful operation of the business and may be affected by adverse conditions in the local economy or real estate market. The financial condition and cash flow of commercial borrowers is therefore carefully analyzed during the loan approval
process, and continues to be monitored by obtaining business financial statements, personal financial statements and income tax returns. The frequency of this ongoing analysis depends upon the size and complexity of the credit and collateral that secures the loan. It is also the Bank’s general policy to obtain personal guarantees from the principals of the commercial loan borrowers.
The Bank’s commercial real estate loans are primarily secured by land for residential and commercial development, agricultural purpose properties, service industry buildings such as restaurants and motels, retail buildings and general purpose business space. The Bank attempts to mitigate the risks associated with these loans through thorough financial analyses, conservative underwriting procedures, including loan to value ratio standards, obtaining additional collateral, closely monitoring construction projects to control disbursement of funds on loans, and management’s knowledge of the local economy in which the Bank lends.
The Bank provides residential real estate construction loans to builders and individuals for single family dwellings. Residential construction loans are usually granted based upon “as completed” appraisals and are secured by the property under construction. Additional collateral may be taken if loan to value ratios exceed 80%. Site inspections are performed to determine pre-specified stages of completion before loan proceeds are disbursed. These loans typically have maturities of six to 12 months and may have fixed or variable rate features. Permanent financing options for individuals include fixed and variable rate loans with three- and five-year balloon features and one-, three- and five-year adjustable rate mortgage loans. The risk of loss associated with real estate construction lending is controlled through conservative underwriting procedures such as loan to value ratios of 80% or less at origination, obtaining additional collateral when prudent, and closely monitoring construction projects to control disbursement of funds on loans.
The Bank originates fixed and variable rate residential mortgage loans. As with any consumer loan, repayment is dependent upon the borrower’s continuing financial stability, which can be adversely impacted by job loss, divorce, illness, or personal bankruptcy, among other factors. Underwriting standards recommend loan to value ratios not to exceed 80% at origination based on appraisals performed by approved appraisers. The Bank relies on title insurance to protect their lien priorities and protect the property securing the loans by requiring fire and casualty insurance.
A variety of consumer loans are offered to customers, including home equity loans, credit cards and other secured and unsecured lines of credit and term loans. Careful analysis of an applicant’s creditworthiness is performed before granting credit, and ongoing monitoring of loans outstanding is performed in an effort to minimize risk of loss by identifying problem loans early.
The Bank offers a full array of deposit products including checking, savings and money market accounts, and regular and IRA certificates of deposit. The Bank also offers the CDARS program, providing up to $50 million of FDIC insurance to our customers. Another program offered by the Bank is the ICS program, which is an insured cash sweep program allowing customers the ability to insure deposits over $250 thousand among other Banks that participate in the ICS network while providing competitive rates and easy access to funds. In addition, we offer our commercial customers packages which include cash management services and various checking opportunities and other cash sweep products.
The Bank has a trust department through which it offers trust, asset management and financial planning services to customers within our market areas using the trade name Wye Financial & Trust.
Management does not believe that our business activities are seasonal in nature.
At February 29, 2020, we employed 294 persons, of which 284 were employed on a full-time basis. None of our employees are represented by any collective bargaining unit or are a party to a collective bargaining agreement. Management of the Company considers its employee relations to be excellent.
Shore Bancshares, Inc. and the Bank operate in a highly competitive environment. Our competitors include community banks, commercial banks, credit unions, thrifts, mortgage banking companies, credit card issuers, investment advisory firms, brokerage firms, mutual fund companies and e-commerce and other internet-based companies. We compete on a local and regional basis for banking and investment products and services.
The primary factors when competing in the financial service market include personalized services, the quality and range of products and services, interest rates on loans and deposits, lending services, price, customer convenience, and our ability to attract and retain experienced employees.
To compete in our market areas, we utilize multiple media channels including print, online, social media, television, radio, direct mail, e-mail and digital signage. Our employees also play a significant role in maintaining existing relationships with customers while establishing new relationships to grow all areas of our businesses.
SUPERVISION AND REGULATION
The following is a summary of the material regulations and policies applicable to us and is not intended to be a comprehensive discussion. To the extent that the following information describes statutory and regulatory provisions, it is qualified in its entirety by reference to the text of applicable statutory and regulatory provisions. Proposals to change the laws and regulations governing the banking industry are frequently raised at both the state and federal levels. The likelihood and timing of any changes in these laws and regulations, and the impact such changes may have on us, are difficult to ascertain. In addition to laws and regulations, bank regulatory agencies may issue policy statements, interpretive letters and similar written guidance applicable to the Company or the Bank. A change in applicable laws, regulations or regulatory guidance, or in the manner such laws, regulations or regulatory guidance are interpreted by regulatory agencies or courts, may have a material effect on our business, operations, and earnings.
The Company is a financial holding company registered with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “FRB”) under the BHC Act and, as such, is subject to the supervision, examination and reporting requirements of the BHC Act and the regulations of the FRB.
The Bank is a Maryland chartered commercial bank subject to the banking laws of Maryland and to regulation by the Commissioner of Financial Regulation of Maryland, who is required by statute to make at least one examination in each calendar year (or at 18‑month intervals if the Commissioner determines that an examination is unnecessary in a particular calendar year). The primary federal regulator of the Bank is the FRB. The deposits of the Bank are insured by the FDIC, so certain laws and regulations administered by the FDIC also govern its deposit taking operations. In addition to the foregoing, the Bank is subject to numerous state and federal statutes and regulations that affect the business of banking generally.
Nonbank affiliates of the Company are subject to examination by the FRB, and, as affiliates of the Bank, may be subject to examination by the Bank’s regulators from time to time.
Regulation of Financial Holding Companies
In November 1999, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (the “GLB Act”) was signed into law. The GLB Act revised the BHC Act and repealed the affiliation provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which, taken together, limited the securities,
insurance and other non-banking activities of any company that controls an FDIC insured financial institution. Under the GLB Act, a bank holding company can elect, subject to certain qualifications, to become a “financial holding company.” The GLB Act provides that a financial holding company may engage in a full range of financial activities, including insurance and securities underwriting and agency activities, merchant banking, and insurance company portfolio investment activities, with new expedited notice procedures. The Company is a financial holding company.
Under FRB policy, the Company is expected to act as a source of strength to the Bank, and the FRB may charge the Company with engaging in unsafe and unsound practices for failure to commit resources to the Bank when required. This support may be required at times when the Company may not have the resources to provide the support. Under the prompt corrective action provisions, if a controlled bank is undercapitalized, then the regulators could require the bank holding company to guarantee the bank’s capital restoration plan. In addition, if the FRB believes that a company’s activities, assets or affiliates represent a significant risk to the financial safety, soundness or stability of a controlled bank, then the FRB could require the bank holding company to terminate the activities, liquidate the assets or divest the affiliates. The regulators may require these and other actions in support of controlled banks even if such actions are not in the best interests of the bank holding company or its stockholders. Because the Company is a bank holding company, it is viewed as a source of financial and managerial strength for any controlled depository institutions, like the Bank.
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which made sweeping changes to the financial regulatory landscape that impacts all financial institutions, including the Company and the Bank. The Dodd-Frank Act directs federal bank regulators to require that all companies that directly or indirectly control an insured depository institution serve as sources of financial strength for the institution. The term “source of financial strength” is defined under the Dodd-Frank Act as the ability of a company to provide financial assistance to its insured depository institution subsidiaries in the event of financial distress. The appropriate federal banking agency for such a depository institution may require reports from companies that control the insured depository institution to assess their abilities to serve as sources of strength and to enforce compliance with the source-of-strength requirements. The appropriate federal banking agency may also require a holding company to provide financial assistance to a bank with impaired capital. Under this requirement, the Company could be required to provide financial assistance to the Bank should it experience financial distress.
In addition, under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, depository institutions insured by the FDIC can be held liable for any losses incurred by, or reasonably anticipated 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 a commonly controlled FDIC-insured depository institution in danger of default. Accordingly, in the event that any insured subsidiary of the Company causes a loss to the FDIC, other insured subsidiaries of the Company could be required to compensate the FDIC by reimbursing it for the estimated amount of such loss. Such cross guaranty liabilities generally are superior in priority to obligations of a financial institution to its stockholders and obligations to other affiliates.
Federal Regulation of Banks
Federal and state banking regulators may prohibit the institutions over which they have supervisory authority from engaging in activities or investments that the agencies believe are unsafe or unsound banking practices. These banking regulators have extensive enforcement authority over the institutions they regulate to prohibit or correct activities that violate law, regulation or a regulatory agreement or which are deemed to be unsafe or unsound practices. Enforcement actions may include the appointment of a conservator or receiver, the issuance of a cease and desist order, the termination of deposit insurance, the imposition of civil money penalties on the institution, its directors, officers, employees and institution-affiliated parties, the issuance of directives to increase capital, the issuance of formal and informal agreements, the removal of or restrictions on directors, officers, employees and institution-affiliated parties, and the enforcement of any such mechanisms through restraining orders or other court actions.
The Bank is subject to the provisions of Section 23A and Section 23B of the Federal Reserve Act. Section 23A limits the amount of loans or extensions of credit to, and investments in, the Company and its nonbank affiliates by the Bank. Section 23B requires that transactions between the Bank and the Company and its nonbank affiliates be on terms and under circumstances that are substantially the same as with non-affiliates.
The Bank is also subject to certain restrictions on extensions of credit to executive officers, directors, and principal stockholders or any related interest of such persons, which generally require that such credit extensions be made on substantially the same terms as are available to third parties dealing with the Bank and not involve more than the normal risk of repayment. Other laws tie the maximum amount that may be loaned to any one customer and its related interests to capital levels.
As part of the Federal Deposit Insurance Company Improvement Act of 1991 (“FDICIA”), each federal banking regulator adopted non-capital safety and soundness standards for institutions under its authority. These standards include internal controls, information systems and internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, and compensation, fees and benefits. An institution that fails to meet those standards may be required by the agency to develop a plan acceptable to meet the standards. Failure to submit or implement such a plan may subject the institution to regulatory sanctions. The Company, on behalf of the Bank, believes that the Bank meets substantially all standards that have been adopted. FDICIA also imposes capital standards on insured depository institutions.
The Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) requires that, in connection with the examination of financial institutions within their jurisdictions, the federal banking regulators evaluate the record of the financial institution in meeting the credit needs of their communities including low and moderate income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of those banks. These factors are also considered by all regulatory agencies in evaluating mergers, acquisitions and applications to open a branch or facility. As of the date of its most recent examination report, the Bank has a CRA rating of “Satisfactory.”
The Dodd-Frank Act
The Dodd-Frank Act significantly changed the bank regulatory structure and affected the lending, investment, trading and operating activities of financial institutions and their holding companies. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the FRB to set minimum capital levels for bank holding companies that are as stringent as those required for insured depository institutions. The legislation also establishes a floor for capital of insured depository institutions and directs the federal banking regulators to implement new leverage and capital requirements. The new leverage and capital requirements must take into account off-balance sheet activities and other risks, including risks relating to securitized products and derivatives. Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC has backup enforcement authority over a depository institution holding company, such as the Company, if the conduct or threatened conduct of such holding company poses a risk to the Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”), although such authority may not be used if the holding company is generally in sound condition and does not pose a foreseeable and material risk to the DIF. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act contains a wide variety of provisions (many of which are not yet effective) affecting the regulation of depository institutions, including restrictions related to mortgage originations, risk retention requirements as to securitized loans and the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”).
Many aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act continue to be subject to rulemaking and have yet to take full effect, making it difficult to anticipate the overall financial impact on the Company, its customers or the financial industry generally. Provisions in the legislation that affect deposit insurance assessments, payment of interest on demand deposits and interchange fees could increase the costs associated with deposits as well as place limitations on certain revenues those deposits may generate.
