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Section 1: 10-K (FORM 10-K)

ovly20171231_10k.htm
 

 

 

 



UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

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

 
 

Commission File Number: 001-34142

 

 

OAK VALLEY BANCORP

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

California

 

26-2326676

(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

     

125 North Third Avenue
Oakdale, California

 

95361

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

(209) 848-2265

(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 Stock

 

The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC

 

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

 

None

(Title of class)

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  ☐       No  ☒

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes  ☐     No  ☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.           Yes  ☒                            No  ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically 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 (232.405 of this chapter during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).           Yes  ☒                        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. ☐

 

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 definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer

 

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 Exchange Act).   Yes  ☐       No  ☒

 

As of June 30, 2017, the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based upon the closing price of $13.90 per share of the registrant’s common stock as reported by the NASDAQ, was approximately $94 million. The Registrant did not qualify as a smaller reporting company as of June 30, 2017 but is complying with the disclosure requirements applicable to a smaller reporting company in this Form 10-K per SEC Release 33-8876 (Dec. 19, 2007), and the company will comply with the disclosure requirements applicable to an accelerated filer starting with the Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2018. As of March 1, 2018, there were 8,178,005 shares of common stock outstanding.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders will filed with the Commission within 120 days after the end of the Registrant’s 2017 fiscal year end and are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.

 

 



 

 
 

 
 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I

   

ITEM 1 -

BUSINESS

4

ITEM 1A -

RISK FACTORS

19

ITEM 1B -

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

19

ITEM 2 -

PROPERTIES

20

ITEM 3 -

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

20

ITEM 4 -

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

20

     

PART II

   

ITEM 5 -

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

21

ITEM 6 -

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

22

ITEM 7-

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

23

ITEM 7A -

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

55

ITEM 8 -

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

55

ITEM 9 -

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

55

ITEM 9A -

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

55

ITEM 9B-

OTHER INFORMATION

56

     

PART III

   

ITEM 10 -

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

57

ITEM 11 -

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

57

ITEM 12 -

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

57

ITEM 13 -

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

57

ITEM 14 -

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

58

     

PART IV

   

ITEM 15 -

EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

58

ITEM 16 -

FORM 10-K SUMMARY

58

     

SIGNATURES

59

EXHIBIT INDEX

 

 

2

 
 

 

 

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (Annual Report) includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (the “1933 Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (the “1934 Act”). Those sections of the 1933 Act and 1934 Act provide a “safe harbor” for forward-looking statements to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their financial performance so long as they provide meaningful, cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ significantly from projected results.

 

All statements contained in this Annual Report other than statements of historical fact, including, for example, statements regarding descriptions of plans or objectives of management for future operations, products or services, forecasts of our revenues, earnings or other measures of economic performance, our assessment of significant factors and developments that may affect our results, regulatory controls and processes and their impact on our business, our business strategy and plans and our objectives for future operations, are forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “potentially,” “estimate,” “continue.” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan” “expect,” and similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

 

We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those listed in this “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” and those described in Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment, and new risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. In light of these risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this Annual Report may not occur and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements.

 

You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee that the future results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as required by law. You should read this Annual Report with the understanding that our actual future results, levels of activity, performance and events and circumstances may be materially different from what we expect.

 

3

 

 

PART I

 

ITEM 1.  BUSINESS OF OAK VALLEY BANCORP

 

Overview of the Business

 

Oak Valley Bancorp. Oak Valley Bancorp (the “Company”) was incorporated on April 1, 2008 in California for the purpose of becoming Oak Valley Community Bank’s parent bank holding company. Effective July 3, 2008, Oak Valley Bancorp acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Oak Valley Community Bank (the “Bank”) (from time to time, the Bank and the Company may be generally referred to as “we”, “us” or “our”). The principal office of Oak Valley Bancorp is located at 125 North Third Avenue, Oakdale, California 95361 and its principal telephone is (209) 848-2265.

 

The Company is authorized to issue 50,000,000 shares of common stock, without par value, of which 8,098,605 are issued and outstanding at December 31, 2017, and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, without par value, of which no shares are issued and outstanding.

 

The Company is the holding company of the Bank, and its only assets are the outstanding capital stock of the Bank, which the Company wholly owns, cash and income tax benefits receivable classified as other assets.

 

Oak Valley Community Bank. The Bank commenced operations in May 1991.  The Bank is an insured bank under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and is a member of the Federal Reserve.  The Bank is subject to regulation, supervision and regular examination by the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO), the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB). Since its formation, the Bank has provided basic banking services to individuals and business enterprises in Oakdale, California and the surrounding areas. The focus of the Bank is to offer a range of commercial banking services designed for both individuals and small to medium-sized businesses in the two main areas of service of the Bank: the Central Valley and the Eastern Sierras.

 

The Bank offers a complement of business checking and savings accounts for its business customers.  The Bank also offers commercial and real estate loans, as well as lines of credit.  Real estate loans are generally of a short-term nature for both residential and commercial lending purposes.  Longer-term real estate loans are generally made with adjustable interest rates and contain customary provisions for acceleration.  Traditional residential mortgages are available to Bank customers through a third party.

 

The Bank offers other services for both individuals and businesses including online banking, remote deposit capture, mobile banking, merchant services, night depository, extended hours, wire transfer of funds, note collection, and automated teller machines in a national network.  The Bank does not currently offer international banking or trust services although the Bank may make such services available to the Bank’s customers through financial institutions with which the Bank has correspondent banking relationships.  The Bank does not offer stock transfer services nor does it directly issue credit cards.

 

 

Expansion

 

Branch Expansion.    Since opening our doors of the main Oakdale branch in 1991, our network of branches and loan production offices have been expanded geographically. As of December 31, 2017, we maintained sixteen full-service branch offices (in addition to our corporate headquarters) and one loan production office. Beginning in October 1995, we started our geographic expansion outside of Oakdale, by opening a Loan Production Office in Sonora, California. We subsequently opened a branch in Sonora and two branches in Modesto.  In September 2000, we expanded into the Eastern Sierra, opening a branch in Bridgeport, California under the name Eastern Sierra Community Bank.  Since that time we have added branches in Mammoth Lakes and Bishop. During 2005 and 2006, we aggressively increased our presence in the Central Valley, by opening branches in Turlock, Stockton, Patterson, Ripon and Escalon.  In March 2007, our corporate headquarters expanded by adding an adjacent historical building located in downtown Oakdale to our complex.  In 2011, we opened a third branch in Modesto and a branch in Manteca. In 2014, we opened a new branch in Tracy. In 2015, we added a second branch in Sonora. In 2017, we opened a loan production office in Sacramento. We intend to continue our growth strategy in future years through the opening of additional branches and loan production offices as demand dictates and resources permit.

 

Bank Holding Company Reorganization.  Effective July 3, 2008, we entered into a bank holding company reorganization, whereby each outstanding share of common stock of the Bank was exchanged into a share of common stock of the Company. Operating our banking business within a holding company structure provides, among other things, greater operating flexibility; facilitates the potential acquisition of related businesses as opportunities may arise from time to time; improves our ability to diversify as needed; enhances our ability to remain competitive in the future with other companies in the financial services industry that are organized in a holding company structure; and improves our ability to raise capital to support growth. 

 

4

 

 

Business Segments

 

Management has determined that because all of the banking products and services offered by the Company are available in each branch of the Bank, all branches are located within the same economic environment and management does not allocate resources based on the performance of different lending or transaction activities, it is appropriate to aggregate the Bank branches and report them as a single operating segment.  No customer accounts for more than 10 percent of revenues for the Company or the Bank.

 

 

Primary Market Area

 

We conduct business from our main office in Oakdale, a city of approximately 21,500 residents located in Stanislaus County, California. Oakdale is approximately 15 miles from Modesto and sits at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, at the edge of the California Central Valley agricultural area.  Through our branches, we serve customers in the Central Valley, from Fresno to Sacramento, and in foothill locations. We also reach into the Highway 395 corridor in the Eastern Sierras and in the towns of Bishop, Mammoth and Bridgeport.  Approximately 98% of our loans and 92% of our deposits are generated from the Central Valley. The Central Valley area includes Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Tuolumne counties and has a total population of over 3 million.

 

 

Lending Activities

 

General.    Our loan policies set forth the basic guidelines and procedures by which we conduct our lending operations. These policies address the types of loans available, underwriting and collateral requirements, loan terms, interest rate and yield considerations, compliance with laws and regulations and our internal lending limits. Our Board of Directors reviews and approves our loan policies on an annual basis. We supplement our own supervision of the loan underwriting and approval process with periodic loan audits by experienced external loan specialists who review credit quality, loan documentation and compliance with laws and regulations. We engage in a full complement of lending activities, including:

 

commercial real estate loans,

 

commercial business lending and trade finance,

 

Small Business Administration lending, and

 

consumer loans, including automobile loans, home mortgages, credit lines and other personal loans.

 

As part of our efforts to achieve long-term stable profitability and respond to a changing economic environment in the California Central Valley, we constantly evaluate a variety of options to augment our traditional focus by broadening the services and products we provide. Possible avenues of growth include more branch locations, expanded suite of technology based services and new types of lending.

 

Loan Procedures.    Loan applications may be approved by the Director Loan Committee of our Board of Directors, or by our management or lending officers, to the extent of their loan authority. Our Board of Directors authorizes our lending limits. Our President and Chief Credit Officer are responsible for evaluating the authority limits for individual credit officers and recommending lending limits for all other officers to the board of directors for approval.

 

We grant individual lending authority to our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Credit Officer, Credit Administrator and to some department managers and loan officers. Our highest management lending authority is combined administrative lending authority for unsecured and secured lending of $2,500,000, which requires the joint approval of either Chief Executive Officer, Chief Credit Officer, Senior Lending Officer and Credit Administrator.  Loans for which direct and indirect borrower liability exceeds combined administrative lending authority are referred to our Board of Directors Loan Committee.

 

At December 31, 2017, the Bank’s authorized legal lending limits were $14.1 million for unsecured loans plus an additional $9.4 million for specific secured loans. Legal lending limits are calculated in conformance with California law, which prohibits a bank from lending to any one individual or entity or its related interests an aggregate amount which exceeds 15% of primary capital plus the allowance for loan losses on an unsecured basis, plus an additional 10% on a secured basis. The Bank’s primary capital plus allowance for loan losses at December 31, 2017 totaled $93.9 million.

 

5

 

 

We seek to mitigate the risks inherent in our loan portfolio by adhering to certain underwriting practices. The review of each loan application includes analysis of the applicant’s prior credit history, income level, cash flow and financial condition, tax returns, cash flow projections, and the value of any collateral to secure the loan, based upon reports of independent appraisers and audits of accounts receivable or inventory pledged as security. In the case of real estate loans over a specified amount, the review of collateral value includes an appraisal report prepared by an independent, Bank-approved, appraiser.

 

Real Estate Loans.    We offer commercial real estate loans to finance the acquisition of new or the refinancing of existing commercial properties, such as office buildings, industrial buildings, warehouses, hotels, shopping centers, automotive industry facilities and multiple dwellings. At December 31, 2017, real estate loans constituted 84% of our loan portfolio, of which 93% were commercial loans.

 

Commercial real estate loans typically have 10-year maturities with up to 25-year amortization of principal and interest and loan-to-value ratios of not more than 75% of the appraised value or purchase price, whichever is lower. We usually impose a prepayment penalty during the period within 3 to 5 years of the date of the loan.

 

Construction loans are comprised of loans on commercial, residential and income producing properties that generally have terms of 1 year, with options to extend for additional periods to complete construction and to accommodate the lease-up period. We usually require 15% equity capital investment by the developer and loan to value ratios of not more than 75% of anticipated completion value.

 

Miniperm loans finance the purchase and/or ownership of commercial properties, including owner-occupied and income producing properties. We also offer miniperm loans as take-out financing with our construction loans. Miniperm loans are generally made with an amortization schedule ranging from 20 to 25 years, with a lump sum balloon payment due in 3 to 5 years.

 

Equity lines of credit are revolving lines of credit collateralized by junior deeds of trust on residential real properties. They generally bear a rate of interest that floats with our base rate or the prime rate, and have maturities of 10 years.

 

We purchase participation interests in loans made by other financial institutions from time to time. These loans are subject to the same underwriting criteria and approval process as loans made directly by us.

 

Our real estate loans are typically collateralized by first or junior deeds of trust on specific commercial properties and equity lines of credit, and are subject to corporate or individual guarantees from financially capable parties, as available. The properties collateralizing real estate loans are principally located in our primary market areas of the California Central Valley and the Eastern Sierra.  Real estate loans typically bear interest rates that float with an established index.

 

Our real estate portfolio is subject to certain risks, including (i) downturns in the California economy, (ii) significant interest rate fluctuations, (iii) reduction in real estate values in the California Central Valley, (iv) increased competition in pricing and loan structure, and (v) environmental risks, including natural disasters.  As a result of the high concentration of the real estate loan in our loan portfolio, potential difficulties in the real estate markets could cause significant increases in nonperforming loans, which would reduce our profits.  A decline in real estate values could cause some of our mortgage loans to become inadequately collateralized, which would expose us to a greater risk of loss.  Additionally, a decline in real estate values could adversely affect our portfolio of commercial real estate loans and could result in a decline in the origination of such loans.  However, we strive to reduce the exposure to such risks and seek to continue to maintain high quality in our real estate loans by (a) reviewing each loan request and each loan renewal individually, (b) using a dual signature approval system for the approval of each loan request for loans over a certain dollar amount, (c) adhering to written loan policies, including, among other factors, minimum collateral requirements, maximum loan-to-value ratio requirements, cash flow requirements and personal guarantees, (d) performing secondary appraisals from time to time, (e) conducting external independent credit review, and (f) conducting environmental reviews, where appropriate. We review each loan request on the basis of our ability to recover both principal and interest in view of the inherent risks.   We monitor and stress test our entire portfolio, evaluating debt coverage ratios and loan-to-value ratios, on a quarterly basis.  We monitor trends and evaluate exposure derived from simulated stressed market conditions.  The portfolio is stratified by owner classification (either owner occupied or non-owner occupied), product type, geography and size.

 

As of December 31, 2017, the aggregate loan-to-value of the entire commercial real estate portfolio was 48.6%. Historical data suggests that the Bank continues to maintain strong LTV, which has served as a cushion against precipitous reductions in real estate values. Non-owner occupied real estate comprises 39.9% of the Bank’s total commitments, as of December 31, 2017. The loan-to-value on the non-owner occupied segment was 44.4%, as of December 31, 2017. The highest concentration by product type is office buildings, which comprised 22.8% of total CRE loan commitments outstanding, as of December 31, 2017.

 

Our portfolio diversity in terms of both product types and geographic distribution, combined with strong debt coverage ratios, a low aggregate loan-to-value and a high percentage of owner-occupied properties, significantly mitigate the risks associated with excessive commercial real estate concentration. These elements contribute strength to our overall real estate portfolio despite the current weakness in the real estate market.

 

6

 

 

         Commercial Business Lending.    We offer commercial loans to sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations, with an emphasis on the real estate related industry. These commercial loans include business lines of credit and commercial term loans to finance operations, to provide working capital or for specific purposes, such as to finance the purchase of assets, equipment or inventory. Since a borrower’s cash flow from operations is generally the primary source of repayment, our policies provide specific guidelines regarding required debt coverage and other important financial ratios.

 

Lines of credit are extended to businesses or individuals based on the financial strength and integrity of the borrower and are secured primarily by real estate, accounts receivable and inventory, and have a maturity of one year or less. Such lines of credit bear an interest rate that floats with the prime rate, LIBOR or another established index.

