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Section 1: 10-K

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

[X] ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For fiscal year ended December 31, 2018

 

OR

 

[  ] TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For transition period from __________ to ___________

 

Commission File Number 0-33203

 

LANDMARK BANCORP, INC.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   43-1930755

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

 

701 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas   66502
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)

 

(785) 565-2000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

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

 

Title of each class:   Name of exchange on which registered:
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share   Nasdaq Global Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes [  ] No [X]

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

Yes [  ] No [X]

 

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 [X] No [  ]

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

Yes [X] 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 the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer [  ] Accelerated filer [X] Non-accelerated filer [  ] Smaller reporting company [X] Emerging growth company [  ]

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. [  ]

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).

Yes [  ] No [X]

 

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the last sales price quoted on the Nasdaq Global Market on the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $86.9 million. On March 13, 2019, the total number of shares of common stock outstanding was 4,372,116.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held May 22, 2019, are incorporated by reference in Part III hereof, to the extent indicated herein.

 

 

 

   

 

 

LANDMARK BANCORP, INC.

2018 Form 10-K Annual Report

Table of Contents

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS 3
     
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS 26
     
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS 37
     
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES 37
     
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS 37
     
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES 37
     
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES 38
     
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA 39
     
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS 40
     
ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK 50
     
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA 53
     
ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE 94
     
ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES 94
     
ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION 94
     
ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 95
     
ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION 95
     
ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS 96
     
ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE 96
     
ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES 96
     
ITEM 15. EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES 97
     
ITEM 16. FORM 10-K SUMMARY 99
     
SIGNATURES 100

 

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PART I.

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

The Company

 

Landmark Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company”) is a financial holding company which was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware in 2001. Currently, the Company’s business consists of the ownership of Landmark National Bank (the “Bank”) and Landmark Risk Management, Inc., which are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Company. As of December 31, 2018, the Company had $985.8 million in consolidated total assets.

 

The Company is headquartered in Manhattan, Kansas, and has expanded its geographic presence through past acquisitions. Effective November 1, 2013, the Company completed the acquisition of Citizens Bank, National Association (“Citizens Bank”). Effective April 1, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of The Wellsville Bank. The Company completed several other mergers and acquisitions since 2002.

 

The Bank has continued to focus on increasing its originations of commercial, commercial real estate and agricultural loans, which management believes will be more profitable and provide more growth for the Bank than traditional one-to-four family residential real estate lending. Additionally, greater emphasis has been placed on diversification of the deposit mix through the expansion of core deposit accounts such as checking, savings, and money market accounts. The Bank has also diversified its geographical markets as a result of its acquisitions. The Company’s main office is in Manhattan, Kansas. The Company has 29 branch offices in 23 communities across the state of Kansas. The Company continues to explore opportunities to expand its banking markets through mergers and acquisitions, as well as branching opportunities.

 

Landmark Risk Management, Inc., which was formed and began operations on May 31, 2017, is a Nevada-based captive insurance company which provides property and casualty insurance coverage to the Company and the Bank for which insurance may not be currently available or economically feasible in today’s insurance marketplace. Landmark Risk Management, Inc. pools resources with several other similar insurance company subsidiaries of financial institutions to spread a limited amount of risk among themselves. Landmark Risk Management, Inc. is subject to the regulations of the State of Nevada and undergoes periodic examinations by the Nevada Division of Insurance.

 

The results of operations of the Bank and the Company are dependent primarily upon net interest income and, to a lesser extent, upon other income derived from sales of one-to-four family residential mortgage loans, loan servicing fees and customer deposit services. Additional expenses of the Bank include general and administrative expenses such as salaries, employee benefits, federal deposit insurance premiums, data processing, occupancy and related expenses.

 

Deposits of the Bank are insured by the Deposit Insurance Fund (the “DIF”) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) up to the maximum amount allowable under applicable federal law and regulation. The Bank is regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”), as the chartering authority for national banks, and the FDIC, as the administrator of the DIF. The Bank is also subject to regulation by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) with respect to reserves required to be maintained against deposits and certain other matters. The Bank is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the Federal Home Loan Bank (the “FHLB”) of Topeka.

 

The Company’s executive office and the Bank’s main office are located at 701 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502. The telephone number is (785) 565-2000.

 

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Market Areas

 

The Bank’s primary deposit gathering and lending markets are geographically diversified throughout central, eastern, southeast, and southwest Kansas. The primary industries within these respective markets are also diverse and dependent upon a wide array of industry and governmental activity for their economic base. The Bank’s markets have been impacted by slow economic growth and an economic downturn in the agriculture sector in recent years. A brief description of the four geographic areas and the communities which the Bank serves is set forth below.

 

The central region of the Bank’s market area consists of the Bank’s locations in Auburn, Junction City, Manhattan, Osage City, Topeka and Wamego, Kansas and includes the counties of Riley, Geary, Osage, Pottawatomie and Shawnee. The economies are significantly impacted by employment at Fort Riley Military Base in Junction City and Kansas State University, the second largest university in Kansas, which is located in Manhattan. Topeka is the capital of Kansas and strongly influenced by the government of the State of Kansas. Topeka and Manhattan are regional destinations for retail shopping as well as home to regional hospitals. Manhattan was also selected as the site of the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which is expected to have a significant impact on the regional economy as the facility is constructed and begins operations. Construction of the facility began in 2013, and the facility is expected to be fully operational in December 2022. Additionally, manufacturing and service industries play a key role within the central Kansas market.

 

The Bank’s eastern Kansas branches are located in the communities of Lawrence, Lenexa, Louisburg, Osawatomie, Overland Park, Paola and Wellsville, Kansas. The Bank’s Lawrence locations are located in Douglas County and are significantly impacted by the University of Kansas, the largest university in Kansas. The eastern region is strongly influenced by the Kansas City metropolitan market, which is the highest growth area in the State of Kansas. The region is influenced by public and private industries and businesses of all sizes. In addition, housing growth and commercial real estate are major drivers of the region’s economy. The Citizens Bank acquisition in 2013 expanded the Bank’s presence in the eastern Kansas market with branches in the Kansas City metropolitan suburbs of Lenexa and Overland Park. During 2018, the Bank added additional commercial lenders to the Kansas City metropolitan area market, which helped contribute to loan growth during the year.

 

The southeast region of the Bank’s market area consists of the Bank’s locations in Fort Scott, Iola, Kincaid, Mound City and Pittsburg, Kansas. Agriculture, oil, and gas are the predominant industries in the southeast Kansas region. Both Fort Scott and Pittsburg are recognized as regional commercial centers within the southeast region of the state, which attracts small retail businesses to the region. Additionally, Pittsburg State University and Fort Scott Community College attract a number of individuals from the surrounding area to live within the communities to participate in educational programs and pursue a degree. Additionally, manufacturing and service industries play a key role within the southeast Kansas market. This market area primarily consists of branches acquired in the Citizens Bank acquisition.

 

The Bank’s southwest Kansas branches are located in the communities of Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend, Hoisington and LaCrosse, Kansas. Agriculture, oil, and gas are the predominant industries in the southwest Kansas region. Predominant activities involve crop production, feed lot operations, and food processing. Dodge City is known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World” and maintains a significant tourism industry. Both Dodge City and Garden City are recognized as regional commercial centers within the state with small businesses, manufacturing, retail, and service industries having a significant influence upon the local economies. Additionally, the Dodge City, Garden City and Great Bend communities each have a community college which attracts individuals from the surrounding areas.

 

Competition

 

The Company faces strong competition both in attracting deposits and making real estate, commercial and other loans. Its most direct competition for deposits and loans comes from large regional banks, local community banks, savings and loan associations, securities and brokerage companies, mortgage companies, insurance companies, finance companies, money market mutual funds, credit unions and other non-bank financial service providers located in its principal market areas, including many larger financial institutions which have greater financial and marketing resources available to them. The ability of the Company to attract and retain deposits generally depends on its ability to provide a rate of return, service levels, liquidity and risk comparable to or better than those offered by competing investment opportunities. The Company competes for loans principally through the interest rates and loan fees it charges and the efficiency and quality of services it provides borrowers.

 

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Employees

 

At December 31, 2018, the Bank had a total of 291 employees (276 full time equivalent employees). The Company has no employees, although the Company is a party to several employment agreements with executives of the Bank. Employees are provided with a comprehensive benefits program, including basic and major medical insurance, life and disability insurance, sick leave, and a 401(k) profit sharing plan. Employees are not represented by any union or collective bargaining group, and the Bank considers its employee relations to be good.

 

Lending Activities

 

General. The Bank strives to provide a full range of financial products and services to small- and medium-sized businesses and to consumers in each market area it serves. The Bank targets owner-operated businesses and utilizes Small Business Administration (SBA) lending as a part of its product mix. The Bank has a loan committee for each of its markets, which has authority to approve credits within established guidelines. Concentrations in excess of those guidelines must be approved by either a corporate loan committee comprised of the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, the Credit Risk Manager, and other senior commercial lenders or the Bank’s board of directors. When lending to an entity, the Bank generally obtains a guaranty from the principals of the entity. The loan mix is subject to the discretion of the Bank’s board of directors and the demands of the local marketplace.

 

The following is a brief description of each major category of the Bank’s lending activity.

 

One-to-Four Family Residential Real Estate Lending. The Bank originates one-to-four family residential real estate loans with both fixed and variable rates. One-to-four family residential real estate loans are priced and originated following underwriting standards that are consistent with guidelines established by the major buyers in the secondary market. Generally, residential real estate loans retained in the Bank’s loan portfolio have fixed or variable rates with adjustment periods of five years or less and amortization periods of typically either 15 or 30 years. A significant portion of these loans prepay prior to maturity. The Bank has no potential negative amortization loans. While the origination of fixed-rate, one-to-four family residential loans continues to be a key component of our business, the majority of these loans are sold in the secondary market. One-to-four family residential real estate loans that exceed 80% of the appraised value of the real estate generally are required, by policy, to be supported by private mortgage insurance, although on occasion the Bank will retain non-conforming residential loans to known customers at premium pricing. While the Bank does not intend to increase its one-to-four family residential real estate loan portfolio, the Bank slowed the runoff of the portfolio by retaining some of the new loan originations in the past several years. However, most of the new loan originations continue to be sold.

 

Construction and Land Lending. Loans in this category include loans to facilitate the development of both residential and commercial real estate. Construction and land loans generally have terms of less than 18 months, and the Bank will retain a security interest in the borrower’s real estate. Construction loans are generally limited, by policy, to 80% of the appraised value of the property. Land loans are generally limited, by policy, to 65% of the appraised value of the property. The origination of construction and land loans has not been a primary strategy of the Bank over the past few years to reduce risk in the Bank’s loan portfolio.

 

Commercial Real Estate Lending. Commercial real estate loans, including multi-family loans, generally have amortization periods of 15 or 20 years. Commercial real estate and multi-family loans are generally limited, by policy, to 80% of the appraised value of the property. Commercial real estate loans are also supported by an analysis demonstrating the borrower’s ability to repay. The Bank continues to focus on generating additional commercial real estate loan relationships.

 

Commercial Lending. Commercial loans include loans to service, retail, wholesale and light manufacturing businesses. Commercial loans are made based on the financial strength and repayment ability of the borrower, as well as the collateral securing the loans. The Bank targets owner-operated businesses as its customers and makes lending decisions based upon a cash flow analysis of the borrower as well as a collateral analysis. Accounts receivable loans and loans for inventory purchases are generally on a one-year renewable term, and loans for equipment generally have a term of seven years or less. The Bank generally takes a blanket security interest in all assets of the borrower. Equipment loans are generally limited to 75% of the cost or appraised value of the equipment. Inventory loans are generally limited to 50% of the value of the inventory, and accounts receivable loans are generally limited to 75% of a predetermined eligible base. The Bank continues to focus its organic growth on generating additional commercial loan relationships, including SBA loans.

 

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Municipal Lending. Loans to municipalities are generally related to equipment leasing or general fund loans. Terms are generally limited to 5 years. Equipment leases are generally made for the purchase of municipal assets and are secured by the leased asset. The Bank is generally not active in the origination of municipal loans and leases; however, the Bank may originate loans or leases for municipalities in its market area.

