Note 24 - Selected Quarterly Consolidated Financial Data (Unaudited)
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.
Item 9B. Other Information.
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.
Item 11. Executive Compensation.
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services.
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules.
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary.
Washington Trust Bancorp Earnings 2018-12-31
WASH 10K Annual Report
10-K 1 washform10k2018q4.htm FORM 10-K 12-31-18 Document
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
Annual report pursuant to section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the fiscal year ended DECEMBER 31, 2018 or
Transition report pursuant to section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the transition period from ____________ to ____________
Commission file number: 001-32991
WASHINGTON TRUST BANCORP, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
23 BROAD STREET, WESTERLY, RHODE ISLAND
(Address of principal executive offices)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: 401-348-1200
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
COMMON STOCK, $.0625 PAR VALUE PER SHARE
THE NASDAQ STOCK MARKET LLC
(Title of each class)
(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. oYes xNo
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. oYes xNo
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. xYes oNo
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). xYes oNo
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer x
Accelerated filer o
Non-accelerated filer o
Smaller reporting company o
Emerging growth company o
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 accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). oYes xNo
The aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant at June 30, 2018 was $868,380,894 based on a closing sales price of $58.10 per share as reported on the NASDAQ Stock Market, which includes $23,757,845 held by The Washington Trust Company, of Westerly under trust agreements and other instruments.
The number of shares of the registrant’s common stock, $.0625 par value per share, outstanding as of January 31, 2019 was 17,302,047.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Registrant’s Proxy Statement dated March 12, 2019 for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 23, 2019 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.
This report contains statements that are “forward-looking statements.” We may also make forward-looking statements in other documents we file with the SEC, in our annual reports to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials, and in oral statements made by our officers, directors or employees. You can identify forward-looking statements by the use of the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “assume,” “outlook,” “will,” “should,” and other expressions that predict or indicate future events and trends and which do not relate to historical matters. You should not rely on forward-looking statements, because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control. These risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different than the anticipated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
Some of the factors that might cause these differences include the following: weakness in national, regional or international economic conditions or conditions affecting the banking or financial services industries or financial capital markets; volatility in national and international financial markets; reductions in net interest income resulting from interest rate volatility as well as changes in the balance and mix of loans and deposits; reductions in the market value or outflows of wealth management assets under administration; changes in the value of securities and other assets; reductions in loan demand; changes in loan collectability, default and charge-off rates; changes in the size and nature of our competition; changes in legislation or regulation and accounting principles, policies and guidelines; occurrences of cyberattacks, hacking and identity theft; natural disasters; and changes in the assumptions used in making such forward-looking statements. In addition, the factors described under “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K may result in these differences. You should carefully review all of these factors and you should be aware that there may be other factors that could cause these differences. These forward-looking statements were based on information, plans and estimates at the date of this report, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect changes in underlying assumptions or factors, new information, future events or other changes.
ITEM 1. Business.
Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.
Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (the “Bancorp”), a publicly-owned registered bank holding company that has elected to be a financial holding company, was organized in 1984 under the laws of the state of Rhode Island. The Bancorp’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol WASH. The Bancorp owns all of the outstanding common stock of The Washington Trust Company, of Westerly (the “Bank”), a Rhode Island chartered commercial bank founded in 1800. The Bancorp was formed in 1984 under a plan of reorganization in which outstanding common shares of the Bank were exchanged for common shares of the Bancorp. See additional information under the caption “Subsidiaries.”
References in this report to “Washington Trust” or the “Corporation” refer to the Bancorp and its subsidiaries. Washington Trust offers a comprehensive product line of banking and financial services to individuals and businesses, including commercial, residential and consumer lending, retail and commercial deposit products, and wealth management and trust services through its offices in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts; its automated teller machine (“ATM”) networks; and its internet website at www.washtrust.com.
The accounting and reporting policies of Washington Trust conform to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and to general practices of the banking industry. At December 31, 2018, Washington Trust had total assets of $5.0 billion, total deposits of $3.5 billion and total shareholders’ equity of $448.2 million.
Washington Trust’s total loan portfolio amounted to $3.7 billion, or 73% of total assets, at December 31, 2018. The Corporation’s lending activities are conducted primarily in southern New England and, to a lesser extent, other states. Washington Trust offers a variety of commercial and retail lending products. Interest rates charged on loans may be fixed or variable and vary with the degree of risk, loan term, underwriting and servicing costs, loan amount and the
extent of other banking relationships maintained with customers. Rates are further subject to competitive pressures, the current interest rate environment, availability of funds and government regulations.
Management evaluates the appropriateness of underwriting standards in response to changes in national and regional economic conditions, including such matters as market interest rates, energy prices, trends in real estate values and employment levels. Based on management’s assessment of these matters, underwriting standards and credit monitoring activities are enhanced from time to time in response to changes in these conditions. These assessments may result in clarification of debt service ratio calculations, changes in geographic and loan type concentrations, modifications to loan to value standards for real estate collateral, changes in credit monitoring criteria and enhancements to monitoring of construction loans.
The commercial loan portfolio represented 55% of total loans at December 31, 2018. In making commercial loans, Washington Trust may occasionally solicit the participation of other banks. Washington Trust also participates from time to time in commercial loans originated by other banks. In such cases, these loans are individually underwritten by us using standards similar to those employed for our self-originated loans. Our participation in commercial loans originated by other banks also includes shared national credits. Effective January 1, 2018, shared national credits are defined as participations in loans or loan commitments of at least $100.0 million that are shared by three or more banks. Commercial loans fall into two major categories: commercial real estate and commercial and industrial loans.
Commercial real estate loans consist of commercial mortgages secured by real property where the primary source of repayment is derived from rental income associated with the property or the proceeds of the sale, refinancing or permanent financing of the property. Commercial real estate loans also include construction loans made to businesses for land development or the on-site construction of industrial, commercial or residential buildings. Commercial real estate loans frequently involve larger loan balances to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers. The Bank’s commercial real estate loans are secured by a variety of property types, such as office buildings, retail facilities, multi-family dwellings, lodging, commercial mixed use, industrial and warehouse properties and healthcare facilities. At December 31, 2018, commercial real estate loans represented 69% of the total commercial loan portfolio and 38% of the total loan portfolio.
Commercial and industrial loans primarily provide working capital, equipment financing and financing for other business-related purposes. Commercial and industrial loans are frequently collateralized by equipment, inventory, accounts receivable and/or general business assets. A significant portion of the Bank’s commercial and industrial loan portfolio is also collateralized by real estate. Commercial and industrial loans also include tax-exempt loans made to states and political subdivisions, as well as industrial development or revenue bonds issued through quasi-public corporations for the benefit of a private or non-profit entity where that entity rather than the governmental entity is obligated to pay the debt service. The Bank’s commercial and industrial loan portfolio includes loans to business sectors such as health care/social assistance, manufacturing, owner-occupied and other real estate, educational services, professional, scientific and technical, finance and insurance, retail trade and transportation and warehousing. At December 31, 2018, commercial and industrial loans represented 31% of the total commercial loan portfolio and 17% of the total loan portfolio.
Residential Real Estate Loans
Washington Trust originates residential real estate mortgages through our residential mortgage lending offices in Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts and Connecticut. Our mortgage origination business reaches beyond our bank branch network, which is primarily located in Rhode Island.
The residential real estate loan portfolio consists of mortgage and homeowner construction loans secured by one- to four-family residential properties and represented 37% of total loans at December 31, 2018. Residential real estate loans are primarily originated by commissioned mortgage originator employees. Residential real estate loans are originated both for sale in the secondary market, as well as for retention in the Bank’s loan portfolio. Loan sales to the secondary market provide funds for additional lending and other banking activities. Loans originated for sale in the secondary market are sold to investors such as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”), Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”) and other institutional investors. Washington Trust sells loans with servicing retained or released. Residential real estate loans are also originated for various investors in a broker capacity, including conventional mortgages and reverse mortgages. In 2018, residential mortgage loan originations for retention in portfolio amounted to
$335.6 million, while loans originated for sale in the secondary market, including loans originated in a broker capacity, totaled $427.0 million.
Also included in the residential real estate mortgage portfolio are purchased mortgage loans secured by one- to four-family residential properties in southern New England and other states. These loans were purchased from other financial institutions and were individually evaluated to Washington Trust’s underwriting standards. As of December 31, 2018, purchased residential mortgages were largely secured by properties located in Massachusetts and represented 8% of the total residential real estate loan portfolio and 3% of the total loan portfolio.
The consumer loan portfolio represented 8% of total loans as of December 31, 2018. Consumer loans include home equity loans and lines of credit and personal installment loans. Home equity lines and home equity loans represent 91% of the total consumer portfolio at December 31, 2018. Our home equity line and home equity loan origination activities are conducted primarily in southern New England. The Bank estimates that approximately 65% of the combined home equity line and home equity loan balances are first lien positions or subordinate to other Washington Trust mortgages.
Washington Trust also purchases loans to individuals secured by general aviation aircraft. These loans are individually underwritten by us at the time of purchase using standards similar to those employed for self-originated consumer loans. At December 31, 2018, these purchased loans represented 6% of the total consumer loan portfolio and 0.5% of the total loan portfolio.
At December 31, 2018, total deposits amounted to $3.5 billion. Deposits represent Washington Trust’s primary source of funds and are gathered primarily from the areas surrounding our branch network. The Bank offers a wide variety of deposit products with a range of interest rates and terms to consumer, commercial, non-profit and municipal deposit customers. Washington Trust’s deposit accounts consist of noninterest-bearing demand deposits, interest-bearing demand deposits, NOW accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts and time deposits. A variety of retirement deposit accounts are offered to customers. Additional deposit services provided to customers include debit cards, ATMs, telephone banking, internet banking, mobile banking, remote deposit capture and other cash management services. Brokered time deposits from out-of-market institutional sources are also utilized as part of our overall funding strategy.
Washington Trust is a participant in the Insured Cash Sweep (“ICS”) program, the Demand Deposit Marketplace (“DDM”) program and the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (“CDARS”) program. Washington Trust uses these deposit sweep services to place customer and client funds into interest-bearing demand accounts, money market accounts, and/or certificates of deposits issued by other participating banks. Customer and client funds are placed at one or more participating banks to ensure that each deposit customer is eligible for the full amount of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insurance. As a program participant, we receive reciprocal amounts of deposits from other participating banks. We consider these reciprocal deposit balances to be in-market deposits as distinguished from traditional out-of-market brokered deposits.
Wealth Management Services
Washington Trust provides a broad range of wealth management services to personal and institutional clients. These services include investment management; financial planning; personal trust and estate services, including services as trustee, personal representative, custodian and guardian; and settlement of decedents’ estates. Institutional trust services are also provided, including custody and fiduciary services. Wealth management services are primarily provided through the Bank and its registered investment adviser subsidiaries. See additional information under the caption “Subsidiaries.”
At December 31, 2018, wealth management assets under administration totaled $5.9 billion. These assets are not included in the Consolidated Financial Statements. Washington Trust’s wealth management revenues represented 20% of total revenues in 2018. A substantial portion of wealth management revenues is largely dependent on the value of wealth management assets under administration and is closely tied to the performance of the financial markets. This portion of wealth management revenues is referred to as “asset-based” and includes trust and investment management fees. Wealth management revenues also include “transaction-based” revenues, such as financial planning, commissions and other service fees that are not primarily derived from the value of assets.
Investment Securities Portfolio
Washington Trust’s investment securities portfolio amounted to $938.2 million, or 19% of total assets, at December 31, 2018 and is managed to generate interest income, to implement interest rate risk management strategies and to provide a readily available source of liquidity for balance sheet management. See Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
Washington Trust may acquire, hold and transact in various types of investment securities in accordance with applicable federal regulations, state statutes and guidelines specified in Washington Trust’s internal investment policy. At December 31, 2018, the investment securities portfolio consisted of obligations of U.S. government agencies and government-sponsored enterprises, including mortgage-backed securities; obligations of states and political subdivisions; individual name issuer trust preferred debt securities; and corporate bonds.
Wholesale Funding Activities
The Bank is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (“FHLB”). The Bank utilizes advances from the FHLB to meet short-term liquidity needs and also to fund loan growth and additions to the securities portfolio. As a member of the FHLB, the Bank must own a minimum amount of FHLB stock, calculated periodically based primarily on its level of borrowings from the FHLB. At December 31, 2018, the Bank had advances payable to the FHLB of $950.7 million. In addition, the Bank had borrowing capacity remaining of $628.5 million, as well as a $40.0 million unused line of credit with the FHLB at December 31, 2018. The Bank pledges certain qualified investment securities and loans as collateral to the FHLB. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
Additional funding sources are available through the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (“FRB”) and in other forms of borrowing, such as securities sold under repurchase agreements. As noted above under the heading “Deposit Activities,” the Corporation also utilizes out-of-market brokered time deposits as part of its overall funding program.
The Bancorp’s subsidiaries include the Bank and Weston Securities Corporation (“WSC”). In addition, the Bancorp also owns all of the outstanding common stock of WT Capital Trust I and WT Capital Trust II, special purpose finance entities formed with the sole purpose of issuing trust preferred debt securities and investing the proceeds in junior subordinated debentures of the Bancorp. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
The following is a description of Bancorp’s primary operating subsidiaries:
The Washington Trust Company, of Westerly
The Bank was originally chartered in 1800 as the Washington Bank and is the largest state-chartered bank headquartered in Rhode Island and the oldest community bank in the nation. Its current charter dates to 1902.
The Bank provides a broad range of financial services, including commercial, residential and consumer lending, retail and commercial deposit products, and wealth management and trust services. The deposits of the Bank are insured by the FDIC, subject to regulatory limits.
The Bank has two registered investment adviser subsidiaries, Weston Financial Group, Inc. (“Weston Financial”) and Halsey Associates, Inc. (“Halsey”). Weston Financial and its broker-dealer and insurance agency subsidiaries were acquired by the Bancorp in August 2005 and are located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Halsey was acquired by the Bancorp in August 2015 and is located in New Haven, Connecticut. The acquisitions of Weston Financial and Halsey expanded the geographic reach of Washington Trust’s wealth management business.
