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Section 1: 10-K (10-K)

10-K
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Table of Contents
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM
 
10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Fiscal Year Ended
December 31, 2019
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from
            
to
            
Commission File Number:
002-86947
United Bankshares, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
     
    
West Virginia
 
55-0641179
    
(State or other jurisdiction of
  incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer    
Identification No.)  
     
300 United Center
500 Virginia Street, East
Charleston
, West Virginia
 
25301
    
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:
(
304
)
424-8716
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(b) of the Act:
         
Title of each class
 
Trading
Symbol(s)
 
Name of each exchange
on which registered
Common Stock
, par value $2.50 per share
 
UBSI
 
NASDAQ
 Global Select Market
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Securities registered pursuant to 12(g) of the Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    
Yes
No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    
Yes
No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    
Yes
No

Table of Contents
UNITED BANKSHARES, INC.
FORM
10-K
(Continued)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation
S-T
(§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes
No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act:
     
Large accelerated filer
 
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated
filer  
 
Smaller reporting company
 
Emerging growth company
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Act).
     
Yes
No
The aggregate market value of United Bankshares, Inc. common stock, representing all of its voting stock that was held by
non-affiliates
on June 30, 2019, was approximately
$
3,582,635,223
.
As of January 31, 2020, United Bankshares, Inc. had
101,568,065
shares of common stock outstanding with a par value of
$2.50
.
Documents Incorporated By Reference
Certain specifically designated portions of the Definitive Proxy Statement for the United Bankshares, Inc. 2020 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting to be held on May 12, 2020 are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form
10-K.
 
2
 

Table of Contents
UNITED BANKSHARES, INC.
FORM
10-K
(Continued)
As of the date of filing this Annual report, neither the annual shareholders’ report for the year ended December 31, 2019, nor the proxy statement for the annual United shareholders’ meeting has been mailed to shareholders.
CROSS-REFERENCE INDEX
             
 
 
Page
 
Part I
 
 
 
 
             
Item 1.
     
4
 
Item 1A.
     
16
 
Item 1B.
     
26
 
Item 2.
     
26
 
Item 3.
     
26
 
Item 4.
     
26
 
             
Part II
 
 
 
 
             
Item 5.
     
27
 
Item 6.
     
30
 
Item 7.
     
31
 
Item 7A.
     
57
 
Item 8.
     
62
 
Item 9.
     
132
 
Item 9A.
     
132
 
Item 9B.
     
133
 
             
Part III
 
 
 
 
             
Item 10.
     
134
 
Item 11.
     
134
 
Item 12.
     
134
 
Item 13.
     
134
 
Item 14.
     
135
 
             
Part VI
 
 
 
 
             
Item 15.
     
