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Section 1: 10-K (10-K)

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K 
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
 
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
 
 
 
OR   
 
 
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
 
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from ____________ to ____________
 
Commission file number: 1-13006
 
Park National Corporation
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Ohio
 
31-1179518
(State or other jurisdiction of
 
(I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization)
 
Identification No.)
 
 
 
50 North Third Street, P.O. Box 3500, Newark, Ohio
 
43058-3500
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
 
(740) 349-8451
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
 
 
 
Common Shares, without par value
 
NYSE AMERICAN
 
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.
xYes ¨No
 
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
¨Yes xNo
 
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
xYes ¨No

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit and post such files).
xYes ¨No
 
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of Registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
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 x
 
Accelerated filer ¨
 
 
 
Non-accelerated filer ¨
 
Smaller reporting company ¨
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
 
 
 
 
Emerging growth company ¨
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
¨Yes xNo
 
State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter: As of June 30, 2017, the aggregate market value of the Registrant’s common shares (the only common equity of the Registrant) held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was $1,556,752,306 based on the closing sale price as reported on NYSE AMERICAN. For this purpose, executive officers and directors of the Registrant are considered affiliates.
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the Registrant’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.
Class
 
Outstanding at February 26, 2018
 
 
 
Common Shares, without par value
 
15,288,185 common shares
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Document
 
Parts Into Which Incorporated
Portions of the Registrant’s 2017 Annual Report
 
Parts I and II
Portions of the Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 23, 2018
 
Part III
 





PART I
ITEM 1.
BUSINESS.
General
Park National Corporation (“Park”) is a financial holding company subject to regulation under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “Bank Holding Company Act”). Park was initially incorporated under Delaware law in 1986 and began operations as a bank holding company in 1987.  In 1992, Park changed its state of incorporation to Ohio. Park’s principal executive offices are located at 50 North Third Street, Newark, Ohio 43055, and its telephone number is (740) 349-8451. Park’s common shares, each without par value (the “Common Shares”), are listed on NYSE AMERICAN, under the symbol “PRK.”
Park maintains an Internet site which can be accessed at http://www.parknationalcorp.com. Information contained in Park’s Internet site does not constitute part of, and is not incorporated into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Park makes available free of charge on or through its Internet site Park’s annual reports 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 amended (the “Exchange Act”), as well as Park’s definitive proxy statements filed pursuant to Section 14 of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after Park electronically files such material with, or furnishes it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).
Park’s principal business consists of owning and supervising its subsidiaries. Although Park directs the overall policies of its subsidiaries, including lending policies and financial resources, most day-to-day affairs are managed by the respective officers of Park’s subsidiaries.
Banking Operations
Throughout the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 (“Fiscal 2017”), Park’s banking operations were conducted through The Park National Bank ("Park National Bank").
Park National Bank is a national banking association with its main office in Newark, Ohio and financial service offices in Ashland, Athens, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Coshocton, Crawford, Darke, Fairfield, Franklin, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hocking, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Mercer, Miami, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Richland, Tuscarawas, Warren and Wayne Counties in Ohio.

Park National Bank engages in the commercial banking and trust business, generally in small and medium population Ohio communities in addition to operations within the metropolitan areas of Columbus and Cincinnati. Park National Bank operates 111 financial service offices, including 108 branches, in Ohio through eleven banking divisions with: (i) the Park National Bank Division headquartered in Newark, Ohio; (ii) the Fairfield National Bank Division headquartered in Lancaster, Ohio; (iii) the Richland Bank Division headquartered in Mansfield, Ohio; (iv) the Century National Bank Division headquartered in Zanesville, Ohio; (v) the First-Knox National Bank Division headquartered in Mount Vernon, Ohio; (vi) the Farmers Bank Division headquartered in Loudonville, Ohio; (vii) the United Bank, N.A. Division headquartered in Bucyrus, Ohio; (viii) the Second National Bank Division headquartered in Greenville, Ohio; (ix) the Security National Bank Division headquartered in Springfield, Ohio; (x) the Unity National Bank Division headquartered in Piqua, Ohio; and (xi) The Park National Bank of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky Division headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Farmers Bank Division will merge into the First-Knox Bank Division effective March 30, 2018, and thereafter, Park National Bank will have ten divisions.

Park National Bank, and two additional operating segments, Guardian Financial Services Company ("Guardian Finance") and SE Property Holdings, LLC ("SEPH"), comprise Park’s reportable operating segments. All other operating segments are combined and disclosed in the "All Other" category. Financial information about Park’s reportable operating segments as of December 31, 2017 is included in Note 27 - Segment Information of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report. That financial information is incorporated herein by reference.
As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, Park National Bank delivers financial products and services through its 111 financial service offices, a network of 133 automated teller machines, as well as telephone and internet-based banking through both personal computers and mobile devices. Financial information about Park National Bank is included in the "PNB” category for purposes of the reportable operating segment information included in Note 27 - Segment Information

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of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report. That financial information is incorporated herein by reference.
Consumer Finance Subsidiary
Guardian Finance, an Ohio consumer finance company based in Hilliard, Ohio, operates as a separate subsidiary of Park. Guardian Finance provides consumer finance services in the central Ohio area. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, Guardian Finance had five financial service offices spanning five counties in Ohio: Clark, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking and Warren. Financial information about Guardian Finance is included in the “GFSC” category for purposes of the reportable operating segment information included in Note 27 - Segment Information of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report. That financial information is incorporated herein by reference.
SE Property Holdings, LLC
SEPH is a limited liability company, organized in 2011 under the laws of the State of Ohio, and a direct subsidiary of Park. The initial purpose of SEPH was to purchase other real estate owned (“OREO”) from Vision Bank, a bank subsidiary of Park until February 16, 2012, and continue to market such properties for sale. By letter dated January 30, 2012, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve Board”) authorized Park to engage in the business of extending credit through SEPH. As a result, SEPH is permitted to engage in lending activities and was able to succeed to the rights and obligations of Vision Bank in respect of the loans held by Vision Bank when Vision Bank merged into SEPH on February 16, 2012 (the "Vision Bank-SEPH merger"). SEPH has operations in Ohio, with the sole purpose of such operations being to sell OREO in an effective and efficient manner and work out or sell problem loan situations with the respective borrowers.
Financial information about SEPH is included in the “SEPH” category for purposes of the reportable operating segment information included in Note 27 - Segment Information of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report. That financial information is incorporated herein by reference.
Scope Leasing, Inc.
Scope Leasing, Inc. (which does business as “Scope Aircraft Finance”), a subsidiary of Park National Bank, specializes in aircraft financing. The customers of Scope Aircraft Finance include small businesses and entrepreneurs intending to use the aircraft for business or pleasure. Scope Aircraft Finance serves customers throughout the United States of America (the “United States”) and Canada.
Vision Bancshares Trust I
In connection with the merger of Vision Bancshares, Inc. (“Vision”) into Park in March of 2007 (the “Vision Merger”), Park entered into a First Supplemental Indenture, dated as of the effective time of the Vision Merger (the “First Supplemental Indenture”), with Vision and Wilmington Trust Company, a Delaware banking corporation, as Trustee. Under the terms of the First Supplemental Indenture, Park assumed all of the payment and performance obligations of Vision under the Junior Subordinated Indenture, dated as of December 5, 2005 (the “Indenture”), pursuant to which Vision issued $15.5 million of junior subordinated notes to Vision Bancshares Trust I, a Delaware statutory trust (the “Vision Trust”). The junior subordinated notes were issued by Vision in connection with the sale by the Vision Trust of $15.0 million of floating rate preferred securities to institutional investors on December 5, 2005.
Under the terms of the First Supplemental Indenture, Park also succeeded to and was substituted for Vision with the same effect as if Park had originally been named (i) as “Depositor” in the Amended and Restated Trust Agreement of the Vision Trust, dated as of December 5, 2005 (the “Trust Agreement”), among Vision, Wilmington Trust Company, as Property Trustee and as Delaware Trustee, and the Administrative Trustees named therein and (ii) as “Guarantor” in the Guarantee Agreement, dated as of December 5, 2005 (the “Guarantee Agreement”), between Vision and Wilmington Trust Company, as Guarantee Trustee. Through these contractual obligations, Park has fully and unconditionally guaranteed all of the Vision Trust’s obligations with respect to the floating rate preferred securities.
Both the junior subordinated notes and the floating rate preferred securities mature on December 30, 2035 (which maturity may be shortened), and carry a floating interest rate per annum, reset quarterly, equal to the sum of three-month LIBOR plus 148 basis points. Payment of interest on the junior subordinated notes, and payment of cash distributions on the floating rate preferred securities, may be deferred at any time or from time to time for a period not to exceed twenty consecutive quarters, subject to specified conditions.

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Under the terms of the Indenture and the related Guarantee Agreement, Park, as successor to Vision in accordance with the First Supplemental Indenture, is prohibited, subject to limited exceptions, from declaring or paying dividends or distributions on, or redeeming, repurchasing, acquiring or making any liquidation payments with respect to, any shares of Park’s capital stock (i) if an event of default under the Indenture has occurred and continues; (ii) if Park is in default with respect to the payment of any obligations under the Guarantee Agreement; or (iii) during any period in which the payment of interest on the junior subordinated notes by Park (and the payment of cash distributions on the floating rate preferred securities by the Vision Trust) is being deferred. The floating rate preferred securities are considered Tier 1 Capital under regulatory capital standards.
Other Subsidiaries
Park Investments, Inc. ("PII"), which is a subsidiary of Park National Bank, operates as an asset management company. Commencing in 2015, Park began purchasing and holding municipal bonds within PII. As of December 31, 2017, PII held municipal securities with an amortized cost of $300.4 million.
River Park Properties, LLC, Sunny Green, LLC and Park ABQ, LLC are subsidiaries of Park National Bank that hold certain OREO properties or other nonperforming assets. The operations of these subsidiaries are not significant to the consolidated Park entity.
87A Orange Beach, LLC, Morningside Holding, LLC, Swindall Holdings, LLC, Swindall Partnership Holdings, LLC, Marina Holdings Z, LLC, Marina Holding WE, LLC, and Vision-Park Properties, L.L.C. are subsidiaries of SEPH that hold certain OREO properties. The operations of these subsidiaries are not significant to the consolidated Park entity.
Recent Developments
On January 22, 2018, Park, Park National Bank and NewDominion Bank, a North Carolina state-chartered bank ("NewDominion"), entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization (the "NewDominion Merger Agreement"), pursuant to which NewDominion will merge with and into Park National Bank (the "NewDominion Merger"). Subject to the terms and conditions of the NewDominion Merger Agreement, at the effective time of the NewDominion Merger (the "NewDominion Effective Time"), NewDominion shareholders will have the right to receive for each share of NewDominion's voting and non-voting common stock, par value $0.25 per share, at their election either (i) $1.08 in cash or (ii) 0.01023 Park Common Shares (the "NewDominion Merger Consideration"), subject to required proration in the event that cash or Common Shares are oversubscribed as provided in the NewDominion Merger Agreement.
At the NewDominion Effective Time, outstanding NewDominion stock options with an exercise price of less than $1.08 per share will be canceled and converted into the right to receive the NewDominion Merger Consideration with the same election right as NewDominion shareholders, subject to proration. Each outstanding NewDominion stock option with an exercise price of $1.08 per share or more will be assumed and converted into an option to purchase Park Common Shares, on the same terms and conditions as were applicable under such NewDominion stock option. At the NewDominion Effective Time, NewDominion restricted stock awards will fully vest (with any performance-based vesting condition deemed satisfied) and will be canceled and converted automatically into the right to receive the NewDominion Merger Consideration, with the same election right as New Dominion shareholders, subject to proration as provided in the NewDominion Merger Agreement.
The NewDominion Merger Agreement contains customary representations, warranties, and covenants of each party. Subject to certain terms and conditions, the NewDominion Merger Agreement provides that the board of directors of NewDominion will recommend the approval and adoption of the NewDominion Merger Agreement by the shareholders of NewDominion. NewDominion has also agreed not to solicit acquisition proposals relating to alternative business combination transactions. In addition, NewDominion has agreed not to participate in discussions or negotiations or provide information in connection with any acquisition proposals for alternative business combination transactions unless certain conditions are satisfied.
Closing of the NewDominion Merger is subject to customary conditions, including, among others, approval of the NewDominion Merger Agreement by NewDominion’s shareholders, receipt of required regulatory approvals, effectiveness of the registration statement to be filed by Park, and approval for listing on NYSE AMERICAN, with respect to the Park Common Shares to be issued in the NewDominion Merger.
The NewDominion Merger Agreement provides certain termination rights for each party and further provides that, in the event the NewDominion Merger Agreement is terminated under certain circumstances in connection with a competing acquisition transaction, NewDominion will be required to pay Park a termination fee equal to $4,170,000.

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In connection with the NewDominion Merger Agreement, Park and Park National Bank entered into voting and support agreements with the directors and executive officers of NewDominion, in those individuals’ capacities as shareholders, and with certain substantial shareholders of NewDominion. Pursuant to the terms of the voting and support agreements, each director and each executive officer of NewDominion and those certain substantial shareholders of NewDominion have agreed to vote the shares of NewDominion common stock they own in favor of the NewDominion Merger Agreement, subject to the exceptions set forth in the voting agreements.
Services Provided by Park’s Subsidiaries
Park National Bank and its divisions provide the following principal services:
the acceptance of deposits for demand, savings and time accounts and the servicing of those accounts;

commercial, industrial, consumer and real estate lending, including installment loans, credit cards (which are largely offered through a third party), home equity lines of credit and commercial leasing;

a national portfolio of loans to non-bank consumer finance companies;

trust and wealth management services;

aircraft financing;

cash management;

safe deposit operations;

electronic funds transfers;

Internet and mobile banking solutions with bill pay service; and

a variety of additional banking-related services tailored to the needs of individual customers.

Park believes that the deposit mix of Park National Bank and its divisions is currently such that no material portion has been obtained from a single customer and, consequently, the loss of any one customer of Park National Bank (or its divisions) would not have a materially adverse effect on the business of Park National Bank (or the relevant division).
Guardian Finance provides consumer finance services.
Lending Activities
Park National Bank deals with consumers as well as with a wide cross-section of businesses and corporations located primarily in the 29 Ohio counties served by the financial service offices of Park National Bank. At December 31, 2017, Park National Bank had no concentration of loans to borrowers engaged in the same or similar industries that exceeded 10% of total loans nor did it have any loans outstanding to persons domiciled outside the United States. As a result of the Vision Bank – SEPH merger, SEPH holds loans originated by Vision Bank previously serviced by the financial service offices of Vision Bank. It is expected that SEPH will originate loans only to further the collection efforts with respect to the loans transferred to SEPH by operation of law as a result of the Vision Bank - SEPH merger. Such origination (or modification) volume is expected to be insignificant to the consolidated Park entity. Park National Bank also holds loans which were purchased from Vision Bank prior to the Vision Bank - SEPH merger.
Park National Bank makes lending decisions in accordance with the written loan policies adopted by Park which are designed to maintain acceptable loan quality. Park National Bank originates and retains for its own portfolio commercial and commercial real estate loans, residential real estate loans, home equity lines of credit, and installment loans. Park National Bank also originates fixed-rate residential real estate loans for sale to the secondary market.
Guardian Finance originates and retains for its own portfolio consumer installment loans and commercial loans. Guardian Finance makes lending decisions in accordance with the written loan policy adopted and approved by the Guardian Finance Board of Directors.

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There are certain risks inherent in making loans. These risks include changes in the credit worthiness of borrowers over the time period in which loans may be repaid, interest rate changes over the time period in which loans may be repaid, risks resulting from changes in the national and local economies, risks inherent in dealing with borrowers and, in the case of loans secured by collateral, risks resulting from uncertainties about the future value of the collateral.
Commercial Loans
At December 31, 2017, Park’s subsidiaries (including Scope Aircraft Finance) had approximately $2,224 million in commercial loans (commercial, financial and agricultural loans and commercial real estate loans) and commercial leases outstanding, representing approximately 41.4% of their total aggregate loan portfolio as of that date. Of this amount, approximately $1,053 million represented commercial, financial and agricultural loans, $1,168 million represented commercial real estate loans, and $3 million represented commercial leases.
Commercial loans are made for a wide variety of general corporate purposes, including financing for industrial and commercial properties, financing for equipment, inventory and accounts receivable, acquisition financing, commercial leasing, and to consumer finance companies. The term of each commercial loan varies by its purpose. Repayment terms are structured such that commercial loans will be repaid within the economic useful life of the underlying asset. Information concerning the loan maturity distribution within the commercial loan portfolio is provided in Table 15 included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” and is incorporated herein by reference.
The commercial loan portfolio of Park’s current subsidiaries includes loans to a wide variety of corporations and businesses across many industrial classifications in the 29 Ohio counties where Park National Bank operates and, in the case of Park's non-bank consumer finance business, across the United States. The primary industries represented by these customers include real estate rental and leasing, finance and insurance, construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, manufacturing, retail trade, health care and other services.
Commercial loans are evaluated for the adequacy of repayment sources at the time of approval and are regularly reviewed for any possible deterioration in the ability of the borrower to repay the loan. The credit information required generally includes, depending on the amount of money lent, financial statements, third-party prepared financial statements, two years of federal income tax returns and a current credit report. Loan terms include amortization schedules commensurate with the purpose of each loan, identification of the source of each repayment and the risk involved. In most instances, collateral is required to provide an additional source of repayment in the event of default by a commercial borrower. The structure of the collateral package, including the type and amount of the collateral, varies from loan to loan depending on the financial strength of the borrower, the amount and terms of the loan and the collateral available to be pledged by the borrower. Most often, the collateral is inventory, machinery, accounts receivable and/or real estate. The guarantee of the business owners/principals is generally required on loans made to closely-held business entities.
Commercial real estate loans (“CRE loans”) include mortgage loans to developers and owners of commercial real estate. The lending policy for CRE loans is designed to address the unique risk attributes of CRE lending. The collateral for CRE loans is the underlying commercial real estate. Park National Bank generally requires that the CRE loan amount be no more than 85% of the purchase price or the appraised value of the commercial real estate securing the CRE loan, whichever is less. CRE loans made for Park National Bank’s portfolio generally have a variable interest rate. For more information concerning the loan maturity distribution in the CRE loan portfolio, please see Table 15 included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” which is incorporated herein by reference.
The regulatory limit for loans made to one borrower by Park National Bank was $94.3 million at December 31, 2017. Participations in a loan by Park National Bank in an amount larger than $30.0 million are generally sold to third-party banks or financial institutions. While Park National Bank has a loan limit of $94.3 million, the total exposure of the largest single borrower within the commercial portfolio was a temporary increase to $35.0 million at December 31, 2017.

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Park has an independent, internal loan review program which annually evaluates substantially all (generally, about 90%) loan relationships with an outstanding balance greater than $300,000. If the loan has deteriorated, the lending subsidiary takes prompt action designed to increase the likelihood that it will be repaid. Upon detection of the reduced ability of a borrower to service interest and/or principal on a loan, the subsidiary may downgrade the loan and, under certain circumstances, place the loan on nonaccrual status. The subsidiary then works with the borrower to develop a payment schedule which the subsidiary anticipates will permit service of the principal and interest on the loan by the borrower. Loans which deteriorate and show the inability of a borrower to repay principal are charged down to the net realizable value of collateral. A collection specialist/work-out officer is available to assist each subsidiary when a credit deteriorates. Information about Park’s policy for placing loans on nonaccrual status is included under the caption “Loans” in Note 1 - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report, and is incorporated herein by reference.
Commercial loans are generally viewed as having a higher credit risk than consumer loans because commercial loans usually involve larger loan balances to a single borrower and are more susceptible to a risk of default during an economic downturn. Commercial loans generally have variable interest rates. Park uses several indices for commercial loans that help determine loan interest rates. However, the national prime rate is the most common index Park uses. Credit risk for commercial loans arises from borrowers lacking the ability or willingness to pay principal or interest and, in the case of secured loans, by a shortfall in the collateral value in relation to the outstanding loan balance in the event of a default and subsequent liquidation of collateral. The underwriting of generally all commercial loans, regardless of type, includes cash flow analyses with rates shocked by 400 basis points. In the case of commercial loans secured by accounts receivable, the availability of funds for the repayment of these loans may be substantially dependent on the ability of each borrower to collect amounts due from the borrower's customers. In the case of Park's commercial loans to non-bank consumer finance companies, the underlying cash flows are supported at times by sub-prime individual borrowers and present a higher level of risk compared to a more typical commercial loan to a business. Other collateral securing commercial loans may depreciate over time, may be difficult to appraise and may fluctuate in value based on the success of the borrower’s business. Information concerning the loan loss experience and the allocation of the allowance for loan losses related to the commercial, financial and agricultural loan portfolio and the commercial real estate portfolio is provided in Table 30 and Table 31, respectively, included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” and is incorporated herein by reference.
Loans to Non-Bank Consumer Finance Companies
At December 31, 2017, Park National Bank had $234.3 million in loans outstanding to non-bank consumer finance companies. This is a national lending unit of Park National Bank. These asset-based loans are collateralized by cash flows from individuals, typically auto loans with the consumer finance company, which is Park's borrower. These loans typically present a higher level of risk due to the underlying collateral and such risks are mitigated by more conservative underwriting and an intensive loan monitoring regimen commensurate with asset based lending.
Aircraft Financing
Scope Aircraft Finance specializes in aircraft financing. The customers of Scope Aircraft Finance include small businesses and entrepreneurs intending to use the aircraft for business or pleasure. The customers of Scope Aircraft Finance are located throughout the United States. The lending officers of Scope Aircraft Finance are experienced in the aircraft financing industry and rely upon that experience and industry guides in determining whether to grant an aircraft loan or lease. At December 31, 2017, Scope Aircraft Finance had outstanding approximately $266 million in loans primarily secured by aircraft (which are included in the commercial loan portfolio).
Consumer Loans
At December 31, 2017, Park's subsidiaries had outstanding consumer loans (including automobile loans and leases) in an aggregate amount of $1,242 million, constituting approximately 23.1% of their aggregate total loan portfolio. Park's subsidiaries make installment credit available to customers and prospective customers in their primary market areas through direct and indirect loans. Indirect loans are facilitated through the automobile dealer; whereas, direct loans are originated through direct customer interaction with Park's subsidiaries. For both direct and indirect loans, the final credit decisions are made by Park's subsidiaries. At December 31, 2017, of the $1,242 million in consumer loans, $1,050 million were originated through indirect lending, while the remaining $192 million are considered direct loans. At December 31, 2017, of the $1,242 million in consumer loans, GFSC had outstanding consumer loans of $28.0 million.