The Bank also has a mortgage banking subsidiary, Washington Trust Mortgage Company LLC (“WTMC”) that is licensed to do business in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. See “-Supervision and Regulation-Consumer Protection Regulation-Mortgage Reform” for a discussion of certain regulations that apply to WTMC. Washington Trust’s residential mortgage origination business conducted in our residential mortgage lending offices located outside of Rhode Island is performed by this Bank subsidiary.
The Bank has other subsidiaries whose primary functions are to provide servicing on passive investments, such as loans acquired from the Bank and investment securities. In addition, the Bank has a subsidiary that was formed for the purpose of holding, monitoring and disposing of certain foreclosed properties. The Bank also has a limited liability company subsidiary that serves as a special limited partner responsible for certain administrative functions associated with the Bank’s investment in two real estate limited partnerships.
Weston Securities Corporation
WSC is a licensed introducing broker-dealer that offers variable annuities and 529 College Savings Plans, primarily to Weston Financial clients. Prior to September 30, 2017, WSC also offered mutual funds to Weston Financial clients and acted as the principal distributor to a group of mutual funds for which Weston Financial was the investment adviser. In the third quarter of 2017, the mutual funds were dissolved and liquidated pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Dissolution and Liquidation approved by the shareholders of the mutual funds in August 2017.
Washington Trust’s headquarters and main office is located in Westerly in Washington County, Rhode Island. Washington Trust’s primary deposit gathering area consists of the communities that are served by its branch network. As of December 31, 2018, the Bank had 10 branch offices located in southern Rhode Island (Washington County), 11 branch offices located in the greater Providence area in Rhode Island and one branch office located in southeastern Connecticut. We continue our expansion efforts into the greater Providence area, as both the population and number of businesses in that area far exceed those in southern Rhode Island. In January 2019, Washington Trust opened a full-service branch in North Providence, Rhode Island.
As noted above, Washington Trust’s lending activities are conducted primarily in southern New England and, to a lesser extent, other states. In addition to branch offices, the Bank has a commercial lending office at its main office and in the financial district of Providence, Rhode Island. Washington Trust also has six residential mortgage lending offices located in eastern Massachusetts (Sharon, Burlington, Braintree and Wellesley); in Glastonbury, Connecticut; and in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Washington Trust provides wealth management services from its offices located in Westerly, Narragansett and Providence, Rhode Island; Wellesley, Massachusetts; and New Haven, Connecticut.
Washington Trust faces considerable competition in its market area for all aspects of banking and related financial service activities. Competition from both bank and non-bank organizations is expected to continue.
Washington Trust contends with strong competition both in generating loans and attracting deposits. The primary factors in competing are interest rates, financing terms, fees charged, products offered, personalized customer service, online access to accounts and convenience of branch locations, ATMs and branch hours. Competition comes from commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions and internet banks, as well as other non-bank institutions. Washington Trust faces strong competition from larger institutions with relatively greater resources, broader product lines and larger delivery systems. Competition could intensify in the future as a result of industry consolidation, the increasing availability of products and services from non-bank institutions, greater technological developments in the industry and continued bank regulatory changes.
Washington Trust operates in a highly competitive wealth management services marketplace. Key competitive factors include investment performance, quality and level of service, as well as personal relationships. Principal competitors in the wealth management services business are commercial banks and trust companies, investment advisory firms, mutual fund companies, stock brokerage firms and other financial companies. Many of these companies have greater resources than Washington Trust.
At December 31, 2018, Washington Trust had 623 employees consisting of 601 full-time and 22 part-time and other employees. Management considers relations with its employees to be good. Washington Trust maintains a comprehensive employee benefit program providing, among other benefits, group medical and dental insurance, life insurance, disability insurance and a 401(k) plan. Washington Trust maintains a tax-qualified defined benefit pension plan (“qualified pension
plan”) for the benefit of certain eligible employees who were hired prior to October 1, 2007. Washington Trust also has non-qualified defined benefit retirement plans to provide supplemental retirement benefits to certain employees, as described in these plans. The defined benefit pension plans were previously amended to freeze benefit accruals after a ten-year transition period ending in December 2023. See Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on certain employee benefit programs.
The information required by Securities Act Guide 3 “Statistical Disclosure by Bank Holding Companies” is located on the pages noted below.
Distribution of Assets, Liabilities and Stockholder Equity; Interest Rates and Interest Differentials
Summary of Loan Loss Experience
Return on Equity and Assets
Supervision and Regulation
The following discussion addresses elements of the regulatory framework applicable to Washington Trust. Federal and state banking laws have as their principal objective the maintenance of the safety and soundness of financial institutions and the federal deposit insurance system or the protection of consumers or depositors, rather than the protection of shareholders of a bank holding company, such as the Bancorp.
The following discussion is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the statutes, regulations, policies and guidelines described below.
Regulation of the Bancorp
As a bank holding company, the Bancorp is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve”) under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”), and the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, Division of Banking (the “RI Division of Banking”).
The Federal Reserve has the authority to issue orders to bank holding companies to cease and desist from unsafe or unsound banking practices and violations of laws, regulations, or regulatory conditions. The Federal Reserve is also empowered to assess civil money penalties against companies or individuals who violate the BHCA or orders or regulations thereunder, to order termination of non-banking activities of non-banking subsidiaries of bank holding companies, and to order termination of ownership and control of a non-banking subsidiary by a bank holding company.
Source of Strength. Under the BHCA, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), the Bancorp is required to serve as a source of financial strength for the Bank. This support may be required at times when the Bancorp may not have the resources to provide support to the Bank. In the event of a bank holding company’s bankruptcy, any commitment by the bank holding company to a federal bank regulatory agency to maintain the capital of a bank subsidiary will be assumed by the bankruptcy trustee and entitled to a priority of payment.
Acquisitions and Activities. The BHCA prohibits a bank holding company, without prior approval of the Federal Reserve, from acquiring all or substantially all the assets of a bank, acquiring control of a bank, merging or consolidating with another bank holding company, or acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of any voting shares of another bank or bank holding company if, after such acquisition, the acquiring bank holding company would control more than 5% of any class of the voting shares of such other bank or bank holding company.
The BHCA generally prohibits a bank holding company from engaging directly or indirectly in activities other than those of banking, managing or controlling banks or furnishing services to its subsidiary banks. However, bank holding
companies are permitted to engage directly or indirectly in, and acquire control of companies engaged in, activities that the Federal Reserve had determined as of November 11, 1999 to be so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident thereto, subject to certain prior notification procedures and other requirements. In 2005, the Bancorp elected financial holding company status pursuant to the provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (“GLBA”). As a financial holding company, the Bancorp is authorized to engage in certain financial activities in which a bank holding company that has not elected to be a financial holding company may not engage. “Financial activities” is broadly defined to include not only banking, insurance and securities activities, but also merchant banking and additional activities that the Federal Reserve, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines to be financial in nature, incidental to such financial activities, or complementary activities that do not pose a substantial risk to the safety and soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally. Currently, as a financial holding company, the Bancorp engages, through its subsidiary WSC, in broker-dealer activities pursuant to this authority.
If a financial holding company or any depository institution subsidiary of a financial holding company fails to remain well capitalized and well managed, the Federal Reserve may impose such limitations on the conduct or activities of the financial holding company as the Federal Reserve determines to be appropriate, and the company and its affiliates may not commence any new activity or acquire control of shares of any company engaged in any activity that is authorized particularly for financial holding companies without first obtaining the approval of the Federal Reserve. The company must also enter into an agreement with the Federal Reserve to comply with all applicable requirements to qualify as a financial holding company. If a financial holding company remains out of compliance for 180 days or such longer period as the Federal Reserve permits, the Federal Reserve may require the financial holding company to divest either its insured depository institution or all of its non-banking subsidiaries engaged in activities not permissible for a bank holding company. If an insured depository institution subsidiary of a financial holding company fails to maintain a “satisfactory” or better record of performance under the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”), the financial holding company will be prohibited, until the rating is raised to satisfactory or better, from engaging in new activities authorized particularly for financial holding companies or acquiring companies engaged in such activities.
Limitations on Acquisitions of Bancorp Common Stock. The Change in Bank Control Act prohibits a person or group of persons acting in concert from acquiring “control” of a bank holding company unless the Federal Reserve has been notified and has not objected to the transaction. Under a rebuttable presumption established by the Federal Reserve, the acquisition of 10% or more of a class of voting securities of a bank holding company, such as the Bancorp, with a class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act, would, under the circumstances set forth in the presumption, constitute the acquisition of control of a bank holding company. In addition, the BHCA prohibits any company from acquiring control of a bank or bank holding company without first having obtained the approval of the Federal Reserve. Among other circumstances, under the BHCA, a company has control of a bank or bank holding company if the company owns, controls or holds with power to vote 25% or more of a class of voting securities of the bank or bank holding company, controls in any manner the election of a majority of directors or trustees of the bank or bank holding company, or the Federal Reserve has determined, after notice and opportunity for hearing, that the company has the power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of the bank or bank holding company.
Regulation of the Bank
The Bank is subject to the regulation, supervision and examination by the FDIC, the RI Division of Banking and the Connecticut Department of Banking. The Bank is also subject to various Rhode Island and Connecticut business and banking regulations and the regulations issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) (as enforced by the FDIC). Additionally, under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Federal Reserve may directly examine the subsidiaries of the Bancorp, including the Bank.
The FDIC, the RI Division of Banking and the Connecticut Department of Banking have the authority to issue orders to banks under their supervision to cease and desist from unsafe or unsound banking practices and violations of laws, regulations, or regulatory conditions. The FDIC, the RI Division of Banking and the Connecticut Department of Banking are also empowered to assess civil money penalties against companies or individuals who violate banking laws, orders or regulations.
Deposit Insurance. The deposit obligations of the Bank are insured by the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”) up to $250,000 per depositor. The Federal Deposit Insurance Act (the “FDIA”), as amended by the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, requires the FDIC to take steps as may be necessary to cause the ratio of deposit
insurance reserves to estimated insured deposits, the designated reserve ratio, to reach 1.35% by September 30, 2020, and it mandates that the reserve ratio designated by the FDIC for any year may not be less than 1.35%. Further, the Dodd-Frank Act required that, in setting assessments, the FDIC offset with credits the effect of the increase in the minimum reserve ratio from 1.15% to 1.35% on banks with less than $10 billion in assets.
To satisfy these requirements, in 2016, the FDIC’s Board of Directors approved a final rule to increase the DIF’s reserve ratio to the statutorily required minimum ratio of 1.35% of estimated insured deposits. The final rule imposes on large banks a surcharge of 4.5 basis points of their assessment base, after making certain adjustments. Large banks, which are generally banks with $10 billion or more in assets, will pay quarterly surcharges in addition to their regular risk-based assessments. Overall regular risk-based assessment rates decline once the reserve ratio reaches 1.15%. Small banks, such as the Bank, receive credits to offset the portion of their assessments that help to raise the reserve ratio from 1.15% to 1.35%. After the reserve ratio reaches 1.38%, the FDIC automatically applies a small bank’s credits to reduce its regular assessment up to the entire amount of the assessment for each period when the reserve ratio is at or above 1.38%.
Deposit premiums are based on assets. To determine its deposit insurance premium, the Bank computes the base amount of its average consolidated assets less its average tangible equity (defined as the amount of Tier 1 capital) and the applicable assessment rate. In 2016, the FDIC’s Board of Directors adopted a final rule that changed the manner in which deposit insurance assessment rates are calculated for established small banks, generally those banks with less than $10 billion of assets that have been insured for at least five years. The rule utilizes the CAMELS rating system, which is a supervisory rating system designed to take into account and reflect all financial and operational risks that a bank may face, including capital adequacy, asset quality, management capability, earnings, liquidity and sensitivity to market risk. To determine a bank’s assessment rate, each of seven financial ratios and a weighted average of CAMELS component ratings are multiplied by a corresponding pricing multiplier. The sum of these products is added to a uniform amount, with the resulting sum being an institution’s initial base assessment rate (subject to minimum or maximum assessment rates based on a bank’s CAMELS composite rating). This method takes into account various measures, including an institution’s leverage ratio, brokered deposit ratio, one year asset growth, the ratio of net income before taxes to total assets and considerations related to asset quality. Assessments for established small banks with a CAMELS rating of 1 or 2 range from 1.5 to 16 basis points, after adjustments, while assessment rates for established small banks with a CAMELS rating of 4 or 5 range from 11 to 30 basis points, after adjustments. Assessments for established small banks with a CAMELS rating of 3 range from 3 to 30 basis points.
The FDIC has the authority to adjust deposit insurance assessment rates at any time. In addition, under the FDIA, the FDIC may terminate deposit insurance upon a finding that the institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC. For 2018, the FDIC insurance expense for the Bank was $1.6 million.
Acquisitions and Branching. Prior approval from the RI Division of Banking and the FDIC is required in order for the Bank to acquire another bank or establish a new branch office. Well capitalized and well managed banks may acquire other banks in any state, subject to certain deposit concentration limits and other conditions, pursuant to the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act authorizes a state-chartered bank, such as the Bank, to establish new branches on an interstate basis to the same extent a bank chartered by the host state may establish branches.
Activities and Investments of Insured State-Chartered Banks. Section 24 of the FDIA generally limits the types of equity investments an FDIC-insured state-chartered bank, such as the Bank, may make and the kinds of activities in which such a bank may engage, as a principal, to those that are permissible for national banks. Further, the GLBA permits national banks and state banks, to the extent permitted under state law, to engage via financial subsidiaries in certain activities that are permissible for subsidiaries of a financial holding company. In order to form a financial subsidiary, a state-chartered bank must be “well capitalized,” and such banks must comply with certain capital deduction, risk management and affiliate transaction rules, among other requirements.
Brokered Deposits. Section 29 of the FDIA and FDIC regulations generally limit the ability of an insured depository institution to accept, renew or roll over any brokered deposit unless the institution’s capital category is “well capitalized” or, with the FDIC’s approval, “adequately capitalized.” Section 202 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “Growth Act”), which was enacted on May 24, 2018, amends Section 29 of the FDIA to
exempt a capped amount of reciprocal deposits from treatment as brokered deposits for certain insured depository institutions. Specifically, the Growth Act provides that reciprocal deposits received by an agent depository institution that places deposits (other than those obtained by or through a deposit broker) with a deposit placement network are not considered to be funds obtained by or through a deposit broker to the extent the total amount of such reciprocal deposits does not exceed the lesser of $5 billion or 20% of the depository institution’s total liabilities. However, a depository institution that is less than well capitalized may not accept or roll over such excluded reciprocal deposits at a rate of interest that is significantly higher than the prevailing rate in its market area or a national rate cap established by the FDIC. At December 31, 2018, the Bank had reciprocal deposits of less than $5 billion and less than 20% of the Bank’s total liabilities.
Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA requires the FDIC to evaluate the Bank’s performance in helping to meet the credit needs of the entire community it serves, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with its safe and sound banking operations, and to take this record into consideration when evaluating certain applications. The FDIC’s CRA regulations are generally based upon objective criteria of the performance of institutions under three key assessment tests: (i) a lending test, to evaluate the institution’s record of making loans in its service areas; (ii) an investment test, to evaluate the institution’s record of investing in community development projects, affordable housing, and programs benefiting low or moderate income individuals and businesses; and (iii) a service test, to evaluate the institution’s delivery of services through its branches, ATMs and other offices. Failure of an institution to receive at least a “Satisfactory” rating could inhibit the Bank or the Bancorp from undertaking certain activities, including engaging in activities newly permitted as a financial holding company under GLBA and acquisitions of other financial institutions. The Bank has achieved a rating of “Satisfactory” on its most recent examination dated February 8, 2016. Rhode Island and Connecticut also have enacted substantially similar community reinvestment requirements.
Lending Restrictions. Federal law limits a bank’s authority to extend credit to its directors, executive officers and persons or companies that own, control or have power to vote more than 10% of any class of securities of a bank or an affiliate of a bank, as well as to entities controlled by such persons. Among other things, extensions of credit to insiders are required to be made on terms that are substantially the same as, and follow credit underwriting procedures that are not less stringent than, those prevailing for comparable transactions with unaffiliated persons. Also, the terms of such extensions of credit may not involve more than the normal risk of repayment or present other unfavorable features and may not exceed certain limitations on the amount of credit extended to such persons, individually and in the aggregate, which limits are based, in part, on the amount of the bank’s capital. The Dodd-Frank Act explicitly provides that an extension of credit to an insider includes credit exposure arising from a derivatives transaction, repurchase agreement, reverse repurchase agreement, securities lending transaction or securities borrowing transaction. Additionally, the Dodd-Frank Act requires that asset sale transactions with insiders must be on market terms, and if the transaction represents more than 10% of the capital and surplus of the Bank, be approved by a majority of the disinterested directors of the Bank.
Capital Adequacy and Safety and Soundness
Regulatory Capital Requirements. The Federal Reserve and the FDIC have issued substantially similar risk-based and leverage capital rules applicable to U.S. banking organizations such as the Bancorp and the Bank. These rules are intended to reflect the relationship between a banking organization’s capital and the degree of risk associated with its operations based on transactions recorded on-balance sheet as well as off-balance sheet items. The Federal Reserve and the FDIC may from time to time require that a banking organization maintain capital above the minimum levels discussed below, due to the banking organization’s financial condition or actual or anticipated growth.
The capital adequacy rules define qualifying capital instruments and specify minimum amounts of capital as a percentage of assets that banking organizations are required to maintain. Common equity Tier 1 generally includes common stock and related surplus, retained earnings and, in certain cases and subject to certain limitations, minority interests in consolidated subsidiaries, less goodwill, other non-qualifying intangible assets and certain other deductions. Tier 1 capital generally consists of the sum of common equity Tier 1 elements, non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock, and related surplus and, in certain cases and subject to limitations, minority interests in consolidated subsidiaries that do not qualify as common equity Tier 1 capital, less certain deductions. Tier 2 capital generally consists of hybrid capital instruments, perpetual debt and mandatory convertible debt securities, cumulative perpetual preferred stock, term subordinated debt and intermediate-term preferred stock, and, subject to limitations, allowances for loan losses. The sum of Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital less certain required deductions represents qualifying total risk-based capital. Prior to the effectiveness of certain
provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, bank holding companies were permitted to include trust preferred securities and cumulative perpetual preferred stock in Tier 1 capital, subject to limitations. However, the Federal Reserve’s capital rule applicable to bank holding companies permanently grandfathers non-qualifying capital instruments, including trust preferred securities, issued before May 19, 2010 by depository institution holding companies with less than $15 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2009, subject to a limit of 25% of Tier 1 capital. The Bancorp’s currently outstanding trust preferred securities were grandfathered under this rule. In addition, under rules that became effective January 1, 2015, accumulated other comprehensive income (positive or negative) must be reflected in Tier 1 capital; however, the Bancorp was permitted to make a one-time, permanent election to continue to exclude accumulated other comprehensive income from capital. The Bancorp made this election.
Under the capital rules, risk-based capital ratios are calculated by dividing common equity Tier 1 capital, Tier 1 capital and total capital, respectively, by risk-weighted assets. Assets and off-balance sheet credit equivalents are assigned one of several categories of risk weights based primarily on relative risk. Under the Federal Reserve’s rules applicable to the Bancorp and the FDIC’s capital rules applicable to the Bank, the Bancorp and the Bank are each required to maintain a minimum common equity Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 4.5%, a minimum Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 6%, a minimum total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 8% and a minimum leverage ratio requirement of 4%. Additionally, subject to a transition schedule, these rules require an institution to establish a capital conservation buffer of common equity Tier 1 capital in an amount above the minimum risk-based capital requirements for “adequately capitalized” institutions of more than 2.5% of total risk weighted assets, or face restrictions on the ability to pay dividends, pay discretionary bonuses, and to engage in share repurchases. The capital conservation buffer was fully phased in as of January 1, 2019.
Under the FDIC’s prompt corrective action rules, an FDIC supervised institution is considered “well capitalized” if it (i) has a total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 10.0% or greater; (ii) a Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 8.0% or greater; (iii) a common Tier 1 equity ratio of 6.5% or greater, (iv) a leverage capital ratio of 5.0% or greater; and (v) is not subject to any written agreement, order, capital directive, or prompt corrective action directive to meet and maintain a specific capital level for any capital measure. The Bank is considered “well capitalized” under this definition.
Generally, a bank, upon receiving notice that it is not adequately capitalized (i.e., that it is “undercapitalized”), becomes subject to the prompt corrective action provisions of Section 38 of FDIA that, for example, (i) restrict payment of capital distributions and management fees, (ii) require that its federal bank regulator monitor the condition of the institution and its efforts to restore its capital, (iii) require submission of a capital restoration plan, (iv) restrict the growth of the institution’s assets and (v) require prior regulatory approval of certain expansion proposals. A bank that is required to submit a capital restoration plan must concurrently submit a performance guarantee by each company that controls the bank. A bank that is “critically undercapitalized” (i.e., has a ratio of tangible equity to total assets that is equal to or less than 2.0%) will be subject to further restrictions, and generally will be placed in conservatorship or receivership within 90 days.
Current capital rules do not establish standards for determining whether a bank holding company is well capitalized. However, for purposes of processing regulatory applications and notices, the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation Y provides that a bank holding company is considered “well capitalized” if (i) on a consolidated basis, the bank holding company maintains a total risk-based capital ratio of 10% or greater; (ii) on a consolidated basis, the bank holding company maintains a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 6% or greater; and (iii) the bank holding company is not subject to any written agreement, order, capital directive, or prompt corrective action directive issued by the Board to meet and maintain a specific capital level for any capital measure. The Bancorp is considered “well capitalized” under this definition.
Section 201 of the Growth Act directs the federal bank regulatory agencies to establish a community bank leverage ratio of tangible capital to average total consolidated assets of not less than 8% or more than 10%. The legislation provides that a qualifying community bank, which the legislation defines as a depository institution or depository institution holding company with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion, that exceeds the community bank leverage ratio shall be considered to have met the generally applicable leverage capital requirements and the generally applicable risk-based capital requirements. In addition, a depository institution that exceeds the community bank leverage ratio will be regarded as having met the capital ratio requirements that are required in order to be considered well capitalized under Section 38 of the FDIA. The federal banking agencies may exclude institutions from availing themselves of this relief based on the institution’s risk profile, taking into account off-balance sheet exposures, trading assets and liabilities, total notional derivatives exposures and such other factors as the federal banking agencies determine appropriate. The federal banking
agencies have proposed a community bank leverage ratio of 9%, which means that qualifying institutions with a community bank leverage ratio exceeding 9% would be eligible for the relief provided by Section 201 of the Growth Act. The federal banking agencies have also proposed excluding from this relief institutions with levels of off-balance sheet exposures, trading assets and liabilities, mortgage servicing assets and deferred tax assets exceeding certain levels as well as all advanced approaches banking organizations. The Bank continues to monitor the status of the proposed rules.
Safety and Soundness Standard. The FDIA requires the federal bank regulatory agencies to prescribe standards, by regulations or guidelines, relating to internal controls, information systems and internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate risk exposure, asset growth, asset quality, earnings, stock valuation and compensation, fees and benefits, and such other operational and managerial standards as the agencies deem appropriate. Guidelines adopted by the federal bank regulatory agencies establish general standards relating to internal controls and information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, asset quality, earnings, and compensation and benefits. In general, these guidelines require, among other things, appropriate systems and practices to identify and manage the risk and exposures specified in the guidelines. The guidelines prohibit excessive compensation as an unsafe and unsound practice and describe compensation as excessive when the amounts paid are unreasonable or disproportionate to the services performed by an executive officer, employee, director or principal shareholder. In addition, the federal banking agencies adopted regulations that authorize, but do not require, an agency to order an institution that has been given notice by an agency that it is not satisfying any of such safety and soundness standards to submit a compliance plan. If, after being so notified, an institution fails to submit an acceptable compliance plan or fails in any material respect to implement an acceptable compliance plan, the agency must issue an order directing action to correct the deficiency and may issue an order restricting asset growth, requiring an institution to increase its ratio of tangible equity to assets or directing other actions of the types to which an undercapitalized institution is subject under the “prompt corrective action” provisions of the FDIA. See “-Regulatory Capital Requirements” above. If an institution fails to comply with such an order, the agency may seek to enforce such order in judicial proceedings and to impose civil money penalties.
The Bancorp is a legal entity separate and distinct from the Bank and its other subsidiaries. Revenues of the Bancorp are derived primarily from dividends paid to it by the Bank and the Bancorp’s other subsidiaries. The right of the Bancorp, and consequently the right of shareholders of the Bancorp, to participate in any distribution of the assets or earnings of its subsidiaries, through the payment of such dividends or otherwise, is subject to the prior claims of creditors of the subsidiaries, including, with respect to the Bank, depositors of the Bank, except to the extent that certain claims of the Bancorp in a creditor capacity may be recognized.
Restrictions on Bank Holding Company Dividends. The Federal Reserve has the authority to prohibit bank holding companies from paying dividends if such payment is deemed to be an unsafe or unsound practice. The Federal Reserve has indicated generally that it may be an unsafe or unsound practice for bank holding companies to pay dividends unless the bank holding company’s net income over the preceding year is sufficient to fund the dividends and the expected rate of earnings retention is consistent with the organization’s capital needs, asset quality and overall financial condition. Further, under the Federal Reserve’s capital rules, the Bancorp’s ability to pay dividends is restricted if it does not maintain the required capital conservation buffer. See “-Capital Adequacy and Safety and Soundness-Regulatory Capital Requirements” above.
Restrictions on Bank Dividends. The FDIC has the authority to use its enforcement powers to prohibit a bank from paying dividends if, in its opinion, the payment of dividends would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice. Federal law also prohibits the payment of dividends by a bank that will result in the bank failing to meet its applicable capital requirements on a pro forma basis. Payment of dividends by a bank is also restricted pursuant to various state regulatory limitations. Reference is made to Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional discussion of the Bancorp and the Bank’s ability to pay dividends.
Certain Transactions by Bank Holding Companies with their Affiliates
There are various statutory restrictions on the extent to which bank holding companies and their non-bank subsidiaries may borrow, obtain credit from or otherwise engage in “covered transactions” with their insured depository institution subsidiaries. The Dodd-Frank Act amended the definition of affiliate to include an investment fund for which the depository institution or one of its affiliates is an investment adviser. An insured depository institution (and its subsidiaries)
may not lend money to, or engage in covered transactions with, its non-depository institution affiliates if the aggregate amount of “covered transactions” outstanding involving the bank, plus the proposed transaction exceeds the following limits: (i) in the case of any one such affiliate, the aggregate amount of “covered transactions” of the insured depository institution and its subsidiaries cannot exceed 10% of the capital stock and surplus of the insured depository institution; and (ii) in the case of all affiliates, the aggregate amount of covered transactions of the insured depository institution and its subsidiaries cannot exceed 20% of the capital stock and surplus of the insured depository institution. For this purpose, “covered transactions” are defined by statute to include a loan or extension of credit to an affiliate, a purchase of or investment in securities issued by an affiliate, a purchase of assets from an affiliate unless exempted by the Federal Reserve, the acceptance of securities issued by an affiliate as collateral for a loan or extension of credit to any person or company, the issuance of a guarantee, acceptance or letter of credit on behalf of an affiliate, securities borrowing or lending transactions with an affiliate that creates a credit exposure to such affiliate, or a derivatives transaction with an affiliate that creates a credit exposure to such affiliate. “Covered transactions” are also subject to certain collateral security requirements. “Covered transactions” as well as other types of transactions between a bank and a bank holding company must be on market terms and not otherwise unduly favorable to the holding company or an affiliate of the holding company. Moreover, Section 106 of the Bank Holding Company Act Amendments of 1970 provides that, to further competition, a bank holding company and its subsidiaries are prohibited from engaging in certain tying arrangements in connection with any extension of credit, lease or sale of property of any kind, or furnishing of any service.
Consumer Protection Regulation
The Bancorp and the Bank are subject to federal and state laws designed to protect consumers and prohibit unfair or deceptive business practices including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Housing Act, Home Ownership Protection Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (“FACT Act”), the GLBA, the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), the CRA, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, National Flood Insurance Act and various state law counterparts. These laws and regulations mandate certain disclosure requirements and regulate the manner in which financial institutions must interact with customers when taking deposits, making loans, collecting loans and providing other services. Further, the Dodd-Frank Act established the CFPB, which has the responsibility for making rules and regulations under the federal consumer protection laws relating to financial products and services. The CFPB also has a broad mandate to prohibit unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices and is specifically empowered to require certain disclosures to consumers and draft model disclosure forms. Failure to comply with consumer protection laws and regulations can subject financial institutions to enforcement actions, fines and other penalties. The FDIC examines the Bank for compliance with CFPB rules and enforces CFPB rules with respect to the Bank.