 

Agriculture Lending. Agricultural real estate loans generally have amortization periods of 20 years or less, during which time the Bank generally retains a security interest in the borrower’s real estate. The Bank also provides short-term credit for operating loans and intermediate-term loans for farm product, livestock and machinery purchases and other agricultural improvements. Farm product loans generally have a one-year term, and machinery, equipment and breeding livestock loans generally have five to seven year terms. Extension of credit is based upon the borrower’s ability to repay, as well as the existence of federal guarantees and crop insurance coverage. These loans are generally secured by a blanket lien on livestock, equipment, feed, hay, grain and growing crops. Equipment and breeding livestock loans are generally limited to 75% of appraised value. The Bank continues to focus on generating additional agriculture loan relationships in each of its market areas.

 

Consumer and Other Lending. Loans classified as consumer and other loans include automobile, boat, home improvement and home equity loans. With the exception of home improvement loans and home equity loans, the Bank generally takes a purchase money security interest in collateral for which it provides the original financing. Home improvement loans and home equity loans are principally secured through second mortgages. The terms of the loans typically range from one to five years, depending upon the use of the proceeds, and generally range from 75% to 90% of the value of the collateral. The majority of these loans are installment loans with fixed interest rates. Home improvement and home equity loans are generally secured by a second mortgage on the borrower’s personal residence and, when combined with the first mortgage, limited to 80% of the value of the property unless further protected by private mortgage insurance. Home improvement loans are generally made for terms of five to seven years with fixed interest rates. Home equity loans are generally made for terms of ten years on a revolving basis with adjustable monthly interest rates tied to the national prime interest rate. While the Bank primarily provides consumer loans to its existing customers, consumer lending is not a category the Bank targets for organic growth.

 

Loan Origination and Processing

 

Loan originations are derived from a number of sources. Residential loan originations result from real estate broker referrals, direct solicitation by the Bank’s loan officers, present depositors and borrowers, referrals from builders and attorneys, walk-in customers and, in some instances, other lenders. Consumer and commercial real estate loan originations generally emanate from many of the same sources.

 

Residential loan applications are underwritten and closed based upon standards which generally meet secondary market guidelines. The loan underwriting procedures followed by the Bank conform to regulatory specifications and are designed to assess both the borrower’s ability to make principal and interest payments and the value of any assets or property serving as collateral for the loan. Generally, as part of the process, a loan officer meets with each applicant to obtain the appropriate employment and financial information as well as any other required loan information. The Bank then obtains reports with respect to the borrower’s credit record, and on real estate loans, orders and reviews an appraisal of any collateral for the loan (prepared for the Bank by an independent appraiser).

 

Loan applicants are notified promptly of the decision of the Bank. Prior to closing any long-term loan, the borrower must provide proof of fire and casualty insurance on the property serving as collateral, and such insurance must be maintained during the full term of the loan. Title insurance is required on loans collateralized by real property.

 

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The Bank is focusing on the generation of commercial, commercial real estate and agriculture loans to grow and diversify the loan portfolio. During 2018, the Bank was able to generate loan growth across the geographic markets that it serves. However, low commodity prices have negatively impacted collateral values and cash flows for agriculture loans, which have caused the Bank to increase underwriting requirements for these loans.

 

Supervision and Regulation

 

General

 

FDIC-insured institutions, like the Bank, their holding companies and their affiliates are extensively regulated under federal law. As a result, our growth and earnings performance may be affected not only by management decisions and general economic conditions, but also by the requirements of applicable statutes and by the regulations and policies of various bank regulatory agencies, including our primary regulator, the Federal Reserve, and the Bank’s primary regulator, the OCC, as well as the FDIC, as the insurer of our deposits, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), as the regulator of consumer financial services and their providers. Furthermore, taxation laws administered by the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities, accounting rules developed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), securities laws administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and state securities authorities, and anti-money laundering laws enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) have an impact on our business. The effect of these statutes, regulations, regulatory policies and accounting rules are significant to our operations and results.

 

Federal and state banking laws impose a comprehensive system of supervision, regulation and enforcement on the operations of FDIC-insured institutions, their holding companies and affiliates that is intended primarily for the protection of the FDIC-insured deposits and depositors of banks, rather than shareholders. These laws, and the regulations of the bank regulatory agencies issued under them, affect, among other things, the scope of our business, the kinds and amounts of investments we may make, reserve requirements, required capital levels relative to assets, the nature and amount of collateral for loans, the establishment of branches, our ability to merge, consolidate and acquire, dealings with the Company’s and the Bank’s insiders and affiliates and our payment of dividends. In reaction to the global financial crisis and particularly following passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), we experienced heightened regulatory requirements and scrutiny. Although the reforms primarily targeted systemically significant financial service providers, their influence filtered down in varying degrees to community banks over time and caused our compliance and risk management processes, and the costs thereof, to increase. After the 2016 federal elections, momentum to decrease the regulatory burden on community banks gathered strength. In May 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (the “Regulatory Relief Act”) was enacted to modify or remove certain financial reform rules and regulations. While the Regulatory Relief Act maintains most of the regulatory structure established by the Dodd-Frank Act, it amends certain aspects of the regulatory framework for small depository institutions with assets of less than $10 billion, like us, and for large banks with assets of more than $50 billion that were deemed systemically important under the Dodd Frank Act solely as a result of size. Many of these changes are intended to result in meaningful regulatory relief for community banks and their holding companies, including new rules that may make our capital requirements less complex. For a discussion of capital requirements, see “—The Role of Capital.” It also eliminated questions about the applicability of certain Dodd-Frank Act reforms to community bank systems, including relieving us of any requirement to engage in mandatory stress tests, maintain a risk committee or comply with the Volker Rule’s complicated prohibitions on proprietary trading and ownership of private funds. We believe these reforms are favorable to our operations, but the true impact remains difficult to predict until rulemaking is complete and the reforms are fully implemented.

 

The supervisory framework for U.S. banking organizations subjects banks and bank holding companies to regular examination by their respective regulatory agencies, which results in examination reports and ratings that are not publicly available and that can impact the conduct and growth of their business. These examinations consider not only compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but also capital levels, asset quality and risk, management ability and performance, earnings, liquidity, and various other factors. The regulatory agencies generally have broad discretion to impose restrictions and limitations on the operations of a regulated entity where the agencies determine, among other things, that such operations are unsafe or unsound, fail to comply with applicable law or are otherwise inconsistent with laws and regulations.

 

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The following is a summary of the material elements of the supervisory and regulatory framework applicable to the Company and the Bank, beginning with a discussion of the continuing regulatory emphasis on our capital levels. It does not describe all of the statutes, regulations and regulatory policies that apply, nor does it restate all of the requirements of those that are described. The descriptions are qualified in their entirety by reference to the particular statutory and regulatory provision.

 

The Role of Capital

 

Regulatory capital represents the net assets of a banking organization available to absorb losses. Because of the risks attendant to their business, FDIC-insured institutions are generally required to hold more capital than other businesses, which directly affects their earnings capabilities. While capital has historically been one of the key measures of the financial health of both bank holding companies and banks, its role became fundamentally more important in the wake of the global financial crisis, as the banking regulators recognized that the amount and quality of capital held by banks prior to the crisis was insufficient to absorb losses during periods of severe stress. Certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and Basel III, discussed below, establish strengthened capital standards for banks and bank holding companies, require more capital to be held in the form of common stock and disallow certain funds from being included in capital determinations. These standards represent regulatory capital requirements that are meaningfully more stringent than those in place previously.

 

Minimum Required Capital Levels. Banks have been required to hold minimum levels of capital based on guidelines established by the bank regulatory agencies since 1983. The minimums have been expressed in terms of ratios of “capital” divided by “total assets”. As discussed below, bank capital measures have become more sophisticated over the years and have focused more on the quality of capital and the risk of assets. Bank holding companies have historically had to comply with less stringent capital standards than their bank subsidiaries and have been able to raise capital with hybrid instruments such as trust preferred securities. The Dodd-Frank Act mandated the Federal Reserve to establish minimum capital levels for holding companies on a consolidated basis as stringent as those required for FDIC-insured institutions. A result of this change is that holding companies must generally maintain capital like their bank subsidiaries and the proceeds of hybrid instruments, such as trust preferred securities, which banks could not hold as capital, have been excluded from capital. However, if such securities were issued prior to May 19, 2010 by bank holding companies with less than $15 billion of assets, they may be retained, subject to certain restrictions. Because we have assets of less than $15 billion, we are able to maintain our trust preferred proceeds as capital, but we will not be able to raise capital in the future through the issuance of trust preferred securities.

 

The Basel International Capital Accords. The risk-based capital guidelines for U.S. banks since 1989 were based upon the 1988 capital accord known as “Basel I” adopted by the international Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a committee of central banks and bank supervisors that acts as the primary global standard-setter for prudential regulation, as implemented by the U.S. bank regulatory agencies on an interagency basis. The accord recognized that bank assets for the purpose of the capital ratio calculations needed to be risk weighted (the theory being that riskier assets should require more capital) and that off-balance sheet exposures needed to be factored in the calculations. Basel I had a very simple formula for assigning risk weights to bank assets from 0% to 100% based on four categories. In 2008, the banking agencies collaboratively began to phase-in capital standards based on a second capital accord, referred to as “Basel II,” for large or “core” international banks (generally defined for U.S. purposes as having total assets of $250 billion or more, or consolidated foreign exposures of $10 billion or more) known as “advanced approaches” banks. The primary focus of Basel II was on the calculation of risk weights based on complex models developed by each advanced approaches bank. Because most banks were not subject to Basel II, the U.S. bank regulators worked to improve the risk sensitivity of Basel I standards without imposing the complexities of Basel II. This “standardized approach” increased the number of risk-weight categories and recognized risks well above the original 100% risk weighting. It is institutionalized by the Dodd-Frank Act for all banking organizations, even for the advanced approaches banks, as a floor.

 

On September 12, 2010, the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, announced agreement on a strengthened set of capital requirements for banking organizations around the world, known as Basel III, to address deficiencies recognized in connection with the global financial crisis.

 

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The Basel III Rule. In July 2013, the U.S. federal banking agencies approved the implementation of the Basel III regulatory capital reforms in pertinent part, and, at the same time, promulgated rules effecting certain changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act (the “Basel III Rule”). In contrast to capital requirements historically, which were in the form of guidelines, Basel III was released in the form of regulations by each of the regulatory agencies. The Basel III Rule is applicable to all banking organizations that are subject to minimum capital requirements, including federal and state banks and savings and loan associations, as well as to bank and savings and loan holding companies, other than “small bank holding companies” who are relieved from compliance with the Basel III Rule. While holding companies with consolidated assets of less than $3 billion, like the Company, are considered small bank holding companies for this purpose, we have securities registered with the SEC and that disqualifies us from taking advantage of the relief. Banking organizations became subject to the Basel III Rule on January 1, 2015, and its requirements were fully phased-in as of January 1, 2019.

 

The Basel III Rule impacts the definitions of the various forms of capital used to calculate the ratios and how assets will be weighted for the purpose of calculating such ratios. It increased the required quantity and quality of capital and required more detailed categories of risk weighting of riskier, more opaque assets. For nearly every class of assets, the Basel III Rule requires a more complex, detailed and calibrated assessment of risk in the calculation of risk weightings.

 

Not only did the Basel III Rule increase most of the required minimum capital ratios in effect prior to January 1, 2015, but it introduced the concept of Common Equity Tier 1 Capital, which consists primarily of common stock, related surplus (net of Treasury stock), retained earnings, and Common Equity Tier 1 minority interests subject to certain regulatory adjustments. The Basel III Rule also changed the definition of capital by establishing more stringent criteria that instruments must meet to be considered Additional Tier 1 Capital (primarily non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock that meets certain requirements) and Tier 2 Capital (primarily other types of preferred stock and subordinated debt, subject to limitations). A number of instruments that qualified as Tier 1 Capital under Basel I do not qualify, or their qualifications will change. For example, noncumulative perpetual preferred stock, which qualified as Tier 1 Capital under Basel I, does not qualify as Common Equity Tier 1 Capital, but qualifies as Additional Tier 1 Capital. The Basel III Rule also constrained the inclusion of minority interests, mortgage-servicing assets, and deferred tax assets in capital and requires deductions from Common Equity Tier 1 Capital in the event that such assets exceed a certain percentage of a banking institution’s Common Equity Tier 1 Capital.

