Washington, D.C. 20549
☒ Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022
☐ 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: 001-31486
WEBSTER FINANCIAL CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)|| ||(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)|
200 Elm Street, Stamford, Connecticut 06902
|(Address and zip code of principal executive offices)|
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (203) 578-2202
|Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:|
|Title of each class||Trading Symbols||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share||WBS||New York Stock Exchange|
|Depositary Shares, each representing 1/1000th interest in a share||WBS-PrF||New York Stock Exchange|
|of 5.25% Series F Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock|
|Depositary Shares, each representing 1/40th interest in a share||WBS-PrG||New York Stock Exchange|
|of 6.50% Series G Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock|
|Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None|
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. ☒ Yes ☐ No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. ☐ Yes ☒ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. ☒ Yes ☐ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). ☒ Yes ☐ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||☒||Accelerated filer||☐||Non-accelerated filer||☐||Smaller reporting company||☐|
|Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant's executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to § 240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). ☐ Yes ☒ No
The aggregate market value of voting common stock held by non-affiliates, computed by reference using the closing price on June 30, 2022, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $7.3 billion.
The number of shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding as of February 28, 2023 was 174,008,598.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Part III: Portions of the Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on April 27, 2023 (the “Proxy Statement”).
| || ||Page No.|
|Key to Acronyms and Terms|
|Item 1A.||Risk Factors|
|Item 1B.||Unresolved Staff Comments|
|Item 3.||Legal Proceedings|
|Item 4.||Mine Safety Disclosures|
|Item 5.||Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities|
|Item 7.||Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations|
|Item 7A.||Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk|
|Item 8.||Financial Statements and Supplementary Data|
|Item 9.||Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure|
|Item 9A.||Controls and Procedures|
|Item 9B.||Other Information|
|Item 9C.||Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections|
|Item 10.||Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance|
|Item 11.||Executive Compensation|
|Item 12.||Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters|
|Item 13.||Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence|
|Item 14.||Principal Accountant Fees and Services|
|Item 15.||Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules|
|Item 16.||Form 10-K Summary|
WEBSTER FINANCIAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
KEY TO ACRONYMS AND TERMS
Allowance for credit losses
Agency commercial mortgage-backed securities
Agency collateralized mortgage obligations
Agency mortgage-backed securities
Asset Liability Committee
|ALLL||Allowance for loan and lease losses|
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax
Alternative Reference Rates Committee
Accounting Standards Codification
|ASU or the Update||Accounting Standards Update|
|Basel III Capital Rules|
Capital rules under a global regulatory framework developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision
|Bend||Bend Financial, Inc.|
Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended
|CARES Act||The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act|
Current expected credit loss model, defined in ASC 326 “Financial Instruments – Credit Losses”
Common Equity Tier 1 Capital, defined by the Basel III Capital Rules
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Collateralized loan obligation securities
Non-agency commercial mortgage-backed securities
Community Reinvestment Act of 1977
|DEIB||Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging|
|DTA / DTL|
Deferred tax asset / deferred tax liability
|EAD||Exposure at default|
|ESG||Environmental, Social, and Governance|
Enterprise Risk Management Committee
Financial Accounting Standards Board
|FDIA||Federal Deposit Insurance Act|
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
|FDIF||Federal Deposit Insurance Fund|
Federal Home Loan Bank
Fair Isaac Corporation
Federal Reserve Act
Federal Reserve Bank
Funds Transfer Pricing, a matched maturity funding concept
U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
Webster Financial Corporation
|HSA||Health savings account|
HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank, National Association
|interLINK||Interlink Insured Sweep LLC|
|IRA||Inflation Reduction Act of 2022|
|ITGC||Information Technology General Controls|
|LGD||Loss given default|
|LIBOR||London Inter-Bank Offered Rate|
|LIHTC||Low income housing tax-credit|
|Moody's||Moody's Investor Services|
|NAV||Net asset value|
|NYSE||New York Stock Exchange|
|OCC||Office of the Comptroller of the Currency|
|OCI (OCL)||Other comprehensive income (loss)|
|OFAC||Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury|
|OPEB||Other post-employment medical and life insurance benefits|
|OREO||Other real estate owned|
|PCD||Purchased credit deteriorated|
|PD||Probability of default|
|PPNR||Pre-tax, pre-provision net revenue|
|PPP||Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program|
|S&P||Standard and Poor's Rating Services|
|SALT||State and local tax|
|Sarbanes-Oxley||Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002|
|SEC||U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission|
|SERP||Supplemental executive retirement plan|
|SOFR||Secured Overnight Financing Rate|
|Sterling||Sterling Bancorp, collectively with its consolidated subsidiaries|
Troubled debt restructuring, defined in ASC 310-40 “Receivables-Troubled Debt Restructurings by Creditors”
|USA PATRIOT Act||Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Requirement to Intercept and|
Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001
|UTB||Unrecognized tax benefit|
|VIE / VOE|
Variable interest entity / voting interest entity, defined in ASC 810-10 “Consolidation-Overall”
|Webster Bank or the Bank||Webster Bank, National Association, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Webster Financial Corporation|
|Webster or the Company||Webster Financial Corporation, collectively with its consolidated subsidiaries|
WEBSTER FINANCIAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “targeted,” “continue,” “remain,” “will,” “should,” “may,” “plans,” “estimates,” and similar references to future periods. However, these words are not the exclusive means of identifying such forward-looking statements.
Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:
•projections of revenues, expenses, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, and other financial items;
•statements of plans, objectives, and expectations of the Company or its management or Board of Directors;
•statements of future economic performance; and
•statements of assumptions underlying such statements.
Forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s current expectations and assumptions regarding its business, the economy, and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks, and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. The Company’s actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements, which are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance.
Factors that could cause the Company's actual results to differ from those discussed in any forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:
•our ability to successfully integrate the operations of Webster and Sterling and realize the anticipated benefits of the merger, including our ability to successfully complete our core conversion in the anticipated timeframe;
•our ability to successfully execute our business plan and strategic initiatives, and manage any risks or uncertainties;
•local, regional, national, and international economic conditions, and the impact they may have on us or our customers;
•volatility and disruption in national and international financial markets, including as a result of geopolitical conflict, such as the war between Russia and Ukraine;
•the continued effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, or the potential adverse effects from future pandemics, and any governmental or societal responses thereto;
•unforeseen events, such as natural disasters;
•changes in laws and regulations, or existing laws and regulations that we become subject to, including those concerning banking, taxes, dividends, securities, insurance, and healthcare, with which we and our subsidiaries must comply;
•adverse conditions in the securities markets that could lead to impairment in the value of our securities portfolio;
•inflation, monetary fluctuations, and changes in interest rates, including the impact of such changes on economic conditions, customer behavior, funding costs, and our loans and leases and securities portfolios;
•the replacement of and transition from LIBOR to SOFR as the primary interest rate benchmark;
•the timely development and acceptance of new products and services, and the perceived value of those products and services by customers;
•changes in deposit flows, consumer spending, borrowings, and savings habits;
•our ability to implement new technologies and maintain secure and reliable technology systems;
•the effects of any cyber threats, attacks or events, or fraudulent activity, including those that involve our third-party vendors and service providers;
•performance by our counterparties and third-party vendors;
•our ability to increase market share and control expenses;
•changes in the competitive environment among banks, financial holding companies, and other traditional and non-traditional financial services providers;
•our ability to maintain adequate sources of funding and liquidity;
•changes in the level of non-performing assets and charge-offs;
•changes in estimates of future reserve requirements based upon the periodic review thereof under relevant regulatory and accounting requirements;
•the effect of changes in accounting policies and practices applicable to us, including impacts of recently adopted accounting guidance;
•our inability to remediate the material weaknesses in our internal control related to ineffective ITGCs;
•legal and regulatory developments, including the resolution of legal proceedings or regulatory or other governmental inquiries, and the results of regulatory examinations or reviews; and
•our ability to appropriately address any environmental, social, governmental, and sustainability concerns that may arise from our business activities.
Any forward-looking statement in this Annual Report on Form 10-K speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Factors or events that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for the Company to predict all of them. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise, except as may be required by law.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Webster Financial Corporation is a bank holding company and financial holding company under the BHC Act, incorporated under the laws of Delaware in 1986, and headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. Webster Bank, along with its HSA Bank Division, is a leading commercial bank in the Northeast that delivers a wide range of digital and traditional financial solutions to businesses, individuals, families, and partners across its three differentiated lines of business: Commercial Banking, HSA Bank, and Consumer Banking. While its core footprint spans from New York to Rhode Island and Massachusetts, certain businesses operate in extended geographies. HSA Bank is one of the largest providers of employee benefits solutions in the United States.
The Company files reports with the SEC, and makes available, free of charge, within the investor relations section of its internet website (http://investors.websterbank.com) its Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as reasonably practicable after it electronically files such material with, or furnishes it to, the SEC. The SEC also maintains an internet website (http://www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. Information contained on the Company's website is not incorporated by reference into this report.
Merger with Sterling Bancorp
On January 31, 2022, Webster completed its merger with Sterling pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger dated as of April 18, 2021. Pursuant to the merger agreement, Sterling Bancorp merged with and into the Holding Company, with the Holding Company continuing as the surviving corporation. Following the merger, on February 1, 2022, Sterling National Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sterling Bancorp, merged with and into the Bank, with the Bank continuing as the surviving bank. Additional information regarding the merger with Sterling, along with other completed and announced acquisitions, can be found in Part II under the section captioned "Recent Developments" contained in Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and within Note 2: Mergers and Acquisitions in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements contained in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
Subsidiaries and Reportable Segments
The Holding Company's principal consolidated subsidiary is the Bank. The Bank's significant wholly-owned subsidiaries include: Webster Servicing LLC, Webster Public Finance Corporation, Sterling National Funding Corporation, Webster Mortgage Investment Corporation, Sterling Business Credit LLC, Webster Wealth Advisors, Inc., Webster Licensing, LLC, Bend Financial, Inc., Interlink Insured Sweep LLC, Webster Investment Services, Inc., Webster Preferred Capital Corporation, and Webster Community Development Corporation. The Company's operations are organized into three reportable segments, which represent its primary businesses.
Commercial Banking serves businesses with more than $2 million of revenue through its Commercial Real Estate and Equipment Finance, Middle Market, Business Banking, Asset-Based Lending and Commercial Services, Public Sector Finance, Mortgage Warehouse, Sponsor and Specialty Finance, Verticals and Support, Private Banking, and Treasury Management business units.
•Commercial Real Estate offers financing alternatives for the purpose of acquiring, developing, constructing, improving, or refinancing commercial real estate, in which loans are typically secured by institutional-quality real estate, including apartments, anchored retail, industrial, office, and student and affordable housing properties, and where the income generated from the secured property is the primary repayment source.
•Equipment Finance offers small to mid-ticket equipment leasing solutions for critical equipment, new or used, across the manufacturing, construction and transportation, and environmental sectors.
•Middle Market offers a broad range of financial services to a diversified group of companies delivering competitive products and solutions that meet their specific middle market needs.
•Business Banking offers credit, deposit, and cash flow management products to businesses and professional service firms.
•Asset-Based Lending, which is a top U.S. asset-based lender, offers asset-based loans and revolving credit facilities by financing core working capital with advance rates against inventory, accounts receivable, equipment, or other property owned by the borrower.
•Commercial Services offers accounts receivable factoring and trade financing, and payroll funding and business process outsourcing to temporary staffing agencies nationwide, including full back-office, technology, and tax accounting services.
•Public Sector Finance offers financing solutions exclusively to state, municipal, and local government entities.
•Mortgage Warehouse offers warehouse financing facilities consisting of temporary lines of credit, and which are secured by 1-4 family residential mortgages, to independent mortgage origination companies.
•Sponsor and Specialty Finance offers senior debt capital to companies across the U.S. that are backed by private equity sponsors and/or privately owned in one of our specialty industries: technology and infrastructure, healthcare, environmental services, business and information services, lender finance, and fund banking.
•Verticals and Support offers credit, deposit, and cash flow management to businesses and professional service firms in the legal, not-for-profit, and property management sectors, as well as to local and state governments.
•Private Banking offers an array of wealth management solutions to business owners and operators, including trust, asset management, financial planning, insurance, retirement, and investment products.
•Treasury Management offers derivative, treasury, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and trade products and services, through a dedicated team of treasury professionals and local commercial bankers, to help its business and institutional customers enhance liquidity, improve operations, and reduce risk.