Mortgage Reform. The Dodd-Frank Act prescribes certain standards that mortgage lenders must consider before making a residential mortgage loan, including verifying a borrower’s ability to repay such mortgage loan and allows borrowers to assert violations of certain provisions of the TILA as a defense to foreclosure proceedings. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, prepayment penalties are prohibited for certain mortgage transactions and creditors are prohibited from financing insurance policies in connection with a residential mortgage loan or home equity line of credit. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits mortgage originators from receiving compensation based on the terms of residential mortgage loans and generally limits the ability of a mortgage originator to be compensated by others if compensation is received from a consumer. The Dodd-Frank Act requires mortgage lenders to make additional disclosures prior to the extension of credit, in each billing statement and for negative amortization loans and hybrid adjustable rate mortgages. Additionally, CFPB’s qualified mortgage rule (the “QM Rule”), requires creditors, such as Washington Trust, to make a reasonable good faith determination of a consumer's ability to repay any consumer credit transaction secured by a dwelling. The Growth Act included provisions that ease certain requirements related to residential mortgage transactions for certain small depository institutions, which are generally those with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets.
Privacy and Customer Information Security. The GLBA requires financial institutions to implement policies and procedures regarding the disclosure of nonpublic personal information about consumers to nonaffiliated third parties. In general, the Bank must provide its customers with an initial and annual disclosure that explains its policies and procedures regarding the disclosure of such nonpublic personal information, and, except as otherwise required or permitted by law, the Bank is prohibited from disclosing such information except as provided in such policies and procedures. However, an annual disclosure is not required to be provided by a financial institution if the financial institution only discloses information under exceptions from GLBA that do not require an opt out to be provided and if there has been no change in its privacy policies and practices since its most recent disclosure provided to consumers. The GLBA also requires that
the Bank develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive written information security program designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer information (as defined under GLBA), 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. The Bank is also required to send a notice to customers whose sensitive information has been compromised if unauthorized use of the information is reasonably possible. Most states, including the states where the Bank operates, have enacted legislation concerning breaches of data security and the duties of the Bank in response to a data breach. Congress continues to consider federal legislation that would require consumer notice of data security breaches. In addition, Massachusetts has promulgated data security regulations with respect to personal information of Massachusetts residents. Pursuant to the FACT Act, the Bank had to develop and implement a written identity theft prevention program to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft in connection with the opening of certain accounts or certain existing accounts. Additionally, the FACT Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to generally prohibit a person from using information received from an affiliate to make a solicitation for marketing purposes to a consumer, unless the consumer is given notice and a reasonable opportunity and a reasonable and simple method to opt out of the making of such solicitations.
The Bank Secrecy Act. Under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), a financial institution is required to have systems in place to detect certain transactions, based on the size and nature of the transaction. Financial institutions are generally required to report to the U.S. Treasury any cash transactions involving at least $10,000. In addition, financial institutions are required to file suspicious activity reports for any transaction or series of transactions that involve more than $5,000 and which the financial institution knows, suspects or has reason to suspect involves illegal funds, is designed to evade the requirements of the BSA or has no lawful purpose. The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA PATRIOT Act”), which amended the BSA, together with the implementing regulations of various federal regulatory agencies, has caused financial institutions, such as the Bank, to adopt and implement additional policies or amend existing policies and procedures with respect to, among other things, anti-money laundering compliance, suspicious activity, currency transaction reporting, customer identity verification and customer risk analysis. In evaluating an application under Section 3 of the BHCA to acquire a bank or an application under the Bank Merger Act to merge banks or effect a purchase of assets and assumption of deposits and other liabilities, the applicable federal banking regulator must consider the anti-money laundering compliance record of both the applicant and the target. In addition, under the USA PATRIOT Act financial institutions are required to take steps to monitor their correspondent banking and private banking relationships as well as, if applicable, their relationships with “shell banks.”
Office of Foreign Assets Control. The U.S. has imposed economic sanctions that affect transactions with designated foreign countries, nationals and others. These sanctions, which are administered by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), take many different forms. Generally, however, they contain one or more of the following elements: (i) restrictions on trade with or investment in a sanctioned country, including prohibitions against direct or indirect imports from and exports to a sanctioned country and prohibitions on “U.S. persons” engaging in financial or other transactions relating to a sanctioned country or with certain designated persons and entities; (ii) a blocking of assets in which the government or specially designated nationals of the sanctioned country have an interest, by prohibiting transfers of property subject to U.S. jurisdiction (including property in the possession or control of U.S. persons); and (iii) restrictions on transactions with or involving certain persons or entities. Blocked assets (for example, property and bank deposits) cannot be paid out, withdrawn, set off or transferred in any manner without a license from OFAC. Failure to comply with these sanctions could have serious legal and reputational consequences for the Corporation.
Regulation of Other Activities
Registered Investment Adviser and Broker-Dealer. WSC is a registered broker-dealer and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”). WSC is subject to extensive regulation, supervision, and examination by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), FINRA and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. WSC is a licensed introducing broker-dealer that offers variable annuities and 529 College Savings Plans, primarily to Weston Financial clients. Prior to September 30, 2017, WSC acted as the underwriter and principal distributor to a group of open-end mutual funds offering four diversified series of shares, for which Weston Financial was the investment adviser.
Weston Financial is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Advisers Act”), and is subject to extensive regulation, supervision, and examination by the SEC and the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including those related to sales methods, trading practices, the use and safekeeping of customers’ funds and securities, capital structure, record keeping and the conduct of directors, officers and employees. Each of the mutual funds for which Weston Financial acted an investment adviser was registered with the SEC under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), and was subject to requirements thereunder. Shares of each mutual fund were registered with the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and were qualified for sale (or exempt from such qualification) under the laws of each state, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the extent such shares were sold in any of those jurisdictions. In the third quarter of 2017, the mutual funds were dissolved and liquidated pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Dissolution and Liquidation approved by the shareholders of the mutual funds in August 2017.
Halsey is registered as an investment adviser with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act, and is subject to extensive regulation, supervision, and examination by the SEC and the State of Connecticut, including those related to sales methods, trading practices, the use and safekeeping of customers’ funds and securities, capital structure, record keeping and the conduct of directors, officers and employees.
As investment advisers, Weston Financial and Halsey are subject to the Investment Advisers Act and any regulations promulgated thereunder, including fiduciary, recordkeeping, operational and disclosure obligations. In addition, an adviser or subadvisor to a registered investment company generally has obligations with respect to the qualification of the registered investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).
The foregoing laws and regulations generally grant supervisory agencies and bodies broad administrative powers, including the power to limit or restrict Weston Financial and Halsey from conducting business in the event it fails to comply with such laws and regulations. Possible sanctions that may be imposed in the event of such noncompliance include the suspension of individual employees, limitations on business activities for specified periods of time, revocation of registration as an investment adviser, commodity trading adviser and/or other registrations, and other censures and fines.
Mortgage Lending. WTMC, formed in 2012, is a mortgage banking subsidiary of the Bank and licensed to do business in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. WTMC is subject to the regulation, supervision and examination by the banking divisions in each of these states. See “-Consumer Protection Regulation” and “-Consumer Protection Regulation-Mortgage Reform” above for a description of certain regulations that apply to WTMC.
Volcker Rule Restrictions on Proprietary Trading and Sponsorship of Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds. The Dodd-Frank Act prohibits banking organizations from engaging in proprietary trading and from sponsoring and investing in hedge funds and private equity funds, except as permitted under certain limited circumstances, in a provision commonly referred to as the “Volcker Rule.” Under the Dodd-Frank Act, proprietary trading generally means trading by a banking entity or its affiliate for its trading account. Hedge funds and private equity funds are described by the Dodd-Frank Act as funds that would be registered under the Investment Company Act but for certain enumerated exemptions. Section 203 of the Growth Act includes a provision that excludes a banking organization from application of the Volcker Rule if the organization does not have and is not controlled by a company that has (i) more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, and (ii) total trading assets and trading liabilities exceeding 5% of total consolidated assets.
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The Bank, Weston Financial and Halsey are each also subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), and related regulations, to the extent it is a “fiduciary” under ERISA with respect to some of its clients. ERISA and related provisions of the Code impose duties on persons who are fiduciaries under ERISA, and prohibit certain transactions involving the assets of each ERISA plan that is a client of the Bank, Weston Financial or Halsey, as applicable, as well as certain transactions by the fiduciaries (and several other related parties) to such plans.
Securities and Exchange Commission Availability of Filings
Under Sections 13 and 15(d) of the Exchange Act, periodic and current reports must be filed or furnished with the SEC. You may read and copy any reports, statements or other information filed by Washington Trust from commercial document retrieval services and at the website maintained by the SEC at https://www.sec.gov. In addition, Washington Trust makes available free of charge on the Investor Relations section of its website (www.washtrustbancorp.com) its annual report on Form 10-K, its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and exhibits and amendments to those
reports as soon as reasonably practicable after it electronically files such material with, or furnishes it to, the SEC. Information on the Washington Trust website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.
ITEM 1A. Risk Factors.
Before making any investment decision with respect to our common stock, you should carefully consider the risks described below, in addition to the other information contained in this report and in our other filings with the SEC. The risks and uncertainties described below and in our other filings are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also affect our business. If any of these known or unknown risks or uncertainties actually occurs, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be impaired. In that event, the market price for our common stock could decline and you may lose your investment. This report is qualified in its entirety by these risk factors.
Risks Related to Our Banking Business
Changes in the business and economic conditions, particularly those of southern New England, could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
A deterioration in the economy or increased levels of unemployment, among other factors, could lead to erosion of customer confidence, a reduction in general business activity and increased market volatility. The resulting economic pressure on consumers and businesses and the lack of confidence in the financial markets could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and stock price. We primarily serve individuals and businesses located in southern New England and a substantial portion of our loans are secured by properties in southern New England. As a result, a significant portion of our earnings are closely tied to the economy of this region. The weakening or deterioration in the economy of southern New England, including as a result of, among other things, real or threatened acts of war, natural disasters and adverse weather, could result in the following consequences:
loan delinquencies may increase;
problem assets and foreclosures may increase;
demand for our products and services may decline;
collateral for our loans may decline in value, in turn reducing a customer's borrowing power and reducing the value of collateral securing a loan; and
the net worth and liquidity of loan guarantors may decline, impairing their ability to honor commitments to us.
In addition, revenues from mortgage banking activities are largely dependent on mortgage origination and sales volume. Changes in interest rates and the condition of housing markets, which are beyond our control, could adversely impact the volume of residential mortgage originations, sales and related mortgage banking revenues.
Fluctuations in interest rates may reduce our profitability.
Our consolidated results of operations depend, to a large extent, on net interest income, which is the difference between interest income from interest-earning assets, such as loans and investment securities, and interest expense on interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits and borrowings. The narrowing of interest rate spreads could adversely affect our earnings and financial condition. These rates are highly sensitive to many factors beyond our control, including general economic conditions, both domestic and foreign, and the monetary and fiscal policies of various governmental and regulatory authorities.
Certain assets and liabilities may react differently to changes in market interest rates. Further, interest rates on some types of assets and liabilities may fluctuate prior to changes in broader market interest rates, while rates on other types of assets and liabilities may lag behind. Additionally, some assets such as adjustable-rate mortgage loans have features, such as rate caps and floors, which restrict changes in applicable interest rates.
The market values of most of our financial assets are sensitive to fluctuations in market interest rates. Fixed-rate investment securities, mortgage-backed securities and mortgage loans typically decline in value as interest rates rise.
Changes in market interest rates can also affect the extent to which our borrowers prepay loans and the rate of prepayments on mortgage-backed securities. When interest rates increase, prepayments generally decline and when interest rates
decrease prepayments generally increase. Prepayments may adversely affect the value of such loans and investment securities and the income generated by them. Particularly in a decreasing interest rate environment, prepayments may result in the proceeds having to be reinvested at a lower rate than the loan or mortgage-backed security being prepaid. Changes in interest rates can also affect the amount of loans that we originate, as well as the value of loans and our ability to realize gains on the sale of loans.
Increases in interest rates might cause depositors to shift funds from accounts that have a comparatively lower cost, such as regular savings accounts, to accounts with a higher cost, such as certificates of deposit. If the cost of interest-bearing deposits increases at a rate greater than the yields on interest-earning assets increase, our net interest income will be negatively affected. Changes in the asset and liability mix may also affect our net interest income.
We have adopted asset and liability management policies to mitigate the potential adverse effects of changes in interest rates on net interest income, primarily by altering the mix and maturity of loans, investments, funding sources, and derivatives. However, even with these policies in place, a change in interest rates can impact our results of operations or financial condition. While we actively manage against these risks through hedging and other risk management strategies, if our assumptions regarding borrower behavior are wrong or overall economic conditions are significantly different than anticipated, our risk management mitigation techniques may be insufficient.
For additional discussion on interest rate risk, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Asset/Liability Management and Interest Rate Risk.”
Our loan portfolio includes commercial loans, which are generally riskier than other types of loans.
At December 31, 2018, commercial loans represented 55% of our loan portfolio. Commercial loans generally carry larger loan balances and involve a higher risk of nonpayment or late payment than residential mortgage loans. These loans may lack standardized terms and may include a balloon payment feature. The ability of a borrower to make or refinance a balloon payment may be affected by a number of factors, including the financial condition of the borrower, prevailing economic conditions and prevailing interest rates. Repayment of these loans is generally more dependent on the economy and the successful operation of a business. Because of the risks associated with commercial loans, we may experience higher rates of default than if our portfolio were more heavily weighted toward residential mortgage loans. Higher rates of default could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our allowance for loan losses may not be adequate to cover actual loan losses.
We are exposed to the risk that our borrowers may default on their obligations. A borrower’s default on its obligations under one or more loans may result in lost principal and interest income and increased operating expenses as a result of the allocation of management time and resources to the collection and work-out of the loan. In certain situations, where collection efforts are unsuccessful or acceptable work-out arrangements cannot be reached, we may have to write off the loan in whole or in part. In such situations, we may acquire real estate or other assets, if any, that secure the loan through foreclosure or other similar available remedies, and often the amount owed under the defaulted loan exceeds the value of the assets acquired.