136
 
 
3

Table of Contents
UNITED BANKSHARES, INC.
FORM
10-K,
PART I
Item 1.
BUSINESS
Organizational History and Subsidiaries
United Bankshares, Inc. (United) is a West Virginia corporation registered as a financial holding company pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended. United was incorporated on March 26, 1982, organized on September 9, 1982, and began conducting business on May 1, 1984 with the acquisition of three wholly-owned subsidiaries. Since its formation in 1982, United has acquired
thirty-one
banking institutions. United has one banking subsidiary “doing business” under the name of United Bank, operating under the laws of Virginia. United Bank offers a full range of commercial and retail banking services and products. United also owns nonbank subsidiaries which engage in other community banking services such as asset management, real property title insurance, financial planning, mortgage banking, and brokerage services.
Employees
As of December 31, 2019, United and its subsidiaries had approximately 2,204 full-time equivalent employees and officers. None of these employees are represented by a collective bargaining unit and management considers employee relations to be excellent.
Web Site Address
United’s web site address is
“www.ubsi-inc.com”.
United makes available free of charge on its web site the annual report on Form
10-K,
quarterly reports on Form
10-Q,
current reports on Form
8-K,
and amendments thereto, as soon as reasonably practicable after United files such reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The reference to United’s web site does not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained in the web site and should not be considered part of this document. The SEC also maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.
Business of United
As a financial holding company, United’s present businesses are community banking and mortgage banking. As of December 31, 2019, United’s consolidated assets approximated $19.7 billion and total shareholders’ equity approximated $3.4 billion.
United is permitted to acquire other banks and bank holding companies, as well as thrift institutions. United is also permitted to engage in certain
non-banking
activities which are closely related to banking under the provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act and the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation Y. Management continues to consider such opportunities as they arise, and in this regard, management from time to time makes inquiries, proposals, or expressions of interest as to potential opportunities, although no agreements or understandings to acquire other banks or bank holding companies or
non-banking
subsidiaries or to engage in other nonbanking activities, other than those identified herein, presently exist. See Note B—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of United’s announced merger with Carolina Financial Corporation.
Business of Subsidiaries
United, through its subsidiaries, engages primarily in community banking and mortgage banking offering most types of business permitted by law and regulation. Included among the banking services offered are the acceptance of deposits in checking, savings, time and money market accounts; the making and servicing of personal, commercial, and floor plan loans; and the making of construction and real estate loans. Also offered are individual retirement accounts, safe deposit boxes, wire transfers and other standard banking products and services. As part of its lending function, United Bank offers credit card services.
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Table of Contents
United Bank maintains a trust department which acts as trustee under wills, trusts and pension and profit sharing plans, as executor and administrator of estates, and as guardian for estates of minors and incompetents, and in addition performs a variety of investment and security services. Trust services are available to customers of affiliate banks. United Bank provides services to its correspondent banks such as check clearing, safekeeping and the buying and selling of federal funds.
George Mason Mortgage, LLC (George Mason), a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Bank, is engaged in the operation of a general mortgage and agency business, including the origination and acquisition of residential real estate loans for resale and generally the activities commonly conducted by a mortgage banking company. These loans are for single-family, owner-occupied residences with either adjustable or fixed rate terms, with a variety of maturities tailored to effectively serve its markets.
United Brokerage Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Bank, is a fully-disclosed broker/dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor with the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. United Brokerage Services, Inc. offers a wide range of investment products as well as comprehensive financial planning and asset management services to the general public.
United Bank is a member of a network of automated teller machines known as the New York Currency Exchange (NYCE) ATM network. The NYCE is an interbank network connecting the ATMs of various financial institutions in the United States and Canada.
United through United Bank offers an Internet banking service, Smart Touch Online Banking, which allows customers to perform various transactions using a computer or tablet from any location or from a mobile device such as a smart phone or other cellular device as long as they have access to the Internet, applicable software and a secure browser. Specifically, customers can check personal account balances, receive information about transactions within their accounts, make transfers between accounts, stop payment on a check, and reorder checks. Customers may also pay bills online and can make payments to virtually any business or individual. Customers can set up recurring fixed payments,
one-time
future payments or a
one-time
immediate payment. Customers can also set up their own merchants, view and modify that merchant list, view pending transactions and view their bill payment history with approximately three (3) months of history.
United also offers an automated telephone banking system, Telebanc, which allows customers to access their personal account(s) or business account(s) information from a touch-tone telephone.
Lending Activities
United’s loan portfolio, net of unearned income, increased $289.9 million or 2.16% in 2019 due mainly to growth in consumer and residential real estate loans. The loan portfolio is comprised of commercial, real estate and consumer loans including credit card and home equity loans. Consumer loans increased $201.7 million or 20.91%. Residential real estate loans increased $185.0 million or 5.28%. Commercial, financial and agricultural loans decreased $100.4 million or 1.33% as commercial real estate loans decreased $427.8 million or 7.65% and commercial loans (not secured by real estate) increased $327.4 million or 16.72%. Construction and land development loans were flat, decreasing $2.3 million or less than 1%.
Commercial Loans
The commercial loan portfolio consists of loans to corporate borrowers primarily in small to
mid-size
industrial and commercial companies, as well as automobile dealers, service, retail and wholesale merchants. Collateral securing these loans includes equipment, machinery, inventory, receivables, vehicles and commercial real estate. Commercial loans are considered to contain a higher level of risk than other loan types although care is taken to minimize these risks. Numerous risk factors impact this portfolio including industry specific risks such as economy, new technology, labor rates and cyclicality, as well as customer specific factors, such as cash flow, financial structure, operating controls and asset quality. United diversifies risk within this portfolio by closely monitoring industry concentrations and portfolios to ensure that it does not exceed established lending guidelines.
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Table of Contents
Diversification is intended to limit the risk of loss from any single unexpected economic event or trend. Underwriting standards require a comprehensive credit analysis and independent evaluation of virtually all larger balance commercial loans by the loan committee prior to approval.
Real Estate Loans
Commercial real estate loans consist of commercial mortgages, which generally are secured by nonresidential and multi-family residential properties. Also included in this portfolio are loans that are secured by owner-occupied real estate, but made for purposes other than the construction or purchase of real estate. Commercial real estate loans are to many of the same customers and carry similar industry risks as the commercial loan portfolio. Real estate mortgage loans to consumers are secured primarily by a first lien deed of trust. These loans are traditional
one-to-four
family residential mortgages. The loans generally do not exceed an 80% loan to value ratio at the loan origination date and most are at a variable rate of interest. These loans are considered to be of normal risk. Also included in the category of real estate mortgage loans are home equity loans.
As of December 31, 2019, approximately $372.0 million or 2.71% of United’s loan portfolio were real estate loans that met the regulatory definition of a high
loan-to-value
loan. A high
loan-to-value
real estate loan is defined as any loan, line of credit, or combination of credits secured by liens on or interests in real estate that equals or exceeds a certain percentage established by United’s primary regulator of the real estate’s appraised value, unless the loan has other appropriate credit support. The certain percentage varies depending on the loan type and collateral. Appropriate credit support may include mortgage insurance, readily marketable collateral, or other acceptable collateral that reduces the
loan-to-value
ratio below the certain percentage.
Consumer Loans
Consumer loans are secured by automobiles, boats, recreational vehicles, and other personal property. Personal loans, student loans and unsecured credit card receivables are also included as consumer loans. United monitors the risk associated with these types of loans by monitoring such factors as portfolio growth, lending policies and economic conditions. Underwriting standards are continually evaluated and modified based upon these factors.
Underwriting Standards
United’s loan underwriting guidelines and standards are updated periodically and are presented for approval by the Board of Directors of United Bank. The purpose of the standards and guidelines is to grant loans on a sound and collectible basis; to invest available funds in a safe, profitable manner; to serve the legitimate credit needs of the communities of United’s primary market area; and to ensure that all loan applicants receive fair and equal treatment in the lending process. It is the intent of the underwriting guidelines and standards to: minimize loan losses by carefully investigating the credit history of each applicant, verify the source of repayment and the ability of the applicant to repay, collateralize those loans in which collateral is deemed to be required, exercise care in the documentation of the application, review, approval, and origination process, and administer a comprehensive loan collection program.
United’s underwriting standards and practices are designed to originate both fixed and variable rate loan products in a manner which is consistent with the prudent banking practices applicable to these exposures. Typically, both fixed and variable rate loan underwriting practices incorporate conservative methodology, including the use of stress testing for commercial loans, and other product appropriate measures designed to provide an adequate margin of safety for the full collection of both principal and interest within contractual terms. Consumer real estate secured loans are underwritten to the initial rate, and to a higher assumed rate commensurate with normal market conditions. Therefore, it is the intent of United’s underwriting standards to insure that adequate primary repayment capacity exists to address both future increases in interest rates, and fluctuations in the underlying cash flows available for repayment. Historically, and at December 31, 2019, United has not offered “teaser rate” loans, and had no loan portfolio products which were specifically designed for
“sub-prime”
borrowers. Management defines
“sub-prime”
borrowers as consumer borrowers with a credit score of less than 660.
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Table of Contents
The above guidelines are adhered to and subject to the experience, background and personal judgment of the loan officer assigned to the loan application. A loan officer may grant, with justification, a loan with variances from the underwriting guidelines and standards. However, the loan officer may not exceed his or her respective lending authority without obtaining the prior, proper approval as outlined in United’s loan policy from a superior, a regional supervisor or market president (dual approval per policy) or the Loan Committee, whichever is deemed appropriate for the nature of the variance.
Loan Concentrations
United has commercial loans, including real estate and owner-occupied, income-producing real estate and land development loans, of approximately $8.8 billion as of December 31, 2019. These loans are primarily secured by real estate located in West Virginia, southeastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. United categorizes these commercial loans by industry according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to monitor the portfolio for possible concentrations in one or more industries. As of the most recent fiscal
year-end,
United has one such industry classification that exceeded 10% of total loans. As of December 31, 2019, approximately $6.0 billion or 43.4% of United’s total loan portfolio were for real estate and construction. The loans were originated by United’s subsidiary banks using underwriting standards as set forth by management. United’s loan administration policies are focused on the risk characteristics of the loan portfolio, including commercial real estate loans, in terms of loan approval and credit quality. It is the opinion of management that these loans do not pose any unusual risks and that adequate consideration has been given to the above loans in establishing the allowance for loan losses.
United does not have a loan classification concentration in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction industry. As of December 31, 2019, approximately $112.3 million or less than 1% of United’s total loan portfolio were for the purpose of extracting, manufacturing and distributing oil, coal and natural gas.
Secondary Markets
United generally originates loans within the primary market area of United Bank. United may from time to time make loans to borrowers and/or on properties outside of its primary market area as an accommodation to its existing customers. In addition to offices in the primary market area of United Bank, George Mason also has offices in North Carolina and South Carolina. United does not service mortgage loans for others.
United Bank and George Mason both originate and acquire residential real estate loans for resale in the secondary market. Mortgage loan originations are generally intended to be sold in the secondary market on a best efforts or mandatory basis.
During 2019, United originated $2.6 billion of real estate loans for sale in the secondary market and sold $2.4 billion of loans designated as held for sale in the secondary market. Net gains on the sales of these loans during 2019 were $77.0 million.
The principal sources of revenue from United’s mortgage banking business are: (i) loan origination fees; (ii) gains or losses from the sale of loans; and (iii) interest earned on mortgage loans during the period that they are held by United pending sale, if any.
Investment Activities
United’s investment policy stresses the management of the investment securities portfolio, which includes both securities held to maturity and securities available for sale, to maximize return over the long-term in a manner that is consistent with good banking practices and relative safety of principal. United currently does not engage in trading account activity. The Asset/Liability Management Committee of United is responsible for the coordination and evaluation of the investment portfolio.
Sources of funds for investment activities include “core deposits”. Core deposits include certain demand deposits, savings and NOW accounts. These deposits are relatively stable and they are the lowest cost source of funds available to United. Short-term borrowings have also been a significant source of funds. These include federal funds purchased, securities sold under agreements to repurchase and FHLB borrowings. Repurchase agreements represent funds that are generally obtained as the result of a competitive bidding process.
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Table of Contents
United’s investment portfolio is comprised of a significant amount of mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities and corporate securities. Obligations of States and Political Subdivisions are comprised of primarily “investment grade” rated municipal securities. Interest and dividends on securities for the years of 2019, 2018, and 2017 were $74.3 million, $61.7 million, and $42.2 million, respectively. For the year of 2019, United realized net gains on sales of securities of $373 thousand. For the years of 2018 and 2017, United realized net losses on sales of securities of $862 thousand and net gains on sales of securities of $5.6 million, respectively. In the year 2019, United recognized other-than-temporary impairment (OTTI) charges of $198 thousand. In the year 2018, United recognized OTTI charges of $1.76 million and in the year 2017, United recognized OTTI charges of $60 thousand.
Competition
United faces a high degree of competition in all of the markets it serves. United considers all of West Virginia to be included in its market area. This area includes the five largest West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA): the Parkersburg MSA, the Charleston MSA, the Huntington MSA, the Morgantown MSA and the Wheeling MSA. United serves the Ohio counties of Lawrence, Belmont, Jefferson and Washington and Fayette county in Pennsylvania primarily because of their close proximity to the Ohio and Pennsylvania borders and United banking offices located in those counties or in nearby West Virginia. United’s Virginia markets include the Maryland, northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. MSA, the Winchester MSA, the Harrisonburg MSA, and the Charlottesville MSA. United considers all of the above locations to be the primary market area for the business of its banking subsidiary.
With prior regulatory approval, Virginia banks are permitted unlimited branch banking throughout each state. In addition, interstate acquisitions of and by Virginia banks and bank holding companies are permissible on a reciprocal basis, as well as reciprocal interstate acquisitions by thrift institutions. These conditions serve to intensify competition within United’s market.
As of December 31, 2019, there were 61 bank holding companies operating in the State of West Virginia registered with the Federal Reserve System and the West Virginia Board of Banking and Financial Institutions and 95 bank holding companies operating in the Commonwealth of Virginia registered with the Federal Reserve System and the Virginia State Corporation Commission. These holding companies are headquartered in various states and control banks throughout West Virginia and Virginia, which compete for business as well as for the acquisition of additional banks.
Economic Characteristics of Primary Market Areas
As of December 2019, West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.0%, down from 5.1% for December of 2018, according to information from West Virginia’s Bureau of Employment Programs. The number of unemployed state residents was down 200 over the year. Since December 2018, total nonfarm payroll employment has decreased 2,900. Employment gains included 2,200 in trade, transportation, and utilities, 1,100 in leisure and hospitality, 1,000 in education and health services, and 800 in government. Employment declines included 3,400 in construction, 1,600 in mining and logging, 1,300 in professional and business services, 1,000 in other services, 400 in information, and 300 in manufacturing. Employment in financial activities was unchanged over the year. The national unemployment rate was 3.5%. The state unemployment rate of 5.0% for December 2019 was an increase from a rate of 4.9% for the month of November 2019.
United’s Virginia banking offices are located in markets that historically have reflected low unemployment rate levels. According to information available from the Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6% as of December of 2019. The December 2019 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Virginia was down
two-tenths
of a percentage point from a year ago. According to household survey data in December, the labor force expanded for the eighteenth consecutive month. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate of 3.5%.
Over-the-year
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Table of Contents
employment growth in Virginia has been positive for 69 consecutive months and has accelerated slightly in recent months. In December, the private sector recorded an
over-the-year
gain of 50,600 jobs, while employment in the public sector decreased by 5,400 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, seven of the eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains, while four experienced employment losses. The largest
over-the-year
job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 17,400 jobs (+4.2%). The next largest
over-the-year
job gain occurred in private education and health services, up 16,700 jobs (+3.1%). The largest job loss occurred in government, down 5,400 jobs
(-0.7%).
Over the year, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased in nine of the ten Virginia metropolitan areas. The Northern Virginia metropolitan area experienced the largest absolute job gain, up 20,200 jobs (+1.3%). Richmond ranked second, with a gain of 12,300 jobs (+1.8%). Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News ranked third, with a gain of 8,400 jobs (+1.1%). The other
over-the-year
job gains occurred in Roanoke (+3,400 jobs); Charlottesville (+1,700 jobs); Winchester (+1,400 jobs); Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford and Harrisonburg (+1,000 jobs each) and Staunton (+700 jobs). The sole job loss occurred in Lynchburg
(-100
jobs).
Regulation and Supervision