 

The Basel III Rule required minimum capital ratios as of January 1, 2015, as follows:

 

  A ratio of minimum Common Equity Tier 1 Capital equal to 4.5% of risk-weighted assets;
     
  An increase in the minimum required amount of Tier 1 Capital from 4% to 6% of risk-weighted assets;
     
  ●  A continuation of the minimum required amount of Total Capital (Tier 1 plus Tier 2) at 8% of risk-weighted assets; and
     
  ●  A minimum leverage ratio of Tier 1 Capital to total quarterly average assets equal to 4% in all circumstances.

 

In addition, institutions that seek the freedom to make capital distributions (including for dividends and repurchases of stock) and pay discretionary bonuses to executive officers without restriction must also maintain 2.5% in Common Equity Tier 1 Capital attributable to a capital conservation buffer fully phased-in as of January 1, 2019. The purpose of the conservation buffer is to ensure that banking institutions maintain a buffer of capital that can be used to absorb losses during periods of financial and economic stress. Factoring in the conservation buffer increases the minimum ratios depicted above to 7% for Common Equity Tier 1 Capital, 8.5% for Tier 1 Capital and 10.5% for Total Capital.

 

Well-Capitalized Requirements. The ratios described above are minimum standards in order for banking organizations to be considered “adequately capitalized.” Bank regulatory agencies uniformly encourage banks to hold more capital and be “well-capitalized” and, to that end, federal law and regulations provide various incentives for banking organizations to maintain regulatory capital at levels in excess of minimum regulatory requirements. For example, a banking organization that is well-capitalized may: (i) qualify for exemptions from prior notice or application requirements otherwise applicable to certain types of activities; (ii) qualify for expedited processing of other required notices or applications; and (iii) accept, roll-over or renew brokered deposits. Higher capital levels could also be required if warranted by the particular circumstances or risk profiles of individual banking organizations. For example, the Federal Reserve’s capital guidelines contemplate that additional capital may be required to take adequate account of, among other things, interest rate risk, or the risks posed by concentrations of credit, nontraditional activities or securities trading activities. Further, any banking organization experiencing or anticipating significant growth would be expected to maintain capital ratios, including tangible capital positions (i.e., Tier 1 Capital less all intangible assets), well above the minimum levels.

 

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Under the capital regulations of the Federal Reserve for the Company and the OCC for the Bank, in order to be well capitalized, we must maintain:

 

  ●  A Common Equity Tier 1 Capital ratio to risk-weighted assets of 6.5% or more;
     
  ●  A ratio of Tier 1 Capital to total risk-weighted assets of 8% or more (6% under Basel I);
     
  ●  A ratio of Total Capital to total risk-weighted assets of 10% or more (the same as Basel I); and
     
  A leverage ratio of Tier 1 Capital to total adjusted average quarterly assets of 5% or greater.

 

It is possible under the Basel III Rule to be well-capitalized while remaining out of compliance with the capital conservation buffer discussed above.

 

As of December 31, 2018 the Bank was well-capitalized, as defined by OCC regulations. As of December 31, 2018, the Company had regulatory capital in excess of the Federal Reserve’s requirements and met the Basel III Rule requirements to be well-capitalized.

 

Prompt Corrective Action. The concept of being “well-capitalized” is part of a regulatory regime that provides the federal banking regulators with broad power to take “prompt corrective action” to resolve the problems of undercapitalized institutions based on the capital level of each particular institution. The extent of the regulators’ powers depends on whether the institution in question is “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized” or “critically undercapitalized,” in each case as defined by regulation. Depending upon the capital category to which an institution is assigned, the regulators’ corrective powers include: (i) requiring the institution to submit a capital restoration plan; (ii) limiting the institution’s asset growth and restricting its activities; (iii) requiring the institution to issue additional capital stock (including additional voting stock) or to sell itself; (iv) restricting transactions between the institution and its affiliates; (v) restricting the interest rate that the institution may pay on deposits; (vi) ordering a new election of directors of the institution; (vii) requiring that senior executive officers or directors be dismissed; (viii) prohibiting the institution from accepting deposits from correspondent banks; (ix) requiring the institution to divest certain subsidiaries; (x) prohibiting the payment of principal or interest on subordinated debt; and (xi) ultimately, appointing a receiver for the institution.

 

The Potential for Community Bank Capital Simplification. Community banks have long raised concerns with bank regulators about the regulatory burden, complexity, and costs associated with certain provisions of the Basel III Rule. In response, Congress provided a potential Basel III “off-ramp” for institutions, like us, with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion. Section 201 of the Regulatory Relief Act instructed the federal banking regulators to establish a single “Community Bank Leverage Ratio” (“CBLR”) of between 8 and 10%. On November 21, 2018, the agencies proposed setting the CBLR at 9% of tangible equity to total assets for a qualifying bank to be well-capitalized. Under the proposal, a community banking organization would be eligible to elect the new framework if it has: less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, limited amounts of certain assets and off-balance sheet exposures, and a CBLR greater than 9%. The electing institution would not be required to calculate the existing risk-based and leverage capital requirements of the Basel III Rule and would not need to risk weight its assets for purposes of capital calculations.

 

We are in the process of considering the CBLR proposal and will await the final regulation to determine whether we will elect the framework.

 

Regulation and Supervision of the Company

 

General. The Company, as the sole shareholder of the Bank, is a bank holding company. As a bank holding company, we are registered with, and subject to regulation, supervision and enforcement by, the Federal Reserve under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”). We are legally obligated to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to the Bank and to commit resources to support the Bank in circumstances where we might not otherwise do so. Under the BHCA, we are subject to periodic examination by the Federal Reserve and is required to file with the Federal Reserve periodic reports of our operations and such additional information regarding the Company and the Bank as the Federal Reserve may require.

 

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Acquisitions and Activities. The primary purpose of a bank holding company is to control and manage banks. The BHCA generally requires the prior approval of the Federal Reserve for any merger involving a bank holding company or any acquisition by a bank holding company of another bank or bank holding company. Subject to certain conditions (including deposit concentration limits established by the BHCA), the Federal Reserve may allow a bank holding company to acquire banks located in any state of the United States. In approving interstate acquisitions, the Federal Reserve is required to give effect to applicable state law limitations on the aggregate amount of deposits that may be held by the acquiring bank holding company and its FDIC-insured institution affiliates in the state in which the target bank is located (provided that those limits do not discriminate against out-of-state institutions or their holding companies) and state laws that require that the target bank have been in existence for a minimum period of time (not to exceed five years) before being acquired by an out-of-state bank holding company. Furthermore, in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, bank holding companies must be well-capitalized and well-managed in order to effect interstate mergers or acquisitions. For a discussion of the capital requirements, see “The Role of Capital” above.

 

The BHCA generally prohibits the Company from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any company that is not a bank and from engaging in any business other than that of banking, managing and controlling banks or furnishing services to banks and their subsidiaries. This general prohibition is subject to a number of exceptions. The principal exception allows bank holding companies to engage in, and to own shares of companies engaged in, certain businesses found by the Federal Reserve prior to November 11, 1999 to be “so closely related to banking ... as to be a proper incident thereto.” This authority would permit the Company to engage in a variety of banking-related businesses, including the ownership and operation of a savings association, or any entity engaged in consumer finance, equipment leasing, the operation of a computer service bureau (including software development) and mortgage banking and brokerage services. The BHCA does not place territorial restrictions on the domestic activities of nonbank subsidiaries of bank holding companies.

 

Additionally, bank holding companies that meet certain eligibility requirements prescribed by the BHCA and elect to operate as financial holding companies may engage in, or own shares in companies engaged in, a wider range of nonbanking activities, including securities and insurance underwriting and sales, merchant banking and any other activity that the Federal Reserve, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines by regulation or order is financial in nature or incidental to any such financial activity or that the Federal Reserve determines by order to be complementary to any such financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of FDIC-insured institutions or the financial system generally. We have not elected to operate as a financial holding company.

 

Change in Control. Federal law prohibits any person or company from acquiring “control” of an FDIC-insured depository institution or its holding company without prior notice to the appropriate federal bank regulator. “Control” is conclusively presumed to exist upon the acquisition of 25% or more of the outstanding voting securities of a bank or bank holding company, but may arise under certain circumstances between 10% and 24.99% ownership.

 

Capital Requirements. We have been subject to the complex consolidated capital requirements of the Basel III Rule since the U.S. federal banking agencies approved its implementation effective January 1, 2015 because, regardless of our size, we did not qualify for an exception under the Federal Reserve’s Small Bank holding Company Policy Statement, which exempted most small holding companies from compliance with the Basel II Rule. While the Regulatory Relief Act expanded the category of holding companies that may rely on the policy statement, one of the qualifications for this treatment is that the holding company not have securities registered with the SEC. We have securities registered with the SEC and are a publicly reporting company. Thus, we do not meet the qualifications of the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement and must continue compliance with the capital requirements. For a discussion of capital requirements, see “—the Role of Capital” above.

 

Dividend Payments. Our ability to pay dividends to shareholders may be affected by both general corporate law considerations and policies of the Federal Reserve applicable to bank holding companies. As a Delaware corporation, we are subject to the limitations of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”). The DGCL allows us to pay dividends only out of its surplus (as defined and computed in accordance with the provisions of the DGCL) or if we have no such surplus, out of its net profits for the fiscal year in which the dividend is declared and/or the preceding fiscal year.

 

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As a general matter, the Federal Reserve has indicated that the board of directors of a bank holding company should eliminate, defer or significantly reduce dividends to shareholders if: (i) the company’s net income available to shareholders for the past four quarters, net of dividends previously paid during that period, is not sufficient to fully fund the dividends; (ii) the prospective rate of earnings retention is inconsistent with the company’s capital needs and overall current and prospective financial condition; or (iii) the company will not meet, or is in danger of not meeting, its minimum regulatory capital adequacy ratios. The Federal Reserve also possesses enforcement powers over bank holding companies and their nonbank subsidiaries to prevent or remedy actions that represent unsafe or unsound practices or violations of applicable statutes and regulations. Among these powers is the ability to proscribe the payment of dividends by banks and bank holding companies. In addition, under the Basel III Rule, institutions that seek the freedom to pay dividends will have to maintain 2.5% in Common Equity Tier 1 Capital attributable to the capital conservation buffer. See “—The Role of Capital” above.

 

Monetary Policy. The monetary policy of the Federal Reserve has a significant effect on the operating results of financial or bank holding companies and their subsidiaries. Among the tools available to the Federal Reserve to affect the money supply are open market transactions in U.S. government securities, changes in the discount rate on bank borrowings and changes in reserve requirements against bank deposits. These means are used in varying combinations to influence overall growth and distribution of bank loans, investments and deposits, and their use may affect interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits.

 

Federal Securities Regulation. Our common stock will be registered with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) as a result of the offering. Consequently, we will be subject to the information, proxy solicitation, insider trading and other restrictions and requirements of the SEC under the Exchange Act.

 

Corporate Governance. The Dodd-Frank Act addressed many investor protection, corporate governance and executive compensation matters that will affect most U.S. publicly traded companies. It increased stockholder influence over boards of directors by requiring companies to give stockholders a nonbinding vote on executive compensation and so-called “golden parachute” payments, and authorizing the SEC to promulgate rules that would allow stockholders to nominate and solicit voters for their own candidates using a company’s proxy materials. The legislation also directed the Federal Reserve to promulgate rules prohibiting excessive compensation paid to executives of bank holding companies, regardless of whether such companies are publicly traded.

 

Regulation and Supervision of the Bank

 

General. The Bank is a national bank, chartered by the OCC under the National Bank Act. The deposit accounts of the Bank are insured by the DIF to the maximum extent provided under federal law and FDIC regulations, currently $250,000 per insured depositor category, and the Bank is a member of the Federal Reserve System. As a national bank, the Bank is subject to the examination, supervision, reporting and enforcement requirements of the OCC, the chartering authority for national banks. The Bank is subject to that authority and is examined by the OCC. The FDIC, as administrator of the DIF, also has regulatory authority over the Bank.