We periodically make a determination of an allowance for loan losses based on available information, including, but not limited to, the quality and collectability of the loan portfolio, certain economic conditions, the value of the underlying collateral and the level of nonaccrual and criticized loans. We rely on our loan quality reviews, our experience and our evaluation of economic conditions, among other factors, in determining the amount of provision required for the allowance for loan losses. Provisions to this allowance result in an expense for the period. If, as a result of general economic conditions, changes to previous assumptions, or an increase in defaulted loans, we determine that additional increases in the allowance for loan losses are necessary, we will incur additional expense.
Determining the allowance for loan losses inherently involves a high degree of subjectivity and requires us to make various assumptions and judgments, all of which may undergo material changes. At any time, there are likely to be loans in our portfolio that will result in losses but that have not been identified as nonperforming or potential problem credits. We cannot be sure that we will be able to identify deteriorating credits before they become nonperforming assets or that we will be able to limit losses on those loans that are identified. We may be required to increase our allowance for loan losses for any of several reasons. Federal and state regulators, in reviewing our loan portfolio as part of a regulatory examination, may request that we increase our allowance for loan losses. Changes in economic conditions affecting
borrowers, new information regarding existing loans, identification of additional problem loans and other factors, both within and outside of our control, may require an increase in our allowance for loan losses. In addition, if losses and/or charge-offs in future periods exceed our allowance for loan losses, we will need additional increases in our allowance for loan losses. Any increases in our allowance for loan losses will result in a decrease in our net income and, possibly, our capital, and could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
For a more detailed discussion on the allowance for loan losses, see additional information disclosed in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates.”
Environmental liability associated with our lending activities could result in losses.
In the course of business, we may acquire, through foreclosure, properties securing loans we have originated that are in default. While we believe that our credit granting process incorporates appropriate procedures for the assessment of environmental contamination risk, there is a risk that material environmental violations could be discovered on these properties, particularly with respect to commercial loans secured by real estate. In this event, we might be required to remedy these violations at the affected properties at our sole cost and expense. The cost of this remedial action could substantially exceed the value of affected properties. We may not have adequate remedies against the prior owner or other responsible parties and could find it difficult or impossible to sell the affected properties. These events could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We have credit and market risk inherent in our investment securities portfolio.
We maintain a securities portfolio, which includes obligations of U.S. government-sponsored enterprises and agencies, including mortgage-backed securities; obligations of states and political subdivisions; individual name issuer trust preferred debt securities; and corporate bonds. We seek to limit credit losses in our securities portfolios by generally purchasing only highly-rated securities. The valuation and liquidity of our securities could be adversely impacted by reduced market liquidity, increased normal bid-asked spreads and increased uncertainty of market participants, which could reduce the market value of our securities, even those with no apparent credit exposure. The valuation of our securities requires judgment and as market conditions change security values may also change.
Potential downgrades of U.S. government agency and government-sponsored enterprise securities by one or more of the credit ratings agencies could have a material adverse effect on our operations, earnings and financial condition.
A possible future downgrade of the sovereign credit ratings of the U.S. government and a decline in the perceived creditworthiness of U.S. government-related obligations could impact our ability to obtain funding that is collateralized by affected instruments, as well as affect the pricing of that funding when it is available. A downgrade may also adversely affect the market value of such instruments. We cannot predict if, when or how any changes to the credit ratings or perceived creditworthiness of these organizations will affect economic conditions. Such ratings actions could result in a significant adverse impact on us. Among other things, a downgrade of the sovereign credit ratings of the U.S. government could adversely impact the value of our investment securities portfolio and may trigger requirements to post additional collateral for trades relative to these securities. A downgrade of the sovereign credit ratings of the U.S. government or the credit ratings of related institutions, agencies or instruments would significantly exacerbate the other risks to which we are subject and any related adverse effects on the business, financial condition and results of operations.
We operate in a highly regulated industry, and laws and regulations, or changes in them, could limit or restrict our activities and could have a material adverse effect on our operations.
We are subject to regulation and supervision by the Federal Reserve, and the Bank and its various subsidiaries are subject to regulation and supervision by the FDIC, and the banking divisions or departments of states in which we are licensed to do business. Federal and state laws and regulations govern numerous matters affecting us, including changes in the ownership or control of banks and bank holding companies; maintenance of adequate capital and the financial condition of a financial institution; permissible types, amounts and terms of extensions of credit and investments; the manner in which we conduct mortgage banking activities; permissible non-banking activities; the level of reserves against deposits; and restrictions on dividend payments. The FDIC and the banking divisions or departments of states in which we are licensed to do business have the power to issue consent orders to prevent or remedy unsafe or unsound practices or violations of law by banks subject to their regulation, and the Federal Reserve possesses similar powers with respect to bank holding companies. These and other restrictions limit the manner in which we may conduct business and obtain financing.
The laws, rules, regulations, and supervisory guidance and policies applicable to us are subject to regular modification and change. These changes could adversely and materially impact us. Failure to comply with laws, regulations, policies, or supervisory guidance could result in enforcement and other legal actions by federal and state authorities, including criminal and civil penalties, the loss of FDIC insurance, revocation of a banking charter, other sanctions by regulatory agencies, civil money penalties, and/or reputational damage, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. See “Business-Supervision and Regulation.”
We are subject to capital and liquidity standards that require banks and bank holding companies to maintain more and higher quality capital and greater liquidity than has historically been the case.
We became subject to new capital requirements in 2015. These new standards, which now apply and will be fully phased-in over the next several years, force bank holding companies and their bank subsidiaries to maintain substantially higher levels of capital as a percentage of their assets, with a greater emphasis on common equity as opposed to other components of capital. The need to maintain more and higher quality capital, as well as greater liquidity, and generally increased regulatory scrutiny with respect to capital levels, may at some point limit our business activities, including lending, and our ability to expand. It could also result in our being required to take steps to increase our regulatory capital and may dilute shareholder value or limit our ability to pay dividends or otherwise return capital to our investors through stock repurchases.
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 Community Reinvestment Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act and other fair lending laws and regulations impose community investment and nondiscriminatory lending requirements on financial institutions. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 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 Community Reinvestment Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act or other 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 acquisitions, 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.
The soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect us.
Our ability to engage in routine funding transactions could be adversely affected by the actions and commercial soundness of other financial institutions. Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty and other relationships. We have exposure to a number of different counterparties, and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial industry, including brokers and dealers, other commercial banks, investment banks, and other financial institutions. As a result, defaults by, or even rumors or questions about, one or more financial services institutions, or the financial services industry generally, could lead to market-wide liquidity problems and losses or defaults by us or by other institutions and organizations. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or customer. In addition, our credit risk may be exacerbated when the collateral held by us cannot be liquidated or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the financial instrument exposure due to us. There is no assurance that any such losses would not materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
Changes to and replacement of the LIBOR Benchmark Interest Rate may adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
In 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), a regulator of financial services firms and financial markets in the United Kingdom, stated that it will plan for a phase out of regulatory oversight of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). The FCA has indicated that they will support the LIBOR interest rate indices through 2021 to allow for an orderly transition to alternative reference rates. Other financial services regulators and industry groups, including the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (“ISDA”), are evaluating the possible phase-out of LIBOR and the development of alternate interest rate indices or reference rates. Accordingly, uncertainty as to the nature of such changes may adversely affect the market for or value of LIBOR-based loans, derivatives, investment securities and other financial obligations held by or due to Washington Trust, and could adversely impact our financial condition or results of operations.
Loss of deposits or a change in deposit mix could increase our cost of funding.
Deposits are a low cost and stable source of funding. We compete with banks and other financial institutions for deposits. Funding costs may increase if we are forced to replace deposits with more expensive sources of funding, if clients shift their deposits into higher cost products or if we need to raise interest rates to avoid losing deposits. Higher funding costs reduce our net interest margin, net interest income and net income.
Market changes may adversely affect demand for our services and impact results of operations.
Channels for servicing our customers are evolving rapidly, with less reliance on traditional branch facilities, more use of online and mobile banking, and increased demand for universal bankers and other relationship managers who can service multiple product lines. We compete with larger providers who are rapidly evolving their service channels and escalating the costs of evolving the service process. We have a process for evaluating the profitability of our branch system and other office and operational facilities. The identification of unprofitable operations and facilities can lead to restructuring charges and introduce the risk of disruptions to revenues and customer relationships.
Risks Related to Our Wealth Management Business
Our wealth management business is highly regulated, and the regulators have the ability to limit or restrict our activities and impose fines or suspensions on the conduct of our business.
We offer wealth management services through the Bank, Weston Financial and Halsey. Weston Financial and Halsey are registered investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act. The Investment Advisers Act imposes numerous obligations on registered investment advisers, including fiduciary, record keeping, operational and disclosure obligations. We are also subject to the provisions and regulations of ERISA to the extent that we act as a “fiduciary” under ERISA with respect to certain of our clients. ERISA and the applicable provisions of the federal tax laws impose a number of duties on persons who are fiduciaries under ERISA and prohibit certain transactions involving the assets of each ERISA plan which is a client, as well as certain transactions by the fiduciaries (and certain other related parties) to such plans. Investment contracts with institutional and other clients are typically terminable by the client, also without penalty, upon 30 to 60 days’ notice. Changes in these laws or regulations could have a material adverse impact on our profitability and mode of operations.
The market value of wealth management assets under administration may be negatively affected by changes in economic and market conditions.
Revenues from wealth management services represented 20% of our total revenues for 2018. A substantial portion of these fees are dependent on the market value of wealth management assets under administration, which are primarily marketable securities. Changes in domestic and foreign economic conditions, volatility in financial markets, and general trends in business and finance, all of which are beyond our control, could adversely impact the market value of these assets and the fee revenues derived from the management of these assets.
We may not be able to attract and retain wealth management clients.
Due to strong competition, our wealth management business may not be able to attract and retain clients. Competition is strong because there are numerous well-established and successful investment management and wealth advisory firms including commercial banks and trust companies, investment advisory firms, mutual fund companies, stock brokerage firms, and other financial companies. Many of our competitors have greater resources than we have.
Our ability to successfully attract and retain wealth management clients is dependent upon our ability to compete with competitors’ investment products, level of investment performance, client services and marketing and distribution capabilities. If we are not successful, our results of operations and financial condition may be negatively impacted.
Wealth management revenues are primarily derived from investment management, trustee and personal representative fees and financial planning services. Most of our investment management clients may withdraw funds from accounts under management generally at their sole discretion. Financial planning contracts are terminable upon relatively short notice. The financial performance of our wealth management business is a significant factor in our overall results of operations and financial condition.
Risks Related to Our Operations
We face continuing and growing security risks to our information base, including the information we maintain relating to our customers.
In the ordinary course of business, we rely on electronic communications and information systems to conduct our business and to store sensitive data, including financial information regarding customers. Our electronic communications and information systems infrastructure could be susceptible to cyberattacks, hacking, identity theft or terrorist activity. We have implemented and regularly review and update extensive systems of internal controls and procedures as well as corporate governance policies and procedures intended to protect our business operations, including the security and privacy of all confidential customer information. In addition, we rely on the services of a variety of vendors to meet our data processing and communication needs. No matter how well designed or implemented our controls are, we cannot provide an absolute guarantee to protect our business operations from every type of problem in every situation. A failure or circumvention of these controls could have a material adverse effect on our business operations and financial condition.
We regularly assess and test our security systems and disaster preparedness, including back-up systems, but the risks are substantially escalating. As a result, cybersecurity and the continued enhancement of our controls and processes to protect our systems, data and networks from attacks, unauthorized access or significant damage remain a priority. Accordingly, we may be required to expend additional resources to enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities or exposures. Any breach of our system security could result in disruption of our operations, unauthorized access to confidential customer information, significant regulatory costs, litigation exposure and other possible damages, loss or liability. Such costs or losses could exceed the amount of available insurance coverage, if any, and would adversely affect our earnings. Also, any failure to prevent a security breach or to quickly and effectively deal with such a breach could negatively impact customer confidence, damaging our reputation and undermining our ability to attract and keep customers.
We rely on other companies to provide key components of our business infrastructure.
Third party vendors provide key components of our business infrastructure such as internet connections, network access and core application processing. While we have selected these third party vendors carefully, we do not control their actions. Any problems caused by these third parties, including as a result of their not providing us their services for any reason or their performing their services poorly, could adversely affect our ability to deliver products and services to our customers or otherwise conduct our business efficiently and effectively. Replacing these third party vendors could also entail significant delay and expense.
We may not be able to successfully implement future information technology system enhancements, which could adversely affect our business operations and profitability.
We invest significant resources in information technology system enhancements in order to provide functionality and security at an appropriate level. We may not be able to successfully implement and integrate future system enhancements, which could adversely impact the ability to provide timely and accurate financial information in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, which could result in sanctions from regulatory authorities. Such sanctions could include fines and suspension of trading in our stock, among others. In addition, future system enhancements could have higher than expected costs and/or result in operating inefficiencies, which could increase the costs associated with the implementation as well as ongoing operations.
Failure to properly utilize system enhancements that are implemented in the future could result in impairment charges that adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations and could result in significant costs to remediate or replace the defective components. In addition, we may incur significant training, licensing, maintenance, consulting and amortization expenses during and after systems implementations, and any such costs may continue for an extended period of time.
We may not be able to compete effectively in our increasingly competitive industry.
We compete with larger bank and non-bank financial institutions for loans and deposits in the communities we serve, and we may face even greater competition in the future due to legislative, regulatory and technological changes and continued consolidation. Many of our competitors have significantly greater resources and lending limits than we have. Banks and other financial services firms can merge under the umbrella of a financial holding company, which can offer virtually any type of financial service. In addition, technology has lowered barriers to entry and made it possible for non-banks to offer products and services traditionally provided by banks, such as automated transfer and automatic payment
systems. Many competitors have fewer regulatory constraints and may have lower cost structures than we do. Additionally, due to their size, many competitors may be able to achieve economies of scale and, as a result, may offer a broader range of products and services as well as better pricing for those products and services than we can. Our long-term success depends on our ability to compete successfully with other financial institutions in our service areas.