United, as a financial holding company, is subject to the restrictions of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended, and is registered pursuant to its provisions. As such, United is subject to the reporting requirements of and examination by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board of Governors”).
The Bank Holding Company Act prohibits the acquisition by a bank holding company of direct or indirect ownership of more than five percent of the voting shares of any bank within the United States without prior approval of the Board of Governors. With certain exceptions, a bank holding company also is prohibited from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of more than five percent of the voting shares of any company which is not a bank, and from engaging directly or indirectly in business unrelated to the business of banking, or managing or controlling banks.
The Board of Governors, in its Regulation Y, permits financial holding companies to engage in preapproved
non-banking
activities closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks. Approval of the Board of Governors is necessary to engage in certain other
non-banking
activities which are not preapproved or to make acquisitions of corporations engaging in these activities. In addition, on a
case-by-case
basis, the Board of Governors may approve other
non-banking
activities. A financial holding company may also engage in financial activities, including securities underwriting and dealing, insurance agency and underwriting activities, and merchant banking activities.
As a financial holding company doing business in West Virginia, United is also subject to regulation and examination by the West Virginia Board of Banking and Financial Institutions (the West Virginia Banking Board) and must submit annual reports to the West Virginia Banking Board. Further, any acquisition application that United must submit to the Board of Governors must also be submitted to the West Virginia Banking Board for approval.
The Board of Governors has broad authority to prohibit activities of financial holding companies and their
non-banking
subsidiaries that represent unsafe and unsound banking practices or which constitute violations of laws or regulations. The Board of Governors also can assess civil money penalties for certain activities conducted on a knowing and reckless basis, if those activities caused a substantial loss to a depository institution. The penalties can be as high as $1 million for each day the activity continues.
United Bank, as a Virginia state member bank, is subject to supervision, examination and regulation by the Federal Reserve System, and as such, are subject to applicable provisions of the Federal Reserve Act and regulations issued thereunder. United Bank is subject to the Virginia banking statutes and regulations, and is primarily regulated by the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions. As a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), United Bank’s deposits are insured as required by federal law. Bank regulatory authorities regularly examine revenues, loans, investments, management practices, and other aspects of United Bank. These examinations are conducted primarily to protect depositors and not shareholders. In addition to these regular examinations, United Bank must furnish to regulatory authorities quarterly reports containing full and accurate statements of its affairs.
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United is also under the jurisdiction of the SEC and certain state securities commissions in regard to the offering and sale of its securities. Generally, United must file under the Securities Exchange Act of 1933, as amended, to issue additional shares of its common stock. United is also registered under and is subject to the regulatory and disclosure requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as administered by the SEC. United is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the quotation symbol “UBSI,” and is subject to the rules of the NASDAQ for listed companies.
SEC regulations require us to disclose certain types of business and financial data on a regular basis to the SEC and to our shareholders. We are required to file annual, quarterly and current reports with the SEC. We prepare and file an annual report on Form
10-K
with the SEC that contains detailed financial and operating information, as well as a management response to specific questions about United’s operations. SEC regulations require that our annual reports to shareholders contain certified financial statements and other specific items such as management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations. We must also file quarterly reports with the SEC on Form
10-Q
that contain detailed financial and operating information for the prior quarter and we must file current reports on Form
8-K
to provide the pubic with information on recent material events.
In addition to periodic reporting to the SEC, we are subject to proxy rules and tender offer rules issued by the SEC. Our officers, directors and principal shareholders (holding 10% or more of our stock) must also submit reports to the SEC regarding their holdings of our stock and any changes to such holdings, and they are subject to short-swing profit liability.
Dividends and Stock Repurchases
The principal source of United’s liquidity is dividends from United Bank. The prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board is required if the total of all dividends declared by a state-chartered member bank in any calendar year would exceed the sum of the bank’s net profits for that year and its retained net profits for the preceding two calendar years, less any required transfers to surplus or to fund the retirement of preferred stock. Federal law also prohibits a state-chartered, member bank from paying dividends that would be greater than the bank’s undivided profits. United Bank is also subject to limitations under Virginia state law regarding the level of dividends that may be paid.
In addition, United and United Bank are subject to other regulatory policies and requirements relating to the payment of dividends, including requirements to maintain adequate capital above regulatory minimums. The appropriate federal regulatory authority is authorized to determine under certain circumstances relating to the financial condition of a bank holding company or a bank that the payment of dividends would be an unsafe or unsound practice and to prohibit payment thereof. The appropriate federal regulatory authorities have stated that paying dividends that deplete a bank’s capital base to an inadequate level would be an unsafe and unsound banking practice and that banking organizations should generally pay dividends only out of current operating earnings. In addition, in the current financial and economic environment, the Federal Reserve Board has indicated that bank holding companies should carefully review their dividend policy and has discouraged payment ratios that are at maximum allowable levels unless both asset quality and capital are very strong.
In July 2019, the federal bank regulators adopted final rules (the “Capital Simplifications Rules”) that, among other things, eliminated the standalone prior approval requirement in the Basel III Capital Rules for any repurchase of common stock. In certain circumstances, United’s repurchases of its common stock may be subject to a prior approval or notice requirement under other regulations, policies or supervisory expectations of the Federal Reserve Board. Any redemption or repurchase of preferred stock or subordinated debt remains subject to the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board.
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Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act), into law. The Dodd-Frank Act significantly changes regulation of financial institutions and the financial services industry. The Dodd-Frank Act includes, among other things, provisions creating a Financial Services Oversight Council to identify emerging systemic risks and improve interagency cooperation; centralizing the responsibility for consumer financial protection by creating a new agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is responsible for implementing, examining and enforcing compliance with federal consumer financial laws; permanently raising the current standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000; establishing strengthened capital standards for banks, and disallowing trust preferred securities as qualifying for Tier 1 capital (subject to certain grandfather provisions for existing trust preferred securities); establishing new minimum mortgage underwriting standards; granting the Federal Reserve Board the power to regulate debit card interchange fees; and implementing corporate governance changes.
On December 10, 2013, the banking agencies issued a final rule implementing Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act, commonly referred to as the “Volcker Rule”. The Federal Reserve issued an order on December 18, 2014 extending the period which banking entities have to divest disallowed securities under the Volcker Rule to July 21, 2016. The Federal Reserve also announced its intention to grant an additional one year extension of the conformance period until July 21, 2017. On January 14, 2014, the banking agencies approved an interim final rule to permit banking entities to retain interests in certain collateralized debt obligations backed primarily by trust preferred securities (Trup Cdos) from the prohibitions under the Volcker Rule. During the third quarter of 2014 United sold four Trup Cdos for a net gain of $1.3 million in response to the Volcker Rule. Under the Volcker Rule, these four securities were identified by United as covered funds and were required to be divested of before July 21, 2017. United believes the remaining Trup Cdo portfolio is excluded from the scope of the Volcker Rule.
On May 24, 2018, President Trump signed into law the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the EGRRCPA Act)” which provides certain limited amendments to the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as certain targeted modifications to other post-financial crisis regulatory requirements. In addition, the legislation establishes new consumer protections and amends various securities- and investment company-related requirements. The EGRRCPA Act primarily amends several other laws, including the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Federal Credit Union Act, Federal Deposit Insurance Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Securities Act of 1933. The Act is divided into six titles, which aim to: improve consumer access to mortgage credit (Title I); provide regulatory relief and protect consumer access to credit (Title II); protect the credit information of consumers, including veterans and servicemembers (Title III); tailor regulations for certain bank holding companies, including raising the threshold levels for exemption from certain prudential standards and stress testing (Title IV); encourage capital formation by reforming certain Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations (Title V); and protect student borrowers (Title VI).
Deposit Insurance
The deposits of United Bank are insured by the FDIC to the extent provided by law. Accordingly, United Bank is also subject to regulation by the FDIC. United Bank is subject to deposit insurance assessments to maintain the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) of the FDIC. The FDIC utilizes a risk-based assessment system that imposes insurance premiums based upon a risk matrix that takes into account a bank’s capital level and supervisory rating (CAMELS rating) and certain financial measures to assess an institution’s ability to withstand asset-related stress and funding-related stress. The risk matrix utilizes four risk categories which are distinguished by capital levels and supervisory ratings.
In October 2010, the FDIC adopted a new DIF restoration plan to ensure that the fund reserve ratio reaches 1.35% by September 30, 2020, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Under the new restoration plan, the FDIC will update its loss and income projections at least semi-annually for the fund and, if needed, will increase or decrease assessment rates, following
notice-and-comment
rulemaking if required.
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In April 2011, the FDIC implemented rulemaking under the Dodd-Frank Act to reform the deposit insurance assessment system. The final rule redefined the assessment base used for calculating deposit insurance assessments. Specifically, the rule bases assessments on an institution’s total assets less tangible capital, as opposed to total deposits. Since the new base is larger than the prior base, the FDIC also proposed lowering assessment rates so that the rules would not significantly alter the total amount of revenue collected from the industry. The new assessment scale ranges from 2.5 basis points for the least risky institutions to 45 basis points for the riskiest.
As part of the its changes in April 2011, the FDIC established a new methodology for determining assessment rates for large and highly complex institutions, as defined in the rules. In October 2012, the FDIC announced revised changes to some of the definitions used to determine assessment rates for these large and highly complex insured depository institutions. The rule generally applies to FDIC-regulated banks with assets greater than $10 billion and took effect April 1, 2013. In the second quarter of 2018, United Bank was reclassified as a large institution for deposit insurance assessment purposes. Generally, this new classification will result in higher FDIC insurance premiums.
On September 30, 2018, the Deposit Insurance Fund Reserve Ratio reached 1.36%, exceeding the statutorily required minimum reserve ratio of 1.35% ahead of the September 30, 2020, deadline required under the Dodd-Frank Act. FDIC regulations provide for two changes to deposit insurance assessments upon reaching the minimum: (1) surcharges on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more (large banks) ceased on December 28, 2018; and (2) small banks will receive assessment credits for the portion of their assessments that contributed to the growth in the reserve ratio from between 1.15% and 1.35%, to be applied when the reserve ratio is at or above 1.38%. United benefited from both these changes.
United’s FDIC insurance expense totaled $8.1 million, $11.5 million, and $7.1 million in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Capital Requirements
United and United Bank are each required to comply with applicable capital adequacy standards established by the Federal Reserve Board. In July 2013, the federal bank regulators approved final rules (the “Basel III Capital Rules”) implementing the Basel III framework set forth by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (the “Basel Committee”) as well as certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.
Since fully phased in on January 1, 2019, the Basel III Capital Rules require United and United Bank to maintain the following:
  A minimum ratio of Common Equity Tier 1 (“CET1”) to risk-weighted assets of at least 4.5%, plus a 2.5% “capital conservation buffer” (resulting in a minimum ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets of 7.0%);
  A minimum ratio of Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 6.0%, plus the capital conservation buffer (resulting in a minimum Tier 1 capital ratio of 8.5%);
  A minimum ratio of total capital (Tier 1 capital plus Tier 2 capital) to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.0%, plus the capital conservation buffer (resulting in a minimum total capital ratio of 10.5%); and
  A minimum leverage ratio of 4.0%, calculated as the ratio of Tier 1 capital to average consolidated assets as reported on consolidated financial statements (known as the “leverage ratio”).
Banking institutions that fail to meet the effective minimum ratios once the capital conservation buffer is taken into account, as detailed above, will be subject to constraints on capital distributions, including dividends and share repurchases, and certain discretionary executive compensation. The severity of the constraints depends on the amount of the shortfall and the institution’s “eligible retained income” (that is, four quarter trailing net income, net of distributions and tax effects not reflected in net income).
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The Basel III Capital Rules and the Capital Simplification Rules also provide for a number of deductions from and adjustments to CET1. These include, for example, the requirement that certain deferred tax assets and significant investments in
non-consolidated
financial entities be deducted from CET1 to the extent that any one such category exceeds 25% of CET1. Prior to the adoption of the Capital Simplification Rules in July 2019, amounts were deducted from CET1 to the extent that any one such category exceeded 10% of CET1 or all such items, in the aggregate, exceeded 15% of CET1. The Capital Simplification Rules took effect for United and United Bank as of January 1, 2020. These limitations did not impact our regulatory capital during any of the reported periods.
In addition, under the general risk-based capital rules, the effects of accumulated other comprehensive income items included in capital were excluded for the purposes of determining regulatory capital ratios. Under the Basel III Capital Rules, the effects of certain accumulated other comprehensive income items are not excluded; however,
non-advanced
approaches banking organizations, including United and United Bank, were able to make a
one-time
permanent election to continue to exclude these items. Both United and United Bank made this election in order to avoid significant variations in the level of capital depending upon the impact of interest rate fluctuations on the fair value of their
available-for-sale
securities portfolio. Under the Basel III Capital Rules, trust preferred securities no longer included in our Tier 1 capital may nonetheless be included as a component of Tier 2 capital on a permanent basis without
phase-out.
The Basel III Capital Rules prescribe a standardized approach for risk weightings that expanded the risk-weighting categories from the general risk-based capital rules to a much larger and more risk-sensitive number of categories, depending on the nature of the assets, generally ranging from 0% for U.S. government and agency securities, to 600% for certain equity exposures (and higher percentages for certain other types of interests), and resulting in higher risk weights for a variety of asset categories. In November 2019, the federal banking agencies adopted a rule revising the scope of commercial real estate mortgages subject to a 150% risk weight.
In December 2017, the Basel Committee published standards that it described as the finalization of the Basel III post-crisis regulatory reforms (the standards are commonly referred to as “Basel IV”). Among other things, these standards revise the Basel Committee’s standardized approach for credit risk (including by recalibrating risk weights and introducing new capital requirements for certain “unconditionally cancellable commitments,” such as unused credit card lines of credit) and provides a new standardized approach for operational risk capital. Under the Basel framework, these standards will generally be effective on January 1, 2022, with an aggregate output floor phasing in through January 1, 2027. Under the current U.S. capital rules, operational risk capital requirements and a capital floor apply only to advanced approaches institutions, and not to United or United Bank. The impact of Basel IV on us will depend on the manner in which it is implemented by the federal bank regulators.
Failure to meet statutorily mandated capital guidelines or more restrictive ratios separately established for a financial institution could subject United to a variety of enforcement remedies, including issuance of a capital directive, the termination of deposit insurance by the FDIC, a prohibition on accepting or renewing brokered deposits, limitations on the rates of interest that the institution may pay on its deposits and other restrictions on its business. As described below, significant additional restrictions can be imposed on United if it would fail to meet applicable capital requirements.
Prompt Corrective Action
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (“FDICIA”) establishes a new regulatory scheme, which ties the level of supervisory intervention by bank regulatory authorities primarily to a depository institution’s capital category. Among other things, FDICIA authorizes regulatory authorities to take “prompt corrective action” with respect to depository institutions that do not meet minimum capital requirements.
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FDICIA establishes five capital tiers: well capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized and critically undercapitalized.
Effective January 1, 2015, under the Basel III Capital Rules, the current prompt corrective action requirements for an institution to be “well-capitalized” is a total risk-based capital ratio of 10% or greater, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 8% or greater, a CET1 ratio of 6.5% or greater and a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 5 percent or greater.
United Bank was considered a “well capitalized” institution as of December 31, 2019. Well-capitalized institutions are permitted to engage in a wider range of banking activities, including among other things, the accepting of “brokered deposits,” and the offering of interest rates on deposits higher than the prevailing rate in their respective markets.
Community Reinvestment Act
The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (“CRA”) requires depository institutions to assist in meeting the credit needs of their market areas consistent with safe and sound banking practice. Under the CRA, each depository institution is required to help meet the credit needs of its market areas by, among other things, providing credit to
low-
and moderate-income individuals and communities. Depository institutions are periodically examined for compliance with the CRA and are assigned ratings. Banking regulators take into account CRA ratings when considering approval of a proposed transaction. United Bank received a rating of “outstanding” in its most recent CRA examination.
In December 2019, the FDIC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) jointly proposed rules that would significantly change existing CRA regulations. The proposed rules are intended to increase bank activity in
low-
and moderate-income communities where there is significant need for credit, more responsible lending, greater access to banking services, and improvements to critical infrastructure. The proposals change four key areas: (i) clarifying what activities qualify for CRA credit; (ii) updating where activities count for CRA credit; (iii) providing a more transparent and objective method for measuring CRA performance; and (iv) revising