 

Commercial term loans are typically made to finance the acquisition of fixed assets, refinance short-term debts or to finance the purchase of businesses. Commercial term loans generally have terms from one to five years. They may be collateralized by the asset being acquired or other available assets and bear interest rates, which either floats with the prime rate, LIBOR or another established index or is fixed for the term of the loan.

 

Our portfolio of commercial loans is also subject to certain risks, including (i) downturns in the California economy, (ii) significant interest rate fluctuations; and (iii) the deterioration of a borrower’s or guarantor’s financial capabilities. We attempt to reduce the exposure to such risks through (a) reviewing each loan request and renewal individually, (b) requiring a dual signature approval system, (c) mandating strict adherence to written loan policies, and (d) performing external independent credit review. In addition, we monitor loans based on short-term asset values on a monthly or quarterly basis. In general, during the term of the relationship, we receive and review the financial statements of our borrowing customers on an ongoing basis, and we promptly respond to any deterioration that we note.

 

Small Business Administration Lending Services.    Small Business Administration, or SBA, lending, forms an important part of our business. Our SBA lending service places an emphasis on minority-owned businesses. Our SBA market area includes the geographic areas encompassed by our full-service banking offices in the California Central Valley and in the Eastern Sierra. As an SBA lender, we enable borrowers to obtain SBA loans in order to acquire new businesses, expand existing businesses, and acquire locations in which to do business.

 

Consumer Loans.    Consumer loans include personal loans, auto loans, home improvement loans, home mortgage loans, revolving lines of credit and other loans typically made by banks to individual borrowers. We provide consumer loan products in an effort to diversify our product line.

 

Our consumer loan portfolio is subject to certain risks, including:

 

amount of credit offered to consumers in the market,

 

interest rate increases, and

 

consumer bankruptcy laws which allow consumers to discharge certain debts.

 

We attempt to reduce the exposure to such risks through the direct approval of all consumer loans by:

 

reviewing each loan request and renewal individually,

 

using a dual signature system of approval,

 

strictly adhering to written credit policies and,

 

performing external independent credit review.

 

7

 

 

Deposit Activities and Other Sources of Funds

 

Our primary sources of funds are deposits and loan repayments. Scheduled loan repayments are a relatively stable source of funds, whereas deposit inflows, outflows and unscheduled loan prepayments (which are influenced significantly by general interest rate levels, interest rates available on other investments, competition, economic conditions and other factors) are not as stable. Customer deposits also remain a primary source of funds, but these balances may be influenced by adverse market changes in the industry. We may resort to other borrowings, on an as needed basis, as follows:

 

on a short-term basis to compensate for reductions in deposit inflows at less than projected levels, and

 

on a longer-term basis to support expanded lending activities and to match the maturity of repricing intervals of assets.

 

We offer a variety of accounts for depositors, which are designed to attract both short-term and long-term deposits. These accounts include certificates of deposit, or “CDs”, regular savings accounts, money market accounts, checking accounts, savings accounts, health savings accounts and individual retirement accounts, or “IRAs”. These accounts generally earn interest at rates established by management based on competitive market factors and management’s desire to increase or decrease certain types or maturities of deposits. As needs arise, we augment these customer deposits with brokered deposits. The more significant deposit accounts offered by us are described below:

 

Certificates of Deposit.    We offer several types of CDs with a maximum maturity of five years. The substantial majority of our CDs have a maturity of one to twelve months and pay compounded interest typically credited monthly or at maturity.

 

Regular Savings Accounts.    We offer savings accounts that allow for unlimited ATM and in-branch deposits and withdrawals. Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly.

 

Money Market Account.    Money market accounts pay a variable interest rate that is tiered depending on the balance maintained in the account. Minimum opening balances vary. Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly.

 

Checking Accounts.    Checking accounts are generally non-interest and interest bearing accounts, respectively, and may include service fees based on activity and balances.

 

Federal Home Loan Bank Borrowings.    To supplement our deposits as a source of funds for lending or investment, we borrow funds in the form of advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank. We regularly make use of Federal Home Loan Bank advances as part of our interest rate risk management, primarily to extend the duration of funding to match the longer term fixed rate loans held in the loan portfolio as part of our growth strategy.

 

As a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank system, we are required to invest in Federal Home Loan Bank stock based on a predetermined formula. Federal Home Loan Bank stock is a restricted investment security that can only be sold to other Federal Home Loan Bank members or redeemed by the Federal Home Loan Bank. As of December 31, 2017, we owned $3,377,000 in FHLB stock.

 

Advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank are typically secured by our entire real estate loan portfolio, which includes residential and commercial loans.  At December 31, 2017, our borrowing limit with the Federal Home Loan Bank was approximately $249 million.

 

8

 

 

Internet and Mobile Banking

 

Since August 1, 2001, we have offered Internet banking services, which allows our customers to access their deposit accounts through the Internet. Customers are able to obtain transaction history and account information, transfer funds between accounts, make person-to-person payments and make on-line bill payments. We intend to improve and develop our Internet banking products and delivery channels as the need arises and our resources permit. Mobile Banking was introduced in June of 2011, which offers many of the same services as internet banking but also includes mobile check deposit.

 

Other Services

 

We offer ATMs located at branch offices as well as three other ATMs at various off site locations, and customer access to an ATM network. Additionally, we offer remote deposit capture service to allow commercial deposit customers the convenience of scanning check deposits for quicker access to deposited funds.

 

 

Marketing

 

Our marketing relies principally upon local advertising and promotional activity and upon personal contacts by our directors, officers and shareholders to attract business and to acquaint potential customers with our personalized services. We emphasize a high degree of personalized client service in order to be able to provide for each customer’s banking needs. Our marketing approach emphasizes the advantages of dealing with an independent, locally managed and state chartered bank to meet the particular needs of consumers, professionals and business customers in the community. Our management continually evaluates all of our banking services with regard to their profitability and efforts and makes determinations based on these evaluations whether to continue or modify our business plan, where appropriate.

 

We do not currently have any plans to develop any new lines of business, which would require a material amount of capital investment on our part.

 

 

Competition

 

Regional Branch Competition.    We consider our primary service area to be composed of the counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Inyo and Mono Counties, of California.  The banking business in California generally, and in our primary service area, specifically, is competitive with respect to both loans and deposits and is dominated by a relatively small number of major banks which have many offices operating over wide geographic areas.  These include Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase Bank and Bank of the West. We compete for deposits and loans principally with these banks, as well as with savings and loan associations, thrift and loan associations, credit unions, mortgage companies, insurance companies, offerors of money market accounts and other lending institutions.

 

Among the advantages of these institutions are their ability to finance extensive advertising campaigns and to allocate their investment assets to regions of highest yield and demand, their ability to offer certain services, such as international banking and trust services which are not offered directly by the Company and, the ability by virtue of their greater total capitalization, to have substantially higher lending limits than we do.   In addition, as a result of increased consolidation and the passage of interstate banking legislation there is and will continue to be increased competition among banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions for the deposit and loan business of individuals and businesses.

 

As of June 30, 2017, our primary service areas contained 169 banking offices, with approximately $15.8 billion in total deposits. As of June 30, 2017, we had total deposits of approximately $926 million, which represented approximately 5.9% of the total deposits in the Bank’s primary service area. There can be no assurance that the Bank will maintain its competitive position against current and potential competitors, especially those with greater resources than the Bank. The four largest competing banks had 65 total branches and deposits averaged approximately $141 million per office as of June 30, 2017 within the Bank’s primary service area.

 

In order to compete with major financial institutions in our primary service areas, we use to the fullest extent the flexibility that our independent status permits.  This includes an emphasis on specialized services, local promotional activity, and personal contacts by our officers, directors and employees.  In the event that there are customers whose needs exceed our lending limits, we may arrange for such loans on a participation basis with other financial institutions.  We also assist customers who require other services that we do not offer by obtaining such services from correspondent banks.  However, no assurance can be given that our continued efforts to compete with other financial institutions will be successful.

 

9

 

 

In addition to other banks, our competitors include savings institutions, credit unions, and numerous non-banking institutions, such as finance companies, leasing companies, insurance companies, brokerage firms, and investment banking firms. In recent years, increased competition has also developed from specialized finance and non-finance companies that offer money market and mutual funds, wholesale finance, credit card, and other consumer finance services, including on-line banking services and personal finance software. Strong competition for deposit and loan products affects the rates of those products as well as the terms on which they are offered to customers.

 

Other Competitive Factors.     The more general competitive trends in the industry include increased consolidation and competition. Strong competitors, other than financial institutions, have entered banking markets with focused products targeted at highly profitable customer segments. Many of these competitors are able to compete across geographic boundaries and provide customers increasing access to meaningful alternatives to banking services in nearly all significant products areas. Mergers between financial institutions have placed additional pressure on banks within the industry to streamline their operations, reduce expenses, and increase revenues to remain competitive. Competition has also intensified due to the federal and state interstate banking laws, which permit banking organizations to expand geographically, and the California market has been particularly attractive to out-of-state institutions. The Financial Modernization Act, which has made it possible for full affiliations to occur between banks and securities firms, insurance companies, and other financial companies, is also expected to intensify competitive conditions.

 

Technological innovations have also resulted in increased competition in the financial services industry. Such innovations have, for example, made it possible for non-depository institutions to offer customers automated transfer payment services that were previously considered traditional banking products. In addition, many customers now expect a choice of several delivery systems and channels, including telephone, mail, home computer, mobile devices, ATMs, self-service branches and/or in-store branches.

 

Business Concentration.    No individual or single group of related accounts is considered material in relation to our total assets or deposits, or in relation to our overall business. However, approximately 84% of our loan portfolio held for investment at December 31, 2017 consisted of real estate-related loans, including construction loans, miniperm loans, real estate mortgage loans and commercial loans secured by real estate. Moreover, our business activities are currently focused primarily in Central California, with the majority of our business concentrated in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Inyo and Mono Counties.  Consequently, our results of operations and financial condition are dependent upon the general trends in the Central California economies and, in particular, the residential and commercial real estate markets. In addition, the concentration of our operations in Central California exposes us to greater risk than other banking companies with a wider geographic base in the event of catastrophes, such as earthquakes, fires and floods in this region.

 

 

Employees

 

As of December 31, 2017, we had 175 employees (149 full-time employees and 26 part-time employees). None of our employees are currently represented by a union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

 

Economic Conditions and Legislative and Regulatory Developments

 

As it is the case with financial institutions with our size and scope, our profitability primarily depends on interest rate differentials. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control and cannot be predicted, such as inflation, recession and unemployment, and the impact that future changes in domestic and foreign economic conditions might have on the Company.  A more detailed discussion of the Company’s interest rate risks and the mitigation of those risks is included in Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Our business is also influenced by the monetary and fiscal policies of the Federal government and the policies of regulatory agencies.  The Federal Reserve Board implements national monetary policies (with objectives such as maintaining price stability, stimulating growth and reducing unemployment) through its open-market operations in U.S. Government securities, by adjusting the required level of reserves for depository institutions subject to its reserve requirements, and by varying the target Federal funds and discount rates applicable to borrowings by depository institutions. The actions of the Federal Reserve Board in these areas influence the growth of bank loans, investments, and deposits and also affect interest earned on interest-earning assets and interest paid on interest-bearing liabilities. The nature and impact of any future changes in monetary and fiscal policies on us cannot be predicted.

 

From time to time, federal and state legislation is enacted that may have the effect of materially increasing the cost of doing business, limiting or expanding permissible activities, or affecting the competitive balance between banks and other financial services providers. In response to the economic downturn and financial industry instability, legislative and regulatory initiatives were, and are expected to continue to be, introduced and implemented, which substantially intensify the regulation of the financial services industry.  Moreover, in light of the economic environment over the last three to five years, bank regulatory agencies have responded to concerns and trends identified in examinations.  While their response resulted in the increased issuance and continuation of enforcement actions against financial institutions towards the end of the last decade and into the beginning of this decade, the level of such actions compared to the peak in 2010 has decreased.

 

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Supervision and Regulation in General

 

The banking and financial services business in which we engage is highly regulated. Such regulation is intended, among other things, to protect depositors insured by the FDIC and the entire banking system. These regulations affect our lending practices, consumer protections, capital structure, investment practices and dividend policy.

 

The Company is a legal entity separate and distinct from the Bank.  The Company and the Bank are each subject to supervision and regulation by a number of federal and state agencies and regulatory bodies, as outlined below.

 

Upon effectiveness of the bank holding company reorganization on July 2, 2008, the Company became subject to regulation under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (“BHCA”). As a bank holding company, the Company is regulated and is subject to inspection, examination and supervision by the Federal Reserve Board. It is also subject to the California Financial Code, as well as limited oversight by the DBO and the FDIC. Under the Federal Reserve Board’s regulations, a bank holding company is required to serve as a source of financial and managerial strength to its subsidiary banks. The BHCA regulates the activities of holding companies including acquisitions, mergers, and consolidations and, together with the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act of 1999, the scope of allowable banking activities.

 

As a California-state chartered bank, the Bank is subject to primary supervision, examination and regulation by the DBO and the Federal Reserve Board. The Federal Reserve Board is the primary federal regulator of state member banks. The Bank is also subject to regulation by the FDIC, which insures the Bank’s deposits as permitted by law. If, as a result of an examination of a bank, the Federal Reserve Board determines that the financial condition, capital resources, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity or other aspects of its operations are unsatisfactory, or that it or its management is violating or has violated any law or regulation, various remedies are available to the Federal Reserve Board. Such remedies include the power to: enjoin “unsafe or unsound” practices; require affirmative action to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice; issue an administrative order that can be judicially enforced; direct an increase in capital; restrict growth; assess civil monetary penalties; remove officers and directors; institute a receivership; and, ultimately terminate the bank’s deposit insurance, which would result in a revocation of its charter. The DBO separately holds many of the same remedial powers.

 

The commercial banking business is also influenced by the monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government and the policies of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, also known as the FRB or the Federal Reserve Board. As a member of the Federal Reserve System, we are subject to certain regulations of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The regulations of these agencies govern most aspects of our business, including the filing of periodic reports, and activities relating to dividends, investments, loans, borrowings, capital requirements, certain check-clearing activities, branching, mergers and acquisitions, reserves against deposits, and numerous other areas. Supervision, legal action and examination of us by the FRB is generally intended to protect depositors and is not intended for the protection of our shareholders. The Federal Reserve Board implements national monetary policies (with objectives such as curbing inflation and combating recession) by its open-market operations in United States Government securities, by adjusting the required level of reserves for financial intermediaries subject to its reserve requirements and by varying the discount rates applicable to borrowings by depository institutions. The actions of the Federal Reserve Board in these areas influence the growth of bank loans, investments and deposits and affects interest rates charged on loans and paid on deposits. Indirectly such actions may also impact the ability of non-bank financial institutions to compete with us. The nature and impact of any future changes in monetary policies cannot be predicted.

 

The laws, regulations and policies affecting financial services businesses are continuously under review by Congress and state legislatures and federal and state regulatory agencies. From time to time, legislation is enacted which has the effect of increasing the cost of doing business, limiting or expanding permissible activities or affecting the competitive balance between banks and other financial intermediaries. Proposals to change the laws and regulations governing the operations and taxation of banks, bank holding companies and other financial intermediaries are frequently made in Congress, in the California legislature and by various bank regulatory agencies and other professional agencies. Changes in the laws, regulations or policies that impact us cannot necessarily be predicted, but they may have a material effect on our business and earnings.