Regulatory Relief Act
On May 24, 2018, President Trump signed into law the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act” (the “Regulatory Relief Act”), which amends parts of the Dodd-Frank Act and other laws that involve regulation of the financial industry. While the Regulatory Relief Act keeps in place fundamental aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act’s regulatory framework, it does make regulatory changes that are favorable to depository institutions with assets under $10 billion, such as the Bank and to bank holding companies(“BHCs”) with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion, such as the Company. The Regulatory Relief Act also makes changes to consumer mortgage and credit reporting regulations and to the authorities of the agencies that regulate the financial industry. Certain provisions of the Regulatory Relief Act favorable to the Company and the Bank require the federal banking agencies to either promulgate
regulations or amend existing regulations, and it will likely take some time for these agencies to implement the necessary regulations.
Provisions That Are Favorable to Community Banks. There are several provisions in the Regulatory Relief Act that will have a favorable impact on community banks such as the Bank. These are briefly referenced below.
Increase in Small Bank Holding Company Policy Threshold. The Regulatory Relief Act directs the FRB to increase the asset threshold for qualifying for the FRB’s “Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement” (the “Policy”), from $1 billion to $3 billion. The FRB’s revisions to the Policy took effect on August 30, 2018. Small BHCs or savings and loan holding companies(“SLHCs”) are excluded from the Policy if they are engaged in significant nonbanking activities, engaged in significant off-balance sheet activities, or have a material amount of debt or equity registered with the SEC. The FRB also retains the authority to exclude any BHC or SLHC from the Policy if such action is warranted for supervisory purposes. The Policy allows covered BHCs to operate with higher levels of debt than would normally be permitted, subject to certain restrictions on dividends and the expectation that the BHC will reduce its reliance on debt over time. Also, BHCs that are subject to the Policy are exempt from the FRB’s consolidated risk-based and leverage capital rules implementing Basel III. BHCs subject to the Policy also have less extensive regulatory reporting requirements than larger organizations filing reports on a semi-annual rather than quarterly basis. The Company meets the conditions of the FRB’s Policy and is therefore currently excluded from consolidated capital requirements. However, the Bank remains subject to regulatory capital requirements administered by the federal banking agencies.
Increase in Asset Threshold for Qualifying for an 18-Month Examination Cycle. The Regulatory Relief Act increases the asset threshold for institutions qualifying for an 18-month on-site examination cycle from $1 billion to $3 billion in total consolidated assets.
Short Form Call Reports. The Regulatory Relief Act requires the federal banking agencies to promulgate regulations allowing an insured depository institution with less than $5 billion in total consolidated assets (and that satisfies such other criteria as determined to be appropriate by the agencies) to submit a short-form call report for its first and third quarters.
Our deposits are insured up to applicable limits by the DIF of the FDIC. Deposit insurance is mandatory. We are required to pay assessments to the FDIC on a quarterly basis. The assessment amount is the product of multiplying the assessment base by the assessment amount.
The assessment base against which the assessment rate is applied to determine the total assessment due for a given period is the depository institution’s average total consolidated assets during the assessment period less average tangible equity during that assessment period. Tangible equity is defined in the assessment rule as Tier 1 Capital and is calculated monthly, unless the insured depository institution has less than $1 billion in assets, in which case the insured depository institution calculates Tier 1 Capital on an end-of-quarter basis. Parents or holding companies of other insured depository institutions are required to report separately from their subsidiary depository institutions.
The FDIC’s methodology for setting assessments for individual banks has changed over time, although the broad policy is that lower-risk institutions should pay lower assessments than higher-risk institutions. The FDIC now uses a methodology, known as the “financial ratios method,” that began to apply on July 1, 2016, in order to meet requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act. The statute established a minimum designated reserve ratio (the “DFR”), for the DIF of 1.35% of the estimated insured deposits and required the FDIC to adopt a restoration plan should the reserve ratio fall below 1.35%. The financial ratios took effect when the DRR exceeded 1.15%. The FDIC declared that the DIF reserve ratio exceeded 1.15% by the end of the second quarter of 2016. Accordingly, beginning July 1, 2016, the FDIC began to use the financial ratios method. This methodology assigns a specific assessment rate to each institution based on the institution’s leverage capital, supervisory ratings, and information from the institution’s call report. Under this methodology, the assessment rate schedules used to determine assessments due from insured depository institutions become progressively lower when the reserve ratio in the DIF exceeds 2% and 2.5%.
The Dodd-Frank Act also raised the limit for federal deposit insurance to $250,000 for most deposit accounts and increased the cash limit of Securities Investor Protection Corporation protection from $100,000 to $250,000.
The FDIC has authority to increase insurance assessments. A significant increase in insurance assessments would likely have an adverse effect on our operating expenses and results of operations. We cannot predict what insurance assessment rates will be in the future. Furthermore, deposit insurance may be terminated by the FDIC upon a finding that an insured depository institution 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.
Capital Adequacy Guidelines
In December 2010, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision released its final framework for strengthening international capital and liquidity regulation, or Basel III. Basel III requires banks to maintain a higher level of capital than previously required, with a greater emphasis on common equity. The Dodd-Frank Act imposed generally applicable capital requirements with respect to BHCs and their bank subsidiaries and mandated that the federal banking regulatory agencies adopt rules and regulations to implement the Basel III requirements.
In July 2013, the federal banking agencies adopted a final rule, or the Basel III Final Rule, implementing these standards. The Dodd-Frank Act provides for countercyclical capital requirements so that the required amount of capital increases in times of economic expansion and decreases in times of economic contraction, consistent with safety and soundness. Under the Basel III Final Rule, which implements this concept, banks must maintain a capital conservation buffer consisting of additional common equity Tier 1 capital equal to 2.5% of risk-weighted assets above each of the required minimum capital levels in order to avoid limitations on paying dividends, engaging in share repurchases, and paying certain discretionary bonuses. This new capital conservation buffer requirement began to be phased in beginning in January 2016 at 0.625% of risk-weighted assets and increased by this amount each year until it became fully implemented at 2.5% in January 2019.
For purposes of calculating risk-weighted assets, the Basel III Final Rule is designed to make regulatory capital requirements more sensitive to differences in risk profiles among banks, to account for off-balance sheet exposures, and to minimize disincentives for holding liquid assets. Under this rule, assets and off-balance sheet items are assigned to broad risk categories, each with appropriate weights. The resulting capital ratios represent capital as a percentage of total risk-weighted assets, which reflect on- and off-balance sheet items.
For this purpose, certain off-balance sheet items are assigned certain credit conversion factors to convert them to asset-equivalent amounts to which an appropriate risk-weighting will apply. Those computations result in the total risk-weighted assets. Most loans are assigned to the 100% risk category, except for performing first mortgage loans fully secured by residential property, which carry a 50% risk weighting. Most investment securities (including, primarily, general obligation claims of states or other political subdivisions of the United States) are assigned to the 20% category. Exceptions include municipal or state revenue bonds, which have a 50% risk weighting, and direct obligations of the United States Treasury or obligations backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, which have a 0% risk weighting. In converting off-balance sheet items, direct credit substitutes, including general guarantees and standby letters of credit backing financial obligations, are assigned a 100% credit conversion factor. Transaction-related contingencies such as bid bonds, standby letters of credit backing non-financial obligations, and undrawn commitments (including commercial credit lines with an initial maturity of more than one year) are assigned a 50% credit conversion factor. Short-term commercial letters of credit are assigned a 20% credit conversion factor, and certain short-term unconditionally cancelable commitments are assigned a 0% credit conversion factor.
Minimum capital standards under the Basel III Final Rule for banks of our size took effect on January 1, 2015 with a phase-in period that generally extended through January 1, 2019 for certain of the changes. As discussed under “-Prompt Corrective Action,” depository institutions and depository holding companies with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, such as the Company and the Bank, will be deemed to satisfy both the leverage and risk-based capital requirements, provided they satisfy a new “Community Bank Leverage Ratio” required to be promulgated by the Federal Banking agencies.
Under the Basel III Final Rule, the minimum ratio of total capital to risk-weighted assets (including certain off-balance sheet activities, such as standby letters of credit) is 8%. While there was previously no required ratio of “Common Equity Tier 1 Capital” (“CET1”) (which generally consists of common stock, retained earnings, certain qualifying capital instruments issued by consolidated subsidiaries, and Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, subject to certain adjustments and deductions for items such as goodwill, other intangible assets, reciprocal holdings of other banking organizations’ capital instruments, investments in unconsolidated subsidiaries and any other deductions as determined by the appropriate regulator) to risk-weighted assets, a required minimum ratio of 4.5% became effective on January 1, 2015 as well. The required ratio of “Tier 1 Capital” (consisting generally of CET1 and qualifying preferred stock) to risk-weighted assets is 6%. The remainder of total capital, or Tier 2 Capital, may consist of (a) the allowance for loan losses of up to 1.25% of risk-weighted assets, (b) preferred stock not qualifying as Tier 1 Capital, (c) hybrid capital instruments, (d) perpetual debt, (e) mandatory convertible securities, and (f) certain subordinated debt and intermediate-term preferred stock up to 50% of Tier 1 Capital. Total Capital is the sum of Tier 1 Capital and Tier 2 Capital.
As of January 1, 2019, the Bank is required to maintain a minimum Tier 1 leverage ratio of 4.0%, a minimum CET1 to risk-weighted assets ratio of 7%, a Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 8.5% and a minimum total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 10.5%.
The Basel III Final Rule also includes minimum leverage ratio requirements for banking organizations, calculated as the ratio of Tier 1 Capital to adjusted average consolidated assets. Prior to the effective date of the Basel III Final Rule, banks and BHCs meeting certain specified criteria, including having the highest regulatory rating and not experiencing significant growth or expansion, were permitted to maintain a minimum leverage ratio of Tier 1 Capital to adjusted average quarterly assets equal to 3%. Other banks and BHCs generally were required to maintain a minimum leverage ratio between 4% and 5%. Under the Basel III Final Rule, as of January 1, 2015, the required minimum leverage ratio for all banks is 4%.
As an additional means of identifying problems in the financial management of depository institutions, the federal banking regulatory agencies have established certain non-capital safety and soundness standards for institutions for which they are the primary federal regulator. The standards relate generally to operations and management, asset quality, interest rate exposure, and executive compensation. The agencies are authorized to take action against institutions that fail to meet such standards.
The requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act are still in the process of being implemented over time and most will be subject to regulations implemented over the course of several years. In addition, the Regulatory Relief Act modifies several provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act, but are subject to implementing regulations. Given the uncertainty associated with the how the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Regulatory Relief Act will be implemented by the various regulatory agencies and through regulations, the full extent of the impact such requirements will have on our operations is unclear. On September 27, 2017, the federal banking agencies proposed a rule intended to reduce the regulatory compliance burden, particularly on community banking organizations, by simplifying several requirements in the Basel III-based capital rules. Specifically, the proposed rule simplifies the capital treatment for certain acquisition, development, and construction loans, mortgage servicing assets, certain deferred tax assets, investments in the capital instruments of unconsolidated financial institutions, and minority interest. In 2017, the federal banking agencies adopted an extension of the transition period for application of the Basel III-based capital rules to certain investments, effectively freezing the capital treatment of affected investments until the changes proposed in the September 2017 proposal are finalized and effective.
In December 2017, the Basel Committee published standards that it described as the finalization of the Basel III post-crisis regulatory reforms, which standards are commonly referred to as Basel IV. Among other things, these standards revise the Basel Committee’s standardized approach for credit risk (including the recalibration of the risk weights and the introduction of new capital requirements for certain “unconditionally cancellable commitments,” such as unused credit card lines of credit) and provides a new standardized approach for operational risk capital. Under the Basel framework, these standards will generally be effective on January 1, 2022, with an aggregate output floor phasing in through January 1, 2027. Under the current U.S. capital rules, operational risk capital requirements and a capital floor apply only to advanced approaches institutions, and not to the Bank. The impact of Basel IV on us will depend on how it is implemented by the federal bank regulators.