We may be unable to attract and retain key personnel.
Our success depends, in large part, on our ability to attract and retain key personnel. Competition for qualified personnel in the financial services industry can be intense and we may not be able to hire or retain the key personnel that we depend upon for success. Certain key personnel that have regular direct contact with customers and clients often build strong relationships that are important to our business. The unexpected loss of services of one or more of our key personnel could have a material adverse impact on our business because of their skills, knowledge of the markets in which we operate, years of industry experience and the difficulty of promptly finding qualified replacement personnel. Also, the loss of key personnel could jeopardize our relationships with customers and clients and could lead to the loss of accounts. Losses of such accounts could have a material adverse impact on our business.
Damage to our reputation could significantly harm our business, including our competitive position and business prospects.
We are dependent on our reputation within our market area, as a trusted and responsible financial services company, for all aspects of our business with customers, employees, vendors, third-party service providers, and others, with whom we conduct business or potential future businesses. Our ability to attract and retain customers and employees could be adversely affected if our reputation is damaged. Our actual or perceived failure to address various issues could give rise to reputational risk that could cause harm to us and our business prospects. These issues also include, but are not limited to, legal and regulatory requirements; properly maintaining customer and employee personal information; record keeping; money-laundering; sales and trading practices; ethical issues; appropriately addressing potential conflicts of interest; and the proper identification of the legal, reputational, credit, liquidity and market risks inherent in our products. Failure to appropriately address any of these issues could also give rise to additional regulatory restrictions and legal risks, which could, among other consequences, increase the size and number of litigation claims and damages asserted or subject us to enforcement actions, fines and penalties and cause us to incur related costs and expenses. Furthermore, any damage to our reputation could affect our ability to retain and develop the business relationships necessary to conduct business, which in turn could negatively impact our financial condition, results of operations, and the market price of our common stock.
We face significant legal risks, both from regulatory investigations and proceedings and from private actions brought against us.
From time to time we are named as a defendant or are otherwise involved in various legal proceedings, including class actions and other litigation or disputes with third parties. There is no assurance that litigation with private parties will not increase in the future. Actions currently pending against us may result in judgments, settlements, fines, penalties or other results adverse to us, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations, or cause serious reputational harm to us. As a participant in the financial services industry, it is likely that we will continue to experience litigation related to our businesses and operations.
Our businesses and operations are also subject to increasing regulatory oversight and scrutiny, which may lead to additional regulatory investigations or enforcement actions. These and other initiatives from federal and state officials may subject us to further judgments, settlements, fines or penalties, or cause us to be required to restructure our operations and activities, all of which could lead to reputational issues, or higher operational costs, thereby reducing our profitability.
We may incur fines, penalties and other negative consequences from regulatory violations, possibly even inadvertent or unintentional violations.
The financial services industry is subject to intense scrutiny from bank supervisors in the examination process and aggressive enforcement of federal and state regulations, particularly with respect to mortgage-related practices and other consumer compliance matters, and compliance with anti-money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, and economic sanctions against certain foreign countries and nationals. Enforcement actions may be initiated for violations of laws and regulations and unsafe or unsound practices. We maintain systems and procedures designed to ensure that we comply with applicable laws and regulations; however, some legal/regulatory frameworks provide for the imposition of fines or penalties for noncompliance even though the noncompliance was inadvertent or unintentional and even though there were systems and procedures designed to ensure compliance in place
at the time. Failure to comply with these and other regulations, and supervisory expectations related thereto, may result in fines, penalties, lawsuits, regulatory sanctions, reputation damage, or restrictions on our business.
Natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other external events could harm our business.
Natural disasters can disrupt our operations, result in damage to our properties, reduce or destroy the value of the collateral for our loans and negatively affect the economies in which we operate, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. A significant natural disaster, such as a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, fire or flood, could have a material adverse impact on our ability to conduct business, and our insurance coverage may be insufficient to compensate for losses that may occur. Acts of terrorism, war, civil unrest, violence or human error could cause disruptions to our business or the economy as a whole. While we have established and regularly test disaster recovery procedures, the occurrence of any such event could have a material adverse effect on our business, operations and financial condition.
Risks Related to Liquidity
We are subject to liquidity risk.
Liquidity is the ability to meet cash flow needs on a timely basis at a reasonable cost. Our liquidity is used principally to originate or purchase loans, to repay deposit liabilities and other liabilities when they come due, and to fund operating costs. Customer demand for non-maturity deposits can be difficult to predict. Changes in market interest rates, increased competition within our markets, and other factors may make deposit gathering more difficult. Disruptions in the capital markets or interest rate changes may make the terms of wholesale funding sources, which include FHLB advances, brokered time certificates of deposit, federal funds purchased and securities sold under repurchase agreements, less favorable and may make it difficult to sell securities when needed to provide additional liquidity. As a result, there is a risk that the cost of funding will increase or that we will not have sufficient funds to meet our obligations when they come due.
Potential deterioration in the performance or financial position of the FHLB might restrict our funding needs and may adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Significant components of our liquidity needs are met through our access to funding pursuant to our membership in the FHLB. The FHLB is a cooperative that provides services to its member banking institutions. The primary reason for joining the FHLB is to obtain funding. The purchase of stock in the FHLB is a requirement for a member to gain access to funding. Any deterioration in the FHLB’s performance or financial condition may affect our ability to access funding and/or require Washington Trust to deem the required investment in FHLB stock to be impaired. If we are not able to access funding through the FHLB, we may not be able to meet our liquidity needs, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. Similarly, if we deem all or part of our investment in FHLB stock impaired, such action could have an adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
We are a holding company and depend on the Bank for dividends, distributions and other payments.
The Bancorp is a legal entity separate and distinct from the Bank. Revenues of the Bancorp are derived primarily from dividends paid to it by the Bank. The right of the Bancorp, and consequently the right of shareholders of the Bancorp, to participate in any distribution of the assets or earnings of the Bank, through the payment of such dividends or otherwise, is necessarily subject to the prior claims of creditors of the Bank (including depositors), except to the extent that certain claims of the Bancorp in a creditor capacity may be recognized.
Holders of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends only when, as and if declared by our Board of Directors. Although we have historically declared cash dividends on our common stock, we are not required to do so and our Board of Directors may reduce or eliminate our common stock dividend in the future. The Federal Reserve has authority to prohibit bank holding companies from paying dividends if such payment is deemed to be an unsafe or unsound practice. Additionally, the FDIC has the authority to use its enforcement powers to prohibit a bank from paying dividends if, in its opinion, the payment of dividends would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice. Further, our ability to pay dividends would be restricted if we do not maintain a capital conservation buffer. A reduction or elimination of dividends could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. See Item, “Business-Supervision and Regulation-Dividend Restrictions” and “Business-Supervision and Regulation-Capital Adequacy and Safety and Soundness-Regulatory Capital Requirements.”
Risks Related to Valuation Matters and Changes in Accounting Standards
If we are required to write-down goodwill or other intangible assets recorded in connection with our acquisitions, our profitability would be negatively impacted.
Applicable accounting standards require us to use the purchase method of accounting for all business combinations. Under purchase accounting, if the purchase price of an acquired company exceeds the fair value of the company’s net assets, the excess is carried on the acquirer’s balance sheet as goodwill or other identifiable intangible assets. Goodwill must be evaluated for impairment at least annually. Long-lived intangible assets are amortized and are tested for recoverability whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount of the asset or asset group may not be recoverable. A significant and sustained decline in our stock price and market capitalization, a significant decline in our expected future cash flows, a significant adverse change in the business climate, slower growth rates or other factors could result in impairment of goodwill. Write-downs of the amount of any impairment, if necessary, would be charged to the results of operations in the period in which the impairment occurs. There can be no assurance that future evaluations of goodwill or intangible assets will not result in findings of impairment and related write-downs, which would have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
The performance of our securities portfolio in difficult market conditions could have adverse effects on our results of operations.
Under applicable accounting standards, we are required to review our securities portfolio periodically for the presence of other-than-temporary impairment, taking into consideration current market conditions, the extent and nature of changes in fair value, issuer rating changes and trends, volatility of earnings, current analysts’ evaluations, our ability and intent to hold securities until a recovery of fair value, as well as other factors. Adverse developments with respect to one or more of the foregoing factors may require us to deem particular securities to be other-than-temporarily impaired, with the credit related portion of the reduction in the value recognized as a charge to the results of operations in the period in which the impairment occurs. Market volatility may make it difficult to value certain securities. Subsequent valuations, in light of factors prevailing at that time, may result in significant changes in the values of these securities in future periods. Any of these factors could require us to recognize further impairments in the value of our securities portfolio, which may have an adverse effect on our results of operations in future periods.
Changes in accounting standards can materially impact our financial statements.
Our accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. From time to time, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) or regulatory authorities change the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. Such changes are expected to continue and can materially impact how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, we could be required to apply a new or revised standard retroactively, resulting in our restating prior period financial statements. Additionally, significant changes to accounting standards may require costly technology changes, additional training and personnel, and other expense that will negatively impact our results of operations.
In 2016, the FASB released a new accounting standard for determining the amount of the allowance for credit losses. The new accounting standard will be effective for reporting periods beginning January 1, 2020 and will be a significant change from the accounting standard in place today. The new accounting standard requires the allowance for credit losses to be calculated based on current expected credit losses (commonly referred to as the "CECL model") rather than losses inherent in the portfolio as of a point in time. When adopted, the CECL model will likely increase our allowance for loan losses and could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and future results of operations. The extent of the increase and its impact to our financial condition is under evaluation, but will ultimately depend upon the nature and characteristics of our portfolio at the adoption date, and the economic conditions and forecasts at that date; therefore, the potential financial impact is currently unknown.
Changes in tax laws and regulations and differences in interpretation of tax laws and regulations may adversely impact our financial statements.
We are subject to tax law changes that could impact our effective income tax rate and our net deferred tax assets. Tax law changes may or may not be retroactive to previous periods and could negatively affect our current and future financial performance. Our net deferred tax assets are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the year in which the temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled.
In 2017, Congress enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Tax Act”), which has had both positive and negative effects on
our financial performance. The enactment of the Tax Act required a revaluation of our net deferred tax assets in light of the new federal income tax rate This had an adverse impact to our financial performance in 2017, as we recognized a write-down of $6.2 million in our net deferred tax assets, with a corresponding increase to income tax expense. Beginning in 2018, the Tax Act reduced the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and also enacted limitations on certain deductions, resulting in a net decrease in our effective income tax rate. Furthermore, changes in interpretations, guidance or regulations that may be promulgated, or actions that we may take as a result of the Tax Act could negatively impact our business. Similarly, our customers are likely to experience varying effects from both the individual and business tax provisions of the Tax Act and such effects, whether positive or negative, may have a corresponding impact on our financial performance and the economy as a whole.
Local, state or federal tax authorities may interpret tax laws and regulations differently than we do and challenge tax positions that we have taken on tax returns. This may result in differences in the treatment of revenues, deductions, credits and/or differences in the timing of these items. The differences in treatment may result in payment of additional taxes, interest, penalties, or litigation costs that could have a material adverse effect on our results.
Risks Related to Our Common Stock
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.
The market price and trading volume of our stock can be volatile.
The price of our common stock can fluctuate widely in response to a variety of factors. In addition, the trading volume in our common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. We cannot assure you that the market price of our common stock will not fluctuate or decline significantly. Some of the factors that could cause fluctuations or declines in the price of our common stock include, but are not limited to, actual or anticipated variations in reported operating results, recommendations by securities analysts, the level of trading activity in our common stock, new services or delivery systems offered by competitors, business combinations involving our competitors, operating and stock price performance of companies that investors deem to be comparable to Washington Trust, news reports relating to trends or developments in the credit, mortgage and housing markets as well as the financial services industry, and changes in government regulations.
We may need to raise additional capital in the future and such capital may not be available when needed.
As a bank holding company, we are required by regulatory authorities to maintain adequate levels of capital to support our operations. We may need to raise additional capital in the future to provide us with sufficient capital resources and liquidity to meet our commitments and business needs. Our ability to raise additional capital, if needed, will depend on, among other things, conditions in the capital markets at that time, which are outside of our control, and our financial performance. We cannot assure you that such capital will be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. Our inability to raise sufficient additional capital on acceptable terms when needed could subject us to certain activity restrictions or to a variety of enforcement remedies available to the regulatory authorities, including limitations on our ability to pay dividends or pursue acquisitions, the issuance by regulatory authorities of a capital directive to increase capital and the termination of deposit insurance by the FDIC.
Certain provisions of our articles of incorporation may have an anti-takeover effect.
Provisions of our articles of incorporation and regulations and federal banking laws, including regulatory approval requirements, could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so would be perceived to be beneficial to our shareholders. The combination of these provisions may inhibit a non-negotiated merger or other business combination, which, in turn, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
ITEM 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
ITEM 2. Properties.
Washington Trust’s headquarters and main office is located at 23 Broad Street, in Westerly, in Washington County, Rhode Island.
As of December 31, 2018, Washington Trust conducts business from 10 branch offices located in southern Rhode Island (Washington County), 11 branch offices located in the greater Providence area in Rhode Island and one branch office located in southeastern Connecticut.
In addition, there are a number of offices not associated with a branch office location. Washington Trust has six residential mortgage lending offices that are located in eastern Massachusetts (Sharon, Burlington, Braintree and Wellesley); in Glastonbury, Connecticut; and in Warwick, Rhode Island. Washington Trust also has a commercial lending and wealth management services office in the financial district of Providence, Rhode Island; and two additional wealth management services offices located in Wellesley, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut. Additionally, an employment and training center and two operations facilities are located in Westerly, Rhode Island.
At December 31, 2018, nine of the Corporation’s facilities were owned, twenty-four were leased and one branch office was owned on leased land. Lease expiration dates range from five months to twenty-two years, with additional renewal options on certain leases ranging from one to five years. In addition, the Bank has one owned offsite-ATM in a leased space. The term for this leased space expires in one year with no renewal option. All of the Corporation’s properties are considered to be in good condition and adequate for the purpose for which they are used.
The Bank also operates ATMs located in retail stores and other locations primarily in Rhode Island and to a lesser extent in southeastern Connecticut. These ATMs are branded with the Bank’s logo and are operated under contracts with a third party vendor.