 

The federal and state bank regulatory agencies may respond to concerns and trends identified in examinations by issuing enforcement actions to, and entering into cease and desist orders, consent orders and memoranda of understanding with, financial institutions requiring action by management and boards of directors to address credit quality, liquidity, risk management and capital adequacy concerns, as well as other safety and soundness or compliance issues. Banks and bank holding companies are also subject to examination and potential enforcement actions by their state regulatory agencies.

 

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Bank Holding Company and Bank Regulation

 

Bank holding companies and their subsidiaries are subject to significant regulation and restrictions by Federal and State laws and regulatory agencies.  Federal and State laws, regulations and restrictions, which may affect the cost of doing business, limit permissible activities and expansion or impact the competitive balance between banks and other financial services providers, are intended primarily for the protection of depositors and the FDIC deposit insurance fund (“DIF”), and secondarily for the stability of the U.S. banking system. They are not intended for the benefit of shareholders of financial institutions. The following discussion of key statutes and regulations to which the Company and the Bank are subject is a summary and does not purport to be complete nor does it address all applicable statutes and regulations. This discussion is qualified in its entirety by reference to the statutes and regulations referred to in this discussion.

 

The wide range of requirements and restrictions contained in both Federal and State banking laws include:

 

 

Requirements that bank holding companies serve as a source of strength for their banking subsidiaries. In addition, the regulatory agencies have “prompt corrective action” authority to limit activities and order an assessment of a bank holding company if the capital of a bank subsidiary falls below capital levels required by the regulators.

 

 

Limitations on dividends payable to shareholders. A substantial portion of the Company’s funds to pay dividends or to pay principal and interest on our debt obligations is derived from dividends paid by the Bank. The Company’s and the Bank’s ability to pay dividends is subject to legal and regulatory restrictions. The Federal Reserve Board has authority to prohibit bank holding companies from paying dividends if such payment is deemed to be an unsafe or unsound practice.

 

 

Limitations on dividends payable by bank subsidiaries. These dividends are subject to various legal and regulatory restrictions. The federal banking agencies have indicated that paying dividends that deplete a depositary institution’s capital base to an inadequate level would be an unsafe and unsound banking practice. Moreover, the federal agencies have issued policy statements that provide that bank holding companies and insured banks should generally only pay dividends out of current operating earnings.

 

 

Safety and soundness requirements. Banks must be operated in a safe and sound manner and meet standards applicable to internal controls, information systems, internal audit, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth and compensation, as well as other operational and management standards. These safety and soundness requirements give bank regulatory agencies significant latitude in exercising their supervisory authority and their authority to initiate informal or formal enforcement action.

 

 

Requirements for approval of acquisitions and activities. Prior approval or non-objection of the applicable federal regulatory agencies is required for most acquisitions and mergers and in order to engage in certain non-banking activities and activities that have been determined by the Federal Reserve to be financial in nature, incidental to financial activities, or complementary to a financial activity. Laws and regulations governing state-chartered banks contain similar provisions concerning acquisitions and activities.

 

 

The Community Reinvestment Act (the “CRA”). The CRA requires that banks help meet the credit needs in their communities, including the availability of credit to low and moderate income individuals. If the Company or the Bank fails to adequately serve their communities, penalties may be imposed, including denials of applications for branches, to add subsidiaries and affiliates, or to merge with or purchase other financial institutions.

 

 

The Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot Act, and other anti-money laundering laws. These laws and regulations require financial institutions to assist U.S. Government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering and other illegal acts by maintaining policies, procedures and controls designed to detect and report money laundering, terrorist financing, and other suspicious activity.

 

 

Limitations on the amount of loans to one borrower and its affiliates and to executive officers and directors.

 

 

Limitations on transactions with affiliates.

 

 

Restrictions on the nature and amount of any investments in, and ability to underwrite certain securities.

 

 

Requirements for opening of branches intra- and interstate.

 

 

Fair lending and truth in lending laws to ensure equal access to credit and to protect consumers in credit transactions.

 

 

Provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (“GLB Act”) and other federal and state laws dealing with privacy for nonpublic personal information of customers.

 

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The following discussion summarizes certain significant laws, rules and regulations affecting both the Company and the Bank. The Bank addresses the many state and federal regulations it is subject to through a comprehensive compliance program that addresses the various risks associated with these issues. The following discussion is not meant to cover all applicable rules and regulations and it is qualified in its entirety by reference to such laws, rules and regulations which may change from time to time.

 

 

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

 

The events of the past several years have led to numerous new laws and regulatory pronouncements in the United States and internationally for financial institutions. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), enacted in 2010, is one of the most far reaching legislative actions affecting the financial services industry in decades and significantly restructures the financial regulatory regime in the United States.

 

The Dodd-Frank Act broadly affects the financial services industry by creating new resolution authorities, requiring ongoing stress testing of capital, mandating higher capital and liquidity requirements, increasing regulation of executive and incentive-based compensation and requiring numerous other provisions aimed at strengthening the sound operation of the financial services sector depending, in part, on the size of the financial institution. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act provides for:

 

 

capital standards applicable to bank holding companies may be no less stringent than those applied to insured depository institutions;

 

 

annual stress tests and early remediation or so-called living wills are required for larger banks with more than $50 billion of assets as well risk committees of their boards of directors that include a risk expert and such requirements may have the effect of establishing new best practices standards for smaller banks;

 

 

trust preferred securities must generally be deducted from Tier 1 capital over a three-year phase-in period which ended in 2016, although depository institution holding companies with assets of less than $15 billion as of year-end 2009 were grandfathered with respect to such securities for purposes of calculating regulatory capital;

 

 

the assessment base for federal deposit insurance was changed to consolidated assets less tangible capital instead of the amount of insured deposits, which generally increased the insurance fees of larger banks, but had relatively less impact on smaller banks;

 

 

repeal of the federal prohibition on the payment of interest on demand deposits, including business checking accounts, and made permanent the $250,000 limit for federal deposit insurance;

 

 

the establishment of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) with responsibility for promulgating regulations designed to protect consumers’ financial interests and prohibit unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices by financial institutions, and with authority to directly examine those financial institutions with $10 billion or more in assets for compliance with the regulations promulgated by the CFPB;

 

 

limits, or places significant burdens and compliance and other costs, on activities traditionally conducted by banking organizations, such as originating and securitizing mortgage loans and other financial assets, arranging and participating in swap and derivative transactions, proprietary trading and investing in private equity and other funds; and

 

 

the establishment of new compensation restrictions and standards regarding the time, manner and form of compensation given to key executives and other personnel receiving incentive compensation, including documentation and governance, proxy access by stockholders, deferral and claw-back requirements.

 

As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, federal regulators have adopted regulations to (i) increase capital requirements on banks and bank holding companies pursuant to Basel III, and (ii) implement the so-called “Volcker Rule” of the Dodd-Frank Act, which significantly restricts certain activities by covered bank holding companies, including restrictions on proprietary trading and private equity investing.

 

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Many of the regulations to implement the Dodd-Frank Act have not yet been published for comment or adopted in final form and a number of the regulations that have been adopted in final form will take effect over several years, making it difficult to anticipate the overall financial impact on the Company and the Bank, our customers or the financial industry more generally.  Individually and collectively, these regulations resulting from the Dodd-Frank Act may materially and adversely affect the Company’s and the Bank’s business, financial condition, and results of operations.  Provisions in the legislation that require revisions to the capital requirements of the Company and the Bank could require the Company and the Bank to seek additional sources of capital in the future.

 

 

Volcker Rule

 

The final rules adopted on December 10, 2013, to implement a part of the Dodd-Frank Act commonly referred to as the “Volcker Rule”, prohibit insured depository institutions and companies affiliated with insured depository institutions (“banking entities”) from engaging in short-term proprietary trading of certain securities, derivatives, commodity futures and options on these instruments, for their own account. The final rules also impose limits on banking entities’ investments in, and other relationships with, hedge funds or private equity funds. These rules became effective on April 1, 2014.  Certain collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), securities backed by trust preferred securities which were initially defined as covered funds subject to the investment prohibitions, have been exempted to address the concern that many community banks holding such CDOs securities may have been required to recognize significant losses on those securities.

 

Like the Dodd-Frank Act, the final rules provide exemptions for certain activities, including market making, underwriting, hedging, trading in government obligations, insurance company activities, and organizing and offering hedge funds or private equity funds. The final rules also clarify that certain activities are not prohibited, including acting as agent, broker, or custodian.

 

The compliance requirements under the final rules vary based on the size of the banking entity and the scope of activities conducted. Banking entities with significant trading operations will be required to establish a detailed compliance program and their CEOs will be required to attest that the program is reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the final rule. Independent testing and analysis of an institution’s compliance program will also be required. The final rules reduce the burden on smaller, less-complex institutions by limiting their compliance and reporting requirements. Additionally, a banking entity that does not engage in covered trading activities will not need to establish a compliance program. The Company and the Bank held no investment positions at December 31, 2017 or 2016 that were subject to the final rule.  Therefore, while these new rules may require us to conduct certain internal analysis and reporting, we believe that they will not require any material changes in our operations or business.

 

 

Capital Adequacy Requirements

 

Banks and bank holding companies are subject to various capital requirements administered by state and federal banking agencies. Capital adequacy guidelines involve quantitative measures of assets, liabilities and certain off-balance-sheet items calculated under regulatory accounting practices. Capital amounts and classifications are also subject to qualitative judgments by regulators about components, risk weighting and other factors.

 

The federal banking agencies have adopted risk-based minimum capital guidelines intended to provide a measure of capital that reflects the degree of risk associated with a banking organization’s operations for both transactions reported on the balance sheet as assets and transactions which are recorded as off balance sheet items. Under these guidelines, nominal dollar amounts of assets and credit equivalent amounts of off balance sheet items are multiplied by one of several risk adjustment percentages, which range from 0% for assets with low credit risk, such as federal banking agencies, to 100% for assets with relatively high credit risk. The higher the category, the more risk a bank is subject to and thus the more capital that is required.

 

The regulatory agencies’ risk-based capital guidelines are based upon capital accords of the internal Basel Committee on Bank Supervision (“Basel Committee”), a committee of central banks and bank supervisors/regulators from the major industrialized countries that develops broad policy guidelines, which each country’s supervisors can use to determine the supervisory policies they apply to their home jurisdiction. In December 2010, the Basel Committee released its final framework for strengthening international capital and liquidity regulation, now officially identified as “Basel III.” Basel III, when fully phased-in, would require bank holding companies and their bank subsidiaries to maintain substantially more capital than currently required, with a greater emphasis on common equity. The Basel III capital framework, among other things:

 

      introduces as a new capital measure, Common Equity Tier 1 (“CET1”), more commonly known in the United States as “Tier 1 Common,” and defines CET1 narrowly by requiring that most adjustments to regulatory capital measures be made to CET1 and not to the other components of capital, and expands the scope of the adjustments as compared to existing regulations;

 

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      when fully phased in, requires banks to maintain: (i) a newly adopted international standard, a minimum ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 4.5%, plus a 2.5% “capital conservation buffer” (which is added to the 4.5% CET1 ratio as that buffer is phased in, effectively resulting in a minimum ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 7%); (ii) an additional “SIFI buffer” for those large institutions deemed to be systemically important, ranging from 1.0% to 2.5%, and up to 3.5% under certain conditions; (iii) a minimum ratio of Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 6.0%, plus the capital conservation buffer (which is added to the 6.0% Tier 1 capital ratio as that buffer is phased in, effectively resulting in a minimum Tier 1 capital ratio of 8.5% upon full implementation); (iv) a minimum ratio of Total (that is, Tier 1 plus Tier 2) capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.0%, plus the capital conservation buffer (which is added to the 8.0% total capital ratio as that buffer is phased in, effectively resulting in a minimum total capital ratio of 10.5% upon full implementation); and (v) as a newly adopted international standard, a minimum leverage ratio of 3%, calculated as the ratio of Tier 1 capital to balance sheet exposures plus certain off-balance sheet exposures (as the average for each quarter of the month-end ratios for the quarter); and

 

     an additional “countercyclical capital buffer,” generally to be imposed when national regulators determine that excess aggregate credit growth becomes associated with a buildup of systemic risk, that would be a CET1 add-on to the capital conservation buffer in the range of 0% to 2.5% when fully implemented.

 

In July 2014, the U.S. banking agencies approved the U.S. version of Basel III. The federal bank regulatory agencies adopted version of Basel III revises the risk-based and leverage capital requirements and the method for calculating risk-weighted assets to make them consistent with Basel III and to meet the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act. Although many of the rules contained in these final regulations are applicable only to large, internationally active banks, some of them will apply on a phased in basis to all banking organizations, including the Company and the Bank. Among other things, the rules establish a new minimum common equity Tier 1 ratio (4.5% of risk-weighted assets), a higher minimum Tier 1 risk-based capital requirement (6.0% of risk-weighted assets) and a minimum non-risk-based leverage ratio (4.00% eliminating a 3.00% exception for higher rated banks). The new additional capital conservation buffer of 2.5% of risk weighted assets over each of the required capital ratios will be phased in from 2016 to 2019 and must be met to avoid limitations on the ability of the Bank to pay dividends, repurchase shares or pay discretionary bonuses. The additional “countercyclical capital buffer” is also required for larger and more complex institutions. The new rules assign higher risk weighting to exposures that are more than 90 days past due or are on nonaccrual status and certain commercial real estate facilities that finance the acquisition, development or construction of real property. The rules also change the permitted composition of Tier 1 capital to exclude trust preferred securities, mortgage servicing rights and certain deferred tax assets and include unrealized gains and losses on available for sale debt and equity securities (with a one-time opt out option for Standardized Banks (banks with less than $250 billion of total consolidated assets and less than $10 billion of foreign exposures)). The rules, including alternative requirements for smaller community financial institutions like the Company, would be phased in through 2019. The implementation of the Basel III framework for the Company and the Bank commenced on January 1, 2015.

 

The Bank is well capitalized. As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, the Bank’s Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio was 11.3% and 11.3%, Tier 1 Risk-Based Capital Ratio was 10.3% and 10.2%, and our Common Equity Tier 1 Risk-Based Capital Ratio was 10.3% and 10.2%, respectively.

 

In addition to the risk-based guidelines, federal banking regulators require banking organizations to maintain a minimum amount of Tier 1 capital to total average assets, referred to as the leverage ratio. Banks that have received the highest rating of the five categories used by regulators to rate banks and are not anticipating or experiencing any significant growth must maintain a ratio of Tier 1 capital (net of all intangibles) to adjusted total assets, or “Leverage Capital Ratio”, of at least 3%. All other institutions are required to maintain a leverage ratio of at least 100 to 200 basis points above the 3% minimum, for a minimum of 4% to 5%. Pursuant to federal regulations, banks must maintain capital levels commensurate with the level of risk to which they are exposed, including the volume and severity of problem loans. As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, the Bank’s Leverage Capital Ratios were 8.4% and 8.1%, respectively.

 

Federal banking regulators may set capital requirements higher than the minimums described above for financial institutions whose circumstances warrant it. For example, a financial institution experiencing or anticipating significant growth may be expected to maintain capital positions substantially above the minimum supervisory levels without significant reliance on intangible assets.

 

A bank may be treated as though it were in the next lower capital category if, after notice and the opportunity for a hearing, the appropriate federal agency finds an unsafe or unsound condition or practice so warrants, but no bank may be treated as “critically undercapitalized” unless its actual capital ratio warrants such treatment.