 

Deposit Insurance. As an FDIC-insured institution, the Bank is required to pay deposit insurance premium assessments to the FDIC. The FDIC has adopted a risk-based assessment system whereby FDIC-insured institutions pay insurance premiums at rates based on their risk classification. For institutions like the Bank that are not considered large and highly complex banking organizations, assessments are now based on examination ratings and financial ratios. The total base assessment rates currently range from 1.5 basis points to 30 basis points. At least semi-annually, the FDIC updates its loss and income projections for the DIF and, if needed, increases or decreases the assessment rates, following notice and comment on proposed rulemaking. The assessment base against which an FDIC-insured institution’s deposit insurance premiums paid to the DIF are calculated is based on its average consolidated total assets less its average tangible equity. This method shifted the burden of deposit insurance premiums toward those large depository institutions that rely on funding sources other than U.S. deposits.

 

The reserve ratio is the DIF balance divided by estimated insured deposits. The Dodd-Frank Act altered the minimum reserve ratio of the DIF, increasing the minimum from 1.15% to 1.35% of the estimated amount of total insured deposits, and eliminating the requirement that the FDIC pay dividends to FDIC-insured institutions when the reserve ratio exceeds certain thresholds. The reserve ratio reached 1.36% as of September 30, 2018 (most recent available), exceeding the statutory required minimum reserve ratio of 1.35%. The FDIC will provide assessment credits to insured depository institutions, like the Bank, with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion for the portion of their regular assessments that contribute to growth in the reserve ratio between 1.15% and 1.35%. The FDIC will apply the credits each quarter that the reserve ratio is at least 1.38% to offset the regular deposit insurance assessments of institutions with credits.

 

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FICO Assessments. In addition to paying basic deposit insurance assessments, FDIC-insured institutions must pay Financing Corporation (“FICO”) assessments. FICO is a mixed-ownership governmental corporation chartered by the former Federal Home Loan Bank Board pursuant to the Competitive Equality Banking Act of 1987 to function as a financing vehicle for the recapitalization of the former Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. FICO issued 30-year noncallable bonds of approximately $8.1 billion that mature in 2017 through 2019. FICO’s authority to issue bonds ended on December 12, 1991. Since 1996, federal legislation has required that all FDIC-insured institutions pay assessments to cover interest payments on FICO’s outstanding obligations. The FICO assessment rate is adjusted quarterly and for the fourth quarter of 2018 was 32 cents per $100 dollars of assessable deposits.

 

Supervisory Assessments. National banks are required to pay supervisory assessments to the OCC to fund the operations of the OCC. The amount of the assessment is calculated using a formula that considers the bank’s size and its supervisory condition. During the year ended December 31, 2018, the Bank paid supervisory assessments to the OCC totaling $238,400.

 

Capital Requirements. Banks are generally required to maintain capital levels in excess of other businesses. For a discussion of capital requirements, see “—The Role of Capital” above.

 

Liquidity Requirements. Liquidity is a measure of the ability and ease with which bank assets may be converted to cash. Liquid assets are those that can be converted to cash quickly if needed to meet financial obligations. To remain viable, FDIC-insured institutions must have enough liquid assets to meet their near-term obligations, such as withdrawals by depositors. Because the global financial crisis was in part a liquidity crisis, Basel III also includes a liquidity framework that requires FDIC-insured institutions to measure their liquidity against specific liquidity tests. One test, referred to as the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (“LCR”), is designed to ensure that the banking entity has an adequate stock of unencumbered high-quality liquid assets that can be converted easily and immediately in private markets into cash to meet liquidity needs for a 30-calendar day liquidity stress scenario. The other test, known as the Net Stable Funding Ratio (“NSFR”), is designed to promote more medium- and long-term funding of the assets and activities of FDIC-insured institutions over a one-year horizon. These tests provide an incentive for banks and holding companies to increase their holdings in Treasury securities and other sovereign debt as a component of assets, increase the use of long-term debt as a funding source and rely on stable funding like core deposits (in lieu of brokered deposits).

 

In addition to liquidity guidelines already in place, the federal bank regulatory agencies implemented the Basel III LCR in 2014 and have proposed the NSFR. While these rules do not, and will not, apply to the Bank, we continue to review our liquidity risk management policies in light of these developments.

 

Dividend Payments. The primary source of funds for the Company is dividends from the Bank. Under the National Bank Act, a national bank may pay dividends out of its undivided profits in such amounts and at such times as the bank’s board of directors deems prudent. Without prior OCC approval, however, a national bank may not pay dividends in any calendar year that, in the aggregate, exceed the bank’s year-to-date net income plus the bank’s retained net income for the two preceding years. The payment of dividends by any FDIC-insured institution is affected by the requirement to maintain adequate capital pursuant to applicable capital adequacy guidelines and regulations, and an FDIC-insured institution generally is prohibited from paying any dividends if, following payment thereof, the institution would be undercapitalized. As described above, the Bank exceeded its capital requirements under applicable guidelines as of December 31, 2018. Notwithstanding the availability of funds for dividends, however, the OCC may prohibit the payment of dividends by the Bank if it determines such payment would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice. In addition, under the Basel III Rule, institutions that seek the freedom to pay dividends have to maintain 2.5% in Common Equity Tier 1 Capital attributable to the capital conservation buffer. See “—The Role of Capital” above.

 

Insider Transactions. The Bank is subject to certain restrictions imposed by federal law on “covered transactions” between the Bank and its “affiliates.” The Company is an affiliate of the Bank for purposes of these restrictions, and covered transactions subject to the restrictions include extensions of credit to the Company, investments in the stock or other securities of the Company and the acceptance of the stock or other securities of the Company as collateral for loans made by the Bank. The Dodd-Frank Act enhanced the requirements for certain transactions with affiliates, including an expansion of the definition of “covered transactions” and an increase in the amount of time for which collateral requirements regarding covered transactions must be maintained.

 

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Certain limitations and reporting requirements are also placed on extensions of credit by the Bank to its directors and officers, to directors and officers of the Company and its subsidiaries, to principal shareholders of the Company and to “related interests” of such directors, officers and principal shareholders. In addition, federal law and regulations may affect the terms upon which any person who is a director or officer of the Company or the Bank, or a principal shareholder of the Company, may obtain credit from banks with which the Bank maintains a correspondent relationship.

 

Safety and Soundness Standards/Risk Management. FDIC-insured institutions are expected to operate in a safe and sound manner. The federal banking agencies have adopted operational and managerial standards to promote the safety and soundness of such institutions that address internal controls, information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, compensation, fees and benefits, asset quality and earnings.

 

In general, the safety and soundness standards prescribe the goals to be achieved in each area, and each institution is responsible for establishing its own procedures to achieve those goals. If an institution fails to operate in a safe and sound manner, the FDIC-insured institution’s primary federal regulator may require the institution to submit a plan for achieving and maintaining compliance. If an FDIC-insured institution fails to submit an acceptable compliance plan, or fails in any material respect to implement a compliance plan that has been accepted by its primary federal regulator, the regulator is required to issue an order directing the institution to cure the deficiency. Until the deficiency cited in the regulator’s order is cured, the regulator may restrict the FDIC-insured institution’s rate of growth, require the FDIC-insured institution to increase its capital, restrict the rates the institution pays on deposits or require the institution to take any action the regulator deems appropriate under the circumstances. Operating in an unsafe or unsound manner will also constitute grounds for other enforcement action by the federal bank regulatory agencies, including cease and desist orders and civil money penalty assessments.

 

During the past decade, the bank regulatory agencies have increasingly emphasized the importance of sound risk management processes and strong internal controls when evaluating the activities of the FDIC-insured institutions they supervise. Properly managing risks has been identified as critical to the conduct of safe and sound banking activities and has become even more important as new technologies, product innovation, and the size and speed of financial transactions have changed the nature of banking markets. The agencies have identified a spectrum of risks facing a banking institution including, but not limited to, credit, market, liquidity, operational, legal, and reputational risk. In particular, recent regulatory pronouncements have focused on operational risk, which arises from the potential that inadequate information systems, operational problems, breaches in internal controls, fraud, or unforeseen catastrophes will result in unexpected losses. New products and services, incentive compensation, third-party risk and cybersecurity are critical sources of operational risk that FDIC-insured institutions must address in the current environment. The Bank is expected to have active board and senior management oversight; adequate policies, procedures, and limits; adequate risk measurement, monitoring, and management information systems; and comprehensive internal controls.

 

Branching Authority. National banks headquartered in Kansas, such as the Bank, have the same branching rights in Kansas as banks chartered under Kansas law, subject to OCC approval. Kansas law grants Kansas-chartered banks the authority to establish branches anywhere in the State of Kansas, subject to receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

 

The Dodd-Frank Act permits well-capitalized and well-managed banks to establish new branches across state lines without legal impediments. However, while Federal law permits state and national banks to merge with banks in other states, such mergers are subject to: (i) regulatory approval; (ii) federal and state deposit concentration limits; and (iii) state law limitations requiring the merging bank to have been in existence for a minimum period of time (not to exceed five years) prior to the merger.

 

Financial Subsidiaries. Under federal law and OCC regulations, national banks are authorized to engage, through “financial subsidiaries,” in any activity that is permissible for a financial holding company and any activity that the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Federal Reserve, determines is financial in nature or incidental to any such financial activity, except (i) insurance underwriting, (ii) real estate development or real estate investment activities (unless otherwise permitted by law), (iii) insurance company portfolio investments and (iv) merchant banking. The authority of a national bank to invest in a financial subsidiary is subject to a number of conditions, including, among other things, requirements that the bank must be well-managed and well-capitalized (after deducting from capital the bank’s outstanding investments in financial subsidiaries). The Bank has not applied for approval to establish any financial subsidiaries.

 

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Transaction Account Reserves. Federal Reserve regulations require FDIC-insured institutions to maintain reserves against their transaction accounts (primarily NOW and regular checking accounts). For 2019, the first $16.3 million of otherwise reservable balances are exempt from reserves and have a zero percent reserve requirement; for transaction accounts aggregating between $16.3 million to $124.2 million, the reserve requirement is 3% of those transaction account balances; and for net transaction accounts in excess of $124.2 million, the reserve requirement is 10% of the aggregate amount of total transaction account balances in excess of $124.2 million. These reserve requirements are subject to annual adjustment by the Federal Reserve.

 

Community Reinvestment Act Requirements. The CRA requires the Bank to have a continuing and affirmative obligation in a safe and sound manner to help meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Federal regulators regularly assess the Bank’s record of meeting the credit needs of its communities. Applications for additional acquisitions would be affected by the evaluation of the Bank’s effectiveness in meeting its CRAs.

 

Anti-Money Laundering. The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA Patriot Act”) is designed to deny terrorists and criminals the ability to obtain access to the U.S. financial system and has significant implications for FDIC-insured institutions, brokers, dealers and other businesses involved in the transfer of money. The USA Patriot Act mandates financial services companies to have policies and procedures with respect to measures designed to address any or all of the following matters: (i) customer identification programs; (ii) money laundering; (iii) terrorist financing; (iv) identifying and reporting suspicious activities and currency transactions; (v) currency crimes; and (vi) cooperation between FDIC-insured institutions and law enforcement authorities.

 

Privacy and Cybersecurity. The Bank is subject to many U.S. federal and state laws and regulations governing requirements for maintaining policies and procedures to protect non-public confidential information of their customers. These laws require the Bank to periodically disclose their privacy policies and practices relating to sharing such information and permit consumers to opt out of their ability to share information with unaffiliated third parties under certain circumstances. They also impact the Bank’s ability to share certain information with affiliates and non-affiliates for marketing and/or non-marketing purposes, or to contact customers with marketing offers. In addition, the Bank is required to implement a comprehensive information security program that includes administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer records and information. These security and privacy policies and procedures, for the protection of personal and confidential information, are in effect across all businesses and geographic locations.

 

Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate. Concentration risk exists when FDIC-insured institutions deploy too many assets to any one industry or segment. A concentration in commercial real estate is one example of regulatory concern. The interagency Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate Lending, Sound Risk Management Practices guidance (“CRE Guidance”) provides supervisory criteria, including the following numerical indicators, to assist bank examiners in identifying banks with potentially significant commercial real estate loan concentrations that may warrant greater supervisory scrutiny: (i) commercial real estate loans exceeding 300% of capital and increasing 50% or more in the preceding three years; or (ii) construction and land development loans exceeding 100% of capital. The CRE Guidance does not limit banks’ levels of commercial real estate lending activities, but rather guides institutions in developing risk management practices and levels of capital that are commensurate with the level and nature of their commercial real estate concentrations. On December 18, 2015, the federal banking agencies issued a statement to reinforce prudent risk-management practices related to CRE lending, having observed substantial growth in many CRE asset and lending markets, increased competitive pressures, rising CRE concentrations in banks, and an easing of CRE underwriting standards. The federal bank agencies reminded FDIC-insured institutions to maintain underwriting discipline and exercise prudent risk-management practices to identify, measure, monitor, and manage the risks arising from CRE lending. In addition, FDIC-insured institutions must maintain capital commensurate with the level and nature of their CRE concentration risk.