HSA Bank, serviced through Webster Servicing LLC, offers a comprehensive consumer-directed healthcare solution that includes HSAs, health reimbursement arrangements, flexible spending accounts, and commuter benefits. HSAs are used in conjunction with high deductible health plans in order to facilitate tax advantages for account holders with respect to health care spending and savings, in accordance with applicable laws. HSAs are distributed nationwide directly to employers and individual consumers, as well as through national and regional insurance carriers, benefit consultants, and financial advisors. HSA deposits provide long-duration, low cost funding that is used to minimize the Bank's use of wholesale funding in support of its loan growth. Non-interest revenue is generated predominantly through service fees and interchange income.
Consumer Banking operates a distribution network, primarily throughout southern New England and the New York Metro and Suburban markets, that comprises 201 banking centers and 352 ATMs, a customer care center, and a full range of web and mobile-based banking services. Consumer Banking's business units consist of Consumer Lending and Small Business Banking.
•Consumer Lending offers consumer deposit and fee-based services, residential mortgages, home equity lines, secured and unsecured loans, and credit card products.
•Small Business Banking offers credit, deposit, and cash flow management products targeted to businesses and professional service firms with annual revenues of up to $2 million.
Additional information regarding the Company's reportable segments can be found in Part II under the section captioned "Segment Reporting" contained in Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and within Note 21: Segment Reporting in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements contained in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
Human Capital Resources
As a values-driven organization, the Company's employees are the cornerstone of its success. At December 31, 2022, the Company had 4,065 full-time employees and 128 part-time employees, which comprised 63% female and 37% male, along with 553 temporary workers. None of the Company's employees were represented by a collective bargaining agreement.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
The Company believes that its focus on DEIB is a critical component of how it supports the increasingly different perspectives of its employees, clients, and communities. It is not only key to long-term growth, but also having a workforce comprised of diverse identities, backgrounds, and experiences better helps the clients and communities that the Company serves to achieve their financial goals. The Company's commitment to DEIB starts with the senior leadership team, who continuously works to ensure that DEIB is embedded into the way the Company does business. The Company has established a DEIB Council, which serves as a platform where senior leaders, partners, and representatives of various internal business resource groups shape the strategy and actions of our DEIB efforts. The Council currently comprises 39 employee members across the organization and is co-chaired by the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Business Banking, both of whom make recommendations on ways to integrate DEIB in the areas of education and awareness, talent recruitment and development, and employee, client, and community engagement. The Company's Managing Director of DEIB works to expand DEIB initiatives and programs, as well as grow partnerships within local communities, while promoting a diverse, equitable workforce in an open, inclusive environment.
Compensation and Benefits
The Company's compensation program aims to attract, retain, and reward high-performing talent at all levels of the organization through a pay-for-performance philosophy. Variable payment opportunities are available to all employees, including corporate incentive plans, sales/service commission or incentive plans, and equity plans for senior-level executives. Comprehensive benefits and wellness resources are provided to employees, including medical, dental, vision, wellness incentives, life insurance, voluntary supplemental life insurance, short-term and long-term disability, as well as a 401(k) retirement savings plan with a Company match, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, Employee Assistance Program, parental leave, and paid time off. The Company shares in the costs of benefits with its employees by paying approximately 80% of all insurance costs. In addition, it contributes to participating employees’ HSAs through earned incentives for completing activities such as biometric screenings, wellness physicals, and dental exams. Benefit trends are reviewed regularly and plans are adjusted accordingly to remain competitive. The Company believes that its current benefits practices play a key role in employee retention. The average full-time and part-time employee tenure at the Company was approximately 9.1 years at December 31, 2022.
Learning and Development
The Company is focused on investing in its current and future talent by actively supporting the success, growth, and career progression of its employees. Employees have access to more than 400 courses offered through Webster Bank University, the Company's internal learning resource that offers on-demand webinars, e-learning modules, and in-person learning programs. The Company also provides unlimited access to self-directed online courses taught by industry experts with curated learning paths that are designed specifically for their professional interests.
The Company is subject to strong competition from banks, thrifts, credit unions, non-bank health savings account trustees, consumer finance companies, investment companies, insurance companies, and online lending and savings institutions. Certain of these competitors are larger financial institutions with substantially greater resources, lending limits, larger branch systems, and a wider array of commercial and consumer banking services than the Company. Competition could intensify in the future as a result of industry consolidation, the increasing availability of products and services from non-bank organizations including financial technology companies, greater technological developments in the industry, and continued bank regulatory reforms.
The Company faces substantial competition for deposits and loans throughout its market areas. The primary factors in competing for deposits are interest rates, personalized services, the quality and range of financial services, convenience of office locations and hours, mobile banking, and other automated services. Competition for deposits comes from other commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions, non-bank health savings account trustees, money market mutual funds, financial technology companies, and other non-bank financial services companies. The primary factors in competing for commercial and consumer loans are interest rates, loan origination fees, ease and convenience of loan origination channels, the quality and range of lending services, personalized service, and the ability to close within each customer's desired time frame. Competition for the origination of loans comes primarily from commercial banks, non-bank lenders, savings institutions, mortgage banking firms, mortgage brokers, online lenders, and insurance companies. Other factors that affect competition include the general and local economic conditions, current interest rate levels, and volatility in the lending markets.
Supervision and Regulation
The Holding Company and its bank and non-bank subsidiaries are subject to extensive regulation under federal and state laws. The regulatory framework applicable to bank holding companies and their depository institutions is intended to protect depositors, the FDIF, consumers, and the U.S. banking system as a whole.
Set forth in the paragraphs below is a summary of the significant elements of the laws and regulations applicable to the Holding Company and its bank and non-bank subsidiaries. The description that follows is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the statutes, regulations, and policies that are described. Banking statutes, regulations, and policies are continually under review by Congress, state legislatures, and federal and state regulatory agencies. Changes in the statutes, regulations, or regulatory policies applicable to the Holding Company and its bank and non-bank subsidiaries, including how they are implemented or interpreted, could have a material effect on the results of the Company.
The Holding Company is a separate and distinct legal entity from the Bank and its other subsidiaries. As a registered bank holding company and a financial holding company, Webster Financial Corporation is subject to regulation under the BHC Act and to inspection, examination, and supervision by its primary federal regulator, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. As a publicly-traded company, Webster is also subject to the disclosure and regulatory requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, both of which are administered by the SEC. As a publicly-traded company with securities listed on the NYSE, Webster is subject to the rules of the NYSE.
The Bank is organized as a national banking association under the National Bank Act, as amended, and is subject to the supervision of and regular examination by the OCC, its primary federal regulator, as well as by the FDIC, its deposit insurer. As a national banking association, the Bank derives its lending, investment, and other bank activity powers from the National Bank Act, as amended, and the regulations of the OCC promulgated thereunder. In addition, the CFPB supervises the Bank to ensure compliance with federal consumer financial protection laws.
The Holding Company’s non-bank subsidiaries are also subject to regulation by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and other applicable federal and state agencies.
Bank Holding Company Activities
In general, the BHC Act limits the business of bank holding companies to banking, managing, or controlling banks and other activities that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has determined to be closely related to banking. Bank holding companies that qualify and elect to become financial holding companies, such as Webster Financial Corporation, may engage in any activity, or acquire and retain the shares of a company engaged in any activity, that is either (i) financial in nature or incidental to such financial activity (as determined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury) or (ii) complementary to a financial activity, and that does not pose a substantial risk to the safety and soundness of depository institutions or the financial system (as solely determined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System). Activities that are financial in nature include securities underwriting, dealing and market making, sponsoring mutual funds and investment companies, insurance underwriting, and merchant banking. If a financial holding company or its bank ceases to be well capitalized or well managed, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System may impose corrective capital and managerial requirements and activity restrictions.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Under the BHC Act, prior approval from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is required in order for any bank holding company to (i) acquire direct or indirect ownership or control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any bank, (ii) acquire all or substantially all of the assets of a bank, or (iii) merge or consolidate with any other bank holding company. Generally, the Holding Company is not required to obtain prior approval from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to acquire a non-bank that engages in activities that are financial in nature or incidental to activities that are financial in nature, as long as the Holding Company meets the capital, managerial, and CRA requirements to qualify as a financial holding company. However, the Holding Company is required to receive prior approval from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for an acquisition in which the total consolidated assets to be acquired exceeds $10 billion.
Pursuant to Section 18(c) of the FDIA, more commonly known as the Bank Merger Act, and for national banks relying on certain other sources of merger authority, prior written approval from a bank's primary federal regulator is required before any insured depository institution may consummate a merger transaction, which includes a merger, consolidation, assumption of deposit liabilities, and certain asset transfers between or among two or more institutions. Prior written approval of a bank's primary federal regulator is also required for merger transactions between or among affiliated institutions, as well as for merger transactions between or among non-affiliated institutions. Transactions that do not involve a transfer of deposit liabilities typically do not require prior approval under the Bank Merger Act, unless the transaction involves the acquisition of all or substantially all of an institution's assets. When evaluating and acting on proposed merger transactions, regulators consider the extent of existing competition between and among the merging institutions, other depository institutions, and other providers of similar or equivalent services in the relevant product and geographic markets, the convenience and needs of the community to be served, capital adequacy and earnings prospects, and the effectiveness the merger institutions in combating money-laundering activities, among other factors.
Further, the Change in Bank Control Act of 1978 generally prohibits any person, acting directly or indirectly or in concert with other persons, from acquiring control of a covered institution without providing at least 60 days prior written notice to the FDIC or upon receipt of written notice that the FDIC does not disapprove of the acquisition.
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the OCC, and the FDIC have adopted the regulatory capital standards in accordance with Basel III, as developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The Basel III Capital Rules strengthened international capital adequacy standards by increasing institutions' minimum capital requirements and holdings of
high-quality liquid assets, and decreasing bank leverage.
Under the Basel III Capital Rules, the Company's assets, exposures, and certain off-balance sheet commitments and obligations are subject to risk weights used to determine risk-weighted assets. Risk weights can range from 0% for U.S. government securities to 1,250% for certain tranches of complex securitization or equity exposures. Risk-weighted assets serve as the base against which regulatory capital is measured, and are used to calculate the Holding Company's and the Banks' minimum capital ratios of CET1 capital to total risk-weighted assets (CET1 risk-based capital), Tier 1 capital to total risk-weighted assets (Tier 1 risk-based capital), Total capital to total risk-weighted assets (Total risk-based capital), and Tier 1 capital to average tangible assets (Tier 1 leverage capital), as defined in the regulations, which the Company is required to maintain. CET1 capital consists of common stockholders' equity less deductions for goodwill and other intangible assets, and certain deferred tax adjustments. At the time of initial adoption of the Basel III Capital Rules, the Company had elected to opt-out of the requirement to include certain components of AOCI in CET1 capital. Tier 1 capital consists of CET1 capital plus preferred stock. Total capital consists of Tier 1 capital and Tier 2 capital, as defined in the regulations. Tier 2 capital includes qualifying subordinated debt and the permissible portion of the ACL.
The following table summarizes the ratio thresholds applicable to the Company pursuant to the Basel III Capital Rules as of December 31, 2022:
| ||Adequately Capitalized||Well Capitalized|
|CET1 risk-based capital||4.5%||6.5%|
|Total risk-based capital||8.0||10.0|
|Tier 1 risk-based capital||6.0||8.0|
|Tier 1 leverage capital ||4.0||5.0|
In addition, the Basel III Capital Rules mandate that most deductions from or adjustments to regulatory capital be made to CET1 capital, not to the other components. For instance, the deduction of mortgage servicing assets, certain DTAs, and capital investments in unconsolidated financial institutions is required to the extent that any one such category exceeds 10% of CET1 capital or exceeds 15% of CET1 capital in the aggregate.
The Basel III Capital Rules also include a capital conservation buffer comprised entirely of CET1 capital, which is considered in addition to the 4.5% CET1 capital ratio, and is equal to 2.5% of risk-weighted assets for both the Holding Company and the Bank. This buffer is designed to absorb losses during periods of economic stress, and is generally required in order to avoid limitations on capital distributions and certain discretionary bonus payments to executive officers.