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Credit approval for direct and indirect consumer loans requires income sufficient to repay principal and interest due, stability of employment, an established credit record and sufficient collateral for secured loans. It is the policy of Park to adhere strictly to all laws and regulations governing consumer lending. A compliance officer, along with line of business leaders, are responsible for monitoring each subsidiary’s performance and advising and updating loan personnel in this area. Each subsidiary reviews its consumer loan portfolio monthly and charges off loans which do not meet Park’s standards. Information about Park’s policy for placing loans on nonaccrual status is included under the caption “Loans” in Note 1 - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report, and is incorporated herein by reference.
Consumer loans typically have shorter terms and lower balances with higher yields as compared to real estate mortgage loans, but generally carry higher risks of default. Consumer loan collections are dependent on borrowers' continuing financial stability, and thus are more likely to be affected by adverse personal circumstances. Furthermore, the application of various federal and state laws, including bankruptcy and insolvency laws, may limit the amount that can be recovered on these loans. Information concerning the loan loss experience and the allocation of the allowance for loan losses related to the consumer loan portfolio is provided in Table 30 and Table 31, respectively, included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” and is incorporated herein by reference.
Residential Real Estate and Construction Loans
At December 31, 2017, Park's subsidiaries had outstanding approximately $1,907 million in construction real estate loans and residential real estate loans, representing approximately 35.5% of total loans outstanding. Of the $1,907 million, approximately $1,725 million was included within the residential real estate loan segment, which included $393 million of commercial real estate loans, $1,110 million of mortgage loans, $203 million of home equity lines of credit and $19 million of installment loans. Included within the $1,725 million of loans within the residential real estate loan segment was $11 million of loans held by SEPH. The remaining $181 million was included within the construction real estate loan segment, which included $125 million of commercial land and development (“CL&D”) loans, $52 million of 1-4 family residential construction loans, and $4 million of installment loans. The market area for real estate lending by Park National Bank is concentrated in Ohio.
Credit approval for residential real estate loans requires demonstration of sufficient income to repay the principal and interest and the real estate taxes and insurance, stability of employment, an established credit record and a current independent third-party appraisal providing the market value of the real estate securing the loan. Residential real estate loans are generally analyzed through an automated underwriting platform (system) to determine a risk classification. All loans receiving a risk classification of caution require review by a senior lender and generally require additional documentation if the loan is approved.
Park National Bank generally requires that the residential real estate loan amount be no more than 80% of the purchase price or the appraised value of the real estate securing the loan, whichever is less, unless private mortgage insurance is obtained by the borrower. Loans in this lending category which are made to be held in the bank’s portfolio are both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate, fully amortized mortgages. The rates used are generally fully-indexed rates. From time to time, Park may offer a limited-time promotional rate on funds advanced on newly originated home equity lines of credit. Park National Bank also originates fixed-rate real estate loans for sale to the secondary market. Prior to 2010, these loans were generally sold immediately after closing. However, beginning in 2010 and continuing through December 31, 2014, Park’s management made a decision to retain certain 15-year, fixed-rate residential mortgage loans, which previously would have been sold in the secondary market. Subsequent to December 31, 2014, Park has generally sold these loans in the secondary market. At December 31, 2017 and 2016, Park reported $565 million and $598 million, respectively, of 15-year, fixed-rate residential mortgage loans on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Real estate loans are typically secured by first mortgages with evidence of title in favor of the lender in the form of an attorney’s opinion of title or a title insurance policy. Park National Bank has also required proof of hazard insurance with the lender named as the mortgagee and as the loss payee. Independent third-party appraisals are generally obtained for consumer real estate loans.
Home equity lines of credit are generally secured by second mortgages by Park National Bank. The maximum amount of a home equity line of credit is generally limited to 85% of the appraised value of the property less the balance of the first mortgage. The home equity lines of credit are written with ten-year terms. A variable interest rate is generally charged on the home equity lines of credit.

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Information concerning the loan loss experience and the allocation of the allowance for loan losses related to the residential real estate portfolio is provided in Table 30 and Table 31, respectively, included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” and is incorporated herein by reference.
Construction loans include commercial construction loans as well as residential construction loans. Construction loans may be in the form of a permanent loan or a short-term construction loan, depending on the needs of the individual borrower. Generally, the permanent construction loans have a variable interest rate although a permanent construction loan may be made with a fixed interest rate for a term generally not exceeding five years. Short-term construction loans are made with variable interest rates. Information concerning the loan maturity distribution within the construction financing portfolio is provided in Table 15 included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” and is incorporated herein by reference.
Construction financing is generally considered to involve a higher degree of risk of loss than long-term financing on improved, occupied real estate. Risk of loss on a construction loan depends largely upon the accuracy of the initial estimate of the property’s value at completion of construction and the estimated cost (including interest) of construction. If the estimate of construction cost proves to be inaccurate, the subsidiary holding the loan may be required to advance funds beyond the amount originally committed to permit completion of the project. If the estimate of value proves inaccurate, the subsidiary holding the loan may be confronted, at or prior to the maturity of the loan, with a project having a value insufficient to assure full repayment, should the borrower default. In the event a default on a construction loan occurs and foreclosure follows, the subsidiary holding the loan must take control of the project and attempt either to arrange for completion of construction or to dispose of the unfinished project. Additional risk exists with respect to a loan made to a developer who does not have a buyer for the property, as the developer may lack funds to pay the loan if the property is not sold upon completion. Park National Bank attempts to reduce such risks on loans to developers by requiring personal guarantees and reviewing current personal financial statements and tax returns as well as other projects undertaken by the developer. For additional information concerning the loan loss experience, please see “ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS – Changes in economic and political conditions could adversely affect our earnings through declines in our borrowers’ ability to repay loans, the value of the collateral securing our loans, and deposits.” and “– Our allowance for loan losses may prove to be insufficient to absorb the probable, incurred losses in our loan portfolio.” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Information concerning the loan loss experience and the allocation of the allowance for loan losses related to the construction financing portfolio is provided in Table 30 and Table 31, respectively, included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” and is incorporated herein by reference.
SE Property Holdings, LLC
SEPH is a non-bank subsidiary of Park, holding OREO property, non-performing loans and a small number of performing loans. In addition to approximately $7.7 million in OREO property, SEPH also held approximately $11 million in loans as of December 31, 2017, of which $10.3 million were on nonaccrual status. SEPH has one office in Licking County, Ohio. The SEPH employees are dedicated to working with a third-party work-out specialist to ensure effective and efficient resolution to the non-performing loans and OREO, while working closely with the borrowers of the performing loans to maximize collection efforts. It is expected that the loans and OREO will reduce over time and result in cash in-flow to Park.
Competition
The financial services industry is highly competitive. Park’s subsidiaries compete with other local, regional and national service providers, including banks, savings associations, credit unions and other types of financial institutions, finance companies, insurance agencies and title agencies. Other competitors include securities dealers, brokers, mortgage bankers, investment advisors, insurance companies and financial services subsidiaries of commercial and manufacturing companies. Competition within the financial services industry continues to increase as a result of mergers between, and expansion of, providers of financial services within and outside Park’s primary market area.
The primary factors in competing for loans are interest rates charged and overall services provided to borrowers. The primary factors in competing for deposits are interest rates paid on deposits, account liquidity, convenience and hours of office locations, convenience and availability of mobile banking options, and having trained and competent staff to deliver services. However, some competitors of Park’s subsidiaries may have greater resources and, as such, higher lending limits, which may adversely affect the ability of Park’s subsidiaries to compete. In addition, some of the providers of financial services with which Park’s subsidiaries compete enjoy the benefits of fewer regulatory constraints and lower cost structures.

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Employees
At December 31, 2017, Park and its subsidiaries had 1,746 full-time equivalent employees.
Supervision and Regulation of Park and its Subsidiaries
Park, Park National Bank and Park’s other subsidiaries are subject to extensive regulation by federal and state agencies. The regulation of financial holding companies and their subsidiaries is intended primarily for the protection of consumers, depositors, borrowers, the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund and the banking system as a whole and not for the protection of shareholders. Applicable laws and regulations restrict permissible activities and investments and require actions to protect loan, deposit, brokerage, fiduciary and other customers, as well as the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund. They also may restrict Park’s ability to repurchase its Common Shares or to receive dividends from Park National Bank and impose capital adequacy and liquidity requirements.
As a financial holding company, Park is subject to regulation by the Federal Reserve Board under the Bank Holding Company Act and to inspection, examination and supervision by the Federal Reserve Board. Park is also subject to the disclosure and regulatory requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and the Exchange Act, as administered by the SEC. Park’s Common Shares are listed on NYSE AMERICAN under the trading symbol “PRK,” which subjects Park to the requirements under the applicable sections of the NYSE AMERICAN Company Guide for listed companies.
Park National Bank, as a national banking association, is subject to regulation, supervision and examination primarily by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) and secondarily by the FDIC.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the "Dodd-Frank Act") established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the "CFPB"), which regulates consumer financial products and services and certain financial services providers. The CFPB is authorized to prevent unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices and ensures consistent enforcement of laws so that consumers have access to fair, transparent and competitive markets for consumer financial products and services. Since its establishment, the CFPB has exercised extensively its rulemaking and interpretative authority.

Guardian Finance, as an Ohio state-chartered consumer finance company, is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions.
As a subsidiary of Park, SEPH is subject to inspection, examination and supervision by the Federal Reserve Board.
 
The following information describes selected federal and state statutory and regulatory provisions and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the particular statutory or regulatory provisions. These statutes and regulations are continually under review by the United States Congress and state legislatures and federal and state regulatory agencies. A change in statutes, regulations or regulatory policies applicable to Park and its subsidiaries could have a material effect on their respective businesses.
Regulation of Financial Holding Companies
As a financial holding company, Park’s activities are subject to extensive regulation by the Federal Reserve Board. Park is required to file reports with the Federal Reserve Board and such additional information as the Federal Reserve Board may require, and is subject to regular examinations by the Federal Reserve Board.
The Federal Reserve Board also has extensive enforcement authority over financial holding companies, including, among other things, the ability to:
assess civil money penalties;

issue cease and desist or removal orders; and

require that a financial holding company divest subsidiaries (including a subsidiary bank).

In general, the Federal Reserve Board may initiate enforcement actions for violations of laws and regulations and unsafe or unsound practices.

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A financial holding company is required by law and Federal Reserve Board policy to act as a source of financial strength to each subsidiary bank and to commit resources to support such subsidiary bank. The Federal Reserve Board may require a financial holding company to contribute additional capital to an undercapitalized subsidiary bank and may disapprove of the payment of dividends to shareholders if the Federal Reserve Board believes the payment of such dividends would be an unsafe or unsound practice.
The Bank Holding Company Act requires the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board in any case where a financial holding company proposes to:
acquire direct or indirect ownership or control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any bank that is not already majority-owned by it;

acquire all or substantially all of the assets of another bank or another financial or bank holding company; or

merge or consolidate with any other financial or bank holding company.

A qualifying bank holding company may elect to become a financial holding company and thereby affiliate with securities firms and insurance companies and engage in other activities that are financial in nature and not otherwise permissible for a bank holding company, if (i) the holding company is "well managed" and "well capitalized" and (ii) each of its subsidiary banks is well capitalized under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Act of 1991 prompt corrective action provisions, is well managed, and has at least a satisfactory rating under the Community Reinvestment Act. Park became a financial holding company in 2014. No regulatory approval is required for a financial holding company to acquire a company, other than a bank or savings association, engaged in activities that are financial in nature or incidental to activities that are financial in nature, as determined by the Federal Reserve Board.
The Financial Services Modernization Act defines “financial in nature” to include:

securities underwriting, dealing and market making;

sponsoring mutual funds and investment companies;

insurance underwriting and agency;

merchant banking; and

activities that the Federal Reserve Board has determined to be closely related to banking.

A national bank also may engage, subject to limitations on investment, in activities that are financial in nature, other than insurance underwriting, insurance company portfolio investment, real estate development and real estate investment, through a financial subsidiary of the bank, if the bank is well capitalized and well managed and has at least a satisfactory Community Reinvestment Act rating. If a financial holding company or a subsidiary bank fails to maintain all requirements for the holding company to maintain financial holding company status, material restrictions may be placed on the activities of the holding company and its subsidiaries and on the ability of the holding company to enter into certain transactions and obtain regulatory approvals for new activities and transactions. The holding company could also be required to divest itself of subsidiaries that engage in activities that are not permitted for bank holding companies that are not financial holding companies. If restrictions are imposed on the activities of a financial holding company, the existence of such restrictions may not be made publicly available pursuant to confidentiality regulations of the bank regulatory agencies.

Each subsidiary bank of a financial holding company is subject to certain restrictions on the maintenance of reserves against deposits, extensions of credit to the financial holding company or any of its subsidiaries, investments in the stock or other securities of the financial holding company or its subsidiaries and the taking of such stock or securities as collateral for loans to any borrower. Further, a financial holding company and its subsidiaries are prohibited from engaging in certain tying arrangements in connection with any extension of credit, lease or sale of property or furnishing of any services. Various consumer laws and regulations also affect the operations of these subsidiaries.

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Transactions with Affiliates, Directors, Executive Officers and Shareholders
Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and Federal Reserve Board Regulation W generally:
limit the extent to which a bank or its subsidiaries may engage in “covered transactions” with any one affiliate;

limit the extent to which a bank or its subsidiaries may engage in “covered transactions” with all affiliates; and

require that all such transactions be on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable to the bank or subsidiary, as those provided to a non-affiliate.

An affiliate of a bank is any company or entity that controls, is controlled by or is under common control with the bank. The term “covered transaction” includes the making of loans to the affiliate, the purchase of assets from the affiliate, the issuance of a guarantee on behalf of the affiliate, the purchase of securities issued by the affiliate and other similar types of transactions.
 
A bank’s authority to extend credit to executive officers, directors and greater than 10% shareholders, as well as entities such persons control, is subject to Sections 22(g) and 22(h) of the Federal Reserve Act and Regulation O promulgated thereunder by the Federal Reserve Board. Among other things, these loans must be made on terms (including interest rates charged and collateral required) substantially the same as those offered to unaffiliated individuals or be made as part of a benefit or compensation program and on terms widely available to employees, and must not involve a greater than normal risk of repayment. In addition, the amount of loans a bank may make to these persons is based, in part, on the bank’s capital position, and specified approval procedures must be followed in making loans which exceed specified amounts.
Regulation of Nationally-Chartered Banks
As a national banking association, Park National Bank is subject to regulation under the National Banking Act and is periodically examined by the OCC. OCC regulations govern permissible activities, capital requirements, dividend limitations, investments, loans and other matters. Furthermore, Park National Bank is subject, as a member bank, to certain rules and regulations of the Federal Reserve Board, many of which restrict activities and prescribe documentation to protect consumers. Park National Bank is an insured depository institution and a member of the Deposit Insurance Fund. As a result, it is subject to regulation and deposit insurance assessments by the FDIC. In addition, the establishment of branches by Park National Bank is subject to prior approval of the OCC. The OCC has broad enforcement powers over national banks, including the power to impose fines and other civil and criminal penalties and to appoint a conservator or receiver if any of a number of conditions are met.
The CFPB regulates consumer financial products and services provided by Park National Bank through interpretations designed to protect consumers.
Federal Deposit Insurance
The FDIC is an independent federal agency which insures the deposits, up to prescribed statutory limits, of federally-insured banks and savings associations and safeguards the safety and soundness of the financial institution industry. The general insurance limit is $250,000 per separately insured depositor. This insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.
As insurer, the FDIC is authorized to conduct examinations of and to require reporting by insured institutions, including Park National Bank, to prohibit any insured institution from engaging in any activity the FDIC determines to pose a threat to the deposit insurance fund, and to take enforcement actions against insured institutions. The FDIC may terminate insurance of deposits of any insured institution if the FDIC finds that the insured institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC or any other regulatory agency.

The FDIC assesses quarterly deposit insurance premiums on each insured institution based on risk characteristics of the insured institution and may also impose special assessments in emergency situations. The premiums fund the Deposit Insurance Fund ("DIF"). Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC has established 2.0% as the designated reserve ratio ("DRR"), which is the amount in the DIF as a percentage of all DIF insured deposits. In March 2016, the FDIC adopted final rules designed to meet the statutory minimum DRR of 1.35% by September 30, 2020, the deadline imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the FDIC to offset the effect on insured institutions with assets of less than $10 billion of

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the increase in the statutory minimum DRR to 1.35% from the former statutory minimum of 1.15%. Although the FDIC's new rules reduced assessment rates on all banks, they imposed a surcharge on banks with assets of $10 billion or more to be paid until the DRR reaches 1.35%. The rules also provide assessment credits to banks with assets of less than $1 billion for the portion of their assessments that contribute to the increase of the DRR to 1.35%. The rules further changed the method of determining risk-based assessment rates for established banks with less than $10 billion in assets to better ensure that banks taking on greater risks pay more for deposit insurance than banks that take on less risk.

In addition, all FDIC-insured institutions are required to pay assessments to fund interest payments on bonds issued by the Financing Corporation, which was established by the government to recapitalize a predecessor to the DIF. These assessments will continue until the Financing Corporation bonds mature in 2019.    

Federal Home Loan Bank

The Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLBs”) provide credit to their members in the form of advances. Park National Bank is a member of the FHLB of Cincinnati. As an FHLB member, Park National Bank must maintain an investment in the capital stock of the FHLB of Cincinnati.
Upon the origination or renewal of a loan or advance, each FHLB is required by law to obtain and maintain a security interest in certain types of collateral. Each FHLB is required to establish standards of community investment or service that its members must maintain for continued access to long-term advances from the FHLB. The standards take into account a member’s performance under the Community Reinvestment Act and the member’s record of lending to first-time home buyers.
Regulatory Capital
The Federal Reserve Board has adopted risk-based capital guidelines for financial holding companies and other bank holding companies as well as state member banks. The OCC and the FDIC have adopted risk-based capital guidelines for national banks and state non-member banks, respectively. The guidelines provide a systematic analytical framework which makes regulatory capital requirements sensitive to differences in risk profiles among banking organizations, takes off-balance sheet exposures expressly into account in evaluating capital adequacy, and minimizes disincentives to holding liquid, low-risk assets. Capital levels as measured by these standards are also used to categorize financial institutions for purposes of certain prompt corrective action regulatory provisions.
The risk-based capital guidelines adopted by the federal banking agencies are based on the “International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standard” (Basel I), published by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (the “Basel Committee”). In July 2013, the United States banking regulators issued new capital rules applicable to smaller banking organizations which also implement certain of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act (the “Basel III Capital Rules”). Community banking organizations, including Park and Park National Bank, began transitioning to the new rules on January 1, 2015. The new minimum capital requirements became effective on January 1, 2015; while a new capital conservation buffer and deductions from common equity capital phase in from January 1, 2016 through January 1, 2019, and most deductions from common equity tier 1 capital phase in from January 1, 2015 through January 1, 2019.

The rules include (a) a minimum common equity tier 1 capital ratio of 4.5%, (b) a minimum Tier 1 capital ratio of 6.0%, (c) a minimum total capital ratio of 8.0%, and (d) a minimum leverage ratio of 4.0%.

Common equity for the common equity tier 1 capital ratio includes common stock (plus related surplus) and retained earnings, plus limited amounts of minority interests in the form of common stock, less the majority of certain regulatory deductions.

Tier 1 capital includes common equity as defined for the common equity tier 1 capital ratio, plus certain non-cumulative preferred stock and related surplus, cumulative preferred stock and related surplus and trust preferred securities that have been grandfathered (but which are not permitted going forward), and limited amounts of minority interests in the form of additional Tier 1 capital instruments, less certain deductions.

Tier 2 capital, which can be included in the total capital ratio, includes certain capital instruments (such as subordinated debt) and limited amounts of the allowance for loan and lease losses, subject to new eligibility criteria, less applicable deductions.


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The deductions from common equity tier 1 capital include goodwill and other intangibles, certain deferred tax assets, mortgage-servicing assets above certain levels, gains on sale in connection with a securitization, investments in a banking organization’s own capital instruments and investments in the capital of unconsolidated financial institutions (above certain levels). The deductions phase in from 2015 through 2019.

Under the guidelines, capital is compared to the relative risk related to the balance sheet. To derive the risk included in the balance sheet, one of several risk weights is applied to different balance sheet and off-balance sheet assets, primarily based on the relative credit risk of the counterparty. The capital amounts and classification are also subject to qualitative judgments by the regulators about components, risk weightings and other factors.

The rules also place restrictions on the payment of capital distributions, including dividends, and certain discretionary bonus payments to executive officers if the company does not hold a capital conservation buffer of greater than 2.5 percent composed of common equity tier 1 capital above its minimum risk-based capital requirements, or if its eligible retained income is negative in that quarter and its capital conservation buffer ratio was less than 2.5 percent at the beginning of the quarter. The capital conservation buffer began to phase in starting on January 1, 2016, at .625% and is currently 1.875%.

In September 2017, the Federal Reserve Board, along with other bank regulatory agencies, proposed amendments to its capital requirements to simplify aspects of the capital rules for community banks, including Park National Bank, in an attempt to reduce the regulatory burden for such smaller financial institutions. Because the amendments were proposed with a request for comments and have not been finalized, Park does not yet know what effect the final rules will have on Park National Bank's capital calculations. In November 2017, the federal banking agencies extended for community banks the existing capital requirements for certain items that were scheduled to change effective January 1, 2018, in light of the simplification amendments being considered, including extending the existing capital requirements for mortgage servicing assets and certain other items. The intent is to prevent different rules from taking effect while the banking regulatory agencies consider a broader simplification of the capital rules.
    
