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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
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission File Number 0-20288
COLUMBIA BANKING SYSTEM, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Washington
 
91-1422237
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
1301 A Street
Tacoma, Washington 98402-2156
(Address of principal executive offices and zip code)
(253) 305-1900
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Common Stock, No Par Value
 
COLB
 
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
(Title of each class)
 
(Trading symbol)
 
(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    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  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x   No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§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  x    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or 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 Exchange Act).    Yes  No  x
The aggregate market value of Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant at June 30, 2019 was $2,622,530,600 based on the closing sale price of the Common Stock on that date.
The number of shares of registrant’s Common Stock outstanding at January 31, 2020 was 72,146,350.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:
Portions of the Registrant’s definitive 2020 Annual Meeting Proxy Statement.                     Part III



COLUMBIA BANKING SYSTEM, INC.
FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT
DECEMBER 31, 2019

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
PART I
 
 
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
PART II
 
 
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
PART III
 
 
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
PART IV
 
 
 
Item 15.
Item 16.
 
 

i


Glossary of Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Terms

The acronyms, abbreviations, and terms listed below are used in various sections of the Form 10-K, including “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
401(k) Plan
401(k) and Profit Sharing Plan
 
FDIC
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
ACH
Automated Clearing House
 
FDIA
Federal Deposit Insurance Act
ALLL
Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses
 
Federal Reserve
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
ASC
Accounting Standards Codification
 
FHLB
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
ASU
Accounting Standards Update
 
FINRA/SIPC
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority/Securities Investor Protection Corporation
ATM
Automated Teller Machine
 
FRB
Federal Reserve Bank
B&O
Business and Occupation
 
GAAP
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
Basel III
A comprehensive capital framework and rules for U.S. banking organizations approved by the FRB and the FDIC in 2013
 
IDI
Insured Depository Institutions
Basel Committee
Basel Committee on Banking Supervision
 
Interstate Act
Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994
BHCA
Bank Holding Company Act of 1956
 
IRAs
Individual Retirement Accounts
BOLI
Bank Owned Life Insurance
 
IRS
Internal Revenue Service
BSA
Bank Secrecy Act
 
LIBOR
London Interbank Offering Rate
Capital Rules
Risk-based capital standards currently applicable to the Company and the Bank
 
NIM
Net Interest Margin
CDI
Core Deposit Intangible
 
OCC
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
CDARS®
Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service
 
OPPO
Other Personal Property Owned
CECL
Current Expected Credit Loss
 
OREO
Other Real Estate Owned
CEO
Chief Executive Officer
 
Pacific Continental
Pacific Continental Corporation
CET1
Common Equity Tier 1
 
Patriot Act
Includes 2006 amendments to the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 which was intended to combat terrorism.
CFO
Chief Financial Officer
 
PCI
Purchased Credit Impaired
CFPB
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
 
REASD
Real Estate Appraisal Services Department
COSO
Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission
 
SBA
Small Business Administration
CRA
Community Reinvestment Act of 1977
 
SEC
Securities and Exchange Commission
DIF
Dodd-Frank Act broadened the base for FDIC insurance assessments. Under the FDIC’s assessment system for determining payments to the Deposit Insurance Fund
 
SERP
Supplemental Executive Retirement plan
Dodd-Frank Act
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
 
SOFR
Secured Overnight Financing Rate
EPS
Earnings Per Share
 
SOX
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
EGRRCPA
Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act
 
Unit Plans
Supplemental compensation arrangements
ESP Plan
Employee Stock Purchase Plan
 
TDRs
Troubled Debt Restructurings
FASB
Financial Accounting Standards Board
 
West Coast
West Coast Bancorp


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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This annual report on Form 10-K may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions that are not historical facts, and statements identified by words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “should,” “projects,” “seeks,” “estimates” or the negative version of those words or other comparable words or phrases of a future or forward-looking nature. Forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs and expectations of management and are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions with respect to future business strategies and decisions that are subject to change. In addition to the factors set forth in the sections titled “Risk Factors,” “Business” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this Form 10-K, the following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results expressed or implied by forward-looking statements:

national and global economic conditions could be less favorable than expected or could have a more direct and pronounced effect on us than expected and adversely affect our ability to continue internal growth and maintain the quality of our earning assets;
the markets where we operate and make loans could face challenges;
the risks presented by the economy, which could adversely affect credit quality, collateral values, including real estate collateral, investment values, liquidity and loan originations and loan portfolio delinquency rates;
the efficiencies and enhanced financial and operating performance we expect to realize from investments in personnel, acquisitions and infrastructure may not be realized;
interest rate changes could significantly reduce net interest income and negatively affect asset yields and funding sources;
the effect of changes to or the discontinuation or replacement of LIBOR;
projected business increases following strategic expansion could be lower than expected;
changes in the scope and cost of FDIC insurance and other coverages;
the impact of acquired loans on our earnings;
changes in accounting policies or procedures as may be required by the FASB or other regulatory agencies could materially affect our financial statements and how we report those results, and expectations and preliminary analysis relating to how such changes will affect our financial results could prove incorrect;
changes in laws and regulations affecting our businesses, including changes in the enforcement and interpretation of such laws and regulations by applicable governmental and regulatory agencies;
increased competition among financial institutions and nontraditional providers of financial services;
continued consolidation in the Northwest financial services industry resulting in the creation of larger financial institutions that have greater resources could change the competitive landscape;
the goodwill we have recorded in connection with acquisitions could become impaired, which may have an adverse impact on our earnings and capital;
our ability to identify and address cyber-security risks, including security breaches, “denial of service attacks,” “hacking” and identity theft;
any material failure or interruption of our information and communications systems;
inability to keep pace with technological changes;
our ability to effectively manage credit risk, interest rate risk, market risk, operational risk, legal risk, liquidity risk and regulatory and compliance risk;
failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures;
the effect of geopolitical instability, including wars, conflicts and terrorist attacks;
our profitability measures could be adversely affected if we are unable to effectively manage our capital;
natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, fires and other unexpected events; and
the effects of any damage to our reputation resulting from developments related to any of the items identified above.

You should take into account that forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report. Given the described uncertainties and risks, we cannot guarantee our future performance or results of operations and you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under federal securities laws.