CRA-related
data collection, record keeping, and reporting. However, the Federal Reserve Board has not joined the proposed rulemaking. As such, we will continue to evaluate the impact of any changes to the regulations implementing the CRA and their impact to our financial condition, results of operations, and/or liquidity.
Cybersecurity
In March 2015, federal regulators issued two related statements regarding cybersecurity. One statement indicates that financial institutions should design multiple layers of security controls to establish lines of defense and to ensure that their risk management processes also address the risk posed by compromised customer credentials, including security measures to reliably authenticate customers accessing internet-based services of the financial institution. The other statement indicates that a financial institution’s management is expected to maintain sufficient business continuity planning processes to ensure the rapid recovery, resumption and maintenance of the institution’s operations after a cyber-attack involving destructive malware. A financial institution is also expected to develop appropriate processes to enable recovery of data and business operations and address rebuilding network capabilities and restoring data if the institution or its critical service providers fall victim to this type of cyber-attack. If United fails to observe the regulatory guidance, United could be subject to various regulatory sanctions, including financial penalties.
In the ordinary course of business, United relies on electronic communications and information systems to conduct its operations and to store sensitive data. United employs an
in-depth,
layered, defensive approach that leverages people, processes and technology to manage and maintain cybersecurity controls. United employs a variety of preventative and detective tools to monitor, block, and provide alerts regarding suspicious activity, as well as to report on any suspected advanced persistent threats. Notwithstanding the strength of its defensive measures, the threat from cyber-attacks is severe, attacks are sophisticated and increasing in volume, and attackers respond rapidly to changes in defensive measures. While to date, United and United Bank have not experienced a
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significant compromise, significant data loss or any material financial losses related to cybersecurity attacks, United’s systems and those of its customers and third-party service providers are under constant threat and it is possible that United could experience a significant event in the future. Risks and exposures related to cybersecurity attacks are expected to remain high for the foreseeable future due to the rapidly evolving nature and sophistication of these threats, as well as due to the expanding use of Internet banking, mobile banking and other technology-based products and services by United and its customers. See Item 1A. Risk Factors for a further discussion of risk related to cybersecurity.
Deposit Acquisition Limitation
Under West Virginia banking law, an acquisition or merger is not permitted if the resulting depository institution or its holding company, including its affiliated depository institutions, would assume additional deposits to cause it to control deposits in the State of West Virginia in excess of twenty five percent (25%) of such total amount of all deposits held by insured depository institutions in West Virginia. This limitation may be waived by the Commissioner of Banking by showing good cause.
Consumer Laws and Regulations
In addition to the banking laws and regulations discussed above, bank subsidiaries are also subject to certain consumer laws and regulations that are designed to protect consumers in transactions with banks. Among the more prominent of such laws and regulations are the Truth in Lending Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Truth in Savings Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Expedited Funds Availability Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Act, the Right to Financial Privacy Act and the Fair Housing Act. These laws and regulations mandate certain disclosure requirements and regulate the manner in which financial institutions must deal with customers when taking deposits or making loans to such customers. United’s bank subsidiary must comply with the applicable provisions of these consumer protection laws and regulations as part of its ongoing customer relations.
As discussed above, the Dodd-Frank Act centralized responsibility for consumer financial protection by creating the CFPB, and giving it responsibility for implementing, examining and enforcing compliance with federal consumer protection laws. The CFPB has broad rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement authority over consumer financial products and services, including deposit products, residential mortgages, home-equity loans, and credit cards. The CFPB’s functions include investigating consumer complaints, rulemaking, supervising and examining banks’ consumer transactions, and enforcing rules related to consumer financial products and services. Banks with more than $10 billion in assets, such as United Bank, are subject to these federal consumer financial laws.
Incentive Compensation
The Federal Reserve Board reviews, as part of its regular, risk-focused examination process, the incentive compensation arrangements of banking organizations, such as United, that are not “large, complex banking organizations.” These reviews are tailored to each organization based on the scope and complexity of the organization’s activities and the prevalence of incentive compensation arrangements. The findings of this supervisory initiative will be included in reports of examination. Deficiencies will be incorporated into the organization’s supervisory ratings, which can affect the organization’s ability to make acquisitions and take other actions. Enforcement actions may be taken against a banking organization if its incentive compensation arrangements, or related risk-management control or governance processes, pose a risk to the organization’s safety and soundness and the organization is not taking prompt and effective measures to correct the deficiencies.
In June 2010, the Federal Reserve Board, OCC and FDIC issued comprehensive final guidance on incentive compensation policies intended to ensure that the incentive compensation policies of banking organizations do not undermine the safety and soundness of such organizations by encouraging excessive risk-taking. The guidance, which covers all employees that have the ability to materially affect the risk profile of an organization, either individually or as part of a group, is based upon the key principles that a banking
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organization’s incentive compensation arrangements should (i) provide incentives that do not encourage risk-taking beyond the organization’s ability to effectively identify and manage risks, (ii) be compatible with effective internal controls and risk management, and (iii) be supported by strong corporate governance, including active and effective oversight by the organization’s board of directors.
In April and May of 2016, the Federal Reserve Board, other federal banking agencies and the SEC (the “Agencies”) jointly published proposed rulemaking designed to implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act prohibiting incentive compensation arrangements that would encourage inappropriate risk taking at a covered institution, which includes a bank or bank holding company with $1 billion or more of assets, such as United. The proposed rule expanded beyond the June 2010 principals based guidance and broadened the scope to include community banks. The proposed rules (i) prohibit incentive-based compensation arrangements that encourage executive officers, employees, directors or principal shareholders to expose the institution to inappropriate risks by providing excessive compensation (based on the standards for excessive compensation adopted pursuant to the FDIA) and (ii) prohibit incentive-based compensation arrangements for executive officers, employees, directors or principal shareholders that could lead to a material financial loss for the institution. The proposed rule requires covered institutions to establish policies and procedures for monitoring and evaluating their compensation practices. As of February 2020, final rules have not been adopted. If these or other regulations are adopted in a form similar to that initially proposed, they will impose limitations on the manner in which we may structure compensation for our executives.
The scope and content of the U.S. banking regulators’ policies on incentive compensation are continuing to develop. It cannot be determined at this time whether or when a final rule will be adopted and whether compliance with such a final rule will adversely affect the ability of United and United Bank to hire, retain and motivate their key employees.
Item 1A.
RISK FACTORS
United is subject to risks inherent to the Company’s business. The material risks and uncertainties that management believes affect the Company are described below. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all of the other information included or incorporated by reference in this report. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing the Company. Additional risks and uncertainties that management is not aware of or focused on or that management currently deems immaterial may also impair United’s business operations. This report is qualified in its entirety by these risk factors.
RISKS RELATING TO UNITED’S BUSINESS
Changes in economic and political conditions could adversely affect our earnings, as our borrowers’ ability to repay loans and the value of the collateral securing our loans decline
.
United’s success depends, to a certain extent, upon local and national economic and political conditions, as well as governmental monetary policies. Conditions such as an economic recession, rising unemployment, changes in interest rates, money supply and other factors beyond its control may adversely affect United’s and United Bank’s asset quality, deposit levels and loan demand and, therefore, its earnings. Because United has a significant amount of real estate loans, decreases in real estate values could adversely affect the value of property used as collateral. Adverse changes in the economy may also have a negative effect on the ability of our borrowers to make timely repayments of their loans, which could have an adverse impact on our earnings. Consequently, declines in the economy in our market area could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
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The value of certain investment securities is volatile and future declines or other-than-temporary impairments could have a materially adverse effect on future earnings and regulatory capital.
Continued volatility in the fair value for certain investment securities, whether caused by changes in market conditions, interest rates, credit risk of the issuer, the expected yield of the security, or actual defaults in the portfolio could result in significant fluctuations in the value of the securities as well as any regulatory rulemaking such as the Volcker Rule which could exclude or limit the holdings of certain investment securities. This could have a material adverse impact on United’s accumulated other comprehensive income and shareholders’ equity depending on the direction of the fluctuations. Furthermore, future downgrades, defaults or prepayments, including the liquidation of the underlying collateral in certain securities, could result in future classifications as other-than-temporarily impaired. This could have a material impact on United’s future earnings, although the impact on shareholders’ equity will be offset by any amount already included in other comprehensive income for securities that were temporarily impaired.
There are no assurances as to adequacy of the allowance for loan losses.
United believes that its allowance for loan losses is maintained at a level appropriate to absorb any probable losses in its loan portfolio given the current information known to management.
Management establishes the allowance based upon many factors, including, but not limited to:
  historical loan loss experience;
  industry diversification of the commercial loan portfolio;
  the effect of changes in the local real estate market on collateral values;
  the amount of nonperforming loans and related collateral security;
  current economic conditions that may affect the borrower’s ability to pay and value of collateral;
  volume, growth and composition of the loan portfolio; and
  other factors management believes are relevant.
These determinations are based upon estimates that are inherently subjective, and their accuracy depends on the outcome of future events, so ultimate losses may differ from current estimates. Changes in economic, operating and other conditions, including changes in interest rates, that are generally beyond United’s control, can affect United’s loan losses. Continuing deterioration in economic conditions affecting borrowers, new information regarding existing loans, identification of additional problem loans and other factors, both within and outside of United’s control, may require an increase in the allowance for credit losses. United can provide no assurance that its allowance is sufficient to cover actual loan losses should such losses differ substantially from our current estimates.
In addition, federal and state regulators, as an integral part of their respective supervisory functions, periodically review United’s allowance for loan losses, and may require an increase in the provision for loan losses or the recognition of further loan charge-offs, based on judgments different than those of management. Furthermore, if charge-offs in future periods exceed the allowance for loan losses, United will need additional provisions to increase the allowance for loan losses. Any increases in the allowance for loan losses will result in a decrease in net income and, possibly, capital, and may have a material adverse effect on United’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
See the section captioned “Provision for Loan Losses” in in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in Part II, Item 7 of this Form
10-K
for further discussion related to our process for determining the appropriate level of the allowance for loan losses.
In addition, the adoption of Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”)
2016-13,
“Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments,” as amended, on January 1, 2020 will impact our methodology for estimating the allowance for loan losses. See Note A – Recent Accounting Pronouncements in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form
10-K.
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Changes in interest rates may adversely affect United’s business.
United’s earnings, like most financial institutions, are significantly dependent on its net interest income. Net interest income is the difference between the interest income United earns on loans and other assets which earn interest and the interest expense incurred to fund those assets, such as on savings deposits and borrowed money. Therefore, changes in general market interest rates, such as a change in the monetary policy of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or otherwise beyond those which are contemplated by United’s interest rate risk model and policy, could have an effect on net interest income. For more information concerning United’s interest rate risk model and policy, see the discussion in Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk included in Part II, under Item 7A of this Form
10-K.
Interest rates on United’s outstanding financial instruments might be subject to change based on regulatory developments.
The London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and certain other “benchmarks” are the subject of recent national, international, and other regulatory guidance and proposals for reform. These reforms may cause such benchmarks to perform differently than in the past or have other consequences, which cannot be predicted. On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, publicly announced that it intends to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit LIBOR rates after 2021. Since then, regulators, industry groups and certain committees (e.g., the Alternative Reference Rates Committee) have, among other things, published recommended fall-back language for LIBOR-linked financial instruments, identified recommended alternatives for certain LIBOR rates (e.g., the Secured Overnight Financing Rate as the recommended alternative to U.S. Dollar LIBOR), and proposed implementations of the recommended alternatives in floating rate instruments. If LIBOR ceases to exist or if the methods of calculating LIBOR change from current methods for any reason, interest rates on our floating rate obligations, loans, deposits, derivatives, and other financial instruments tied to LIBOR rates, as well as the revenue and expenses associated with those financial instruments, may be adversely affected. Further, any uncertainty regarding the continued use and reliability of LIBOR as a benchmark interest rate could adversely affect the value of our floating rate obligations, loans, deposits, derivatives, and other financial instruments tied to LIBOR rates.
United is subject to credit risk.
There are risks inherent in making any loan, including risks with respect to the period of time over which the loan may be repaid, risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions, risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers and risks resulting from uncertainties as to the future value of collateral. United seeks to mitigate the risk inherent in its loan portfolio by adhering to prudent loan approval practices. Although United believes that its loan approval criteria are appropriate for the various kinds of loans the Company makes, United may incur losses on loans that meet our loan approval criteria. A significant decline in general economic conditions caused by inflation or deflation, recession, unemployment, changes in government fiscal and monetary policies, acts of terrorism, or other factors beyond our control could cause our borrowers to default on their loan payments, and the collateral values securing such loans to decline and be insufficient to repay any outstanding indebtedness. In such events, we could experience significant loan losses, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
United’s information systems may experience an interruption or breach in security.
United relies heavily on communications and information systems to conduct its business. In addition, as part of its business, United collects, processes and retains sensitive and confidential client and customer information. United’s facilities and systems, and those of our third-party service providers, may be vulnerable to security breaches, acts of vandalism, computer viruses, misplaced or lost data, programming and/or human errors, or other similar events. Any failure, interruption or breach in security of these systems could result in failures or disruptions in the Company’s customer relationship management, general ledger, deposit, loan and other systems. While United has policies and procedures designed to prevent or limit the effect of the failure, interruption or security breach of its information systems, there can be no assurance that any such failures, interruptions or security breaches will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be adequately addressed. The occurrence of any failures, interruptions or security breaches of the Company’s information systems could damage United’s
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reputation, result in a loss of customer business, subject United to additional regulatory scrutiny, or expose the Company to civil litigation and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on United’s financial condition and results of operations.
Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or confidential client or customer information, whether through a cyber-attack, other breach of our computer systems or otherwise, could severely harm our business.
In the normal course of our business, we collect, process and retain sensitive and confidential client and customer information on our behalf and on behalf of other third parties. Despite the security measures we have in place, our facilities and systems may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, security breaches, acts of vandalism, computer viruses, misplaced or lost data, programming and / or human errors, or other similar events.
Information security risks for financial institutions like us have increased recently in part because of new technologies, the use of the internet and telecommunications technologies (including mobile devices) to conduct financial and other business transactions and the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, perpetrators of fraud, hackers, terrorists and others. In addition to cyber-attacks or other security breaches involving the theft of sensitive and confidential information, hackers have engaged in attacks against large financial institutions, particularly denial of service attacks, designed to disrupt key business services such as customer-facing web sites. We are not able to anticipate or implement effective preventive measures against all security breaches of these types. Although we employ detection and response mechanisms designed to contain and mitigate security incidents, early detection may be thwarted by persistent sophisticated attacks and malware designed to avoid detection.
We also face risks related to cyber-attacks and other security breaches in connection with card transactions that typically involve the transmission of sensitive information regarding our customers through various third parties. Some of these parties have in the past been the target of security breaches and cyber-attacks, and because the transactions involve third parties and environments that we do not control or secure, future security breaches or cyber-attacks affecting any of these third parties could impact us through no fault of our own, and in some cases we may have exposure and suffer losses for breaches or attacks relating to them. We also rely on numerous other third-party service providers to conduct other aspects of our business operations and face similar risks relating to them. While we conduct security assessments on our higher risk third parties, we cannot be sure that their information security protocols are sufficient to withstand a cyber-attack or other security breach.