On August 26, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal banking agencies issued a final rule that provided banking organizations that had implemented CECL during 2020, the option to delay an estimate of CECL's effect on regulatory capital for two years ending on January 1, 2022, followed by a three-year transition period ending on December 31, 2024. The Company elected to utilize the 2020 capital transition relief and delayed the regulatory capital impact of adopting CECL. Both the Holding Company's and the Bank's ratios remain in excess of being well-capitalized, even without the benefit of the delayed CECL adoption impact. Additional information regarding the delayed CECL adoption impact on regulatory capital can be found in Part II under the section captioned "Liquidity and Capital Resources" contained in Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and within Note 13: Regulatory Matters in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements contained in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
Prompt Corrective Action
Pursuant to Section 38 of the FDIA, the federal banking agencies are required to take prompt corrective action if an insured depository institution fails to meet certain capital adequacy standards. The following table summarizes the prompt corrective action categories:
|CET1 risk-based capital||6.5 ||%||4.5 ||%||< 4.5%||< 3.0%|
|Total risk-based capital||10.0 ||8.0 ||< 8.0||< 6.0|
|Tier 1 risk-based capital||8.0 ||6.0 ||< 6.0||< 4.0|
|Tier 1 leverage capital ||5.0 ||4.0 ||< 4.0||< 3.0|
Each of the Bank's capital ratios exceeded those required for a insured depository institution to be considered well capitalized at December 31, 2022.
In addition, an insured depository institution with a ratio of tangible equity less than or equal to 2% is considered to be critically under capitalized. If an insured depository institution has been determined, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, to be in an unsafe or unsound condition, or if it receives a less-than-satisfactory rating for asset quality, management, earnings, or liquidity in its most recent examination, the appropriate federal banking agency may downgrade a well capitalized, adequately capitalized, or under capitalized insured depository institution to the next lower capital category.
All insured depository institutions, regardless of their capital category, are prohibited from making capital distributions or paying management fees if such distributions or payments would result in the insured depository institution becoming under capitalized, unless it is shown that the capital distribution would improve financial condition or the management fee is being paid to a person or entity without a controlling interest in the insured depository institution. Restrictions are placed on certain brokered deposit activity and on deposit rates offered as the capital category declines below well capitalized. Further, if an insured depository institution receives notice that it is under capitalized, significantly under capitalized, or critically under capitalized, the insured depository institution generally must file a written capital restoration plan with the appropriate federal banking agency within 45 days of receipt, and the bank holding company must guarantee the performance of that plan.
Enhanced Prudential Standards
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System established enhanced prudential standards for larger bank holding companies based on size and certain risk-based indicators. On October 10, 2019, the Federal Reserve Board, along with other federal bank regulatory agencies, tailored these prudential standards allowing bank holding companies with total consolidated assets of $250 billion or less to be exempt from certain enhanced capital and liquidity prudential standards, including company-run stress testing, capital planning, liquidity coverage ratio, and resolution planning requirements, among others. Although the Holding Company's total consolidated assets are beneath the $250 billion threshold, the Company performs certain stress tests internally and incorporates the economic models and information developed through its stress testing program into its risk management and capital planning activities, which continue to be subject to the regular supervisory processes of the Federal Reserve System and the OCC.
In addition, publicly-traded bank holding companies with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets are required to maintain a risk committee that is responsible for the oversight of enterprise risk management practices and that meets other statutory requirements. The Company maintains a standing Risk Committee of the Board of Directors that oversees its risk management program.
The Volcker Rule prohibits banking entities, such as the Holding Company and the Bank, from (i) engaging in short-term proprietary trading of certain securities, derivatives, commodity futures, and options on these investments for their own account, and (ii) imposes limits on investments in, and other relationships with hedge funds or private equity funds. The Volcker Rule provides exemptions for certain activities, including market making, underwriting, hedging, trading in government obligations, insurance company activities, and organizing and offering hedge funds or private equity funds. The Volcker rule also clarifies that certain activities are not prohibited, including acting as agent, broker, or custodian. Banking entities with significant trading operations (those with $20 billion or more in average trading assets and liabilities) are required to establish a detailed compliance program to which their Chief Executive Officers are required to attest that the program is reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the Volcker Rule. The Company has a Volcker Rule compliance program in place that covers all of its subsidiaries and affiliates.
On June 25, 2020, the Federal Reserve System, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, FDIC, OCC, and SEC issued a final rule that modified the Volcker Rule's prohibition on banking entities investing in or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds, known as covered funds. The final rule, which became effective on October 1, 2020, modified three areas of the Volcker Rule by (i) streamlining the covered funds portion of the rule, (ii) addressing the extraterritorial treatment of certain foreign funds, and (iii) permitting banking entities to offer financial services and engage in other activities that do not raise concerns that the Volcker Rule was intended to address. The Federal Reserve System had granted the Company an extension until July 21, 2022 to bring its holdings into compliance with the Volcker Rule. The Company dissolved its remaining holdings in illiquid covered funds during 2021, and believes its holdings to be fully compliant with the Volcker Rule as of December 31, 2022.
Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve System regulations require depository institutions to maintain reserves against its transaction accounts and non-personal time deposits for the purposes of implementing monetary policy. The reserve requirement must be satisfied in the form of vault cash and, if vault cash is insufficient, by maintaining a balance in an account at a FRB. The FRA authorizes different ranges of reserve requirement ratios depending on the amount of transaction account balances held at each depository institution. Effective March 26, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reserve requirement ratios on all net transaction accounts were reduced to zero percent, thereby eliminating reserve requirements for all depository institutions.
Further, as a national bank and a member of the Federal Reserve System, Webster Bank is required to subscribe to the capital stock of its district FRB in an amount equal to 6% of its capital and surplus, of which 50% is paid. The remaining 50% is subject to call by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. At December 31, 2022, the Bank held a FRB of New York stock investment of $224.5 million.
Federal Home Loan Bank System
The FHLB System provides a central credit facility for its member institutions. Webster Bank, as a member of the FHLB, is required to purchase and hold shares of FHLB capital stock for its membership and other activities in an amount equal to 0.35% of the aggregate principal amount of its unpaid residential mortgage loans and similar obligations at the beginning of each year, up to a maximum of $5 million, plus an amount that varies from 3.0% to 4.0% depending on the maturities of its FHLB advances, of which there were $5.5 billion outstanding at December 31, 2022. The Bank was in compliance with these requirements at December 31, 2022, and held a FHLB stock investment of $221.4 million.
Source of Strength Doctrine
Bank holding companies are required to serve as a source of financial strength to their subsidiary banks and commit resources to support each of their subsidiary banks. This support may be required at times when the Holding Company is not in a financial position to provide such resources without adversely affecting its ability to meet other obligations. The Federal Reserve System may require a bank holding company to make capital injections into a troubled subsidiary bank and may charge the bank holding company with engaging in unsafe and unsound practices if it fails to commit resources to such a subsidiary bank, or if it undertakes actions that the Federal Reserve System believes might jeopardize the bank holding company's ability to commit resources to such subsidiary bank. Capital loans by banking holding companies to its subsidiary banks would be subordinate in right of payment to deposits and certain other debts of the subsidiary bank. In the event of bankruptcy, any commitment by a bank holding company to a federal bank regulatory agency to maintain the capital of a subsidiary bank would be assumed by the bankruptcy trustee and entitled to a priority of payment.
In addition, under the National Bank Act, if the Bank's capital stock is impaired by losses or otherwise, the OCC is authorized to require payment of the deficiency by assessment upon the Holding Company. If the assessment is not paid within three months after receiving notice thereof, the OCC could order a sale of the Bank stock held to cover any deficiency.
Safety and Soundness Standards
The federal banking agencies have adopted the rules and regulations under the Interagency Guidelines Establishing Standards for Safety and Soundness, which are applicable to all insured depository institutions. These guidelines prescribe standards relating to internal controls, information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, compensation, fees, and benefits, asset quality, earnings, and stock valuation, as determined to be appropriate.
The OCC also has guidelines establishing heightened standards for large national banks, which establish minimum standards for the design and implementation of a risk governance framework. A large bank is defined as a bank with more than $50 billion in average total consolidated assets from its four most recently filed quarterly Call Reports. Upon becoming a covered bank, the bank should have a risk governance framework in compliance with the guidelines within 18 months from the as of date of the most recently filed Call Report used to calculate the average. The framework of a parent holding company may be used when the risks are substantially similar. With the filing of its Call Report for the quarter ended December 31, 2022, the Bank became a covered bank, and will have 18 months to comply with these heightened OCC guidelines.
If a federal banking agency determines that an institution fails to meet any of the established standards, the agency may require the institution to submit an acceptable plan to achieve compliance with the standard. In the event that an institution fails to submit an acceptable plan within the time allowed, or fails, in any material respect, to implement an accepted plan, the agency must require the institution to correct the deficiency and may take other supervisory and enforcement actions until the deficiency is corrected.
In more serious instances, enforcement actions may include (i) the issuance of directives to increase capital, the issuance of formal and informal agreements, (ii) the imposition of civil monetary penalties, (iii) the issuance of a cease and desist order that can be judicially enforced, (iv) the issuance of removal and prohibition orders against officers, directors, and other institution affiliated parties, (v) the termination of the insured depository institution’s deposit insurance, (vi) the appointment of a conservator or receiver for the insured depository institution, and (vii) injunctions or restraining orders based upon a judicial determination that the FDIC, as receiver, would be harmed if such equitable relief was not granted.
The Holding Company is dependent upon dividends from the Bank to provide funds for its cash requirements, including the payment of dividends to stockholders. Dividends paid by the Bank are subject to federal and state regulatory limitations. Express approval by the OCC is required if the effect of dividends declared would cause the regulatory capital of the Bank to fall below specified minimum levels, or would exceed the net income for that year combined with the undistributed net income for the preceding two years. During the year ended December 31, 2022, the Bank declared and paid $475.0 million in dividends to the Holding Company and had $701.4 million of undistributed net income available for the declaration and payment of dividends at December 31, 2022.
In addition, federal banking regulators have the authority to prohibit the Company from engaging in unsafe or unsound practices in conducting its business. The declaration and payment of dividends, depending on the financial condition of the Bank, could be deemed an unsafe or unsound practice, especially if its capital base is depleted to an inadequate level. The ability of the Bank to pay dividends in the future is currently, and could be further, influenced by bank regulatory policies and capital requirements.
Transactions with Affiliates and Insiders
Transactions between insured depository institutions and their affiliates are governed by Sections 23A and 23B of the FRA and Federal Reserve Regulation W. In a bank holding company context, at a minimum, the parent holding company of a national bank, and any companies that are controlled by such parent holding company, are considered affiliates of the bank. Generally, sections 23A and 23B of the FRA are intended to protect insured depository institutions from losses arising from transactions with non-insured affiliates by (i) limiting the extent to which an institution or its subsidiaries may engage in covered transactions with any one affiliate and with all affiliates in the aggregate, and (ii) requiring that all such transactions be on terms substantially the same, or at least favorable, to the institution or subsidiary as those provided to a non-affiliate. The term covered transaction includes the making of loans, purchase of assets, the issuance of a guarantee, and similar types of transactions. Certain covered transactions must be collateralized according to a schedule set forth in the statue.
In addition, Section 22(h) of the FRA and Federal Reserve Regulation O restricts loans to directors, executive officers, and principal stockholders or insiders. Pursuant to Section 22(h), loans to directors, executive officers, and principal stockholders must be made on terms substantially the same as offered in comparable transactions to other persons, except that such insiders may receive preferential loans made under a benefit or compensation program that is widely available to the institution's employees and does not give preference to the insider over the employees. Further, loans to insiders and their related interests may not exceed, together with all other outstanding loans to such persons and affiliated entities, the institution’s total capital and surplus. Loans to insiders above specified amounts must receive prior approval from the Company's Board of Directors. Section 22(g) of the FRA places additional limitations on loans to executive officers.
Consumer Protection and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Supervision
The CFPB is responsible for implementing, enforcing, and examining compliance with federal consumer financial protection laws. As an insured depository institution with more than $10 billion in total assets, the Bank is subject to supervision by the CFPB. There are a number of federal laws, which the Company is subject to, that are designed to protect borrowers and promote lending, including, but not limited to, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Procedures Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act, and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.
On December 7, 2021, the CFPB issued a final rule amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, to address the anticipated sunset of LIBOR for consumer financial products, which is expected to be discontinued for most USD tenors in June 2023. Information regarding the Company's LIBOR transition plan and risk factors associated with the discontinuation of LIBOR, can be found under the section captioned "LIBOR Transition" contained in Part II - Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and in Part I - Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Certain regulated entities are required to establish programs to address risks of identity theft. In accordance with these rules, financial institutions and creditors are required to develop and implement a written identity theft prevention program designed to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft in connection with certain existing accounts or the opening of new accounts. The Company has an Identity Theft Prevention Program in place, which is approved by the Board of Directors, satisfying its compliance with these requirements.