The federal banking agencies have established a system of prompt corrective action to resolve certain of the problems of undercapitalized institutions. This system is based on five capital level categories for insured depository institutions: “well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” and “critically undercapitalized.”
The federal banking agencies may (or in some cases must) take certain supervisory actions depending upon a bank’s capital level. For example, the banking agencies must appoint a receiver or conservator for a bank within 90 days after the bank becomes “critically undercapitalized” unless the bank’s primary regulator determines, with the concurrence of the FDIC, that other action would better achieve regulatory purposes. Banking operations otherwise may be significantly affected depending on a bank’s capital category. For example, a bank that is not “well capitalized” generally is prohibited from accepting brokered deposits and offering interest rates on deposits higher than the prevailing rate in its market, and the holding company of any undercapitalized depository institution must guarantee, in part, specific aspects of the bank’s capital plan for the plan to be acceptable.
In order to be “well-capitalized,” a bank must have a common equity tier I capital ratio of at least 6.5%, a total risk-based capital of at least 10.0%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 8.0% and a leverage ratio of at least 5.0%, and the bank must not be subject to any written agreement, order, capital directive or prompt corrective action directive to meet and maintain a specific capital level for any capital measure. Park’s management believes that Park National Bank meets the ratio requirements to be deemed “well-capitalized” according to the guidelines described above. See Note 26 - Capital Ratios of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of Park’s 2017 Annual Report, which is incorporated herein by reference.
Fiscal and Monetary Policies
The business and earnings of Park and its subsidiaries are affected significantly by the fiscal policies of the United States government and its agencies. Park National Bank is particularly affected by the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve Board, which regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States. These policies are used in varying degrees and combinations to directly affect the availability of bank loans and deposits, as well as the interest rates charged on loans and paid on deposits.
Limits on Dividends and Other Payments
There are various legal limitations on the extent to which a subsidiary bank may finance or otherwise supply funds to its parent holding company. Under applicable federal and state laws, a subsidiary bank may not, subject to certain limited

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exceptions, make loans or extensions of credit to, or investments in the securities of, its parent holding company. A subsidiary bank is also subject to collateral security requirements for any loan or extension of credit permitted by such exceptions.
The ability of Park to obtain funds for the payment of dividends and for other cash requirements is largely dependent on the amount of dividends which may be declared by Park National Bank. However, the Federal Reserve Board expects Park to serve as a source of strength to Park National Bank, which may require Park to retain capital for further investment in Park National Bank, rather than pay dividends to the Park shareholders.
Park National Bank may not pay dividends out of its surplus if, after paying these dividends, it would fail to meet the required minimum levels under the capital guidelines established by the OCC and the capital conservation buffer. In addition, Park National Bank must have the approval of the OCC if a dividend in any year would cause the total dividends for that year to exceed the sum of Park National Bank’s current year’s net income and the retained net income for the preceding two years, less required transfers to surplus. Payment of dividends by Park National Bank may be restricted at any time at the discretion of its regulatory authorities, if such regulatory authorities deem such dividends to constitute unsafe and/or unsound banking practices or if necessary to maintain adequate capital. These provisions could have the effect of limiting Park’s ability to pay dividends on Park's Common Shares.
At December 31, 2017, approximately $76.1 million of the total shareholders’ equity of Park National Bank was available for payment to Park without the approval of the OCC. See Note 22 - Dividend Restrictions of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of Park’s 2017 Annual Report.
The Federal Reserve Board has issued a policy statement with regard to the payment of cash dividends by financial holding companies and other bank holding companies. The policy statement provides that, as a matter of prudent banking, a financial holding company or bank holding company should not maintain a rate of cash dividends unless its net income available to common shareholders has been sufficient to fully fund the dividends, and the prospective rate of earnings retention appears to be consistent with the financial holding company or bank holding company’s capital needs, asset quality, and overall financial condition. Accordingly, a financial holding company or bank holding company should not pay cash dividends that exceed its net income or can only be funded in ways that weaken the financial holding company or bank holding company’s financial health, such as by borrowing.
Under the terms of the Indenture governing the $15.5 million of junior subordinated notes issued by Vision to the Vision Trust and the related Guarantee Agreement, Park, as successor to Vision in accordance with the First Supplemental Indenture, is prohibited, subject to limited exceptions, from declaring or paying any dividends or distributions on any shares of its capital stock (i) if an event of default under the Indenture has occurred and continues, (ii) if Park is in default with respect to the payment of any obligations under the Guarantee Agreement or (iii) during any period in which the payment of interest on the junior subordinated notes by Park (and the payment of cash distributions on the floating rate preferred securities of the Vision Trust) is being deferred.
Volcker Rule
In December 2013, five federal agencies adopted a final regulation implementing the Volcker Rule provision of the Dodd-Frank Act (the "Volcker Rule"). The Volcker Rule places limits on the trading activity of insured depository institutions and entities affiliated with a depository institution, subject to certain exceptions. The trading activity includes a purchase or sale as principal of a security, derivative, commodity future or option on any such instrument in order to benefit from short-term price movements or to realize short-term profits. The Volcker Rule exempts specified United States Government, agency and/or municipal obligations, and it excepts trading conducted in certain capacities, including as a broker or other agent, through a deferred compensation or pension plan, as a fiduciary on behalf of customers, to satisfy a debt previously contracted, repurchase and securities lending agreements and risk-mitigating hedging activities.
The Volcker Rule also prohibits a banking entity from having an ownership interest in, or certain relationships with, a hedge fund or private equity fund, with a number of exceptions. To the extent that Park National Bank engages in any of the trading activities or has any ownership interest in or relationship with any of the types of funds regulated by the Volcker Rule, Park National Bank believes that its activities and relationships fall within the scope of the one or more of the exceptions provided in the Volcker Rule.

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Privacy Provisions
Federal and state regulations limit the ability of banks and other financial institutions to disclose non-public information about consumers to non-affiliated third parties. These limitations require disclosure of privacy policies to consumers and, in some circumstances, allow consumers to prevent disclosure of certain personal information to a non-affiliated third party.
Patriot Act
In response to the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, the Uniting and Strengthening of America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “Patriot Act”) was signed into law in October 2001. The Patriot Act gives the United States government powers to address terrorist threats through enhanced domestic security measures, expanded surveillance powers, increased information sharing and broadened anti-money laundering requirements. Title III of the Patriot Act takes measures intended to encourage information sharing among bank regulatory agencies and law enforcement bodies. Further, certain provisions of Title III impose affirmative obligations on a broad range of financial institutions. Among other requirements, Title III and related regulations require regulated financial institutions to establish a program specifying procedures for obtaining identifying information from customers seeking to open new accounts and establish enhanced due diligence policies, procedures and controls designed to detect and report suspicious activity. Park National Bank has established policies and procedures that are believed to be compliant with the requirements of the Patriot Act.
Community Reinvestment Act

The Community Reinvestment Act requires Park National Bank's primary federal regulatory agency, the OCC, to assess Park National Bank's record in meeting the credit needs of the communities served by Park National Bank. The OCC assigns one of four ratings: outstanding, satisfactory, needs to improve or substantial noncompliance. The rating assigned to a financial institution is considered in connection with various applications submitted by the financial institution or its holding company to its banking regulators, including applications to acquire another financial institution or to open or close a branch office. In addition, all subsidiary banks of a financial holding company must maintain a satisfactory or outstanding rating in order for the financial holding company to avoid limitations on its activities.

Corporate Governance
As mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the SEC has adopted rules and regulations governing, among other issues, corporate governance, auditing and accounting, executive compensation and enhanced and timely disclosure of corporate information. NYSE AMERICAN has also adopted corporate governance rules. The Board of Directors of Park has taken a series of actions to strengthen and improve Park’s already strong corporate governance practices in light of the rules of the SEC and NYSE AMERICAN. The Board of Directors has adopted charters for the Audit Committee, the Compensation Committee, the Executive Committee, the Investment Committee, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee (including as Exhibit A thereto, Corporate Governance Guidelines) and the Risk Committee as well as a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics governing the directors, officers and associates of Park and its affiliates.
Executive and Incentive Compensation
In June 2010, the Federal Reserve Board, the OCC and the FDIC issued joint interagency guidance on incentive compensation policies (the “Joint Guidance”) intended to ensure that the incentive compensation policies of banking organizations do not undermine the safety and soundness of such organizations by encouraging excessive risk-taking. This principles-based guidance, which covers all employees that have the ability to materially affect the risk profile of an organization, either individually or as part of a group, is based upon the key principles that a banking organization’s incentive compensation arrangements should: (i) provide incentives that do not encourage risk-taking beyond the organization’s ability to effectively identify and manage risks; (ii) be compatible with effective internal controls and risk management; and (iii) be supported by strong corporate governance, including active and effective oversight by the organization’s board of directors.
In 2011, federal banking regulatory agencies jointly issued proposed rules on incentive-based compensation arrangements under applicable provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act (the “First Proposed Joint Rules”). The First Proposed Joint Rules generally would have applied to financial institutions with $1.0 billion or more in assets that maintain incentive-based compensation arrangements for certain covered employees.
    

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In May 2016, the federal bank regulatory agencies approved a second joint notice of proposed rules (the “Second Proposed Joint Rules”) designed to prohibit incentive-based compensation arrangements that encourage inappropriate risks at financial institutions. The Second Proposed Joint Rules would apply to covered financial institutions with total assets of $1 billion or more. The requirements of the Second Proposed Joint Rules would differ for each of three categories of financial institutions:

Level 1 consists of institutions with assets of $250 billion or more;
Level 2 consists of institutions with assets of at least $50 billion and less than $250 billion; and
Level 3 consists of institutions with assets of at least $1 billion and less than $50 billion.

Some of the requirements would apply only to Level 1 and Level 2 institutions. For all covered institutions, including Level 3 institutions like Park National Bank, the Second Proposed Joint Rules would:

prohibit incentive-based compensation arrangements that are “excessive” or “could lead to material financial loss;”
require incentive-based compensation that is consistent with a balance of risk and reward, effective management and control of risk, and effective governance; and
require board oversight, recordkeeping and disclosure to the appropriate regulatory agency.

Level 1 and Level 2 institutions would have additional requirements, including deferrals of awards to certain covered persons; potential downward adjustments, forfeitures or clawbacks; and additional risk-management and control standards, policies and procedures. In addition, certain practices and types of incentive compensation would be prohibited.

Pursuant to rules adopted by the stock exchanges and approved by the SEC in January 2013 under the Dodd-Frank Act, public company compensation committee members must meet heightened independence requirements and consider the independence of compensation consultants, legal counsel and other advisors to the compensation committee. A compensation committee must have the authority to hire advisors and to have the public company fund reasonable compensation of such advisors.
SEC regulations require public companies to provide various disclosures about executive compensation in annual reports and proxy statements and to present to their shareholders a non-binding vote on the approval of executive compensation.

Public companies will be required, once stock exchanges impose additional listing requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act, to implement "clawback" procedures for incentive compensation payments and to disclose the details of the procedures which allow recovery of incentive compensation that was paid on the basis of erroneous financial information necessitating a restatement due to material noncompliance with financial reporting requirements. This clawback policy is intended to apply to compensation paid within a three-year look-back window of the restatement and would cover all executives who received incentive awards.
Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations

Banks are subject to regular examination to ensure compliance with federal consumer statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to, the following:

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (prohibiting discrimination in any credit transaction on the basis of any of various criteria)

Truth in Lending Act (requiring that credit terms are disclosed in a manner that permits a consumer to understand and compare credit terms more readily and knowledgeably)

Fair Housing Act (making it unlawful for a lender to discriminate in its housing-related lending activities against any person on the basis of certain criteria)

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (requiring financial institutions to collect data that enables regulatory agencies to determine whether financial institutions are serving the housing credit needs of the communities in which they are located)


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Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (requiring that lenders provide borrowers with disclosures regarding the nature and cost of real estate settlements and prohibits abusive practices that increase borrowers' costs)

Privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (requiring financial institutions to establish policies and procedures to restrict the sharing of non-public customer data with non-affiliated parties and to protect customer information from unauthorized access)

The banking regulators also use their authority under the Federal Trade Commission Act to take supervisory or enforcement action with respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices by banks that may not necessarily fall within the scope of a specific banking or consumer finance law.

Regulation of Consumer Finance Companies
As a consumer finance company incorporated under Ohio law, Guardian Finance is subject to regulation and supervision by the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions. Division regulation and supervision designed to protect consumers affect the lending activities of Guardian Finance, including interest rates and certain loan terms, advertising and record retention. If grounds provided by law exist, the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions may suspend or revoke an Ohio consumer finance company’s ability to make loans.
                In October 2017, the CFPB issued a final rule with respect to certain consumer loans to be effective on January 16, 2018, although compliance with most sections is not required until August 19, 2019.  The first major part of the rule makes it an unfair and abusive practice for a lender to make short-term and longer-term loans with balloon payments (with certain exceptions) without reasonably determining that the borrower has the ability to repay the loan.  The second major part of the rule applies to the same types of loans as well as longer-term loans with an annual percentage rate greater than 36 percent that are repaid directly from the borrower's account.  The rule states that it is an unfair and abusive practice for the lender to withdraw payment from the borrower's account after two consecutive payment attempts have failed, unless the lender obtains the consumer's new and specific authorization to make further withdrawals from the account.  The rule also requires lenders to provide certain notices to the borrower before attempting to withdraw payment on a covered loan from the borrower's account. 
             
On January 16, 2018, the CFPB issued a press release stating that it "intends to engage in a rulemaking process so that the Bureau may reconsider the Payday Rule."

Park does not currently expect the new rules to have a material effect on Park's financial condition or results of operations on a consolidated basis. 
Statistical Disclosure
The statistical disclosure relating to Park and its subsidiaries required under the SEC’s Industry Guide 3, “Statistical Disclosure by Bank Holding Companies,” is included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS” and in Note 1 - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report, Note 4 - Investment Securities of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report, Note 5 - Loans of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report, Note 6 - Allowance for Loan Losses of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report, Note 11 - Deposits of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park’s 2017 Annual Report and Note 13 - Short-Term Borrowings of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Park's 2017 Annual Report. This statistical disclosure is incorporated herein by reference.
Effect of Environmental Regulation
Compliance with federal, state and local provisions regulating the discharge of materials into the environment, or otherwise relating to the protection of the environment, has not had a material effect upon the capital expenditures, earnings or competitive position of Park and its subsidiaries. Park believes the nature of the operations of its subsidiaries has little, if any, environmental impact. Park, therefore, anticipates no material capital expenditures for environmental control facilities for Park's current fiscal year or for the foreseeable future.
Park believes its primary exposure to environmental risk is through the lending activities of its subsidiaries. In cases where management believes environmental risk potentially exists, Park’s subsidiaries mitigate their environmental risk exposures by requiring environmental site assessments at the time of loan origination to confirm collateral quality as to commercial real estate parcels posing higher than normal potential for environmental impact, as determined by reference to

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present and past uses of the subject property and adjacent sites. In addition, environmental assessments are typically required prior to any foreclosure activity involving non-residential real estate collateral.

ITEM 1A.
RISK FACTORS.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K which are not statements of historical fact constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, the statements specifically identified as forward-looking statements within this document. In addition, certain statements in future filings by Park with the SEC, in press releases, and in oral and written statements made by or with the approval of Park which are not statements of historical fact constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Examples of forward-looking statements include: (i) projections of income or expense, earnings per share, the payment or non-payment of dividends, capital structure and other financial items; (ii) statements of plans and objectives of Park or our management or Board of Directors, including those relating to products or services or to potential or pending acquisitions; (iii) statements of future economic performance; and (iv) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “targeted” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying those statements.
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for forward-looking statements to encourage companies to provide prospective information so long as those statements are identified as forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. We desire to take advantage of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those predicted by the forward-looking statements because of various factors and possible events, including those factors and events identified below. There is also the risk that Park’s management or Board of Directors incorrectly analyzes these risks and uncertainties or that the strategies Park develops to address them are unsuccessful.
Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and, except as may be required by law, Park undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made to reflect unanticipated events. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Park or any person acting on Park’s behalf are qualified in their entirety by the following cautionary statements.
Changes in economic and political conditions could adversely affect our earnings through declines in our borrowers’ ability to repay loans, the value of the collateral securing our loans, and deposits.
 
Our success depends, to a certain extent, upon economic and political conditions, local and national, as well as governmental fiscal and monetary policies. Conditions such as inflation, recession, unemployment, changes in interest rates, fiscal and monetary policy and other factors beyond our control may adversely affect our asset quality, deposit levels and loan demand and, therefore, our earnings and our capital. The election of a new United States President in 2016 has resulted in substantial changes in economic and political conditions for the United States and the remainder of the world. Disruptions in U.S. and global financial markets and changes in oil production in the Middle East affect the economy and stock prices in the United States, which can affect our earnings and our capital as well as the ability of our customers to repay loans. Because we have a significant amount of real estate loans, decreases in real estate values could adversely affect the value of property used as collateral and our ability to sell the collateral upon foreclosure. Adverse changes in the economy may also have a negative effect on the ability of our borrowers to make timely repayments of their loans, which would have an adverse impact on our earnings and cash flows. The substantial majority of the loans made by our subsidiaries are to individuals and businesses in Ohio. Consequently, a significant decline in the economy in Ohio could have a materially adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 

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Changes in the general economic conditions and real estate valuations in our primary market areas could adversely impact results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

Our lending and deposit gathering activities are concentrated primarily in Ohio. Our success depends on the general economic conditions of our primary market areas, particularly given that a significant portion of our lending relates to real estate located in these regions. Adverse changes in the regional and general economic conditions could reduce our growth rate, impair our ability to collect payments on loans, increase loan delinquencies, increase problem assets and foreclosures, increase claims and lawsuits, increase devaluations recognized within our OREO portfolio, decrease the demand for our products and services and decrease the value of collateral for loans, especially real estate values, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Legislative or regulatory changes or actions could adversely impact us or the businesses in which we are engaged.
 
The financial services industry is extensively regulated. We are subject to extensive state and federal regulation, supervision and legislation that govern almost all aspects of our operations. Laws and regulations may change from time to time and are primarily intended for the protection of consumers, depositors, borrowers, the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund and the banking system as a whole, and not to benefit our shareholders. Regulations affecting banks and financial services businesses are undergoing continuous changes, and management cannot predict the effect of these changes. The current United States President and certain legislators have taken steps to make extensive changes to regulations affecting financial institutions. While such changes are generally intended to lessen the regulatory burden on financial institutions, the impact of any changes to laws and regulations or other actions by regulatory agencies may negatively impact us or our ability to increase the value of our business. Regulatory authorities have extensive discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities, including the imposition of restrictions on the operation of an institution, the classification of assets held by an institution and the adequacy of an institution’s allowance for loan losses. Additionally, actions by regulatory agencies against us could cause us to devote significant time and resources to defending our business and may lead to penalties that materially affect us and our shareholders. Even the reduction of regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on us and our shareholders if such lessening of restrictions increases competition within our industry or our market area.

In light of current conditions in the global financial markets and the global economy that occurred in the last decade, regulators increased their focus on the regulation of the financial services industry. In the last several years, the United States Congress and the federal agencies regulating the financial services industry have acted on an unprecedented scale in responding to the stresses experienced in the global financial markets. Some of the laws enacted by the United States Congress and regulations promulgated by federal regulatory agencies subject us, and other financial institutions to which such laws and regulations apply, to additional restrictions, oversight and costs that may have an impact on our business, results of operations or the trading price of our Common Shares. In addition to laws, regulations and supervisory and enforcement actions directed at the operations of banks, proposals to reform the housing finance market consider significant changes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which could negatively affect our sales of loans.

In July 2013, Park's primary federal regulator, the Federal Reserve, published final rules (the “Basel III Capital Rules”) establishing a new comprehensive capital framework for U.S. banking organizations. The rules implement the Basel Committee's December 2010 framework known as “Basel III” for strengthening international capital standards as well as certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Basel III Capital Rules substantially revise the risk-based capital requirements applicable to financial holding companies and other bank holding companies as well as depository institutions, including Park and Park National Bank, compared to the previous U.S. risk-based capital rules. The Basel III Capital Rules define the components of capital and address other issues affecting the numerator in banking institutions' regulatory capital ratios. The Basel III Capital Rules also address risk weights and other issues affecting the denominator in banking institutions' regulatory capital ratios and replace the existing risk-weighting approach, which was derived from Basel I capital accords of the Basel Committee, with a more risk-sensitive approach based, in part, on the standardized approach in the Basel Committee's 2004 “Basel II” capital accords. The Basel III Capital Rules also implement the requirements of Section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Act to remove references to credit ratings from the federal banking agencies' rules. The Basel III Capital Rules became effective for Park and Park National Bank on January 1, 2015 (subject to a phase-in period). Although the implementation of Basel III, once fully phased in, is not expected to have a material impact on Park's or Park National Bank's capital ratios, any future changes to capital requirements could have such an effect.

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Adverse changes in the financial markets may adversely impact our results of operations.
While we generally invest in securities issued by United States government agencies and sponsored entities and United States state and local governments with limited credit risk, certain investment securities we hold possess higher credit risk since they represent beneficial interests in structured investments collateralized by residential mortgages, debt obligations and other similar asset-backed assets. Even securities issued by governmental agencies and entities may entail risk depending on political and economic changes. Regardless of the level of credit risk, all investment securities are subject to changes in market value due to changing interest rates, implied credit spreads and credit ratings.

We operate in a highly competitive environment, in terms of the products and services we offer and the geographic markets in which we conduct business, as well as in our labor markets where we compete for talented employees. Competition could adversely impact our customer acquisition, growth and retention, as well as our credit spreads and product pricing, causing us to lose market share and deposits and revenues.

We are subject to intense competition from various financial institutions as well as from non-bank entities that engage in many similar activities without being subject to bank regulatory supervision and restrictions. This competition is described in "Item 1 - Business" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the caption "Competition." Competition in our industry could intensify as a result of the increasing consolidation of financial services companies, in connection with current market conditions or otherwise. Consumers may also move money out of bank deposits in favor of other investments. Customers have increasingly used bill payment services that do not utilize banks. These trends may result in losses of deposits and fee income.