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PART I
ITEM 1.    BUSINESS
General
Columbia Banking System, Inc. (referred to in this report as “we,” “our,” “the Company” and “Columbia”) is a registered bank holding company whose wholly owned banking subsidiary is Columbia State Bank (“Columbia Bank” or “the Bank”). Established in 1993 in Tacoma, Washington, we provide a full range of banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals and individuals throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The Company’s subsidiary Columbia Trust Company (“Columbia Trust”) is an Oregon trust company that provides agency, fiduciary and other related trust services with offices in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
The vast majority of Columbia Bank’s loans and deposits are within its service areas in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Columbia Bank is a Washington state-chartered commercial bank, the deposits of which are insured in whole or in part by the FDIC. Columbia Bank is subject to regulation by the FDIC, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions Division of Banks, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services Division of Finance and Corporate Securities, and the Idaho Department of Finance. Although Columbia Bank is not a member of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve has certain supervisory authority over the Company, which can also affect Columbia Bank.
Business Overview
Having celebrated our 26th anniversary in 2019, our goal is to continue to be a leading Northwest regional community banking company while consistently increasing shareholder value. We continue to build on our reputation for exceptional customer satisfaction in order to be recognized as the bank of choice for individual and business customers in all markets we serve.
We have established a network of 146 branches in Washington, Oregon and Idaho as of December 31, 2019, from which we intend to grow market share. We operate 71 branches in 21 counties in the state of Washington, 61 branches in 16 counties in Oregon and 14 branches in 10 counties in Idaho.
Our branch system funds our lending activities and allows us to better serve both retail and business depositors. We believe this approach enables us to expand lending activities while attracting a stable deposit base and enhancing utilization of our full range of products and services. To support our strategy of market penetration and increased profitability, while continuing our personalized banking approach, we have invested in experienced banking and administrative personnel and have incurred related costs in the creation of our branch network. Our branch system and other delivery channels are continually evaluated as an important component of ongoing efforts to improve efficiencies without compromising customer service. We are taking major steps towards enhancing our digitally enabled bank that puts the client first and ensures they can bank when, how and where they choose.
Business Strategy
Our business strategy is to provide our customers with the financial sophistication and product depth of a regional banking company while retaining the appeal and service level of a community bank. We continually evaluate our existing business processes while focusing on maintaining asset quality and a diversified loan and deposit portfolio. We continue to build our strong deposit base, expanding total revenue and controlling expenses in an effort to gain operational efficiencies and increase our return on average equity. As a result of our strong commitment to highly personalized, relationship-oriented customer service, our diverse products, our strategic branch locations and the long-standing community presence of our managers and staff, we believe we are well positioned to attract and retain new customers and to increase our market share of loans, deposits, investments and other financial services. We are dedicated to increasing market share in the communities we serve by continuing to leverage our existing branch network and considering business combinations that are consistent with our expansion strategy throughout the Northwest. We have grown our franchise over the past decade through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth.

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Products & Services
We place the highest priority on customer service and assist our clients in making informed decisions when selecting from the products and services we offer. We continually review our product and service offerings to ensure that we provide our customers with the tools to meet their financial needs. A more complete listing of all the services and products available to our customers can be found on our website: www.columbiabank.com. Some of the core products and services we offer include:
Personal Banking
 
Business Banking
 
Wealth Management
•      Checking and Savings Accounts
 
•      Checking and Savings Accounts
 
•      Financial Services
•      Debit and Credit Cards
 
•      Debit and Credit Cards
 
•      Private Banking
•      Digital Banking
 
•      Business Loans
 
•      Trust and Investment Services
•      Personal Loans
 
•      Professional Banking
 
 
•      Home Loans
 
•      Treasury Management
 
 
•      Foreign Currency
 
•      Merchant Card Services
 
 
 
 
•      International Banking
 
 
Personal Banking: We offer our personal banking customers an assortment of account products including noninterest and interest-bearing checking, savings, money market and certificate of deposit accounts. Overdraft protection is also available with direct links to the customer’s checking account. Personal banking customers may also choose from a variety of loan products including home mortgages for purchases and refinances, home equity loans and lines of credit, and other personal loans. Eligible personal banking customers with checking accounts are provided a Visa® Debit Card. Further, a variety of Visa® Credit Cards are available to eligible personal banking customers.
In addition, Columbia Connect, our personal digital banking platform, allows our personal banking customers to safely and securely conduct their banking business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across all of their devices. Columbia Connect has simple navigation and provides access to frequently used features such as depositing checks, paying bills, transferring funds, or locating the nearest Columbia Bank branch or ATM.
Business Banking: A variety of checking, savings, interest-bearing money market and certificate of deposit accounts are offered to business banking customers to satisfy all their banking needs. In addition to these core banking products, we provide a breadth of services to support the complete financial needs of small and middle market businesses including Business Debit and Credit Cards, Business Loans, Professional Banking, Treasury Management, Merchant Card Services, and International Banking.
Business Debit and Credit Cards
Our business banking customers are offered a selection of Visa® Cards including the Business Debit Card that works like a check wherever Visa® is accepted. We also partner with Elan Financial Services to offer a variety of Visa® Credit Cards that come with important business features including expense management tools, free employee cards and added security benefits. A specialty community card for nonprofit organizations and municipalities is also available.
Business Loans
We offer a variety of loan products tailored to meet the diverse needs of business banking customers. Business loan products include agricultural loans, asset-based loans, builder and other commercial real estate loans, and loans guaranteed by the SBA. In addition, we offer a suite of Business Edge loans designed for small businesses looking to expand, purchase equipment, or in need of working capital.
Professional Banking
Columbia Professional Bankers are uniquely qualified to help dentists, physicians and veterinarians acquire, build and grow their practice. We offer tailored banking solutions delivered by experienced bankers with the industry knowledge necessary to meet their business’s unique needs.

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Treasury Management
Columbia Bank’s diversified Treasury Management Programs are tailored to meet specific banking needs of each individual business. We combine technology with integrated operations and local expertise for safe, powerful, flexible solutions. Columbia’s clients, of all sizes, choose from a full range of transaction and Treasury Management tools to gain more control over their money. Treasury Management solutions include Business Online and Mobile Banking, Business Bill Pay, ACH collections and payments, Remote Deposit Capture, and a variety tools to protect against fraud and manage excess funds.
Merchant Card Services
We partner with Vantiv to provide businesses with a broad range of payment acceptance solutions to meet their customer’s needs. Our Merchant Card Services provides businesses with sophisticated technology, competitive pricing and best-in-class service for their merchant needs.
International Banking
Columbia International Banking offers a range of financial services to help our business customers explore global markets and conduct international trade smoothly and expediently. We are proud to provide small and mid-size businesses with the same caliber of expertise and personalized service that national banks usually limit to large businesses. Our experience with foreign currency exchange, letters of credit, foreign collections and trade finance services can help companies open the door to new markets and suppliers overseas.
Wealth Management: We offer tailored solutions to individuals, families and professional businesses in the areas of financial services and private banking, as well as trust and investment services.
CB Financial Services
CB Financial Services(1) offers a comprehensive array of financial solutions that focuses on wealth management by delivering personalized service and experience through dedicated financial advisors serving various geographical areas.
Financial Services solutions include:
Financial Planning: Asset Allocation, Net Worth Analysis, Estate Planning & Preservation(2), Education Funding and Wealth Transfer.
Wealth Management: Professional Asset Management, Tailored Investment Strategies and Professional Money Managers.
Insurance Solutions: Long-Term Care and Life and Disability Insurance.
Individual Retirement Solutions: Retirement Planning, Retirement Income Strategies and Traditional and Roth IRAs.
Business Solutions: Business Retirement Plans, Key Person Insurance, Business Succession Planning and Deferred Compensation Plans.
Private Banking
Columbia Private Banking offers affluent clientele and their businesses complex financial solutions, such as deposit and treasury management services, credit services and wealth management strategies. Each private banker coordinates a relationship team of experienced financial professionals to meet the unique needs of each discerning customer.