Financial Privacy and Data Security
The Company is subject to federal and certain state laws and regulations containing consumer privacy and data protection provisions addressing the treatment of nonpublic personal information about consumers by financial institutions. Subject to certain exceptions, financial institutions are prohibited from disclosing nonpublic personal information about a consumer to nonaffiliated third parties, unless the institution satisfies various notice and opt-out requirements and the consumer has not elected to opt out of the disclosure. Regardless as to whether a financial institution shares nonpublic personal information, the institution must provide notice of its privacy policies and practices to its consumers, and must follow redisclosure and reuse limitations on any nonpublic personal information it receives from a nonaffiliated financial institution.
The federal banking regulatory agencies have adopted guidelines for establishing information security standards and programs to protect such information, with an increased focus on risk management and processes related to information technology, and the use of third-parties. The expectation from the federal banking regulatory agencies is that financial institutions have established lines of defense to ensure that their risk management processes address the risks posed by compromised customer credentials, and that the financial institution has sufficient business continuity planning processes to ensure rapid recovery, resumption, and maintenance of operations after a cyber-attack.
Financial institutions are required to notify customers of security breaches that result in unauthorized access to their nonpublic personal information. Further, on November 18, 2021, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the OCC, and the FDIC issued a final rule that requires a banking organization to notify its primary regulator of certain types of computer security incidents that result in harm to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an information system or the information that the system processes, stores, or transmits, as soon as possible and no later than 36 hours after the banking organization determines that a notification incident has occurred. The final rule also requires a bank service provider to notify each affected banking organization customer as soon as possible when the bank service provider determines that is has experienced a computer-security incident that has caused, or is reasonably likely to cause, a material service disruption or degradation for four or more hours. The final rule became effective April 1, 2022, and compliance with the final rule was required by May 1, 2022.
Community Reinvestment Act and Fair Lending Laws
The Bank has a responsibility under the CRA to help meet the credit needs of its communities, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods. The CRA does not establish specific lending requirements or programs for financial institutions nor does it limit an institution’s discretion to develop the types of products or services that it believes are best suited to its particular community. In connection with its examination, the OCC assesses the Bank’s record of compliance with the CRA. In addition, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act prohibit discrimination in lending practices on the basis of characteristics specified in those statutes. The Bank’s failure to comply with the provisions of the CRA could, at a minimum, result in regulatory restrictions on its activities, as well as the activities of the Company. Further, the Bank’s failure to comply with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act could result in enforcement actions against it by the OCC, as well as other federal regulatory agencies, including the CFPB and the Department of Justice. The Bank received a CRA rating of Outstanding in its most recent examination.
Federal Deposit Insurance
The standard deposit insurance coverage limit is $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, for each account ownership category. The FDIF is funded mainly through quarterly assessments on insured depository institutions, such as the Bank, and provides insurance coverage for certain deposits up to this maximum amount.
The Bank's assessment is calculated in accordance with the FDIC's standardized risk-based methodology by multiplying its assessment rate by its assessment base, which are determined and paid each quarter. The assessment base equals the Bank's average consolidated total assets less average tangible equity during the assessment period. As a large bank, or generally one with $10 billion or more in assets, Webster Bank is assigned an individual rate based on a scorecard, which combines CAMELS (capital adequacy, asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity, and sensitivity) component ratings, financial measures used to measure a bank's ability to withstand asset-related and funding-related stress, and a measure of loss severity that estimates the relative magnitude of potential losses to the FDIC in the event of the bank's failure, to produce a score that is then converted to an assessment rate.
Assessment rates are subject to adjustment by the FDIC. For instance, assessment rates could (i) decrease for the issuance of long-term unsecured debt, including senior unsecured debt and subordinated debt, (ii) increase for holdings of long-term unsecured or subordinated debt issued by other banks, or (iii) increase for significant holdings of brokered deposits for large banks that are not well rated or not well capitalized. On October 18, 2022, the FDIC increased the initial deposit base deposit insurance assessment rate schedules uniformly by 2 basis points for all insured depository institutions, beginning in the first quarterly assessment period of 2023. The increase in assessment rate schedules is intended to increase the likelihood that the reserve ratio of the FDIF reaches the statutory minimum of 1.35 percent by the statutory deadline of September 30, 2028.
The FDIC may terminate a depository institution's deposit insurance upon a finding that the institution's financial condition is unsafe or unsound, or that the institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order, or condition imposed by the FDIC. The Company’s management is not aware of any practice, violation, or condition that might lead to the termination of its deposit insurance.
In the event of the liquidation or other resolution of an insured depository institution, including the Bank, the claims of depositors of the institution (including the claims of the FDIC as subrogee of insured depositors) and certain claims for administrative expenses of the FDIC as a receiver will have priority over other general unsecured claims against the institution. If an insured depository institution fails, claims of insured and uninsured depositors, along with claims of the FDIC, would have priority in payment ahead of unsecured, non-deposit creditors, including the Holding Company, with respect to any extensions of credit they have made to such insured depository institution.
A major focus of U.S. federal governmental policy as it relates to financial institutions is aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The failure of a financial institution to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, or to comply with the relevant laws and regulations, could have serious legal and reputational consequences for the financial institutions, including causing the applicable bank regulatory authorities to not approve merger or acquisition transactions or to prohibit such transactions even if prior approval is not required.
Financial institutions are required to take certain measures to identify their customers, prevent money laundering, monitor customer transactions, and report suspicious activity to U.S. law enforcement agencies. Financial institutions also are required to respond to requests for information from federal banking agencies and law enforcement agencies. Information sharing among financial institutions for the above purposes is encouraged by an exemption granted to complying financial institutions from the privacy provisions of federal privacy laws. Financial institutions that hold correspondent accounts for foreign banks or provide private banking services to foreign individuals are required to take measures to avoid dealing with certain foreign individuals or entities, including foreign banks with profiles that raise money laundering concerns, and are prohibited from dealing with foreign shell banks and persons from jurisdictions of particular concern.
Financial institutions also are required to establish internal anti-money laundering programs. The effectiveness of a financial institution in combating money laundering activities is a factor to be considered in any application submitted under the Bank Merger Act. The Company has in place a Bank Secrecy Act and USA PATRIOT Act compliance program and engages in very few transactions of any kind with foreign financial institutions or foreign persons. The Company also complies with the sanctions administered by the OFAC of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which is responsible for administering economic sanctions that affect transactions with designated foreign countries, nations, and others. The OFAC publishes lists of persons, organizations, and countries suspected of aiding, harboring, or engaging in terrorist acts, known as Specially Designated Nationals and Block Persons. Blocked assets (i.e., property and bank deposits) cannot be paid out, withdrawn, set off, or transferred in any manner without a license from the OFAC. Failure to comply with these sanctions could have serious legal and reputational consequences.
Debit Card Interchange Fees
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System requires that the amount of any interchange transaction fee that a debit card issuer may receive or charge with respect to an electronic debit transaction shall be reasonable and proportional to the cost incurred by the debit card issuer with respect to the transaction, and imposes requirements regarding routing and exclusivity of electronic debit transactions and the usability of debit cards across networks. Interchange fees for certain electronic debit transactions are capped at 21 cents plus 0.05% of the transaction value for issuers with over $10 billion in consolidated assets, such as the Bank. The regulation also allows covered debit card issuers to receive 1 cent per transaction for fraud-prevention costs, provided that the debit card issuer meets the fraud-prevention standards established by the FRB. HSA Bank's interchange revenue is not subject to these rules.
Risk Management Framework
The Company defines risk as the potential that events, expected or unexpected, may have an adverse effect on its earnings, capital, or franchise/enterprise value. The Company maintains a structured risk management framework that provides an integrated, forward-looking approach to identifying, prioritizing, and managing all risk categories across the organization: Information, Reputational, Operational, Credit, Compliance, Financial, and Strategic.
Executive management sets the tone at the top and reinforces risk culture through strategy setting, formulating objectives, approving resource allocations, and establishing and maintaining effective systems of internal controls. A strong risk culture is the foundation of effective risk management because it influences the decisions of management and employees when weighing risks and benefits. Management also encourages and supports risk self-identification and timely escalation throughout the organization.
The risk management framework includes a Three Lines Model with the following roles and responsibilities:
1st Line: Line of Business Units
Line of business units have responsibility for identifying, assessing, escalating, controlling, and mitigating risks inherent to their business activities arising from their chosen strategy and ongoing operations.
2nd Line: Risk Management Functions
Risk management functions operate independent of the line of business and facilitate development and implementation of risk management practices, provide risk guidance and assist the lines of business in identification and mitigation of risk, monitor adequacy of risk responses and timeliness of remediation, and perform control testing.
3rd Line: Independent Control Functions
Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the independent control functions (i.e., Internal Audit, Credit Risk Review) perform assessments and evaluations of risk management practices and internal controls, identify issues, make recommendations, and inform the Board of Directors and executive management on matters that require remediation.
Risk identification at the Company is a continuous process and occurs at the transaction, portfolio, and enterprise levels. Approaches used to identify risk include process and data analysis, key risk indicators, and risk assessments. Identified risks are assessed based on qualitative and quantitative factors to understand the likelihood that such events will occur and the degree to which they will impact the Company’s ability to achieve its strategic and business objectives if they occur. Risk assessments, which are performed by the 1st line or 2nd line of defense functions, evaluate inherent risk (likelihood and impact) and existing controls (control environment) to arrive at residual risk.
The Company has established and maintains a Risk Appetite Statement which provides guidance to management regarding the nature and level of residual risk that it is willing to take in pursuit of its objectives. The appetite balances a qualitative risk appetite statement, which is approved annually by the Board of Directors, with quantitative metrics in the form of board-level and management-level scorecards comprising key risk indicators with established risk tolerance levels. Tolerance levels are periodically reviewed by the respective oversight committees to ensure the alignment of risk appetite with the Company’s risk profile.
The Company has established operating and oversight structures including policies, processes, and control/oversight systems that support risk-related decision-making designed to ensure appropriate authority, accountability, independence, and clarity of roles and responsibilities. The Board of Directors oversees the Company's approach to risk management and delegates its authority to the Risk Committee to provide oversight and effective challenge. Along with assisting the Board of Directors in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities, the Risk Committee is responsible for reviewing information regarding the Company's policies, procedures, and practices relating to risk. The Chief Risk Officer has the primary responsibility for the design and implementation of the Company's risk management framework.
The ERMC, which is chaired by the Chief Risk Officer, is the management committee responsible for overseeing the Company's risk management process, including monitoring the severity, direction, and trend of current and emerging risks relative to business strategies and market conditions, assessing the quality of risk programs to manage and mitigate risks, and ensuring implementation of the Company's risk appetite and strategy. To support the ERMC in its oversight responsibilities, it has seven subcommittees: (i) Information Risk Committee, (ii) Operational Risk Management Committee, (iii) Litigation Risk Management Committee (iv) Credit Risk Management Committee, (v) Regulatory Compliance Committee, (vi) Bank Secrecy Act and Fraud Oversight Committee, and (vii) Asset Liability Committee.
Information risk encompasses Information Technology and Information Security risks. Informational Technology risk is defined as the risk that systems handing information and process flows may not meet quality and efficiency standards in line with industry, customer, and regulatory expectations, or may fail causing outages, or that new systems may not be implemented in a timely manner. Information Security risk is defined as the risk of unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording, or destruction of electronic or physical data.
The increased use of technology to store and process information, particularly the ability to conduct financial transactions on mobile devices and cloud technologies, exposes the Company to moderate risk of potential operational disruption or information security incidents, whether caused by deliberate or accidental acts. The Company is committed to preventing, detecting, and responding timely to incidents that may impact the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets through its information security and technology risk programs, which are managed under the direction of the Chief Information Security Officer and Senior Managing Director of Information Risk Management. The Information Risk Committee provides primary oversight to Information Risk.
Reputational risk is defined as the potential that negative publicity regarding the Company's conduct, business practices, or associations, whether true or not, will adversely affect its revenues, operations, and customer base, or require costly litigation or other defensive measures. Reputational risk may also impair the Company's competitiveness by affecting its ability to establish new relationships or continue servicing existing customers. Reputational risk is inherent in all Company's activities, especially when dealing with stakeholders such as customers, counterparties, investors, regulators, colleagues, and communities.
In addition, reputational risk arises when the Company associates its brand with solutions and services offered through outsourced arrangements, negative publicity regarding matters such as poor unethical or deceptive business practices, violations of laws or regulations, high profile litigation, poor financial performance, poor execution, or inferior customer service.