 

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At each successively lower capital category, an insured bank is subject to increased restrictions on its operations. For example, a bank is generally prohibited from paying management fees to any controlling persons or from making capital distributions, if to do so would make the Bank “undercapitalized.” Asset growth and branching restrictions apply to undercapitalized banks, which are required to submit written capital restoration plans meeting specified requirements (including a guarantee by the parent holding company, if any). “Significantly undercapitalized” banks are subject to broad regulatory authority, including among other things, capital directives, forced mergers, restrictions on the rates of interest they may pay on deposits, restrictions on asset growth and activities, and prohibitions on paying certain bonuses without FRB approval. Even more severe restrictions apply to critically undercapitalized banks. Most importantly, except under limited circumstances, the appropriate federal banking agency is required to appoint a conservator or receiver for an insured bank not later than 90 days after the Bank becomes critically undercapitalized.

 

In addition to measures taken under the prompt corrective action provisions, insured banks may be subject to potential actions by federal regulators for unsafe or unsound practices in conducting their businesses or for violations of any law, rule, regulation or any condition imposed in writing by the agency or any written agreement with the agency. Enforcement actions may include the issuance of cease and desist orders, termination of insurance of deposits (in the case of a bank), the imposition of civil money penalties, the issuance of directives to increase capital, formal and informal agreements, or removal and prohibition orders against “institution-affiliated” parties.

 

 

Dividends

 

The payment of cash dividends by the Bank to the Company is subject to restrictions set forth in the California Financial Code (the “Code”).  Prior to any distribution from the Bank to the Company, a calculation is made to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Code and to ensure that the Bank remains within capital guidelines set forth by the DBO and the FRB. In the event that the intended distribution from the Bank to the Company exceeds the restriction in the Code, advance approval from FRB is required. Management anticipates that there will be sufficient earnings at the Bank level to provide dividends to the Company to meet its cash requirements for 2018.

 

 

Safety and Soundness Standards

 

Federal banking agencies have also adopted guidelines establishing safety and soundness standards for all insured depository institutions. Those guidelines relate to internal controls, information systems, internal audit systems, loan underwriting and documentation, compensation and interest rate exposure. In general, the standards are designed to assist the federal banking agencies in identifying and addressing problems at insured depository institutions before capital becomes impaired. If an institution fails to meet these standards, the appropriate federal banking agency may require the institution to submit a compliance plan and institute enforcement proceedings, if an acceptable compliance plan is not submitted.

 

 

Deposit Insurance and FDIC Insurance Assessments

 

Our deposits are insured by the FDIC to the maximum amount permitted by law, which is currently $250,000 per depositor. The Dodd-Frank Act made the deposit insurance coverage permanent at the $250,000 level retroactive to January 1, 2008.

 

On February 7, 2011, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC approved a rule that changes the FDIC insurance assessment base from adjusted domestic deposits to a bank’s average consolidated total assets minus average tangible equity, defined as Tier 1 capital. Since the new base is larger than the current base, the new rule lowers assessment rates to between 2.5 and 9 basis points on the broader base for banks in the lowest risk category, and 30 to 45 basis points for banks in the highest risk category. The change was effective beginning with the second quarter of 2011. Since we have a solid core deposit base and do not rely heavily on borrowings and brokered deposits, the benefit of the lower assessment rate (which has dropped by approximately half for us) significantly outweighed the effect of a wider assessment base.

 

 

Community Reinvestment Act

 

We are subject to certain requirements and reporting obligations involving the Community Reinvestment Act, or “CRA”. The CRA generally requires federal banking agencies to evaluate the record of financial institutions in meeting the credit needs of local communities, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods. The CRA further requires that a record be kept of whether a financial institution meets its community credit needs, which record will be taken into account when evaluating applications for, among other things, domestic branches, consummating mergers or acquisitions, or holding company formations. In measuring a bank’s compliance with its CRA obligations, the regulators now utilize a performance-based evaluation system, which bases CRA ratings on the Company’s actual lending service and investment performance, rather than on the extent to which the institution conducts needs assessments, documents community outreach activities or complies with other procedural requirements. In connection with its assessment of CRA performance, the FRB assigns a rating of “outstanding,” “satisfactory,” “needs to improve” or “substantial noncompliance.” Our CRA performance is evaluated by the FRB under the intermediate small bank requirements. The FRB’s last CRA performance examination was performed on us and completed in September of 2016 and we received an overall “Satisfactory” CRA Assessment Rating.

 

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Anti-Money Laundering Regulations

 

A series of banking laws and regulations beginning with the Bank Secrecy Act in 1970 require banks to prevent, detect, and report illicit or illegal financial activities to the federal government to prevent money laundering, international drug trafficking, and terrorism. Under the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, financial institutions are subject to prohibitions against specified financial transactions and account relationships as well as enhanced due diligence and “know your customer” standards in their dealings with high risk customers, foreign financial institutions, and foreign individuals and entities. We have extensive controls to comply with these requirements.

 

 

Privacy and Data Security

 

The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (“GLBA”) of 1999 imposed requirements on financial institutions with respect to consumer privacy. The GLBA generally prohibits disclosure of consumer information to non-affiliated third parties unless the consumer has been given the opportunity to object and has not objected to such disclosure. Financial institutions are further required to disclose their privacy policies to consumers annually. The GLBA also directs federal regulators to prescribe standards for the security of consumer information. We are subject to such standards, as well as standards for notifying consumers in the event of a security breach. We must disclose our privacy policy to consumers and permit consumers to “opt out” of having certain personal financial information disclosed to unaffiliated third parties. We are required to have an information security program to safeguard the confidentiality and security of customer information and to ensure proper disposal. Customers must be notified when unauthorized disclosure involves sensitive customer information that may be misused.

 

 

Other Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations

 

Bank regulatory agencies are increasingly focusing on compliance with consumer protection laws and regulations.

 

Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by the Bank are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates. The Bank’s operations are also subject to federal laws applicable to credit transactions, and consumer protection statutes and regulations, such as the:

 

 

Truth-In-Lending Act, governing disclosures of credit terms to consumer borrowers;

 

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

 

Equal Credit Opportunity Act, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed or other prohibited factors in extending credit;

 

Fair Credit Reporting Act, governing the use and provision of information to credit reporting agencies;

 

Fair Debt Collection Act, governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies;

 

Truth in Savings Act; and

 

rules and regulations of the various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing such federal laws.

 

The operations of the Bank are also subject to the:

 

 

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

 

Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E promulgated thereunder, which govern automatic deposits to and withdrawals from deposit accounts and customers’ rights and liabilities arising from the use of automated teller machines and other electronic banking services;

 

Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (also known as “Check 21”), which gives “substitute checks,” such as digital check images and copies made from that image, the same legal standing as the original paper check; and

 

The USA PATRIOT Act, which requires financial institutions to, among other things, establish broadened anti-money laundering compliance programs, and due diligence policies and controls to ensure the detection and reporting of money laundering. Such required compliance programs are intended to supplement existing compliance requirements that also apply to financial institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act and the Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations.

 

17

 

 

Due to heightened regulatory concern related to compliance with consumer protection laws and regulations generally, we may incur additional compliance costs or be required to expend additional funds for investments in the local communities we serve.

 

 

Restriction on Transactions between Member Banks and their Affiliates

 

Transactions between the Company and the Bank are quantitatively and qualitatively restricted under Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and Federal Reserve Regulation W. Section 23A places restrictions on the Bank’s “covered transactions” with the Company, including loans and other extensions of credit, investments in the securities of, and purchases of assets from the Company. Section 23B requires that certain transactions, including all covered transactions, be on market terms and conditions. Federal Reserve Regulation W combines statutory restrictions on transactions between the Bank and the Company with FRB interpretations in an effort to simplify compliance with Sections 23A and 23B.

 

 

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

 

On July 30, 2002, President Bush signed into law The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act addresses accounting oversight and corporate governance matters relating to the operations of public companies. During 2003, the Commission issued a number of regulations under the directive of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act significantly increasing public company governance-related obligations and filing requirements, including:

 

the establishment of an independent public oversight of public company accounting firms by a board that will set auditing, quality and ethical standards for and have investigative and disciplinary powers over such accounting firms,

 

the enhanced regulation of the independence, responsibilities and conduct of accounting firms which provide auditing services to public companies,

 

the increase of penalties for fraud related crimes,

 

the enhanced disclosure, certification, and monitoring of financial statements, internal financial controls and the audit process, and

 

the enhanced and accelerated reporting of corporate disclosures and internal governance.

 

Furthermore, in November 2003, in response to the directives of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, NASDAQ adopted substantially expanded corporate governance criteria for the issuers of securities quoted on the NASDAQ markets. The new NASDAQ rules govern, among other things, the enhancement and regulation of corporate disclosure and internal governance of listed companies and of the authority, role and responsibilities of their boards of directors and, in particular, of “independent” members of such boards of directors, in the areas of nominations, corporate governance, compensation and the monitoring of the audit and internal financial control processes.

 

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Commission rules promulgated thereunder, and the new NASDAQ governance requirements have required the Company to review its current procedures and policies to determine whether they comply with the new legislation and its implementing regulations. The Company is primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and the NASDAQ governance rules, as applicable.

 

 

Securities Laws and Corporate Governance

 

The Company is subject to the disclosure and regulatory requirements of the 1933 Act and the 1934 Act, both as administered by the SEC. As a company listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, the Company is subject to NASDAQ listing standards for listed companies.

 

18

 

 

As discussed above, we are also subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, and other federal and state laws and regulations which address, among other issues, required executive certification of financial presentations, corporate governance requirements for board audit committees and their members, and disclosure of controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, auditing and accounting, executive compensation, and enhanced and timely disclosure of corporate information. NASDAQ has also adopted corporate governance rules, which are intended to allow shareholders and investors to more easily and efficiently monitor the performance of companies and their directors.

 

Finally, the Company is subject to the provisions of the California General Corporation Law, while the Bank is also subject to the California Financial Code provisions.

 

 

Environmental Regulations

 

In the course of our business, we may foreclose and take title to real estate, and could be subject to environmental liabilities with respect to these properties. We may be held liable to a governmental entity or to third parties for property damage, personal injury, investigation and clean-up costs incurred by these parties in connection with environmental contamination, or may be required to investigate or clean up hazardous or toxic substances, or chemical releases at a property. The costs associated with investigation or remediation activities could be substantial. In addition, as the owner or former owner of a contaminated site, we may be subject to common law claims by third parties based on damages and costs resulting from environmental contamination emanating from the property. If we ever become subject to significant environmental liabilities, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

 

 

Other Pending and Proposed Legislation

 

Other legislative and regulatory initiatives which could affect us and the banking industry, in general, are pending and additional initiatives may be proposed or introduced before the United States Congress, the California legislature and other governmental bodies in the future. Such proposals, if enacted, may further alter the structure, regulation and competitive relationship among financial institutions, and may subject us to increased regulation, disclosure and reporting requirements. In addition, the various banking regulatory agencies often adopt new rules and regulations to implement and enforce existing legislation. We cannot predict whether, or in what form, any such legislation or regulations may be enacted or the extent to which our business would be affected thereby.

 

 

Available Information

 

The Company maintains an Internet website at http://www.ovcb.com. The Company makes available its annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to such reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the 1934 Act and other information related to the Company free of charge, through this site as soon as reasonably practicable after it electronically files those documents with, or otherwise furnishes them to, the SEC. The Company’s website also contains its Committee Charters, Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct and Corporate Governance Guidelines. The Company’s internet website and the information contained therein or connected thereto are not intended to be incorporated into this annual report on Form 10-K.

 

In addition, copies of our filings are available by requesting them in writing or by phone from:

 

Corporate Secretary

Oak Valley Bancorp

125 North Third Avenue
Oakdale, California

209-844-7578

 

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

19

 

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

Our main office is located in a complex at 125 North Third Avenue, Oakdale, CA 95361, in downtown Oakdale and houses our primary loan production, operations, and administrative offices.  The building has an automated teller machine and onsite parking.  The Company’s Oakdale complex includes the adjacent corporate headquarter building and occupies approximately 20,000 square feet of space.

 

Property Location and Address

 

Square
Footage

 

Lease
Expiration Date

 

Lease
Extension Options

 

Oakdale, 125 North Third Ave.

 

9,600

 

n/a*

 

n/a*

 

Oakdale, 338 F Street

 

9,860

 

n/a*

 

n/a*

 

Sonora, 14580 Mono Way

 

2,500

 

4/2018

 

two, 5-year term extensions

 

Modesto, 12th & I Street

 

4,500

 

3/2021

 

one, 5-year term extensions

 

Bridgeport, 166 Main Street

 

2,875

 

n/a*

 

n/a*

 

Mammoth Lakes, 307 Old Mammoth Road

 

1,856

 

n/a*

 

n/a*

 

Bishop, 351 North Main Street

 

3,680

 

8/2019

 

one, 5-year term extensions

 

Modesto, 4120 Dale Road

 

4,500

 

3/2021

 

one, 5-year term extensions

 

Turlock, 2001 Geer Road

 

2,400

 

1/2020

 

one, 5-year term extensions

 

Patterson, 20 Plaza Circle

 

2,100

 

n/a*

 

n/a*

 

Escalon, 1910 McHenry Ave.

 

3,500

 

4/2021

 

two, 5-year term extensions

 

Ripon, 150 North Wilma Ave.

 

1,800

 

12/2020

 

No remaining extensions

 

Stockton, 2935 West March Lane

 

8,000

 

12/2022

 

two, 5-year term extensions

 

Modesto, 3508 McHenry Ave.

 

5,400

 

n/a*

 

n/a*

 

Manteca, 191 W. North Street

 

2,800

 

5/2021

 

one, 5-year term extensions

 

Tracy, 1034 N. Central Ave.

 

5,000

 

7/2024

 

two, 5-year term extensions

 

Sonora, 85 Mono Way

 

4,000

 

12/2030

 

two, 5-year term extensions

 

Sacramento, 455 Capital Mall, Suite 235

 

576

 

n/a**

 

n/a**

 

 


* The Company owns this property.

** This is a loan production office on a month-to-month rent agreement.

 

Management has determined that all of its premises are adequate for its present and anticipated level of business.

 

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

From time to time, the Company is a party to claims and legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business. Our management evaluates its exposure to these claims and proceedings individually and in the aggregate and provides for potential losses on such litigation if the amount of the loss is estimable and the loss is probable.

 

To our knowledge, there are no material litigation matters pending at the current time. Although the results of any such litigation matters and claims cannot be predicted with certainty, we believe that the final outcome of any such claims and proceedings will not have a material adverse impact on the Company’s financial position, liquidity, or results of operations.

 

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not applicable. 

 

20

 

 

PART II

 

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

 

Price Range of Common Stock

 

Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “OVLY.” The following table sets forth the high and low sales prices of our common stock, based on inter-dealer prices that do not include retail markups, markdowns or commissions, and cash dividends declared for the two calendar years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.  From time to time, during the periods indicated, trading activity in our common stock was infrequent.  The source of the quotes is The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC.

 

   

Common Stock Sale Price

 

For Calendar Quarter Ended

 

High

   

Low

 
                 

March 31, 2016

  $ 10.40     $ 9.22  

June 30, 2016

  $ 9.97     $ 9.32  

September 30, 2016

  $ 10.37     $ 9.35  

December 31, 2016

  $ 12.75     $ 10.25  

March 31, 2017

  $ 15.28     $ 12.39  

June 30, 2017

  $ 14.73     $ 13.15  

September 30, 2017

  $ 16.97     $ 13.80  

December 31, 2017

  $ 20.69     $ 16.27  

 

On March 1, 2018, the closing price of our common stock was $21.90 per share; and there were approximately 397 shareholders of record of the common stock and 8,179,505 outstanding shares of common stock. The actual number of shareholders is greater than this number of record holders and includes shareholders who are beneficial owners but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees.

 

 

Dividends

 

Our ability to pay any cash dividends will depend not only upon our earnings during a specified period, but also on our meeting certain capital requirements.