Any cyber-attack or other security breach involving the misappropriation, loss or other unauthorized disclosure of confidential customer information could severely damage our reputation, erode confidence in the security of our systems, products and services, expose us to the risk of litigation and liability, disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business.
United’s business continuity plans or data security systems could prove to be inadequate, resulting in a material interruption in, or disruption to, its business and a negative impact on results of operations.
United relies heavily on communications and information systems to conduct its business. Any failure, interruption or breach in security of these systems, whether due to severe weather, natural disasters, cyber-attack, acts of war or terrorism, criminal activity or other factors, could result in failures or disruptions in general ledger, deposit, loan, customer relationship management and other systems. While United has disaster recovery and other policies and procedures designed to prevent or limit the effect of the failure, interruption or security breach of its information systems, there can be no assurance that any such failures, interruptions or security breaches will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be adequately addressed. The occurrence of any failures, interruptions or security breaches of United’s information systems could damage its reputation, result in a loss of customer business, subject it to additional regulatory scrutiny or expose it to civil litigation and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on results of operations.
The negative economic effects caused by terrorist attacks, including cyber-attacks, potential attacks and other destabilizing events would likely contribute to the deterioration of the quality of United’s loan portfolio and could reduce its customer base, level of deposits, and demand for its financial products such as loans.
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High inflation, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, including cyber-attacks, an escalation of hostilities or other international or domestic occurrences, and other factors could have a negative impact on the economy of the
Mid-Atlantic
regions in which United operates. An additional economic downturn in its markets would likely contribute to the deterioration of the quality of United’s loan portfolio by impacting the ability of its customers to repay loans, the value of the collateral securing loans, and may reduce the level of deposits in its bank and the stability of its deposit funding sources. An additional economic downturn could also have a significant impact on the demand for United’s products and services. The cumulative effect of these matters on United’s results of operations and financial condition would likely be adverse and material.
Loss of United’s Chief Executive Officer or other executive officers could adversely affect its business.
United’s success is dependent upon the continued service and skills of its executive officers and senior management. If United loses the services of these key personnel, it could have a negative impact on United’s business because of their skills, years of industry experience and the difficulty of promptly finding qualified replacement personnel. The services of Richard M. Adams, United’s Chief Executive Officer, would be particularly difficult to replace. United and Mr. Adams are parties to an Employment Agreement providing for his continued employment by United through March 31, 2023.
United operates in a highly competitive market.
United faces a high degree of competition in all of the markets it serves. United considers all of West Virginia to be included in its market area. This area includes the five largest West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA): the Parkersburg MSA, the Charleston MSA, the Huntington MSA, the Morgantown MSA and the Wheeling MSA. United serves the Ohio counties of Lawrence, Belmont, Jefferson and Washington and Fayette county in Pennsylvania primarily because of their close proximity to the Ohio and Pennsylvania borders and United banking offices located in those counties or in nearby West Virginia. United’s Virginia markets include the Maryland, northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. MSA, the Winchester MSA, the Harrisonburg MSA, and the Charlottesville MSA. United considers all of the above locations to be the primary market area for the business of its banking subsidiaries.
There is a risk that aggressive competition could result in United controlling a smaller share of these markets. A decline in market share could lead to a decline in net income which would have a negative impact on stockholder value.
United may be adversely affected by the soundness of other financial institutions.
Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty, or other relationships. United has exposure to many different industries and counterparties, and routinely executes transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, mutual and hedge funds, or other institutional clients. Recent defaults by financial services institutions, and even rumors or questions about a financial institution or the financial services industry in general, have led to marketwide liquidity problems and could lead to losses or defaults by United or other institutions. Any such losses could adversely affect United’s financial condition or results of operations.
United is subject to extensive government regulation and supervision.
United is subject to extensive federal and state regulation, supervision and examination. Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors’ funds, federal deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole, not shareholders. These regulations affect United’s lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy, operations and growth, among other things. These regulations also impose obligations to maintain appropriate policies, procedures and controls, among other things, to detect, prevent and report money laundering and terrorist financing and to verify the identities of United’s customers. Congress and
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federal regulatory agencies continually review banking laws, regulations and policies for possible changes. The Dodd-Frank Act, enacted in July 2010, instituted major changes to the banking and financial institutions regulatory regimes. Other changes to statutes, regulations or regulatory policies, including changes in interpretation or implementation of statutes, regulations or policies, could affect United in substantial and unpredictable ways. Such changes could subject the Company to additional costs, limit the types of financial services and products United may offer and/or increase the ability of nonbanks to offer competing financial services and products, among other things. United expends substantial effort and incurs costs to improve its systems, audit capabilities, staffing and training in order to satisfy regulatory requirements, but the regulatory authorities may determine that such efforts are insufficient. Failure to comply with relevant laws, regulations or policies could result in sanctions by regulatory agencies, civil money penalties and/or reputation damage, which could have a material adverse effect on United’s business, financial condition and results of operations. While the Company has policies and procedures designed to prevent any such violations, there can be no assurance that such violations will not occur.
In the normal course of business, United and its subsidiaries are routinely subject to examinations and challenges from federal and state tax authorities regarding the amount of taxes due in connection with investments that the Company has made and the businesses in which United has engaged. Recently, federal and state taxing authorities have become increasingly aggressive in challenging tax positions taken by financial institutions. These tax positions may relate to tax compliance, sales and use, franchise, gross receipts, payroll, property and income tax issues, including tax base, apportionment and tax credit planning. The challenges made by tax authorities may result in adjustments to the timing or amount of taxable income or deductions or the allocation of income among tax jurisdictions. If any such challenges are made and are not resolved in the Company’s favor, they could have a material adverse effect on United’s financial condition and results of operations.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may reshape the consumer financial laws through rulemaking and enforcement of the prohibitions against unfair, deceptive and abusive business practices. Compliance with any such change may impact the business operations of depository institutions offering consumer financial products or services, including United Bank
.
The CFPB has broad rulemaking authority to administer and carry out the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act with respect to financial institutions that offer covered financial products and services to consumers. The CFPB has also been directed to write rules identifying practices or acts that are unfair, deceptive or abusive in connection with any transaction with a consumer for a consumer financial product or service, or the offering of a consumer financial product or service. The concept of what may be considered to be an “abusive” practice is relatively new under the law. Moreover, United Bank is supervised and examined by the CFPB for compliance with the CFPB’s regulations and policies. The costs and limitations related to this additional regulatory reporting regimen have yet to be fully determined, although they may be material and the limitations and restrictions that will be placed upon United Bank with respect to its consumer product offering and services may produce significant, material effects on United Bank (and United’s) profitability.
United may elect or be compelled to seek additional capital in the future, but capital may not be available when it is needed.
United is required by federal and state regulatory authorities to maintain adequate levels of capital to support the Company’s operations. In addition, United may elect to raise additional capital to support the Company’s business or to finance acquisitions, if any, or United may otherwise elect to raise additional capital. In that regard, a number of financial institutions have recently raised considerable amounts of capital as a result of deterioration in their results of operations and financial condition arising from the turmoil in the mortgage loan market, deteriorating economic conditions, declines in real estate values and other factors, which may diminish United’s ability to raise additional capital.
United’s ability to raise additional capital, if needed, will depend on conditions in the capital markets, economic conditions and a number of other factors, many of which are outside the Company’s control, and on United’s financial performance. Accordingly, United cannot be assured of its ability to raise additional capital if needed or on terms acceptable to the Company. If United cannot raise additional capital when needed, it may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
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United is subject to higher regulatory capital requirements and failure to comply with these standards may impact dividend payments, equity repurchases and executive compensation.
United and United Bank are each required to comply with applicable capital adequacy standards established by the Federal Reserve Board. In July 2013, the federal bank regulators approved final rules (the “Basel III Capital Rules”) implementing the Basel III framework set forth by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (the “Basel Committee”) as well as certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.
Since fully phased in on January 1, 2019, the Basel III Capital Rules require United and United Bank to maintain the following:
  A minimum ratio of Common Equity Tier 1 (“CET1”) to risk-weighted assets of at least 4.5%, plus a 2.5% “capital conservation buffer” (resulting in a minimum ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets of 7.0%);
  A minimum ratio of Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 6.0%, plus the capital conservation buffer (resulting in a minimum Tier 1 capital ratio of 8.5%);
  A minimum ratio of total capital (Tier 1 capital plus Tier 2 capital) to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.0%, plus the capital conservation buffer (resulting in a minimum total capital ratio of 10.5%); and
  A minimum leverage ratio of 4.0%, calculated as the ratio of Tier 1 capital to average consolidated assets as reported on consolidated financial statements (known as the “leverage ratio”).
Banking institutions that fail to meet the effective minimum ratios once the capital conservation buffer is taken into account, as detailed above, will be subject to constraints on capital distributions, including dividends and share repurchases, and certain discretionary executive compensation. The severity of the constraints depends on the amount of the shortfall and the institution’s “eligible retained income” (that is, four quarter trailing net income, net of distributions and tax effects not reflected in net income).
The Basel III Capital Rules and the Capital Simplification Rules also provide for a number of deductions from and adjustments to CET1. These include, for example, the requirement that certain deferred tax assets and significant investments in
non-consolidated
financial entities be deducted from CET1 to the extent that any one such category exceeds 25% of CET1. Prior to the adoption of the Capital Simplification Rules in July 2019, amounts were deducted from CET1 to the extent that any one such category exceeded 10% of CET1 or all such items, in the aggregate, exceeded 15% of CET1. The Capital Simplification Rules took effect for United and United Bank as of January 1, 2020. These limitations did not impact our regulatory capital during any of the reported periods.
In addition, under the general risk-based capital rules, the effects of accumulated other comprehensive income items included in capital were excluded for the purposes of determining regulatory capital ratios. Under the Basel III Capital Rules, the effects of certain accumulated other comprehensive income items are not excluded; however,
non-advanced
approaches banking organizations, including United and United Bank, were able to make a
one-time
permanent election to continue to exclude these items. Both United and United Bank made this election in order to avoid significant variations in the level of capital depending upon the impact of interest rate fluctuations on the fair value of their
available-for-sale
securities portfolio. Under the Basel III Capital Rules, trust preferred securities no longer included in our Tier 1 capital may nonetheless be included as a component of Tier 2 capital on a permanent basis without
phase-out.
The Basel III Capital Rules prescribe a standardized approach for risk weightings that expanded the risk-weighting categories from the general risk-based capital rules to a much larger and more risk-sensitive number of categories, depending on the nature of the assets, generally ranging from 0% for U.S. government and agency
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securities, to 600% for certain equity exposures (and higher percentages for certain other types of interests), and resulting in higher risk weights for a variety of asset categories. In November 2019, the federal banking agencies adopted a rule revising the scope of commercial real estate mortgages subject to a 150% risk weight.
The Basel III changes have resulted in generally higher minimum capital ratios that require United and its subsidiaries to maintain capital buffers above minimum requirements to avoid restrictions on capital distributions and executive bonus payments. In addition, the application of more stringent capital requirements for United could, among other things, result in lower returns on invested capital, require the raising of additional capital and result in additional regulatory actions if United were to be unable to comply with such requirements. Implementation of changes to asset risk weightings for risk based capital calculations, items included or deducted in calculating regulatory capital and/or additional capital conservation buffers could result in management modifying its business strategy and could limit United’s ability to make distributions, including paying dividends.
Failure to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting in the future could impair United’s ability to accurately and timely report its financial results or prevent fraud, resulting in loss of investor confidence and adversely affecting United’s business and stock price.
Effective internal controls over financial reporting are necessary to provide reliable financial reports and prevent fraud. Management believes that United’s internal controls over financial reporting are currently effective. Management will continually review and analyze the Company’s internal controls over financial reporting for Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 compliance. Any failure to maintain, in the future, an effective internal control environment could impact United’s ability to report its financial results on an accurate and timely basis, which could result in regulatory actions, loss of investor confidence, and adversely impact United’s business and stock price.
United could face unanticipated environmental liabilities or costs related to real property owned or acquired through foreclosure. Compliance with federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations, including those related to investigation and
clean-up
of contaminated sites, could have a negative effect on expenses and results of operations.
A significant portion of United’s loan portfolio is secured by real property. During the ordinary course of business, United may foreclose on and take title to properties securing certain loans. In doing so, there is a risk that hazardous or toxic substances could be found on these properties. If hazardous or toxic substances are found, United may be liable for remediation costs, as well as for personal injury and property damage. Environmental laws may require United to incur substantial expenses and may materially reduce the affected property’s value or limit United’s ability to use or sell the affected property. In addition, future laws or more stringent interpretations or enforcement policies with respect to existing laws may increase exposure to environmental liability. Although United has policies and procedures to perform an environmental review before initiating any foreclosure action on real property, these reviews may not be sufficient to detect all potential environmental hazards. The remediation costs and any other financial liabilities associated with an environmental hazard could have a material adverse effect on results of operations.
United’s earnings are significantly affected by the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government and its agencies.
The policies of the Federal Reserve impact United significantly. The Federal Reserve regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States. Its policies directly and indirectly influence the rate of interest earned on loans and paid on borrowings and interest-bearing deposits and can also affect the value of financial instruments we hold. Those policies determine to a significant extent our cost of funds for lending and investing. Changes in those policies are beyond our control and are difficult to predict. Federal Reserve policies can also affect our borrowers, potentially increasing the risk that they may fail to repay their loans. For example, a tightening of the money supply by the Federal Reserve could reduce the demand for a borrower’s products and services. This could adversely affect the borrower’s earnings and ability to repay its loan, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
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New accounting or tax pronouncements or interpretations may be issued by the accounting profession, regulators or other government bodies which could change existing accounting methods. Changes in accounting methods could negatively impact United’s results of operations and financial condition.
Current accounting and tax rules, standards, policies and interpretations influence the methods by which financial institutions conduct business, implement strategic initiatives and tax compliance, and govern financial reporting and disclosures. These laws, regulations, rules, standards, policies, and interpretations are constantly evolving and may change significantly over time. Events that may not have a direct impact on United, such as the bankruptcy of major U.S. companies, have resulted in legislators, regulators and authoritative bodies, such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the SEC, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and various taxing authorities, responding by adopting and/or proposing substantive revision to laws, regulations, rules, standards, policies, and interpretations. New accounting pronouncements and varying interpretations of accounting pronouncements have occurred and may occur in the future. A change in accounting standards may adversely affect reported financial condition and results of operations.
United’s vendors could fail to fulfill their contractual obligations, resulting in a material interruption in, or disruption to, its business and a negative impact on results of operations.
United is dependent upon third parties for certain information system, data management and processing services and to provide key components of its business infrastructure. United has entered into subcontracts for the supply of current and future services, such as data processing, mortgage loan processing and servicing, and certain property management functions. These services must be available on a continuous and timely basis and be in compliance with any regulatory requirements. Failure to do so could substantially harm United’s business.
United often purchases services from vendors under agreements that typically can be terminated on a periodic basis. There can be no assurance, however, that vendors will be able to meet their obligations under these agreements or that United will be able to compel them to do so. Risks of relying on vendors include the following:
  If an existing agreement expires or a certain service is discontinued by a vendor, then United may not be able to continue to offer its customers the same breadth of products and its operating results would likely suffer unless it is able to find an alternate supply of a similar service.
 