In addition to the required minimum capital levels described above, federal law establishes a system of “prompt corrective actions” that federal banking agencies are required to take, and certain actions that they have discretion to take, based upon the capital category into which a federally regulated depository institution falls. Regulations set forth detailed procedures and criteria for implementing prompt corrective action in the case of any institution which is not adequately capitalized. Under the prompt corrective action rules, an institution is deemed “well capitalized” if its leverage ratio, Common Equity Tier 1 ratio, Tier 1 Capital ratio, and Total Capital ratio meet or exceed 5%, 6.5%, 8%, and 10%, respectively. An institution is deemed to be “adequately capitalized” or better if its leverage, Common Equity Tier 1, Tier 1, and Total Capital ratios meet or exceed the minimum federal regulatory capital requirements set forth in the Basel III Final Rule. An institution is “undercapitalized” if it fails to meet the minimum capital requirements. An institution is “significantly undercapitalized” if any one of its leverage, Common Equity Tier 1, Tier 1, and Total Capital ratios falls below 3%, 3%, 4%, and 6%, respectively, and “critically undercapitalized” if the institution has a ratio of tangible equity to total assets that is equal to or less than 2%.
The Regulatory Relief Act requires the federal banking agencies to promulgate a rule establishing a new “Community Bank Leverage Ratio” of 8% to 10% for depository institutions and depository institution holding companies, including banks and BHCs, with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, such as the Company and the Bank. If such a depository institution or holding company maintains tangible equity in excess of this leverage ratio, it would be deemed in compliance with all other capital and leverage requirements: (1) the leverage and risk-based capital requirements promulgated by the federal banking agencies; (2) in the case of a depository institution, the capital ratio requirements to be considered “well capitalized” under the federal banking agencies’ “prompt corrective action” regime; and (3) any other capital or leverage requirements to which the depository institution or holding company is subject, in each case, unless the appropriate federal banking agency determines otherwise based on the particular institution’s risk profile.
The prompt corrective action rules require an undercapitalized institution to file a written capital restoration plan, along with a performance guaranty by its holding company or a third party. In addition, an undercapitalized institution becomes subject to certain automatic restrictions, including a prohibition on payment of dividends and a limitation on asset growth and expansion in certain cases, a limitation on the payment of bonuses or raises to senior executive officers, and a prohibition on the payment of certain “management fees” to any “controlling person.” Institutions that are classified as undercapitalized are also subject to certain additional supervisory actions, including increased reporting burdens and regulatory monitoring; limitations on the institution’s ability to make acquisitions, open new branch offices, or engage in new lines of business; obligations to raise additional capital; restrictions on transactions with affiliates; and restrictions on interest rates paid by the institution on deposits. In certain cases, banking regulatory agencies may require replacement of senior executive officers or directors, or sale of the institution to a willing purchaser. If an institution is deemed to be “critically undercapitalized” and continues in that category for 90 days, the statute requires, with certain narrowly limited exceptions, that the institution be placed in receivership.
An insured depository institution’s capital level may have consequences outside the prompt corrective action regime. For example, only well-capitalized institutions may accept brokered deposits without restrictions on rates, while adequately capitalized institutions must seek a waiver from the FDIC to accept such deposits and are subject to rate restrictions. Well-capitalized institutions may be eligible for expedited treatment of certain applications, an advantage not available to other institutions.
As noted above, Basel III integrates the new capital requirements into the prompt corrective action category definitions. As a result of the FRB’s revisions to the Policy raising the total consolidated asset limit in the Policy from $1 billion to $3 billion, the Company is currently exempt from the consolidated capital requirements.
As of December 31, 2019, the Bank was “well capitalized” according to the guidelines as generally discussed above.
Safety and Soundness Standards
The federal banking agencies have adopted guidelines designed to assist the federal banking agencies in identifying and addressing potential safety and soundness concerns before capital becomes impaired. The guidelines set forth operational and managerial standards relating to: (i) internal controls, information systems and internal audit systems; (ii) loan documentation; (iii) credit underwriting; (iv) asset growth; (v) earnings; and (vi) compensation, fees and benefits.
In addition, the federal banking agencies have also adopted safety and soundness guidelines with respect to asset quality and for evaluating and monitoring earnings to ensure that earnings are sufficient for the maintenance of adequate capital and reserves. These guidelines provide six standards for establishing and maintaining a system to identify problem assets and prevent those assets from deteriorating. Under these standards, an insured depository institution should: (i) conduct periodic asset quality reviews to identify problem assets; (ii) estimate the inherent losses in problem assets and establish reserves that are sufficient to absorb estimated losses; (iii) compare problem asset totals to capital; (iv) take appropriate corrective action to resolve problem assets; (v) consider the size and potential risks of material asset concentrations; and (vi) provide periodic asset quality reports with adequate information for management and the board of directors to assess the level of asset risk.
Anti-Terrorism, Money Laundering Legislation and OFAC
The Bank is subject to the Bank Secrecy Act(“BSA”) and the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA Patriot Act”). These statutes and related rules and regulations impose requirements and limitations on specified financial transactions and accounts and other relationships intended to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing. The principal requirements for an insured depository institution include (i) establishment of an anti-money laundering program that includes training and audit components, (ii) establishment of a “know your customer” program involving due diligence to confirm the identities of persons seeking to open accounts and to deny accounts to those persons unable to demonstrate their identities, (iii) the filing of currency transaction reports for deposits and withdrawals of large amounts of cash and suspicious activities reports for activity that might signify money laundering, tax evasion, or other criminal activities, (iv) additional precautions for accounts sought and managed for non-U.S. persons and (v) verification and certification of money laundering risk with respect to private banking and foreign correspondent banking relationships. For many of these tasks a bank must keep records to be made available to its primary federal regulator. Anti-money laundering rules and policies are developed by a bureau within FinCEN, but compliance by individual institutions is overseen by its primary federal regulator.
The Bank has established appropriate anti-money laundering and customer identification programs. The Bank also maintains records of cash purchases of negotiable instruments, files reports of certain cash transactions exceeding $10,000 (daily aggregate amount), and reports suspicious activity that might signify money laundering, tax evasion, or other criminal activities pursuant to the BSA. The Bank otherwise has implemented policies and procedures to comply with the foregoing requirements.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries and persons, as defined by various Executive Orders and Acts of Congress. OFAC publishes lists of persons that are the target of sanctions, including the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. Financial institutions are responsible for, among other things, blocking accounts of and transactions with sanctioned persons and countries, prohibiting unlicensed trade and financial transactions with them and reporting blocked and rejected transactions after their occurrence. If the Company or the Bank finds a name or other information on any transaction, account or wire transfer that is on an OFAC list or that otherwise indicates that the transaction involves a target of sanctions, the Company or the Bank generally must freeze or block such account or transaction, file a suspicious activity report, and notify the appropriate authorities. Banking regulators examine banks for compliance with the economic sanctions regulations administered by OFAC.
The Bank has implemented policies and procedures to comply with the foregoing requirements.
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
The GLB Act and the implementing regulations issued by federal regulatory agencies require financial institutions (including banks, insurance agencies, and broker/dealers) to adopt policies and procedures regarding the disclosure of nonpublic personal information about their customers to non-affiliated third parties. In general, financial institutions are required to explain to customers their policies and procedures regarding the disclosure of such nonpublic personal information and, unless otherwise required or permitted by law, financial institutions are prohibited from disclosing such information except as provided in their policies and procedures. Specifically, the GLB Act established certain information security guidelines that require each financial institution, under the supervision and ongoing oversight of its board of directors or an appropriate committee thereof, to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive written information security program designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer information, to protect against anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of such information, and to protect against unauthorized access to or use of such information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to any customer.
Recent cyber-attacks against banks and other financial institutions that resulted in unauthorized access to confidential customer information have prompted the federal banking regulators to issue extensive guidance on cybersecurity. Among other things, financial institutions are expected to design multiple layers of security controls to establish lines of defense and ensure that their risk management processes address the risks posed by compromised customer credentials, including security measures to authenticate customers accessing internet-based services. A financial institution also should have a robust business continuity program to recover from a cyberattack and procedures for monitoring the security of third-party service providers that may have access to nonpublic data at the institution.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The CFPB has authority through rulemaking, orders, policy statements, guidance, and enforcement actions to administer and enforce federal consumer financial laws, to oversee several entities and market segments not previously under the supervision of a federal regulator, and to impose its own regulations and pursue enforcement actions when it determines that a practice is unfair, deceptive, or abusive. The federal consumer financial laws and all the functions and responsibilities associated with them, many of which were previously enforced by other federal regulatory agencies, were transferred to the CFPB on July 21, 2011. While the CFPB has the power to interpret, administer, and enforce federal consumer financial laws, the Dodd-Frank Act provides that the federal banking regulatory agencies continue to have examination and enforcement powers over the financial institutions that they supervise relating to the matters within the jurisdiction of the CFPB if such institutions have less than $10 billion in assets. The Dodd-Frank Act also gives state attorneys general the ability to enforce federal consumer protection laws.
Mortgage Loan Origination
The Dodd-Frank Act authorizes the CFPB to establish certain minimum standards for the origination of residential mortgages, including a determination of the borrower’s ability to repay. Under the Dodd-Frank Act and the implementing final rule adopted by the CFPB, or the ATR/QM Rule, a financial institution may not make a residential mortgage loan to a consumer unless it first makes a “reasonable and good faith determination” that the consumer has a “reasonable ability”
to repay the loan. In addition, the ATR/QM Rule limits prepayment penalties and permits borrowers to raise certain defenses to foreclosure if they receive any loan other than a “qualified mortgage,” as defined by the CFPB. For this purpose, the ATR/QM Rule defines a “qualified mortgage” to include a loan with a borrower debt-to-income ratio of less than or equal to 43% or, alternatively, a loan eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac while they operate under federal conservatorship or receivership, and loans eligible for insurance or guarantee by the Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration, or United States Department of Agriculture. Additionally, a qualified mortgage may not: (i) contain excess upfront points and fees; (ii) have a term greater than 30 years; or (iii) include interest only or negative amortization payments. The ATR/QM Rule specifies the types of income and assets that may be considered in the ability-to-repay determination, the permissible sources for verification, and the required methods of calculating the loan’s monthly payments. The ATR/QM Rule became effective in January 2014.
The Regulatory Relief Act provides that for certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, mortgage loans that are originated and retained in portfolio will automatically be deemed to satisfy the “ability to repay” requirement. To qualify for this, the insured depository institutions and credit unions must meet conditions relating to prepayment penalties, points and fees, negative amortization, interest-only features and documentation.
The Regulatory Relief Act directs Federal banking agencies to issue regulations exempting certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions with assets of $10 billion or less from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for certain residential mortgage loans.
Insured depository institutions and insured credit unions that originated fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans or 500 open-end lines of credit in each of the two preceding years are exempt from a subset of disclosure requirements (recently imposed by the CFPB) under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”), provided they have received certain minimum CRA ratings in their most recent examinations.
The Regulatory Relief Act also directs the Comptroller of the Currency to conduct a study assessing the effect of the exemption described above on the amount of HMDA data available at the national and local level.
In addition, Section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Act amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) to require sponsors of asset-backed securities (“ABS”) to retain at least 5% of the credit risk of the assets underlying the securities and generally prohibits sponsors from transferring or hedging that credit risk. In October 2014, the federal banking regulatory agencies adopted a final rule to implement this requirement (the “Risk Retention Rule”). Among other things, the Risk Retention Rule requires a securitizer to retain not less than 5% of the credit risk of any asset that the securitizer, through the issuance of an ABS, transfers, sells, or conveys to a third party; and prohibits a securitizer from directly or indirectly hedging or otherwise transferring the credit risk that the securitizer is required to retain. In certain situations, the final rule allows securitizers to allocate a portion of the risk retention requirement to the originator(s) of the securitized assets, if an originator contributes at least 20% of the assets in the securitization. The Risk Retention Rule also provides an exemption to the risk retention requirements for an ABS collateralized exclusively by Qualified Residential Mortgages (“QRMs”), and ties the definition of a QRM to the definition of a “qualified mortgage” established by the CFPB for purposes of evaluating a consumer’s ability to repay a mortgage loan. The federal banking agencies have agreed to review the definition of QRMs in 2019, following the CFPB’s own review of its “qualified mortgage” regulation. For purposes of residential mortgage securitizations, the Risk Retention Rule took effect on December 24, 2015. For all other securitizations, the rule took effect on December 24, 2016.