The principal bases for competition are pricing (including the interest rates charged on loans or paid on interest bearing deposits), product structure, the range of products and services offered, and the quality of customer service (including convenience and responsiveness to customer needs and concerns). The ability to access and use technology is an increasingly important competitive factor in the financial services industry, and it is a critically important component to customer satisfaction as it affects our ability to deliver the right products and services.
    
Another increasingly competitive factor in the financial services industry is the competition to attract and retain talented employees across many of our business and support areas. This competition leads to increased expenses in many business areas and can also cause us to not pursue certain business opportunities.

A failure to adequately address the competitive pressures we face could make it harder for us to attract and retain customers across our businesses. On the other hand, meeting these competitive pressures could require us to incur significant additional expense, to reevaluate the number of branches through which we serve our customers, or to accept risk beyond what we would otherwise view as desirable under the circumstances. In addition, in our interest rate sensitive businesses, pressures to increase rates on deposits or decrease rates on loans could reduce our net interest margin with a resulting negative impact on our net interest income.

Changes in interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
Our earnings and cash flows depend substantially on our interest rate spread, which is the difference between (i) the rates we earn on loans, investment securities and other interest earning assets and (ii) the interest rates we pay on deposits and our borrowings. These rates are highly sensitive to many factors beyond our control, including general economic conditions and the policies of various governmental and regulatory authorities. Changes in monetary policy influence the origination of loans, the prepayment speed of loans, the purchase of investments, the generation of deposits and rates of interest received and paid. While we have taken measures intended to manage the risks of operating in a changing interest rate environment, there can be no assurance that such measures will be effective in avoiding undue interest rate risk. Information pertaining to the impact changes in interest rates could have on our net income is included in Table 37 in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” and is incorporated herein by reference.  


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We extend credit to a variety of customers based on internally set standards and the judgment of our loan officers and bank division presidents. We manage the credit risk through a program of underwriting standards, the review of certain credit decisions and an on-going process of assessing the quality of the credit already extended. Our credit standards and on-going process of credit assessment might not protect us from significant credit losses.
 
We take credit risk by virtue of making loans and leases, extending loan commitments and letters of credit and, to a lesser degree, purchasing municipal bonds. Our exposure to credit risk is managed through the use of consistent underwriting standards that emphasize “in-market” lending while avoiding highly leveraged transactions as well as excessive industry and other concentrations. Our loans to non-bank consumer finance companies are made nationally and present different risks than our "in-market" lending, due to the variability of cash flows that support the asset-based loans. Our credit administration function employs risk management techniques to ensure that loans and leases adhere to corporate policy and problem loans and leases are promptly identified. While these procedures are designed to provide us with the information needed to implement policy adjustments where necessary, and to take proactive corrective actions, there can be no assurance that such measures will be effective in avoiding undue credit risk.

Our business and financial results are subject to risks associated with the creditworthiness of our customers and counterparties.

Credit risk is inherent in the financial services business and results from, among other things, extending credit to customers, purchasing non-governmental securities, and entering into certain guarantee contracts. Credit risk is one of the most significant risks, particularly given the high percentage of our assets represented directly or indirectly by loans, and the importance of lending to our overall business. As discussed in the immediately preceding risk factor, we manage credit risk by assessing and monitoring the creditworthiness of our customers and by diversifying our loan portfolio. Many factors impact credit risk.

A borrower's ability to repay a loan can be adversely affected by individual factors, such as business performance, job losses or health issues. A weak or deteriorating economy and changes in the United States or global markets also could adversely impact the ability of our borrowers to repay outstanding loans. Any decrease in our borrowers' ability to repay loans would result in higher levels of nonperforming loans, net charge-offs and provision for loan losses.

Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing and other relationships. We have exposure to many different industries and counterparties, and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or client.

Despite maintaining a diversified portfolio, in the ordinary course of business, we may have concentrated credit exposure to a particular person or entity, industry or counterparty. Events adversely affecting specific customers, industries or markets, a decrease in the credit quality of a customer base or an adverse change in the risk profile of a market, industry or group of customers could adversely affect us.

Our credit risk may be exacerbated when collateral held by us to secure obligations to us cannot be realized upon or is liquidated at prices that are not sufficient to recover the full amount of the loan.

In part due to improvement in general economic conditions, as well as actions taken by Park to manage our portfolio, the provision for loan losses for Park's Ohio-based subsidiaries has declined since the end of the recent recession. If we were to experience higher levels of provision for loan losses, it could result in lower levels of net income.

Our allowance for loan losses may prove to be insufficient to absorb the probable, incurred losses in our loan portfolio.
 
Lending money is a substantial part of our business. However, every loan we make carries a risk of non-payment. This risk is affected by, among other things: the cash flow of the borrower and/or the project being financed; in the case of a collateralized loan, the changes and uncertainties as to the future value of the collateral, the credit history of a particular borrower, changes in economic and industry conditions, and the duration of the loan.

The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) requires management to make significant estimates that affect the financial statements. One of our most critical estimates is the level of the allowance for loan losses. Due to the inherent nature of these estimates, we cannot provide absolute assurance that we will not be required to charge earnings for significant unexpected loan losses.


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We maintain an allowance for loan losses that we believe is a reasonable estimate of the probable, incurred losses within the loan portfolio. We make various assumptions and judgments about the collectability of our loan portfolio, including the creditworthiness of our borrowers and the value of the real estate and other assets serving as collateral for the repayment of loans. Through a periodic review and consideration of the loan portfolio, management determines the amount of the allowance for loan losses by considering general market conditions, the credit quality of the loan portfolio, the collateral supporting the loans and the performance of customers relative to their financial obligations with us. The amount of future losses is susceptible to changes in economic, operating and other conditions, including changes in interest rates, which may be beyond our control, and these losses may exceed current estimates. We cannot fully predict the amount or timing of losses or whether the loan loss allowance will be adequate in the future. If our assumptions prove to be incorrect, our allowance for loan losses may not be sufficient to cover the probable, incurred losses in our loan portfolio, resulting in additions to the allowance for loan losses. Excessive loan losses and significant additions to our allowance for loan losses could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
In addition, bank regulators periodically review our allowance for loan losses and may require us to increase our provision for loan losses or recognize further loan charge-offs. Moreover, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has changed its requirements for establishing the allowance for loan losses.  The new guidance is effective for annual reporting periods and interim reporting periods within those annual periods, beginning after December 15, 2019. Management is currently evaluating the impact of the adoption of this accounting guidance on Park's consolidated financial statements, but anticipates that it will result in a material increase to Park's allowance for loan losses. Management has established a committee to oversee the implementation of the new current expected credit loss model. This committee is currently in the process of implementing a software solution to assist in the adoption of the this new guidance. Any significant increase in our allowance for loan losses or loan charge-offs as required by these regulatory authorities might have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Deposit insurance premiums assessed on Park may increase and have a negative effect on Park’s results of operations.
 
The Deposit Insurance Fund (the “DIF”) maintained by the FDIC to resolve bank failures is funded by fees assessed on insured depository institutions. The costs of resolving bank failures increased for a period of time, decreasing the DIF balance. The FDIC collected a special assessment in 2009 to replenish the DIF and also required a prepayment of an estimated amount of future deposit insurance premiums. If the costs of future bank failures increase, deposit insurance premiums may also increase. The FDIC has recently adopted rules revising its assessments in a manner benefiting banks with assets totaling less than $10 billion. There can be no assurance, however, that assessments will not be changed in the future.
 
We depend upon the accuracy and completeness of information about customers and counterparties.
 
In deciding whether to extend credit or enter into other transactions with customers and counterparties, we may rely on information provided to us by customers and counterparties, including financial statements and other financial information. We may also rely on representations of customers and counterparties as to the accuracy and completeness of that information and, with respect to financial statements, on reports of independent auditors. For example, in deciding whether to extend credit to a business, we may assume that the customer’s audited financial statements conform with GAAP and present fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of the customer. We may also rely on the audit report covering those financial statements. Our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be negatively impacted to the extent that we rely on financial statements that do not comply with GAAP or on financial statements and other financial information that are materially misleading.

We may be required to repurchase loans we have sold or indemnify loan purchasers under the terms of the sale agreements, which could adversely affect our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition.

When we sell a mortgage loan, we may agree to repurchase or substitute a mortgage loan if we are later found to have breached any representation or warranty we made about the loan or if the borrower is later found to have committed fraud in connection with the origination of the loan. While we have underwriting policies and procedures designed to avoid breaches of representations and warranties as well as borrower fraud, there can be no assurance that no breach or fraud will ever occur. Required repurchases, substitutions or indemnifications could have an adverse effect on our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition.


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We are exposed to operational risk.
 
Similar to any large organization, we are exposed to many types of operational risk, including those discussed in more detail in this Risk Factors section, such as reputational risk, legal and compliance risk, the risk of fraud or theft by employees or outsiders, unauthorized transactions by employees or operational errors, including clerical or record-keeping errors or those resulting from faulty or disabled computer or telecommunications systems.
 
We may be subject to disruptions of our operating systems arising from events that are wholly or partially beyond our control, which may include, for example, computer viruses, cyber-attacks, spikes in transaction volume and/or customer activity, electrical or telecommunications outages, or natural disasters. Although we have programs in place related to business continuity, disaster recovery and information security to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our systems, business applications and customer information, such disruptions may give rise to interruptions in service to customers, loss of data privacy and loss or liability to us.

Any failure or interruption in our operations or information systems, or any security or data breach, could cause reputational damage, jeopardize the confidentiality of customer information, result in a loss of customer business, subject us to regulatory intervention or expose us to civil litigation and financial loss or liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on us.

Negative public opinion can result from our actual or alleged conduct in any number of activities, including lending practices, corporate governance and acquisitions, and from actions taken by governmental regulators and community organizations in response to those activities. Negative public opinion can adversely affect our ability to attract and keep customers and can expose us to potential litigation and regulatory action.

Given the volume of transactions we process, certain errors may be repeated or compounded before they are discovered and successfully rectified. Our necessary dependence upon automated systems to record and process our transaction volume may further increase the risk that technical system flaws or employee tampering or manipulation of those systems will result in losses that are difficult to detect, which may give rise to disruption of service to customers and to financial loss or liability. We are further exposed to the risk that our external vendors may be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations (or will be subject to the same risk of fraud or operational errors by their respective employees as we are) and to the risk that our (or our vendors’) consumer compliance, business continuity, and data security systems prove to be inadequate.

Our business could be adversely affected by third-party service providers, data breaches and cyber-attacks.

We face the risk of operational disruption, failure or capacity constraints due to our dependency on third-party vendors for components of our business infrastructure. While we have selected these third-party vendors through our vendor management process, we do not control their operations. As such, any failure on the part of these business partners to perform their various responsibilities could also adversely affect our business and operations.

Further, we may be affected by data breaches at retailers and other third parties who participate in data interchanges with us and our customers that involve the theft of customer credit and debit card data, which may include the theft of our debit card PIN numbers and commercial card information used to make purchases at such retailers and other third parties. Such data breaches could result in us incurring significant expenses to reissue debit cards and cover losses, which could result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Our assets at risk for cyber-attacks include financial assets and non-public information belonging to customers. We use several third-party vendors who have access to our assets via electronic media. Certain cyber security risks arise due to this access, including cyber espionage, blackmail, ransom, and theft. We employ many preventive and detective controls to protect our assets, and provide mandatory recurring information security training to all employees. To date, we have not experienced any material losses relating to cyber-attacks or other information security breaches, but there can be no assurance that we will not suffer such attacks or attempted breaches, or incur resulting losses in the future. Our risk and exposure to these matters remains heightened because of, among other things, the evolving nature of these threats, our plans to continue to implement Internet and mobile banking to meet customer demand, and the current economic and political environment. As cyber and other data security threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to continue to modify and enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any security vulnerabilities.


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Failures or material breaches in security of our systems or those of third-party service providers may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition and the price of our common shares.

We collect, process and store sensitive consumer data by utilizing computer systems and telecommunications networks operated by both us and third-party service providers. Park’s necessary dependence upon automated systems to record and process Park’s transactions poses the risk that technical system flaws, employee errors, tampering or manipulation of those systems, or attacks by third parties will result in losses and may be difficult to detect. We have security and backup and recovery systems in place, as well as a business continuity plan, to ensure the computer systems will not be inoperable, to the extent possible. Our inability to use or access these information systems at critical points in time could unfavorably impact the timeliness and efficiency of our business operations. In recent years, some banks have experienced denial of service attacks in which individuals or organizations flood the bank's website with extraordinarily high volumes of traffic, with the goal and effect of disrupting the ability of the bank to process transactions. Other businesses have been victims of ransomware attacks in which the business becomes unable to access its own information and is presented with a demand to pay a ransom in order to once again have access to its information. We could be adversely affected if one of our employees causes a significant operational break-down or failure, either as a result of human error or where an individual purposefully sabotages or fraudulently manipulates our operations or systems. We may not be able to prevent employee errors or misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect this type of activity might not be effective in all cases. Park is further exposed to the risk that the third-party service providers may be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations (or will be subject to the same risks as Park). These disruptions may interfere with service to our customers, cause additional regulatory scrutiny and result in a financial loss or liability. We are also at risk of the impact of natural disasters, terrorism and international hostilities on our systems or for the effects of outages or other failures involving power or communications systems operated by others.

In addition, there have been instances where financial institutions have been victims of fraudulent activity in which criminals pose as customers to initiate wire and automated clearinghouse transactions out of customer accounts. The recent massive breach of the systems of a credit bureau presents additional threats as criminals now have more information about a larger portion of our country's population than past breaches have involved, which could be used by criminals to pose as customers initiating transfers of money from customer accounts. Although we have policies and procedures in place to verify the authenticity of our customers, we cannot assure that such policies and procedures will prevent all fraudulent transfers.

We have implemented security controls to prevent unauthorized access to the computer systems and require our third-party service providers to maintain similar controls. However, management cannot be certain that these measures will be successful. A security breach of the computer systems and loss of confidential information, such as customer account numbers and related information, could result in a loss of customers’ confidence and, thus, loss of business. We could also lose revenue if competitors gain access to confidential information about our business operations and use it to compete with us.
Further, we may be affected by data breaches at retailers and other third parties who participate in data interchanges with us and our customers that involve the theft of customer credit and debit card data, which may include the theft of our debit card PIN numbers and commercial card information used to make purchases at such retailers and other third parties. Such data breaches could result in us incurring significant expenses to reissue debit cards and cover losses, which could result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our assets at risk for cyber-attacks include financial assets and non-public information belonging to customers. We use several third-party vendors who have access to our assets via electronic media. Certain cyber security risks arise due to this access, including cyber espionage, blackmail, ransom, and theft.
All of the types of cyber incidents discussed above could result in damage to our reputation, loss of customer business, costs of incentives to customers or business partners in order to maintain their relationships, litigation, increased regulatory scrutiny and potential enforcement actions, repairs of system damage, increased investments in cybersecurity (such as obtaining additional technology, making organizational changes, deploying additional personnel, training personnel and engaging consultants), increased insurance premiums, and loss of investor confidence and a reduction in our stock price, all of which could result in financial loss and material adverse effects on our results of operations and financial condition.

We could suffer a material adverse impact from interruptions in the effective operation of, or security breaches affecting, our computer systems.
We rely heavily on information systems to conduct our business and to process, record, and monitor our transactions. Risks to the systems result from a variety of factors, including the potential for bad acts on the part of hackers, criminals, employees and others. As one example, in recent years, some banks have experienced denial of service attacks in which individuals or organizations flood the bank’s website with extraordinarily high volumes of traffic, with the goal and effect of

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disrupting the ability of the bank to process transactions. We are also at risk for the impact of natural disasters, terrorism and international hostilities on our systems or for the effects of outages or other failures involving power or communications systems operated by others. These risks also arise from the same types of threats to businesses with which we deal.
Potential adverse consequences of attacks on our computer systems or other threats include damage to our reputation, loss of customer business, litigation and increased regulatory scrutiny, which might also result in financial loss and require additional efforts and expense to attempt to prevent such adverse consequences in the future.  
Changes in accounting standards, policies, estimates or procedures could impact our reported financial condition or results of operations.
 
The accounting standard setters, including the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the SEC and other regulatory bodies, periodically change the financial accounting and reporting guidance that governs the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. The pace of change continues to accelerate and changes in accounting standards can be hard to predict and could materially impact how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, we could be required to apply new or revised guidance retroactively, resulting in the restatement of prior period financial statements.
 
The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make significant estimates that affect the financial statements. Due to the inherent nature of these estimates, actual results may vary materially from management’s estimates. Additional information regarding Park’s critical accounting policies and the sensitivity of estimates can be found in the section captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS - CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES” in Park’s 2017 Annual Report.
 
We may be a defendant from time to time in the future in a variety of litigation and other actions, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
 
We and our subsidiaries may be involved from time to time in the future in a variety of litigation arising out of our business. The risk of litigation increases in times of increased troubled loan collection activity. Our insurance may not cover all claims that may be asserted against us, and any claims asserted against us, regardless of merit or eventual outcome, may harm our reputation. Should the ultimate judgments or settlements in any litigation exceed our insurance coverage, they could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, we may not be able to obtain appropriate types or levels of insurance in the future, nor may we be able to obtain adequate replacement policies with acceptable terms, if at all.

A default by another larger financial institution could adversely affect financial markets generally.
     The commercial soundness of many financial institutions may be closely interrelated as a result of relationships between and among the institutions. As a result, concerns about, or a default or threatened default by, one institution could lead to significant marketwide liquidity and credit problems, losses or defaults by other institutions. This is sometimes referred to as “systemic risk” and may adversely affect our business.
We may elect or be compelled to seek additional capital in the future, but that capital may not be available when it is needed.
     We are required by federal and state regulatory authorities to maintain adequate levels of capital to support our operations. Federal banking agencies have adopted extensive changes to their capital requirements, including raising required amounts and eliminating the inclusion of certain instruments from the calculation of capital. If we experience significant loan losses, additional capital may need to be infused. In addition, we may elect to raise additional capital to support our business or to finance acquisitions, if any, or we may otherwise elect or be required to raise additional capital. Our ability to raise additional capital, if needed, will depend on our financial performance, conditions in the capital markets, economic conditions and a number of other factors, many of which are outside our control. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that we can raise additional capital if needed or on terms acceptable to us. If we cannot raise additional capital when needed, it may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may not pay dividends on our Common Shares.
 
Although we have paid a dividend on our Common Shares every quarter since becoming a public company, the Board of Directors reviews the dividend on a quarterly basis and establishes the dividend rate based on Park’s financial condition, results of operations, capital and other regulatory requirements, and other factors which the Board of Directors deems relevant. As a financial holding company, we are a legal entity separate and distinct from our subsidiaries and affiliates. Our principal

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source of funds to pay dividends on our Common Shares and service our debt is dividends from our subsidiaries. In the event our subsidiaries become unable to pay dividends to us, we may not be able to service our debt, pay our other obligations or pay dividends on our Common Shares. Accordingly, our inability to receive dividends from our subsidiaries could also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
     Various federal and state statutory provisions and regulations limit the amount of dividends that Park National Bank and our other subsidiaries may pay to us without regulatory approval. In addition, the Federal Reserve Board and the OCC have issued policy statements that provide that insured banks as well as financial holding companies and other bank holding companies should generally only pay dividends out of current operating earnings. Thus, the ability of Park National Bank to pay dividends in the future is currently influenced, and could be further influenced, by bank regulatory policies and capital guidelines and may restrict our ability to declare and pay dividends.
 
Payment of dividends could also be subject to regulatory limitations if Park National Bank were to become “undercapitalized” for purposes of the applicable “prompt corrective action” regulations. “Undercapitalized” is currently defined as having a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 8.0%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 6.0%, a common equity tier 1 capital ratio of less than 4.50%, or a core capital, or leverage, ratio of less than 4.0%. Throughout 2017 and 2018 to date, Park National Bank has been in compliance with all regulatory capital requirements and had sufficient capital under the “prompt corrective action” regulations to be deemed “well-capitalized.” There are also restrictions on the ability of Park National Bank to pay dividends if it does not hold the applicable capital conservation buffer.
 
If any of our subsidiaries becomes insolvent, the direct creditors of that subsidiary will have a prior claim on that subsidiary’s assets. Our rights and the rights of our creditors will be subject to that prior claim, unless we are also a direct creditor of that subsidiary.
 
Derivative transactions may expose us to unexpected risk and potential losses.
 
We are party to a number of derivative transactions. Many of these derivative instruments are individually negotiated and non-standardized, which can make exiting, transferring or settling the position difficult. We carry borrowings which contain embedded derivatives. These borrowing arrangements require that we deliver underlying securities to the counterparty as collateral. We are dependent on the creditworthiness of the counterparties and are therefore susceptible to credit and operational risk in these situations.
 
Derivative contracts and other transactions entered into with third parties are not always confirmed by the counterparties on a timely basis. While the transaction remains unconfirmed, we are subject to heightened credit and operational risk and, in the event of a default, may find it more difficult to enforce the contract. In addition, as new and more complex derivative products are created, covering a wider array of underlying credit and other instruments, disputes about the terms of the underlying contracts could arise, which could impair our ability to effectively manage our risk exposures from these products and subject us to increased costs. Any regulatory effort to create an exchange or trading platform for credit derivatives and other over-the-counter derivative contracts, or a market shift toward standardized derivatives, could reduce the risk associated with such transactions, but under certain circumstances could also limit our ability to develop derivatives that best suit the needs of our clients and ourselves and adversely affect our profitability.
Changes in tax laws could adversely affect our performance, including the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and uncertainty or speculation pending the enactment of such changes.

We are subject to extensive federal, state and local taxes, including income, excise, sales/use, payroll, franchise, withholding and ad valorem taxes. Changes to our taxes could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, fair values of net deferred tax assets and obligations of states and political subdivisions held in our investment securities portfolio. In addition, our customers are subject to a wide variety of federal, state and local taxes. Changes in taxes paid by our customers may adversely affect their ability to purchase homes or consumer products, which could adversely affect their demand for our loans and deposit products. In addition, such negative effects on our customers could result in defaults on the loans we have made and decrease the value of mortgage-backed securities in which we have invested.
    