Reputational risk is managed through strong corporate governance, risk culture, and a Code of Ethics. Setting the tone at the top, the Board of Directors and executive leadership actively support risk awareness by mandating accurate and timely management information and communication. The Company's ethical standards are reinforced through recruiting, training, and performance management. The Company also maintains strong fair and responsible banking practices, which permeate interactions with clients, vendors, and counterparties. The ERMC provides primary oversight to Reputational risk.
Operational risk is defined as the risk of loss, whether direct or indirect, due to the inadequacy or failure of processes and systems, human error, or from external events. Operational risk encompasses the following risks: Fraud, Third Parties, Human Capital, Business Operations, Model, Legal, and Physical Security.
The Company mitigates Operational risk through the establishment of an Operational Risk Management Program, which provides for a set of tools to identify, assess, monitor, and report operational risk activities. The program enables the lines of business and corporate functions to establish accountability for performance and execution, and allows for timely and effective management of identified risks, control failures, or other related gap/deficiencies that are reinforced through incentive structures. The Company seeks to control operational risk within an acceptable range, which is determined by the types of businesses in which it engages, and the volume of activity within those lines of business. Control of operational losses depends on identifying the types of transactions and operational risks faced at the enterprise and business level, and ensuring effective internal control processes are in place to mitigate these risks. The Operational Risk Management Committee provides primary oversight to Operational risk as a whole. The Litigation Risk Committee provides primary oversight to Legal risk.
Credit risk is defined as the risk of loss resulting from the failure of a borrower or counterparty to honor its financial or contractual obligations to the Company. Credit risk arises in the Company's lending operations, and in its funding and investment activities where counterparties have repayment or other obligations to the Company. Credit risk can also arise from other solutions or services that involve customer obligations for the transfer of funds.
The overall focus of Credit risk management is to balance returns relative to risk while operating within stated risk tolerances. The Company maintains underwriting standards consistent with its desired risk profile and robust credit process. The Company's loan portfolio is balanced to include both commercial and consumer lending activity, while avoiding significant concentrations in borrowers, counterparties, industries, and solutions that could create excessive correlated risk.
Diversification of the loan portfolio across commercial and industrial, specialty finance, and real estate lending is important in managing credit risk. Accordingly, management aims to actively measure and management concentrations by portfolio, industry sector and specific sub-sectors, geography, single obligor, and other guidelines. The Company is primarily a relationship lender. In addition, the Company will only assume credit risk when it can effectively manage from an infrastructure or operational perspective, and it has industry, product, and market expertise.
The Credit Risk Management Program is led by the Chief Credit Officer, along with a team of credit executives who are independent of the loan production and treasury functions. The Credit Risk Management Committee provides primary oversight to Credit risk.
Compliance risk is defined as the risk to current or anticipated earnings or capital arising from violations of, or non-compliance with, laws, rules, regulations, prescribed practices, internal policies and procedures, or prudent ethical standards. Compliance risk exposes the Company to fines, civil monetary penalties, payment of damages, and the voiding of contracts. The Company's activities subject to overall compliance, consumer protection, and regulatory risk include deposit account management, lending products and services, privacy protections, investment management, and fiduciary services.
Compliance risk is managed through the execution of a comprehensive Compliance Management Program, which is designed to identify and evaluate risks of non-compliance, assess, test, and monitor the effectiveness of internal controls, and report and escalate significant issues. The Regulatory Compliance Committee provides primary oversight to Compliance risk as a whole. The BSA and Fraud Oversight Committee provides primary oversight to Compliance risks specific to the BSA.
Financial risk encompasses Treasury and Accounting risk. Treasury risk includes the risk (i) of capital levels falling below supervisory expectations or being incommensurate with the level of risk; (ii) that a value of a security or investment will decrease; (iii) changes in interest rates could contribute to a reduction in earnings and net worth; and (iv) from decreases or changes in funding sources. Accounting risk includes the risks that arise from the inability to (i) comply with GAAP and regulatory laws/guidelines; (ii) ensure a high integrity financial reporting process; and (iii) disclose appropriate information.
The Treasury components of Financial risk are managed through interest rate, liquidity, and capital scenario analysis and stress testing. Accounting risk is managed through internal control over financial reporting. The Company's Treasury and Accounting Risk Programs are respectively managed by the Treasurer and Chief Accounting Officer. The Asset Liability Committee provides primary oversight of Treasury risk. The Disclosure and SOX Committees, both of which are subcommittees of the Audit Committee, provide primary oversight of Accounting risk.
Strategic risk is defined as the risk to the Company's current or projected financial condition, expected returns and resilience arising from the inability to select and execute strategic choices, suboptimal company positioning, ineffective organizational structures, poor implementation of priorities and initiatives, inadequate risk management infrastructure, or the lack of responsiveness to changes in the financial services ecosystem and operating environment.
The Company seeks to achieve its performance objectives by making management decisions, such as the selection of strategic choices, applying planning assumptions, assessing internal capabilities and the external environment, ensuring capital and resources are dedicated to the right priorities, and ensuring effective execution by periodically reviewing specific plans. Strategic risk underscores the need for balance between risk and return, evaluating opportunity against the risk of loss of value.
The long-range strategic planning process ensures that strategic choices and initiatives are viewed with the overarching goal of allocating capital and resources to support strategies that create value for customers and sustainably grow economic profit over time. The impact of a strategy on the Company's risk appetite and risk profile is evaluated as part of the strategic planning process. The long-range strategic planning process is managed by the Corporate Strategy Officer. The ERMC and Risk Committee provide primary oversight to Strategic risk.
Additional information regarding risks and uncertainties, and relevant risk factors that could impact the Company's business, results of operations, or financial condition can be found in Part I - Item 1A. Risk Factors and throughout Part II of this report.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Investment in Webster stock involves risks and uncertainties, some of which are inherent in the financial services industry and others of which are more specific to our business. The discussion in the paragraphs below addresses the material risks and uncertainties, of which we are currently aware, that could adversely affect our business, results of operations, or financial condition. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties together with all of the other information included or incorporated by reference in this report. If any of these events or circumstances actually occurs, our business, results of operations, or financial condition could be significantly impacted.
A failure or breach of our information systems, or those of our third-party vendors and service providers, including as a result of cyber-attacks, could disrupt our businesses, result in the misuse of confidential or proprietary information, damage our reputation, and cause losses.
As a financial institution, we depend on our ability to process, record, and monitor a large number of customer transactions. Accordingly, our operational systems and infrastructure must continue to be safeguarded and monitored for potential failures, disruptions, and breakdowns. Our business, financial, accounting, data processing systems, or other operating systems and facilities, including mobile banking and other recently developed technologies, may stop operating properly or become disabled or compromised as a result of a number of factors that may be beyond our control. For example, there could be sudden increases in customer transaction volume, electrical or telecommunications outages, natural disasters, pandemics, events arising from political or social matters, including terrorist acts, and cyber-attacks. Although we have business continuity plans and robust information security procedures and controls in place, disruptions or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support our businesses and customers or cyber-attacks or security breaches of the networks, systems, or devices on which customers’ personal information is stored and that they use to access our products and services, could result in customer attrition, regulatory fines, penalties or intervention, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, which could have a materially adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Additionally, third parties with whom we do business or that facilitate our business activities, including exchanges, clearing houses, financial intermediaries, or vendors that provide services or security solutions for our operations, could also be sources of operational and information security risk to us, including breakdowns or failures of their own systems, capacity constraints, and cyber-attacks.
In recent years, information security risks for financial institutions have risen due to the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, hackers, terrorists, hostile foreign governments, activists, and other external parties. There have been instances involving financial services and consumer-based companies reporting unauthorized access to, and disclosure of, client or customer information or the destruction or theft of corporate data. There have also been highly publicized cases where hackers have requested ransom-payments in exchange for allowing access to systems and/or not disclosing customer information. In addition, as a result of the increase in remote working by our personnel and the personnel of other companies, the risk of cyber-attacks, breaches or similar events, whether through our systems or those of third parties on which we rely, has increased.
Although Webster has not experienced any material losses relating to cyber-attacks or other information security breaches, it is possible that we could suffer such losses in the future. Our inherent risk and exposure to these matters remains heightened, and as a result, the continued development and enhancement of our controls, processes, and practices designed to protect and facilitate the recovery of our systems, computers, software, data, and networks from attack, damage, or unauthorized access remains a high priority for us. In conjunction with our Third Party Risk Management Program, Webster assesses and monitors third party risks to protect those information assets shared with external parties. While we have purchased network and privacy liability insurance coverage (which includes digital asset loss, business interruption loss, network security liability, privacy liability, network extortion, and data breach coverage), such insurance may not cover any and all actual losses. As cyber threats and related regulations continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities.
We identified material weaknesses in our internal control related to ineffective ITGCs, which, if not remediated appropriately or timely, could result in a loss of investor confidence and adversely impact our stock price.
Internal controls related to the operation of technology systems are critical to maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. As disclosed in Part II - Item 9A. Controls and Procedures, management has identified material weaknesses in internal controls due to ineffective ITGCs. As a result, management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2022. Although management currently expects that the remediation of these material weaknesses will be completed prior to the end of 2023, our efforts may not be successful by such date, if at all. In addition, these remediation efforts will place a burden on management and result in additional technology and other expenses.
If we are unable to remediate these material weaknesses, or are otherwise unable to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures, our ability to record, process and report financial information accurately, and to prepare financial statements within required time periods, could be adversely affected, which could subject us to litigation or investigations requiring management resources and payment of legal and other expenses, negatively affect investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial statements, and adversely impact our stock price.
Increasing scrutiny and evolving expectations from customers, regulators, investors, and other stakeholders with respect to our ESG practices may impose additional costs on us or expose us to new or additional risks.
Companies are facing increasing scrutiny from customers, regulators, investors, and other stakeholders related to their ESG practices and disclosure. Investor advocacy groups, investment funds, and influential investors are also increasingly focused on these practices, especially as they relate to the environment, health and safety, diversity, labor conditions, and human rights. Increased ESG-related compliance costs for us as well as among our third-party suppliers, vendors, and various other parties within our supply chain could result in increases to our overall operational costs. Failure to adapt to or comply with regulatory requirements or investor or stakeholder expectations and standards could negatively impact our reputation, ability to do business with certain partners, access to capital, and the price of our stock.
We are subject to financial and reputational risks from potential liability arising from lawsuits.
The nature of our business ordinarily results in certain legal proceedings and claims. Whether claims or legal actions are founded or unfounded, if such claims and legal actions are not resolved in a manner favorable to us, they may result in significant financial liability and/or adversely affect how the market perceives us, the products and services we offer, as well as customer demand for those products and services. Any financial liability or reputation damage could have a material adverse effect on our business, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We assess our liabilities and contingencies in connection with outstanding legal proceedings and certain threatened claims and assessments using the latest and most reliable information. For matters identified where it is probable that we will incur a loss and we can reasonably estimate the amount, we will establish an accrual for the loss. Once established, the accrual is then adjusted, as needed, to reflect any relevant developments. However, the actual cost of an outstanding legal proceeding or threatened claim and assessment may be substantially higher than the amount accrued by management.
The replacement of LIBOR could adversely affect our business and financial condition.
LIBOR and certain other interest rate benchmarks are the subject of recent national, international, and other regulatory guidance and reform. The publication of the 1-week and 2-month USD LIBOR settings ceased as of December 31, 2021, while the
1-month, 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month USD LIBOR settings will continue to be published until June 30, 2023. Accordingly, all existing LIBOR obligations have or will transition to another benchmark after December 31, 2021, June 30, 2023, or earlier. The U.S. federal banking agencies issued a statement in November 2020 encouraging banks to transition from USD LIBOR as soon as practicable and stop entering into new contracts that use USD LIBOR by December 31, 2021.
Central banks and regulators in major jurisdictions, including the United States, have convened working groups to find, and implement the transition to suitable replacements for interbank offered rates. To identify a successor rate for USD LIBOR, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board and the FRB of New York formed the ARRC. On July 29, 2021, the ARRC formally recommended SOFR as its preferred alternative replacement rate for LIBOR. Webster has adopted SOFR as the LIBOR replacement rate and began offering SOFR-based lending solutions and derivative contracts to our customers in October 2021. Effective January 1, 2022, Webster stopped originating new contracts using any LIBOR index, as defined by regulatory guidance.