 

Dividends the Company declares are subject to the restrictions set forth in the California General Corporation Law (the “Corporation Law”). The Corporation Law provides that a corporation may make a distribution to its shareholders if the corporation’s retained earnings equal at least the amount of the proposed distribution. The Corporation Law also provides that, in the event that sufficient retained earnings are not available for the proposed distribution, a corporation may nevertheless make a distribution to its shareholders if it meets two conditions, which generally stated are as follows: (i) the corporation’s assets equal at least 1 and 1/4 times its liabilities, and (ii) the corporation’s current assets equal at least its current liabilities or, if the average of the corporation’s earnings before taxes on income and before interest expenses for the two preceding fiscal years was less than the average of the corporation’s interest expenses for such fiscal years, then the corporation’s current assets must equal at least 1 and 1/4 times its current liabilities.

 

Additionally, the Federal Reserve Board has authority to limit the payment of dividends by bank holding companies, such as the Company, in certain circumstances, requiring, among other things, a holding company to consult with the Federal Reserve Board prior to payment of a dividend if the company does not have sufficient recent earnings in excess of the proposed dividend.

 

The principal source of funds from which the Company may pay dividends is the receipt of dividends from the Bank. The availability of dividends from the Bank is limited by various statutes and regulations. The Bank is subject first to corporate restrictions on its ability to pay dividends. Further, the Bank may not pay a dividend if it would be undercapitalized after the dividend payment is made. The payment of cash dividends by the Bank is subject to restrictions set forth in the California Financial Code (the “Financial Code”). The Financial Code provides that a bank may not make a cash distribution to its shareholders in excess of the lesser of (a) bank’s retained earnings; or (b) bank’s net income for its last three fiscal years, less the amount of any distributions made by the bank or by any majority-owned subsidiary of the bank to the shareholders of the bank during such period. However, a bank may, with the approval of the DBO, make a distribution to its shareholders in an amount not exceeding the greatest of (a) its retained earnings; (b) its net income for its last fiscal year; or (c) its net income for its current fiscal year. In the event that the DBO determines that the shareholders’ equity of a bank is inadequate or that the making of a distribution by the bank would be unsafe or unsound, the DBO may order the bank to refrain from making a proposed distribution. The FDIC may also restrict the payment of dividends if such payment would be deemed unsafe or unsound or if after the payment of such dividends, the bank would be included in one of the “undercapitalized” categories for capital adequacy purposes pursuant to federal law.

 

21

 

 

While the Federal Reserve Board has no general restriction with respect to the payment of cash dividends by an adequately capitalized bank to its parent holding company, the Federal Reserve Board might, under certain circumstances, place restrictions on the ability of a particular bank to pay dividends based upon peer group averages and the performance and maturity of the particular bank, or object to management fees to be paid by a subsidiary bank to its holding company on the basis that such fees cannot be supported by the value of the services rendered or are not the result of an arm’s length transaction.

 

Shareholders are entitled to receive dividends only when and if dividends are declared by our Board of Directors. Although we have paid dividends in the past, it is no guarantee that we will pay cash dividends in the future. During 2014, two cash dividends were paid, a $0.10 per common share dividend in January and a $0.065 per common share dividend in July. During 2015, two cash dividends were paid, a $0.10 per common share dividend in January and a $0.11 per common share dividend in July. During 2016, two cash dividends were paid, a $0.12 per common share dividend in January and a $0.12 per common share dividend in July. During 2017, two cash dividends were paid, a $0.125 per common share dividend in January and a $0.125 per common share dividend in July.

 

 

Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

The following table provides information as of December 31, 2017 with respect to shares of our common stock that are issued and currently outstanding under the Company’s 1998 Restated Stock Option Plan (the “1998 Restated Stock Option Plan”), and the number of shares that are authorized to be issued under the Company’s 2008 Equity Plan (the “2008 Equity Plan”).

 

   

A

 

B

 

C

 

Plan Category

 

Number of Securities to be Issued Upon
Exercise of Outstanding Options

 

Weighted Average Exercise Price of
Outstanding Options

 

Number of Securities Remaining Available for
Future Issuance Under 2008 Equity Plan
(Excluding Securities Reflected in
Column A)

 

Equity Compensation Plans Approved by Shareholders

 

3,500

 

$

5.9

 

1,301,370

 

Equity Compensation Plans Not Approved by Shareholders

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

Total

 

3,500

 

$

5.94

 

1,301,370

 

 

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

 

Not applicable.

 

22

 

 

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

 

The following discussion of financial condition as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 and results of operations for each of the years in the two-year period ended December 31, 2017 should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto, included in this report. Average balances, including balances used in calculating certain financial ratios, are generally comprised of average daily balances. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates and beliefs and involve numerous risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. You should carefully read “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” included in this report.

 

 

Introduction

 

Our continued focus on responsible community banking fundamentals and our strong customer relationships have enabled us to increase our market presence through growth in our loan portfolio which is primarily funded by steady core deposit growth.

 

As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately $1 billion in total assets, $663 million in total gross loans, and $939 million in total deposits.

 

We believe the following were key indicators of our performance during 2017:

 

Total assets increased to $1.03 billion at the end of 2017, an increase of 3.3%, from $1.00 billion at the end of 2016.

 

Total deposits increased to $939 million at the end of 2017, an increase of 2.7%, from $914 million at the end of 2016.

 

Total net loans increased to $653 million at the end of 2017, an increase of 8.6%, from $601 million at the end of 2016.

 

Net interest income increased to $34.2 million in 2017, an increase of $2.7 million or 8.4%, compared to 31.5 million in 2016, mainly as a result of growth of our loan and investment portfolios.

 

Provision for loan losses decreased by $134,000 to $350,000 in 2017, compared to $484,000 in 2016, mainly due to a decrease in loan growth and overall credit quality improvements.

 

The ratio of total non-performing loans to total loans decreased to 0.20% at December 31, 2017 from 0.50% at December 31, 2016. Management considers that the size of the ratio of non-performing assets to total loans is low and manageable, and reserves have been taken appropriately.

 

Total noninterest income increased to $6.0 million in 2017, an increase of 35.4%, from $4.4 million in 2016, which is mainly attributable to merger related settlement payments from professional service providers.

 

Total noninterest expense increased from $24.3 million in 2016 to $24.6 million in 2017, primarily due to general operating costs to support our growing loan and deposit portfolios.

 

Provision from income taxes increased by $2.7 million to $6.1 million in 2017, mainly due to increased pre-tax earnings and a $983,000 deferred tax asset re-measurement following the passing of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

 

These items, as well as other factors, contributed to the increase in net income for 2017 to $9.09 million from $7.67 million in 2016, which translates into $1.13 per diluted share in 2017 as compared to $0.95 per diluted share in 2016.

 

Over the past several years, our network of branches and loan production offices have expanded geographically. We currently maintain sixteen full-service offices. We intend to continue our growth strategy in future years through the opening of additional branches and loan production offices as our needs and resources permit.

 

 

2018 Outlook

 

As we begin our strategic business plan for 2018, we remained focused on relationship based expansion throughout our market area. We will continue to focus on increasing our loan-to-deposit ratio to expand our net interest margin, while attempting to control expenses and credit losses.

 

23

 

 

The decline of market interest rates to historic lows over the past years since the economic downturn in 2008, has had a negative impact on net interest income despite the increase recognized during 2016 and 2017, which was primarily due to growth of earning assets. We expect the current low interest rate environment could have a similar impact in 2018 unless interest rates continue to increase similar to 2017. The potential compression of net interest income and net interest margin would be a likely outcome if interest rates remain static or decline, given that our balance sheet is asset sensitive to interest rate changes primarily due to the number of variable rate loans and a high level of interest-earning cash balances. This could in turn result in further decrease on the yield of earning assets compared to the cost of deposits and other funds, which have already reached a floor which cannot reasonably be further reduced.

 

Recent trends in our economy prompted the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, or FOMC, to increase the target federal funds by 0.25% in December 2016, March 2017 and June 2007. Given our asset sensitive balance sheet, our net interest income will be expected to benefit from interest rate increases, but any such benefit will be proportional to the increase in rates. If we experience an increase in our yield on earnings assets we could then determine to increase the interest rates we pay on our deposit accounts or change our promotional or other interest rates on new deposits in marketing activation programs to attempt to achieve a certain net interest margin. That said, in light of the current economic environment, if the rates increase is modest, it may not be possible to manage the interest margin in this manner, as competitive pressures may dictate that we increase deposit rates at a faster rate than the earning assets increase, thereby offsetting any gains to the net interest margin. The economies and real estate markets in our primary market areas will continue to be significant determinants of the quality of our assets in future periods and, thus, our results of operations, liquidity and financial condition.

 

For 2018, management remains focused on the above challenges and opportunities and other factors affecting the business similar to the factors driving 2017 results as discussed in this section.

 

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

Critical accounting policies are those that are both most important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations and require management's most difficult, subjective, or complex judgments, often as a result of the need to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain.

 

The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make estimates and judgments that effect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of our financial statements. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. In addition, GAAP itself may change from one previously acceptable method to another method, although the economics of our transactions would be the same.

 

Management has determined the following accounting policies to be critical:

 

 

Asset Impairment Judgments

 

Certain of our assets are carried in our consolidated balance sheets at fair value or at the lower of cost or fair value. Valuation allowances are established when necessary to recognize impairment of such assets. We periodically perform analyses to test for impairment of various assets. In addition to our impairment analyses related to loans, another significant impairment analysis relates to other than temporary declines in the value of our securities.

 

Loans for which it is probable that payment of interest and principal will not be made in accordance with the contractual terms of the loan agreement are considered impaired and are carried at fair value or below. Appraisals are done periodically on impaired loans and if required an allowance is established based on the fair value of collateral less the cost related to liquidation of the collateral. In some circumstances, an impaired loan may be charged off to bring the carrying value to fair value.

 

Other real estate assets (“OREO”) acquired through, or in lieu of, foreclosure are held-for-sale and are initially recorded at the lower of cost or fair value, less selling costs. Any write-downs to fair value at the time of transfer to OREO are charged to the allowance for loan losses, subsequent to foreclosure. Appraisals or evaluations are then done periodically thereafter charging any additional write-downs or valuation allowances to the appropriate expense accounts.

 

24

 

 

Net realizable value of the underlying collateral is the fair value of the collateral less estimated selling costs and any prior liens. Appraisals, recent comparable sales, offers and listing prices are factored in when valuing the collateral. We review and verify the qualifications and licenses of the certified general appraisers used for appraising commercial properties or certified residential appraisers for residential properties. Real estate appraisals may utilize a combination of approaches including replacement cost, sales comparison and the income approach. Comparable sales and income data are analyzed by the appraisers and adjusted to reflect differences between them and the subject property such as type, leasing status and physical condition. When the appraisals are received, Management reviews the assumptions and methodology utilized in the appraisal, as well as the overall resulting value in conjunction with independent data sources such as recent market data and industry-wide statistics. We generally use a 6% discount for selling costs which is applied to all properties, regardless of size. Appraised values may be adjusted to reflect changes in market conditions that have occurred subsequent to the appraisal date, or for revised estimates regarding the timing or cost of the property sale. These adjustments are based on qualitative judgments made by management on a case-by-case basis.

 

Our available for sale portfolio is carried at estimated fair value, with any unrealized gains and losses, net of taxes, reported as accumulated other comprehensive income in shareholders’ equity. We conduct a periodic review and evaluation of the securities portfolio to determine if the value of any security has declined below its carrying value and whether such decline is other than temporary. If such decline is deemed other than temporary, we would adjust the carrying amount of the security by writing down the security to fair value through a charge to current period income. The fair values of our securities are significantly affected by changes in interest rates.

 

In general, as interest rates rise, the fair value of fixed-rate securities will decrease; as interest rates fall, the fair value of fixed-rate securities will increase. With significant changes in interest rates, we evaluate our intent and ability to hold the security for a sufficient time to recover the recorded principal balance. Estimated fair values for securities are based on published or securities dealers’ market values. Market volatility is unpredictable and may impact such values.

 

 

Allowance for Loan Losses

 

Credit risk is inherent in the business of lending and making commercial loans. Accounting for our allowance for loan losses involves significant judgment and assumptions by management and is based on historical data and management’s view of the current economic environment. At least on a quarterly basis, our management reviews the methodology and adequacy of allowance for loan losses and reports its assessment to the Board of Directors for its review and approval.

 

The allowance for loan losses is an estimate of probable incurred losses with regard to our loans. Our loan loss provision for each period is dependent upon many factors, including loan growth, net charge-offs, changes in the composition of the loans, delinquencies, management's assessment of the quality of the loans, the valuation of problem loans and the general economic conditions in our market area. We base our allowance for loan losses on an estimation of probable losses inherent in our loan portfolio.

 

Our methodology for assessing loan loss allowances are intended to reduce the differences between estimated and actual losses and involves a detailed analysis of our loan portfolio, in three phases:

 

the specific review of individual loans,

 

the segmenting and review of loan pools with similar characteristics, and

 

our judgmental estimate based on various subjective factors:

 

The first phase of our methodology involves the specific review of individual loans to identify and measure impairment. We evaluate each loan by use of a risk rating system, except for homogeneous loans, such as automobile loans and home mortgages. Specific risk rated loans are deemed impaired if all amounts, including principal and interest, will likely not be collected in accordance with the contractual terms of the related loan agreement. Impairment for commercial and real estate loans is measured either based on the present value of the loan’s expected future cash flows or, if collection on the loan is collateral dependent, the estimated fair value of the collateral, less selling and holding costs.

 

The second phase involves the segmenting of the remainder of the risk rated loan portfolio into groups or pools of loans, together with loans with similar characteristics, for evaluation. We determine the calculated loss ratio to each loan pool based on its historical net losses and benchmark it against the levels of other peer banks.

 

In the third phase, we consider relevant internal and external factors that may affect the collectability of loan portfolio and each group of loan pool. The factors considered are, but are not limited to:

 

concentration of credits,

 

nature and volume of the loan portfolio,

 

25

 

 

delinquency trends,

 

non-accrual loan trend,

 

problem loan trend,

 

loss and recovery trend,

 

quality of loan review,

 

lending and management staff,

 

lending policies and procedures,

 

economic and business conditions, and

 

other external factors.

 

Our management estimates the probable effect of such conditions based on our judgment, experience and known or anticipated trends. Such estimation may be reflected as an additional allowance to each group of loans, if necessary. Management reviews these conditions with our senior credit officers. To the extent that any of these conditions is evidenced by a specifically identifiable problem credit or portfolio segment as of the evaluation date, management’s estimate of the effect of such condition may be reflected as a specific allowance applicable to such credit or portfolio segment. Where any of these conditions is not evidenced by a specific, identifiable problem credit or portfolio segment as of the evaluation date, management’s evaluation of the inherent loss related to such condition is reflected in the unallocated allowance.

 

Central to our credit risk management and our assessment of appropriate loss allowance is our loan risk rating system. Under this system, the originating credit officer assigns borrowers an initial risk rating based on a thorough analysis of each borrower’s financial capacity in conjunction with industry and economic trends. Approvals are made based upon the amount of inherent credit risk specific to the transaction and are reviewed for appropriateness by senior line and credit administration personnel. Credits are monitored by line and credit administration personnel for deterioration in a borrower’s financial condition which may impact the ability of the borrower to perform under the contract. Although management has allocated a portion of the allowance to specific loans, specific loan pools, and off-balance sheet credit exposures (which are reported separately as part of other liabilities), the adequacy of the allowance is considered in its entirety.