On December 22, 2017, H.R.1, originally known as the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," was enacted into law. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, among other changes, imposes additional limitations on the federal income tax deductions individual taxpayers may take for mortgage loan interest payments and for state and local taxes, including real estate taxes. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also imposes additional limitations on the deductibility of business interest expense, and eliminates other deductions in their entirety, including deductions for certain home equity loan interest payments. Such limits and eliminations may result in customer defaults on loans we have made and decrease the value of mortgage-backed securities in which we have invested.


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Completion of the NewDominion Merger is subject to many conditions and if these conditions are not satisfied or waived, the NewDominion Merger will not be completed.

The respective obligations of Park and Park National Bank, on the one hand, and NewDominion, on the other hand, to complete the NewDominion Merger are subject to the fulfillment of customary closing conditions, including approval of the NewDominion Merger Agreement by the requisite vote of the NewDominion shareholders, receipt of required regulatory approvals, effectiveness of the registration statement to be filed by Park and approval for listing on NYSE AMERICAN, with respect to the Park Common Shares to be issued in the NewDominion Merger. These conditions to the consummation of the NewDominion Merger may not be fulfilled and, accordingly, the NewDominion Merger may not be completed. In addition, the NewDominion Merger Agreement provides certain termination rights for each party and further provides that, in the event the NewDominion Merger Agreement is terminated under certain circumstances in connection with a competing acquisition transaction, NewDominion will be required to pay Park a termination fee equal to $4,170,000.

We could experience difficulties in effectively integrating NewDominion, which could contribute to our not fully achieving the expected benefits from the NewDominion Merger.
    
We may not be able to achieve fully the strategic objectives and operating efficiencies in the NewDominion Merger. The costs or difficulties relating to and the time involved in the integration of NewDominion with Park National Bank may be greater than expected or the anticipated revenue synergies and cost savings from the NewDominion Merger may not be fully realized or realized within the expected timeframe. In addition, the market and industries in which Park National Bank and NewDominion operate are highly competitive. Customer and employee relationships and business operations for each of Park National Bank and NewDominion may be disrupted by the NewDominion Merger. Any of these factors could contribute to our not fully achieving the expected benefits from the NewDominion Merger.

Future expansion may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations as well as dilute the interests of our shareholders and negatively affect the price of our Common Shares.
In addition to the pending NewDominion Merger, we may acquire other financial institutions, or branches or assets of other financial institutions, in the future. We may also open new branches and enter into new lines of business or offer new products or services. Any such expansion of our business will involve a number of expenses and risks, which may include:

the time and expense associated with identifying and evaluating potential expansions;
the potential inaccuracy of estimates and judgments used to evaluate credit, operations, management and market risk with respect to target institutions;
potential exposure to unknown or contingent liabilities of the target institution;
exposure to potential asset quality issues of the target institution;
the time and costs of evaluating new markets, hiring local management and opening new offices, and the delay between commencing these activities and the generation of profits from the expansion;
our financing of the expansion;
the diversion of management’s attention to the negotiation of a transaction and the integration of the operations and personnel of the combining businesses;
entry into unfamiliar markets;
the introduction of new products and services into our existing business;
the incurrence and possible impairment of goodwill associated with an acquisition and possible adverse short-term effects on our results of operations;
the risk of loss of key employees and customers; and
difficulty in receiving appropriate regulatory approval for any proposed transaction.

We may incur substantial costs to expand, and we can give no assurance that such expansion will result in the levels of profits we expect. Neither can we assure that integration efforts for any future acquisitions will be successful. We may issue equity securities in connection with acquisitions, which could dilute the economic and voting interests of our existing shareholders.

Any merger or acquisition opportunity that we decide to pursue will ultimately be subject to regulatory approval or other closing conditions. We may expend substantial time and resources pursing potential acquisitions which may not be consummated because regulatory approval or other closing conditions are not satisfied.


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ITEM 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.
 
No response required.
ITEM 2.
PROPERTIES.

Park’s principal executive offices are located at 50 North Third Street, Newark, Ohio 43055.
Park National Bank
As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, Park National Bank, its divisions and its subsidiary Scope Leasing, Inc. have a total of 111 financial service offices in Ohio. Park National Bank has 6 financial service offices (including its main office) and 3 operations centers in Newark in Licking County. In addition, Park National Bank, and its divisions, have:
financial service offices in Ashland, Loudonville and Perrysville in Ashland County;

a financial service office in Athens in Athens County;

a financial service office in West Chester in Butler County;

financial service offices in Urbana (two offices), Mechanicsburg and North Lewisburg in Champaign County;

financial service offices in Springfield (five offices), Enon, Medway, New Carlisle (two offices) and South Charleston in Clark County;

financial service offices in Amelia, Cincinnati, Milford, New Richmond and Owensville in Clermont County;

financial service offices in Coshocton (two offices) in Coshocton County;

financial service offices in Bucyrus, Crestline and Galion in Crawford County;

financial service offices in Greenville (four offices), Arcanum and Versailles in Darke County;

financial service offices in Baltimore, Pickerington and Lancaster (five offices) in Fairfield County;

financial service offices in Canal Winchester, Columbus, Gahanna, Reynoldsburg and Worthington in Franklin County;

financial service offices in Jamestown and Xenia in Greene County;

a financial service office in Cambridge in Guernsey County;

financial service offices in Cincinnati (two offices) in Hamilton County;

a financial service office in Logan in Hocking County;

a financial service office in Millersburg in Holmes County;

financial service offices (3 offices) and an operations center in Mount Vernon as well as financial service offices in Centerburg, Danville and Fredericktown, all in Knox County;

financial service offices in Granville, Heath (two offices), Hebron, Johnstown, Pataskala, and Utica in Licking County;

a financial service office in Plain City in Madison County;

financial service offices in Caledonia, Marion and Prospect in Marion County;

financial service offices in Celina and Fort Recovery in Mercer County;

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financial service offices (two offices) and an operations center in Piqua as well as financial service offices in Tipp City and Troy, all in Miami County;

a financial service office in Mount Gilead in Morrow County;

financial service offices in Zanesville (eight offices), New Concord and Dresden in Muskingum County;

a financial service office in New Lexington in Perry County;

financial service offices in Bellville, Mansfield (six offices), Butler, Lexington, Ontario and Shelby in Richland County;

financial service offices in Newcomerstown and New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County;

a financial service office in Springboro in Warren County; and

a financial service office in Wooster in Wayne County.

The financial service offices in Athens, Coshocton, Guernsey, Hocking, Muskingum, Perry and Tuscarawas Counties comprise the Century National Bank Division. The financial service offices in Canal Winchester and Reynoldsburg in Franklin County and in Fairfield County comprise the Fairfield National Bank Division. The financial service offices in Ashland County comprise the Farmers Bank Division. The financial service offices in Bellville in Richland County and in Holmes, Knox, Morrow and Wayne Counties comprise the First-Knox National Bank Division. The financial service offices in Butler, Clermont and Hamilton Counties comprise The Park National Bank of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky Division. The financial service offices in Richland County (except the Bellville office) comprise the Richland Bank Division. The financial service offices in Darke and Mercer Counties comprise the Second National Bank Division. The financial service offices in Champaign, Clark, Greene, Madison and Warren Counties comprise the Security National Bank Division. The financial service offices in Crawford and Marion Counties comprise the United Bank, N.A. Division. The financial service offices in Miami County comprise the Unity National Bank Division. Of the financial service offices described above, 21 are leased and the remainder are owned. Park National Bank also operates 28 off-site automated teller machines.
Scope Leasing, Inc. has an office located in Columbus in Franklin County, Ohio, which it leases.
Guardian Finance
As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, Guardian Finance has a total of five financial service offices, all of which are located in Ohio. Guardian Finance has its main office in Hilliard in Franklin County, a financial service office in Springfield in Clark County, a financial service office in Lancaster in Fairfield County where it leases space from the Fairfield National Bank Division of Park National Bank, a financial service office in Heath in Licking County, and a financial service office in Springboro in Warren County. All of Guardian Finance’s financial service offices are leased.
SE Property Holdings, LLC
SEPH has one office located in Newark in Licking County, Ohio, which it leases.
ITEM 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.

There are no pending legal proceedings to which Park or any of its subsidiaries is a party to or which any of their property is subject, except for routine legal proceedings to which Park's subsidiaries are parties incidental to their respective businesses. Park considers none of those proceedings to be material.
ITEM 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.

Not applicable.


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

The information called for in this Item 5 by Items 201(a) through 201(c) of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from “Table 43 – Market and Dividend Information” and the accompanying disclosure in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS.”
The following table provides information regarding purchases of Park's Common Shares made by or on behalf of Park or any "affiliated purchaser" as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Exchange Act during the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2017, as well as the maximum number of common shares that may be purchased under Park’s previously announced stock repurchase authorization to fund the 2013 Long-Term Incentive Plan (the "2013 Incentive Plan"), which was replaced on April 24, 2017, the 2017 Long-Term Incentive Plan for Employees (the "2017 Employees LTIP") and the 2017 Long-Term Incentive Plan for Non-Employee Directors (the "2017 Non-Employee Directors LTIP") and Park's previously announced 2017 stock repurchase authorization:

Period
 
Total Number of
Common Shares Purchased
 
Average Price Paid per
Common Share
 
Total Number of
Common Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Maximum Number of Common Shares that May Yet Be Purchased under the Plans or Programs (1)
October 1 through October 31, 2017
 

 

 

 
1,380,000

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
November 1 through November 30, 2017
 

 

 

 
1,380,000

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 1 through December 31, 2017
 

 

 

 
1,380,000

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total
 

 

 

 
 

(1)
The number shown represents, as of the end of each period, the maximum number of common shares that may yet be purchased as part of Park’s publicly announced stock repurchase authorization to fund the 2017 Employees LTIP which became effective on April 24, 2017, the 2017 Non-Employee Directors LTIP which became effective on April 24, 2017 and Park's publicly announced 2017 stock repurchase authorization which became effective on January 23, 2017.

At the 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on April 22, 2013, Park's shareholders approved the 2013 Incentive Plan. The aggregate number of common shares with respect to which awards could be granted under the 2013 Incentive Plan was 600,000. The common shares to be issued and delivered under the 2013 Incentive Plan were to consist of either common shares currently held or common shares subsequently acquired by Park as treasury shares. As of April 24, 2017, the date on which the 2013 Incentive Plan was replaced with respect to the grant of future awards as discussed below, there were outstanding performance-based restricted stock unit awards covering a maximum of 119,587 common shares and 429,889 common shares available for future grants. As of April 24, 2017, Park held sufficient treasury shares to satisfy the outstanding awards under the 2013 Incentive Plan and, as a result, no additional common shares are to be repurchased in order to fund the 2013 Incentive Plan.


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At the 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on April 24, 2017, Park's shareholders approved the 2017 Employees LTIP and the 2017 Non-Employee Directors LTIP. The common shares to be issued and delivered under the 2017 Employees LTIP and the 2017 Non-Employee Directors LTIP may consist of either common shares currently held or common shares subsequently acquired by Park as treasury shares. No newly-issued common shares will be delivered under the 2017 Employees LTIP or the 2017 Non-Employee Directors LTIP. On April 24, 2017, Park's Board of Directors authorized the purchase, from time to time, of up to 750,000 Park common shares and 150,000 common shares, respectively, to be held as treasury shares for subsequent issuance and delivery under the 2017 Employees LTIP and the 2017 Non-Employee Directors LTIP.

The 2017 Employees LTIP and the 2017 Non-Employee Directors LTIP have replaced the provisions of the 2013 Incentive Plan with respect to the grant of future awards. As a result of the approval of the 2017 Employees LTIP and the 2017 Non-Employee Directors LTIP, Park will not grant any additional awards under the 2013 Incentive Plan after April 24, 2017. Awards made under the 2013 Incentive Plan prior to April 24, 2017 will remain in effect in accordance with their respective terms.

On January 23, 2017, the Park Board of Directors authorized Park to purchase, from time to time, up to an aggregate of 500,000 Common Shares. Purchases may be made through NYSE AMERICAN, in the over-the-counter market or in privately negotiated transactions, in each case in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and the rules applicable to issuers having securities listed on NYSE AMERICAN. Purchases will be made upon such terms and conditions and at such times and in such amounts as any one or more of the authorized officers of Park deem to be appropriate, subject to market conditions, regulatory requirements and other factors, and in the best interest of Park and Park's shareholders. The January 23, 2017 stock repurchase authorization is distinct from the stock repurchase authorizations to fund the 2017 Employees LTIP and the 2017 Non-Employee Directors LTIP.

ITEM 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.

The information called for in this Item 6 is incorporated herein by reference from “Table 41 – Consolidated Five-Year Selected Financial Data” and the accompanying disclosure in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS.”
ITEM 7.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.

The information called for in this Item 7 is incorporated herein by reference from the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS.”
ITEM 7A.
QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.

As noted in Table 17 included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” Park’s tax equivalent net interest margin decreased by 4 basis points in 2017 and increased by 13 basis points in 2016. Consistently, over the last several years, Park’s earnings simulation model has projected that changes in interest rates would have only a small impact on net income and the tax equivalent net interest margin. The tax equivalent net interest margin was 3.48%, 3.52% and 3.39% for each of the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The discussion of interest rate sensitivity included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS – CAPITAL RESOURCES – Liquidity and Interest Rate Sensitivity Management” is incorporated herein by reference. In addition, the discussion of Park’s commitments, contingent liabilities and off-balance sheet arrangements included in Park’s 2017 Annual Report under the caption “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS – CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS – Commitments, Contingent Liabilities, and Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements,” and in Note 23 - Financial Instruments with Off-Balance Sheet Risk and Financial Instruments with Concentrations of Credit Risk of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Park’s 2017 Annual Report, is incorporated herein by reference.

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ITEM 8.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA.

The Consolidated Balance Sheets of Park and its subsidiaries at December 31, 2017 and 2016, the related Consolidated Statements of Income, of Comprehensive Income, of Changes in Shareholders’ Equity and of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, the related Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements and the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (Crowe Horwath LLP) in Park’s 2017 Annual Report, are incorporated herein by reference. Quarterly Financial Data provided in “Table 42 – Quarterly Financial Data” and the accompanying disclosure included in the section of Park’s 2017 Annual Report captioned “MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS,” are also incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 9.
CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.

No response required.
ITEM 9A.
CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES.

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
With the participation of the Chief Executive Officer and President (the principal executive officer) and the Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer (the principal financial officer) of Park, Park’s management has evaluated the effectiveness of Park’s disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rule 13a-15(e) under the Exchange Act) as of the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Based on that evaluation, Park’s Chief Executive Officer and President and Park’s Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer have concluded that:
information required to be disclosed by Park in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other reports that Park files or submits under the Exchange Act would be accumulated and communicated to Park’s management, including its principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure;

information required to be disclosed by Park in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other reports that Park files or submits under the Exchange Act would be recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms; and

Park’s disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
The “MANAGEMENT’S REPORT ON INTERNAL CONTROL OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING” included in Park’s 2017 Annual Report is incorporated herein by reference.
Attestation Report of the Registered Public Accounting Firm
The “REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM” included in Park’s 2017 Annual Report is incorporated herein by reference.
Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting
There were no changes in Park’s internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) under the Exchange Act) that occurred during Park’s fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2017, that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, Park’s internal control over financial reporting.
ITEM 9B.
OTHER INFORMATION.

No response required.

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PART III
ITEM 10.
DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE.

Directors, Executive Officers and Persons Nominated or Chosen to Become Directors or Executive Officers
The information required by Item 401 of SEC Regulation S-K concerning the directors of Park and the nominees for election as directors of Park at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 23, 2018 (the “2018 Annual Meeting”) is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption “ELECTION OF DIRECTORS (Proposal 1)” in Park’s definitive Proxy Statement relating to the 2018 Annual Meeting to be filed pursuant to SEC Regulation 14A (“Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement”).
The information required by Item 401 of SEC Regulation S-K concerning the executive officers of Park is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption “EXECUTIVE OFFICERS” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.
Compliance with Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act
The information required by Item 405 of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption “BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF PARK COMMON SHARES – Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.
Committee Charters; Corporate Governance Guidelines; Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
Park’s Board of Directors has adopted charters for each of the Audit Committee, the Compensation Committee, the Executive Committee, the Investment Committee, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and the Risk Committee. Park's Board of Directors has also adopted Corporate Governance Guidelines which are included as Exhibit A to the charter of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
In accordance with the requirements of Section 807 of the NYSE AMERICAN Company Guide, the Board of Directors of Park has adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics covering the directors, officers and employees of Park and Park's affiliates, including Park’s Chairman of the Board, Park's Chief Executive Officer and President (the principal executive officer), Park’s Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer (the principal financial officer) and Park’s Chief Accounting Officer (the principal accounting officer). Park intends to disclose the following events, if they occur, in a current report on Form 8-K within four business days following their occurrence: (A) the date and nature of any amendment to a provision of Park’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that (i) applies to Park’s principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions, (ii) relates to any element of the code of ethics definition enumerated in Item 406(b) of SEC Regulation S-K, and (iii) is not a technical, administrative or other non-substantive amendment; and (B) a description of any waiver (including the nature of the waiver, the name of the person to whom the waiver was granted and the date of the waiver), including an implicit waiver, from a provision of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics granted to Park’s principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions that relates to one or more of the elements of the code of ethics definition set forth in Item 406(b) of SEC Regulation S-K. In addition, Park will disclose any waivers from the provisions of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics granted to a director or an executive officer of Park in a current report on Form 8-K within four business days following their occurrence in accordance with the requirements of Section 807 of the NYSE AMERICAN Company Guide.
The text of each of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, the Audit Committee Charter, the Compensation Committee Charter, the Executive Committee Charter, the Investment Committee Charter, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter (including the Corporate Governance Guidelines) and the Risk Committee Charter is posted on the “Governance Documents” section of the “Investor Relations” page of Park’s Internet site located at http://www.parknationalcorp.com. Interested persons may also obtain copies of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, the Audit Committee Charter, the Compensation Committee Charter, the Executive Committee Charter, the Investment Committee Charter, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter and the Risk Committee Charter, without charge, by writing to the Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of Park at Park National Corporation, 50 North Third Street, P.O. Box 3500, Newark, Ohio 43058-3500, Attention: Brady T. Burt.

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Procedures for Recommending Director Nominees
Information concerning the procedures by which shareholders of Park may recommend nominees to Park's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and Park’s full Board of Directors is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE – Nominating Procedures” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement. These procedures have not materially changed from those described in Park’s definitive Proxy Statement for the 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on April 24, 2017.
Audit Committee
The information required by Items 407(d)(4) and 407(d)(5) of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption “STRUCTURE AND MEETINGS OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS – Committees of the Board – Audit Committee” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.

ITEM 11.
EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION.

The information required by Item 402 of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the captions “EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION” and “DIRECTOR COMPENSATION” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.
The information required by Item 407(e)(4) of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption “COMPENSATION COMMITTEE INTERLOCKS AND INSIDER PARTICIPATION” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.
The information required by Item 407(e)(5) of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption “EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION – Compensation Committee Report” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.

ITEM 12.
SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS.

Beneficial Ownership of Common Shares of Park
The information required by Item 403 of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption “BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF PARK COMMON SHARES” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
The information required by Item 201(d) of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption "EQUITY COMPENSATION PLAN INFORMATION" in Park's 2018 Proxy Statement.
ITEM 13.
CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE.

Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions
The information required by Item 404 of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the captions “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE – Independence of Directors,” “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE – Transactions with Related Persons” and “COMPENSATION COMMITTEE INTERLOCKS AND INSIDER PARTICIPATION” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.

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Director Independence
The information required by Item 407(a) of SEC Regulation S-K is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the caption “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE – Independence of Directors” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.
ITEM 14.
PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES.

The information called for in this Item 14 is incorporated herein by reference from the disclosure to be included under the captions “AUDIT COMMITTEE MATTERS – Pre-Approval of Services Performed by Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” and “AUDIT COMMITTEE MATTERS – Fees of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” in Park’s 2018 Proxy Statement.
PART IV
ITEM 15.     EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES.

(a)(1)     Financial Statements.
The consolidated financial statements (and report thereon) listed below are incorporated herein by reference from Park's 2017 Annual Report as noted:

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (Crowe Horwath LLP) -- Incorporated herein by reference from Park's 2017 Annual Report

Consolidated Balance Sheets at December 31, 2017 and 2016 -- Incorporated herein by reference from Park's 2017 Annual Report

Consolidated Statements of Income for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 -- Incorporated herein by reference from Park's 2017 Annual Report

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 -- Incorporated herein by reference from Park's 2017 Annual Report

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Shareholders' Equity for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 -- Incorporated herein by reference from Park's 2017 Annual Report

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 -- Incorporated herein by reference from Park's 2017 Annual Report

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements -- Incorporated herein by reference from Park's 2017 Annual Report

(a)(2)     Financial Statement Schedules.

All schedules for which provision is made in the applicable accounting regulations of the SEC are not required under the related instructions or are inapplicable and have been omitted.

(a)(3)     Exhibits.

The documents listed in the Index to Exhibits that immediately precedes the Signature pages of this Annual Report on Form 10-K are filed/furnished with this Annual Report on Form 10-K as exhibits or incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference as noted. Each management contract or compensatory plan or arrangement is identified as such in the Index to Exhibits.

(b)
The documents listed in the Index to Exhibits that immediately precedes the Signatures pages of this Annual Report on Form 10-K are filed/furnished with this Annual Report on Form 10-K as exhibits or incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference.



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(c)
Financial Statement Schedules

None.

ITEM 16.     FORM 10-K SUMMARY.

Not applicable.