See Notes 7 and 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding premises and equipment and leases.
ITEM 3. Legal Proceedings.
The Corporation is involved in various claims and legal proceedings arising out of the ordinary course of business. Management is of the opinion, based on its review with counsel of the development of such matters to date, that the ultimate disposition of such matters will not materially affect the consolidated financial position or results of operations of the Corporation.
ITEM 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
ITEM 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
The Bancorp’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol WASH. At January 31, 2019, there were 1,614 holders of record of the Bancorp’s common stock.
The Bancorp will continue to review future common stock dividends based on profitability, financial resources and economic conditions. The Bancorp (including the Bank prior to 1984) has recorded consecutive quarterly dividends for over 100 years. The Bancorp’s primary source of funds for dividends paid to shareholders is the receipt of dividends from the Bank. A discussion of the restrictions on the advance of funds or payment of dividends by the Bank to the Bancorp is included in Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
See additional disclosures on Equity Compensation Plan Information in Part III, Item 12 “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management.” The Bancorp did not repurchase any shares during the fourth quarter of 2018.
Stock Performance Graph
Set forth below is a line graph comparing the cumulative total shareholder return on the Corporation’s common stock against the cumulative total return of the NASDAQ Bank Stocks index and the NASDAQ Stock Market (U.S.) from December 31, 2013 to December 31, 2018. The results presented assume that the value of the Corporation’s common stock and each index was $100.00 on December 31, 2013. The total return assumes reinvestment of dividends.
The stock price performance shown on the stock performance graph and associated table below is not necessarily indicative of future price performance. Information used in the graph and table was obtained from a third party provider, a source believed to be reliable, but the Corporation is not responsible for any errors or omissions in such information.
For the period ending December 31,
Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.
NASDAQ Bank Stocks
NASDAQ Stock Market (U.S.)
ITEM 6. Selected Financial Data.
The selected consolidated financial data set forth below does not purport to be complete and should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified in its entirety by, the more detailed information including the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes, and the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Selected Financial Data
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
At or for the years ended December 31,
Interest and dividend income
Net interest income
Provision for loan losses
Net interest income after provision for loan losses
Income before income taxes
Income tax expense
Net income available to common shareholders
Per Share Information ($):
Earnings per common share:
Cash dividends declared (1)
Market value - closing stock price
Performance Ratios (%):
Return on average assets
Return on average equity (2)
Net interest margin (3)
Equity to assets
Dividend payout ratio (4)
Asset Quality Ratios (%):
Total past due loans to total loans
Nonaccrual loans to total loans
Nonperforming assets to total assets
Allowance for loan losses to nonaccrual loans
Allowance for loan losses to total loans
Net charge-offs to average loans
Capital Ratios (%):
Total risk-based capital ratio
Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio
Common equity Tier 1 capital ratio (5)
Tier 1 leverage capital ratio
Represents historical per share dividends declared by the Bancorp.
Net income available to common shareholders divided by average equity.
Fully taxable equivalent net interest income as a percentage of average-earning assets.
Represents the ratio of historical per share dividends declared by the Bancorp to diluted earnings per share.
Capital ratio effective January 1, 2015 under the Basel III capital requirements.
Selected Financial Data
(Dollars in thousands)
Cash and cash equivalents
Mortgage loans held for sale
Federal Home Loan Bank stock, at cost
Less allowance for loan losses
Investment in bank-owned life insurance
Goodwill and identifiable intangible assets
Junior subordinated debentures
Total shareholders’ equity
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity
Property acquired through foreclosure or repossession
Total nonperforming assets
Wealth Management Assets:
Market value of assets under administration
Management's Discussion and Analysis
ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
The following analysis is intended to provide the reader with a further understanding of the consolidated financial condition and results of operations of the Corporation for the periods shown. For a full understanding of this analysis, it should be read in conjunction with other sections of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including Part I, “Item 1. Business”, Part II, “Item 6. Selected Financial Data” and Part II, “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.” Certain previously reported amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current year’s presentation.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Accounting policies involving significant judgments, estimates and assumptions by management, which have, or could have, a material impact on the Corporation’s consolidated financial statements are considered critical accounting policies. Management considers the following to be its critical accounting policies: the determination of allowance for loan losses, the valuation of goodwill and identifiable intangible assets, the assessment of investment securities for impairment and accounting for defined benefit pension plans.
Allowance for Loan Losses
Establishing an appropriate level of allowance for loan losses necessarily involves a high degree of judgment. The level of the allowance is based on management’s ongoing review of the growth and composition of the loan portfolio, historical loss experience, estimated loss emergence period (the period from the event that triggers the eventual default until the actual loss is recognized with a charge-off), current economic conditions, analysis of asset quality and credit quality levels and trends, the performance of individual loans in relation to contract terms and other pertinent factors. A methodology is used to systematically measure the amount of estimated loan loss exposure inherent in the loan portfolio for purposes of establishing a sufficient allowance for loan losses. The methodology is described below.
Loss allocations are identified for individual loans deemed to be impaired in accordance with GAAP. A loan is considered impaired when, based on current information and events, it is probable that the Corporation will not be able to collect the scheduled payments of principal or interest when due according to the contractual terms of the loan agreement. Impaired loans include nonaccrual loans and loans restructured in a troubled debt restructuring.
Loss allocations for loans deemed to be impaired are measured using a discounted cash flow method based upon the loan’s contractual effective interest rate, or at the loan’s observable market price, or, if the loan is collateral dependent, at the fair value of the collateral. For collateral dependent loans for which repayment is dependent on the sale of the collateral, management adjusts the fair value for estimated costs to sell. For collateral dependent loans for which repayment is dependent on the operation of the collateral, such as accruing troubled debt restructured loans, estimated costs to sell are not incorporated into the measurement. Management may also adjust appraised values to reflect estimated market value declines or apply other discounts to appraised values for unobservable factors resulting from its knowledge of circumstances associated with the property.
For loans that are collectively evaluated, loss allocation factors are derived by analyzing historical loss experience by loan segment over an established look-back period deemed to be relevant to the inherent risk of loss in the portfolios. Loans are segmented by loan type, collateral type, delinquency status and loan risk rating, where applicable. These loss allocation factors are adjusted to reflect the loss emergence period. These amounts are supplemented by certain qualitative risk factors reflecting management’s view of how losses may vary from those represented by historical loss rates. These qualitative risk factors include: 1) changes in lending policies and procedures, including changes in underwriting standards and collection, charge-off, and recovery practices not considered elsewhere in estimating credit losses; 2) changes in international, national, regional, and local economic and business conditions and developments that affect the collectability of the portfolio, including the condition of various market segments; 3) changes in the nature and volume of the portfolio and in the terms of loans; 4) changes in the experience, ability, and depth of lending management and other relevant staff; 5) changes in the volume and severity of past due loans, the volume of nonaccrual loans, and the volume and severity of adversely classified or rated loans; 6) changes in the quality of the institution’s loan review system; 7) changes in the value of underlying collateral for collateral dependent loans; 8) the existence and effect of any concentrations of credit, and changes in the level of such concentrations; and 9) the effect of other external factors such as legal and regulatory requirements on the level of estimated credit losses in the institution’s existing portfolio.
Management's Discussion and Analysis
Because the methodology is based upon historical experience and trends, current economic data, as well as management’s judgment, factors may arise that result in different estimations. Adversely different conditions or assumptions could lead to increases in the allowance. In addition, various regulatory agencies periodically review the allowance for loan losses. Such agencies may require additions to the allowance based on their judgments about information available to them at the time of their examination.
As of December 31, 2018, management believes that the allowance is adequate and consistent with asset quality and delinquency indicators.
Valuation of Goodwill and Identifiable Intangible Assets
Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over the net fair value of the acquired businesses. Goodwill is not amortized but is tested for impairment at the reporting unit level, defined as the segment level, at least annually in the fourth quarter or more frequently whenever events or circumstances occur that indicate that it is more-likely-than-not that an impairment loss has occurred. In assessing impairment, the Corporation has the option to perform a qualitative analysis to determine whether the existence of events or circumstances leads to a determination that it is more-likely-than-not that the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If, after assessing the totality of such events or circumstances, we determine it is not more-likely-than-not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then we would not be required to perform an impairment test.
The quantitative impairment analysis requires a comparison of each reporting unit’s fair value to its carrying value to identify potential impairment. Goodwill impairment exists when a reporting unit’s carrying value of goodwill exceeds its implied fair value. Significant judgment is applied when goodwill is assessed for impairment. This judgment includes, but may not be limited to, the selection of appropriate discount rates, the identification of relevant market comparables and the development of cash flow projections. The selection and weighting of the various fair value techniques may result in a higher or lower fair value. Judgment is applied in determining the weightings that are most representative of fair value.
The annual quantitative assessment of goodwill for the two reporting units (Commercial Banking and Wealth Management Services) was performed utilizing a discounted cash flow analysis (“income approach”) and estimates of selected market information (“market approach”). The income approach measures the fair value of an interest in a business by discounting expected future cash flows to a present value. The market approach takes into consideration fair values of comparable companies operating in similar lines of business that are potentially subject to similar economic and environmental factors and could be considered reasonable investment alternatives. The results of the income approach and the market approach were weighted equally. The results of the 2018 annual quantitative impairment analysis indicated that the remaining fair value significantly exceeded the carrying value for both reporting units.
Intangible assets identified in acquisitions consist of wealth management advisory contracts. The fair value of intangible assets was estimated using valuation techniques, based on a discounted cash flow analysis. The value attributed to other intangible assets was based on the time period over which they are expected to generate economic benefits. Intangible assets are amortized over their estimated lives using a method that approximates the amount of economic benefits that are realized by the Corporation.
Intangible assets with definite lives are tested for impairment whenever events or circumstances occur that indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. If applicable, the Corporation tests each of the intangibles by comparing the carrying value of the intangible asset to the sum of undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by the asset. If the carrying amount of the asset exceeds its undiscounted cash flows, then an impairment loss would be recognized for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds its fair value. Impairment would result in a write-down to the estimated fair value based on the anticipated discounted future cash flows. The remaining useful life of the intangible assets that are being amortized is also evaluated to determine whether events and circumstances warrant a revision to the remaining period of amortization.
The Corporation makes certain estimates and assumptions that affect the determination of the expected future cash flows from the intangible assets. For intangible assets such as wealth management advisory contracts, these estimates and assumptions include account attrition, market appreciation for wealth management assets under administration and anticipated fee rates, estimated revenue growth, projected costs and other factors. Significant changes in these estimates
Management's Discussion and Analysis
and assumptions could cause a different valuation for these intangible assets. Changes in the original assumptions could change the amount of the intangible assets recognized and the resulting amortization. Subsequent changes in assumptions could result in recognition of impairment of these intangible assets.
When there are events or circumstances that occur indicating that the carrying amount of the Corporation’s intangible assets may not be recoverable, the Corporation tests each of the intangibles by comparing the carrying value of the intangible asset to the sum of undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by the asset. As of December 31, 2018, the carrying value of intangible assets was deemed to be recoverable.
These assumptions used in the impairment tests of goodwill and intangible assets are susceptible to change based on changes in economic conditions and other factors. Any change in the estimates which the Corporation uses to determine the carrying value of the Corporation’s goodwill and identifiable intangible assets, or which otherwise adversely affects their value or estimated lives could adversely affect the Corporation’s results of operations. See Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
Assessment of Investment Securities for Impairment
Securities that the Corporation has the ability and intent to hold until maturity are classified as held to maturity and are accounted for using historical cost, adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts. Securities available for sale are carried at fair value, with any unrealized gains and losses, net of taxes, reported as accumulated other comprehensive income or loss in shareholders’ equity. The fair values of securities may be based on either quoted market prices or third party pricing services. When the fair value of an investment security is less than its amortized cost basis, the Corporation assesses whether the decline in value is other-than-temporary. The Corporation considers whether evidence indicating the cost of the investment is recoverable outweighs evidence to the contrary. Evidence considered in this assessment includes the reasons for impairment, the severity and duration of the impairment, changes in the value subsequent to the reporting date, forecasted performance of the issuer, changes in the dividend or interest payment practices of the issuer, changes in the credit rating of the issuer or the specific security, and the general market condition in the geographic area or industry in which the issuer operates.
Future adverse changes in market conditions, continued poor operating results of the issuer, projected adverse changes in cash flows, which might impact the collection of all principal and interest related to the security, or other factors could result in further losses that may not be reflected in an investment’s current carrying value, possibly requiring an additional impairment charge in the future.
In determining whether an other-than-temporary impairment has occurred for debt securities, the Corporation compares the present value of cash flows expected to be collected from the security with the amortized cost of the security. If the present value of expected cash flows is less than the amortized cost of the security, then the entire amortized cost of the security will not be recovered; that is, a credit loss exists, and an other-than-temporary impairment shall be considered to have occurred.
When an other-than-temporary impairment has occurred, the amount of the other-than-temporary impairment recognized in earnings for a debt security depends on whether the Corporation intends to sell the security or if it is more-likely-than-not that the Corporation will be required to sell the security before recovery of its amortized cost less any current period credit loss. If the Corporation intends to sell the security or it is more-likely-than-not that it will be required to sell the security before recovery of its amortized cost, the other-than-temporary impairment shall be recognized in earnings equal to the entire difference between the amortized cost and fair value of the security. If the Corporation does not intend to sell or it is more-likely-than-not that it will not be required to sell the security before recovery of its amortized cost, the amount of the other-than-temporary impairment related to credit loss shall be recognized in earnings and the noncredit-related portion of the other-than-temporary impairment shall be recognized in other comprehensive income.
There were no other-than-temporary impairment losses recognized for the year ended December 31, 2018.
Defined Benefit Pension Plans
The determination of the defined benefit obligation and net periodic benefit cost related to our defined benefit pension plans requires estimates and assumptions such as discount rates, mortality, rates of return on plan assets and compensation increases. Management evaluates the assumptions annually and uses an actuarial firm to assist in making these estimates.
Management's Discussion and Analysis
Changes in assumptions due to market conditions, governing laws and regulations, or circumstances specific to the Corporation could result in material changes to defined benefit pension obligation and net periodic benefit cost.
See Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
The Corporation offers a comprehensive product line of banking and financial services to individuals and businesses, including commercial, residential and consumer lending, retail and commercial deposit products, and wealth management services through its offices in Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts and Connecticut; its ATM networks; and its internet website at www.washtrust.com.