 

It is the policy of management to maintain the allowance for loan losses at a level adequate for risks inherent in the overall loan portfolio, however, the loan portfolio can be adversely affected if the state of California’s economic conditions and its real estate market in our general market area were to further deteriorate or weaken. Additionally, further weakness of a prolonged nature in the agricultural and general economy would have a negative impact on the local market. The effect of such economic events, although uncertain and unpredictable at this time, could result in an increase in the levels of nonperforming loans and additional loan losses, which could adversely affect our future growth and profitability. No assurance of the level of predicted credit losses can be given with any certainty.

 

 

Non-Accrual Loan Policy

 

Interest on loans is credited to income as earned and is accrued only if deemed collectible. Accrual of interest is discontinued when a loan is over 90 days delinquent or if management believes that collection is highly uncertain. Generally, payments received on nonaccrual loans are recorded as principal reductions. Interest income is recognized after all principal has been repaid or an improvement in the condition of the loan has occurred that would warrant resumption of interest accruals.

 

 

Income Taxes

 

Deferred income taxes are provided for the temporary differences between the financial reporting basis and the tax basis of the Company’s assets and liabilities. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are reflected at currently enacted income tax rates applicable to the period in which the deferred tax assets or liabilities are expected to be realized or settled using the liability method. As changes in tax laws or rates are enacted, deferred tax assets and liabilities are adjusted through the provision for income taxes.

 

26

 

 

The Company files income tax returns in the U.S. federal jurisdiction, and the state of California. With few exceptions, the Company is no longer subject to U.S. federal or state/local income tax examinations by tax authorities for years before 2013.

 

 

Fair Value Measurements

 

We use fair value measurements to record fair value adjustments to certain assets and liabilities and to determine fair value disclosures. We base our fair values on the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Securities available for sale, derivatives, and loans held for sale, if any, are recorded at fair value on a recurring basis. Additionally, from time to time, we may be required to record certain assets at fair value on a non-recurring basis, such as certain impaired loans held for investment and securities held to maturity that are other-than-temporarily impaired. These non-recurring fair value adjustments typically involve write-downs of individual assets due to application of lower-of-cost or market accounting.

 

We have established and documented a process for determining fair value. We maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs when developing fair value measurements. Whenever there is no readily available market data, management uses its best estimate and assumptions in determining fair value, but these estimates involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management's judgment. As a result, if other assumptions had been used, our recorded earnings or disclosures could have been materially different from those reflected in these financial statements. For detailed information on our use of fair value measurements and our related valuation methodologies, see Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this report.   

 

 

Recently Issued Accounting Standards

 

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606). This ASU is a converged standard involving FASB and International Financial Reporting Standards that provides a single comprehensive revenue recognition model for all contracts with customers across transactions and industries. The core principal of the guidance is that an entity should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount and at a time that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. Subsequent updates related to Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) are as follows:

 

 

August 2015 ASU No. 2015-14 - Deferral of the Effective Date, institutes a one-year deferral of the effective date of this amendment to annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017. Early application is permitted only as of annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016, including interim reporting periods within that reporting period.

 

 

March 2016 ASU No. 2016-08 - Principal versus Agent Considerations (Reporting Revenue Gross versus Net), clarifies the implementation guidance on principal versus agent considerations and on the use of indicators that assist an entity in determining whether it controls a specified good or service before it is transferred to the customer.

 

 

April 2016 ASU No. 2016-10 - Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing, provides guidance in determining performance obligations in a contract with a customer and clarifies whether a promise to grant a license provides a right to access or the right to use intellectual property.

 

 

May 2016 ASU No. 2016-12 - Narrow Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients, gives further guidance on assessing collectability, presentation of sales taxes, noncash consideration, and completed contracts and contract modifications at transition.

 

The adoption of Topic 606 is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

In September, 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-16, Simplifying the Accounting for Measurement Period Adjustments (Topic 805). This ASU eliminates the requirement to restate prior period financial statements for measurement period adjustments to assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination. The new guidance under this update requires the cumulative impact of measurement period adjustments be recognized in the period the adjustment is determined. This update does not change what constitutes a measurement period adjustment, nor does it change the length of the measurement period. The new standard is effective for interim annual periods beginning after December 15, 2015 and should be applied prospectively to measurement period adjustments that occur after the effective date. The adoption of this update did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

27

 

 

In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-01, Financial Instruments - Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities. The amendments in this ASU make improvements to GAAP related to financial instruments that include the following as applicable to us:

 

 

Equity investments, except for those accounted for under the equity method of accounting or those that result in consolidation of the investee, are required to be measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognized in net income. However, an entity may choose to measure equity investments that do not have readily determinable fair values at cost minus impairment, if any, plus or minus changes resulting from observable price changes in orderly transactions for the identical or a similar investment of the same issuer.

 

 

Simplifies the impairment assessment of equity investments without readily determinable fair values by requiring a qualitative assessment to identify impairment - if impairment exists, this requires measuring the investment at fair value.

 

 

Eliminates the requirement for public companies to disclose the method(s) and significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value that is currently required to be disclosed for financial instruments measured at amortized cost on the balance sheet.

 

 

Public companies will be required to use the exit price notion when measuring the fair value of financial instruments for disclosure purposes.

 

 

Requires separate presentation of financial assets and financial liabilities by measurement category and form of financial asset on the balance sheet or the accompanying notes to the financial statements.

 

 

The reporting entity should evaluate the need for a valuation allowance on a deferred tax asset related to available-for-sale securities in combination with the entity's other deferred tax assets.

 

ASU 2016-01 is effective for public business entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those fiscal years. This ASU will impact our financial statement disclosures, however, we do not expect this ASU to have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations.

 

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). This ASU was issued to increase transparency and comparability among organizations by recognizing lease assets and lease liabilities, including leases classified as operating leases under previous GAAP, on the balance sheet and requiring additional disclosures of key information about leasing arrangements. ASU 2016-02 is effective for annual periods, including interim periods within those annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018 and requires a modified retrospective approach to adoption. Early application of the amendments is permitted. While the Company has not quantified the impact to its balance sheet, it does expect the adoption of this ASU will result in a gross-up in its balance sheet as a result of recording a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for each lease, which is expected to decrease our leverage ratio by less than one percent.

 

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Topic 326). This update changes the methodology used by financial institutions under current U.S. GAAP to recognize credit losses in the financial statements.  Currently, U.S. GAAP requires the use of the incurred loss model, whereby financial institutions recognize in current period earnings, incurred credit losses and those inherent in the financial statements, as of the date of the balance sheet.    This guidance results in a new model for estimating the allowance for loan and lease losses, commonly referred to as the Current Expected Credit Loss (“CECL”) model.  Under the CECL model, financial institutions are required to estimate future credit losses and recognize those losses in current period earnings.  The amendments within the update are effective for fiscal years and all interim periods beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted.  Upon adoption of the amendments within this update, the Company will be required to make a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in the year of adoption. The Company is currently in the process of evaluating the impact the adoption of this update will have on its financial statements. While the Company has not quantified the impact of this ASU, it does expect changing from the current incurred loss model to an expected loss model will result in an earlier recognition of losses, and an increase to our allowance for loan losses.

 

In January 2017, FASB issued ASU 2017-03, Accounting Changes and Error Corrections (Topic 250) and Investments - Equity Method and Joint Ventures (Topic 323): Amendments to SEC Paragraphs Pursuant to Staff Announcements at the September 22, 2016 and November 17, 2016 EITF Meetings.  These amendments apply to ASU 2014-9 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers), ASU 2016-02 (Leases), and ASU 2016-13 (Financial Instruments - Credit Losses).  The Company does not expect these amendments to have a significant impact on its consolidated financial statements.

 

28

 

 

In February 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-02, Income Statement - Reporting Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Reclassification of Certain Tax Effects from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income. The ASU was issued to address certain stranded tax effects in accumulated other comprehensive income as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The ASU provides companies the option to reclassify stranded tax effects within AOCI to retained earnings in each period in which the effect of the change from the newly enacted corporate tax rate is recorded. The amount of the reclassification would be calculated on the basis of the difference between the historical and newly enacted tax rates for deferred tax liabilities and assets related to items within accumulated other comprehensive income. The ASU requires companies to disclose its accounting policy related to releasing income tax effects from AOCI, whether it has elected to reclassify the stranded tax effects, and information about the other income tax effects that are reclassified. The guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods, therein, and early adoption is permitted for public business entities for which financial statements have not yet been issued. As of December 31, 2017, the Company adopted the ASU and made a reclassification adjustment from accumulated other comprehensive income to retained earnings on the Consolidated Statements of Shareholders' Equity, related to the stranded tax effects due to the change in the federal corporate tax rate applied on the unrealized gains (losses) on investments on a portfolio basis, to reflect the provisions of this ASU.

 

 

Results of Operations

 

The Company earns income from two primary sources. The first is net interest income, which is interest income generated by earning assets less interest expense on interest-bearing liabilities. The second is noninterest income, which primarily consists of deposit service charges and fees, the increase in cash surrender value of life insurance and mortgage commissions. The majority of the Company's noninterest expenses are operating costs that relate to providing a full range of banking services to our customers.

 

 

Overview

 

We recorded net income for the year ended December 31, 2017 of $9,094,000 or $1.13 per diluted share compared to $7,665,000 or $0.95 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in net income for the year ended December 31, 2017 was primarily due to an increase of $2,655,000 in net interest income, mainly from the growth of our loan and investment portfolios. Non-interest income increased by $1,563,000 in 2017, as a result of non-recurring merger related settlement payments, gains from the sales of an OREO and a fixed asset property and transaction based service fees from a larger volume of transaction deposit accounts. The loan loss provisions decreased by $134,000 due to improved credit quality and slower loan growth during 2017, compared to 2016. Partially offsetting these positive factors was an increase of $250,000 in non-interest expense associated with general operating overhead to support the growth of our loan and deposit portfolios, and an increase in income tax provision of $2,673,000 due to higher levels of pre-tax earnings and a $983,000 deferred tax asset adjustment related to the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

 

29

 

 

Highlights of the financial results are presented in the following table:

 

 

   

As of and for the years ended December 31,

 

(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 

2017

   

2016

   

2015

 

For the period:

                       

Net income available to common shareholders

  $ 9,094     $ 7,665     $ 4,908  

Net income per common share:

                       

Basic

  $ 1.13     $ 0.95     $ 0.61  

Diluted

  $ 1.13     $ 0.95     $ 0.61  

Return on average common equity

    10.41

%

    9.43

%

    6.41

%

Return on average assets

    0.91

%

    0.83

%

    0.63

%

Common stock dividend payout ratio of earnings during the period

    22.23

%

    25.31

%

    34.54

%

Efficiency ratio

    60.66

%

    63.13

%

    68.07

%

At period end:

                       

Book value per common share

  $ 11.21     $ 10.19     $ 9.69  

Total assets

  $ 1,034,852     $ 1,002,110     $ 897,038  

Total gross loans

  $ 662,544     $ 610,949     $ 541,032  

Total deposits

  $ 938,882     $ 914,093     $ 814,691  

Net loan-to-deposit ratio

    69.55

%

    65.76

%

    65.10

%

 

 

 

Net Interest Income and Net Interest Margin

 

Our primary source of revenue is net interest income, which is the difference between interest and fees derived from earning assets and interest paid on liabilities obtained to fund those assets. Our net interest income is affected by changes in the level and mix of interest-earning assets and interest- bearing liabilities, referred to as volume changes. Our net interest income is also affected by changes in the yields earned on assets and rates paid on liabilities, referred to as rate changes. Interest rates charged on our loans are affected principally by the demand for such loans, the supply of money available for lending purposes and competitive factors. Those factors are, in turn, affected by general economic conditions and other factors beyond our control, such as federal economic policies, the general supply of money in the economy, legislative tax policies, the governmental budgetary matters, and the actions of the Federal Reserve Board.

 

30

 

 

For a detailed analysis of interest income and interest expense, see the “Average Balance Sheets” and the “Rate/Volume Analysis” below.

 

   

Distribution, Yield and Rate Analysis of Net Income

 
   

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

(Dollars in Thousands)

 

2017

   

2016

 
   

Average

Balance

   

Interest

Income/

Expense

   

Avg

Rate/

Yield

   

Average

Balance

   

Interest

Income/

Expense

   

Avg

Rate/

Yield

 

Assets:

                                               

Earning assets:

                                               

Gross loans (1) (2)

  $ 624,447     $ 29,227     4.68 %     $ 578,339     $ 27,482     4.75 %  

Securities of U.S. government agencies

    15,289       196     1.28 %       6,460       76     1.18 %  

Other investment securities (2)

    156,310       5,410     3.46 %       140,000       5,071     3.62 %  

Federal funds sold

    8,997       100     1.11 %       7,003       35     0.50 %  

Interest-earning deposits

    134,411       1,513     1.13 %       122,996       667     0.54 %  

Total interest-earning assets

    939,454       36,446     3.88 %       854,798       33,331     3.90 %  

Total noninterest earning assets

    62,460                       72,527                  

Total Assets

  $ 1,001,914                     $ 927,325                  

Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity:

                                               

Interest-bearing liabilities:

                                               

Interest-Earning DDA

    200,942       292     0.15 %       173,223       161     0.09 %  

Money market deposits

    289,155       553     0.19 %       287,010       316     0.11 %  

Savings deposits

    69,348       51     0.07 %       74,669       117     0.16 %  

Time certificates over $250,000

    20,273       74     0.37 %       19,560       63     0.32 %  

Other time deposits

    31,877       95     0.30 %       33,356       107     0.32 %  

Other borrowings

    0       0     1.80 %       13       0     1.51 %  

Total interest-bearing liabilities

    611,595       1,065     0.17 %       587,831       764     0.13 %  

Noninterest-bearing liabilities:

                                               

Noninterest-bearing deposits

    297,364                       254,001                  

Other liabilities

    5,566                       4,220                  

Total noninterest-bearing liabilities

    302,930                       258,221                  

Shareholders' equity

    87,389                       81,273                  

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

  $ 1,001,914                     $ 927,325                  

Net interest income

          $ 35,381                     $ 32,567          

Net interest spread (3)

                  3.71 %                     3.77 %  

Net interest margin (4)

                  3.77 %                     3.81 %  

 


(1)

Loan fees have been included in the calculation of interest income.

(2)

Yields on municipal securities and loans have been adjusted to their fully-taxable equivalents (FTE), based on a federal marginal tax rate of 34.0%.

(3)

Represents the average rate earned on interest-earning assets less the average rate paid on interest-bearing liabilities.

(4)

Represents net interest income as a percentage of average interest-earning assets.

 

31

 

 

Net interest income, on a fully tax equivalent basis (FTE), increased $2,814,000 or 8.6% to $35,381,000 for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $32,567,000 in 2016. Net interest spread and net interest margin were 3.71% and 3.77%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to 3.77% and 3.81%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2016. Overall, the Company has experienced net interest margin compression since the economic downturn in 2008 for several reasons: 1) deposit interest rates have essentially reached a threshold from which they cannot reasonably be further reduced, 2) competition in the lending market has driven new loan rates down, 3) loan and investment portfolio yields have decreased due to contractual repricing but have stabilized over the past two years and 4) deposit growth has out-paced loan growth and the elevated interest-bearing cash balances, which yielded approximately 1.13% on average during 2017, have compressed our net interest margin.

 

The cost of funds on interest-bearing liabilities increased slightly to 0.17% in 2017 compared to 0.13% in 2016 as our excess liquidity has allowed us to keep deposit rates low on a relative basis. Average non-interest-bearing demand deposit balances increased by $43,363,000 in 2017 compared to 2016, which contributed in maintaining our low cost of funds.