The market transition away from LIBOR to alternative reference rates is complex and could have a range of adverse effects on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. In particular, the transition could:
•adversely affect the interest rates received or paid on the revenues and expenses associated with or the value of our LIBOR-based assets and liabilities, or the value of other securities or financial arrangements, given LIBOR's role in determining market interest rates globally;
•prompt inquiries or other actions from regulators in respect of our preparation and readiness for the replacement of LIBOR with SOFR as the alternative reference rate; and
•result in disputes, litigation or other actions with borrowers or counterparties about the interpretation and enforceability of certain fallback language in LIBOR-based contracts and securities.
The transition from LIBOR to SOFR requires the transition to or development of appropriate systems, models, and analytics to effectively transition our risk management and other processes from LIBOR-based products to those based on SOFR. Webster has developed a Working Group, Steering Committee, and LIBOR transition plan aligned with regulatory guidance and ARRC best practices and is actively working to develop processes, systems, and personnel to support this transition. Timelines and priorities include assessing the impact on our customers and assessing system requirements for operational processes. There can be no guarantee that our efforts will successfully mitigate the operational risks associated with transitioning from LIBOR to SOFR as the alternative reference rate. The effect of these developments on our funding costs, loan, investment, and securities portfolios is uncertain and could adversely impact our business and increase operational and legal costs.
We rely on third parties to perform significant operational services for us.
Third parties perform significant operational services on our behalf. For instance, we depend on our vendor-provided core banking processing systems to process a large number of increasingly complex transactions on a daily basis. Accordingly, we are exposed to the risk that vendors and third-party service providers might not perform in accordance with their contracts or service agreements, whether due to changes in their organizational structure, strategic focus, support for existing products, technology, services, financial condition, or for any other reason. Their failure to perform could be disruptive to our operations, which could have a materially adverse impact on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Although we require third-party service providers to have business continuity and disaster recovery plans that are aligned with our plans, such plans may not operate successfully or in a timely manner so as to prevent any such material adverse impact.
Our business may be adversely affected by fraud.
As a financial institution, we are inherently exposed to risk in the form of theft and other fraudulent activities by employees, customers, or other third parties targeting Webster or Webster’s customers or data. Such activity may take many forms, including check fraud, electronic fraud, wire fraud, phishing, social engineering, and other dishonest acts. Although we devote substantial resources to maintaining effective policies and internal controls to identify and prevent such incidents, given the increasing sophistication of possible perpetrators, we may experience financial losses or reputational harm as a result of fraud.
Our internal controls may be ineffective, circumvented, or fail.
Management regularly reviews and updates our internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure or circumvention of our controls and procedures, failure to implement any necessary improvement of controls and procedures, or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We are exposed to environmental liability risk with respect to properties to which we obtain title.
A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real property. In the normal course of business, we may foreclose on and take title of properties securing certain loans, and there is a risk that hazardous or toxic substances could be found on these properties. If hazardous or toxic substances are found, we may be held liable for remediation costs, including significant investigation and clean-up costs and for personal injury or property damage. In addition, environmental contamination could materially reduce the affected property’s value or limit our ability to use or sell the affected property. Although we have policies and procedures to perform environmental reviews prior to lending against or initiating any foreclosure action on real property, these reviews may not be sufficient to detect all potential environmental hazards. Further, if we are the owner or former owner of a contaminated site, we may be subject to common law claims based on damages and costs incurred by others due to environmental contamination emanating from the property. These remediation costs and liabilities could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Climate change manifesting as physical or transition risks could adversely affect our operations, businesses, and customers.
There is an increasing concern over the risks of climate change and related environmental sustainability matters. The physical risks of climate change include discrete events, such as flooding and wildfires, and longer-term shifts in climate patterns, such as extreme heat, sea level rise, and more frequent and prolonged drought. Such events could disrupt our operations, those of our customers, or third parties on which we rely, including through direct damage to assets and indirect impacts from supply chain disruption and market volatility. In addition, transitioning to a low-carbon economy may entail extensive policy, legal, technological, and market initiatives. Transition risks, including changes in consumer preferences and additional regulatory requirements or taxes, could increase our expenses and undermine our strategies. Our reputation and client relationships may be damaged as a result of our practices related to climate change, including our direct or indirect involvement in certain industries or projects associated with causing or exacerbating climate change, as well as any decisions we make to conduct or change our activities in response to managing climate risk. Further, our ability to attract and retain employees may also be harmed if our response to climate change is perceived as ineffective or insufficient. We have developed and continue to enhance processes to assess and monitor the Bank's exposure to climate risk. However, because the timing and impact of climate change have limited predictability, our risk management strategies may not be effective in mitigating climate risk exposure.
Our allowance for credit losses on loans and leases may be insufficient.
We maintain an ACL on loans and leases, which is a reserve established through a provision for credit losses charged to expense, that represents management’s best estimate of probable credit losses over the life of the loan or lease within our existing portfolio. The determination of the appropriate level of ACL on loans and leases inherently involves a high degree of subjectivity and requires us to make significant estimates of current credit risks and trends using existing qualitative and quantitative information and reasonable supportable forecasts of future economic conditions, all of which may undergo frequent and material changes. Changes in economic conditions affecting borrowers, the softening of macroeconomic variables that we are more susceptible to, along with new information regarding existing loans, identification of additional problems loans, and other factors, both within and outside our control, may indicate the need for an increase in the ACL on loans and leases.
Bank regulatory agencies also periodically review our ACL and may require an increase in the provision for credit losses or the recognition of additional loan charge-offs, based on judgments different than those of management. In addition, if charge-offs in future periods exceed the ACL, we may need, depending on an analysis of the adequacy of the ACL, additional provisions to increase the ACL. An increase in the ACL would result in a decrease in net income, and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and regulatory capital position.
The soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect our business.
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, or other relationships. We have exposure to many different industries and counterparties, and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, mutual and hedge funds, and other institutional clients. As a result, defaults by, or even rumors or questions about one or more financial services companies, or the financial services industry in general, have led, and may further lead to market-wide liquidity problems and could lead to losses or defaults by us or by other institutions. Many of these transactions could expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or client. In addition, our credit risk may be impacted if the collateral held by us cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the financial instrument’s exposure due to us. Any such losses could materially or adversely affect our business, financial condition, or results of operations.
We are subject to the risk of default by our counterparties and clients, particularly with respect to certain types of loans.
Many of our routine transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparties or clients. Our credit risk may be exacerbated when the collateral held cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices insufficient to cover the full amount of the loan or derivative exposure to us. In deciding whether to extend credit or enter into other transactions, we may rely on information furnished by or on behalf of counterparties and clients, including financial statements, credit reports, and other information. We may also rely on representations of those counterparties, clients, or other third parties, such as independent auditors, as to the accuracy and completeness of that information. The inaccuracy of that information or those representations affects our ability to evaluate the default risk of a counterparty or client accurately and could cause us to enter into unfavorable transactions, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, we consider our commercial real estate loans and commercial and industrial loans to be higher risk categories in our loan portfolio because these loans are particularly sensitive to economic conditions. Commercial real estate loans generally have large balances and can be significantly affected by adverse economic conditions that are outside of the borrower’s control because payments on such loans typically depend on the successful operation and management of the businesses that hold the loans. In the case of commercial and industrial loans, related collateral often consists of accounts receivable, inventory, and equipment. This type of collateral typically does not yield substantial recovery in the event of foreclosure and may rapidly deteriorate, disappear, or be misdirected in advance of foreclosure. In addition, many of our commercial real estate and commercial and industrial borrowers have more than one loan outstanding with us. Consequently, an adverse development with respect to one loan or one credit relationship may expose us to significantly greater risk of loss. The risks associated with these types of loans could have a significant negative affect on our earnings in any quarter.
We are subject to extensive government regulation and supervision, which may interfere with our ability to conduct our business operations.
We are subject to extensive federal and applicable state regulation and supervision, primarily through Webster Bank and certain non-bank subsidiaries. Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Fund, and the safety and soundness of the U.S banking system as a whole, not stockholders. These regulations affect our lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy, and growth, among other things. Congress and federal regulatory agencies continuously review banking laws, regulations, and policies for possible changes, and proposed changes are to be expected from the current presidential administration. Changes to statutes, regulations, or regulatory policies, including changes in interpretation or implementation thereof, could affect us in substantial and unpredictable ways. For example, such changes could subject us to additional costs, limit the types of financial services and products we may offer, and restrict what we are able to charge for certain banking services. Failure to comply with laws, regulations, or policies could result in sanctions by regulatory agencies, civil penalties, and reputation damage, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. While we have policies and procedures designed to prevent these types of violations, there can be no assurance that such violations will not occur.
We face risks related to the adoption of future legislation and potential changes in federal regulatory agency leadership, policies, and priorities.
Under the current presidential administration, financial institutions have recently become subject to increased scrutiny and therefore, it is expected that the banking sector will be subject to more extensive legal and regulatory requirements within the next few years than under the prior presidential and congressional regime. In addition, changes in key personnel at the regulatory agencies, including the federal banking regulators, may result in differing interpretations of existing rules and guidelines, including more stringent enforcement and more severe penalties than previously. Disagreements between the current congressional regime and the presidential administration on federal budgetary matters, including the debt ceiling, may lead to total or partial government shutdowns, which can create economic instability and negatively affect our business and financial performance. Additionally, a return of recessionary conditions may create the potential for increased regulation, new federal or state laws and regulations regarding lending and funding practices and liquidity standards that could negatively impact Webster Bank’s business operations, increase the cost of compliance, and adversely affect profitability.
Changes in federal, state, or local tax laws may negatively impact our financial performance.
We are subject to changes in tax laws that could increase our effective tax rates or cause an increase or decrease in our income tax liabilities. These law changes may be retroactive to previous periods and as a result, could negatively impact our current and future financial performance. For example, on September 13, 2021, the House Ways and Means Committee released a draft of its proposed tax reform legislation, which includes an increase in the federal corporate tax rate from 21% to 26.5% for corporations earning more than $5 million, and alters selected provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, among other changes. At this time, we are unable to predict whether this change or any other proposed tax law will ultimately be enacted. Additionally, on August 16, 2022, the IRA was signed into law, which made several changes to the Internal Revenue Code, including a 15% corporate minimum tax on certain large companies and a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks by publicly traded corporations. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of these tax law changes.
We are subject to examinations and challenges by taxing authorities.
We are subject to federal and applicable state and local income tax regulations. Income tax regulations are often complex and require interpretation. In the normal course of business, we are routinely subject to examinations and challenges from federal and applicable state and local taxing authorities regarding the amount of taxes due in connection with investments we have made and the businesses in which we have engaged. Recently, federal and state and local taxing authorities have been increasingly aggressive in challenging tax positions taken by financial institutions. These tax positions may relate to compliance, sales and use, franchise, gross receipts, payroll, property, and income tax issues such as tax base, apportionment, and tax credit planning. The challenges made by taxing authorities may result in adjustments to the timing or amount of taxable income or deductions, or the allocation of income among tax jurisdictions. If any such challenges are made and are not resolved in our favor, they could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Health care reform could adversely affect our HSA Bank division.
The enactment of future health care reform affecting HSAs at the federal or state level may affect our HSA Bank division as a bank custodian of HSAs. We cannot predict if any such reforms will occur, ultimately become law, or if enacted, what the terms or regulations promulgated pursuant to such laws will be. Any health care reform enacted may be phased in over a number of years, but could, with respect to the operations of HSA Bank, reduce revenues, increase costs, and require us to revise the ways in which we conduct business or put us at risk for loss of business. In addition, our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows could be materially adversely affected by such changes.
Difficult conditions or volatility in the U.S. economy and financial markets may have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
As a financial services company, our business and overall financial performance is highly dependent upon the U.S. economy and strength of its financial markets. Difficult economic and market conditions could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
The risks associated with our business become more acute in periods of a slowing economy or slow growth. In particular, we could face some of the following risks in connection with a downturn in the U.S. economic and market environment:
•loss of confidence in the financial services industry and the debt and equity markets by investors, placing pressure on our common share price;
•decreased consumer and business confidence levels may decrease credit usage and investment or increase in delinquencies and default rates;
•decreased household or corporate incomes, which could reduce demand for our products and services;
•decreased value of collateral securing loans to borrowers, causing a decrease in the asset quality of our loan and lease portfolio and/or an increase in charge-offs;
•decreased confidence in the creditworthiness of the U.S. government and agency securities that we hold;
•increased concern over and scrutiny of capital and liquidity levels;
•increased competition or consolidation in the financial services industry; and
•increased limitations on or potential additional regulation of financial service companies.