Other Provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act
The Dodd-Frank Act implements far-reaching changes across the financial regulatory landscape. In addition to the reforms previously mentioned, the Dodd-Frank Act also:
requires BHCs and banks to be both well capitalized and well managed in order to acquire banks located outside their home state and requires any BHC electing to be treated as a financial holding company to be both well managed and well capitalized;
eliminates all remaining restrictions on interstate banking by authorizing national and state banks to establish de novo branches in any state that would permit a bank chartered in that state to open a branch at that location; and
repeals Regulation Q, the federal prohibition on the payment of interest on demand deposits, thereby permitting depository institutions to pay interest on business transaction and other accounts.
Although a significant number of the rules and regulations mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act have been finalized, many of the requirements called for have yet to be implemented and will likely be subject to implementing regulations over the course of several years. Given the uncertainty associated with the manner in which the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act will be implemented by the various agencies, the full extent of the impact such requirements will have on financial institutions’ operations is unclear.
Other Laws and Regulations
Our operations are subject to several additional laws, some of which are specific to banking and others of which are applicable to commercial operations generally. For example, with respect to our lending practices, we are subject to the following laws and regulations, among several others:
Truth-In-Lending Act, governing disclosures of credit terms to consumer borrowers;
HMDA, 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;
Equal Credit Opportunity Act, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or other prohibited factors in extending credit;
Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1978, as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, governing the use and provision of information to credit reporting agencies, certain identity theft protections, and certain credit and other disclosures;
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, governing how consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies;
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, requiring certain disclosures concerning loan closing costs and escrows, and governing transfers of loan servicing and the amounts of escrows for loans secured by one-to-four family residential properties;
Rules and regulations established by the National Flood Insurance Program;
Rules and regulations of the various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing these federal laws.
Our deposit operations are subject to federal laws applicable to depository accounts, including:
Right to Financial Privacy Act, which imposes a duty to maintain confidentiality of consumer financial records and prescribes procedures for complying with administrative subpoenas of financial records;
Truth-In-Savings Act, requiring certain disclosures for consumer deposit accounts;
Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E of the FRB, which govern 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
Rules and regulations of the various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing these federal laws.
We are also subject to a variety of laws and regulations that are not limited to banking organizations. For example, in lending to commercial and consumer borrowers, and in owning and operating our own property, we are subject to regulations and potential liabilities under state and federal environmental laws. In addition, we must comply with privacy and data security laws and regulations at both the federal and state level.
We are heavily regulated by regulatory agencies at the federal and state levels. Like most of our competitors, we have faced and expect to continue to face increased regulation and regulatory and political scrutiny, which creates significant uncertainty for us, as well as for the financial services industry in general.
Future Legislation and Regulation
Regulators have increased their focus on the regulation of the financial services industry in recent years, leading in many cases to greater uncertainty and compliance costs for regulated entities. Proposals that could substantially intensify the regulation of the financial services industry have been and may be expected to continue to be introduced in the United States Congress, in state legislatures, and by applicable regulatory authorities. These proposals may change banking statutes and regulations and our operating environment in substantial and unpredictable ways. If enacted, these proposals could increase or decrease the cost of doing business, limit or expand permissible activities or affect the competitive balance among banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other financial institutions. We cannot predict whether any of these proposals will be enacted and, if enacted, the effect that these proposals, or any implementing regulations, would have on our business, results of operations, or financial condition.
Federal Securities Laws
The shares of the Company’s common stock are registered with the SEC under Section 12(b) of the Act and listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. The Company is subject to information reporting requirements, proxy solicitation requirements, insider trading restrictions and other requirements of the Exchange Act, including the requirements imposed under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the rules of The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC. Among other things, loans to and other transactions with insiders are subject to restrictions and heightened disclosure, directors and certain committees of the Board must satisfy certain independence requirements, and the Company is generally required to comply with certain corporate governance requirements.
Governmental Monetary and Credit Policies and Economic Controls
The earnings and growth of the banking industry and ultimately of the Company are affected by the monetary and credit policies of governmental authorities, including the FRB. An important function of the FRB is to regulate the national supply of bank credit in order to control recessionary and inflationary pressures. Among the instruments of monetary policy used by the FRB to implement these objectives are open market operations in U.S. Government securities, changes in the federal funds rate, changes in the discount rate of member bank borrowings, and changes in reserve requirements against member bank deposits. These means are used in varying combinations to influence overall growth of bank loans, investments and deposits and may also affect interest rates charged on loans or paid for deposits. The monetary policies of the FRB authorities have had a significant effect on the operating results of commercial banks in the past and are expected to continue to have such an effect in the future. In view of changing conditions in the national economy and in the money markets, as well as the effect of actions by monetary and fiscal authorities, including the FRB, no prediction can be made as to possible future changes in interest rates, deposit levels, loan demand or their effect on the business and earnings of the Company and its subsidiaries.
The Company maintains an Internet site at www.shorebancshares.com on which it makes available, free of charge, its Annual Report on Form 10‑K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10‑Q, Current Reports on Form 8‑K, and all amendments to the foregoing as soon as reasonably practicable after these reports are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. In addition, stockholders may access these reports and documents on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov . The information on, or accessible through, our website or any other website cited in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K is not part of, or
incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10‑K and should not be relied upon in determining whether to make an investment decision.
Item 1A. RISK FACTORS.
An investment in our common stock involves significant risks. You should consider carefully the risk factors included below together with all of the information included in or incorporated by reference into this annual report, as the same may be updated from time to time by our future filings with the SEC under the Exchange Act, before making a decision to invest in our common stock. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. If any of the matters included in the following information about risk factors were to occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In such case, you may lose all or a substantial part of your investment. To the extent that any of the information contained in this document constitutes forward-looking statements, the risk factors below should be reviewed as cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf. See “Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements.”
Risks Relating to Our Business
Changes in U.S. or regional economic conditions could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Our business activities and earnings are affected by general business conditions in the United States and in our local market area. These conditions include short-term and long-term interest rates, inflation, unemployment levels, consumer confidence and spending, fluctuations in both debt and equity capital markets, and the strength of the economy in the United States generally and in our market area in particular. In the late 2000’s, the national economy experienced an extended recession, with rising unemployment levels, declines in real estate values and erosion in consumer confidence. Dramatic declines in the U.S. housing market during the recession, with falling home prices and higher levels of foreclosures, negatively affected the performance of mortgage loans and resulted in significant write-downs of asset values by many financial institutions. Although the housing sector has improved, real estate prices have rebounded and consumer confidence has shown improvement, historical trends indicate that a recession occurs every 8‑10 years which could result in another economic downturn in the near future. A return to elevated levels of unemployment, declines in the values of real estate, or other events that affect household and/or corporate incomes could impair the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans in accordance with their terms and reduce demand for banking products and services.
A majority of our business is concentrated in Maryland and Delaware, a significant amount of which is concentrated in real estate lending, so a decline in the local economy and real estate markets could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Because most of our loans are made to customers who reside on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and in Delaware, a decline in local economic conditions may have a greater effect on our earnings and capital than on the earnings and capital of larger financial institutions whose loan portfolios are geographically diverse. Further, a significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real estate, including construction and land development loans, all of which are in greater demand when interest rates are low and economic conditions are good. Accordingly, a decline in local economic conditions would likely have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations, and the impact on us would likely be greater than the impact felt by larger financial institutions whose loan portfolios are geographically diverse. The Company has made strides to make our loan portfolio more diverse by expanding its footprint closer to the metropolitan area of Baltimore which during the last recession rebounded at a much faster pace than the more rural areas of Maryland. We cannot guarantee that any risk management practices that we implement to address our geographic and loan concentrations will be effective in preventing losses relating to our loan portfolio.
Our concentrations of commercial real estate loans could subject us to increased regulatory scrutiny and directives, which could force us to preserve or raise capital and/or limit our future commercial lending activities.
The FRB and the FDIC, along with the other federal banking regulators, issued guidance in December 2006 entitled “Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate Lending, Sound Risk Management Practices” directed at institutions that have particularly high concentrations of commercial real estate loans within their lending portfolios. This guidance suggests that these institutions face a heightened risk of financial difficulties in the event of adverse changes in the economy and commercial real estate markets. Accordingly, the guidance suggests that institutions whose concentrations exceed certain percentages of capital should implement heightened risk management practices appropriate to their concentration risk. Federal bank regulatory guidelines identify institutions potentially exposed to commercial real estate concentration risk as those that have (i) experienced rapid growth in commercial real estate lending, (ii) notable exposure to a specific type of commercial real estate, (iii) total reported loans for construction, land development and other land loans representing 100% or more of the institution’s capital, or (iv) total commercial real estate loans representing 300% or more of the institution’s capital if the outstanding balance of the institution’s commercial real estate loan portfolio has increased 50% or more during the prior 36 months. The guidance provides that banking regulators may require such institutions to reduce their concentrations and/or maintain higher capital ratios than institutions with lower concentrations in commercial real estate. Due to our emphasis on commercial real estate and construction lending, as of December 31, 2019, non-owner-occupied commercial real estate loans (including construction, land and land development loans) represented 270.4% of total risk-based capital. Construction, land and land development loans represent 57.4% of total risk-based capital. The commercial real estate portfolio has increased 63.0% during the prior 36 months. We may be subject to heightened supervisory scrutiny during future examinations and/or be required to maintain higher levels of capital as a result of our commercial real estate concentrations, which could require us to obtain additional capital, and may adversely affect shareholder returns. Management cannot predict the extent to which this guidance will impact our operations or capital requirements. Further, we cannot guarantee that any risk management practices we implement will be effective in preventing losses resulting from concentrations in our commercial real estate portfolio.
Interest rates and other economic conditions will impact our results of operations.
Our results of operations may be materially and adversely affected by changes in prevailing economic conditions, including declines in real estate values, rapid changes in interest rates and the monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government. Our results of operations are significantly impacted by the spread between the interest rates earned on assets and the interest rates paid on deposits and other interest-bearing liabilities (i.e., net interest income), including advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank (the “FHLB”) of Atlanta. Interest rate risk arises from mismatches (i.e., the interest sensitivity gap) between the dollar amount of repricing or maturing assets and liabilities. If more assets reprice or mature than liabilities during a falling interest rate environment, then our earnings could be negatively impacted. Conversely, if more liabilities reprice or mature than assets during a rising interest rate environment, then our earnings could be negatively impacted. Fluctuations in interest rates are not predictable or controllable. Changes in interest rates, particularly by the FRB, which implements national monetary policy in order to mitigate recessionary and inflationary pressures, also affect the value of our loans. In setting its policy, the FRB may utilize techniques such as: (i) engaging in open market transactions in United States government securities; (ii) setting the discount rate on member bank borrowings; and (iii) determining reserve requirements. These techniques may have an adverse effect on our deposit levels, net interest margin, loan demand or our business and operations. In addition, an increase in interest rates could adversely affect borrowers’ ability to pay the principal or interest on existing loans or reduce their desire to borrow more money. This may lead to an increase in our nonperforming assets, a decrease in loan originations, or a reduction in the value of and income from our loans, any of which could have a material and negative effect on our results of operations.