 

Based on the Bank’s loan portfolio as of December 31, 2018, we do not exceed the 300% guideline for commercial real estate loans.

 

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Consumer Financial Services. The historical structure of federal consumer protection regulation applicable to all providers of consumer financial products and services changed significantly on July 21, 2011, when the CFPB commenced operations to supervise and enforce consumer protection laws. The CFPB has broad rulemaking authority for a wide range of consumer protection laws that apply to all providers of consumer products and services, including the Bank, as well as the authority to prohibit “unfair, deceptive or abusive” acts and practices. The CFPB has examination and enforcement authority over providers with more than $10 billion in assets. FDIC-insured institutions with $10 billion or less in assets, like the Bank, continue to be examined by their applicable bank regulators.

 

Because abuses in connection with residential mortgages were a significant factor contributing to the financial crisis, many new rules issued by the CFPB and required by the Dodd-Frank Act addressed mortgage and mortgage-related products, their underwriting, origination, servicing and sales. The Dodd-Frank Act significantly expanded underwriting requirements applicable to loans secured by 1-4 family residential real property and augmented federal law combating predatory lending practices. In addition to numerous disclosure requirements, the Dodd Frank Act imposed new standards for mortgage loan originations on all lenders, including banks and savings associations, in an effort to strongly encourage lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay, while also establishing a presumption of compliance for certain “qualified mortgages.” The Regulatory Relief Act provided relief in connection with mortgages for banks with assets of less than $10 billion, and, as a result, mortgages the Bank makes are now considered to be qualified mortgages if they are held in portfolio for the life of the loan.

 

The CFPB’s rules have not had a significant impact on the Bank’s operations, except for higher compliance costs.

 

Company Web site

 

The Company maintains a corporate website at www.landmarkbancorpinc.com. In addition, the Company has an investor relations link at the Bank’s corporate website at www.banklandmark.com. Many of the Company’s policies, including its code of business conduct and ethics, committee charters and other investor information, are available on its website. The Company makes available free of charge on or through its website its Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after the Company electronically files such material with, or furnishes it to, the SEC. Copies of the Company’s filings with the SEC are also available from the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov) free of charge. The Company will also provide copies of its filings free of charge upon written request to our Corporate Secretary at Landmark Bancorp, Inc., 701 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

 

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Statistical Data

 

The Company has a fiscal year ending on December 31. Unless otherwise noted, the information presented in this Annual Report on Form 10-K presents information on behalf of the Company as of and for the year ended December 31, 2018.

 

The statistical data required by Guide 3 of the Securities Act of 1933 Industry Guides is set forth in the following pages. This data should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements, related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

I. Distribution of Assets, Liabilities, and Stockholders’ Equity; Interest Rates and Interest Differential

 

The following table describes the extent to which changes in tax equivalent interest income and interest expense for major components of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities affected the Company’s interest income and expense during the periods indicated. The table distinguishes between (i) changes attributable to rate (changes in rate multiplied by prior volume), (ii) changes attributable to volume (changes in volume multiplied by prior rate), and (iii) net change (the sum of the previous columns). The net changes attributable to the combined effect of volume and rate which cannot be segregated have been allocated proportionately to the change due to volume and the change due to rate.

 

   Years ended December 31, 
   2018 vs 2017   2017 vs 2016 
   Increase/(decrease) attributable to   Increase/(decrease) attributable to 
   Volume   Rate   Net   Volume   Rate   Net 
   (Dollars in thousands) 
Interest income:                              
Interest-bearing deposits at banks  $(60)  $42   $(18)  $5   $17   $22 
Investment securities                              
Taxable   58    573    631    -    112    112 
Tax-exempt (1)   (121)   (789)   (910)   767    (18)   749 
Loans (2)   1,691    1,105    2,796    (184)   (39)   (223)
Total   1,568    931    2,499    588    72    660 
Interest expense:                              
Deposits   50    1,437    1,487    48    387    435 
Borrowings   207    86    293    (117)   76    (41)
Total   257    1,523    1,780    (69)   463    394 
Net interest income  $1,311   $(592)  $719   $657   $(391)  $266 

 

(1) The change in tax-exempt income on investment securities is presented on a fully taxable equivalent basis, using a  21% federal tax rate for 2018 and a 34% federal tax rate for 2017 and 2016.
   
(2) The change in tax-exempt loan income is presented on a fully taxable equivalent basis, using a 21% federal tax rate for 2018 and a 34% tax rate for 2017 and 2016.

 

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The following table sets forth information relating to average balances of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016. Average balances are derived from daily average balances. Non-accrual loans were included in the computation of average balances but have been reflected in the table as loans carrying a zero yield. The yields set forth in the table below include the effect of deferred fees, discounts and premiums that are amortized or accreted to interest income or interest expense. This table reflects the average yields on assets and average costs of liabilities for the periods indicated (derived by dividing income or expense by the monthly average balance of assets or liabilities, respectively) as well as the “net interest margin” (which reflects the effect of the net earnings balance) for the periods shown.

 

  

Year ended

December 31, 2018

  

Year ended

December 31, 2017

  

Year ended

December 31, 2016

 
   Average balance   Income/ expense   Yield/ cost   Average balance   Income/ expense   Yield/ cost   Average balance   Income/ expense   Yield/ cost 
(Dollars in thousands)                                             
Assets                                             
Interest-earning assets:                                             
Interest bearing deposits at banks  $737   $21    2.85%  $3,834   $39    1.02%  $3,075   $17    0.55%
Investment securities                                             
Taxable   221,835    5,278    2.38%   219,100    4,647    2.12%   219,091    4,535    2.07%
Tax-exempt (1)   171,977    4,971    2.89%   175,668    5,881    3.35%   152,737    5,132    3.36%
Loans receivable, net (2)   462,939    23,950    5.17%   429,540    21,154    4.92%   433,707    21,377    4.93%
Total interest-earning assets   857,488    34,220    3.99%   828,142    31,721    3.83%   808,610    31,061    3.84%
Non-interest-earning assets   95,430              92,230              85,759           
Total  $952,918             $920,372             $894,369           
                                              
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity                                             
Interest-bearing liabilities:                                             
Money market and checking  $371,138   $1,833    0.49%  $359,661   $948    0.26%  $330,252   $458    0.14%
Savings accounts   95,532    28    0.03%   93,443    28    0.03%   86,538    26    0.03%
Time deposit   137,400    1,195    0.87%   132,816    593    0.45%   144,678    650    0.45%
Total deposits   604,070    3,056    0.51%   585,920    1,569    0.27%   561,468    1,134    0.20%
FHLB advances and other borrowings   82,743    2,309    2.79%   75,347    2,016    2.68%   79,090    2,057    2.60%
Total interest-bearing liabilities   686,813    5,365    0.78%   661,267    3,585    0.54%   640,558    3,191    0.50%
Non-interest-bearing liabilities   179,896              171,409              167,144           
Stockholders’ equity   86,209              87,696              86,667           
Total  $952,918             $920,372             $894,369           
                                              
Interest rate spread (3)             3.21%             3.29%             3.34%
Net interest margin (4)       $28,855    3.37%       $28,136    3.40%       $27,870    3.45%
Tax equivalent interest - imputed (1) (2)        1,067              2,021              1,831      
Net interest income       $27,788             $26,115             $26,039      
                                              
Ratio of average interest-earning assets to average interest-bearing liabilities        124.9%             125.2%             126.2%     

 

  (1) Income on tax-exempt investment securities is presented on a fully taxable equivalent basis, using a 21% federal tax rate for 2018 and a 34% federal tax rate for 2017 and 2016.
     
  (2) Income on tax-exempt loans is presented on a fully taxable equivalent basis, using a 21% federal tax rate for 2018 and a 34% federal tax rate for 2017 and 2016.
     
  (3) Interest rate spread represents the difference between the average yield on interest-earning assets and the average cost of interest-bearing liabilities.
     
  (4) Net interest margin represents net interest income divided by average interest-earning assets.

 

 18 
   

 

II. Investment Portfolio

 

Investment Securities. The following table sets forth the carrying value of the Company’s investment securities at the dates indicated. None of the investment securities issued by an individual issuer held as of December 31, 2018 were in excess of 10% of the Company’s stockholders’ equity, excluding U.S. federal agency obligations. The Company’s federal agency obligations consist of obligations of U.S. government-sponsored enterprises, primarily the FHLB. The Company’s agency mortgage-backed securities portfolio consists of securities predominantly underwritten to the standards of and guaranteed by the government-sponsored agencies of Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Federal National Mortgage Association and Government National Mortgage Association. The Company’s investments in certificates of deposits consist of FDIC-insured certificates of deposits with other financial institutions.

 

   As of December 31, 
   2018   2017   2016 
   (Dollars in thousands) 
Investment securities:               
U.S. treasury securities  $1,971   $1,990   $6,015 
U.S. federal agency obligations   10,361    16,492    27,139 
Municipal obligations, tax-exempt   159,112    184,738    161,662 
Municipal obligations, taxable   53,035    57,976    71,563 
Agency mortgage-backed securities   156,076    117,555    108,376 
Certificates of deposits   7,790    9,224    9,700 
Common stocks   -    8    1,108 
Total investment securities available-for-sale, at fair value  $388,345   $387,983   $385,563 
                
FHLB stock   2,752    3,404    3,276 
Federal Reserve Bank stock   1,913    1,908    1,912 
Correspondent bank common stock   111    111    111 
Bank stocks, at cost  $4,776   $5,423   $5,299 

 

The following table sets forth certain information regarding the carrying values, weighted average yields, and maturities of the Company’s investment securities portfolio, as of December 31, 2018. Yields on tax-exempt obligations have been computed on a tax equivalent basis, using a 21% federal tax rate for 2018. Mortgage-backed investment securities include scheduled principal payments and estimated prepayments based on observable market inputs. Actual prepayments will differ from contractual maturities because borrowers have the right to prepay obligations with or without prepayment penalties.

 

   As of December 31, 2018 
   One year or less   One to five years   Five to ten years   More than ten years   Total 
   Carrying   Average   Carrying   Average   Carrying   Average   Carrying   Average   Carrying   Average 
   value   yield   value   yield   value   yield   value   yield   value   yield 
   (Dollars in thousands) 
Investment securities:                                                  
U.S. treasury securities  $-    0.00%  $1,971    2.01%  $-    0.00%  $-    0.00%  $1,971    2.01%
U.S. federal agency obligations   5,990    1.34%   4,225    2.57%   -    0.00%   146    3.77%   10,361    1.88%
Municipal obligations, tax-exempt   9,557    1.71%   17,980    2.21%   61,145    2.57%   70,430    3.56%   159,112    2.92%
Municipal obligations, taxable   12,068    2.20%   12,341    2.26%   23,817    3.08%   4,809    3.68%   53,035    2.74%
Agency mortgage-backed securities   861    2.06%   136,213    2.48%   17,560    3.25%   1,442    0.00%   156,076    2.57%
Certificates of deposits   6,371    1.63%   1,419    2.55%   -    0.00%   -    0.00%   7,790    1.80%
Total  $34,847    1.81%  $174,149    2.43%  $102,522    2.80%  $76,827    3.50%  $388,345    2.70%

 

 19 
   

 

III. Loan Portfolio

 

Loan Portfolio Composition. The following table sets forth the composition of the loan portfolio by type of loan at the dates indicated.