 

Our earning asset yield decreased 2 basis points in 2017 compared to 2016. The yield on loans recognized a decrease of 7 basis points for 2017 compared to 2016, which was primarily due to loan repricing of variable rate loans, competitive pressure keeping rates low on new loans, and a decrease in loan discount accretion. The decrease in loan yield was offset by deploying a portion of the low yielding cash equivalent balances into loan and investment balances which recognized increased average balances of $46,108,000 and $25,139,000, respectively, in 2017 as compared to 2016. Lastly, the recent Federal Reserve interest rate hikes have had a positive impact to our earning asset yield given the large interest-earning cash balances we hold.

 

Changes in volume resulted in an increase in net interest income (FTE) of $2,941,000 for the year of 2017 compared to the year 2016, and changes in interest rates and the mix resulted in a decrease in net interest income (FTE) of $127,000 for the year 2017 versus the year 2016. Management closely monitors both total net interest income and the net interest margin.

 

Market rates are in part based on the FOMC target Federal funds interest rate (the interest rate banks charge each other for short-term borrowings).  The change in the Federal funds sold rates is the result of target rate changes implemented by the FOMC.  In 2008, there were seven downward adjustments to the target rate totaling 325 basis points, bringing the target interest rate to a historic low with a range of 0% to 0.25% where it remained until December 2015 when the FOMC increased by 0.25% to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%. The FOMC increased the Federal funds rate again in December 2016 by 0.25% to a range of 0.50% to 0.75%. In 2017, the FOMC increased the Federal funds rate by 0.25% on three occasions resulting in a range of 1.25% to 1.50% as of December 31, 2017.

 

32

 

 

Rate/Volume Analysis

 

The following table below sets forth certain information regarding changes in interest income and interest expense of the Company for the periods indicated. For each category of earning assets and interest bearing liabilities, information is provided on changes attributable to (i) changes in volume (change in average volume multiplied by old rate); and (ii) changes in rates (change in rate multiplied by old average volume). Changes in rate/volume (change in rate multiplied by the change in volume) have been allocated to the changes due to volume and rate in proportion to the absolute value of the changes due to volume and rate prior to the allocation.

 

   

Rate/Volume Analysis of Net Interest Income

 
                                                 
   

For the Year Ended December 31,

   

For the Year Ended December 31,

 

(Dollars in Thousands)

 

2017 vs. 2016

   

2016 vs. 2015

 
   

Increases (Decreases)

   

Increases (Decreases)

 
   

Due to Change In

   

Due to Change In

 
                                     
   

Volume

   

Rate

   

Total

   

Volume

   

Rate

   

Total

 
                                                 

Interest income:

                                               

Net loans (1)

  $ 2,191     $ (446 )   $ 1,745     $ 5,287     $ 140     $ 5,427  

Securities of U.S. government agencies

    104       16       120       (31 )     (34 )     (65 )

Other investment securities

    591       (252 )     339       832       (163 )     669  

Federal funds sold

    10       55       65       (17 )     18       1  

Interest-earning deposits

    62       784       846       30       333       363  

Total interest income

    2,958       157       3,115       6,101       294       6,395  

Interest expense:

                                               

Interest-earning DDA

  $ 26     $ 105     $ 131     $ 26     $ 50     $ 76  

Money market deposits

    2       235       237       21       12       33  

Savings deposits

    (8 )     (58 )     (66 )     30       32       62  

Time certificates over $250,000

    2       9       11       9       28       37  

Other time deposits

    (5 )     (7 )     (12 )     2       (61 )     (59 )

Total interest expense

    17       284       301       88       61       149  

Change in net interest income

  $ 2,941     $ (127 )   $ 2,814     $ 6,013     $ 233     $ 6,246  

 

 


(1)

Loan fees have been included in the calculation of interest income.

 

 

Provision for Loan Losses

 

Credit risk is inherent in the business of making loans. The Company establishes an allowance for loan losses through charges to earnings, which are shown in the consolidated statements of income as the provision for loan losses. Specifically identifiable and quantifiable losses are promptly charged off against the allowance. The Company maintains the allowance for loan losses at a level that it considers to be adequate to provide for credit losses inherent in its loan portfolio. Management determines the level of the allowance by performing a quarterly analysis that considers concentrations of credit, past loss experience, current economic conditions, the amount and composition of the loan portfolio (including nonperforming and potential problem loans), estimated fair value of underlying collateral, and other information relevant to assessing the risk of loss inherent in the loan portfolio such as loan growth, net charge-offs, changes in the composition of the loan portfolio, and delinquencies. As a result of management’s analysis, a range of the potential amount of the allowance for loan losses is determined.

 

The Company recorded a provision for loan losses of $350,000 during the year ended December 31, 2017 mainly to provide an adequate loan loss reserve for the new loan fundings, as compared to provisions of $484,000 for the year ended December 31, 2016. Nonperforming loans were $1,311,000 at December 31, 2017 and $3,037,000 at December 31, 2016, or 0.20% and 0.50%, respectively, of total loans. Nonperforming loans are primarily in nonperforming real estate construction and development loans. The allowance for loan losses was $8,166,000 and $7,832,000 at December 31, 2017 and 2016, or 1.23% and 1.28%, respectively, of total loans. The decrease in the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total loans is due to the decrease in non-accrual loans and noted trends in improved credit quality. The continued credit quality improvement has resulted in relatively low net charge-off totals of $16,000 in 2017 and $8,000 in 2016.

 

33

 

 

The Company will continue to monitor the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses and make additions to the allowance in accordance with the analysis referred to above. Because of uncertainties inherent in estimating the appropriate level of the allowance for loan losses, actual results may differ from management’s estimate of credit losses and the related allowance.

 

 

Noninterest Income

 

The following table sets forth a summary of noninterest income for the periods indicated:

 

 

Noninterest Income

(Dollars in thousands)


 

   

For the Years Ended December 31,

 
   

2017

   

2016

 
   

(Amount)

     (%)    

(Amount)

     (%)  

Service charges on deposit accounts

  $ 1,424       23.8 %   $ 1,354       30.7 %

Earnings on cash surrender value of life insurance

    514       8.6 %     441       10.0 %

Mortgage commissions

    168       2.8 %     204       4.6 %

Gains on called/sold securities

    395       6.6 %     52       1.2 %

Other income

    3,475       58.2 %     2,362       53.5 %

Total

  $ 5,976       100.0 %   $ 4,413       100.0 %
                                 

Average assets

  $ 1,001,914             $ 927,325          

Noninterest income as a % of average assets

            0.6 %             0.5 %

 

 

Noninterest income was $5,976,000 for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $4,413,000 for the year 2016. In 2017, other income increased by $1,113,000, which was attributable to merger related settlement payments of $938,000 from professional service providers, a $211,000 gain on sale of an OREO property, and a $108,000 gain on sale of a fixed asset property. Gains on called securities increased from $52,000 in 2016 to $395,000 in 2017, mainly from one security that was called during the first quarter of 2017. Earnings on cash surrender value of life insurance and gains recognized a gain of $73,000 in 2017 compared to 2016, due to the additional life insurance policies totaling $4 million purchased on certain directors and officers during the fourth quarter of 2016. Service charge income increased to $1,424,000 for the year 2017 compared to $1,354,000 for the year 2016, as a result of the increase in the aggregate number of transaction deposit accounts and corresponding service fee income. Mortgage commissions have decreased by $36,000 or 17.6% for the year 2017, as compared to 2016, as a result of the decreased demand for home purchases and refinancing. The Company continues to evaluate its deposit product offerings with the intention of continuing to expand its offerings to the consumer and business depositors.

 

34

 

 

Noninterest Expense

 

The following table sets forth a summary of noninterest expenses for the periods indicated:

 

Noninterest Expense

(Dollars in thousands)


 

   

For the Years Ended December 31,

 
   

2017

   

2016

 
   

(Amount)

   

(%)

   

(Amount)

   

(%)

 

Salaries and employee benefits

  $ 14,110       57.4 %   $ 13,564       55.8 %

Occupancy expenses

    3,346       13.6 %     3,284       13.5 %

Data processing fees

    1,560       6.4 %     1,604       6.6 %

Regulatory assessments (FDIC & DBO)

    492       2.0 %     643       2.6 %

Other operating expenses

    5,057       20.6 %     5,220       21.5 %

Total

  $ 24,565       100.0 %   $ 24,315       100.0 %
                                 

Average assets

  $ 1,001,914             $ 927,325          

Noninterest expenses as a % of average assets

            2.5 %             2.6 %

 

 

Noninterest expense was $24,565,000 for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of $250,000 or 1.0% compared to $24,315,000 for the year ended 2016. Salaries and employee benefits increased by $546,000 in 2017 to $14,110,000 compared to the prior year. To support loan and deposit growth and continue our emphasis on superior customer service, we increased our full-time equivalent staff by four as of December 31, 2017 compared to last year, which resulted in increased salary expense and group medical insurance benefits. Occupancy expense realized an increase of $62,000 in 2017 compared to the prior year, primarily from rent and other overhead expenses.

 

Data processing costs decreased in 2017 over 2016 by $44,000, primarily due to cost efficiencies gained since the data systems conversion completed during the second quarter of 2016 that was related to a business combination in 2015.

 

FDIC and DBO (California Department of Business Oversight) regulatory assessments decreased by $151,000 to $492,000 in 2017 compared to $643,000 in 2016. The initial base assessment rate for financial institutions varies based on the overall risk profile of the institution as defined by the FDIC and our risk profile was stable during 2016 and 2017, with a slight improvement for both years in asset quality metrics that are included in the risk profile. In April of 2016 the FDIC changed the methodology for determining the assessment rate, which appeared on the December 31, 2016 invoice. The result was a reduction in our assessment rate, however we expect to be offset by deposit growth in 2018. The decrease to our recorded expense in 2017 was despite the higher deposit balances in 2017, as the FDIC assessment rates are applied to average quarterly total liabilities as the primary basis.

 

Other operating expenses decreased in 2017 by $163,000 compared to 2016, primarily due to a decrease in OREO expense from $385,000 in 2016 to $82,000 in 2017, which was partially offset by various operating expense increases that were necessary to support the growing loan and deposit portfolios.

 

Management anticipates that noninterest expense will continue to increase as we continue to grow, and management believes the Company’s administration as currently set up is scalable to handle future deposit growth.  However, management remains committed to cost-control and efficiency, and we expect to keep these increases to a minimum relative to growth.

 

35

 

 

Provision for Income Taxes

 

We reported a provision for income taxes of $6,147,000 and $3,474,000 for the years 2017 and 2016, respectively. The effective income tax rate on income from continuing operations was 40.3% for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to 31.2% for the year 2016. Included in the 2017 tax provision is the deferred tax asset re-measurement adjustment of $983,000 related to the U.S. Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which lowered the corporate federal income tax rate to 21% effective for the 2018 tax year. Excluding this adjustment the effective tax rate on core operations would have been 33.9% in 2017. These provisions reflect accruals for taxes at the applicable rates for federal income tax and California franchise tax based upon reported pre-tax income, and adjusted for the effects of all permanent differences between income for tax and financial reporting purposes (such as earnings on qualified municipal securities, BOLI and certain tax-exempt loans). With the exception of the deferred tax asset adjustment, the disparity between the effective tax rates for 2017 as compared to 2016 is primarily due to tax credits from California Enterprise Zones and low income housing projects as well as tax free-income on municipal securities and loans that comprised a larger proportion of pre-tax income in 2016 as compared to 2017. We have not been subject to an alternative minimum tax ("AMT") during these periods.

 

 

Financial Condition

 

The Company’s total assets were $1,035,000 at December 31, 2017 compared to $1,002,000 at December 31, 2016, an increase of $33,000 or 3.3%. Net loans increased $51,885,000, investments increased $22,027,000, bank premises and equipment increased $790,000, interest receivable and other assets increased $121,000, while cash and cash equivalents decreased $41,637,000 for the year ended December 31, 2017 as compared to December 31, 2016.

 

Loans gross of the allowance for loan losses and deferred fees were $662,544,000 at December 31, 2017, compared to $610,949,000 at December 31, 2016, an increase of $51,595,000 or 8.4%. The increase was primarily due to an increase of $38,295,000 or 8.0% in commercial real estate loans, an increase of $5,409,000 or 8.4% in commercial and industrial loans, a decrease of $1,589,000 or 14.1% in consumer loans and consumer residential loans and an increase of $9,480,000 or 33.3% in agriculture loans. The composition of the loan portfolio categories remained relatively unchanged as a percentage of total loans, with commercial real estate comprising 78% of the loan portfolio at December 31, 2017 and 2016.

 

Deposits increased $24,789,000 or 2.7% to $938,882,000 at December 31, 2017 compared to $914,093,000 at December 31, 2016. Money Market, Savings and Time Deposits decreased by $3,301,000, $5,492,000 and $4,871,000, respectively, while Demand increased by $38,453,000, as of December 31, 2017 as compared to December 31, 2016.

 

There were no short-term borrowing or long-term debt outstanding balances at December 31, 2017 and 2016. The Company uses short-term borrowings, primarily short-term FHLB advances, to fund short-term liquidity needs and manage net interest margin.

 

Equity increased $8,317,000 or 10.1% to $90,767,000 at December 31, 2017, compared to $82,450,000 at December 31, 2016.

 

 

Investment Activities

 

Investments are a key source of interest income. Management of our investment portfolio is set in accordance with strategies developed and overseen by our Investment Committee. Investment balances, including cash equivalents and interest-bearing deposits in other financial institutions, are subject to change over time based on our asset/liability funding needs and interest rate risk management objectives. Our liquidity levels take into consideration anticipated future cash flows and all available sources of credits and are maintained at levels management believes are appropriate to assure future flexibility in meeting anticipated funding needs.

 

Cash Equivalents and Interest-bearing Deposits in other Financial Institutions

 

The Company holds federal funds sold, unpledged available-for-sale securities and salable government guaranteed loans to help meet liquidity requirements and provide temporary holdings until the funds can be otherwise deployed or invested. As of December 31, 2017, and 2016, we had $6,205,000 and $11,785,000, respectively, in federal funds sold.

 

 

Investment Securities

 

Management of our investment securities portfolio focuses on providing an adequate level of liquidity and establishing an interest rate-sensitive position, while earning an adequate level of investment income without taking undue risk. Investment securities that we intend to hold until maturity are classified as held-to-maturity securities, and all other investment securities are classified as available-for-sale. Currently, all of our investment securities are classified as available-for-sale. The carrying values of available-for-sale investment securities are adjusted for unrealized gains or losses as a valuation allowance and any gain or loss is reported on an after-tax basis as a component of other comprehensive income.

 

36

 

 

Our investment securities holdings increased by $22,027,000 or 13.7%, to $182,360,000 at December 31, 2017, compared to holdings of $160,333,000 at December 31, 2016. Total investment securities as a percentage of total assets increased to 17.6% as of December 31, 2017 compared to 16.0% at December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2017, $109,158,000 of the investment securities were pledged to secure public deposits.

 

As of December 31, 2017, the total unrealized loss on securities that were in a loss position for less than 12 continuous months was $316,000 with an aggregate fair value of $50,603,000. The total unrealized loss on securities that were in a loss position for greater than 12 continuous months was $1,112,000 with an aggregate fair value of $29,932,000.