__________
(1)
Securities and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC (doing insurance business in California as CFGIS Insurance Agency), member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Neither firm is affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered.
* Investment products are not FDIC insured * No bank guarantee * Not a deposit * Not insured by any federal government agency * May lose value.
(2)
For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera, nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.

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Trust and Investment Services: Through our Columbia Trust Company subsidiary, we offer a wide range of high quality fiduciary, investment and administrative trust services, coupled with local, personalized attention to the unique requirements of each trust. Services include Personal Trusts, Special Needs (Supplemental) Trusts, Estate Settlement Services, Investment Agency and Charitable Management Services. A more complete listing of all the services and products available to our customers can be found on Columbia Trust’s website: www.columbiatrustcompany.com. Information contained on Columbia Trust’s website is not incorporated by reference into this report.
Competition
Our industry is highly competitive. Several other financial institutions with greater resources compete for banking business in our market areas. These competitors have the ability to make larger loans, finance extensive advertising and promotional campaigns, access international financial markets and allocate their investment assets to regions of highest yield and demand. In addition to competition from other banking institutions, we continue to compete with non-banking companies such as credit unions, brokerage houses, financial technology companies and other financial services companies. We compete for deposits, loans, and other financial services by offering our customers similar breadth of products as our larger competitors while delivering a more personalized service level.
Employees
As of December 31, 2019, the Company employed 2,162 full-time equivalent employees. We value our employees and pride ourselves on providing a professional work environment accompanied by comprehensive pay and benefit programs. We are committed to providing flexible and value-added benefits to our employees through a “Total Compensation Philosophy” which incorporates all compensation and benefits. Our continued commitment to employees was demonstrated by Columbia Bank being honored as one of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Washington’s Best Workplaces” for the 13th consecutive year. Additionally, Columbia Bank was again ranked as one of the best banks in America by Forbes.
Available Information
We file annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, periodic reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements and other information with the United States SEC. The public may obtain copies of these reports and any amendments at the SEC’s website: www.sec.gov.
 Additionally, reports filed with the SEC can be obtained free of charge through our website at www.columbiabank.com. These reports are made available through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed electronically with the SEC. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this report.
Supervision and Regulation
The following discussion provides an overview of certain elements of the extensive regulatory framework applicable to the Company and Columbia State Bank, which operates under the name Columbia Bank in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. This regulatory framework is primarily designed for the protection of depositors, customers, federal deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole, rather than specifically for the protection of shareholders or non-depository creditors. Due to the breadth and growth of this regulatory framework, our costs of compliance continue to increase in order to monitor and satisfy these requirements.
To the extent that this section describes statutory and regulatory provisions, it is qualified by reference to those provisions. These statutes and regulations, as well as related policies, are subject to change by Congress, state legislatures and federal and state regulators. Changes in statutes, regulations or regulatory policies applicable to us, including the interpretation or implementation thereof, cannot be predicted, but may have a material effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations. Our continued efforts to monitor and comply with new regulatory requirements and developments add to the complexity and cost of our business.

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Federal and State Bank Holding Company Regulation
General.  The Company is a bank holding company as defined in the BHCA, and is therefore subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the Federal Reserve. In general, the BHCA limits the business of bank holding companies to owning or controlling banks and engaging in other activities closely related to banking. The Company must file reports with and provide the Federal Reserve such additional information as it may require. Under the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, a bank holding company may apply to the Federal Reserve to become a financial holding company, and thereby engage (directly or through a subsidiary) in certain expanded activities deemed financial in nature, such as securities and insurance underwriting. As of the date of this report, we have not elected to be treated as a financial holding company.
Holding Company Bank Ownership. The BHCA requires every bank holding company to obtain the prior approval of the Federal Reserve before (i) acquiring, directly or indirectly, ownership or control of any voting shares of another bank or bank holding company if, after such acquisition, it would own or control more than 5% of such shares; (ii) acquiring all or substantially all of the assets of another bank or bank holding company; or (iii) merging or consolidating with another bank holding company. In addition, under the Bank Merger Act of 1960, as amended, the prior approval of the FDIC is required for the Bank to merge with another bank or purchase all or substantially all of the assets or assume any of the deposits of another FDIC-insured depository institution. In reviewing applications seeking approval of merger and acquisition transactions, bank regulators consider, among other things, the competitive effect and public benefits of the transactions, the capital position and managerial resources of the combined organization, the risks to the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system, the applicant’s performance record under the CRA, the applicant’s compliance with fair housing and other consumer protection laws and the effectiveness of all organizations involved in combating money laundering activities. In addition, failure to implement or maintain adequate compliance programs could cause bank regulators not to approve an acquisition where regulatory approval is required or to prohibit an acquisition even if approval is not required.
Holding Company Control of Nonbanks. With some exceptions, the BHCA also prohibits a bank holding company from acquiring or retaining direct or indirect ownership or control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any company which is not a bank or bank holding company, or from engaging directly or indirectly in activities other than those of banking, managing or controlling banks, or providing services for its subsidiaries. The principal exceptions to these prohibitions involve certain non-bank activities that, by statute or by Federal Reserve regulation or order, have been identified as activities so closely related to the business of banking as to be a proper incident thereto, such as Columbia Trust.
Tying Arrangements. We are prohibited from engaging in certain tie-in arrangements in connection with any extension of credit, sale or lease of property or furnishing of services. For example, with certain exceptions, neither the Company nor its subsidiaries may condition an extension of credit to a customer on either (i) a requirement that the customer obtain additional services provided by us; or (ii) an agreement by the customer to refrain from obtaining other services from a competitor.
Support of Subsidiary Banks. Under Federal Reserve policy and federal law, the Company is required to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to Columbia Bank, including at times when we may not be in a financial position to provide such resources, and it may not be in our, or our shareholders’, best interests to do so. This means that the Company is required to commit resources, as necessary, to support Columbia Bank. Any capital loans a bank holding company makes to its subsidiary banks are subordinate to deposits and to certain other indebtedness of those subsidiary banks.
State Law Restrictions. As a Washington corporation, the Company is subject to certain limitations and restrictions under applicable Washington corporate law. For example, state law restrictions in Washington include limitations and restrictions relating to indemnification of directors, distributions to shareholders, transactions involving directors, officers or interested shareholders, maintenance of books, records, and minutes, and observance of certain corporate formalities.
Federal and State Regulation of Columbia Bank
General. The deposits of Columbia Bank, a Washington chartered commercial bank with branches in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, are insured by the FDIC. As a result, Columbia Bank is subject to supervision and regulation by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions’ Division of Banks and the FDIC. These agencies have the authority to prohibit banks from engaging in what they believe constitute unsafe or unsound banking practices. Furthermore, under the FDIA, insurance of deposits may be terminated by the FDIC if the FDIC finds that the insured depository institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC. With respect to branches of Columbia Bank in Oregon and Idaho, the Bank is also subject to certain laws and regulations governing its activities in those states.