 

   As of December 31, 
   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014 
  (Dollars in thousands) 
Balance                         
One-to-four family residential real estate loans  $136,895   $136,215   $136,846   $131,930   $127,555 
Construction and land loans   20,083    19,356    13,738    15,043    21,950 
Commercial real estate loans   138,967    120,624    118,200    118,983    118,411 
Commercial loans   74,289    54,591    54,506    61,300    59,971 
Agriculture loans   96,632    83,008    78,324    71,030    64,316 
Municipal loans   2,953    3,396    3,884    7,635    8,982 
Consumer loans   25,428    22,046    20,271    19,895    20,044 
Total gross loans   495,247    439,236    425,769    425,816    421,229 
Net deferred loan costs and loans in process   (109)   (34)   36    29    281 
Allowance for loan losses   (5,765)   (5,459)   (5,344)   (5,922)   (5,320)
Loans, net  $489,373   $433,743   $420,461   $419,923   $416,190 
                          
Percent of total                         
One-to-four family residential real estate loans   27.6%   31.0%   32.1%   31.0%   30.3%
Construction and land loans   4.1%   4.4%   3.2%   3.5%   5.2%
Commercial real estate loans   28.1%   27.5%   27.8%   27.9%   28.1%
Commercial loans   15.0%   12.4%   12.8%   14.4%   14.2%
Agriculture loans   19.5%   18.9%   18.4%   16.7%   15.3%
Municipal loans   0.6%   0.8%   0.9%   1.8%   2.1%
Consumer loans   5.1%   5.0%   4.8%   4.7%   4.8%
Total gross loans   100.0%   100.0%   100.0%   100.0%   100.0%

 

The following table sets forth the contractual maturities of loans as of December 31, 2018. The table does not include unscheduled prepayments.

 

   As of December 31, 2018 
   1 year or less   1-5 years   After 5 years   Total 
   (Dollars in thousands) 
                 
One-to-four family residential real estate loans  $17,362   $57,548   $61,985   $136,895 
Construction and land loans   13,453    5,733    897    20,083 
Commercial real estate loans   18,410    56,625    63,932    138,967 
Commercial loans   45,336    23,110    5,843    74,289 
Agriculture loans   46,208    23,465    26,959    96,632 
Municipal loans   265    917    1,771    2,953 
Consumer loans   3,406    7,255    14,767    25,428 
Total gross loans  $144,440   $174,653   $176,154   $495,247 

 

 20 
   

 

The following table sets forth the dollar amount of all loans that mature after one year and whether such loans had fixed interest rates or adjustable interest rates:

 

   As of December 31, 2018 
   Fixed   Adjustable   Total 
   (Dollars in thousands) 
             
One-to-four family residential real estate loans  $62,879   $56,654   $119,533 
Construction and land loans   727    5,903    6,630 
Commercial real estate loans   24,478    96,079    120,557 
Commercial loans   7,774    21,179    28,953 
Agriculture loans   20,180    30,244    50,424 
Municipal loans   2,688    -    2,688 
Consumer loans   3,382    18,640    22,022 
Total gross loans  $122,108   $228,699   $350,807 

 

Non-performing Assets. The following table sets forth information with respect to non-performing assets, including non-accrual loans and real estate acquired through foreclosure or by deed in lieu of foreclosure (“real estate owned”). The accrual of interest on non-performing loans is discontinued at the time the loan is ninety days delinquent, unless the credit is well secured and in process of collection. Loans are placed on non-accrual or are charged off at an earlier date if collection of principal or interest is considered doubtful. Under the original terms of the Company’s non-accrual loans as of December 31, 2018, interest earned on such loans for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 would have increased interest income by $254,000, $185,000 and $75,000, respectively, if included in the Company’s interest income for those years. No interest income related to non-accrual loans was included in interest income for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016.

 

   As of December 31, 
   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014 
   (Dollars in thousands) 
                     
Non-accrual loans  $5,236   $6,041   $2,746   $2,168   $6,046 
Accruing loans over 90 days past due   -    -    -    -    - 
Non-performing investments   -    -    -    -    - 
Real estate owned, net   35    436    1,279    1,000    255 
Non-performing assets  $5,271   $6,477   $4,025   $3,168   $6,301 
                          
Performing TDRs  $3,455   $3,719   $3,983   $4,669   $4,657 
                          
Non-performing loans to total gross loans   1.06%   1.38%   0.64%   0.51%   1.44%
Non-performing assets to total assets   0.53%   0.70%   0.44%   0.36%   0.73%
Allowance for loan losses to non-performing loans   110.10%   90.37%   194.61%   273.15%   87.99%

 

The decrease in non-accrual loans as of December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017 was primarily related to a charge off of $853,000 associated with a $3.6 million loan relationship consisting of $1.8 million in commercial loans and a $1.8 million commercial real estate loan. This loan relationship was primarily responsible for the increase in non-accrual loans as of December 31, 2017 compared to December 31, 2016. The increase in non-accrual loans as of December 31, 2016 compared to December 31, 2015 was primarily driven by higher levels of non-performing agriculture loans. The decrease in non-accrual loans as of December 31, 2015 compared to December 31, 2014 was primarily the result of a $2.0 million commercial real estate loan that returned to accrual status, the payoff of a $1.6 million land loan relationship and transfers to real estate owned.

 

At December 31, 2018, the $35,000 of real estate owned primarily consisted of a few residential real estate properties. The decrease in real estate owned as of December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017 is primarily associated with the sales of several residential real estate properties and one commercial real estate property. The decrease in real estate owned as of December 31, 2017 compared to December 31, 2016 was principally associated with the sale of residential real estate properties. The increase in real estate owned as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 compared to December 31, 2014 was principally associated with obtaining the collateral securing a non-performing loan relationship.

 

 21 
   

 

As part of the Company’s credit risk management, the Company continues to aggressively manage the loan portfolio to identify problem loans and has placed additional emphasis on its commercial real estate relationships. As discussed in more detail in the “Asset Quality and Distribution” section of Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” as of December 31, 2018, the Company concluded its allowance for loan losses was adequate based on the evaluation of the loan portfolio’s probable incurred losses.

 

IV. Summary of Loan Loss Experience

 

The following table sets forth information with respect to the Company’s allowance for loan losses at the dates and for the periods indicated:

 

   As of and for the years ended December 31, 
   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014 
   (Dollars in thousands) 
                     
Balances at beginning of year  $5,459   $5,344   $5,922   $5,320   $5,540 
Provision for loan losses   1,400    450    500    (700)   600 
Charge-offs:                         
One-to-four family residential real estate loans   (32)   (37)   (14)   (57)   (29)
Construction and land loans   -    -    -    -    - 
Commercial real estate loans   -    (71)   -    (13)   - 
Commercial loans   (950)   -    (306)   (78)   (783)
Agriculture loans   -    (45)   (375)   -    - 
Municipal loans   -    -    -    (88)   - 
Consumer loans   (178)   (335)   (471)   (318)   (237)
Total charge-offs   (1,160)   (488)   (1,166)   (554)   (1,049)
Recoveries:                         
One-to-four family residential real estate loans   4    11    9    10    12 
Construction and land loans   -    -    -    1,722    166 
Commercial real estate loans   1    -    -    2    4 
Commercial loans   22    20    34    15    2 
Agriculture loans   1    1    -    73    - 
Municipal loans   2    37    6    -    - 
Consumer loans   36    84    39    34    45 
Total recoveries   66    153    88    1,856    229 
Net (charge-offs) recoveries   (1,094)   (335)   (1,078)   1,302    (820)
Balances at end of year  $5,765   $5,459   $5,344   $5,922   $5,320 
                          
Allowance for loan losses to total gross loans   1.16%   1.24%   1.26%   1.39%   1.26%
Net loans charged off (recovered) to average net loans   0.24%   0.08%   0.25%   (0.31%)   0.20%

 

The Company recorded net loan charge-offs of $1.1 million during 2018 compared to $335,000 during 2017. The net loan charge offs in 2018 were primarily related to one commercial loan relationship. The Company recorded net loan charge-offs of $335,000 during 2017 compared to $1.1 million during 2016. There were no significant loan charge-offs recorded during 2017. The Company recorded net loan charge-offs of $1.1 million during 2016, which were primarily related to an agriculture loan relationship which was subject to trouble debt restructuring (“TDR”) and the liquidation of the assets securing an impaired commercial loan relationship. We recorded net loan recoveries of $1.3 million during 2015, which were primarily associated with the recovery of $1.7 million on a $4.3 million construction loan which was fully charged-off during 2010 and 2011. As of December 31, 2018, we have recovered approximately $2.4 million of the loan, and the Company continues to pursue collection of the remaining amount. During 2014, we had net loan charge-offs of $820,000. The charge-offs were primarily associated with a previously identified and impaired $4.0 million commercial loan relationship.

 

 22 
   

 

The distribution of the Company’s allowance for losses on loans at the dates indicated and the percent of loans in each category to total loans is summarized in the following table. This allocation reflects management’s judgment as to risks inherent in the types of loans indicated, but in general the Company’s total allowance for loan losses included in the table is not restricted and is available to absorb all loan losses. The amount allocated in the following table to any category should not be interpreted as an indication of expected actual charge-offs in that category.

 

   As of December 31, 
   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014 
   Amount   % Loan type to total loans   Amount   % Loan type to total loans   Amount   % Loan type to total loans   Amount   % Loan type to total loans   Amount   % Loan type to total loans 
   (Dollars in thousands) 
                                         
One-to-four family residential real estate loans  $449    27.6%  $542    31.0%  $504    32.1%  $925    31.0%  $755    30.3%
Construction and land loans   168    4.1%   181    4.4%   53    3.2%   77    3.5%   762    5.2%
Commercial real estate loans   1,686    28.1%   1,540    27.5%   1,777    27.8%   1,740    27.9%   1,832    28.1%
Commercial loans   1,051    15.0%   1,226    12.4%   1,119    12.8%   1,530    14.4%   836    14.2%
Agriculture loans   2,238    19.5%   1,812    18.9%   1,684    18.4%   1,428    16.7%   915    15.3%
Municipal loans   7    0.6%   8    0.8%   12    0.9%   23    1.8%   51    2.1%
Consumer loans   166    5.1%   150    5.0%   195    4.8%   199    4.7%   169    4.8%
Total  $5,765    100.0%  $5,459    100.0%  $5,344    100.0%  $5,922    100.0%  $5,320    100.0%

 

In 2015, the Company adjusted the historical loss analysis within the evaluation of the allowance for loan losses. The Company previously used a twelve quarter historical loss rate calculated by loan class. The updated historical loss analysis uses a migration analysis to track historical losses by loan class and risk categories over a longer period of time. In the opinion of management, the adjusted historical loss analysis more accurately allocates estimated losses. The adjustments resulted in reclassifications of the allocated allowance among various loan classes. The adjustments to the historical loss analysis did not have a significant impact on the total allowance for loan losses.

 

The decrease in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses on our one-to-four family residential real estate loans as of December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017 was primarily related to improvements in the housing market which contributed to lower qualitative adjustments in our analysis and a decrease in specific allowances related to impaired loans. The increase in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses on our one-to-four family residential real estate loans as of December 31, 2017 compared to December 31, 2016 was primarily related to the increase in specific allowances related to impaired loans. The decrease in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses on our one-to-four family residential real estate loans as of December 31, 2016 compared to December 31, 2015 was primarily related to continued improvements in the housing market which contributed to lower qualitative adjustments in our analysis. The increase in the allocation for loan losses on our one-to-four family residential real estate loans as of December 31, 2015 compared to December 31, 2014 was primarily related to an increase in outstanding loan balances.

 

The decrease in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses on construction and land loans as of December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017 was primarily related to improvements in these markets which contributed to lower qualitative adjustments in our analysis. The allocation of the allowance for loan losses on construction and land increased as of December 31, 2017 compared to December 31, 2016 due to higher outstanding loan balances. The allocation of the allowance for loan losses on construction and land decreased as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 compared to previous year due primarily to lower outstanding loan balances.

 

The allocation of the allowance for loan losses on commercial real estate loans increased as of December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017 due to an increase in classified loans and an increase in specific allowances related to impaired loans. The allocation of the allowance for loan losses on commercial real estate loans decreased as of December 31, 2017 compared to December 31, 2016 due to continued improvements in the commercial real estate market which contributed to lower qualitative adjustments in our analysis. The allocation of the allowance for loan losses on commercial real estate loans increased as of December 31, 2016 compared to December 31, 2015 primarily as a result of the increase in specific allowances related to impaired loans. The allocation of the allowance for loan losses on commercial real estate loans decreased as of December 31, 2015 compared to December 31, 2014 primarily as a result of the decrease in specific allowances related to impaired loans.