Our largest source of operating income is net interest income, which is the difference between interest earned on loans and securities and interest paid on deposits and borrowings. In addition, we generate noninterest income from a number of sources, including wealth management services, mortgage banking activities and deposit services. Our principal noninterest expenses include salaries and employee benefit costs, outsourced services provided by third-party vendors, occupancy and facility-related costs and other administrative expenses.
Our financial results are affected by interest rate fluctuations, changes in economic and market conditions, competitive conditions within our market area and changes in legislation, regulation and/or accounting principles. Adverse changes in economic growth, consumer confidence, credit availability and corporate earnings could negatively impact our financial results.
We continue to leverage our strong statewide brand to build market share and remain steadfast in our commitment to provide superior service. In January 2019, Washington Trust opened a new full-service branch in North Providence, Rhode Island.
The Corporation has a comprehensive enterprise risk management (“ERM”) program through which the Corporation identifies, measures, monitors and controls current and emerging material risks.
The Board of Directors is responsible for oversight of the ERM program. The ERM program enables the aggregation of risk across the Corporation and ensures the Corporation has the tools, programs and processes in place to support informed decision making, to anticipate risks before they materialize and to maintain the Corporation’s risk profile consistent with its risk strategy.
The Board of Directors has approved an ERM Policy that addresses each category of risk. The risk categories include: credit risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk, price and market risk, compliance risk, strategic and reputation risk, and operational risk. A description of each risk category is provided below.
Credit risk represents the possibility that borrowers or other counterparties may not repay loans or other contractual obligations according to their terms due to changes in the financial capacity, ability and willingness of such borrowers or counterparties to meet their obligations. In some cases, the collateral securing the payment of the loans may be sufficient to assure repayment, but in other cases the Corporation may experience significant credit losses which could have an adverse effect on its operating results. The Corporation makes various assumptions and judgments about the collectability of its loan portfolio, including the creditworthiness of its borrowers and counterparties and the value of the real estate and other assets serving as collateral for the repayment of loans. Credit risk also exists with respect to investment securities. For further discussion regarding the credit risk and the credit quality of the Corporation’s loan portfolio, see Notes 5 and 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. For further discussion regarding the Corporation’s securities portfolio, see Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Interest rate risk is the risk of loss to future earnings due to changes in interest rates. It exists because the repricing frequency and magnitude of interest earning assets and interest bearing liabilities are not identical. Liquidity risk is the risk that the Corporation will not have the ability to generate adequate amounts of cash in the most economical way for it to meet its maturing liability obligations and customer loan demand. For detailed disclosure regarding liquidity
Management's Discussion and Analysis
management, asset/liability management and interest rate risk, see “Liquidity and Capital Resources” and Asset/Liability Management and Interest Rate Risk sections below.
Price and market risk refers to the risk of loss arising from adverse changes in interest rates and other relevant market rates and prices, such as equity prices. Interest rate risk, discussed above, is the most significant market risk to which the Corporation is exposed. The Corporation is also exposed to financial market risk and housing market risk.
Compliance risk represents the risk of regulatory sanctions or financial loss resulting from the failure to comply with laws, rules and regulations and standards of good banking practice. Activities which may expose the Corporation to compliance risk include, but are not limited to, those dealing with the prevention of money laundering, privacy and data protection, adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, and employment and tax matters.
Strategic and reputation risk represent the risk of loss due to impairment of reputation, failure to fully develop and execute business plans, and failure to assess existing and new opportunities and threats in business, markets, and products.
Operational risk is the risk of loss due to human behavior, inadequate or failed internal systems and controls, and external influences such as market conditions, fraudulent activities, natural disasters and security risks.
ERM is an overarching program that includes all areas of the Corporation. A framework approach is utilized to assign responsibility and to ensure that the various business units and activities involved in the risk management life-cycle are effectively integrated. The Corporation has adopted the “three lines of defense” concept that is an industry best practice for ERM. Business units are the first line of defense in managing risk. They are responsible for identifying, measuring, monitoring, and controlling current and emerging risks. They must report on and escalate their concerns. Corporate functions such as Credit Risk Management, Financial Administration, Information Assurance and Compliance, comprise the second line of defense. They are responsible for policy setting and for reviewing and challenging the risk management activities of the business units. They collaborate closely with business units on planning and resource allocation with respect to risk management. Internal Audit is a third line of defense. They provide independent assurance to the Board of Directors of the effectiveness of the first and second lines in fulfilling their risk management responsibilities.
For additional factors that could adversely impact Washington Trust’s future results of operations and financial condition, see the section labeled “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Results of Operations
The following table presents a summarized consolidated statement of operations:
(Dollars in thousands)
2018 vs. 2017
2017 vs. 2016
Years Ended December 31,
Net interest income
Provision for loan losses
Income before income taxes
Income tax expense
Management's Discussion and Analysis
The following table presents a summary of performance metrics and ratios:
Years Ended December 31,
Diluted earnings per common share
Return on average assets (net income divided by average assets)
Return on average equity (net income available for common shareholders divided by average equity)
Net interest income as a percentage of total revenues
Noninterest income as a percentage of total revenues
Comparison of 2018 with 2017
Net income totaled $68.4 million in 2018, compared to $45.9 million in 2017. Income before income taxes for 2018 increased by $9.1 million, or 12%, from 2017, largely due to growth in net interest income and a reduction in the loan loss provision. Income tax expense for 2018 decreased by $13.5 million, or 42%, from 2017, due to the enactment of Tax Act in December 2017, which included the reduction of the corporate federal income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. See further discussion regarding the impact of enactment of the Tax Act in 2017 under the section “Results of Operations - Comparison, of 2017 with 2016.”
Comparison of 2017 with 2016
Net income totaled $45.9 million in 2017, compared to $46.5 million in 2016. Income before taxes for 2017 was up by $8.8 million, or 13%, compared to 2016, largely due to growth in net interest income and a reduction in the loan loss provision. Income tax expense for 2017 increased by $9.3 million, or 42%, over 2016, due to the enactment of the Tax Act in December 2017. The enactment of the Tax Act required companies to revalue deferred tax assets and liabilities in light of the new federal income tax rate As a result in 2017, the Corporation’s net deferred tax assets were written down by $6.2 million, with a corresponding increase to income tax expense.
Management's Discussion and Analysis
Average Balances/Net Interest Margin - Fully Taxable Equivalent (FTE) Basis
The following table presents average balance and interest rate information. Tax-exempt income is converted to a fully taxable equivalent basis using the statutory federal income tax rate adjusted for applicable state income taxes net of the related federal tax benefit. Unrealized gains (losses) on available for sale securities and fair value adjustments on mortgage loans held for sale are excluded from the average balance and yield calculations. Nonaccrual loans, as well as interest recognized on these loans, are included in amounts presented for loans.
Years ended December 31,
(Dollars in thousands)
Cash, federal funds sold and short-term investments
Mortgage loans held for sale
Taxable debt securities
Nontaxable debt securities
Commercial real estate
Commercial & industrial
Residential real estate
Total interest-earning assets
Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity:
Interest-bearing demand deposits
Money market accounts
Time deposits (in-market)
Total interest-bearing in-market deposits
Wholesale brokered time deposits
Total interest-bearing deposits
Junior subordinated debentures
Total interest-bearing liabilities
Non-interest bearing demand deposits
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity
Net interest income (FTE)
Interest rate spread
Net interest margin
Management's Discussion and Analysis
Interest income amounts presented in the preceding table include the following adjustments for taxable equivalency for the years indicated:
(Dollars in thousands)
Years ended December 31,
Nontaxable debt securities
Net Interest Income
Net interest income continues to be the primary source of our operating income. Net interest income for 2018, 2017 and 2016 totaled $132.3 million, $119.5 million and $110.5 million, respectively. Net interest income is affected by the level of and changes in interest rates, and changes in the amount and composition of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities. Income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties is included in net interest income.
The following discussion presents net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent (“FTE”) basis by adjusting income and yields on tax-exempt loans and securities to be comparable to taxable loans and securities.
Comparison of 2018 with 2017
The analysis of net interest income, net interest margin and the yield on loans is impacted by the level of income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties recognized in each period. For 2018 income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties amounted to $847 thousand, compared to $988 thousand in 2017.
FTE net interest income in 2018 amounted to $133.6 million, up by $11.7 million, or 10%, from 2017. The net interest margin was 3.01% in 2018, up by 8 basis points from 2.93% in 2017. Excluding the impact of income associated with loans payoffs and prepayment penalties from each period, net interest income for 2018 increased by $11.8 million, or 10%, from 2017. Excluding the impact of income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties from each period, the net interest margin was 2.99% in 2018, up by 8 basis points from 2.91% in 2017. While the net interest margin benefited from the rise in market interest rates on variable rate loans and growth in relatively lower-cost in-market deposit balances, it was also impacted by a higher cost of funds.
Total average securities for 2018 increased by $68.3 million, or 9%, from the average balance for 2017. The FTE rate of return on securities was 2.63% in 2018, up by 11 basis points primarily due to purchases of relatively higher yielding debt securities.
Total average loans increased by $218.2 million, or 7%, from the average balance for 2017, with growth in average residential real estate and commercial loan balances. The yield on total loans in 2018 was 4.34%, up by 38 basis points from 3.96% in 2017. Excluding the impact of income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties from each period, the yield on total loans was 4.32% in 2018, up by 39 basis points from 3.93% in 2017. Yields on LIBOR-based and prime-based loans reflected the increases in market interest rates.
In future periods, yields on loans and securities will be affected by the amount and composition of loan growth and additions to the securities portfolio, the runoff of existing portfolio balances and the level of market interest rates.
Total average interest-bearing deposits for 2018 increased by $179.1 million, or 7%, from the average balance for 2017. Included in total average interest-bearing deposits were out-of-market brokered time deposits, which increased by $39.3 million from 2017. The average rate paid on out-of-market brokered time deposits in 2018 increased by 34 basis points from 2017, reflecting higher market interest rates. Excluding wholesale brokered time deposits, average in-market interest-bearing deposits increased by $139.8 million, or 6%, from the average balance in 2017, with growth in time deposits and demand deposits. The average rate paid on in-market interest-bearing deposits in 2018 increased by 28 basis points from 2017, primarily due to higher rates paid on promotional time deposits, as well as competitive pricing on money market accounts and interest-bearing demand deposits. See additional disclosure under the caption “Sources of
Management's Discussion and Analysis
Funds” regarding a program implemented in June 2018 that transitioned certain wealth management client cash equivalent assets, previously held in outside accounts, into insured interest-bearing demand deposits on our balance sheet.
The average balance of noninterest-bearing demand deposits for 2018 increased by $41.3 million, or 7%, from the average balance for 2017.
The average balance of FHLB advances for 2018 increased by $36.6 million, or 4%, compared to the average balance for 2017. The average rate paid on such advances in 2018 was 2.23%, up by 47 basis points due to higher rates on short-term advances.
Comparison of 2017 with 2016
The analysis of net interest income, net interest margin and the yield on loans is impacted by the level of income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties recognized in each period. For 2017 income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties amounted to $988 thousand, compared to $2.3 million in 2016.
FTE net interest income in 2017 amounted to $121.9 million, up by $8.6 million, or 8%, from 2016. The net interest margin was 2.93% in 2017, down by 9 basis points from 3.02% in 2016. Excluding the impact of income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties from each period, net interest income in 2017 increased by $9.9 million, or 9%, from 2016. The growth in net interest income largely reflected the impact of purchase of investment securities and residential real estate loans for portfolio that were made in the second half of 2016. Excluding the impact of income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties from each period, the net interest margin was 2.91% in 2017, down by 5 basis points from 2.96% in 2016. While the net interest margin benefited from the rise in short-term interest rates on variable rate loans in 2017, it was also impacted by the purchases of investment securities and residential real estate loans for portfolio that were made in 2016 with relatively lower yields than the average yields on the existing portfolios, as well as a higher associated cost of funds.
Total average securities for 2017 increased by $267.8 million, or 54%, from the average balance for 2016. The FTE rate of return on securities for 2017 was 2.52%, down by 11 basis points, primarily due to purchases of relatively lower yielding securities and runoff of higher yielding securities.
Total average loans increased by $164.3 million, or 5%, from the average balance for 2016, primarily due to purchases of $111.0 million of residential real estate loans added to portfolio in the second half of 2016, as well as growth in the average balance of commercial loans. The yield on total loans in 2017 was 3.96%, up by 8 basis points from 3.88% in 2016. Excluding the impact of income associated with loan payoffs and prepayment penalties from each period, the yield on total loans was 3.93% in 2017, up by 6 basis points from 3.87% in 2016. While yields on short-term LIBOR-based and prime-based loans benefited from the increase in short-term market rates of interest, the comparison of 2017 to 2016 was also impacted by the purchases of residential real estate loans for portfolio that were made in the second half of 2016 with relatively lower yields.
Total average interest-bearing deposits for 2017 increased by $143.3 million, or 6%, from the average balance for 2016. Included in total average interest-bearing deposits were out-of-market wholesale brokered time deposits, which increased by $69.5 million from 2016. The average rate paid on out-of-market brokered time deposits in 2017 increased by 4 basis points from 2016. Excluding wholesale brokered time deposits, average in-market interest-bearing time deposits increased by $73.8 million from the average balance for 2016. The average rate paid on in-market interest-bearing deposits in 2017 increased by 6 basis points from 2016, which was largely attributable to an increase in the rate paid on money market accounts and promotional time deposits.
The average balance of noninterest-bearing demand deposits for 2017 increased by $51.7 million, or 10%, from the average balance for 2016.
The average balance of FHLB advances for 2017 increased by $201.4 million, or 33%, compared to the average balance for 2016. The average rate paid on such advances in 2017 was 1.76%, up by 14 basis points due to higher rates on short-term advances.
Management's Discussion and Analysis
Volume/Rate Analysis - Interest Income and Expense (FTE Basis)
The following table presents certain information on a FTE basis regarding changes in our interest income and interest expense for the periods indicated. The net change attributable to both volume and rate has been allocated proportionately.
(Dollars in thousands)
2018 vs. 2017
2017 vs. 2016
Interest on interest-earning assets:
Cash, federal funds sold and short-term investments