Changes in market interest rates are affected by many factors beyond our control, including inflation, unemployment, money supply, international events, and events in world financial markets. We attempt to manage our risk from changes in market interest rates by adjusting the rates, maturity, re-pricing, and balances of the different types of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, but interest rate risk management techniques are not exact. As a result, a rapid increase or decrease in interest rates could have an adverse effect on the net interest margin and results of operations. Changes in the market interest rates for types of products and services in various markets also may vary significantly from location to location and over time based upon competition and local or regional economic factors. At December 31, 2019, our interest rate sensitivity simulation model projected that net interest income would increase by 4.5% if interest rates
immediately rose by 200 basis points. The results of an interest rate sensitivity simulation model depend upon a number of assumptions which may not prove to be accurate. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully manage interest rate risk.
The Bank may experience credit losses in excess of its allowances, which would adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.
The risk of credit losses on loans varies with, among other things, general economic conditions, the type of loan being made, the creditworthiness of the borrower over the term of the loan and, in the case of a collateralized loan, the value and marketability of the collateral for the loan. Management at the Bank bases the allowance for credit losses upon, among other things, historical experience, an evaluation of economic conditions and regular reviews of delinquencies and loan portfolio quality. If management’s assumptions and judgments prove to be incorrect and the allowance for credit losses is inadequate to absorb future losses, or if the bank regulatory authorities, as a part of their examination process, require the Bank to increase its allowance for credit losses, our earnings and capital could be significantly and adversely affected. Material additions to the allowance for credit losses at the Bank would result in a decrease in the Bank’s net income and capital and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.
Although we believe that our allowance for credit losses is maintained at a level adequate to absorb any inherent losses in our loan portfolio, these estimates of loan losses are necessarily subjective and their accuracy depends on the outcome of future events.
While we strive to carefully monitor credit quality and to identify loans that may become nonperforming, at any time there are loans included in the portfolio that have not been identified as nonperforming or potential problem loans, but that will result in losses. We cannot be sure that we will be able to identify deteriorating loans before they become nonperforming assets, or that we will be able to limit losses on those loans that are identified. As a result, future additions to the allowance may be necessary.
Economic conditions and increased uncertainty in the financial markets could adversely affect our ability to accurately assess our allowance for credit losses. Our ability to assess the creditworthiness of our customers or to estimate the values of our assets and collateral for loans will be reduced if the models and approaches we use become less predictive of future behaviors, valuations, assumptions or estimates. We estimate losses inherent in our loan portfolio, the adequacy of our allowance for credit losses and the values of certain assets by using estimates based on difficult, subjective, and complex judgments, including estimates as to the effects of economic conditions and how those economic conditions might affect the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans or the value of assets.
Our investment securities portfolio is subject to credit risk, market risk and liquidity risk.
As of December 31, 2019, we had classified 93.5% of our debt securities as available-for-sale pursuant to the Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 320 (“ASC 320”) of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) relating to accounting for investments. ASC 320 requires that unrealized gains and losses in the estimated value of the available-for-sale portfolio be “marked to market” and reflected as a separate item in stockholders’ equity (net of tax) as accumulated other comprehensive income (loss). The remaining debt securities are classified as held-to-maturity in accordance with ASC 320 and are stated at amortized cost. Equity securities with readily determinable fair values are recorded at fair value with changes in fair value recorded in earnings.
In the past, gains on sales of investment securities have not been a significant source of income for us. There can be no assurance that future market performance of our investment portfolio will enable us to realize income from sales of securities. Stockholders’ equity will continue to reflect the unrealized gains and losses (net of tax) of these investments. There can be no assurance that the market value of our investment portfolio will not decline, causing a corresponding decline in stockholders’ equity.
The Bank is a member of the FHLB of Atlanta. A member of the FHLB system is required to purchase stock issued by the relevant FHLB bank based on how much it borrows from the FHLB and the quality of the collateral pledged to secure that
borrowing. Accordingly, our investments include stock issued by the FHLB of Atlanta. These investments could be subject to future impairment charges and there can be no guaranty of future dividends.
Management believes that several factors will affect the market values of our investment portfolio. These risk factors include, but are not limited to, rating agency downgrades of the securities, defaults of the issuers of the securities, lack of market pricing of the securities, and instability in the credit markets. Lack of market activity with respect to some securities has, in certain circumstances, required us to base our fair market valuation on unobservable inputs. Any changes in these risk factors, in current accounting principles or interpretations of these principles could impact our assessment of fair value and thus the determination of other-than-temporary impairment of the securities in the investment securities portfolio. Write-downs of investment securities would negatively affect our earnings and regulatory capital ratios.
Impairment of investment securities, goodwill, other intangible assets, or deferred tax assets could require charges to earnings, which could result in a negative impact on our results of operations.
We are required to record a non-cash charge to earnings when management determines that an investment security is other-than-temporarily impaired. In assessing whether the impairment of investment securities is other-than-temporary, management considers the length of time and extent to which the fair value has been less than cost, the financial condition and near-term prospects of the issuer, and the intent and ability to retain our investment in the security for a period of time sufficient to allow for any anticipated recovery in fair value in the near term.
Under current accounting standards, goodwill is not amortized but, instead, is subject to impairment tests on at least an annual basis or more frequently if an event occurs or circumstances change that reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. Intangible assets other than goodwill are also subject to impairment tests at least annually. A decline in the price of the Company’s common stock or occurrence of a triggering event following any of our quarterly earnings releases and prior to the filing of the periodic report for that period could, under certain circumstances, cause us to perform goodwill and other intangible assets impairment tests and result in an impairment charge being recorded for that period which was not reflected in such earnings release. In the event that we conclude that all or a portion of our goodwill or other intangible assets may be impaired, a non-cash charge for the amount of such impairment would be recorded to earnings. At December 31, 2019, we had recorded goodwill of $17.5 million and other intangible assets of $2.3 million, representing approximately 9.1% and 1.2% of stockholders’ equity, respectively.
In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets, management considers whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Assessing the need for, or the sufficiency of, a valuation allowance requires management to evaluate all available evidence, both negative and positive, including the recent trend of quarterly earnings. Positive evidence necessary to overcome the negative evidence includes whether future taxable income in sufficient amounts and character within the carryback and carryforward periods is available under the tax law, including the use of tax planning strategies. When negative evidence (e.g., cumulative losses in recent years, history of operating loss or tax credit carry forwards expiring unused) exists, more positive evidence than negative evidence will be necessary. At December 31, 2019, our deferred tax assets were approximately $4.0 million. There was a valuation allowance for deferred taxes of $63 thousand recorded at December 31, 2019 on the parent company as management believes it is more likely than not that the losses in the current year will not be realized for state income tax purposes.
Any changes in the Federal or State tax laws may negatively impact our financial performance.
We are subject to changes in tax law that could increase the effective tax rate payable to the state or federal government. These law changes may be retroactive to previous periods and as a result, could negatively affect our current and future financial performance. On December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which among other items reduces the federal corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% effective January 1, 2018. As a result, at December 31, 2017, the Company had to revalue its deferred tax assets which resulted in a write-down of approximately $582 thousand which subsequently increased income tax expense by the same amount. Although this one-time adjustment negatively affected our 2017 earnings, the impact of a lower federal tax rate in 2018 and 2019 had a positive impact on net income.
Changes in accounting standards or interpretation of new or existing standards may affect how we report our financial condition and results of operations.
From time to time the FASB and the SEC change accounting regulations and reporting standards that govern the preparation of the Company’s financial statements. In addition, the FASB, SEC, bank regulators and the outside independent auditors may revise their previous interpretations regarding existing accounting regulations and the application of these accounting standards. These changes can be hard to predict and can materially impact how to record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, there could be a requirement to apply a new or revised accounting standard retroactively, resulting in the restatement of prior period financial statements.
Our future success will depend on our ability to compete effectively in the highly competitive financial services industry.
We face substantial competition in all phases of our operations from a variety of different competitors. We compete with commercial banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage banking firms, consumer finance companies, securities brokerage firms, money market funds and other mutual funds, as well as other local and community, super-regional, national and international financial institutions that operate offices in our primary market areas and elsewhere. Our future growth and success will depend on our ability to compete effectively in this highly competitive financial services environment.
Many of our competitors are well-established, larger financial institutions and many offer products and services that we do not. Many have substantially greater resources, name recognition and market presence that benefit them in attracting business. Some of our competitors are not subject to the same regulations that are imposed on us, including credit unions that do not pay federal income tax, and, therefore, have regulatory advantage over us in accessing funding and in providing various services. While we believe we compete effectively with these other financial institutions in our primary markets, we may face a competitive disadvantage as a result of our smaller size, smaller asset base, lack of geographic diversification and inability to spread our marketing costs across a broader market. If we have to raise interest rates paid on deposits or lower interest rates charged on loans to compete effectively, our net interest margin and income could be negatively affected. Failure to compete effectively to attract new or to retain existing, clients may reduce or limit our net income and our market share and may adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and growth.
Our funding sources may prove insufficient to replace deposits and support our future growth.
We rely on customer deposits, advances from the FHLB, and lines of credit at other financial institutions to fund our operations. Although we have historically been able to replace maturing deposits and advances if desired, no assurance can be given that we would be able to replace such funds in the future if our financial condition or the financial condition of the FHLB or market conditions were to change. Our financial flexibility will be severely constrained and/or our cost of funds will increase if we are unable to maintain our access to funding or if financing necessary to accommodate future growth is not available at favorable interest rates. Finally, if we are required to place greater reliance on more expensive funding sources to support future growth, our revenues may not increase proportionately to cover our costs. In this case, our profitability would be adversely affected.
In addition, the FRB has issued rules pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act governing debit card interchange fees that apply to institutions with greater than $10 billion in assets. Although we are not subject to these rules, market forces may effectively require all banks to adopt debit card interchange fee structures that comply with these rules, in which case our non-interest income for future periods could be materially and adversely affected.
The loss of key personnel could disrupt our operations and result in reduced earnings.
Our growth and profitability will depend upon our ability to attract and retain skilled managerial, marketing and technical personnel. Competition for qualified personnel in the financial services industry is intense, and there can be no assurance that we will be successful in attracting and retaining such personnel. Our current executive officers provide valuable services based on their many years of experience and in-depth knowledge of the banking industry. Due to the intense
competition for financial professionals, these key personnel would be difficult to replace and an unexpected loss of their services could result in a disruption to the continuity of operations and a possible reduction in earnings.
The cost savings that we estimate for mergers and acquisitions may not be realized.
The success of our mergers and acquisitions may depend, in part, on the ability to realize the estimated cost savings from combining the acquired businesses with our existing operations. It is possible that the potential cost savings could turn out to be more difficult to achieve than anticipated. The cost savings estimates also depend on the ability to combine the businesses in a manner that permits those cost savings to be realized. If the estimates turn out to be incorrect or there is an inability to combine successfully, the anticipated cost savings may not be realized fully or at all or may take longer to realize than expected.
Combining acquired businesses with the Bank may be more difficult, costly, or time-consuming than expected, or could result in the loss of customers.
It is possible that the process of merger integration of acquired companies could result in the loss of key employees, the disruption of ongoing business or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies that adversely affect the ability to maintain relationships with clients and employees or to achieve the anticipated benefits of the merger or acquisition. There also may be disruptions that cause the Bank to lose customers or cause customers to withdraw their deposits. Customers may not readily accept changes to their banking arrangements or other customer relationships after the merger or acquisition.
Our lending activities subject us to the risk of environmental liabilities.
A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real property. During the ordinary course of business, we may foreclose on and take title to properties securing certain loans. In doing so, there is a risk that hazardous or toxic substances could be found on these properties. If hazardous or toxic substances are found, we may be liable for remediation costs, as well as for personal injury and property damage.
Environmental laws may require us to incur substantial expenses and may materially reduce the affected property’s value or limit our ability to use or sell the affected property. In addition, future laws or more stringent interpretations of enforcement policies with respect to existing laws may increase our exposure to environmental liability. Although we have policies and procedures to perform an environmental review before initiating any foreclosure action on real property, these reviews may not be sufficient to detect all potential environmental hazards. The remediation costs and any other financial liabilities associated with an environmental hazard could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We may be subject to other adverse claims.