 

 23 
   

 

The decrease in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses on our commercial loans as of December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017 was primarily related to a decline in specific allowances related to impaired loans as a result of charge-offs recorded during 2018. The increase in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses on our commercial loans as of December 31, 2017 compared to December 31, 2016 was primarily related to the increase in specific allowances related to impaired loans. The allocation of the allowance for loan losses on commercial loans decreased as of December 31, 2016 compared to December 31, 2015 primarily due to a decrease in outstanding loan balances. The increase in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses on commercial loans as of December 31, 2015 compared to December 31, 2014 was related primarily to increased historical charge-offs, specific allowances on impaired loans and management’s judgment to increase the risk factors.

 

The increase in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses on agriculture loans as of December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017 was primarily related to growth in loan balances and higher levels of classified loans. The increase in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses on agriculture loans as of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 compared to prior years was primarily due to higher loan balances and management’s judgment to increase the risk factors. The allowance for loan losses is discussed in more detail in the “Asset Quality and Distribution” section of Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” As of December 31, 2018, we believed the Company’s allowance for loan losses continued to be adequate based on the Company’s evaluation of the loan portfolio’s probable incurred losses.

 

V. Deposits

 

The following table presents the average deposit balances and the average rate paid on those balances for the years indicated:

 

  Years ended December 31, 
   2018   2017   2016 
(Dollars in thousands)   Average Balance   Average Rate   Average Balance   Average Rate   Average Balance   Average Rate 
Non-interest bearing demand  $168,855    -   $162,485    -   $154,487    - 
Money market and checking   371,138    0.49%   359,661    0.26%   330,252    0.14%
Savings accounts   95,532    0.03%   93,443    0.03%   86,538    0.03%
Time   137,400    0.87%   132,816    0.45%   144,678    0.45%
Total  $772,925        $748,405        $715,955      

 

The following table presents the maturities of jumbo time deposits (amounts of $100,000 or more).

 

  As of December 31, 
(Dollars in thousands)   2018   2017 
Three months or less  $72,902   $15,068 
Over three months through six months   8,149    10,631 
Over six months through 12 months   10,421    9,660 
Over 12 months   8,407    11,433 
Total  $99,879   $46,792 

 

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VI. Return on Equity and Assets

 

The following table presents information on return on average equity, return on average assets, equity to total assets and our dividend payout ratio.

 

   As of or for the years ended December 31, 
   2018   2017   2016 
Return on average assets   1.09%   0.47%   1.00%
Return on average equity   12.09%   4.98%   10.34%
Equity to total assets   9.32%   9.43%   9.32%
Dividend payout ratio   31.88%   71.89%   32.90%

 

VII. Short-term Borrowings

 

The following table presents information on certain components of short-term borrowings. Information on short-term borrowings is excluded for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 as the average balances of each category of short-term borrowings was less than 30 percent of stockholders’ equity.

 

   For the year ended
December 31, 2018
 
FHLB Line of Credit     
Balance at year-end  $20,000 
Maximum month-end balance   80,600 
Average balance during year   41,311 
Weighted average interest rates:     
At year-end   2.65%
During the year   2.15%

 

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

An investment in our securities is subject to certain risks inherent in our business. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all of the other information included in this report. In addition to the risks and uncertainties described below, other risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. The value or market price of our securities could decline due to any of these identified or other risks, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

 

We must effectively manage our credit risk.

 

There are risks inherent in making any loan, including risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers, risks of nonpayment, risks resulting from uncertainties as to the future value of collateral and risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions. We attempt to minimize our credit risk through prudent loan application approval procedures, careful monitoring of the concentration of our loans within specific industries and periodic independent reviews of outstanding loans by our credit review department. However, we cannot assure you that such approval and monitoring procedures will reduce these credit risks.

 

Most of our loans are commercial, real estate, or agriculture loans, each of which is subject to distinct types of risk. To reduce the lending risks we face, we generally take a security interest in borrowers’ property for all three types of loans. In addition, we sell certain residential real estate loans to third parties. Nevertheless, the risk of non-payment is inherent in all types of loans and if we are unable to collect amounts owed, it may materially affect our operations and financial performance. For a more complete discussion of our lending activities see Item 1 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Our business is subject to domestic and, to a lesser extent, international economic conditions and other factors, many of which are beyond our control and could materially and adversely affect us.

 

Our financial performance generally, and in particular the ability of customers to pay interest on and repay principal of outstanding loans and the value of collateral securing those loans, as well as demand for loans and other products and services we offer, is highly dependent upon the business environment not only in the markets where we operate, but also in the state of Kansas generally and in the United States as a whole. A favorable business environment is generally characterized by, among other factors: economic growth; efficient capital markets; low inflation; low unemployment; high business and investor confidence; and strong business earnings. Unfavorable or uncertain economic and market conditions can be caused by: declines in economic growth, business activity or investor or business confidence; limitations on the availability or increases in the cost of credit and capital; increases in inflation or interest rates; high unemployment; natural disasters; or a combination of these or other factors.

 

Economic conditions in the state of Kanas have recently been impacted by a decline in commodity prices. This decline has adversely impacted the Kansas economy, specifically the agriculture sector. A continuation of these conditions could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

 

The agricultural economy in the Midwest, including Kansas, has declined over the past several years. A prolonged period of weakness in the agricultural economy could result in a decrease in demand for loans or other products and services offered by us, an increase in agricultural loan delinquencies and defaults, an increase in impaired assets and foreclosures, a decline in the value of our loans secured by real estate, and an inability to sell foreclosed assets. The effects of a prolonged period of a weakened agricultural economy could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our allowance for loan losses may prove to be insufficient to absorb losses in our loan portfolio.

 

We maintain our allowance for loan losses at a level considered appropriate by management to absorb probable incurred loan losses in the portfolio. Additionally, our Board of Directors regularly monitors the appropriateness of our allowance for loan losses. The allowance is also subject to regulatory examinations and a determination by the regulatory agencies as to the appropriate level of the allowance. The amount of future loan losses is susceptible to changes in economic, operating and other conditions, including changes in interest rates and the value of the underlying collateral, which may be beyond our control, and such losses may exceed current estimates. At December 31, 2018 and 2017 our allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total loans was 1.16% and 1.24%, respectively, and as a percentage of total non-performing loans was 110.10% and 90.37%, respectively. Although management believes that the allowance for loan losses is appropriate to absorb probable incurred losses on any existing loans that may become uncollectible, we cannot predict loan losses with certainty nor can we assure you that our allowance for loan losses will prove sufficient to cover actual loan losses in the future. Loan losses in excess of our reserves will adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Our concentration of one-to-four family residential mortgage loans may result in lower yields and profitability.

 

One-to-four family residential mortgage loans comprised $136.9 million and $136.2 million, or 27.6% and 31.0%, of our loan portfolio at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. These loans are secured primarily by properties located in the state of Kansas. Our concentration of these loans results in lower yields relative to other loan categories within our loan portfolio. While these loans generally possess higher yields than investment securities, their repayment characteristics are not as well defined, and they generally possess a higher degree of interest rate risk versus other loans and investment securities within our portfolio. This increased interest rate risk is due to the repayment and prepayment options inherent in residential mortgage loans which are exercised by borrowers based upon the overall level of interest rates. These residential mortgage loans are generally made on the basis of the borrower’s ability to make repayments from his or her employment and the value of the property securing the loan. Thus, as a result, repayment of these loans is also subject to general economic and employment conditions within the communities and surrounding areas where the property is located.

 

A decline in residential real estate market prices or home sales has the potential to adversely affect our one-to-four family residential mortgage portfolio in several ways, such as a decrease in collateral values and an increase in non-performing loans, each of which could adversely affect our operating results and/or financial condition.

 

Our loan portfolio has a large concentration of real estate loans, which involve risks specific to real estate value.

 

Real estate lending (including commercial real estate, construction and land and residential real estate) is a large portion of our loan portfolio. These categories were $295.9 million, or approximately 59.8% of our total loan portfolio, as of December 31, 2018, as compared to $276.2 million, or approximately 62.9% of our total loan portfolio, as of December 31, 2017. The market value of real estate can fluctuate significantly in a short period of time as a result of market conditions in the geographic area in which the real estate is located. Although a significant portion of commercial real estate and construction and land loans are secured by a secondary form of collateral, adverse developments affecting real estate values in one or more of our markets could increase the credit risk associated with our loan portfolio. Additionally, real estate lending typically involves higher loan principal amounts, and the repayment of the loans generally is dependent, in large part, on sufficient income from the properties securing the loans to cover operating expenses and debt service. Economic events or governmental regulations outside of the control of the borrower or lender could negatively impact the future cash flow and market values of the affected properties.

 

If the loans that are collateralized by real estate become troubled during a time when market conditions are declining or have declined, then we may not be able to realize the amount of security that we anticipated at the time of originating the loan, which could cause us to increase our provision for loan losses and adversely affect our operating results and financial condition. In light of the uncertainty that exists in the economy and credit markets nationally, there can be no guarantee that we will not experience additional deterioration in credit performance by our real estate loan customers.

 

Commercial loans make up a significant portion of our loan portfolio.

 

Commercial loans comprised $74.3 million and $54.6 million, or 15.0% and 12.4%, of our loan portfolio at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Our commercial loans are made based primarily on the identified cash flow of the borrower and secondarily on the underlying collateral provided by the borrower. Most often, this collateral is accounts receivable, inventory, or machinery. Credit support provided by the borrower for most of these loans, and the probability of repayment is based on the liquidation of the pledged collateral and enforcement of a personal guarantee, if any exists. As a result, in the case of loans secured by accounts receivable, the availability of funds for the repayment of these loans may be substantially dependent on the ability of the borrower to collect amounts due from its customers. The collateral securing other loans may depreciate over time, may be difficult to appraise and may fluctuate in value based on the success of the business. Due to the larger average size of each commercial loan as compared with other loans such as residential loans, as well as collateral that is generally less readily marketable, losses incurred on a small number of commercial loans could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Our agriculture loans involve a greater degree of risk than other loans, and the ability of the borrower to repay may be affected by many factors outside of the borrower’s control.

 

Agriculture operating loans comprised $49.9 million and $46.3 million, or 10.1% and 10.5%, of our loan portfolio at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. The repayment of agriculture operating loans is dependent on the successful operation or management of the farm property. Likewise, agricultural operating loans involve a greater degree of risk than lending on residential properties, particularly in the case of loans that are unsecured or secured by rapidly depreciating assets such as farm equipment, livestock or crops. We generally secure agricultural operating loans with a blanket lien on livestock, equipment, food, hay, grain and crops. Nevertheless, any repossessed collateral for a defaulted loan may not provide an adequate source of repayment of the outstanding loan balance as a result of the greater likelihood of damage, loss or depreciation.

 

We also originate agriculture real estate loans. At December 31, 2018 and 2017, agricultural real estate loans totaled $46.7 million and $36.7 million, or 9.4% and 8.4% of our total loan portfolio, respectively. Agricultural real estate lending involves a greater degree of risk and typically involves larger loans to single borrowers than lending on single-family residences. As with agriculture operating loans, payments on agricultural real estate loans are dependent on the profitable operation or management of the farm property securing the loan. The success of the farm may be affected by many factors outside the control of the farm borrower, including adverse weather conditions that prevent the planting of a crop or limit crop yields (such as hail, drought and floods), loss of livestock due to disease or other factors, declines in market prices for agricultural products (both domestically and internationally) and the impact of government regulations (including changes in price supports, tariffs, subsidies and environmental regulations). In addition, many farms are dependent on a limited number of key individuals whose injury or death may significantly affect the successful operation of the farm. If the cash flow from a farming operation is diminished, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan may be impaired. The primary crops in our market areas are wheat, corn and soybean. Accordingly, adverse circumstances affecting wheat, corn and soybean crops could have an adverse effect on our agricultural real estate loan portfolio.

 

Our business is concentrated in and dependent upon the continued growth and welfare of the markets in which we operate, including eastern, central, southeast and southwest Kansas.

 

We operate primarily in eastern, central, southeast and southwest Kansas, and as a result, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows are subject to changes in the economic conditions in those areas. Although each market we operate in is geographically and economically diverse, our success depends upon the business activity, population, income levels, deposits and real estate activity in each of these markets. Although our customers’ business and financial interests may extend well beyond our market area, adverse economic conditions that affect our specific market area could reduce our growth rate, affect the ability of our customers to repay their loans to us and generally affect our financial condition and results of operations. Because of our geographic concentration, we are less able than other regional or national financial institutions to diversify our credit risks across multiple markets.