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Consumer Protection. The Bank is subject to a variety of federal and state consumer protection laws and regulations that govern its relationship with consumers, including laws and regulations that impose certain disclosure requirements and regulate the manner in which we take deposits, make and collect loans, and provide other services. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may subject the Bank to various penalties, including but not limited to, enforcement actions, injunctions, fines, civil monetary penalties, criminal penalties, punitive damages, and the loss of certain contractual rights. As an insured depository institution with assets of $10 billion or more, the CFPB has primary enforcement and exclusive supervision authority for federal consumer financial laws over the Bank. This includes the right to obtain information about the Bank’s activities and compliance systems and procedures and to detect and assess risks to consumers and markets. The CFPB engages in several activities, including (i) investigating consumer complaints about credit cards and mortgages, (ii) launching supervisory programs, (iii) conducting research for and developing mandatory financial product disclosures, and (iv) engaging in consumer financial protection rulemaking. Columbia Bank has established a compliance management system designed to ensure consumer protection.
Community Reinvestment. The CRA requires that, in connection with examinations of financial institutions within their jurisdiction, the Federal Reserve or the FDIC evaluate the record of the financial institution in meeting the credit needs of its local communities, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of the institution. A bank’s community reinvestment record is also considered by the applicable banking agencies in evaluating mergers, acquisitions and applications to open a branch or facility. The Bank’s failure to comply with the CRA could, among other things, result in the denial or delay of such transactions. The Bank received a rating of “satisfactory” in its most recently completed CRA examination. In December 2019, the OCC and FDIC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking intended to (i) clarify which activities qualify for CRA credit; (ii) update where activities count for CRA credit; (iii) create a more transparent and objective method for measuring CRA performance; and (iv) provide for more transparent, consistent, and timely CRA-related data collection, recordkeeping, and reporting. The Federal Reserve has not joined the proposed rulemaking. Management will continue to evaluate any changes to CRA regulations.
Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism. The BSA requires all financial institutions, including banks to, among other things, establish a risk-based system of internal controls reasonably designed to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It includes a variety of recordkeeping and reporting requirements (such as cash and suspicious activity reporting) as well as due diligence/know-your-customer documentation requirements.
The Patriot Act further augments and strengthens the requirements set forth in the BSA. The Patriot Act, in relevant part, (i) prohibits banks from providing correspondent accounts directly to foreign shell banks; (ii) imposes due diligence requirements on banks opening or holding accounts for foreign financial institutions or wealthy foreign individuals; (iii) requires financial institutions to establish an anti-money-laundering compliance program; and (iv) eliminates civil liability for persons who file suspicious activity reports. The Patriot Act also includes provisions providing the government with power to investigate terrorism, including expanded government access to bank account records. An institution that fails to meet these standards may be subject to regulatory sanctions, including limitations on growth. Columbia Bank has established compliance programs designed to comply with the BSA and the Patriot Act.
Transactions with Affiliates; Insider Credit Transactions. Transactions between the Bank and its subsidiaries, on the one hand, and the Company or any other subsidiary, on the other hand, are regulated under federal banking law. The Federal Reserve Act imposes quantitative and qualitative requirements and collateral requirements on covered transactions by the Bank with, or for the benefit of, its affiliates. In addition, subsidiary banks of a bank holding company are subject to restrictions on extensions of credit to the holding company or its subsidiaries, on investments in securities of the holding company or its subsidiaries and on the use of their securities as collateral for loans to any borrower. These regulations and restrictions may limit the Company’s ability to obtain funds from Columbia Bank for its cash needs, including funds for payment of dividends, interest and operational expenses.
Banks are also subject to certain restrictions imposed by the Federal Reserve Act on extensions of credit to executive officers, directors, principal shareholders or any related interests of such persons. Extensions of credit (i) must be made on substantially the same terms, including interest rates and collateral, and follow credit underwriting procedures that are at least as stringent as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with persons not related to the lending bank; and (ii) must not involve more than the normal risk of repayment or present other unfavorable features. Banks are also subject to certain lending limits and restrictions on overdrafts to insiders. A violation of these restrictions may result in the assessment of substantial civil monetary penalties, regulatory enforcement actions, and other regulatory sanctions. The Columbia Bank board has established controls to ensure compliance with regulatory expectations around affiliated transactions.

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Regulation of Management. Federal law (i) sets forth circumstances under which officers or directors of a bank may be removed by the institution’s federal supervisory agency; (ii) places constraints on lending by a bank to its executive officers, directors, principal shareholders, and their related interests; and (iii) generally prohibits management personnel of a bank from serving as directors or in other management positions of another financial institution whose assets exceed a specified amount or which has an office within a specified geographic area.
Safety and Soundness Standards. Certain non-capital safety and soundness standards are also imposed upon banks. These standards cover internal controls, information systems and internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, compensation, fees and benefits, such other operational and managerial standards as the agency determines to be appropriate, and standards for asset quality, earnings and stock valuation. An institution that fails to meet these standards may be subject to regulatory sanctions, including limitations on growth. Columbia Bank has established policies and risk management activities designed to ensure the safety and soundness of the Bank.
Interstate Banking and Branching
The Interstate Act together with the Dodd-Frank Act relaxed prior interstate branching restrictions under federal law by permitting, subject to regulatory approval, state and federally chartered commercial banks to establish branches in states where the laws permit banks chartered in such states to establish branches. The Interstate Act requires regulators to consult with community organizations before permitting an interstate institution to close a branch in a low-income area. Federal banking agency regulations prohibit banks from using their interstate branches primarily for deposit production and the federal banking agencies have implemented a loan-to-deposit ratio screen to ensure compliance with this prohibition.
Dividends
Columbia is a legal entity separate and distinct from the Bank and its other subsidiaries. As a bank holding company, Columbia is subject to certain restrictions on its ability to pay dividends under applicable banking laws and regulations. Federal bank regulators are 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. In particular, federal bank regulators have stated that paying dividends that deplete a banking organization’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 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. A significant portion of our income comes from dividends from the Bank, which is also the primary source of our liquidity. In addition to the restrictions discussed above, the Bank is subject to limitations under Washington law regarding the level of dividends that it may pay to the Company. Washington law limits a bank’s ability to pay dividends that are greater than the bank’s retained earnings without approval of the applicable banking agency.
Regulatory Capital Requirements
The Federal Reserve monitors the capital adequacy of the Company on a consolidated basis, and the FDIC and the Washington Department of Financial Institutions’ Division of Banks monitor the capital adequacy of the Bank. The Capital Rules are based on the December 2010 final capital framework for strengthening international capital standards, known as Basel III, of the Basel Committee. As of December 31, 2019, we and the Bank met all capital adequacy requirements under the Capital Rules, as described below.
The Capital Rules, among other things (i) include a capital measure called CET1, (ii) specify that Tier 1 capital consists of CET1 and “Additional Tier 1 capital” instruments meeting specified requirements and (iii) define CET1 narrowly by requiring that most deductions/adjustments to regulatory capital measures be made to CET1 and not to the other components of capital.
Under the Capital Rules, the minimum capital ratios are (i) 4.5% CET1 to risk-weighted assets, (ii) 6% Tier 1 capital (that is, CET1 plus Additional Tier 1 capital) to risk-weighted assets and (iii) 8% total capital (that is, Tier 1 capital plus Tier 2 capital) to risk-weighted assets.
The Capital Rules also require an institution to establish a capital conservation buffer of CET1 in an amount above the minimum risk-based capital requirements for “adequately capitalized” institutions equal to 2.5% of total risk-weighted assets. Banking institutions with a ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets above the minimum but below the capital conservation buffer will face constraints on dividends, equity repurchases and compensation based 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 Capital Rules provide for a number of deductions from and adjustments to CET1. These include, for example, the requirement that mortgage servicing rights, 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 10% of CET1 or all such categories in the aggregate exceed 15% of CET1. The Capital Rules also generally preclude certain hybrid securities, such as trust preferred securities, from being counted as Tier 1 capital for most bank holding companies. However, bank holding companies such as the Company who had less than $15 billion in assets as of December 31, 2009 (and who continue to have less than $15 billion in assets) are permitted to include trust preferred securities issued prior to May 19, 2010 as Additional Tier 1 capital under the Capital Rules.
In addition, the Company and the Bank are subject to the final rule adopted by the Federal Reserve, OCC and FDIC in July 2019 relating to simplifications of the capital rules applicable to non-advanced approaches banking organizations. These rules will be effective for the Company on April 1, 2020 and provide for simplified capital requirements relating to the threshold deductions for mortgage servicing assets, deferred tax assets arising from temporary differences that a banking organization could not realize through net operating loss carry backs, and investments in the capital of unconsolidated financial institutions, as well as the inclusion of minority interests in regulatory capital.
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 home equity 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 approach institutions. The impact of Basel IV on the Company and the Bank will depend on the manner in which it is implemented by the federal bank regulators.
The Bank is also subject to the prompt corrective action regulations pursuant to Section 38 of the FDIA. See “Prompt Corrective Action Framework.”
Prompt Corrective Action Framework
The FDIA requires the federal bank regulators to take prompt corrective action in respect of depository institutions that fail to meet specified capital requirements. The FDIA establishes five capital categories (“well-capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized” and “critically undercapitalized”), and the federal bank regulators are required to take certain mandatory supervisory actions, and are authorized to take other discretionary actions, with respect to institutions that are undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized or critically undercapitalized. The severity of these mandatory and discretionary supervisory actions depends upon the capital category in which the institution is placed. Generally, subject to a narrow exception, the FDIA requires the regulator to appoint a receiver or conservator for an institution that is critically undercapitalized.
Under the rules currently in effect, the following table presents the requirements for an insured depository institution to be classified as well-capitalized or adequately capitalized:
“Well-capitalized”
“Adequately capitalized”
Total capital ratio of at least 10%,
Total capital ratio of at least 8%,
Tier 1 capital ratio of at least 8%,
Tier 1 capital ratio of at least 6%
CET1 ratio of at least 6.5%
CET1 ratio of at least 4.5%, and
Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 5%, and
Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 4%.
Not subject to any order or written directive requiring a specific capital level.
 