We may from time to time be subject to claims from customers for losses due to alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, errors and omissions of employees, officers and agents, incomplete documentation, the failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, or many other reasons. Also, our employees may knowingly or unknowingly violate laws and regulations. Management may not be aware of any violations until after their occurrence. This lack of knowledge may not insulate us or our subsidiary from liability. Claims and legal actions may result in legal expenses and liabilities that may reduce our profitability and hurt our financial condition.
We depend on the accuracy and completeness of information about customers and counterparties and our financial condition could be adversely affected if we rely on misleading information.
In deciding whether to extend credit or to enter into other transactions with customers and counterparties, we may rely on information furnished to us by or on behalf of customers and counterparties, including financial statements and other financial information, which we do not independently verify. We also may rely on representations of customers and counterparties as to the accuracy and completeness of that information and, with respect to financial statements, on reports of independent auditors. For example, in deciding whether to extend credit to customers, we may assume that a customer’s
audited financial statements conform with U.S. GAAP and present fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of the customer. Our financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted to the extent we rely on financial statements that do not comply with GAAP or are materially misleading.
Our exposure to operational, technological and organizational risk may adversely affect us.
We are exposed to many types of operational risks, including reputation, legal and compliance risk, the risk of fraud or theft by employees or outsiders, unauthorized transactions by employees or operational errors, clerical or record-keeping errors, and errors resulting from faulty or disabled computer or telecommunications systems.
Certain errors may be repeated or compounded before they are discovered and successfully rectified. Our necessary dependence upon automated systems to record and process transactions may further increase the risk that technical system flaws or employee tampering or manipulation of those systems will result in losses that are difficult to detect. We may also be subject to disruptions of our operating systems arising from events that are wholly or partially beyond our control (for example, computer viruses or electrical or telecommunications outages), which may give rise to disruption of service to customers and to financial loss or liability. We are further exposed to the risk that our external vendors may be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations (or will be subject to the same risk of fraud or operational errors by their respective employees as are we) and to the risk that our (or our vendors’) business continuity and data security systems prove to be inadequate.
Our information systems may experience an interruption or breach in security.
We rely heavily on communications and information systems to conduct our business. We, our customers, and other financial institutions with which we interact, are subject to ongoing, continuous attempts to penetrate key systems by individual hackers, organized criminals, and in some cases, state-sponsored organizations. Any failure, interruption or breach in security of these systems could result in failures or disruptions in our customer relationship management, general ledger, deposit, loan and other systems, misappropriation of funds, and theft of proprietary Company or customer data. While we have policies and procedures designed to prevent or limit the effect of the possible failure, interruption or security breach of our information systems, there can be no assurance that any such failure, interruption or security breach will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be adequately addressed. The occurrence of any failure, interruption or security breach of our information systems could damage our reputation, result in a loss of customer business, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, or expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability.
Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.
In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including intellectual property, our proprietary business information and that of our customers, suppliers and business partners, and personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, in our data centers and on our networks. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations and business strategy. Despite our security measures, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. Any such breach could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, and regulatory penalties, disrupt our operations and the services we provide to customers, damage our reputation, and cause a loss of confidence in our products and services, which could adversely affect our business, revenues and competitive position.
Our reliance on third party vendors could expose us to additional cyber risk and liability.
The operation of our business involves outsourcing of certain business functions and reliance on third-party providers, which may result in transmission and maintenance of personal, confidential, and proprietary information to and by such vendors. Although we require third-party providers to maintain certain levels of information security, such providers remain vulnerable to breaches, unauthorized access, misuse, computer viruses, or other malicious attacks that could
ultimately compromise sensitive information possessed by our company. Although we contract to limit our liability in connection with attacks against third-party providers, we remain exposed to risk of loss associated with such vendors.
We outsource certain aspects of our data processing to certain third-party providers which may expose us to additional risk.
We outsource certain key aspects of our data processing to certain third-party providers. While we have selected these third-party providers carefully, we cannot control their actions. If our third-party providers encounter difficulties, including those which result from their failure to provide services for any reason or their poor performance of services, or if we have difficulty in communicating with them, our ability to adequately process and account for customer transactions could be affected, and our business operations could be adversely impacted. Replacing these third-party providers could also entail significant delay and expense.
Our third-party providers may be vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer viruses, phishing schemes and other security breaches. Threats to information security also exist in the processing of customer information through various other third-party providers and their personnel. We may be required to expend significant additional resources to protect against the threat of such security breaches and computer viruses, or to alleviate problems caused by such security breaches or viruses. To the extent that the activities of our third-party providers or the activities of our customers involve the storage and transmission of confidential information, security breaches and viruses could expose us to claims, regulatory scrutiny, litigation and other possible liabilities.
We are dependent on our information technology and telecommunications systems and third-party servicers, and systems failures, interruptions or breaches of security could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our business is highly dependent on the successful and uninterrupted functioning of our information technology and telecommunications systems and third-party servicers. We outsource many of our major systems, such as data processing and deposit processing systems. The failure of these systems, or the termination of a third-party software license or service agreement on which any of these systems is based, could interrupt our operations. Because our information technology and telecommunications systems interface with and depend on third-party systems, we could experience service denials if demand for such services exceeds capacity or such third-party systems fail or experience interruptions. If sustained or repeated, a system failure or service denial could result in a deterioration of our ability to provide customer service, compromise our ability to operate effectively, damage our reputation, result in a loss of customer business and/or subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, we provide our customers the ability to bank remotely, including online over the Internet. The secure transmission of confidential information is a critical element of remote banking. Our network could be vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer viruses, phishing schemes, spam attacks, human error, natural disasters, power loss and other security breaches. We may be required to spend significant capital and other resources to protect against the threat of security breaches and computer viruses, or to alleviate problems caused by security breaches or viruses. Further, we outsource some of the data processing functions used for remote banking, and accordingly we are dependent on the expertise and performance of our third-party providers. To the extent that our activities, the activities of our customers, or the activities of our third-party service providers involve the storage and transmission of confidential information, security breaches and viruses could expose us to claims, litigation and other possible liabilities. Any inability to prevent security breaches or computer viruses could also cause existing customers to lose confidence in our systems and could adversely affect our reputation, results of operations and ability to attract and maintain customers and businesses. In addition, a security breach could also subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability and cause reputational damage.
Technological changes affect our business, and we may have fewer resources than many competitors to invest in technological improvements.
The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. In addition to serving customers better, the effective use of technology may increase efficiency and may enable financial institutions to reduce costs. Our future success will depend, in part, upon our ability to use technology to provide products and services that provide convenience to customers and to create additional efficiencies in operations. We may need to make significant additional capital investments in technology in the future, and we may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services. Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements.
Increased regulatory oversight and uncertainty relating to the LIBOR calculation process and potential phasing out of LIBOR after 2021 may adversely affect the results of our operations.
On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates the London Interbank Offering Rate (“LIBOR”), announced that it intends to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. The announcement indicates that the continuation of LIBOR on the current basis cannot and will not be guaranteed after 2021. It is impossible to predict whether and to what extent banks will continue to provide LIBOR submissions to the administrator of LIBOR, whether LIBOR rates will cease to be published or supported before or after 2021 or whether any additional reforms to LIBOR may be enacted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. Efforts in the United States to identify a set of alternative U.S. dollar reference interest rates include proposals by the Alternative Reference Rates Committee of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Uncertainty as to the nature of alternative reference rates and as to potential changes in other reforms to LIBOR may adversely affect LIBOR rates and the value of LIBOR-based loans, and to a lesser extent securities in our portfolio, and may impact the availability and cost of hedging instruments and borrowings, including the rates we pay on our subordinated debentures and trust preferred securities. If LIBOR rates are no longer available or do not remain an acceptable market benchmark, any successor or replacement interest rates may perform differently, which may adversely affect our revenue or our expenses. We may incur significant costs to transition both our borrowing arrangements and the loan agreements with our customers from LIBOR, which may have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Further, we may face exposure to litigation over the nature and performance of any replacement index. The impact of alternatives to LIBOR on the valuations, pricing and operation of our financial instruments is not yet known.
Risks Relating to the Regulation of our Industry
We operate in a highly regulated environment, which could restrain our growth and profitability.
We are subject to extensive laws and regulations that govern almost all aspects of our operations. These laws and regulations, and the supervisory framework that oversees the administration of these laws and regulations, are primarily intended to protect depositors, the DIF and the banking system as a whole, and not shareholders and consumers. These laws and regulations, among other matters, affect our lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy, operations and growth. Compliance with the myriad laws and regulations applicable to our organization can be difficult and costly. In addition, these laws, regulations and policies are subject to continual review by governmental authorities, and changes to these laws, regulations and policies, including changes in interpretation or implementation of these laws, regulations and policies, could affect us in substantial and unpredictable ways and often impose additional compliance costs. Further, any new laws, rules and regulations, such as the Dodd-Frank Act and regulatory capital rules, could make compliance more difficult or expensive. All of these laws and regulations, and the supervisory framework applicable to our industry, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Federal and state regulators periodically examine our business, and we may be required to remediate adverse examination findings.
The FRB and the Commissioner periodically examine our business, including our compliance with laws and regulations. If, as a result of an examination, the FRB or the Commissioner were to determine that our financial condition, capital
resource, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity or other aspects of any of our operations had become unsatisfactory, or that we were in violation of any law or regulation, it may take a number of different remedial actions as it deems appropriate. These actions include the power to enjoin “unsafe or unsound” practices, to require affirmative action to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice, to issue an administrative order that can be judicially enforced, to direct an increase in our capital, to restrict our growth, to assess civil monetary penalties against our officers or directors, to remove officers and directors and, if it is concluded that such conditions cannot be corrected or there is an imminent risk of loss to depositors, to terminate our deposit insurance and place us into receivership or conservatorship. Any regulatory action against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our FDIC deposit insurance premiums and assessments may increase.
The deposits of the Bank are insured by the FDIC up to legal limits and, accordingly, subject to the payment of FDIC deposit insurance assessments. The Bank’s regular assessments are determined by its risk classifications, which are based on its regulatory capital levels and the level of supervisory concern that it poses. High levels of bank failures since the beginning of the financial crisis and increases in the statutory deposit insurance limits have increased resolution costs to the FDIC and put significant pressure on the DIF. In order to maintain a strong funding position and restore the reserve ratios of the DIF, the FDIC increased deposit insurance assessment rates and charged a special assessment to all FDIC-insured financial institutions. Further increase in assessment rates or special assessments may occur in the future, especially if there are significant additional financial institution failures. Any future special assessments, increases in assessment rates or required prepayments in FDIC insurance premiums could reduce our profitability or limit our ability to pursue certain business opportunities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to numerous laws designed to protect consumers, including the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws, and failure to comply with these laws could lead to a wide variety of sanctions.
The CRA, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act and other fair lending laws and regulations impose nondiscriminatory lending requirements on financial institutions. The Department of Justice and other federal agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. A successful regulatory challenge to an institution’s performance under the CRA or fair lending laws and regulations could result in a wide variety of sanctions, including damages and civil money penalties, injunctive relief, restrictions on mergers and acquisition activity, restrictions on expansion and restrictions on entering new business lines. Private parties may also have the ability to challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in private class action litigation. Such actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to evolving and extensive regulations and requirements. Our failure to adhere to these requirements or the failure or circumvention of our controls and procedures could seriously harm our business.
We are subject to extensive regulation as a financial institution and are also required to follow the corporate governance and financial reporting practices and policies required of a company whose stock is registered under the Exchange Act and listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Compliance with these requirements means we incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses. Compliance also requires a significant diversion of management time and attention, particularly with regard to disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. Although we have reviewed, and will continue to review, our disclosure controls and procedures in order to determine whether they are effective, our controls and procedures may not be able to prevent errors or frauds in the future.
Faulty judgments, simple errors or mistakes, or the failure of our personnel to adhere to established controls and procedures may make it difficult for us to ensure that the objectives of the control system will be met. A failure of our controls and procedures to detect other than inconsequential errors or fraud could seriously harm our business and results of operations.