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Index to Exhibits

Exhibit No.    Description of Exhibit

2.1Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization among Park National Corporation, The Park National Bank and NewDominion Bank, dated as of January 22, 2018 (incorporated herein by reference to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on January 26, 2018 (File No. 1-13006))*

3.1(a)
Articles of Incorporation of Park National Corporation as filed with the Ohio Secretary of State on March 24, 1992 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3(a) to Park National Corporation's Form 8-B, filed on May 20, 1992 (File No. 0-18772) (“Park's Form 8-B”))

3.1(b)
Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation of Park National Corporation as filed with the Ohio Secretary of State on May 6, 1993 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3(b) to Park National Corporation's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 1993 (File No. 0-18772))

3.1(c)Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation of Park National Corporation as filed with the Ohio Secretary of State on April 16, 1996 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3(a) to Park National Corporation's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 1996 (File No. 1-13006))

3.1(d)Certificate of Amendment by Shareholders to the Articles of Incorporation of Park National Corporation as filed with the Ohio Secretary of State on April 22, 1997 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3(a)(1) to Park National Corporation's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 1997 (File No. 1-13006) (“Park's June 30, 1997 Form 10-Q”))

3.1(e)Certificate of Amendment by Shareholders as filed with the Secretary of State of the State of Ohio on December 18, 2008 in order to evidence the adoption by the shareholders of Park National Corporation on December 18, 2008 of an amendment to Article FOURTH of Park National Corporation's Articles of Incorporation to authorize Park National Corporation to issue up to 200,000 preferred shares, without par value (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on December 19, 2008 (File No. 1-13006))

3.1(f)Certificate of Amendment by Directors to Articles as filed with the Secretary of State of the State of Ohio on December 19, 2008, evidencing adoption of amendment by Board of Directors of Park National Corporation to Article FOURTH of Articles of Incorporation to establish express terms of Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Shares, Series A, each without par value, of Park National Corporation (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on December 23, 2008 (File No. 1-13006) (“Park's December 23, 2008 Form 8-K”))

3.1(g)Certificate of Amendment by Shareholders as filed with the Secretary of State of the State of Ohio on April 18, 2011 in order to evidence the adoption by Park National Corporation's shareholders of an amendment to Article SIXTH of Park National Corporation's Articles of Incorporation in order to provide that shareholders do not have preemptive rights (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on April 19, 2011 (File No. 1-13006))

3.1(h)Articles of Incorporation of Park National Corporation [This document represents the Articles of Incorporation of Park National Corporation in compiled form incorporating all amendments. This compiled document has not been filed with the Ohio Secretary of State.] (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.1(h) to Park National Corporation's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2011 (File No. 1-13006))

3.2(a)
Regulations of Park National Corporation (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3(b) to Park's Form 8-B)

3.2(b)Certified Resolution regarding Adoption of Amendment to Subsection 2.02(A) of the Regulations of Park National Corporation by Shareholders on April 21, 1997 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3(b)(1) to Park's June 30, 1997 Form 10-Q)

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3.2(c)Certificate Regarding Adoption of Amendments to Sections 1.04 and 1.11 of Park National Corporation's Regulations by the Shareholders on April 17, 2006 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on April 18, 2006 (File No. 1-13006))

3.2(d)Certificate Regarding Adoption by the Shareholders of Park National Corporation on April 21, 2008 of Amendment to Regulations to Add New Section 5.10 to Article FIVE (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.2(d) to Park National Corporation's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2008 (File No. 1-13006) (“Park's March 31, 2008 Form 10-Q”))

3.2(e)Regulations of Park National Corporation [This document represents the Regulations of Park National Corporation in compiled form incorporating all amendments.] (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 3.2 (e) to Park's March 31, 2008 Form 10-Q)

4.1(a)Junior Subordinated Indenture, dated as of December 5, 2005, between Vision Bancshares, Inc. and Wilmington Trust Company, as Trustee (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.16 to Vision Bancshares, Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10-KSB for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005 (File No. 000-50719))

4.1(b)First Supplemental Indenture, dated to be effective as of 6:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on March 9, 2007, among Wilmington Trust Company, as Trustee; Park National Corporation; and Vision Bancshares, Inc. (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.1(b) to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on March 15, 2007 (File No. 1-13006) (“Park's March 15, 2007 Form 8-K”))

4.2(a)Amended and Restated Trust Agreement, dated as of December 5, 2005, among Vision Bancshares, Inc., as Depositor; Wilmington Trust Company, as Property Trustee and as Delaware Trustee; and the Administrative Trustees named therein, in respect of Vision Bancshares Trust I (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.15 to Vision Bancshares, Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10-KSB for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005 (File No. 000-50719))

Note: Pursuant to the First Supplemental Indenture, dated to be effective as of 6:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on March 9, 2007, among Wilmington Trust Company, as Trustee; Park National Corporation; and Vision Bancshares, Inc., Park National Corporation succeeded to and was substituted for Vision Bancshares, Inc. as “Depositor”

4.2(b)Notice of Resignation of Administrative Trustees and Appointment of Successors, dated March 9, 2007, delivered to Wilmington Trust Company by the Resigning Administrative Trustees named therein, the Successor Administrative Trustees named therein and Park National Corporation (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.2(b) to Park's March 15, 2007 Form 8-K)

4.2(c)Notice of Removal of Administrative Trustee and Appointment of Successor, dated February 21, 2013, delivered to Wilmington Trust Company by the continuing Administrative Trustees named therein, the successor Administrative Trustee named therein and Park National Corporation (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.2(c) to Park National Corporation's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012 (File No. 1-13006) ("Park's 2012 Form 10-K"))

4.3Guarantee Agreement, dated as of December 5, 2005, between Vision Bancshares, Inc., as Guarantor, and Wilmington Trust Company, as Guarantee Trustee, in respect of Vision Bancshares Trust I (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.17 to Vision Bancshares, Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10-KSB for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005 (File No. 000-50719))

Note: Pursuant to the First Supplemental Indenture, dated to be effective as of 6:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on March 9, 2007, among Wilmington Trust Company, as Trustee; Park National Corporation; and Vision Bancshares, Inc., Park National Corporation succeeded to and was substituted for Vision Bancshares, Inc. as “Guarantor”



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4.4Note Purchase Agreement, dated April 20, 2012, between Park National Corporation and 56 accredited investors (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on April 20, 2012 (File No. 1-13006) (“Park's April 20, 2012 Form 8-K”))

Note: 7% Subordinated Notes due April 20, 2022 were repaid in full on April 24, 2017 and Note Purchase Agreement terminated by its terms.

4.5Form of 7% Subordinated Note due April 20, 2022 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 4.2 to Park's April 20, 2012 Form 8-K)

Note: 7% Subordinated Notes due April 20, 2022 were repaid in full on April 24, 2017.

4.6Agreement to furnish instruments and agreements defining rights of holders of long-term debt (filed herewith)

10.1†Summary of Base Salaries for Executive Officers of Park National Corporation (filed herewith)

10.2†Amended and Restated Split-Dollar Agreement, made and entered into effective as of June 15, 2015, between The Park National Bank and David L. Trautman (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2(a) to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on June 19, 2015 (File No. 1-13006) ("Park's June 19, 2015 Form 8-K"))

10.3†Split-Dollar Agreement, made and entered into effective as of June 15, 2015, between The Park National Bank and Brady T. Burt (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to Park's June 19, 2015 Form 8-K)

10.4†Amended and Restated Split-Dollar Agreement, made and entered into effective as of June 15, 2015, between The Park National Bank and C. Daniel DeLawder (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.2(b) to Park's June 19, 2015 Form 8-K)

10.5†Amended and Restated Split-Dollar Agreement, made and entered into effective as of June 15, 2015, between The Park National Bank and David L. Trautman (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.5 to Park National Corporation's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 (File No.1-13006) ("Park's 2015 Form 10-K"))

10.6†Amended and Restated Split-Dollar Agreement, made and entered into effective as of June 15, 2015, between The Park National Bank and Brady T. Burt (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.4 to Park's June 19, 2015 Form 8-K)

10.7†Amended and Restated Split-Dollar Agreement, made and entered into effective as of June 15, 2015, between The Park National Bank and C. Daniel Delawder (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.7 to Park's 2015 Form 10-K)

10.8†Supplemental Executive Retirement Benefits Agreement, made as of June 15, 2015, between The Park National Bank and David L. Trautman (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1(a) to Park's June 19, 2015 Form 8-K)

10.9†Supplemental Executive Retirement Benefits Agreement, made as of June 15, 2015, between The Park National Bank and Brady T. Burt (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1(b) to Park's June 19, 2015 Form 8-K)

10.10†Supplemental Executive Retirement Benefits Agreement, made as of June 15, 2015, between The Park National Bank and C. Daniel DeLawder (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1(c) to Park's June 19, 2015 Form 8-K)

10.11†Supplemental Executive Retirement Benefits Agreement, made as of February 18, 2008, between The Park National Corporation and David L. Trautman (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on February 19, 2008 (File No. 1-13006)("Park's February 19, 2008 Form 8-K"))


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10.12†Form of Amended and Restated Supplemental Executive Retirement Benefits Agreement, made as of February 18, 2008, between Park National Corporation and C. Daniel DeLawder (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to Park's February 19, 2008 Form 8-K)

10.13†Summary of Certain Compensation for Directors of Park National Corporation (filed herewith)

10.14(a)†Form of Split-Dollar Agreement, made and entered into effective as of December 28, 2007, covering Non-Employee Directors of Park National Corporation (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.2(a) to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on January 2, 2008 (File No. 1-13006))

10.14(b)†Schedule identifying Non-Employee Directors of Park National Corporation covered by form of Split-Dollar Agreement, made and entered into effective as of December 28, 2007 (filed herewith)

10.15†Park National Corporation 2013 Long-Term Incentive Plan (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to Park National Corporation’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on April 23, 2013 (File No. 1-13006))
10.16†Form of Park National Corporation 2013 Long-Term Incentive Plan Performance-Based Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement used to evidence awards of Performance-Based Restricted Stock Units to employees of Park National Corporation and of its subsidiaries granted on and after January 24, 2014 and prior to December 5, 2016 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to Park National Corporation’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on January 27, 2014 (File No. 1-13006))
10.17†Form of Park National Corporation 2013 Long-Term Incentive Plan Performance-Based Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement used and to be used to evidence awards of Performance-Based Restricted Stock Units to employees of Park National Corporation and of its subsidiaries granted on and after December 5, 2016 and prior to April 24, 2017 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on December 8, 2016 (File No. 1-13006))
10.18†Park National Corporation 2017 Long-Term Incentive Plan for Non-Employee Directors (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on April 26, 2017 (File No. 1-13006)) ("Park's April 26, 2017 Form 8-K")
10.19†Park National Corporation 2017 Long-Term Plan for Employees (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to Park's April 26, 2017 Form 8-K)
10.20†Form of Park National Corporation 2017 Long-Term Incentive Plan for Employees Performance-Based Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement used and to be used to evidence awards of Performance-Based Restricted Stock Units to employees of Park National Corporation and of its subsidiaries granted after December 4, 2017 (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on December 5, 2017 (File No. 1-13006))
10.21Credit Agreement, dated as of May 18, 2016, by and between Park National Corporation and U.S. Bank National Association (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on May 23, 2016 (File No. 1-13006) ("Park's May 23, 2016 Form 8-K"))
10.22Note issued by Park National Corporation on May 18, 2016 to U.S. Bank National Association (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.2 to Park's May 23, 2016 Form 8-K)
10.23First Amendment to Credit Agreement, made and entered into as of June 15, 2017, between Park National Corporation and U.S. Bank National Association (incorporated herein by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to Park National Corporation's Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on June 16, 2017 (File No. 1-13006))
132017 Annual Report (not deemed filed except for portions thereof which are specifically incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K) (specified portions filed herewith)

14Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, as amended January 19, 2018 (filed herewith)

21Subsidiaries of Park National Corporation (filed herewith)

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23Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (Crowe Horwath LLP) (filed herewith)

24Powers of Attorney of Directors and Executive Officers of Park National Corporation (filed herewith)

31.1Rule 13a-14(a)/15d-14(a) Certifications - Principal Executive Officer (filed herewith)

31.2Rule 13a-14(a)/15d-14(a) Certifications - Principal Financial Officer (filed herewith)

32Certifications Pursuant to Section 1350 of Chapter 63 of Title 18 of the United States Code - Principal Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer (furnished herewith)
101The following materials from Park National Corporation's 2017 Annual Report and incorporated therefrom into Park National Corporation's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, formatted in XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T: (i) the Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2017 and 2016; (ii) the Consolidated Statements of Income for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015; (iii) the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015; (iv) the Consolidated Statements of Changes in Shareholders' Equity for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015; (v) the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015; and (vi) the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (electronically submitted herewith)
___________________

*
Schedules have been omitted pursuant to Item 601(b)(2) of SEC Regulation S-K. A copy of any omitted schedules will be furnished supplementally to the SEC upon its request.

Management contract or compensatory plan or arrangement.




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SIGNATURES
Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this Report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.
 
PARK NATIONAL CORPORATION
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Date: February 27, 2018
By:
/s/ David L. Trautman
 
 
David L. Trautman,
 
 
Chief Executive Officer and President
 
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this Report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the Registrant and in the capacities indicated on the 27th day of February, 2018.
Name
Capacity
 
/s/ David L. Trautman
David L. Trautman
 
Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
 
/s/ C. Daniel DeLawder
C. Daniel DeLawder
 
Chairman of the Board and Director
 
/s/ Brady T. Burt
Brady T. Burt
 
Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer
 
/s/ Kelly A. Edds
Kelly A. Edds
 
Chief Accounting Officer
 
/s/ Donna M. Alvarado*
Donna M. Alvarado
 
Director
 
/s/ James R. DeRoberts*
James R. DeRoberts
 
Director
 
/s/ F. William Englefield IV*
F. William Englefield IV
 
Director
 
/s/ Alicia J. Hupp*
Alicia J. Hupp
 
Director
 
/s/ Stephen J. Kambeitz*
Stephen J. Kambeitz
 
Director
 
/s/ Timothy S. McLain*
Timothy S. McLain
 
Director
 
/s/ Robert E. O’Neill*
Robert E. O’Neill
 
Director

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Name
Capacity
 /s/ Julia A. Sloat*
Julia A. Sloat
 
Director
 
/s/ Rick R. Taylor*
Rick R. Taylor
 
Director
 
/s/ Leon Zazworsky*
Leon Zazworsky
 
Director
 
__________________________
*
The above-named directors of the Registrant sign this Annual Report on Form 10-K by David L. Trautman, their attorney-in-fact, pursuant to Powers of Attorney signed by the above-named directors, which Powers of Attorney are filed with this Annual Report on Form 10-K in Exhibit 24, in the capacities indicated and on the 27th day of February, 2018.
By:
/s/ David L. Trautman
 
David L. Trautman
 
Chief Executive Officer and President
 
Attorney-in-Fact
 



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Section 2: EX-4.6 (EXHIBIT 4.6)

Exhibit


Exhibit 4.6

PARK NATIONAL CORPORATION
50 North Third Street
Post Office Box 3500
Newark, Ohio 43058-3500
(740) 349-8451
www.parknationalcorp.com

February 27, 2018



United States Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20549


Re:     Park National Corporation
Commission File Number: 1-13006
Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Fiscal Year
Ended December 31, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Park National Corporation, an Ohio corporation (“Park”), is today filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Park for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 (“Park's 2017 Form 10-K”).
Neither (i) Park nor (ii) any of Park's consolidated subsidiaries has outstanding any instrument or agreement with respect to its long-term debt under which the total amount of long-term debt authorized exceeds 10% of the total assets of Park and Park's subsidiaries on a consolidated basis. In accordance with the provisions of Item 601(b)(4)(iii) of SEC Regulation S-K, Park hereby agrees to furnish to the SEC, upon request, a copy of each instrument or agreement defining (i) the rights of holders of long-term debt of Park or (ii) the rights of holders of long-term debt of a consolidated subsidiary of Park, in each case which is not being filed or incorporated by reference as an exhibit to Park's 2017 Form 10-K.

Very truly yours,
PARK NATIONAL CORPORATION
/s/ Brady T. Burt     
Brady T. Burt
Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer



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Section 3: EX-10.1 (EXHIBIT 10.1)

Exhibit


Exhibit 10.1


Summary of Base Salaries
for
Executive Officers of Park National Corporation

On December 4, 2017, the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of Park National Corporation (“Park”) approved the base salaries for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018, for each of the executive officers of Park: (a) David L. Trautman, Chief Executive Officer and President of each of Park and The Park National Bank; (b) C. Daniel DeLawder, Chairman of the Board of Park and Chairman of the Board and full-time executive employee of The Park National Bank, a subsidiary of Park; and (c) Brady T. Burt, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of Park and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Park National Bank. Those base salaries, which are the same as the base salaries for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, are:
* David L. Trautman -- $785,000
* C. Daniel DeLawder -- $575,000
* Brady T. Burt -- $350,000



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Section 4: EX-10.13 (EXHIBIT 10.13)

Exhibit


Exhibit 10.13

Summary of Certain Compensation for
Directors of Park National Corporation

Annual Retainers and Meeting Fees
Annual Retainers Payable in Common Shares
Each director of Park National Corporation (“Park”) who is not an employee of Park or one of Park’s subsidiaries (a “non-employee director”) receives, on the date of the regular meeting of the Park Board of Directors held during the fourth fiscal quarter, an annual retainer in the form of common shares awarded under the 2017 Long-Term Incentive Plan for Non-Employee Directors. The number of common shares awarded as the annual retainer for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 (the “2017 fiscal year”) was 300 common shares. These common shares were delivered on the date of the regular meeting of the Park Board of Directors held October 23, 2017.
Each non-employee director of Park also serves on either the board of directors of The Park National Bank (“Park National Bank”) or the advisory board of one of the divisions of Park National Bank, and receives, on the date of the regular meeting of the Park Board of Directors held during the fourth fiscal quarter, an annual retainer in the form of: (a) 150 common shares for members of the board of directors of Park National Bank; and (b) 100 common shares for members of the advisory board of a division of Park National Bank. These common shares were also delivered on October 23, 2017.
Cash Compensation
The following table sets forth the cash compensation paid by Park to Park’s non-employee directors for the 2017 fiscal year.
 
 
2017 Fiscal Year Prior to April 25, 2017
2017 Fiscal Year From and After April 25, 2017
Meeting Fees:
 
 
Each meeting of Board of Directors attended (1)
$
1,200

$
1,200

Each meeting of Executive Committee attended
$
900

$
900

Each meeting of Audit Committee attended
$
900

$
900

Each meeting of each other Board Committee attended
$
600

$
750

Annual Retainers:
 
 
Annual Retainer for Committee Chairs:
 
 
 
Audit Committee
$
7,500

$
10,000

 
Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee
$
5,000

$
7,000

 
Compensation Committee
$
5,000

$
7,000

 
Risk Committee
$
5,000

$
7,000

Annual Retainer for Other Committee Members:
 
 
 
Executive Committee
$
5,000

$
5,000

 
Audit Committee
$
5,000

$
5,000

 
Risk Committee
$
2,500

$
3,500

 
Compensation Committee
$
2,500

$
3,500

 
Investment Committee
$
2,500

$
3,500

 
Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee
$
2,500

$
3,500

Lead Director Additional Annual Retainer
$
15,000

$
15,000

_________________________






(1)    If the date of a meeting of the full Board of Directors is changed from that provided for by resolution of the Board and a Park non-employee director is not able to attend the rescheduled meeting, he or she receives the meeting fee as though he or she attended the meeting.
(2) The annual retainers are paid on the date of the Annual Meeting of Shareholders held during the fiscal year. Only those individuals continuing to serve as non-employee directors immediately following the Annual Meeting of Shareholders receive the annual retainers applicable to the positions they hold.

Each non-employee of Park also serves on either the board of directors of Park National Bank or the advisory board of one of the divisions of Park National Bank and, in some cases, receives a specified amount of cash for such service as well as fees for attendance at meetings of the board of directors of Park National Bank or the advisory board of the applicable division of Park National Bank (and committees of the respective boards).
In addition to the annual retainers and meeting fees discussed above, non-employee directors also receive reimbursement of all reasonable travel and other expenses of attending board and committee meetings.
David L. Trautman and C. Daniel DeLawder receive no compensation for: (i) serving as a member of the Board of Directors of Park; (ii) serving as a member of the board of directors of Park National Bank; or (iii) serving as a member of any committee of the respective boards.