An institution may be downgraded to, or deemed to be in, a capital category that is lower than indicated by its capital ratios if it is determined to be in an unsafe or unsound condition or if it receives an unsatisfactory examination rating with respect to certain matters. A bank’s capital category is determined solely for the purpose of applying prompt corrective action regulations, and the capital category may not constitute an accurate representation of the bank’s overall financial condition or prospects for other purposes.
As of December 31, 2019, we and the Bank met the capital requirements to be well-capitalized with CET1 capital ratios of 12.45% and 12.46%, respectively, Tier 1 capital ratios of 12.45% and 12.46%, respectively, total capital ratios of 13.60% and 13.29%, respectively, and Tier 1 leverage ratios of 10.17% and 10.22%, respectively.

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An institution that is categorized as undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized or critically undercapitalized is required to submit an acceptable capital restoration plan to its appropriate federal bank regulator. Under the FDIA, in order for the capital restoration plan to be accepted by the appropriate federal banking agency, a bank holding company must guarantee that a subsidiary depository institution will comply with its capital restoration plan, subject to certain limitations. The bank holding company must also provide appropriate assurances of performance. The obligation of a controlling bank holding company under the FDIA to fund a capital restoration plan is limited to the lesser of 5% of an undercapitalized subsidiary’s assets or the amount required to meet regulatory capital requirements. An undercapitalized institution is also generally prohibited from increasing its average total assets, making acquisitions and capital distributions, establishing any branches or engaging in any new line of business, except in accordance with an accepted capital restoration plan or with the approval of the FDIC. Institutions that are undercapitalized or significantly undercapitalized and either fail to submit an acceptable capital restoration plan or fail to implement an approved capital restoration plan may be subject to a number of requirements and restrictions, including orders to sell sufficient voting stock to become adequately capitalized, requirements to reduce total assets and cessation of receipt of deposits from correspondent banks. Critically undercapitalized depository institutions failing to submit or implement an acceptable capital restoration plan are subject to appointment of a receiver or conservator.
Brokered Deposits
The FDIA prohibits an insured depository institution from accepting brokered deposits or offering interest rates on any deposits significantly higher than the prevailing rate in the bank’s normal market area or nationally (depending upon where the deposits are solicited), unless it is well-capitalized or is adequately capitalized and receives a waiver from the FDIC. A depository institution that is adequately capitalized and accepts brokered deposits under a waiver from the FDIC may not pay an interest rate on any deposit in excess of 75 basis points over certain prevailing market rates.
On December 12, 2019, the FDIC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking intended to modernize its brokered deposit regulations in light of modern deposit-taking methods. The impact on the Company and the Bank will depend on the final form of the proposed rule, which the Company is unable to predict.
Regulatory Oversight and Examination
The Federal Reserve conducts periodic inspections of bank holding companies. The supervisory objectives of the inspection program are to ascertain whether the financial strength of the bank holding company is being maintained on an ongoing basis and to determine the effects or consequences of transactions between a holding company or its non-banking subsidiaries and its subsidiary banks.
Banks are subject to periodic examinations by their primary regulators. Bank examinations have evolved from reliance on transaction testing in assessing a bank’s condition to a risk-focused approach. These examinations are extensive and cover the entire breadth of operations of the bank. Generally, FDIC safety and soundness examinations for a bank of our size are completed on an annual basis through the execution of a quarterly focal review process. The FDIC and state bank regulatory agencies complete these examinations on a combined schedule.
The CFPB has primary examination and enforcement authority over institutions with assets of $10 billion or more, including the Bank, with respect to various federal consumer protection laws, and we are subject to continued examination by the FDIC on certain consumer regulations. State authorities are also responsible for monitoring our compliance with all state consumer laws.
The frequency of consumer compliance and CRA examinations is linked to the size of the institution and its compliance and CRA ratings at its most recent examinations. However, the examination authority of the Federal Reserve and the FDIC allows them to examine supervised banks as frequently as deemed necessary based on the condition of the bank or as a result of certain triggering events.
Corporate Governance and Accounting
SOX addresses, among other things, corporate governance, auditing and accounting, enhanced and timely disclosure of corporate information, and penalties for non-compliance. Generally, SOX (i) requires CEOs and CFOs to certify the accuracy of periodic reports filed with the SEC; (ii) imposes specific and enhanced corporate disclosure requirements; (iii) accelerates the time frame for reporting of insider transactions and periodic disclosures by public companies; (iv) requires companies to adopt and disclose information about corporate governance practices, including whether or not they have adopted a code of ethics for senior financial officers and whether the audit committee includes at least one “audit committee financial expert;” and (v) requires the SEC, based on certain enumerated factors, to regularly and systematically review corporate filings.