 
 
 
  Agreements United may negotiate in the future may commit it to certain minimum spending obligations. It is possible United will not be able to create the market demand to meet such obligations.
 
 
 
 
  If market demand for United’s products increases suddenly, its current vendors might not be able to fulfill United’s commercial needs, which would require it to seek new arrangements or new sources of supply, and may result in substantial delays in meeting market demand.
 
 
 
 
  United may not be able to control or adequately monitor the quality of services it receives from its vendors. Poor quality services could damage United’s reputation with its customers.
 
 
 
 
In addition, these third party service providers are sources of operational and informational security risk to United, including risks associated with operational errors, information system interruptions or breaches, and unauthorized disclosures of sensitive or confidential client or customer information. If third party service providers encounter any of these issues, or if United has difficulty communicating with them, United could be exposed to disruption of operations, loss of service or connectivity to customers, reputational damage, and litigation risk that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or our business.
Potential problems with vendors such as those discussed above could have a significant adverse effect on United’s business, lead to higher costs and damage its reputation with its customers and, in turn, have a material adverse effect on its financial condition and results of operations.
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Severe weather, natural disasters, public health issues, acts of war or terrorism, and other external events could significantly impact United’s ability to conduct business.
Severe weather, natural disasters, public health issues, acts of war or terrorism, and other external events could affect the stability of United’s deposit base, impair the ability of borrowers to repay outstanding loans, impair the value of collateral securing loans, adversely impact United’s employee base, cause significant property damage, result in loss of revenue, and / or cause the Company to incur additional expenses. Although management has established disaster recovery policies and procedures, the occurrence of any such event could have a material adverse effect on United’s business, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH UNITED’S COMMON STOCK
United’s stock price can be volatile
.
Stock price volatility may make it more difficult for United shareholders to resell their common stock when they want and at prices they find attractive. United’s stock price can fluctuate significantly in response to a variety of factors, including, among other things:
  Actual or anticipated negative variations in quarterly results of operations;
 
 
 
 
  Negative recommendations by securities analysts;
 
 
 
 
  Poor operating and stock price performance of other companies that investors deem comparable to United;
 
 
 
 
  News reports relating to negative trends, concerns and other issues in the financial services industry or the economy in general;
 
 
 
 
  Negative perceptions in the marketplace regarding United and/or its competitors;
 
 
 
 
  New technology used, or services offered, by competitors;
 
 
 
 
  Adverse changes in interest rates or a lending environment with prolonged low interest rates;
 
 
 
 
  Adverse changes in the real estate market;
 
 
 
 
  Negative economic news;
 
 
 
 
  Failure to integrate acquisitions or realize anticipated benefits from acquisitions;
 
 
 
 
  Adverse changes in government regulations; and
 
 
 
 
  Geopolitical conditions such as acts or threats of terrorism or military conflicts.
 
 
 
 
General market fluctuations, industry factors and general economic and political conditions and events, such as economic slowdowns or recessions, interest rate changes or credit loss trends, could also cause United’s stock price to decrease regardless of operating results.
Dividend payments by United’s subsidiaries to United and by United to its shareholders can be restricted.
The declaration and payment of future cash dividends will depend on, among other things, United’s earnings, the general economic and regulatory climate, United’s liquidity and capital requirements, and other factors deemed relevant by United’s board of directors. Federal Reserve Board policy limits the payment of cash dividends by bank holding companies, without regulatory approval, and requires that a holding company serve as a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries.
United’s principal source of funds to pay dividends on its common stock is cash dividends from its subsidiaries. The payment of these dividends by its subsidiaries is also restricted by federal and state banking laws and regulations. As of December 31, 2019, approximately $121.5 million was available for dividend payments from United Bank to United without regulatory approval.
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An investment in United common stock is not an insured deposit.
United common stock is not a bank deposit and, therefore, is not insured against loss by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, any other deposit insurance fund or by any other public or private entity. Investment in United common stock is inherently risky for the reasons described in this section and elsewhere in this prospectus and joint proxy statement and is subject to the same market forces that affect the price of common stock in any company. As a result, someone who acquires United common stock, could lose some or all of their investment.
Certain banking laws may have an anti-takeover effect.
Provisions of federal banking laws, including regulatory approval requirements, could make it more difficult to be acquired by a third party, even if perceived to be beneficial to United’s shareholders. These provisions effectively inhibit a
non-negotiated
merger or other business combination, which could adversely affect the market price of United’s common stock.
Item 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None
Item 2. PROPERTIES
Offices
United is headquartered in the United Center at 500 Virginia Street, East, Charleston, West Virginia. United’s executive offices are located in Parkersburg, West Virginia at Fifth and Avery Streets. United operates one hundred and thirty-eight (138) full service offices—fifty-one (51) offices located throughout West Virginia,
eighty-two
(82) offices in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia and the Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, four (4) in southwestern Pennsylvania and one (1) in southeastern Ohio. United owns all of its West Virginia facilities except for two in the Charleston and Wheeling areas and one each in areas of Beckley, Huntington, Parkersburg, and Clarksburg, all of which are leased under operating leases. United owns most of its facilities in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia except for nine offices, two in Winchester, one each in Charlottesville, Front Royal, Harrisonburg, Stanardsville, Waynesboro, Weyers Cave and Woodstock, all of which are leased under operating leases. United leases all of its facilities under operating lease agreements in the Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. areas except for five offices, two in Arlington, one each in Alexandria, Chantilly and Vienna, Virginia, which are owned facilities. United owns all of its Pennsylvania facilities. In Ohio, United owns its one facility in Bellaire. United leases operations centers in the Charleston, West Virginia; Washington, D.C; and Chantilly, Virginia areas and owns one operations center in the Morgantown, West Virginia area.
Item 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
United and its subsidiaries are currently involved in various legal proceedings in the normal course of business. Management is vigorously pursuing all its legal and factual defenses and, after consultation with legal counsel, believes that all such litigation will be resolved with no material effect on United’s financial position.
Item 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.
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UNITED BANKSHARES, INC.
FORM
10-K,
PART II
Item 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
 