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Section 5: EX-10.14 (EXHIBIT 10.14)

Exhibit


Exhibit 10.14(b)

Schedule identifying Non-Employee Directors
of Park National Corporation covered by form
of Split-Dollar Agreement,  made and
  entered into effective as of December 28, 2007  

The following directors of Park National Corporation (“Park”) are covered by Split-Dollar Agreements (the “Split-Dollar Agreements”) as identified below, which Split-Dollar Agreements are identical to the form of Split-Dollar Agreement, made and entered into effective as of December 28, 2007, filed as Exhibit 10.2(a) to Park’s Current Report on Form 8-K dated and filed on January 2, 2008 (File No. 1-13006):

Name of Director
Subsidiary of Park which is a Party to
Split-Dollar Agreement
Date of Split-
Dollar Agreement
 
 
 
Donna M. Alvarado
The Park National Bank
December 28, 2007
F. William Englefield IV
The Park National Bank
December 28, 2007
Robert E. O’Neill
The Park National Bank
December 28, 2007
Rick R. Taylor
The Park National Bank (as successor by merger to The Richland Trust Company)
December 28, 2007
Leon Zazworsky
The Park National Bank
December 28, 2007



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Section 6: EX-13 (EXHIBIT 13)

Exhibit

Exhibit 13
MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
 
Management's discussion and analysis addresses the financial condition and results of operations for Park National Corporation and our subsidiaries (unless the context otherwise requires, collectively, "Park" or the "Corporation").  This discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes and the five-year summary of selected financial data.  Management’s discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that are provided to assist in the understanding of anticipated future financial performance. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations or forecasts of future events and are not guarantees of future performance. The forward-looking statements are based on management’s expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially include, without limitation: Park's ability to execute our business plan successfully and within the expected timeframe; general economic and financial market conditions, specifically in the real estate markets and the credit markets, either nationally or in the states in which Park and our subsidiaries do business, may experience a slowing or reversal of the recent economic expansion in addition to continuing residual effects of recessionary conditions and an uneven spread of positive impacts of recovery on the economy and our counterparties, resulting in adverse impacts on the demand for loan, deposit and other financial services, delinquencies, defaults and counterparties' ability to meet credit and other obligations; changes in interest rates and prices may adversely impact the value of securities, loans, deposits and other financial instruments and the interest rate sensitivity of our consolidated balance sheet as well as reduce interest margins and impact loan demand; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and saving habits, whether due to the newly-enacted tax legislation, changing business and economic conditions, legislative and regulatory initiatives, or other factors; changes in unemployment; changes in customers', suppliers', and other counterparties' performance and creditworthiness; asset/liability repricing risks and liquidity risks; our liquidity requirements could be adversely affected by changes to regulations governing bank and bank holding company capital and liquidity standards as well as by changes in our assets and liabilities; competitive factors among financial services organizations could increase significantly, including product and pricing pressures, changes to third-party relationships and our ability to attract, develop and retain qualified bank professionals; clients could pursue alternatives to bank deposits, causing us to lose a relatively inexpensive source of funding; uncertainty regarding the nature, timing and effect of changes in banking regulations or other regulatory or legislative requirements affecting the respective businesses of Park and our subsidiaries, including major reform of the regulatory oversight structure of the financial services industry, such as the easing of restrictions on participants in the financial services industry, and changes in laws and regulations concerning taxes, pensions, bankruptcy, consumer protection, accounting, bank products and services, bank capital and liquidity standards, fiduciary standards, securities and other aspects of the financial services industry, specifically the reforms provided for in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and the Basel III regulatory capital reforms, as well as regulations already adopted and which may be adopted in the future by the relevant regulatory agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the OCC, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve Board, to implement the Dodd-Frank Act's provisions, and the Basel III regulatory capital reforms; the effect of changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the SEC, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and other regulatory agencies, and the accuracy of our assumptions and estimates used to prepare our financial statements; changes in law and policy accompanying the new presidential administration, including the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and uncertainty or speculation pending the enactment of such changes; uncertainties in Park's preliminary review of, and additional analysis of, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; the effect of healthcare laws in the United States and potential changes for such laws which may increase our healthcare and other costs and negatively impact our operations and financial results; significant changes in the tax laws, which may adversely affect the fair values of net deferred tax assets and obligations of state and political subdivisions held in Park's investment securities portfolio; the effect of trade, monetary, fiscal and other governmental policies of the U.S. federal government, including money supply and interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve Board; disruption in the liquidity and other functioning of U.S. financial markets; the impact on financial markets and the economy of any changes in the credit ratings of the U.S. Treasury obligations and other U.S. government-backed debt, as well as issues surrounding the levels of U.S., European and Asian government debt and concerns regarding the creditworthiness of certain sovereign governments, supranationals and financial institutions in Europe and Asia; the uncertainty surrounding the actions to be taken to implement the referendum by United Kingdom voters to exit the European Union; our litigation and regulatory compliance costs and exposure, including any adverse developments in legal proceedings or other claims and unfavorable resolution of regulatory and other governmental examinations or other inquiries; the adequacy of our risk management program; the impact of our ability to anticipate and respond to technological changes on our ability to respond to customer needs and meet competitive demands; the ability to secure confidential information and deliver products and services through the use of computer systems and telecommunications networks; a failure in or breach of our operational or security systems or infrastructure, or those of our third-party vendors and other service providers, including as a result of cyber attacks; fraud, scams and schemes of third parties; the impact of widespread natural and other disasters, pandemics, dislocations, civil unrest,

1


terrorist activities or international hostilities on the economy and financial markets generally or on us or our counterparties specifically; demand for loans in the respective market areas served by Park and our subsidiaries; the ability to obtain required governmental and shareholder approvals with respect to, and the ability to complete, the proposed merger transaction involving Park, The Park National Bank, and NewDominion Bank (the “NewDominion Transaction”) on the proposed terms and within the expected timeframe; the risk that the businesses of Park National Bank and NewDominion Bank will not be integrated successfully or such integration may be more difficult, time-consuming or costly than expected; expected revenue synergies and cost savings from the NewDominion Transaction may not be fully realized within the expected timeframe; revenues following the NewDominion Transaction may be lower than expected; customer and employee relationships and business operations may be disrupted by the NewDominion Transaction; and other risk factors relating to Park, our subsidiaries and/or the banking industry as detailed from time to time in Park's reports filed with the SEC including those described in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" of Part I of Park's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. Park does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to publicly release the results of any revisions that may be made to update any forward-looking statement to reflect the events or circumstances after the date on which the forward-looking statement was made, or reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except to the extent required by law.

OVERVIEW

Financial Results by segment
The table below reflects the net income (loss) by segment for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015. Park's segments include The Park National Bank ("PNB"), Guardian Financial Services Company (“GFSC”), SE Property Holdings, LLC ("SEPH") and all other which primarily consists of Park as the "Parent Company."
  
Table 1
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss) by segment
 
 
 
 
 
(In thousands)
2017
 
2016
 
2015
PNB
$
87,315

 
$
84,451

 
$
84,345

GFSC
260

 
(307
)
 
1,423

Parent Company
(2,457
)
 
(4,557
)
 
(4,549
)
   Ongoing operations
$
85,118

 
$
79,587

 
$
81,219

SEPH
(876
)
 
6,548

 
(207
)
   Total Park
$
84,242

 
$
86,135

 
$
81,012


The category “Parent Company” above excludes the results for SEPH, an entity which is winding down commensurate with the disposition of its problem assets. Management considers the “Ongoing operations” results, which exclude the results of SEPH, to reflect the business of Park and our subsidiaries going forward. The following discussion below provides additional information regarding the segments that make up the “Ongoing operations”, followed by additional information regarding SEPH.


2


On December 22, 2017, “H.R.1,” known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” was signed into law.  Among other things, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanently lowers the corporate federal income tax rate to 21% from the existing maximum rate of 35%, effective January 1, 2018.  As a result of the reduction of the corporate federal income tax rate to 21%, U.S. generally accepted accounting principles require companies to re-value certain tax-related assets and liabilities as of the date of enactment, with the resulting tax effects accounted for in the reporting period of enactment.  This re-valuation impacted Park’s net deferred tax liabilities and qualified affordable housing tax credit investments.  The effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was an increase to federal income tax expense at Park of $1.2 million. A breakout of the impact to Park's segments is below.

Table 2
 
 
 
 
2017
(In thousands)
Federal income tax expense (as reported)
Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Federal income tax expense excluding the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
PNB
$
34,881

$
(803
)
$
35,684

GFSC
666

341

325

Parent Company
(2,695
)
494

(3,189
)
SEPH
1,375

1,201

174

   Total Park
$
34,227

$
1,233

$
32,994



The Park National Bank ("PNB")

The table below reflects PNB's net income for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015.
Table 3
 
 
 
(In thousands)
2017
2016
2015
Net interest income
$
235,243

$
227,576

$
220,879

Provision for loan losses
9,898

2,611

7,665

Other income
77,126

74,803

75,188

Other expense
180,275

177,562

167,476

Income before income taxes
$
122,196

$
122,206

$
120,926

    Federal income tax expense
34,881

37,755

36,581

Net income
$
87,315

$
84,451

$
84,345


Net interest income of $235.2 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 represented a $7.6 million, or 3.4%, increase compared to $227.6 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was the result of a $13.5 million increase in interest income offset by a $5.9 million increase in interest expense.
The $13.5 million increase in interest income was due to a $10.1 million increase in interest income on loans, along with a $3.4 million increase in interest income on investments. The increase in interest income on loans was largely the result of a $208 million, or 4.1%, increase in average loans from $5.08 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, to $5.29 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. Included in interest income for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 was $233,000 and $801,000 in interest income, respectively, related to PNB participations in legacy Vision Bank ("Vision") assets.
The $5.9 million increase in interest expense was due to a $5.7 million increase in interest expense on deposits, and a $173,000 increase in interest expense on borrowings. The increase in interest expense on deposits was partially the result of a $183 million, or 4.4%, increase in average interest-bearing deposits from $4.16 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, to $4.34 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. Additionally, the cost of deposits increased by 12 basis points from 0.32% for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 to 0.44% for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.

3


The provision for loan losses of $9.9 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 represented an increase of $7.3 million, compared to $2.6 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. Refer to the “CREDIT EXPERIENCE - Provision for (Recovery of) Loan Losses” section for additional details regarding the level of the provision for loan losses recognized in each period presented above.
Other income of $77.1 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 represented an increase of $2.3 million, or 3.1%, compared to $74.8 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. The $2.3 million increase was primarily related to a $2.3 million increase in fiduciary income, a $741,000 increase in check card fee income, and income of $478,000 related to proceeds from the death benefits paid from bank owned life insurance policies compared to $40,000 of such income in 2016, offset by a $1.6 million decrease in service charges on deposit accounts.
Other expense of $180.3 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 represented an increase of $2.7 million, or 1.5%, compared to $177.6 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. The $2.7 million increase was primarily related to a $5.0 million increase in salaries expense, a $750,000 increase in employee benefits expense, a $1.6 million increase in data processing fees, a $1.6 million increase in furniture and equipment expense, a $580,000 increase in insurance expense, and a $532,000 increase in professional fees and services, offset by a $5.6 million decrease in debt prepayment penalties, an $878,000 decrease in non-loan related losses which are included in miscellaneous expense, and a $493,000 decrease in contribution expense.

The impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a reduction of $803,000 to federal income tax expense at PNB.

PNB's results for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 included income and expense related to participations in legacy Vision assets. The impact of these participations on particular items within PNB's income and expense for these fiscal years is detailed in the table below:

Table 4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
(In thousands)
 PNB as reported
Adjustments (1)
 PNB as adjusted
 
 PNB as reported
Adjustments (1)
 PNB as adjusted
 
 PNB as reported
Adjustments (1)
 PNB as adjusted
Net interest income
$
235,243

$
233

$
235,010

 
$
227,576

$
801

$
226,775

 
$
220,879

$
241

$
220,638

Provision for (recovery of) loan losses
9,898

(5
)
9,903

 
2,611

(3,118
)
5,729

 
7,665

(1,453
)
9,118

Other income
77,126

244

76,882

 
74,803

194

74,609

 
75,188

1,225

73,963

Other expense
180,275

492

179,783

 
177,562

662

176,900

 
167,476

700

166,776

Income (loss) before income taxes
$
122,196

$
(10
)
$
122,206

 
$
122,206

$
3,451

$
118,755

 
$
120,926

$
2,219

$
118,707

Federal income tax expense (benefit)
34,881

(3
)
34,884

 
37,755

1,066

36,689

 
36,581

671

35,910

Net income (loss)
$
87,315

$
(7
)
$
87,322

 
$
84,451

$
2,385

$
82,066

 
$
84,345

1,548

$
82,797

(1) Adjustments consist of the impact on the particular items reported in PNB's income statement of PNB participations in legacy Vision assets.


4


The table below provides certain balance sheet information and financial ratios for PNB as of or for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.
Table 5
 
 
 
 
(In thousands)
December 31, 2017
December 31, 2016
 
% change from 12/31/16
Loans
$
5,339,255

$
5,234,828

 
1.99
 %
Allowance for loan losses
47,607

48,782

 
(2.41
)%
Net loans
5,291,648

5,186,046

 
2.04
 %
Investment securities
1,507,926

1,573,320

 
(4.16
)%
Total assets
7,467,851

7,389,538

 
1.06
 %
Total deposits
5,896,676

5,630,199

 
4.73
 %
Average assets (1)
7,664,725

7,337,438

 
4.46
 %
Efficiency ratio
56.81
%
58.26
%
 
(2.49
)%
Return on average assets
1.14
%
1.15
%
 
(0.87
)%
(1) Average assets for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.

Loans outstanding at December 31, 2017 were $5.34 billion, compared to $5.23 billion at December 31, 2016, an increase of $104.4 million, or 2.0%. The loan growth for 2017 consisted of consumer loan growth of $118.0 million (10.5%) and commercial loan growth of $51.7 million (1.9%), offset by reductions in home equity line of credit loan balances of $9.2 million (4.4%) and residential loan balances of $53.8 million (4.4%).

PNB's allowance for loan losses decreased by $1.2 million, or 2.4%, to $47.6 million at December 31, 2017, compared to $48.8 million at December 31, 2016. Net charge-offs were $11.1 million, or 0.21% of total average loans, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. Net charge-offs consisted of net charge-offs of consumer loans of $4.4 million, commercial loans of $5.7 million, mortgage loans of $307,000 and other loans of $704,000. Refer to the “CREDIT EXPERIENCE - Provision for (Recovery of) Loan Losses” section for additional information regarding PNB's loan portfolio and the level of provision for (recovery of) loan losses recognized in each period presented.

Total deposits at December 31, 2017 were $5.90 billion, compared to $5.63 billion at December 31, 2016, an increase of $266.5 million, or 4.7%. The deposit growth for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 consisted of savings deposit growth of $184.0 million (10.8%), transaction account growth of $85.6 million (7.3%), and non-interest bearing deposit growth of $81.3 million (5.0%), offset by a reduction in time deposits of $84.4 million (7.5%).

During the fourth quarter of 2017, Park utilized excess fed funds to repay $350 million of long-term debt which matured during November 2017. The effective interest rate on the long-term debt was 3.22%.

Guardian Financial Services Company ("GFSC")

The table below reflects GFSC's net income (loss) for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015.
Table 6
 
 
 
(In thousands)
2017
2016
2015
Net interest income
$
5,839

$
5,874

$
6,588

Provision for loan losses
1,917

1,887

1,415

Other income (loss)
40

(1
)
2

Other expense
3,036

4,457

2,984

Income (loss) before income taxes
$
926

$
(471
)
$
2,191

    Federal income tax expense (benefit)
666

(164
)
768

Net income (loss)
$
260

$
(307
)
$
1,423



5


The provision for loan losses of $1.9 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 represented an increase of $30,000, compared to $1.9 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. Refer to the “CREDIT EXPERIENCE - Provision for (Recovery of) Loan Losses” section for additional information regarding Guardian's loan portfolio and the level of provision for loan losses recognized in each period presented.

Other expense of $3.0 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 represented a $1.4 million decrease, compared to $4.4 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. This decrease was primarily related to the evaluation of respective litigation accruals during 2017 and 2016.

The impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was an increase of $341,000 to federal income tax expense at GFSC.

The table below provides certain balance sheet information and financial ratios for GFSC as of December 31, 2017 and 2016.
Table 7
 
 
 
 
(In thousands)
December 31, 2017
December 31, 2016
 
% change from 12/31/16
Loans
$
33,385

$
32,661

 
2.22
 %
Allowance for loan losses
2,382

1,842

 
29.32
 %
Net loans
31,003

30,819

 
0.60
 %
Total assets
32,077

32,268

 
(0.59
)%
Average assets (1)
33,509

33,370

 
0.42
 %
Return on average assets
0.78
%
(0.92
)%
 
N.M.

(1) Average assets for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.
N.M - Not meaningful

Park Parent Company

The table below reflects the Park Parent Company's net loss for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015.
Table 8
 
 
 
(In thousands)
2017
2016
2015
Net interest income (expense)
$
588

$
(138
)
$
239

Provision for loan losses



Other income
3,065

955

513

Other expense
8,805

9,731

9,972

Loss before income tax benefit
$
(5,152
)
$
(8,914
)
$
(9,220
)
    Federal income tax benefit
(2,695
)
(4,357
)
(4,671
)
Net loss
$
(2,457
)
$
(4,557
)
$
(4,549
)

The net interest income (expense) for Park's parent company included, for all periods presented, interest income on subordinated debt investments in PNB, which were eliminated in the consolidated Park National Corporation totals. For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, the net interest income (expense) included interest income on loans to SEPH (paid off on December 14, 2016). Additionally, net interest income (expense) included interest expense related to the $30.0 million of 7% Subordinated Notes due April 20, 2022 issued by Park to accredited investors on April 20, 2012, which Park prepaid in full (principal plus accrued interest) on April 24, 2017.

Other income of $3.1 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 represented an increase of $2.1 million compared to $955,000 for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. The $2.1 million increase was related to a $738,000 increase in income from certain equity investments and a $1.8 million gain in 2017 related to the sale of equity securities.


6


Other expense of $8.8 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 represented a decrease of $926,000, or 9.5%, compared to $9.7 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. The $926,000 decrease was primarily related to a decrease of $693,000 in professional fees and services, a $253,000 decrease in miscellaneous other expense and a $286,000 decrease in employee benefit expense, offset by an increase of $191,000 in salaries expense and an increase of $141,000 in state tax expense.

The impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was an increase of $494,000 to federal income tax expense at the Parent Company.

SE Property Holdings, LLC ("SEPH")

The table below reflects SEPH's net (loss) income for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015. SEPH holds the remaining assets and liabilities retained by Vision subsequent to the sale of the Vision business on February 16, 2012. Prior to holding the remaining Vision assets, SEPH held OREO assets that were transferred from Vision to SEPH. This segment represents a run-off portfolio of the legacy Vision assets.

Table 9
 
 
 
(In thousands)
2017
2016
2015
Net interest income (expense)
$
2,089

$
4,774

$
(74
)
Recovery of loan losses
(3,258
)
(9,599
)
(4,090
)
Other income
404

2,974

1,848

Other expense
5,252

7,273

6,182

Income (loss) before income taxes
$
499

$
10,074

$
(318
)
    Federal income tax expense (benefit)
1,375

3,526

(111
)
Net (loss) income
$
(876
)
$
6,548

$
(207
)

Net interest income decreased to $2.1 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 from $4.8 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. The decrease was largely the result of a decline in interest payments received from SEPH impaired loan relationships.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, SEPH had net recoveries of loan losses of $3.3 million, compared to $9.6 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.

The $2.0 million decrease in other expense for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, compared to the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, was primarily the result of a $2.0 million decline in management and consulting fees.

The impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was an increase of $1.2 million to federal income tax expense at SEPH.

Legacy Vision assets at SEPH totaled $18.8 million as of December 31, 2017, compared to $20.3 million at December 31, 2016. In addition to these SEPH assets, PNB participations in legacy Vision assets totaled $9.0 million at December 31, 2017, compared to $9.6 million at December 31, 2016.



7


Park National Corporation

The table below reflects Park's net income for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015.
Table 10
 
 
 
(In thousands)
2017
2016
2015
Net interest income
$
243,759

$
238,086

$
227,632

Provision for (recovery of) loan losses
8,557

(5,101
)
4,990

Other income
80,635

78,731

77,551

Other expense
197,368

199,023

186,614

Income before income taxes
$
118,469

$
122,895

$
113,579

    Federal income tax expense
34,227

36,760

32,567

Net income
$
84,242

$
86,135

$
81,012


DIVIDENDS ON COMMON SHARES
Cash dividends declared on Park's common shares were $3.76 in 2017, 2016 and 2015. The quarterly cash dividend on Park's common shares was $0.94 per share for each quarter of 2017, 2016 and 2015. 
 
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES
The significant accounting policies used in the development and presentation of Park’s consolidated financial statements are listed in Note 1 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.  The accounting and reporting policies of Park conform with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and general practices within the financial services industry.  The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and the accompanying notes.  Actual results could differ from those estimates.
 
Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses ("ALLL") - The determination of the ALLL involves a higher degree of judgment and complexity than Park's other significant accounting policies.  The ALLL is calculated with the objective of maintaining a reserve level believed by management to be sufficient to absorb probable, incurred credit losses in the loan portfolio. Management’s determination of the adequacy of the ALLL is based on periodic evaluations of the loan portfolio and of current economic conditions.  However, this evaluation is inherently subjective as it requires material estimates, including expected default probabilities, the loss given default, the amounts and timing of expected future cash flows on impaired loans, and estimated losses based on historical loss experience and current economic conditions.  All of these factors may be susceptible to significant change.  To the extent that actual results differ from management estimates, additional loan loss provisions may be required that would adversely impact earnings for future periods. 
 
Other Real Estate Owned ("OREO") - OREO, property acquired through foreclosure, is recorded at estimated fair value less anticipated selling costs (net realizable value). If the net realizable value is below the carrying value of the loan on the date of transfer of the OREO, the difference is charged off against the ALLL. Subsequent declines in value (OREO devaluations) are reported as adjustments to the carrying amount of OREO and are expensed within other income. Gains or losses not previously recognized, resulting from the sale of OREO, are recognized within other income on the date of sale.  At December 31, 2017, OREO totaled $14.2 million, an increase of 1.9%, compared to $13.9 million at December 31, 2016.
 
Fair Value - In accordance with GAAP, management utilizes the fair value hierarchy, which has the objective of maximizing the use of observable market inputs.  The accounting guidance also requires disclosures regarding the inputs used to calculate fair value. These inputs are classified as Level 1, 2, and 3. Level 3 inputs are those with significant unobservable inputs that reflect a company’s own assumptions about the market for a particular instrument. Some of the inputs could be based on internal models and/or cash flow analyses. The large majority of Park’s financial assets valued using Level 2 inputs consist of available-for-sale (“AFS”) securities. The fair value of these AFS securities is obtained largely by the use of matrix pricing, which is a mathematical technique widely used in the financial services industry to value debt securities without relying exclusively on quoted market prices for the specific securities but rather by relying on the securities’ relationship to other benchmark quoted securities.


8


Goodwill - The accounting for goodwill also involves a higher degree of judgment than most other significant accounting policies. GAAP establishes standards for the impairment assessment of goodwill. Goodwill arising from business combinations represents the value attributable to unidentifiable intangible assets in the business acquired. Park’s goodwill relates to the value inherent in the banking industry and that value is dependent upon the ability of PNB, Park’s national bank subsidiary, to provide quality, cost-effective banking services in a competitive marketplace. The goodwill value is supported by revenue that is in part driven by the volume of business transacted. A decrease in earnings resulting from a decline in the customer base, the inability to deliver cost-effective services over sustained periods or significant credit problems can lead to impairment of goodwill that could adversely impact earnings in future periods. Under GAAP, goodwill is no longer amortized but is subject to an annual evaluation for impairment, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset might be impaired, by assessing qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If after assessing these events or circumstances, it is concluded that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then performing additional analysis is unnecessary. If the carrying amount of the goodwill exceeds the fair value, an impairment charge must be recorded in an amount equal to the excess, not to exceed total goodwill allocated to the reporting unit. At December 31, 2017, on a consolidated basis, Park had $72.3 million of goodwill, all of which is recorded at PNB.