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Deposit Insurance
The Bank’s deposits are insured under the FDIA, up to the maximum applicable limits and are subject to deposit insurance assessments designed to tie what banks pay for deposit insurance to the risks they pose. Under the FDIC’s assessment system for determining payments to the DIF, large IDIs with more than $10 billion in assets are assessed under a complex “scorecard” methodology that seeks to capture both the probability that an individual large IDI will fail and the magnitude of the impact on the DIF if such a failure occurs. The assessment base of a large IDI is its total assets less tangible equity.
The Volcker Rule
The Dodd-Frank Act prohibits banks and their affiliates from engaging in proprietary trading and investing in and sponsoring hedge funds and private equity funds. The statutory provision is commonly called the “Volcker Rule.” The Volcker Rule does not significantly impact the operations of the Company and the Bank, as we do not have any significant engagement in the businesses prohibited by the Volcker Rule.
Interchange Fees
Under the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, the Federal Reserve adopted rules establishing standards for assessing whether the interchange fees that may be charged with respect to certain electronic debit transactions are “reasonable and proportional” to the costs incurred by issuers for processing such transactions.
Interchange fees, or “swipe” fees, are charges that merchants pay to us and other card-issuing banks for processing electronic payment transactions. Under the final rules, the maximum permissible interchange fee is equal to no more than 21 cents plus 5 basis points of the transaction value for many types of debit interchange transactions. The Federal Reserve also adopted a rule to allow a debit card issuer to recover one cent per transaction for fraud prevention purposes if the issuer complies with certain fraud-related requirements required by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve also has rules governing routing and exclusivity that require issuers to offer two unaffiliated networks for routing transactions on each debit or prepaid product.
Incentive Compensation
The Dodd-Frank Act requires the federal bank regulators and the SEC to establish joint regulations or guidelines prohibiting incentive-based payment arrangements at specified regulated entities, including us and the Bank, having at least $1 billion in total assets that encourage inappropriate risks by providing an executive officer, employee, director or principal stockholder with excessive compensation, fees, or benefits or that could lead to material financial loss to the entity. In addition, these regulators must establish regulations or guidelines requiring enhanced disclosure to regulators of incentive-based compensation arrangements.
In June 2010, the Federal Reserve 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 organization’s incentive compensation arrangements should (i) provide incentives that appropriately balance risk and financial results in a manner that does not encourage employees to expose their organizations to imprudent risk, (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.
During the second quarter of 2016, the U.S. financial regulators, including the Federal Reserve and the SEC, proposed revised rules on incentive-based payment arrangements at specified regulated entities having at least $1 billion in total assets, but these proposed rules have not been finalized.
The Federal Reserve will review, as part of the regular, risk-focused examination process, the incentive compensation arrangements of banking organizations, such as us, that are not “large, complex banking organizations.” These reviews will be 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 the supervisory initiatives 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.

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Proposed Legislation
Proposed legislation relating to the banking industry is introduced in almost every legislative session. Certain of such legislation could dramatically affect the regulation of the banking industry. We cannot predict if any such legislation will be adopted or if it is adopted how it would affect the business of Columbia Bank or the Company. Recent history has demonstrated that new legislation or changes to existing laws or regulations usually results in a greater compliance burden and therefore generally increases the cost of doing business.
Effects of Government Monetary Policy
Our earnings and growth are affected not only by general economic conditions, but also by the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government, particularly the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve implements national monetary policy for such purposes as curbing inflation and combating recession, but its open market operations in U.S. government securities, control of the discount rate applicable to borrowings from the Federal Reserve, and establishment of reserve requirements against certain deposits, influence the growth of bank loans, investments and deposits, and also affect interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits. The nature and impact of future changes in monetary policies and their impact on us cannot be predicted with certainty.

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ITEM 1A.
RISK FACTORS
The following is a discussion of what we currently believe are the most significant risks and uncertainties that may affect our business, financial condition and future results.
National and global economic and other conditions could adversely affect our future results of operations or market price of our stock.
Our business is directly impacted by factors such as economic, political and market conditions, broad trends in industry and finance, changes in government monetary and fiscal policies and inflation, foreign policy, and financial market volatility, all of which are beyond our control. Global economies continue to face significant challenges to achieving normalized economic growth rates and there are continuing concerns related to the level of U.S. government debt and fiscal actions that may be taken to address that debt. There can be no assurance that economic conditions will continue to improve, and these conditions could worsen. Any renewed deterioration in the economies of the nation as a whole or in our markets would have an adverse effect, which could be material, on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, and could also cause the market price of our stock to decline.
Economic conditions in the market areas we serve may adversely impact our earnings and could increase our credit risk associated with our loan portfolio, the value of our investment portfolio and the availability of deposits.
Substantially all of our loan and deposit customers are businesses and individuals in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and soft economies in these market areas could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. A deterioration in the market areas we serve could result in the following consequences, any of which would have an adverse impact, which could be material, on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects:
loan delinquencies may increase;
problem assets and foreclosures may increase;
collateral for loans made may decline in value, in turn reducing customers’ borrowing power, reducing the value of assets and collateral associated with existing loans;
certain securities within our investment portfolio could become other-than-temporarily impaired, requiring a write-down through earnings to fair value, thereby reducing equity;
low cost or non-interest bearing deposits may decrease; and
demand for our loan and other products and services may decrease.
Concentrations within our loan portfolio could result in increased credit risk in a challenging economy.
While our loan portfolio is diversified across business sectors, it is concentrated in commercial real estate and commercial business loans. These types of loans generally are viewed as having more risk of default than residential real estate loans or certain other types of loans or investments. In fact, the FDIC has issued pronouncements alerting banks of its concern about heavy loan concentrations. Because our loan portfolio contains commercial real estate and commercial business loans with relatively large balances, the deterioration of one or a few of these loans may cause a significant increase in our nonperforming loans. An increase in nonperforming loans could result in a loss of earnings from these loans, an increase in the provision for loan losses, or an increase in loan charge-offs, any of which would have an adverse impact, which could be material, on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
A large percentage of our loan portfolio is secured by real estate, in particular commercial real estate. Deterioration in the real estate market or other segments of our loan portfolio would lead to additional losses.
At December 31, 2019, 60% of our total gross loans were secured by real estate. Any renewed downturn in the economies or real estate values in the markets we serve could have a material adverse effect on both borrowers’ ability to repay their loans and the value of the real property securing such loans. Our ability to recover on defaulted loans would then be diminished, and we would be more likely to suffer losses on defaulted loans, any or all of which would have an adverse impact, which could be material, on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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A failure in or breach of our operational or security systems, or those of our third party service providers, including as a result of cyber-attacks, could disrupt our business, result in unintentional disclosure or misuse of confidential or proprietary information, damage our reputation, increase our costs and cause losses.
As a financial institution, our operations rely heavily on the secure processing, storage and transmission of confidential and other information on our computer systems and networks. Any failure, interruption or breach in security or operational integrity of these systems could result in failures or disruptions in our online banking system, customer relationship management, general ledger, deposit and loan servicing and other systems. The security and integrity of our systems could be threatened by a variety of interruptions or information security breaches, including those caused by computer hacking, cyber- attacks, electronic fraudulent activity or attempted theft of financial assets. We may not be able to anticipate, detect, or implement effective preventative measures against all threats, particularly because the techniques used by cyber criminals change frequently, often are not recognized until launched and can be initiated from a variety of sources. We cannot assure you that we will be able to adequately address all such failures, interruptions or security breaches that may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. While we have certain protective policies and procedures in place, the nature and sophistication of the threats continue to evolve. We may be required to expend significant additional resources in the future to modify and enhance our protective measures.
Due to the complexity and interconnectedness of information technology systems, the process of enhancing our systems can itself create a risk of systems disruptions and security issues. Additionally, we face the risk of operational disruption, failure, termination or capacity constraints of any of the third parties that facilitate our business activities, including exchanges, clearing agents, clearing houses or other financial intermediaries. Such parties can also be the source of an attack on, or breach of, our operational systems. Any failures, interruptions or security breaches in our information systems could damage our reputation, result in a loss of customer business, result in a violation of privacy or other laws, or expose us to civil litigation, regulatory fines or losses not covered by insurance, all of which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The confidential information of our customers (including user names and passwords) can also be jeopardized from the compromise of customers’ personal electronic devices or as a result of a data security breach at an unrelated company. Losses due to unauthorized account activity could harm our reputation and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our allowance may not be adequate to cover future loan losses, which could adversely affect earnings.
We maintain an allowance for credit losses (for periods prior to January 1, 2020, referred to as the allowance for loan and lease losses) in an amount that we believe is adequate to provide for losses inherent in our loan portfolio. While we strive to carefully monitor credit quality and to identify loans that may become nonperforming, at any time there are loans in the portfolio that could result in losses, but that have not been identified as nonperforming or potential problem loans. We cannot be sure that we will be able to identify deteriorating loans before they become nonperforming assets, or that we will be able to limit losses on those loans that have been identified. Additionally, the process for determining the allowance requires different, subjective and complex judgments about the future impact from current economic conditions that might impair the ability of borrowers to repay their loans. As a result, future significant increases to the allowance may be necessary. Future increases to the allowance may be required based on changes in the composition of the loans comprising the portfolio, deteriorating values in underlying collateral (most of which consists of real estate) and changes in the financial condition of borrowers, such as may result from changes in economic conditions, or as a result of actual future events differing from assumptions used by management in determining the allowance.