The U.S. economy and financial markets have experienced volatility in recent years and may continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Robust demand, labor shortages and supply chain constraints had led to persistent inflationary pressures throughout the economy. In response to these inflationary pressures, the FRB has raised benchmark interest rates in recent months and may continue to raise interest rates in response to economic conditions, particularly a continued high rate of inflation. Amidst these uncertainties, financial markets have continued to experience volatility. If financial markets remain volatile or if the aforementioned conditions result in further economic stress or recession, the performance of various segments of our business, including the value of our investment securities portfolio, could be significantly impacted.
Inflation rose sharply throughout 2022 at levels not seen for over 40 years. Prolonged periods of inflation may further impact our profitability by negatively impacting our fixed costs and expenses, including increasing funding costs and expense related to talent acquisition and retention. If significant inflation continues, our business could be negatively affected by, among other things, increased default rates leading to credit losses which could decrease our appetite for new credit extensions. In addition, a prolonged period of inflation could cause an increase in wages and other costs to the Company. These inflationary pressures could result in missed earnings and budgetary projections causing our stock price to suffer. We continue to closely monitor the pace of inflation and the impacts of inflation on the larger market, including labor and supply chain impacts.
Our profitability depends significantly on local economic conditions in the states in which we conduct business.
The success of our business also depends on the general economic conditions of the significant markets in which we operate, particularly Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. Difficult economic conditions or adverse changes in such local markets, whether caused by inflation, recession, unemployment, changes in housing or securities markets, or other factors, could reduce demand for our loans and deposits, increase problem loans and charge-offs, cause a decline in the value of collateral securing loans, and otherwise negatively affect our performance and financial condition.
Changes in interest rates and spreads may have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our financial condition and results of operations are significantly affected by changes in market interest rates. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control, including general economic conditions, the competitive environment within our markets, consumer preferences for specific loan and deposit products, and policies of various governmental and regulatory agencies, in particular the FRB. Changes in monetary policy, including changes in interest rates, could influence the amount of interest we receive on loans and securities, the amount of interest we pay on deposits and borrowings, our ability to originate loans and obtain deposits, and the fair market value of our financial assets and liabilities.
Increased interest rates may decrease demand for interest-rate based products and services, including loans and deposits, and make it more difficult for borrowers to meet obligations under variable-rate or adjustable-rate loans and other debt instruments. Decreased interest rates often increase prepayments on loans and securities as borrowers refinance their loans to reduce borrowing costs. Under these circumstances, we are further subject to reinvestment risk to the extent that we cannot reinvest the cash received from such prepayments with interest rates comparable to pre-existing loans and securities.
In a rising interest rate environment, which has occurred recently, competition for cost-effective deposits increases, making it more costly for the Bank to fund loan growth. Rapid and unexpected volatility in interest rates creates additional uncertainty and potential for adverse financial effects. There can be no assurance that the Bank will not be materially adversely affected by future changes in interest rates.
To a large degree, our consolidated earnings are dependent on net interest income, which is the difference between the interest income earned from our interest-earning assets and the interest expense paid on our interest-bearing liabilities. If the rates paid on interest-bearing liabilities increase at a faster rate than the yields received on interest-earning assets, our net interest income, and therefore earnings, could be adversely affected. Conversely, earnings could also be adversely affected if the yields received on interest-earning assets fall more quickly than the rates paid on interest-bearing liabilities.
Although management believes that it has designed and implemented effective asset and liability management strategies to reduce the potential effects of changes in interest rates on our financial condition and results of operations, interest rates are affected by many factors outside of our control and any unexpected or prolonged period of interest rate changes could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Further, our interest rate modeling techniques and assumption may not fully predict or capture the impact of actual interest rate changes on net interest income.
Changes in our financial condition or in the general banking industry, or changes in interest rates, could result in a loss of depositor confidence.
Liquidity is the ability to meet cash flow needs on a timely basis at a reasonable cost. The Bank uses its liquidity to extend credit and to repay liabilities as they become due or as demanded by customers. Our primary source of liquidity is our large supply of interest-bearing and non-interest bearing deposits. The continued availability of this supply of deposits depends on customer willingness to maintain deposit balances with banks in general and us in particular, as well as the continued inflow of deposits for new and existing customers. The availability of deposits can also be impacted by regulatory changes (e.g., changes in FDIC insurance, liquidity requirements, healthcare reform etc.), changes in financial condition of the Bank, other banks, or the banking industry in general, changes in the interest rates our competitors pay on their deposits, and other events which can impact the perceived safety or economic benefits of bank deposits. While we make significant efforts to consider and plan for hypothetical disruptions in our deposit funding, market-related, geopolitical, or other events could impact the liquidity derived from deposits.
We may be subject to more stringent capital and liquidity requirements, which could limit our business activities.
The Holding Company and the Bank are subject to capital and liquidity requirements and standards imposed as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, as amended by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018, and the U.S. Basel III Capital Rules. Regulators have and may implement changes to these standards. If we fail to meet the minimum capital adequacy and liquidity guidelines and other requirements, our business activities, including lending and our ability to expand, either organically or through acquisitions, could be limited. It could also result in us being required to take steps to increase our regulatory capital that may be dilutive to stockholders or limit our ability to pay dividends, or sell or refrain from acquiring assets.
Our stock price can be volatile.
Stock price volatility may make it more difficult for stockholders to resell their common stock when they want and at prices that they find attractive. Our stock price can fluctuate significantly in response to a variety of factors including, among other things:
•actual or anticipated variations in results of operations;
•recommendations or projections by securities analysts;
•operating and stock price performance of other companies that investors deem comparable to us;
•news reports relating to trends, concerns, and other issues in the financial services and healthcare industries;
•perceptions in the marketplace regarding us and/or our competitors;
•new technology used, or services offered, by competitors;
•significant acquisitions or business combinations, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, or capital commitments by or involving us or our competitors;
•changes in dividends and capital returns;
•issuance of additional shares of Webster common stock;
•changes in government regulations; and
•geopolitical conditions such as acts or threats of terrorism or military conflicts, including any military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
General market fluctuations, including real or anticipated changes in the strength of the economy, industry factors and general economic and political conditions and events, such as economic slowdowns or recessions, interest rate changes, credit loss trends, among other factors, could also cause our stock price to decrease regardless of operating results.
The COVID-19 pandemic, or other pandemics in the future, could have a significant negative impact on our business, liquidity, capital, financial condition, and results of operations.
Given the ongoing and dynamic nature of the COVID-19 virus and the related worldwide response, it is difficult to predict the full impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business. There are numerous uncertainties, including the duration and severity of the pandemic, the impact of the spread of new and existing variants of the virus, the availability, adoption and effectiveness of vaccines and treatments and containment measures, and the related macroeconomic impacts, including labor shortages, high inflation rates, or other disruptions to the global supply chain. Therefore, we are unable to predict the potential future impact that the COVID‑19 pandemic, or future pandemics, will have on our business, liquidity, capital, financial condition, and results of operations.
The Holding Company may not pay dividends to stockholders if it is not able to receive dividends from its subsidiary, Webster Bank.
The Holding Company is a separate and distinct legal entity from our banking and non-banking subsidiaries. A substantial portion of the Holding Company’s revenues comes from dividends paid by the Bank. These dividends are the principal source of funds to pay dividends to common and preferred stockholders. Whether the Bank is able to pay dividends depends on its ability to generate sufficient net income and meet certain regulatory requirements, and the amount of such dividends may then be limited by federal and state laws. In the event the Bank is unable to pay the Holding Company dividends, we may not be able to pay dividends to our common and preferred stockholders.
Changes in our accounting policies or in accounting standards could materially impact how we report our financial results.
Our accounting policies and methods are fundamental to understanding how we record and report our results of operations and financial condition. Accordingly, we exercise judgment in selecting and applying these accounting policies and methods so they comply with GAAP. The FASB, SEC, and other regulatory bodies that establish accounting standards periodically change the financial accounting and reporting standards, or the interpretation of those standards, that govern the preparation of our financial statements. These changes are beyond our control, can be hard to predict, and could materially impact how we report our results of operations and financial condition. We could be required to apply a new or revised standard retrospectively, which may result in us having to restate our prior period financial statements by material amounts.
The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires the use of estimates that may vary from actual results.
The preparation of the Company's Consolidated Financial Statements, and the accompanying Notes thereto, in conformity with GAAP requires management to make difficult, subjective, or complex judgments about matters that are uncertain, which include assumptions and estimates of current risks and future trends, all of which may undergo material changes. Materially different amounts could be reported under different conditions or using different assumptions and estimates. Because of the inherent uncertainty of estimates involved in preparing our financial statements, we may be required to significantly adjust the financial statements as actual events unfold, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Material estimates subject to change include, among other items, the allowance for credit losses, the carrying value of goodwill or other intangible assets, the fair value estimates of certain assets and liabilities, and the realization of deferred tax assets and liabilities.
A significant merger or acquisition requires us to make estimates, including the fair values of acquired assets and liabilities.
GAAP requires us to record the assets and liabilities of an acquired business to their fair values at the time of the acquisition. With larger transactions, such as our recent merger with Sterling, fair value and other estimations can take up to four quarters to finalize. These estimates, and their revisions, can have a substantial effect on the presentation of our financial condition and operating results after the transaction closes. In addition, the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of the assets acquired, net of liabilities assumed, is recorded as goodwill. If the estimates that we have used at any financial statement date are significantly revised in the future, there could be a material negative impact on our goodwill or other acquisition-related intangibles and our results of operations for the period in which the revisions are made.
If our goodwill were determined to be impaired, it could have a negative impact on our profitability.
GAAP requires that goodwill be tested for impairment at the reporting unit level on at least an annual basis or more frequently upon the occurrence of a triggering event. An impairment loss is to be recognized if the carrying value of the net assets assigned to the reporting unit exceeds the fair value of the reporting unit. A significant decline in our expected future cash flows, a continued period of local and national economic disruption, changes to financial markets, slower growth rates, or other external factors, all of which can be highly unpredictable, may impact fair value calculations and require us to recognize an impairment loss in the future. Such impairment loss may be significant and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our investments in certain tax-advantaged projects may not generate returns as anticipated or at all, and may have an adverse impact on our results of operations.
We invest in certain tax-advantaged investments that support qualified affordable housing projects and other community development initiatives. Our investments in these projects rely on the ability of the projects to generate a return primarily through the realization of federal and state income tax credits and other tax benefits. We face the risk that tax credits, which remain subject to recapture by taxing authorities based on compliance with relevant requirements at the project level, may not be able to be realized. The risk of not being able to realize the tax credits and other tax benefits associated with a particular project depends on many factors that are outside of our control. A project’s failure to realize these tax credits and other tax benefits may have a negative impact on our investment, and as a result, on our financial condition and results of operations.
We may encounter significant difficulties in integrating with Sterling and may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of the merger, or those benefits may take longer to realize than expected.
Although the Company consummated its merger with Sterling on January 31, 2022, we expect further integration of systems, operations, and personnel over the next several years. While many integration milestones have been achieved, important integration steps, such as the core bank conversion, remain to be completed.
The successful integration of Webster and Sterling will depend, in part, on our ability to combine and manage the businesses of Webster and Sterling in a manner that permits growth opportunities, including enhanced revenues and revenue synergies, operating efficiencies, and an expanded market reach, while not materially disrupting the existing customer relationships of Webster or Sterling, which would result in decreased revenues due to loss of customers. If we do not successfully achieve these objectives, or if we have failed to estimate the anticipated benefits of the merger accurately, the anticipated benefits may not be fully realized or at all, or may take longer to realize than expected.
Failure to achieve or delays in achieving these anticipated benefits could also result in increased costs, decreases in the amount of expected revenues, and diversion of management’s time and energy, and could have an adverse effect on the combined company’s business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. In addition, it is possible that the integration process could disrupt of our ongoing business or cause inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures, and policies that affect our ability to maintain relationships with customers and employees.
We will continue to incur substantial expenses related to the merger and integration with Sterling.
The Company has incurred and will continue to incur significant, non-recurring costs in connection with the Sterling merger, as there are processes, policies, procedures, operations, technologies, and systems that still need to be integrated or decommissioned. In addition, the merger may increase the Company's compliance and legal risks, including increased litigation or regulatory actions such as fines or restrictions, related to business practices or operations of the combined business.
Although we have planned to incur a certain level of expenses for integration, many factors beyond our control could affect the total amount or timing of integration expenses. Further, many of the expenses that will be incurred are, by nature, difficult to estimate accurately and could exceed the anticipated cost savings that the Company expects to achieve. Overall, the amount and timing of future charges to earnings as a result of the merger and integration with Sterling remains uncertain, and the expected benefits realized may not offset the transaction costs over time.