Pension Plan - The determination of pension plan obligations and related expenses requires the use of assumptions to estimate the amount of benefits that employees earn while working, as well as the present value of those benefits. Annual pension expense is principally based on four components: (1) the value of benefits earned by employees for working during the year (service cost), (2) the increase in the liability due to the passage of time (interest cost), and (3) other gains and losses, reduced by (4) the expected return on plan assets for our pension plan.

Significant assumptions used to measure our annual pension expense include:

the interest rate used to determine the present value of liabilities (discount rate);
certain employee-related factors, such as turnover, retirement age and mortality;
the expected return on assets in our funded plans; and
the rate of salary increases

Our assumptions reflect our historical experience and management’s best judgment regarding future expectations. Due to the significant management judgment involved, our assumptions could have a material impact on the measurement of our pension plan expense and obligation.
ABOUT OUR BUSINESS
Through our Ohio-based banking divisions, Park is engaged in the commercial banking and trust business, generally in small to medium population Ohio communities. Management believes there are a significant number of consumers and businesses which seek long-term relationships with community-based financial institutions of quality and strength.  While not engaging in activities such as foreign lending, nationally syndicated loans or investment banking, Park attempts to meet the needs of our customers for commercial, real estate and consumer loans, and investment, fiduciary and deposit services.
 
Park’s subsidiaries compete for deposits and loans with other banks, savings associations, credit unions and other types of financial institutions.  At December 31, 2017, Park operated 116 financial service offices (including those of PNB, Scope Leasing, Inc. ("Scope Aircraft Finance"), and GFSC) and a network of 133 automated teller machines in 29 Ohio counties. Park also operated one office for SEPH, located in Newark, Ohio.
 
A summary of average loans and average deposits for Park’s subsidiaries, including its bank subsidiary, PNB, and PNB's divisions and subsidiary Scope Aircraft Finance for 2017, 2016 and 2015 is shown in Table 11.  See Note 27 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional financial information for the Corporation’s operating segments.  Please note that the financial statements for the divisions of PNB are not prepared on a separate basis and, therefore, net income is not included in the summary financial data in Table 11.

9


Table 11  -  Park Affiliate Financial Data
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
     (In thousands)
 
Average
Loans
 
Average Deposits
 
Average
Loans
 
Average Deposits
 
Average
Loans
 
Average Deposits
Park National Bank:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Park National Bank Division
 
$
1,745,485

 
$
1,636,205

 
$
1,623,565

 
$
1,526,438

 
$
1,465,586

 
$
1,473,906

First-Knox National Bank Division
 
604,763

 
680,255

 
591,807

 
638,338

 
591,948

 
632,810

Security National Bank Division
 
463,880

 
815,025

 
459,172

 
798,809

 
462,681

 
802,061

Century National Bank Division
 
631,115

 
620,138

 
649,645

 
574,171

 
655,682

 
556,543

Second National Bank Division
 
398,876

 
366,421

 
382,555

 
356,913

 
374,385

 
337,181

Richland Bank Division
 
233,278

 
511,673

 
231,884

 
501,678

 
240,622

 
483,673

Park National SW & N KY Bank Division
 
451,544

 
258,628

 
421,873

 
219,603

 
384,788

 
210,066

Fairfield National Bank Division
 
276,696

 
398,628

 
269,805

 
399,174

 
260,281

 
406,940

Unity National Bank Division
 
199,846

 
202,772

 
183,985

 
187,088

 
180,034

 
172,658

United Bank, N.A. Division
 
122,512

 
211,377

 
109,727

 
203,613

 
103,301

 
198,162

Farmers Bank Division
 
131,781

 
110,743

 
131,501

 
99,446

 
123,875

 
96,782

     Scope Aircraft Finance
 
260,322

 
1,963

 
238,464

 
1,471

 
198,475

 
465

SEPH
 
11,472

 

 
14,434

 

 
17,910

 

GFSC
 
33,668

 
3,833

 
33,370

 
4,174

 
37,686

 
5,595

Parent Company, other
 
(237,731
)
 
75,435

 
(218,925
)
 
69,888

 
(187,675
)
 
89,982

   Consolidated Totals
 
$
5,327,507

 
$
5,893,096

 
$
5,122,862

 
$
5,580,804

 
$
4,909,579

 
$
5,466,824

 
 
SOURCE OF FUNDS
Deposits: Park’s major source of funds is deposits from individuals, businesses and local government entities.  These deposits consist of non-interest bearing and interest bearing deposits.
 
Average total deposits were $5,893 million in 2017, compared to $5,581 million in 2016 and $5,467 million in 2015. Table 12 provides a summary of deposit balances as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, along with the change over the past year.
 
Table 12 - Year-End Deposits
 
 
 
 
 
 
     December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
 
     (In thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Change
Non-interest bearing checking
 
$
1,633,941

 
$
1,523,417

 
$
110,524

Interest bearing transaction accounts
 
1,260,095

 
1,174,448

 
85,647

Savings
 
1,888,545

 
1,704,920

 
183,625

All other time deposits
 
1,033,476

 
1,117,870

 
(84,394
)
Other
 
1,269

 
1,301

 
(32
)
Total
 
$
5,817,326

 
$
5,521,956

 
$
295,370

  
The average interest rate paid on interest bearing deposits was 0.44% in 2017, compared to 0.32% in 2016, and 0.30% in 2015.  The average cost of interest bearing deposits for each quarter of 2017 was 0.48% for the fourth quarter, 0.48% for the third quarter, 0.44% for the second quarter and 0.36% for the first quarter. 


10


Maturities of time deposits over $100,000 as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 were:
 
Table 13 - Maturities of Time Deposits
 
Over $100,000
December 31 (In thousands)
 
2017
2016
3 months or less
 
$
145,593

$
174,503

Over 3 months through 6 months
 
90,032

78,455

Over 6 months through 12 months
 
80,933

97,551

Over 12 months
 
80,204

86,589

Total
 
$
396,762

$
437,098


Short-Term Borrowings: Short-term borrowings consist of securities sold under agreements to repurchase, Federal Home Loan Bank advances, Federal Funds purchased and other borrowings.  These funds are used to manage the Corporation’s liquidity needs and interest rate sensitivity risk.  The average rate paid on short-term borrowings generally moves closely with changes in market interest rates for short-term investments.  The average rate paid on short-term borrowings was 0.43% in 2017, compared to 0.19% in 2016, and 0.18% in 2015. The year-end balance for short-term borrowings was $391 million at December 31, 2017, compared to $395 million at December 31, 2016, and $394 million at December 31, 2015. 
 
Long-Term Debt: Long-term debt primarily consists of borrowings from the Federal Home Loan Bank and repurchase agreements with investment banking firms.  The average balance of long-term debt and the average cost of long-term debt include the subordinated notes discussed in the following section.  In 2017, average long-term debt was $788 million, compared to $776 million in 2016, and $793 million in 2015. The average interest rate paid on long-term debt was 2.86% for 2017, compared to 3.13% for 2016, and 3.10% for 2015. Average total debt (long-term and short-term) was $1,018 million in 2017, compared to $1,017 million in 2016, and $1,052 million in 2015.  Average total debt increased by $762,000, or 0.07%, in 2017 compared to 2016, and decreased by $35 million, or 3.3%, in 2016 compared to 2015. Average long-term debt was 77% of average total debt in 2017, compared to 76% of average total debt in 2016, and 75% of average total debt in 2015.
  
Subordinated Notes: Park assumed, with the 2007 acquisition of Vision's parent holding company, $15.5 million of floating rate junior subordinated notes.  The $15.5 million of junior subordinated notes were purchased by Vision Bancshares Trust I ("Trust I") following the issuance of Trust I's $15.0 million of floating rate preferred securities. The interest rate on these junior subordinated notes adjusts every quarter at 148 basis points above the three-month LIBOR interest rate.  The maturity date for the junior subordinated notes is December 30, 2035 and the junior subordinated notes may be prepaid after December 30, 2010.  These junior subordinated notes qualify as Tier 1 capital under current Federal Reserve Board guidelines.

On April 20, 2012, Park issued an aggregate principal amount of $30.0 million of subordinated notes to 56 purchasers.  These subordinated notes had a fixed annual interest rate of 7% with quarterly interest payments. The maturity date of these subordinated notes was April 20, 2022 and the subordinated notes were eligible to be prepaid after April 20, 2017. The subordinated notes qualified as Tier 2 capital under applicable Federal Reserve Board guidelines. Each subordinated note was purchased at a purchase price of 100% of the principal amount by an accredited investor. Park paid in full the $30.0 million outstanding principal amount, plus accrued interest, on April 24, 2017.

See Note 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information about the subordinated notes.
 
Shareholders' Equity: The ratio of total shareholders' equity to total assets was 10.03% at December 31, 2017, compared to 9.94% at December 31, 2016 and 9.76% at December 31, 2015. The ratio of tangible shareholders’ equity [shareholders’ equity ($756.1 million) less goodwill ($72.3 million)] to tangible assets [total assets ($7,538 million) less goodwill ($72.3 million)] was 9.16% at December 31, 2017, compared to 9.06% at December 31, 2016, and 8.86% at December 31, 2015.
 
In accordance with GAAP, Park reflects any unrealized holding gain or loss on AFS securities or change in the funded status of Park's pension plan, net of income taxes, as accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) which is part of Park’s shareholders’ equity.  

The unrealized net holding loss, net of income taxes, on AFS securities was $2.9 million at year-end 2017, compared to the unrealized net holding loss, net of income taxes, of $3.0 million at year-end 2016, and compared to the unrealized net holding loss, net of income taxes, of $292,000 at year-end 2015.
 

11


In accordance with GAAP, Park adjusts accumulated other comprehensive loss to recognize the net actuarial gain or loss reflected in the funding status of Park’s pension plan.  See Note 18 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the accounting for Park’s pension plan. Pertaining to the funding status of the pension plan, Park recognized a net comprehensive loss of $8.8 million in 2017, a net comprehensive gain of $0.6 million in 2016, and a net comprehensive loss of $0.5 million in 2015. The net comprehensive loss in 2017 was due to changes in actuarial assumptions partially offset by increased investment returns on pension plan assets. The net comprehensive gain in 2016 was due to changes in actuarial assumptions more than offset by increased investment returns on pension plan assets. The net comprehensive loss in 2015 was due to changes in actuarial assumptions more than offset by lower investment returns on pension plan assets.

At year-end 2017, the balance in accumulated other comprehensive loss pertaining to the pension plan was $(23.5) million, compared to $(14.7) million at December 31, 2016, and $(15.4) million at December 31, 2015.

INVESTMENT OF FUNDS
Loans:  Average loans were $5,328 million in 2017, compared to $5,123 million in 2016, and $4,910 million in 2015.  The actual yield on average loan balances was 4.69% in 2017, compared to 4.74% in 2016, and 4.66% in 2015. Approximately 50% of Park’s loan balances mature or reprice within one year (see Table 37).  The actual yield on average loan balances for each quarter of 2017 was 4.79% for the fourth quarter, 4.71% for the third quarter, 4.63% for the second quarter and 4.62% for the first quarter.  

Loan interest income for 2017, 2016, and 2015 included $2.3 million, $6.2 million, and $1.1 million, respectively, related to payments received on certain SEPH impaired loan relationships, some of which are participated with PNB. Excluding this income, the yield on loans was 4.66%, 4.64% and 4.66%, for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015 and 4.70% for the fourth quarter of 2017, 4.68% for the third quarter of 2017, 4.63% for the second quarter of 2017, and 4.62% for the first quarter of 2017.

At December 31, 2017, loan balances were $5,372 million, compared to $5,272 million at year-end 2016, an increase of $101 million, or 1.9%. The loan growth of $101 million in 2017 was largely due to an increase in loans of $104 million at PNB, offset by a decline in loans at SEPH.

Table 14 reports year-end loan balances by type of loan for the past five years.
Table 14  -  Loans by Type
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(In thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Commercial, financial and agricultural
 
$
1,053,453

 
$
994,619

 
$
955,727

 
$
856,535

 
$
825,432

Construction real estate
 
181,470

 
188,945

 
173,345

 
155,804

 
156,116

Residential real estate
 
1,725,224

 
1,808,497

 
1,855,443

 
1,851,375

 
1,799,547

Commercial real estate
 
1,167,607

 
1,155,703

 
1,113,603

 
1,069,637

 
1,112,273

Consumer
 
1,241,736

 
1,120,850

 
967,111

 
893,160

 
723,733

Leases
 
2,993

 
3,243

 
2,856

 
3,171

 
3,404

Total Loans
 
$
5,372,483

 
$
5,271,857

 
$
5,068,085

 
$
4,829,682

 
$
4,620,505




12


On a combined basis, year-end commercial, financial and agricultural loans, construction real estate loans and commercial real estate loans increased by $63 million, or 2.7%, in 2017, and increased by $97 million, or 4.3%, in 2016. The increase in 2017 was due to increases in commercial, financial and agricultural loans of $58.8 million and in commercial real estate loans of $11.9 million, offset by a decrease in construction real estate loans of $7.5 million. The increase in 2016 was due to increases in commercial real estate loans of $42.1 million, in commercial, financial and agricultural loans of $38.9 million, and in construction real estate loans of $15.6 million.

Consumer loans increased by $121 million, or 10.8%, in 2017 and increased by $154 million, or 15.9%, in 2016. The increase in consumer loans in each of 2017 and 2016 was primarily due to an increase in automobile lending in Ohio.

A portion of the long-term, fixed-rate residential mortgage loans that Park originates are sold in the secondary market and Park typically retains servicing on these loans. The balance of sold, fixed-rate residential mortgage loans, in which Park has maintained the servicing rights, was $1,371 million at year-end 2017, compared to $1,330 million at year-end 2016 and $1,276 million at year-end 2015.    

Table 15 - Selected Loan Maturity Distribution
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
One Year or Less (1)
 
Over One Through Five Years
 
Over
 Five
 Years
 
Total
December 31, 2017
 
 
 
 
     (In thousands)
 
 
 
 
Commercial, financial and agricultural
 
$
322,617

 
$
406,915

 
$
323,921

 
$
1,053,453

Construction real estate
 
37,723

 
29,572

 
114,174

 
181,469

Commercial real estate
 
41,180

 
93,677

 
1,032,749

 
1,167,606

   Total
 
$
401,520

 
$
530,164

 
$
1,470,844

 
$
2,402,528

Total of these selected loans due
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 after one year with:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fixed interest rate
 
 
 
$
283,692

 
$
272,866

 
$
556,558

Floating interest rate
 
 
 
246,472

 
1,197,978

 
1,444,450

(1) Nonaccrual loans of $30.8 million are included within the one year or less classification above.
 
Investment Securities: Park’s investment securities portfolio is structured to minimize credit risk, provide liquidity and contribute to earnings. As conditions change over time, Park’s overall interest rate risk, liquidity needs and potential return on the investment portfolio will change.  Management regularly evaluates the securities in the investment portfolio as circumstances evolve.  Circumstances that could result in the sale of a security include: to better manage interest rate risk; to meet liquidity needs; or to improve the overall yield in the investment portfolio.

Park classifies the majority of its securities as AFS (see Note 4 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements).  These securities are carried on the books at their estimated fair value with the unrealized holding gain or loss, net of federal income taxes, accounted for as accumulated other comprehensive income (loss).  The securities that are classified as AFS are free to be sold in future periods in carrying out Park’s investment strategies.

Park classifies certain types of U.S. Government sponsored entity collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) that it purchases as Held-To-Maturity ("HTM").  In addition, starting in 2015, Park began to purchase tax-exempt municipal securities, also classified as HTM. These securities are classified as HTM because they are generally not as liquid as the investment securities that Park classifies as AFS. A classification of HTM means that Park has the positive intent and the ability to hold these securities until maturity. At year-end 2017, Park’s HTM securities portfolio was $357 million, compared to $260 million at year-end 2016, and $149 million at year-end 2015. Included in the HTM securities portfolio as of December 31, 2017 were $300 million of tax-exempt municipal securities. All of the CMOs, mortgage-backed securities, and callable notes in Park’s investment portfolio were issued by U.S. Government sponsored entities.
 
Average taxable investment securities were $1,310 million in 2017, compared to $1,413 million in 2016, and $1,472 million in 2015.  The average yield on taxable investment securities was 2.10% in 2017, compared to 2.17% in 2016, and 2.45% in 2015.  Average tax-exempt investment securities were $247 million in 2017, compared to $91 million in 2016, and $6 million in 2015.  The average tax-equivalent yield on tax-exempt investment securities was 4.48% in 2017, compared to 4.43% in 2016, and 4.72% in 2015.
 

13


Total investment securities (at amortized cost) were $1,517 million at December 31, 2017, compared to $1,584 million at December 31, 2016, and $1,644 million at December 31, 2015.  Management purchased investment securities totaling $143 million in 2017, $724 million in 2016, and $506 million in 2015. Proceeds from repayments and maturities of investment securities were $208 million in 2017, $783 million in 2016, and $357 million in 2015.  

Proceeds from sales of investment securities were $2.3 million in 2017. These investment securities had a book value of $444,000 and resulted in a gain on sale of $1.8 million. Proceeds from sales of investment securities were $3.1 million in 2015. These investment securities had a book value of $3.1 million and resulted in a gain on sale of $88,000. There were no sales of investment securities in 2016.
 
At year-end 2017, 2016, and 2015, the average tax-equivalent yield on the total investment portfolio was 2.47%, 2.30%, and 2.28%, respectively.  The weighted average remaining maturity of the total investment portfolio was 4.4 years at December 31, 2017, 4.4 years at December 31, 2016, and 4.8 years at December 31, 2015.  Obligations of the U.S. Treasury and other U.S. Government sponsored entities and U.S. Government sponsored entities' asset-backed securities were approximately 75.9% of the total investment portfolio at year-end 2017, approximately 83.9% of the total investment portfolio at year-end 2016, and approximately 93.3% of the total investment portfolio at year-end 2015. 
 
The average maturity of the investment portfolio would lengthen if long-term interest rates were to increase as principal repayments from mortgage-backed securities and CMOs would decline and callable U.S. Government sponsored entity notes would extend to their maturity dates.  At year-end 2017, management estimated that the average maturity of the investment portfolio would lengthen to 4.6 years with a 100 basis point increase in long-term interest rates and to 5.4 years with a 200 basis point increase in long-term interest rates.  Likewise, the average maturity of the investment portfolio would shorten if long-term interest rates were to decrease as the principal repayments from mortgage-backed securities and CMOs would increase as borrowers would refinance their mortgage loans and the callable U.S. Government sponsored entity notes would shorten to their call dates.  At year-end 2017, management estimated that the average maturity of the investment portfolio would decrease to 3.9 years with a 100 basis point decrease in long-term interest rates and to 3.4 years with a 200 basis point decrease in long-term interest rates.
 
Table 16 sets forth the carrying value of investment securities, as well as the percentage held within each category at year-end 2017, 2016 and 2015:

Table 16  -  Investment Securities
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
 
(In thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Obligations of U.S. Treasury and other U.S. Government sponsored entities
 
$
242,720

 
$
267,533

 
$
522,063

Obligations of states and political subdivisions
 
300,412

 
188,622

 
48,190

U.S. Government asset-backed securities
 
905,946

 
1,058,383

 
1,012,605

Federal Home Loan Bank stock
 
50,086

 
50,086

 
50,086

Federal Reserve Bank stock
 
8,225

 
8,225

 
8,225

Equities
 
5,435

 
6,934

 
2,710

     Total
 
$
1,512,824

 
$
1,579,783

 
$
1,643,879

Investments by category as a percentage of total investment securities
 
 
 
 
 
 
Obligations of U.S. Treasury and other U.S. Government sponsored entities
 
16.0
%
 
16.9
%
 
31.8
%
Obligations of states and political subdivisions
 
19.9
%
 
11.9
%
 
2.9
%
U.S. Government asset-backed securities
 
59.9
%
 
67.0
%
 
61.6
%
Federal Home Loan Bank stock
 
3.3
%
 
3.2
%
 
3.0
%
Federal Reserve Bank stock
 
0.5
%
 
0.5
%
 
0.5
%
Equities
 
0.4
%
 
0.5
%
 
0.2
%
     Total
 
100.0
%
 
100.0
%
 
100.0
%
 


14


ANALYSIS OF EARNINGS
Net Interest Income: Park’s principal source of earnings is net interest income, the difference between total interest income and total interest expense.  Net interest income results from average balances outstanding for interest earning assets and interest bearing liabilities in conjunction with the average rates earned and paid on them.  (See Table 17 for three years of history on the average balances of the balance sheet categories as well as the average rates earned on interest earning assets and the average rates paid on interest bearing liabilities.)

Table 17 - Distribution of Assets, Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
December 31,
2017
2016
2015
(In thousands)
Daily
Average
Interest
Average
Rate
Daily
Average
Interest
Average
Rate
Daily
Average
Interest
Average
Rate
ASSETS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest earning assets:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Loans (1) (2)
$
5,327,507

$
249,757

4.69
%
$
5,122,862

$
242,978

4.74
%
$
4,909,579

$
228,746

4.66
%
   Taxable
investment securities
1,309,708

27,440

2.10
%
1,413,324

30,627

2.17
%
1,472,285

36,026

2.45
%
   Tax-exempt investment securities (3)
247,448

11,093

4.48
%
91,343

4,050

4.43
%
5,923

279

4.72
%
   Money market instruments
262,100

3,087

1.18
%
198,197

1,020

0.51
%
342,997

888

0.26
%
      Total interest earning assets
7,146,763

291,377

4.08
%
6,825,726

278,675

4.08
%
6,730,784

265,939

3.95
%
Non-interest earning assets:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   Allowance for loan losses
(52,688
)
 
 
(56,890
)
 
 
(56,947
)
 
 
   Cash and due from banks
113,882

 
 
115,779

 
 
117,286

 
 
   Premises and equipment, net
56,910

 
 
59,104

 
 
58,377

 
 
   Other assets
476,176

 
 
472,800

 
 
456,960