 
 
 
Stock
As of January 31, 2020, 200,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $2.50 per share, were authorized for United, of which 105,508,684 were issued, including 3,940,619 shares held as treasury shares. The outstanding shares are held by approximately 6,246 shareholders of record, as well as 61,894 shareholders in street name as of January 31, 2020. The unissued portion of United’ s authorized common stock (subject to registration approval by the SEC) and the treasury shares are available for issuance as the Board of Directors determines advisable. United offers its shareholders the opportunity to invest dividends in shares of United stock through its dividend reinvestment plan. United has also established stock option plans and a stock bonus plan as incentive for certain eligible officers. In addition to the above incentive plans, United is occasionally involved in certain mergers in which additional shares could be issued and recognizes that additional shares could be issued for other appropriate purposes.
In November of 2018, United’s Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase plan, whereby United could buy up to 3,352,000 shares of the Company’s common stock on the open market at prevailing prices through November 7, 2019. The Board of Directors approved a new plan in October of 2019 to repurchase up to 4,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock on the open market at prevailing prices. As of December 31, 2019, United still has 4,000,000 shares available for repurchase under the plan. During 2019, 1,009,150 shares were repurchased under stock repurchase plans.
The Board of Directors believes that the availability of authorized but unissued common stock of United is of considerable value if opportunities should arise for the acquisition of other businesses through the issuance of United’s stock. Shareholders do not have preemptive rights, which allow United to issue additional authorized shares without first offering them to current shareholders.
Currently, United has only one voting class of stock issued and outstanding and all voting rights are vested in the holders of United’s common stock. On all matters subject to a vote of shareholders, the shareholders of United will be entitled to one vote for each share of common stock owned. Shareholders of United have cumulative voting rights with regard to election of directors.
United’s common stock is traded over the counter on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations System, Global Select Market (NASDAQ) under the trading symbol UBSI. The closing sale price reported for United’s common stock on February 24, 2020, the last practicable date, was $32.51.
On December 23, 2008, the shareholders of United authorized the issuance of preferred stock up to 50,000,000 shares with a par value of $1.00 per share. The authorized preferred stock may be issued by the Company’s Board of Directors in one or more series, from time to time, with each such series to consist of such number of shares and to have such voting powers, full or limited, or no voting powers, and such designations, preferences and relative, participating, optional or other special rights, and the qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereof, as shall be stated in the resolution or resolutions providing for the issuance of such series adopted by the Board of Directors. Currently, no shares of preferred stock have been issued.
The authorization of preferred stock will not have an immediate effect on the holders of the Company’s common stock. The actual effect of the issuance of any shares of preferred stock upon the rights of the holders of common stock cannot be stated until the Board of Directors determines the specific rights of any shares of preferred stock. However, the effects might include, among other things, restricting dividends on common stock, diluting the voting power of common stock, reducing the market price of common stock or impairing the liquidation rights of the common stock without further action by the shareholders. Holders of the common stock will not have preemptive rights with respect to the preferred stock.
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There are no preemptive or conversion rights or, redemption or sinking fund provisions with respect to United’s stock. All of the issued and outstanding shares of United’s stock are fully paid and
non-assessable.
Stock Performance Graph
The following Stock Performance Graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that United specifically incorporates it by reference into such filing.
The following graph compares United’s cumulative total shareholder return (assuming reinvestment of dividends) on its common stock for the five-year period ending December 31, 2019, with the cumulative total return (assuming reinvestment of dividends) of the Standard and Poor’s Midcap 400 Index and with the NASDAQ Bank Index. The cumulative total shareholder return assumes a $100 investment on December 31, 2014 in the common stock of United and each index and the cumulative return is measured as of each subsequent fiscal
year-end.
There is no assurance that United’s common stock performance will continue in the future with the same or similar trends as depicted in the graph.
 
                                                 
 
Period Ending
 
 
12/31/14
   
12/31/15
   
12/31/16
   
12/31/17
   
12/31/18
   
12/31/19
 
United Bankshares, Inc.
   
100.00
     
102.19
     
132.05
     
102.83
     
95.58
     
123.13
 
NASDAQ Bank Index
   
100.00
     
108.84
     
150.17
     
158.36
     
132.75
     
165.11
 
S&P
Mid-Cap
Index
   
100.00
     
97.82
     
118.10
     
137.26
     
122.03
     
153.96
 
 
 
 
 
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Issuer Repurchases
The table below includes certain information regarding United’s purchase of its common shares during the three months ended December 31, 2019:
                                 
Period
 
Total
Number of
Shares
Purchased
(1) (2)
   
Average Price
Paid per
Share
   
Total Number of
Shares Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced Plans (3)
   
Maximum
Number of
Shares that May
Yet be Purchased
Under the Plans (3)
 
10/01 – 10/31/2019
   
32,150
    $
36.49
     
32,150
     
1,472,850
 
11/01 – 11/30/2019
   
9,229
    $
40.33
     
0
     
4,000,000
 
12/01 – 12/31/2019
   
0
    $
0.00
     
0
     
4,000,000
 
                       
Total
   
41,379
    $
37.35
     
     
 
                       
 
 
 
 
  (1) Includes shares exchanged in connection with the exercise of stock options under United’s stock option plans. Shares are purchased pursuant to the terms of the applicable stock option plan and not pursuant to a publicly announced stock repurchase plan. For the quarter ended December 31, 2019, 9,225 shares were exchanged by participants in United’s stock option plans at an average price of $40.33.
 
 
 
 
  (2) Includes shares purchased in open market transactions by United for a rabbi trust to provide payment of benefits under a deferred compensation plan for certain key officers of United and its subsidiaries. For the quarter ended December 31, 2019, the following shares were purchased for the deferred compensation plan: November 2019 –4 shares at an average price of $39.38.
 
 
 
 
  (3) In November of 2018, United’s Board of Directors approved a repurchase plan to repurchase up to 3,352,000 shares of United’s common stock on the open market (the 2018 Plan). The timing, price and quantity of purchases under the plans are at the discretion of management and the plan may be discontinued, suspended or restarted at any time depending on the facts and circumstances. The 2018 Plan had an expiration date of November 7, 2019. In October of 2019, United’s Board of Directors approved a new repurchase plan to repurchase up to 4,000,000 shares of United’s common stock on the open market (the 2019 Plan) once the 2018 Plan expired.
 
 
 
 
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Item 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
 
 
 
The following consolidated selected financial data is derived from United’s audited financial statements as of and for the five years ended December 31, 2019. The selected financial data should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and the Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes contained elsewhere in this report.
                                         
 
Five Year Summary
 
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 
2019
 
 
2018
 
 
2017
 
 
2016
 
 
2015
 
Summary of Operations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total interest income
  $
762,562
    $
717,715
    $
623,806
    $
470,341
    $
423,630
 
Total interest expense
   
184,640
     
129,070
     
74,809
     
45,010
     
39,506
 
Net interest income
   
577,922
     
588,645
     
548,997
     
425,331
     
384,124
 
Provision for loan losses
   
21,313
     
22,013
     
28,406
     
24,509
     
22,574
 
Other income
   
150,484
     
128,712
     
131,645
     
70,032
     
73,626
 
Other expense
   
382,654
     
368,179
     
367,409
     
248,196
     
231,687
 
Income taxes
   
64,340
     
70,823
     
134,246
     
75,575
     
65,530
 
Net income
   
260,099
     
256,342
     
150,581
     
147,083
     
137,959
 
Cash dividends
   
139,508
     
141,610
     
131,755
     
98,696
     
89,667
 
                                         
Per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income:
   
     
     
     
     
 
Basic
   
2.55
     
2.46
     
1.54
     
2.00
     
1.99
 
Diluted
   
2.55
     
2.45
     
1.54
     
1.99
     
1.98
 
Cash dividends
   
1.37
     
1.36
     
1.33
     
1.32
     
1.29
 
Book value per share
   
33.12
     
31.78
     
30.85
     
27.59
     
24.61
 
                                         
Selected Ratios:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Return on average shareholders’ equity
   
7.80
%    
7.84
%    
5.09
%    
7.67
%    
8.10
%
Return on average assets
   
1.34
%    
1.36
%    
0.85
%    
1.10
%    
1.12
%
Dividend payout ratio
   
53.64
%    
55.24
%    
87.50
%    
67.10
%    
65.00
%
                                         
Selected Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Average assets
  $
19,475,468
    $
18,848,027
    $
17,617,429
    $
13,376,803
    $
12,265,115
 
Investment securities
   
2,669,797
     
2,543,727
     
2,071,645
     
1,403,638
     
1,204,182
 
Loans held for sale
   
387,514
     
249,846
     
265,955
     
8,445
     
10,681
 
Total loans
   
13,712,129
     
13,422,222
     
13,011,421
     
10,341,137
     
9,384,080
 
Total assets
   
19,662,324
     
19,250,498
     
19,058,959
     
14,508,892
     
12,577,944
 
Total deposits
   
13,852,421
     
13,994,749
     
13,830,591
     
10,796,867
     
9,341,527
 
Long-term borrowings
   
1,838,029
     
1,499,103
     
1,363,977
     
1,172,026
     
1,015,249
 
Total liabilities
   
16,298,491
     
15,998,874
     
15,818,429
     
12,273,145
     
10,865,309
 
Shareholders’ equity
   
3,363,833
     
3,251,624
     
3,240,530
     
2,235,747
     
1,712,635
 
 
 
 
 
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Item 7.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 
 
 
 