 

Monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

In addition to being affected by general economic conditions, our earnings and growth are affected by the policies of the Federal Reserve. An important function of the Federal Reserve is to regulate the money supply and credit conditions. Among the instruments used by the Federal Reserve to implement these objectives are open market operations in U.S. government securities, adjustments of the discount rate and changes in reserve requirements against bank deposits. These instruments are used in varying combinations to influence overall economic growth and the distribution of credit, bank loans, investments and deposits. Their use also affects interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits.

 

The monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve have had a significant effect on the operating results of commercial banks in the past and are expected to continue to do so in the future. The effects of such policies upon our business, financial condition and results of operations cannot be predicted.

 

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Legislative and regulatory reforms applicable to the financial services industry may have a significant impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

The laws, regulations, rules, policies and regulatory interpretations governing us are constantly evolving and may change significantly over time as Congress and various regulatory agencies react to adverse economic conditions or other matters. The implementation of any current, proposed or future regulatory or legislative changes to laws applicable to the financial industry may impact the profitability of our business activities and may change certain of our business practices, including the ability to offer new products, obtain financing, attract deposits, make loans, and achieve satisfactory interest spreads, and could expose us to additional costs, including increased compliance costs.

 

We may experience difficulties in managing our growth, and our growth strategy involves risks that may negatively impact our net income.

 

As part of our general strategy, we may acquire banks, branches and related businesses that we believe provide a strategic fit with our business. In the past, we have acquired a number of local banks and branches, and, to the extent that we grow through future acquisitions, we cannot assure you that we will be able to adequately and profitably manage this growth. Acquiring other banks and businesses will involve risks commonly associated with acquisitions, including:

 

  potential exposure to unknown or contingent liabilities of banks and businesses we acquire;
  exposure to potential asset quality issues of the acquired bank or related business;
  difficulty and expense of integrating the operations and personnel of banks and businesses we acquire;
  potential disruption to our business;
  potential diversion of our management’s time and attention; and
  the possible loss of key employees and customers of the banks and businesses we acquire.

 

In addition to acquisitions, we may expand into additional communities or attempt to strengthen our position in our current markets by undertaking additional branch openings. We believe that it generally takes several years for new banking facilities to first achieve operational profitability, due to the impact of organization and overhead expenses and the start-up phase of generating loans and deposits. To the extent that we undertake additional branch openings, we are likely to experience the effects of higher operating expenses relative to operating income from the new operations, which may have an adverse effect on our levels of reported net income, return on average equity and return on average assets.

 

We face intense competition in all phases of our business from other banks and financial institutions.

 

The banking and financial services business in our market is highly competitive. Our competitors include large regional banks, local community banks, savings and loan associations, securities and brokerage companies, mortgage companies, insurance companies, finance companies, money market mutual funds, credit unions and other non-bank financial service providers, many of which have greater financial, marketing and technological resources than us. Many of these competitors are not subject to the same regulatory restrictions that we are and may be able to compete more effectively as a result. Increased competition in our market may result in a decrease in the amounts of our loans and deposits, reduced spreads between loan rates and deposit rates or loan terms that are more favorable to the borrower. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our ability to grow and remain profitable. If increased competition causes us to significantly discount the interest rates we offer on loans or increase the amount we pay on deposits, our net interest income could be adversely impacted. If increased competition causes us to relax our underwriting standards, we could be exposed to higher losses from lending activities. Additionally, many of our competitors are much larger in total assets and capitalization, have greater access to capital markets and offer a broader range of financial services than we can offer.

 

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Consumers and businesses are increasingly using non-banks to complete their financial transactions, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

 

Technology and other changes are allowing consumers and businesses to complete financial transactions that historically have involved banks through alternative methods. For example, the wide acceptance of internet-based commerce has resulted in a number of alternative payment processing systems and lending platforms in which banks play only minor roles. Customers can now maintain funds in prepaid debit cards or digital currencies, and pay bills and transfer funds directly without the direct assistance of banks. The diminishing role of banks as financial intermediaries has resulted and could continue to result in the loss of fee income, as well as the loss of customer deposits and the related income generated from those deposits. The loss of these revenue streams and the potential loss of lower cost deposits as a source of funds could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Interest rates and other conditions impact our results of operations.

 

Our profitability is in part a function of the spread between the interest rates earned on investments and loans and the interest rates paid on deposits and other interest-bearing liabilities. Like most banking institutions, our net interest spread and margin will be affected by general economic conditions and other factors, including fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government that influence market interest rates and our ability to respond to changes in such rates. At any given time, our assets and liabilities will be such that they are affected differently by a given change in interest rates. As a result, an increase or decrease in rates, the length of loan terms or the mix of adjustable and fixed rate loans in our portfolio could have a positive or negative effect on our net income, capital and liquidity. We measure interest rate risk under various rate scenarios and using specific criteria and assumptions. A summary of this process, along with the results of our net interest income simulations is presented in the section entitled Item 7A. “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.” Although we believe our current level of interest rate sensitivity is reasonable and effectively managed, significant fluctuations in interest rates may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Changes in interest rates also can affect the value of loans, securities and other assets. An increase in interest rates that adversely affects the ability of borrowers to pay the principal or interest on loans may lead to an increase in non-performing assets and a reduction of income recognized, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows. Further, when we place a loan on nonaccrual status, we reverse any accrued but unpaid interest receivable, which decreases interest income. Subsequently, we continue to have a cost to fund the loan, which is reflected as interest expense, without any interest income to offset the associated funding expense. Thus, an increase in the amount of non-performing assets would have an adverse impact on net interest income.

 

Rising interest rates will result in a decline in value of our fixed-rate debt securities. The unrealized losses resulting from holding these securities would be recognized in other comprehensive income and reduce total stockholders’ equity. Unrealized losses do not negatively impact our regulatory capital ratios; however, tangible common equity and the associated ratios would be reduced. If debt securities in an unrealized loss position are sold, such losses become realized and will reduce our regulatory capital ratios.

 

Declines in value may adversely impact the carrying amount of our investment portfolio and result in other-than-temporary impairment charges.

 

We may be required to record impairment charges on our investment securities if they suffer declines in value that are considered other-than-temporary. If the credit quality of the securities in our investment portfolio deteriorates, we may also experience a loss in interest income from the suspension of either interest or dividend payments. Numerous factors, including lack of liquidity for resales of certain investment securities, absence of reliable pricing information for investment securities, adverse changes in business climate or adverse actions by regulators could have a negative effect on our investment portfolio in future periods.

 

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Downgrades in the credit rating of one or more insurers that provide credit enhancement for our state and municipal securities portfolio may have an adverse impact on the market for and valuation of these types of securities.

 

We invest in tax-exempt state and local municipal investment securities, some of which are insured by monoline insurers. As of December 31, 2018, we had $212.1 million of municipal securities, which represented 54.6% of our total securities portfolio. Even though management generally purchases municipal securities on the overall credit strength of the issuer, the reduction in the credit rating of an insurer may negatively impact the market for and valuation of our investment securities. Such downgrade could adversely affect our liquidity, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Non-performing assets take significant time to resolve and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition, and could result in further losses in the future.

 

As of December 31, 2018, our non-performing loans (which consist of non-accrual loans and loans past due 90 days or more and still accruing interest) totaled $5.2 million, or 1.06% of our loan portfolio, and our non-performing assets (which include non-performing loans plus real estate owned) totaled $5.3 million, or 0.53% of total assets. In addition, we had $1.7 million in accruing loans that were 30-89 days delinquent as of December 31, 2018.

 

Our non-performing assets adversely affect our net income in various ways. We do not record interest income on non-accrual loans or other real estate owned, thereby adversely affecting our net income and returns on assets and equity, increasing our loan administration costs and adversely affecting our efficiency ratio. When we take collateral in foreclosure and similar proceedings, we are required to mark the collateral to its then-fair market value, which may result in a loss. These non-performing loans and other real estate owned also increase our risk profile and the capital our regulators believe is appropriate in light of such risks. The resolution of non-performing assets requires significant time commitments from management and can be detrimental to the performance of their other responsibilities. If we experience increases in non-performing loans and non-performing assets, our net interest income may be negatively impacted and our loan administration costs could increase, each of which could have an adverse effect on our net income and related ratios, such as return on assets and equity.

 

Our growth or future losses may require us to raise additional capital in the future, but that capital may not be available when it is needed.

 

We are required by federal and state regulatory authorities to maintain adequate levels of capital to support our operations. We anticipate that our existing capital resources will satisfy our capital requirements for the foreseeable future. However, we may at some point need to raise additional capital to support continuing growth. Our ability to raise additional capital is particularly important to our strategy of continual growth through acquisitions. Our ability to raise additional capital depends on conditions in the capital markets, economic conditions and a number of other factors, including investor perceptions regarding the banking industry, market conditions and governmental activities, and on our financial condition and performance. Accordingly, we cannot assure you of our ability to raise additional capital if needed on terms acceptable to us. If we cannot raise additional capital when needed, our ability to further expand our operations through internal growth and acquisitions could be materially impaired.

 

Attractive acquisition opportunities may not be available to us in the future.

 

We expect that other banking and financial service companies, many of which have significantly greater resources than us, will compete with us in acquiring other financial institutions if we pursue such acquisitions. This competition could increase prices for potential acquisitions that we believe are attractive. Also, acquisitions are subject to various regulatory approvals. If we fail to receive the appropriate regulatory approvals, we will not be able to consummate an acquisition that we believe is in our best interests. Among other things, our regulators consider our capital, liquidity, profitability, regulatory compliance and levels of goodwill and intangibles when considering acquisition and expansion proposals. Any acquisition could be dilutive to our earnings and stockholders’ equity per share of our common stock.

 

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Our community banking strategy relies heavily on our management team, and the unexpected loss of key managers may adversely affect our operations.

 

Much of our success to date has been influenced strongly by our ability to attract and to retain senior management experienced in banking and financial services and familiar with the communities in our market area. Our ability to retain executive officers, the current management teams, branch managers and loan officers will continue to be important to the successful implementation of our strategy. It is also critical, as we grow, to be able to attract and retain qualified additional management and loan officers with the appropriate level of experience and knowledge about our market area to implement our community-based operating strategy. The unexpected loss of services of any key management personnel, or the inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel in the future, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We have a continuing need for technological change and we may not have the resources to effectively implement new technology.

 

The financial services industry continues to undergo rapid technological changes with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. In addition to better serving customers, the effective use of technology increases efficiency as well as enables financial institutions to reduce costs. Our future success will depend in part upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands for convenience as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations as we continue to grow and expand our market area. Many of our larger competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. As a result, they may be able to offer additional or superior products to those that we will be able to offer, which would put us at a competitive disadvantage. Accordingly, we cannot provide you with assurance that we will be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing such products and services to our customers.

 

The occurrence of fraudulent activity, breaches or failures of our information security controls or cybersecurity-related incidents could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.

 

As a bank, we are susceptible to fraudulent activity, information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents that may be committed against us or our clients, which may result in financial losses or increased costs to us or our clients, disclosure or misuse of our information or our client information, misappropriation of assets, privacy breaches against our clients, litigation or damage to our reputation. Such fraudulent activity may take many forms, including check fraud, electronic fraud, wire fraud, phishing, social engineering and other dishonest acts. Information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents may include fraudulent or unauthorized access to systems used by us or our clients, denial or degradation of service attacks and malware or other cyber-attacks.

 

In recent periods, there continues to be a rise in electronic fraudulent activity, security breaches and cyber-attacks within the financial services industry, especially in the commercial banking sector due to cyber criminals targeting commercial bank accounts. Moreover, in recent periods, several large corporations, including financial institutions and retail companies, have suffered major data breaches, in some cases exposing not only confidential and proprietary corporate information, but also sensitive financial and other personal information of their customers and employees and subjecting them to potential fraudulent activity. Some of our clients may have been affected by these breaches, which could increase their risks of identity theft and other fraudulent activity that could involve their accounts with us.

 

Information pertaining to us and our clients is maintained, and transactions are executed, on networks and systems maintained by us and certain third party partners, such as our online banking, mobile banking or accounting systems. The secure maintenance and transmission of confidential information, as well as execution of transactions over these systems, are essential to protect us and our clients against fraud and security breaches and to maintain the confidence of our c