 

 

The following table summarizes the book value and fair value and distribution of our investment securities as of the dates indicated:

 

Investment Securities Portfolio

 

   

December 31, 2017

   

December 31, 2016

   

December 31, 2015

 

 

 

Amortized

   

Market

   

Amortized

   

Market

   

Amortized

   

Market

 
Dollars in Thousands  

Cost

    Value    

Cost

    Value    

Cost

    Value  

Available-for-Sale:

                                               

U.S. agencies

  $ 29,741     $ 29,972     $ 27,879     $ 28,286     $ 31,815     $ 32,868  

Collateralized mortgage obligations

    2,628       2,593       4,159       4,109       2,729       2,719  

Municipal securities

    91,201       93,067       77,957       78,329       66,535       68,586  

SBA Pools

    11,818       11,850       7,219       7,168       811       806  

Corporate debt

    19,358       18,789       21,349       20,563       13,497       13,420  

Asset backed Securities

    22,866       22,977       18,888       18,819       10,321       10,138  

Mutual fund

    3,344       3,112       3,264       3,059       3,172       3,009  

Total investment securities

  $ 180,956     $ 182,360     $ 160,715     $ 160,333     $ 128,880     $ 131,546  

 

 

At December 31, 2017, there was ten corporate debts, five municipalities, four U.S. agencies, two SBA pools, one asset backed security, one collateralized mortgage obligation and one mutual fund that comprised the total securities in an unrealized loss position for greater than 12 months and forty municipalities, six U.S. agencies, three asset backed securities, one collateralized mortgage obligation, one SBA pool and one corporate debt that make up the total securities in a loss position for less than 12 months. Management periodically evaluates each available-for-sale investment security in an unrealized loss position to determine if the impairment is temporary or other than temporary. This evaluation encompasses various factors including, the nature of the investment, the cause of the impairment, the severity and duration of the impairment, credit ratings and other credit related factors such as third party guarantees and volatility of the security’s fair value. Management has determined that no investment security is other than temporarily impaired. The unrealized losses are due primarily to interest rate changes and the Company does not intend to sell the securities and it is not likely that we will be required to sell the securities before the earlier of the forecasted recovery or the maturity of the underlying investment security. As of December 31, 2017, we did not have any investment securities that constituted 10% or more of the stockholders’ equity of any third party issuer.

 

37

 

 

The following table summarizes the maturity and repricing schedule of our investment securities at their amortized cost and their weighted average yields at December 31, 2017:

 

 

Investment Maturities and Repricing Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

     

After One But

   

After Five But

                                 
(Dollars in Thousands)   Within One Year     

Within Five Years

   

Within Ten Years

    After Ten Years     Total  
   

Amount

   

Yield

   

Amount

   

Yield

   

Amount

   

Yield

   

Amount

   

Yield

   

Amount

   

Yield

 

Available-for-sale:

                                                                               

U.S. agencies

  $ 11,252     1.00

%

    $ 3,797     4.41

%

    $ 2,015     2.99

%

    $ 12,677     2.79

%

    $ 29,741     2.33

%

 

Collateralized mortgage obligations

    1,101     2.46

%

      0     0.00

%

      0     0.00

%

      1,527     2.08

%

      2,628     2.24

%

 

Municipalities

    7,607     4.47

%

      49,483     3.28

%

      30,732     4.82

%

      3,379     5.99

%

      91,201     4.00

%

 

SBA Pools

    11,818     3.00

%

      0     0.00

%

      -     0.00

%

      0     0.00

%

      11,818     3.00

%

 

Corporate debt

    17,043     2.81

%

      2,315     2.81

%

      0     0.00

%

      0     0.00

%

      19,358     2.81

%

 

Asset Backed Securities

    22,866     2.49

%

      0     0.00

%

      -     0.00

%

      0     0.00

%

      22,866     2.49

%

 

Mutual Fund

    0     0.00

%

      0     0.00

%

      0     0.00

%

      3,344     3.12

%

      3,344     3.12

%

 

Total Investment Securities

  $ 71,687     2.63

%

    $ 55,595     3.34

%

    $ 32,747     4.71

%

    $ 20,927     3.31

%

    $ 180,956     3.30

%

 

 

 

Yields in the above table have been adjusted to a fully tax equivalent basis. Securities are reported at the earliest possible call, repricing or maturity date.

 

 

Loans

 

The following table sets forth the amount of total loans outstanding (including unearned income) and the percentage distributions in each category, as of the dates indicated.

 

(Dollars in Thousands)

 

YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31,

 
   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 

Commercial real estate

  $ 517,150     $ 478,855     $ 423,047     $ 358,398     $ 332,874  

Commercial and industrial

    69,610       64,201       63,776       54,051       48,787  

Consumer

    689       767       774       805       883  

Consumer residential

    37,161       38,672       32,588       25,464       25,623  

Agriculture

    37,934       28,454       20,847       15,753       11,272  

Unearned income

    (1,389 )     (2,013 )     (3,282 )     (446 )     (624 )

Total Loans, net of unearned income

  $ 661,155     $ 608,936     $ 537,750     $ 454,025     $ 418,815  
                                         

Participation loans sold and serviced by the Bank

    19,722       21,348       19,848       16,243       11,733  
                                         

Commercial real estate

    78.2 %     78.6 %     78.7 %     78.9 %     79.5 %

Commercial and industrial

    10.5 %     10.5 %     11.9 %     11.9 %     11.6 %

Consumer

    0.1 %     0.1 %     0.1 %     0.2 %     0.2 %

Consumer residential

    5.6 %     6.4 %     6.1 %     5.6 %     6.1 %

Agriculture

    5.8 %     4.7 %     3.9 %     3.5 %     2.7 %

Unearned income

    -0.2 %     -0.3 %     -0.6 %     -0.1 %     -0.1 %

Total Loans, net of unearned income

    100.0 %     100.0 %     100.0 %     100.0 %     100.0 %

 

38

 

 

Commercial real estate loans increased $38,295,000 in 2017 as compared to 2016, as a result of the increased demand by qualified borrowers in our serving area. Of the commercial real estate loans at December 31, 2017, 57% are non-owner occupied and 43% are owner occupied. Our commercial real estate loan portfolio is weighted towards term loans for which the primary source of repayment is cash flow from net operating income of the real estate property.

 

Commercial and industrial loans increased $5,409,000 in 2017 as compared to 2016. We have historically targeted well-established local businesses with strong guarantors that have proven to be resilient in periods of economic stress.

 

Our residential loan portfolio includes no sub-prime loans, nor is it our normal practice to underwrite loans commonly referred to as "Alt-A mortgages", the characteristics of which are loans lacking full documentation, borrowers having low FICO scores or collateral compositions reflecting high loan-to-value ratios. Substantially all of our residential loans are indexed to Treasury Constant Maturity Rates and have provisions to reset five years after their origination dates.

 

The following table summarizes our commercial real estate loan portfolio by the geographic location in which the property is located as of December 31, 2017 and 2016:

 

Commercial Real Estate Loans Outstanding by Geographic Location

 
                                 

(Dollars in Thousands)

 

December 31, 2017

   

December 31, 2016

 

Commercial real estate loans by geographic location (County)

 

Amount

   

% of
Commercial
Real Estate Loans

   

Amount

   

% of
Commercial
Real Estate Loans

 

Stanislaus

  $ 173,479     33.5 %     $ 170,200     35.5 %  

San Joaquin

    90,275     17.5 %       91,491     19.1 %  

Fresno

    35,711     6.9 %       28,710     6.0 %  

Tuolumne

    33,648     6.5 %       33,912     7.1 %  

Sacramento

    20,501     4.0 %       18,621     3.9 %  

Merced

    17,276     3.3 %       19,263     4.0 %  

Marin

    12,658     2.4 %       3,571     0.7 %  

San Luis Obispo

    11,424     2.2 %       11,715     2.4 %  

Contra Costa

    10,373     2.0 %       5,589     1.2 %  

Madera

    9,766     1.9 %       10,005     2.1 %  

Sonoma

    8,544     1.7 %       6,153     1.3 %  

Calaveras

    8,399     1.6 %       8,601     1.8 %  

Inyo

    7,176     1.4 %       7,467     1.6 %  

Alameda

    6,675     1.3 %       6,892     1.4 %  

Mono

    6,529     1.3 %       6,769     1.4 %  

San Francisco

    5,521     1.1 %       5,633     1.2 %  

Solano

    5,311     1.0 %       5,069     1.1 %  

Butte

    4,162     0.8 %       4,243     0.9 %  

Santa Clara

    2,784     0.5 %       3,010     0.6 %  

Other

    46,938     9.1 %       31,941     6.7 %  

Total

  $ 517,150     100.0 %     $ 478,855     100.0 %  

 

39

 

 

Construction and land loans are classified as commercial real estate loans and increased $8.1 million in 2017 as compared to 2016.  The table below shows an analysis of construction loans by type and location. Non-owner-occupied land loans of $10.1 million at December 31, 2017 included loans for lands specified for commercial development of $4.3 million and for residential development of $5.8 million, the majority of which are located in Stanislaus County.

 

Construction and Land Loans Outstanding by Type and Geographic Location

   
                                     

(Dollars in Thousands)

 

December 31, 2017

   

December 31, 2016

 

Construction and land loans by type

 

Amount

   

% of
Construction

and Land

Loans

   

Amount

   

% of
Construction

and Land

Loans

 

Single family non-owner-occupied

  $ 1,040       2.5 %     $ 6,210       18.7 %  

Single family owner-occupied

    1,039       2.5 %       376       1.1 %  

Commercial non-owner-occupied

    20,989       50.8 %       10,360       31.2 %  

Commercial owner-occupied

    8,197       19.8 %       6,432       19.4 %  

Land non-owner-occupied

    10,072       24.4 %       9,823       29.6 %  

Total

  $ 41,337       100.0 %     $ 33,201       100.0 %  

 

 

Construction and land loans by geographic location (County)

 

Amount

   

% of
Construction

and Land

Loans

   

Amount

   

% of
Construction

and Land

Loans

 

Fresno

  $ 9,782       23.7 %     $ 218       0.7 %  

Placer

    6,804       16.5 %       3,980       12.0 %  

San Joaquin

    4,994       12.1 %       4,900       14.8 %  

Stanislaus

    4,954       12.0 %       10,804       32.5 %  

Los Angeles

    3,687       8.9 %       1,470       4.4 %  

San Mateo

    1,940       4.7 %       1,864       5.6 %  

Mono

    1,767       4.3 %       2,495       7.5 %  

Solano

    1,505       3.6 %       1,080       3.3 %  

Tuolumne

    1,395       3.4 %       1,406       4.2 %  

Shasta

    1,222       2.9 %       0       0.0 %  

Contra Costa

    975       2.3 %       370       1.1 %  

Monterey

    898       2.2 %       0       0.0 %  

Sacramento

    600       1.4 %       0       0.0 %  

Calaveras

    402       1.0 %       1,047       3.1 %  

Inyo

    39       0.1 %       92       0.3 %  

Merced

    0       0.0 %       1,630       4.9 %  

Nevada

    0       0.0 %       818       2.5 %  

Kings

    0       0.0 %       580       1.8 %  

Other

    373       0.9 %       447       1.4 %  

Total

  $ 41,337       100.0 %     $ 33,201       100.0 %  

 

40

 

 

Loan Maturities

 

The following table shows the contractual maturity distribution and repricing intervals of the outstanding loans in our portfolio, as of December 31, 2017. In addition, the table shows the distribution of such loans between those with variable or floating interest rates and those with fixed or predetermined interest rates. The large majority of the variable rate loans are tied to independent indices (such as the Wall Street Journal prime rate or a Treasury Constant Maturity Rate). Substantially all loans with an original term of more than five years have provisions for the fixed rates to reset, or convert to a variable rate, after one, three or five years and are therefore classified as a variable rate loan in the table below.

 

   

Loan Maturities and Repricing Schedule
At December 31, 2017

 
   

Within
One Year

   

After One But

Within
Five Years

   

After
Five Years

   

Total

 
                                 

Commercial real estate

  $ 98,669     $ 293,432     $ 125,049     $ 517,150  

Commercial & industrial

    33,377       28,718       7,515       69,610  

Consumer

    307       330       52       689  

Consumer residential

    3,338       9,244       24,579       37,161  

Agriculture

    34,623       2,992       319       37,934  

Unearned income

    (357 )     (702 )     (330 )     (1,389 )

Total loans, net of unearned income

  $ 169,957     $ 334,014     $ 157,184     $ 661,155  
                                 

Loans with variable (floating) interest rates

  $ 153,069     $ 256,957     $ 72,782     $ 482,808  

Loans with predetermined (fixed) interest rates

  $ 16,888     $ 77,057     $ 84,402     $ 178,347  

 

 

The majority of the properties taken as collateral are located in Northern California. We employ strict guidelines regarding the use of collateral located in less familiar market areas. The recent decline in Northern California real estate value is offset by the low loan-to-value ratios in our commercial real estate portfolio and high percentage of owner-occupied properties.

 

 

Nonperforming Assets

 

Financial institutions generally have a certain level of exposure to credit quality risk, and could potentially receive less than a full return of principal and interest if a debtor becomes unable or unwilling to repay. Since loans are the most significant assets of the Company and generate the largest portion of its revenues, the Company's management of credit quality risk is focused primarily on loan quality. Banks have generally suffered their most severe earnings declines as a result of customers' inability to generate sufficient cash flow to service their debts and/or downturns in national and regional economies which have brought about declines in overall property values. In addition, certain debt securities that the Company may purchase have the potential of declining in value if the obligor's financial capacity to repay deteriorates.

 

Nonperforming assets consist of loans on non-accrual status, loans 90 days or more past due and still accruing interest, loans restructured, where the terms of repayment have been renegotiated resulting in a reduction or deferral of interest or principal and other real estate owned (“OREO”).

 

Loans are generally placed on non-accrual status when they become 90 days past due, unless management believes the loan is adequately collateralized and in the process of collection. The past due loans may or may not be adequately collateralized, but collection efforts are continuously pursued. Loans may be restructured by management when a borrower has experienced some changes in financial status, causing an inability to meet the original repayment terms, and where we believe the borrower will eventually overcome those circumstances and repay the loan in full. OREO consists of properties acquired by foreclosure or similar means and which management intends to offer for sale.

 

41

 

 

The Company had nonperforming loans of $1.31 million at December 31, 2017, as compared to $3.04 million at December 31, 2016, $5.82 million at December 31, 2015, $4.70 million at December 31, 2014 and $2.34 million at December 31, 2013. The ratio of nonperforming loans over total loans was 0.20%, 0.50%, 1.07%, 1.03% and 0.56% at December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.

 

In addition, the Company held two OREO properties with outstanding balances of approximately $253,000 as of December 31, 2017, one of which consisted of residential land acquired through foreclosure that was written down to a zero balance because the public utilities have not been obtainable rendering these land lots unmarketable at this time. The Company held three OREO properties with outstanding balances of approximately $1,210,000 as of December 31, 2016, five OREO properties with outstanding balances of approximately $2,066,000 as of December 31, 2015 and held three properties with balances of approximately $884,000 and $916,000 as of December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively.

 

Management believes that the reserve provided for nonperforming loans, together with the tangible collateral, were adequate as of December 31, 2017. See “Allowance for Loan Losses” below for further discussion. Except as disclosed above, as of December 31, 2017, management was not aware of any material credit problems of borrowers that would cause it to have serious doubts about the ability of a borrower to comply with the present loan payment terms. However, no assurance can be given that credit problems may exist that may not have been brought to the attention of management, or that credit problems may not arise in the future.

 

42

 

 

The following table provides information with respect to the components of our nonperforming assets as of the dates indicated. (The figures in the table are net of the portion guaranteed by the U.S. Government):

 

(Dollars in Thousands)

 

At December 31,

 
   

2017

   

2016

   

2015

   

2014

   

2013

 

Nonaccrual loans(1)

                                       

Commercial real estate

  $ 993     $ 2,715     $ 2,790     $ 4,363     $ 2,322  

Commercial and industrial

    302       306       322       337       18  

Consumer

    0       0       0       0       0