We have adopted ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Topic 326) Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (“CECL”) effective January 1, 2020. This standard requires financial institutions to determine periodic estimates of lifetime expected credit losses on financial instruments and other commitments to extend credit. This standard changes the prior incurred loss model for recognizing credit losses, and adoption of the new standard requires us to increase our allowance, and may greatly increase the types of data we need to collect and review to determine the appropriate level of the allowance. 
Additionally, banking regulators, as an integral part of their supervisory function, periodically review our allowance. These regulatory agencies may require us to increase the allowance. Any increase in the allowance would have an adverse effect, which could be material, on our financial condition and results of operations.

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Nonperforming assets take significant time to resolve and could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Our nonperforming assets adversely affect our net income in various ways. We do not record interest income on nonaccrual loans, thereby adversely affecting our income and increasing loan administration costs. Assets acquired by foreclosure or similar proceedings are recorded at fair value less estimated costs to sell. The valuation of these foreclosed assets is periodically updated and resulting losses, if any, are charged to earnings in the period in which they are identified. An increase in the level of nonperforming assets also increases our risk profile and may impact the capital levels our regulators believe is appropriate in light of such risks. We utilize various techniques such as loan sales, workouts, and restructurings to manage our problem assets. Decreases in the value of these problem assets, the underlying collateral, or in the borrowers’ performance or financial condition would have an adverse impact, which could be material, on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In addition, the resolution of nonperforming assets requires significant commitments of time from management and staff, which can be detrimental to performance of their other responsibilities. We may experience increases in nonperforming loans in the future.
Acquisitions and the integration of acquired businesses subject us to various risks and may not result in all of the benefits anticipated, future acquisitions may be dilutive to current shareholders and future acquisitions may be delayed, impeded or prohibited due to regulatory issues.
We have in the past and expect in the future seek to grow our business by acquiring other businesses. Our acquisitions may not have the anticipated positive results, including results relating to: correctly assessing the asset quality of the assets being acquired; the total cost of integration including management attention and resources; the time required to complete the integration successfully; the amount of longer-term cost savings; being able to profitably deploy funds acquired in an acquisition; or the overall performance of the combined entity.
In addition, unexpected contingent liabilities can arise from the businesses we acquire. Integration of an acquired business can be complex and costly, sometimes including combining relevant accounting and data processing systems, financial reporting and management and internal controls, as well as managing relevant relationships with employees, clients, suppliers and other business partners. Integration efforts could divert management attention and resources, which could adversely affect these systems, processes or controls and our operations or results.
Acquisitions may also result in business disruptions that cause us to lose customers or cause customers to remove their accounts from us and move their business to competing financial institutions. It is possible that the integration process related to acquisitions could result in the disruption of our ongoing businesses or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies that could adversely affect our ability to maintain relationships with clients, customers, depositors and employees. The loss of key employees in connection with an acquisition could adversely affect our ability to successfully conduct our business.
We may engage in additional future acquisitions involving the issuance of additional common stock and/or cash. Any such acquisitions and related issuances of stock may have a dilutive effect on EPS, book value per share or the percentage ownership of current shareholders. The use of cash as consideration in any such acquisitions could impact our capital position and may require us to raise additional capital.
Furthermore, notwithstanding our recent acquisitions, we cannot provide any assurance as to the extent to which we can continue to grow through acquisitions as this will depend on the availability of prospective target opportunities at valuations we find attractive and other factors. Among other things, acquisitions by financial institutions are subject to approval by a variety of federal and state regulatory agencies. Regulatory approvals could be delayed, impeded, restrictively conditioned or denied due to existing or new regulatory issues we have, or may have, with regulatory agencies. In addition, the Northwest is experiencing intensified consolidation and we face significant competition from numerous other financial services institutions for attractive acquisition candidates, and many of these competitors have greater financial resources than we do.
Our assumptions regarding the fair value of assets acquired could be inaccurate, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and future prospects.
Management makes various assumptions and judgments about the collectability of acquired loans, including the creditworthiness of borrowers and the value of the real estate and other assets serving as collateral for the repayment of secured loans. If our assumptions are incorrect, significant earnings volatility can occur and credit loss provisions may be needed to respond to different economic conditions or adverse developments in the acquired loan portfolio. Any increase in future loan losses could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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Our management of capital could adversely affect profitability measures and the market price of our common stock and could dilute the holders of our outstanding common stock.
Our capital ratios are significantly higher than regulatory minimums. We may lower our capital ratios through selective acquisitions that meet our disciplined criteria, share repurchase plans, organic loan growth, investment in securities, or a combination of all four. We continually evaluate opportunities to expand our business through strategic acquisitions. There can be no assurance that we will be able to negotiate future acquisitions on terms acceptable to us.
Conversely, there may be circumstances under which it would be prudent to consider alternatives for raising capital to take advantage of significant acquisition opportunities or in response to changing economic conditions. In addition, we may need to raise additional capital in the future to have sufficient capital resources and liquidity to meet our commitments and fund our business needs and future growth, particularly if the quality of our assets or earnings were to deteriorate significantly. We may not be able to raise additional capital when needed on terms acceptable to us or at all. Our ability to raise additional capital, if needed, will depend on, among other things, conditions in the capital markets at the time, which are outside our control, and our financial performance. Further, if we need to raise capital in the future, we may have to do so when many other financial institutions are also seeking to raise capital and would then have to compete with those institutions for investors. An inability to raise additional capital on acceptable terms when needed could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In addition, any capital raising alternatives could dilute the holders of our outstanding common stock and may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
Conditions in the financial markets may limit access to additional funding to meet liquidity needs.
We may need or want to raise additional capital in the future to provide us with sufficient capital resources and liquidity to meet our commitments and business needs, particularly if our asset quality or earnings were to deteriorate significantly. Our ability to raise additional capital will depend on, among other things, conditions in the capital markets at that time, which are outside of our control, and our financial performance. Economic conditions and any loss of confidence in financial institutions generally may increase our cost of funding and limit access to certain customary sources of capital.
There can be no assurance that capital will be available on acceptable terms or at all. Any occurrence that may limit our access to the capital markets, such as a decline in the confidence of equity or debt purchasers, or counterparties participating in capital markets, may adversely affect our capital costs and our ability to raise capital and, potentially, our liquidity. Also, if we need to raise capital in the future, we may have to do so when many other financial institutions are also seeking to raise capital and would have to compete with those institutions for investors. An inability to raise additional capital on acceptable terms when needed could have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If the goodwill we have recorded in connection with acquisitions becomes impaired, it could have a material adverse impact on our earnings and shareholders’ equity.
Accounting standards require that we account for acquisitions using the acquisition method of accounting. Under acquisition accounting, if the purchase price of an acquired company exceeds the fair value of its net assets, the excess is carried on the acquirer’s balance sheet as goodwill. In accordance with GAAP, our goodwill is evaluated for impairment on an annual basis or more frequently if events or circumstances indicate that a potential impairment exists. Such evaluation may be based on a variety of factors, including the quoted price of our common stock, market prices of common stock of other banking organizations, common stock trading multiples, discounted cash flows, and data from comparable acquisitions. Future evaluations of goodwill may result in impairment and ensuing write-downs, which could have a material adverse impact on our earnings and shareholders’ equity.
Fluctuating interest rates could adversely affect our business.
Significant increases in market interest rates on loans, or the perception that an increase may occur, could adversely affect both our ability to originate new loans and our ability to grow. Conversely, decreases in interest rates could result in an acceleration of loan prepayments. An increase in market interest rates could also adversely affect the ability of our floating-rate borrowers to meet their higher payment obligations. If this occurred, it could cause an increase in nonperforming assets and charge offs, which could adversely affect our business.