We face a risk of noncompliance and enforcement action with the BSA and other anti-money laundering statues and regulations.
The BSA, the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and file suspicious activity and currency transaction reports as appropriate. The federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and has recently engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts with the individual federal banking regulators, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service. We are also subject to increased scrutiny of compliance with the rules enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. If our policies, procedures and systems are deemed deficient, we would be subject to liability, including fines and regulatory actions, which may include restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and the necessity to obtain regulatory approvals to proceed with certain aspects of our business plan, including our acquisition plans. Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Relating to the Company’s Securities
Our common stock is not insured by any governmental entity.
Our common stock is not a deposit account or other obligation of any bank and is not insured by the FDIC or any other governmental entity. Investment in our common stock is subject to risk, including possible loss.
Our ability to pay dividends is limited by law and contract.
The continued ability to pay dividends to shareholders depends in part on dividends from the Bank. The amount of dividends that the Bank may pay to the Company is limited by federal laws and regulations. The ability of the Bank to pay dividends is also subject to its profitability, financial condition and cash flow requirements. There is no assurance that the Bank will be able to pay dividends to the Company in the future. The decision may be made to limit the payment of dividends even when the legal ability to pay them exists, in order to retain earnings for other uses.
The shares of our common stock are not heavily traded.
Shares of our common stock are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, but are not heavily traded. Securities that are not heavily traded can be more volatile than stock trading in an active public market. Stock price volatility may make it more difficult for you to resell your common stock when you want and at prices you find attractive. Our stock price can fluctuate significantly and may decline in response to a variety of factors including:
Actual or anticipated variations in quarterly results of operations;
Developments in our business or the financial sector generally;
Recommendations by securities analysts;
Operating and stock price performance of other companies that investors deem comparable to us;
News reports relating to trends, concerns and other issues in the financial services industry;
Perceptions in the marketplace regarding us or our competitors;
New technology used or services offered by competitors;
Significant acquisitions or business combinations, strategic partnerships, joint venture or capital commitments by or involving us or our competitors;
Failure to integrate acquisitions or realize anticipated benefits from acquisitions;
Regulatory changes affecting our industry generally or our business or operations; or
Geopolitical conditions such as acts or threats of terrorism or military conflicts.
Management cannot predict the extent to which an active public market for the shares of the common stock will develop or be sustained in the future. Accordingly, holders of shares of our common stock may not be able to sell them at the
volumes, prices, or times that they desire. General market fluctuations, industry factors and general economic and political conditions and events, such as economic slowdowns or recessions, interest rate changes or credit loss trends, could also cause our stock price to decrease regardless of operating results. We urge you to obtain current market quotations for our common stock when you consider investing in our common stock.
Future sales of our common stock or other securities may dilute the value and adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
In many situations, the board of directors has the authority, without any vote of our shareholders, to issue shares of authorized but unissued stock, including shares authorized and unissued under our equity incentive plans. In the future, additional securities may be issued, through public or private offerings, in order to raise additional capital. Any such issuance would dilute the percentage of ownership interest of existing shareholders and may dilute the per share book value of our common stock. In addition, option holders may exercise their options at a time when we would otherwise be able to obtain additional equity capital on more favorable terms.
Our Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws and Maryland law may discourage a corporate takeover which may make it more difficult for stockholders to receive a change in control premium.
Our Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation, as supplemented (the “Charter”), and Amended and Restated By-Laws, as amended (the “By-Laws”), contain certain provisions designed to enhance the ability of the board of directors to deal with attempts to acquire control of us. The Charter and By-Laws provide for the classification of the board into three classes; directors of each class generally serve for staggered three-year periods. No director may be removed except for cause and then only by a vote of at least two-thirds of the total eligible stockholder votes. The Charter gives the board certain powers in respect of our securities. First, the board has the authority to classify and reclassify unissued shares of stock of any class or series of stock by setting, fixing, eliminating, or altering in any one or more respects the preferences, rights, voting powers, restrictions and qualifications of, dividends on, and redemption, conversion, exchange, and other rights of, such securities. Second, a majority of the board, without action by the stockholders, may amend the Charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class that we have authority to issue. The board could use these powers, along with its authority to authorize the issuance of securities of any class or series, to issue securities having terms favorable to management to persons affiliated with or otherwise friendly to management.
Maryland law also contains anti-takeover provisions that apply to us. The Maryland Business Combination Act generally prohibits, subject to certain limited exceptions, corporations from being involved in any “business combination” (defined as a variety of transactions, including a merger, consolidation, share exchange, asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities) with any “interested shareholder” for a period of five years following the most recent date on which the interested shareholder became an interested shareholder. An interested shareholder is defined generally as a person who is the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation after the date on which the corporation had 100 or more beneficial owners of its stock or who is an affiliate or associate of the corporation and was the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding stock of the corporation at any time within the two-year period immediately prior to the date in question and after the date on which the corporation had 100 or more beneficial owners of its stock. The Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act applies to acquisitions of “control shares,” which, subject to certain exceptions, are shares the acquisition of which entitle the holder, directly or indirectly, to exercise or direct the exercise of the voting power of shares of stock of the corporation in the election of directors within any of the following ranges of voting power: one-tenth or more, but less than one-third of all voting power; one-third or more, but less than a majority of all voting power or a majority or more of all voting power. Control shares have limited voting rights. The By-Laws exempt our capital securities from the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act, but the board has the authority to eliminate the exemption without stockholder approval.
Although these provisions do not preclude a takeover, they may have the effect of discouraging, delaying or deferring a tender offer or takeover attempt that a stockholder might consider in his or her best interest, including those attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the common stock. Such provisions will also render the removal of the board of directors and of management more difficult and, therefore, may serve to perpetuate current management. These provisions could potentially adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
We may issue debt and equity securities that are senior to the common stock as to distributions and in liquidation, which could negatively affect the value of the common stock.
In the future, we may increase our capital resources by entering into debt or debt-like financing or issuing debt or equity securities, which could include issuances of senior notes, subordinated notes, preferred stock or common stock. In the event of our liquidation, our lenders and holders of our debt or preferred securities would receive a distribution of our available assets before distributions to the holders of our common stock. Our decision to incur debt and issue securities in future offerings will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control. We cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of its future offerings and debt financings. Future offerings could reduce the value of shares of our common stock and dilute a stockholder’s interest in us.
Our offices are listed in the tables below. The address of the Company and Bank’s main office is 18 East Dover Street in Easton, Maryland. The Company owns the real property at 28969 Information Lane in Easton, Maryland, which also houses the Operations, Information Technology, Human Resources and Finance departments of the Company and its subsidiary.
Shore United Bank
Elliott Road Branch
Tred Avon Square Branch
18 East Dover Street
8275 Elliott Road
212 Marlboro Road
Easton, Maryland 21601
Easton, Maryland 21601
Easton, Maryland 21601
St. Michaels Branch
1013 South Talbot Street
424 Dorchester Avenue
109 North Commerce Street
St. Michaels, Maryland 21663
Cambridge, Maryland 21613
Centreville, Maryland 21617
Route 213 South Branch
2609 Centreville Road
300 Castle Marina Road
850 South 5th Avenue
Centreville, Maryland 21617
Chester, Maryland 21619
Denton, Maryland 21629
202 Pullman Crossing
408 Thompson Creek Road
22151 WES Street
Grasonville, Maryland 21638
Stevensville, Maryland 21666
Ridgely, Maryland 21660
Washington Square Branch
899 Washington Avenue
120 West Main Street
698-A North Dupont Boulevard
Chestertown, Maryland 21620
Felton, Delaware 19943
Milford, Delaware 19963
4580 South DuPont Highway
800 S. Governors Avenue
1101 Maiden Choice Lane
Camden, Delaware 19934
Dover, Delaware 19904
Baltimore, MD 21229
Owings Mills Branch
6050 Marshalee Drive
9612 Reisterstown Road
25306 Lankford Highway
Elkridge, MD 21075
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Onley, VA 23418
Memorial Hospital at Easton
219 South Washington Street
218 North Washington Street
Easton, Maryland 21601
Easton, Maryland 21601
Division Office - Wye Financial & Trust 16 North Washington Street, Suite 1 Easton, Maryland 21601
Loan Production Office – Middletown 651 North Broad Street Suite 201 Middletown, Delaware 19709
Loan Production Office – Ocean City 9748 Stephen Decatur Highway Unit 104 Ocean City, Maryland 21842
The Bank owns the real property on which all of its Maryland offices are located, except that it operates under leases at its St. Michaels branch, loan production office in Ocean City and the office of Wye Financial and Trust in Easton. The Bank leases the real property on which all of its Delaware offices are located, except that it owns the real property on which the Camden and Dover Branches are located. The Bank operates under a lease at its Onley branch in Virginia. For information about rent expense for all leased premises, see Note 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements appearing in Item 8 of Part II of this annual report.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
We are at times, in the ordinary course of business, subject to legal actions. Management, upon the advice of counsel, believes that losses, if any, resulting from current legal actions will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
MARKET INFORMATION, HOLDERS AND CASH DIVIDENDS
The shares of the Company’s common stock are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SHBI”. As of February 28, 2019, the Company had approximately 1,648 registered holders of record.
Shareholders received quarterly cash dividends on shares of common stock totaling $5.3 million in 2019 and $4.1 million in 2018. Dividends increased from 2018 due to the Company’s improved operating results from continuing operations and excess capital. As a general matter, the payment of dividends is at the discretion of the Company’s Board of Directors, based on such factors as operating results, financial condition, capital adequacy, regulatory requirements, and stockholder return. The Company anticipates continuing a regular quarterly cash dividend. However, we have no obligation to pay dividends and we may change our dividend policy at any time without notice to shareholders. Any future determination to pay dividends to holders of our common stock will depend on our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, banking regulations, contractual restrictions and any other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.
The transfer agent for the Company’s common stock is:
51 Mercedes Way
Edgewood, NY 11717
Investor Relations: 1‑800‑353‑0103
E-mail for investor inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org .
EQUITY COMPENSATION PLAN INFORMATION
The following table contains information about these equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2019.
Number of securities
Number of securities to be
remaining available for future
issued upon exercise of
exercise price of
issuance under equity
outstanding options, warrants
compensation plans [excluding
warrants, and rights
securities reflected in
column (a)] ( c)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders(1)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders(1)
In addition to stock options and stock appreciation rights, the 2016 Plan permits the grant of stock awards, stock units, and performance units, and the shares available for issuance shown in column (c) may be granted pursuant to such awards. Subject to the anti-dilution provisions of the Omnibus Plan, the maximum number of shares of restricted stock that may be granted to any participant in any calendar year is 50,000; the maximum number of restricted stock units that may be granted to any one participant in any calendar year is 30,000; and the maximum dollar value of
performance units that may be granted to any one participant in any calendar year is $1,000,000. As of December 31, 2019, the Company has granted 213,511 shares of restricted stock and 106,494 in restricted stock units that are not reflected in column (a) of this table.
All other information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to the section of the Company’s definitive proxy statement to be filed in connection with the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders entitled “Beneficial Ownership of Common Stock”.
UNREGISTERED SALES OF EQUITY SECURITIES AND USE OF PROCEEDS
There were no unregistered sales of the Company’s stock during the fourth quarter of 2019.
On April 24, 2019 the Corporation’s Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase program. Under the stock repurchase program, the Corporation is authorized to repurchase up to $10 million, or approximately 5%, of its common stock for 2019 and 2020. The program may be limited or terminated at any time without prior notice. During the three months ended December 31, 2019, the Corporation repurchased 242,000 shares under the recently approved stock repurchase program.
The following table provides information with respect to purchases made by or on behalf of us or any “affiliated purchaser” (as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Exchange Act) of our common stock during the fourth quarter of 2019.