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Congress passed the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995 to encourage corporations to provide investors with information about the company’s anticipated future financial performance, goals, and strategies. The act provides a safe haven for such disclosure; in other words, protection from unwarranted litigation if actual results are not the same as management expectations.
United desires to provide its shareholders with sound information about past performance and future trends. Consequently, any forward-looking statements contained in this report, in a report incorporated by reference to this report, or made by management of United in this report, in any other reports and filings, in press releases and in oral statements, involve numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those contained in or implied by United’s statements for a variety of factors including, but not limited to: changes in economic conditions; business conditions in the banking industry; movements in interest rates; competitive pressures on product pricing and services; success and timing of business strategies; the nature and extent of governmental actions and reforms; and rapidly changing technology and evolving banking industry standards.
The discussion in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” lists some of the factors that could cause United’s actual results to vary materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements, and such discussion is incorporated into this discussion by reference.
PENDING ACQUISITION
On November 17, 2019, United entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the Agreement) with Carolina Financial Corporation (Carolina Financial), a Delaware corporation headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina. In accordance with the Agreement, Carolina Financial shall merge with and into United (the Merger). Carolina Financial will cease to exist and United shall survive and continue to exist as a West Virginia corporation. At the effective time of the Merger, CresCom Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carolina Financial, will merge with and into United Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United (the Bank Merger). United Bank will survive the Bank Merger and continue to exist as a Virginia banking corporation. As of December 31, 2019, Carolina Financial had $4.71 billion in assets with banking locations in North Carolina and South Carolina. CresCom Bank owns and operates Crescent Mortgage Company, which is based in Atlanta. Crescent Mortgage Company is approved to originate loans in 48 states partnering with community banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers.
ADOPTION OF THE CURRENT EXPECTED CREDIT LOSSES STANDARD
The Company has adopted Accounting Standards Update (ASU)
2016-13,
“Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments,” as amended, on January 1, 2020, as required by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). ASU
2016-13
requires entities to report “expected” credit losses on financial instruments measured at amortized cost and other commitments to extend credit rather than the prior “incurred loss” model. These expected credit losses for financial assets held at the reporting date are to be based on historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts. Management is in the process of finalizing the impact of the adoption of this guidance on United’s financial condition, results of operations, liquidity, and regulatory capital ratios. Based on current economic conditions, management expects the allowance for credit losses to increase by 20% to 30%. For additional discussion of accounting pronouncements pending adoption, see Note A of the Notes to the Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Form
10-K.
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TRANSITION FROM THE LONDON INTERBANK OFFERERED RATE (LIBOR)
In 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, publicly announced that it intends to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit the rates used to calculate LIBOR after 2021. Currently, it is unclear whether these banks, as a group or individually, will continue to submit the rates used to calculate LIBOR after 2021. It is also unclear whether LIBOR will continue to be viewed as an acceptable market benchmark, what rate or rates may become accepted alternatives to LIBOR, or what the effect of any such changes may be on the markets for LIBOR-indexed financial instruments.
Working groups comprised of various regulators and other industry groups have been formed in the United States and other countries in order to provide guidance on this topic. In particular, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) has been formed in the United States by the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The ARRC has identified the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) as its preferred alternative reference rate for U.S. Dollar LIBOR. The ARRC has also published recommended fall-back language for LIBOR-linked financial instruments, among numerous other areas of guidance. At this time, however, it is unclear whether these recommendations will be broadly accepted by industry participants, whether they will continue to evolve, and what impact they will ultimately have on the broader markets that utilize LIBOR as a reference rate.
United has loans, derivative contracts, borrowings, and other financial instruments that are directly or indirectly dependent on LIBOR. The transition from LIBOR will cause changes to payment calculations for existing contracts that use LIBOR as the reference rate. These changes will create various risks surrounding the financial, operational, compliance and legal aspects associated with changing certain elements of existing contracts. United will also be subject to risks surrounding changes to models and systems that currently use LIBOR reference rates, as well as market and strategic risks that could arise from the use of alternative reference rates. Additionally, United could face reputational risks if this transition is not managed appropriately with its customers. While the full impact of the transition is not yet known, failure to adequately manage the transition could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
INTRODUCTION
The following discussion and analysis presents the more significant changes in financial condition as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 and the results of operations of United and its subsidiaries for each of the years then ended. This discussion and the consolidated financial statements and the notes to Consolidated Financial Statements include the accounts of United Bankshares, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, unless otherwise indicated. Management has evaluated all significant events and transactions that occurred after December 31, 2019, but prior to the date these financial statements were issued, for potential recognition or disclosure required in these financial statements. Refer to Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in our Annual Report on Form
10-K
filed with the SEC on March 1, 2019 (the 2018 Form 10-K) for a discussion and analysis of the more significant factors that affected periods prior to 2018.
This discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying notes thereto, which are included elsewhere in this document.
USE OF
NON-GAAP
FINANCIAL MEASURES
This discussion and analysis contains certain financial measures that are not recognized under GAAP. Under SEC Regulation G, public companies making disclosures containing financial measures that are not in accordance with GAAP must also disclose, along with each
“non-GAAP”
financial measure, certain additional information, including a reconciliation of the
non-GAAP
financial measure to the closest comparable GAAP financial measure, as well as a statement of the company’s reasons for utilizing the
non-GAAP
financial measure.
Generally, United has presented a
non-GAAP
financial measure because it believes that this measure provides meaningful additional information to assist in the evaluation of United’s results of operations or financial position. Presentation of a
non-GAAP
financial measure is consistent with how United’s management evaluates its performance internally and this
non-GAAP
financial measure is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of companies in the banking industry. Specifically, this discussion contains certain references to financial measures identified as
tax-equivalent
(FTE) net interest income and return on average tangible equity. Management believes these
non-GAAP
financial measures to be helpful in understanding United’s results of operations or financial position.
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Net interest income is presented in this discussion on a
tax-equivalent
basis. The
tax-equivalent
basis adjusts for the
tax-favored
status of income from certain loans and investments. Although this is a
non-GAAP
measure, United’s management believes this measure is more widely used within the financial services industry and provides better comparability of net interest income arising from taxable and
tax-exempt
sources. United uses this measure to monitor net interest income performance and to manage its balance sheet composition.
Average tangible equity is calculated as GAAP total shareholders’ equity minus total intangible assets. Tangible equity can thus be considered the most conservative valuation of the company. When considering net income, a return on average tangible equity can be calculated. Management provides a return on average equity to facilitate the understanding of as well as to assess the quality and composition of United’s capital structure. By removing the effect of intangible assets that result from merger and acquisition activity, the “permanent” items of shareholders’ equity are presented. This measure, along with others, is used by management to analyze capital adequacy and performance.
However, this
non-GAAP
information should be considered supplemental in nature and not as a substitute for related financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. Where the
non-GAAP
financial measure is used, the comparable GAAP financial measure, as well as reconciliation to that comparable GAAP financial measure, as well as a statement of the company’s reasons for utilizing the
non-GAAP
financial measure, can be found within this discussion and analysis. Investors should recognize that United’s presentation of this
non-GAAP
financial measure might not be comparable to a similarly titled measure at other companies.
APPLICATION OF CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES
The accounting and reporting policies of United conform with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. In preparing the consolidated financial statements, management is required to make estimates, assumptions and judgments that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. These estimates, assumptions and judgments, which are reviewed with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors, are based on information available as of the date of the financial statements. Actual results could differ from these estimates. These policies, along with the disclosures presented in the financial statement notes and in this financial review, provide information on how significant assets and liabilities are valued in the financial statements and how those values are determined. Based on the valuation techniques used and the sensitivity of financial statement amounts to the methods, assumptions, and estimates underlying those amounts, management has identified the determination of the allowance for loan losses, the valuation of investment securities and the related other-than-temporary impairment analysis, the accounting for acquired loans and the calculation of the income tax provision to be the accounting areas that require the most subjective or complex judgments, and as such could be most subject to revision as new information becomes available. The most significant accounting policies followed by United are presented in Note A, Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Allowance for Loan Losses
The allowance for loan losses represents management’s estimate of the probable credit losses inherent in the lending portfolio. Determining the allowance for loan losses requires management to make estimates of losses that are highly uncertain and require a high degree of judgment. At December 31, 2019, the allowance for loan losses was $77.1 million and is subject to periodic adjustment based on management’s assessment of current probable losses in the loan portfolio. Such adjustment from period to period can have a significant impact on United’s consolidated financial statements. To illustrate the potential effect on the financial statements of our estimates of the allowance for loan losses, a 10% increase in the allowance for loan losses would have required $7.7 million in additional allowance (funded by additional provision for credit losses), which would have negatively impacted the year of 2019 net income by approximately $6.1 million,
after-tax
or $0.06 diluted per common share. Management’s evaluation of the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses and the appropriate provision for loan losses is based upon a quarterly evaluation of the loan portfolio. This evaluation is inherently subjective and requires significant estimates, including estimates related to the amounts and timing of future cash flows, value of collateral, losses on pools of homogeneous loans based on historical loss experience, and consideration of qualitative factors such as current economic trends, all of which are susceptible to constant and significant change. The allowance allocated to specific credits and loan pools grouped by similar risk characteristics is
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reviewed on a quarterly basis and adjusted as necessary based upon subsequent changes in circumstances. In determining the components of the allowance for loan losses, management considers the risk arising in part from, but not limited to, qualitative factors which include
charge-off
and delinquency trends, current economic and business conditions, lending policies and procedures, the size and risk characteristics of the loan portfolio, concentrations of credit, and other various factors. The methodology used to determine the allowance for loan losses is described in Note A, Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. A discussion of the factors leading to changes in the amount of the allowance for loan losses is included in the Provision for Loan Losses section of this Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A). For a discussion of concentrations of credit risk, see Item 1, under the caption of Loan Concentrations in this Form
10-K.
Investment Securities
Accounting estimates are used in the presentation of the investment portfolio and these estimates impact the presentation of United’s financial condition and results of operations. United classifies its investments in debt as either held to maturity or available for sale. Securities held to maturity are accounted for using historical costs, adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts. Securities available for sale are accounted for at fair value, with the net unrealized gains and losses, net of income tax effects, presented as a separate component of shareholders’ equity. When available, fair values of securities are based on quoted prices or prices obtained from third party vendors. Third party vendors compile prices from various sources and may determine the fair value of identical or similar securities by using pricing models that consider observable market data. Prices obtained from third party vendors that do not reflect forced liquidation or distressed sales are not adjusted by management. Where prices reflect forced liquidation or distressed sales, as is the case with United’s portfolio of trust preferred securities (Trup Cdos), management estimates fair value based on a discounted cash flow methodology using appropriately adjusted discount rates reflecting nonperformance and liquidity risks. Due to the subjective nature of this valuation process, it is possible that the actual fair values of these securities could differ from the estimated amounts, thereby affecting United’s financial position, results of operations and cash flows. The potential impact to United’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows for changes in the valuation process cannot be reasonably estimated.
If the estimated value of investments is less than the cost or amortized cost, the investment is considered impaired and management evaluates whether an event or change in circumstances has occurred that may have a significant adverse effect on the fair value of the investment. If such an event or change has occurred, management must exercise judgment to determine the nature of the potential impairment (i.e., temporary or other-than-temporary) in order to apply the appropriate accounting treatment. If United intends to sell, or is more likely than not they will be required to sell an impaired debt security before recovery of its amortized cost basis less any current period credit loss, other-than-temporary impairment is recognized in earnings. The amount recognized in earnings is equal to the entire difference between the security’s amortized cost basis and its fair value at the balance sheet date. If United does not intend to sell, and is not more likely than not they will be required to sell the impaired debt security prior to recovery of its amortized cost basis less any current-period credit loss, the other-than-temporary impairment is separated into the following: 1) the amount representing the credit loss, which is recognized in earnings, and 2) the amount related to all other factors, which is recognized in other comprehensive income. For additional information on management’s consideration of investment valuation and other-than-temporary impairment, see Note C and Note V, Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Accounting for Acquired Loans
Loans acquired are initially recorded at their acquisition date fair values. The fair value of the acquired loans is based on the present value of the expected cash flows, including principal, interest and prepayments. Periodic principal and interest cash flows are adjusted for expected losses and prepayments, then discounted to determine the present value and summed to arrive at the estimated fair value. Fair value estimates involve assumptions and judgments as to credit risk, interest rate risk, prepayment risk, liquidity risk, default rates, loss severity, payment speeds, collateral values and discount rate.
Acquired loans are divided into loans with evidence of credit quality deterioration, which are accounted for under Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic
310-30
(acquired impaired) and loans that do not meet this criteria, which are accounted for under ASC Topic
310-20
(acquired performing). Acquired impaired loans have experienced a
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deterioration of credit quality from origination to acquisition for which it is probable that United will be unable to collect all contractually required payments receivable, including both principal and interest. In the assessment of credit quality, numerous assumptions, interpretations and judgments must be made, based on internal and third-party credit quality information and ultimately the determination as to the probability that all contractual cash flows will not be able to be collected. This is a point in time assessment and inherently subjective due to the nature of the available information and judgment involved.
Subsequent