New lines of business or new products and services may subject us to additional risk.
On occasion, we may implement new lines of business or offer new products and services within existing lines of business. There are substantial risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts, particularly in instances where markets are not fully developed. In developing and marketing new lines of business and/or new products and services, we may invest significant time and resources. Initial timetables for the introduction and development of new lines of business and/or new products or services may not be achieved, and price and profitability targets may not prove feasible. External factors, such as compliance with regulations, competitive alternatives, and shifting market preferences may also impact the successful implementation of a new line of business and/or a new product or service. Further, any new line of business and/or new product or service could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of our system of internal controls. Failure to successfully manage these risks in the development and implementation of new lines of business and/or new products or services could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We may not be able to attract and retain skilled people, and the loss of key employees or the inability to maintain appropriate staffing may disrupt relationships with customers and adversely impact our business.
Our success depends, in large part, on our ability to attract, develop, compensate, motivate, and retain skilled people, including executives, managers, and other key employees with the skills and know-how necessary to run our business. The failure to attract or retain talented executives, managers, and employees with diverse backgrounds and experiences, or the loss of certain executives, managers, and key employees, could have a material adverse impact on our business. These risks may be heightened when U.S. labor markets, or segments of those markets, are especially competitive.
Competition for the best people in most activities in which we engage can be intense, and we may not be able to hire sufficiently skilled people or retain them. The recent transition towards companies offering remote and hybrid work environments, which is expected to endure, as well as our workplace policies (or perceptions of those policies by current and potential employees), including policies with respect to remote and hybrid work, could impact our ability to attract and retain talent with the necessary skills and experience. In addition, the transition to remote and hybrid work environments may exacerbate the challenges of attracting and retaining skilled employees because job markets may be less constrained by physical geography. The unexpected loss of services of our key personnel could have a material adverse impact on the business because of their skills, knowledge of our markets, years of industry experience, and the difficulty of promptly finding qualified replacement personnel.
Further, our business is primarily relationship-driven, in that many of our key employees have extensive customer relationships. The loss of a key employee with such customer relationships may lead to the loss of business if the customers were to follow that employee to a competitor or otherwise choose to transition to another financial services provider. While we believe that our relationships with key personnel are good, we cannot guarantee that all of our key personnel will remain with our organization.
We operate in a highly competitive industry and market area.
We face substantial competition in all areas of our operations from a variety of different competitors, both within and beyond our financial markets, many of which are larger and may have more financial resources than we do. Such traditional competitors primarily include national, regional, community, and internet banks within the various markets in which we operate. We also face competition from many other types of financial institutions, including savings and loans, credit unions, non-bank health savings account trustees, finance companies, brokerage firms, insurance companies, online lenders, factoring companies, and other financial intermediaries. Some of these organizations are not subject to the same degree of regulation that is imposed on bank holding companies and federally insured depository institutions, which may give them greater flexibility in accessing funding and providing various services. Moreover, organizations that are larger than we are may be able to achieve greater economies of scale or offer a broader range of products and services, or better pricing on products and services, than what we can offer.
The financial services industry could become even more competitive as a result of legislative and regulatory changes, and continued consolidation. In addition, as customer preferences and expectations continue to evolve, technology has lowered barriers to entry and has made it possible for non-banks to offer products and services traditionally provided by banks. The financial services industry also faces increasing competitive pressure from the introduction of disruptive new technologies, such as blockchain and digital payments, often by non-traditional competitors and financial technology companies. Among other things, technology and other changes are allowing customers to complete financial transactions that historically have involved banks at one or both ends of the transaction.
Our ability to compete successfully depends on a number of factors, including, among other things:
•the ability to develop, maintain, and build upon long-term customer relationships based on top quality service, high ethical standards, and safe, sound assets;
•the ability to expand our market position;
•the scope, relevance, and pricing of products and services offered to meet customer needs and demands;
•the rate at which we introduce new products and services relative to our competitors;
•customer satisfaction with our level of service and products; and
•industry and general economic trends.
Failure to perform in any of these areas could significantly weaken our competitive position, which could adversely affect our growth and profitability, and in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to keep pace with and adapt to technological change could adversely impact our business.
The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. These new technologies may be superior to, or render obsolete, the technologies currently used in our products and services. Our future success depends, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands, as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations. Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements because of their larger size and available capital. Developing or acquiring new technologies and incorporating them into our products and services may require significant investment, take considerable time, and ultimately may not be successful. We cannot predict which technological developments or innovations will become widely adopted or how those technologies may be regulated. We also may not be able to effectively market new technology-driven products and services to our customers. Failure to successfully keep pace with and adapt to technological change affecting the financial services industry could have a material adverse impact on our business and, in turn, our financial condition and results of operations.
The loss of key partnerships could adversely affect our HSA Bank division.
Our HSA Bank division relies on partnerships with various health insurance carriers and other partners to maximize our distribution model. In particular, health plan partners who provide high deductible health plan options are a significant source of new and existing HSA holders. If these health plan partners or other partners choose to align with our competitors or develop their own solutions, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
The Company's corporate headquarters is located in Stamford, Connecticut. This leased facility houses the Company’s primary executive and administrative functions, and serves as the principal banking headquarters of the Bank. Additional corporate functions are housed in an owned facility in Waterbury, Connecticut, and in leased facilities in Southington, Hartford, and New Haven, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Jericho, White Plains, and New York, New York; and Paramus, New Jersey. The Company considers its properties to be suitable and adequate for its current business needs.
Commercial Banking maintains offices across a geographic footprint that ranges from Massachusetts to California. Premises are located in Boston, Massachusetts; Westerly, Rhode Island; Conshohocken, and Radnor, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, and Columbia, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; and Laguna Niguel, and Ladera Ranch, California.
HSA Bank is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a leased office in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Consumer Banking operates a distribution network that consists of 201 banking centers:
|Connecticut||62 ||34 ||96 |
|Massachusetts||9 ||9 ||18 |
|Rhode Island||5 ||3 ||8 |
|New York||39 ||40 ||79 |
|Total||115 ||86 ||201 |
Additional information regarding the Company's owned facilities and leased locations can be found within Note 6: Premises and Equipment and Note 7: Leasing, respectively, in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements contained in
Part II - Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
Information regarding legal proceedings can be found within Note 23: Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements contained in Part II - Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, which is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
The Company's common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol WBS. At February 28, 2023, there were
8,217 holders of record, as determined by Broadridge Corporate Issuer Solutions, Inc., the Company's transfer agent.
Information regarding dividend restrictions can be found under the section captioned "Supervision and Regulation" in Part I - Item 1. Business and within Note 14: Regulatory Capital and Restrictions in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements contained in Part II - Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, which are incorporated herein by reference.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
There were no unregistered securities sold by the Company during the three year period ended December 31, 2022.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table provides information with respect to any purchase of equity securities for the Company’s common stock made by or on behalf of the Company or any “affiliated purchaser,” as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, during the three months ended December 31, 2022:
Paid Per Share (2)
|Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs|
Maximum Dollar Amount Available for Purchase Under the Plans or Programs (3)
|October 1, 2022 - October 31, 2022||75,610 ||$||46.20 ||62,546 ||$||401,340,164 |
|November 1, 2022 - November 30, 2022||770 ||53.28 ||— ||401,340,164 |
|December 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022||633 ||46.80 ||— ||401,340,164 |
|Total||77,013 ||46.27 ||62,546 ||401,340,164 |
(1)Out of the total shares purchased during the three months ended December 31, 2022, 14,467 shares were acquired at market prices outside of the Company's common stock repurchase program and related to employee share-based compensation plan activity.
(2)The average price paid per share is calculated on a trade date basis and excludes commissions and other transaction costs.
(3)The Company maintains a common stock repurchase program, which was approved by the Board of Directors on October 24, 2017, that authorizes management to purchase shares of Webster common stock in open market or privately negotiated transactions, through block trades, and pursuant to any adopted predetermined trading plan, subject to the availability and trading price of stock, general market conditions, alternative uses for capital, regulatory considerations, and the Company's financial performance. On April 27, 2022, the Board of Directors increased the Company's authority to repurchase shares of Webster common stock under the repurchase program by $600.0 million in shares. This existing repurchase program will remain in effect until fully utilized or until modified, superseded, or terminated.
The performance graph compares the yearly percentage change in the Company's cumulative total stockholder return on its common stock over the last five years to the cumulative total return of (i) the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500 Index) and (ii) the Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Regional Banking Index (KRX Index), assuming the reinvestment of dividends and an initial investment of $100 on December 31, 2017. The KRX Index is a market-capitalization weighted index comprised of 50 regional banks or thrifts located throughout the United States.
Cumulative total stockholder return is measured by dividing the sum of the cumulative amount of dividends for the measurement period, assuming dividend reinvestment, and the difference between the share price at the end and the beginning of the measurement period, by the share price at the beginning of the measurement period. The plotted points represent the cumulative total stockholder return on the last trading day of the year indicated. Historical performance shown on the graph is not necessarily indicative of future performance.
|Period Ending December 31,|
|Webster Financial Corporation||$||100 ||$||90 ||$||100 ||$||83 ||$||113 ||$||99 |
|S&P 500 Index||$||100 ||$||96 ||$||126 ||$||149 ||$||192 ||$||157 |
|KRX Index||$||100 ||$||83 ||$||102 ||$||93 ||$||128 ||$||119 |
ITEM 6. [RESERVED]
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis provides information that management believes is necessary to understand the Company's financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2022, as compared to 2021. This information should be read in conjunction with the Company's Consolidated Financial Statements, and the accompanying Notes thereto, contained in Part II - Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, as well as other information set forth throughout this report. For discussion and analysis of the Company's 2021 results, as compared to 2020, refer to Part II - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, which was filed with the SEC on
February 25, 2022. The Company's financial condition and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2022, are not necessarily indicative of the financial condition or operating results that may be attained in future periods.
Mergers and Acquisitions
On January 31, 2022, Webster completed its merger with Sterling in an all-stock transaction valued at $5.2 billion. The merger expanded the Company's geographic footprint and combined two complementary organizations to create one of the largest commercial banks in the northeastern U.S. At December 31, 2022, the Company had $71.3 billion in total assets, $49.8 billion in loans and leases, and $54.0 billion in total deposits, and operated 201 banking centers throughout southern New England and metro and suburban New York. In addition, on February 18, 2022, Webster acquired 100% of the equity interests of Bend, a cloud-based platform solution provider for HSAs, in exchange for cash. The Bend acquisition accelerated the Company’s efforts underway to deliver enhanced user experiences at HSA Bank. Financial results for historical reporting periods reflect only the results of the Company's operations prior to the corresponding merger or acquisition.
The successful integration of Webster’s and Sterling’s operations depends on the Company’s ability to successfully consolidate business operations, management teams, corporate cultures, operating systems, and controls procedures, and eliminate costs and redundancies. At December 31, 2022, noteworthy accomplishments include: (i) the rebranding of branches and digital assets, (ii) the coordination of credit policies and procedures, (iii) the selection of key operating systems, (iv) the consolidation of cloud data centers, commercial credit risk management systems and commercial client pricing tools, as well as mortgage servicing, payroll, and treasury platforms, (v) the completed transfer of consumer wealth and investment services operations to a third-party provider, (vi) the finalization of governance and executive management structures, (vii) the establishment of a corporate responsibility office to oversee community engagement, philanthropy, and sustainability, and (viii) Company-wide participation at culture-shaping workshops. Other key operating systems and process integration activities are ongoing, and the Company remains well-positioned to successfully execute its core conversion targeted for mid-2023.
In addition, the Company developed and launched a corporate real estate consolidation strategy during the second quarter of 2022 in which the Company arranged to close 14 locations, primarily throughout New York and Connecticut, in order to reduce its corporate facility square footage by approximately 45% by the end of the year. The Company successfully completed its corporate real estate consolidation strategy in 2022, as planned. During the year ended December 31, 2022, the Company recognized $23.1 million in ROU asset impairment charges and a combined $12.3 million in related exit costs and accelerated depreciation on property and equipment related to this corporate real estate consolidation strategy.
On December 5, 2022, Webster announced its plans to acquire interLINK, a technology-enabled deposit management platform that administers over $9 billion of deposits from FDIC-insured cash sweep programs between banks and broker/dealers and clearing firms. The purpose of the acquisition is to provide the Company with access to a unique source of core deposit funding and scalable liquidity and adds another technology-enabled channel to the Company’s already differentiated, omnichannel deposit gathering capabilities. The Company's acquisition of interLINK closed