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
The following discussion compares the Company’s financial condition at December 31, 2019 to its financial condition at December 31, 2018 and the results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018. This discussion should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the Notes thereto appearing in Item 8 of Part II of this annual report.
The Company recorded net income of $16.20 million for 2019 and net income of $25.00 million for 2018. The Company recorded net income from continuing operations of $16.28 million for 2019 and net income from continuing operations of $15.76 million for 2018, which excludes the sale of the Company’s retail insurance business, Avon Dixon, LLC(“Avon”) on December 31, 2018 for net proceeds of $25.2 million and a net gain after tax of $9.2 million. The basic and diluted income per share was $1.27 which was comprised of $1.28 from continuing operations and ($.01) from discontinued operations for 2019 and $1.24 from continuing operations and $0.72 from discontinued operations for 2018. When comparing net income from continuing operations for 2019 to 2018, earnings improved due to an increase in noninterest income and a lower provision for credit losses, partially offset by lower net interest income and higher noninterest expenses.
Total assets were $1.559 billion at December 31, 2019, a $76.2 million, or 5.1%, increase when compared to the $1.483 billion at December 31, 2018. The primary factors contributing to the increase were increases in gross loans of $53.3 million, interest-bearing deposits with other banks of $25.6 million and other assets of $22.9 million which included the purchase of $26.5 million in bank owned life insurance (“BOLI”) during 2019, partially offset by decreases of $31.6 million in investment securities.
Total deposits increased $129.0 million, or 10.6% to $1.341 billion at December 31, 2019. The increase was due to increases in rates paid on core deposits as well as rate specials on time deposits. Total stockholders’ equity increased $9.6 million, or 5.2%, to $192.8 million, or 12.37% of total assets at December 31, 2019. The increase in total stockholders’ equity was primarily due to current year earnings and other comprehensive income, which primarily consisted of unrealized gains in available-for-sale securities for 2019, compared to unrealized losses in 2018.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES
The Company’s consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP and follow general practices within the industries in which it operates. Application of these principles requires management to make estimates, assumptions, and judgments that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. These estimates, assumptions, and judgments are based on information available as of the date of the financial statements; accordingly, as this information changes, the financial statements could reflect different estimates, assumptions, and judgments. Certain policies inherently have a greater reliance on the use of estimates, assumptions, and judgments and as such have a greater possibility of producing results that could be materially different than originally reported.
The most significant accounting policies that the Company follows are presented in Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. These policies, along with the disclosures presented in the notes to the financial statements and in this discussion, provide information on how significant assets and liabilities are valued in the financial statements and how those values are determined. Based on the valuation techniques used and the sensitivity of financial statement amounts to the methods, assumptions, and estimates underlying those amounts, management has determined that the accounting policies with respect to the allowance for credit losses and goodwill and other intangible assets are critical accounting policies. These policies are considered critical because they relate to accounting areas that require the most subjective or complex judgments, and, as such, could be most subject to revision as new information becomes available.
The allowance for credit losses represents management’s estimate of credit losses inherent in the loan portfolio as of the balance sheet date. Determining the amount of the allowance for credit losses is considered a critical accounting estimate because it requires significant judgment and the use of estimates related to the amount and timing of expected future cash flows on impaired loans, estimated losses on pools of similar loans based on historical loss experience, and consideration
of current economic trends and conditions, all of which may be susceptible to significant change. The loan portfolio also represents the largest asset type on the consolidated balance sheets. Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements describes the methodology used to determine the allowance for credit losses. A discussion of the allowance determination and factors driving changes in the amount of the allowance for credit losses is included in the Asset Quality - Provision for Credit Losses and Risk Management section below.
Goodwill represents the excess of the cost of an acquisition over the fair value of the net assets acquired. Other intangible assets represent purchased assets that also lack physical substance but can be distinguished from goodwill because of contractual or other legal rights or because the asset is capable of being sold or exchanged either on its own or in combination with a related contract, asset or liability. Goodwill and other intangible assets are required to be recorded at fair value at inception. Determining fair value is subjective, requiring the use of estimates, assumptions and management judgment. Goodwill is tested at least annually for impairment, usually during the fourth quarter, or on an interim basis if circumstances dictate. Intangible assets that have finite lives are amortized over their estimated useful lives and also are subject to impairment testing. Impairment testing requires a qualitative assessment or that the fair value of each of the Company’s reporting units be compared to the carrying amount of its net assets, including goodwill. If the fair value of a reporting unit is less than book value, an expense may be required to write down the related goodwill to record an impairment loss. As of December 31, 2019, the Company had only one banking reporting unit.
RECENT ACCOUNTING PRONOUNCEMENTS AND DEVELOPMENTS
The Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements discuss new accounting policies that the Company adopted during 2019 and the expected impact of accounting policies recently issued or proposed but not yet required to be adopted. To the extent the adoption of new accounting standards materially affects our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity, the impacts are discussed in the applicable section(s) of this discussion and Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Net Interest Income and Net Interest Margin
Net interest income remains the most significant factor affecting our results of operations. Net interest income represents the excess of interest and fees earned on total average earning assets (loans, investment securities, federal funds sold and interest-bearing deposits with other banks) over interest owed on average interest-bearing liabilities (deposits and borrowings). Tax-equivalent net interest income is net interest income adjusted for the tax-favored status of income from certain loans and investments. As shown in the table below, tax-equivalent net interest income for 2019 was $50.3 million. This represented a $455 thousand, or less than 1%, decrease from 2018. Net interest income increased $5.0 million, or 10.9%, for 2018 when compared to 2017. The decrease in net interest income when comparing 2019 to 2018 was primarily the result of higher average balances and rates paid on interest-bearing deposits, partially offset by higher average balances and yields on loans. The increase in net interest income when comparing 2018 to 2017 was primarily due to funding loan growth with lower yielding assets and, to a lesser extent a higher overall yield on earning assets. When comparing 2019 to 2018, interest income increased $3.9 million while interest expense increased $4.4 million. When comparing 2018 to 2017, interest income increased $8.0 million while interest expense increased $3.0 million.
Our net interest margin (i.e., tax-equivalent net interest income divided by average earning assets) represents the net yield on earning assets minus the cost of average interest liabilities. The net interest margin is managed through loan and deposit pricing and asset/liability strategies. The net interest margin was 3.54% for 2019 and 3.74% for 2018. The net interest margin decreased when comparing 2019 to 2018 due to the significant increase in the average balance of interest-bearing deposits in conjunction with higher rates paid on these deposits, partially offset by an improvement in the yield on total earning assets and a reduction in the average balance of short-term borrowings. The net interest margin was stable in 2018 and 2017. The net interest spread, which is the difference between the average yield on earning assets and the rate paid for interest-bearing liabilities, was 3.20% for 2019, 3.57% for 2018 and 3.67% for 2017.
The following table sets forth the major components of net interest income, on a tax-equivalent basis, for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017.
(Dollars in thousands)
Loans (2), (3)
Total earning assets
Cash and due from banks
Allowance for credit losses
Money market and savings deposits
Certificates of deposit $100,000 or more
Other time deposits
Total interest-bearing liabilities
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity
Net interest spread
Net interest margin
All amounts are reported on a tax-equivalent basis computed using the statutory federal income tax rate of 21% for 2019 and 21% for 2018 and 35% for 2017, exclusive of the alternative minimum tax rate and nondeductible interest expense. The tax-equivalent adjustment amounts used in the above table to compute yields aggregated $162 thousand in 2019, $114 thousand in 2018 and $242 thousand in 2017.
Average loan balances include nonaccrual loans.
Interest income on loans includes amortized loan fees, net of costs, and all are included in the yield calculations.
On a tax-equivalent basis, total interest income was $59.9 million for 2019 compared to $56.0 million for 2018. The increase in interest income for 2019 compared to 2018 was primarily due to the increase in the average balance and yields on loans. For 2019 compared to 2018, the average balance of loans increased $73.2 million and the yield earned on these loans improved to 4.53% from 4.46%. The increased volume of loans coupled with a disciplined effort to maintain and attempt to improve rates on new loan originations resulted in an increase in tax-equivalent interest income of $4.1 million. Interest income on interest-bearing deposits with other banks increased $508 thousand or 177.6%, partially offset by a reduction in the average balance on taxable investment securities in 2019 compared to 2018.
On a tax-equivalent basis, total interest income was $56.0 million for 2018 compared to $48.0 million for 2017. The increase in interest income for 2018 compared to 2017 was primarily due to the increase in the average balance of loans coupled with a higher yield on taxable investment securities. Interest income on taxable investment securities increased
$442 thousand or 11.5% in 2018 compared to 2017. For 2018 compared to 2017, average loans increased $169.7 million and the yield earned on loans remained flat at 4.46%. The increased volume of loans coupled with a disciplined effort to maintain and attempt to improve rates on new loan originations resulted in an increase in tax-equivalent interest income of $7.6 million. Also impacting interest income is the accretion of acquisition accounting adjustments from the branch acquisition in 2017 for loans of $319 thousand and $506 thousand for 2018 and 2017, respectively, which is accounted for using a level yield method.
As a percentage of total average earning assets, loans, investment securities, and interest-bearing deposits were 86.2%, 11.0%, and 2.8%, respectively, for 2019 which reflected an increase in higher yielding earning assets as well as excess liquidity over 2018. The comparable percentages for 2018 were 84.9%, 14.0%, and 1.1%, respectively, and for 2017 were 80.9%, 16.6%, and 2.5%, respectively. When comparing 2019 to 2018, the overall increase in average balances of earning assets produced $3.9 million more in interest income the result of an increasing yield on loans, coupled with higher average balances in interest-bearing deposits, as seen in the Rate/Volume Variance Analysis below. When comparing 2018 to 2017, the overall increase in average balances of earning assets produced $7.1 million more in interest income the result of a stable yield on loans, coupled with higher yields on taxable investment securities and interest-bearing deposits which produced $860 thousand more in interest income, as seen in the Rate/Volume Variance Analysis below.
Interest expense was $9.6 million for 2019 compared to $5.3 million for 2018. The increase in interest expense for 2019 was primarily due to increases in the average balances and rates paid on interest-bearing deposits, partially offset by a reduction in the average balances on short-term borrowings. During 2019 demand deposits, money market/savings deposits and certificates of deposit over $100 thousand experienced the most significant growth with increases in the average balances of $37.3 million, $10.7 million and $14.7 million, respectively, while the rates paid on these deposits increased 37, 45 and 96 bps, respectively. Alternatively, the average balances on short-term borrowings decreased $58.9 million when compared to 2018, with a rate of 2.61% and 2.12%, respectively.
Interest expense was $5.3 million for 2018 compared to $2.3 million for 2017. The increase in interest expense for 2018 was primarily due to increases in short and long-term borrowings, rates paid on interest-bearing deposits and the addition of brokered deposits. The average balances on short-term and long-term deposits increased $72.8 million and $3.6 million when compared to 2017, with a rate of 2.12% and 2.89%, respectively. Additionally, brokered deposits were added during 2018 resulting in an average balance of $14.8 million with a rate of 2.12%. Both demand deposits and money market/savings deposits experienced growth with increases in average balances of $5.5 million and $38.4 million, respectively, while the rates paid on these deposits increased 12 and 15 bps, respectively. Also impacting interest expense is the accretion of acquisition accounting adjustments from the branch acquisition in 2017 for CD’s of $275 thousand.
During 2019, higher rates on interest-bearing liabilities produced $5.5 million more in interest expense and decreased volume produced $1.1 million less in interest expense, as shown in the table below. In 2018, higher rates on interest-bearing liabilities produced $1.2 million more in interest expense and increased volume produced $1.8 million more in interest expense.
The following Rate/Volume Variance Analysis identifies the portion of the changes in tax-equivalent net interest income attributable to changes in volume of average balances or to changes in the yield on earning assets and rates paid on interest-bearing liabilities. The rate and volume variance for each category has been allocated on a consistent basis between rate and volume variances, based on a percentage of rate, or volume, variance to the sum of the absolute two variances.