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Further, our profitability is dependent to a large extent upon net interest income, which is the difference (or “spread”) between the interest earned on loans, securities and other interest-earning assets and the interest paid on deposits, borrowings, and other interest-bearing liabilities. Because of the differences in maturities and repricing characteristics of our interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, changes in interest rates do not produce equivalent changes in interest income earned on interest-earning assets and interest paid on interest-bearing liabilities. Accordingly, fluctuations in interest rates could adversely affect our interest rate spread, and, in turn, our profitability.
Interest rates on our outstanding financial instruments might be subject to change based on regulatory developments, which could adversely affect our revenue, expenses, and the value of those financial instruments.
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. It is unclear whether, at that time, LIBOR will continue to be viewed as an acceptable market benchmark, or what rate or rates may become acceptable alternatives to or replacements for LIBOR. If LIBOR ceases to be recognized as an acceptable benchmark or to exist or if an alternative rate or rates become accepted alternatives or replacements for LIBOR, interest rates on our 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 loans, deposits, derivatives, and other financial instruments tied to LIBOR rates.
Regulators, industry groups and certain committees (e.g., the Alternative Reference Rates Committee) have, among other things, published recommended fallback 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. At this time, it is not possible to predict whether these recommendations and proposals will be broadly accepted, whether they will continue to evolve, and what the effect of their implementation may be on the markets for floating-rate financial instruments
Our business depends on our ability to successfully manage credit risk.
The operation of our business requires us to manage credit risk. As a lender, we are exposed to the risk that our borrowers will be unable to repay their loans according to their terms, and that the collateral securing repayment of their loans, if any, may not be sufficient to ensure repayment. In addition, 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 relating to proper loan underwriting, risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions and risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers. In order to successfully manage credit risk, we must, among other things, maintain disciplined and prudent underwriting standards and ensure that our bankers follow those standards. The weakening of these standards for any reason, such as an attempt to attract higher yielding loans, a lack of discipline or diligence by our employees in underwriting and monitoring loans, the inability of our employees to adequately adapt policies and procedures to changes in economic or any other conditions affecting borrowers and the quality of our loan portfolio, may result in loan defaults, foreclosures and additional charge-offs and may necessitate that we increase our ALLL, each of which could adversely affect our net income. As a result, our inability to successfully manage credit risk could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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We operate in a highly regulated environment and changes to or increases in, or supervisory enforcement of, banking or other laws and regulations or governmental fiscal or monetary policies could adversely affect us.
We are subject to extensive regulation, supervision and examination by federal and state banking authorities. In addition, as a publicly-traded company, we are subject to regulation by the SEC. Any change in applicable regulations or federal, state or local legislation or in policies or interpretations or regulatory approaches to compliance and enforcement, income tax laws and accounting principles could have a substantial impact on us and our operations. Changes in laws and regulations may also increase our expenses by imposing additional fees or taxes or restrictions on our operations. Additional legislation and regulations that could significantly affect our powers, authority and operations may be enacted or adopted in the future, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Failure to appropriately comply with any such laws, regulations or principles could result in sanctions by regulatory agencies or damage to our reputation, all of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted in July 2010. Among other provisions, the legislation (i) created the CFPB with broad powers to regulate consumer financial products such as credit cards and mortgages, (ii) resulted in new capital requirements from federal banking agencies, (iii) placed new limits on electronic debit card interchange fees and (iv) required the SEC and national stock exchanges to adopt significant new corporate governance and executive compensation reforms, some of which have yet to be promulgated. The Dodd-Frank Act and regulations that have been adopted thereunder have increased the overall costs of regulatory compliance, and further regulatory developments whether related to Dodd-Frank or otherwise may lead to additional costs. In addition, the CFPB has broad rulemaking authority and is the principal federal regulatory agency responsible for the supervision and enforcement of a wide range of consumer protection laws for banks with greater than $10 billion in assets.  
If we fail to maintain appropriate levels of capital or liquidity, we could become subject to formal or informal enforcement actions that may impose restrictions on our business, including limiting our lending activities or our ability to expand, requiring us to raise additional capital (which may be dilutive to shareholders) or requiring regulatory approval to pay dividends or otherwise return capital to shareholders.
Further, regulators have significant discretion and authority to prevent or remedy unsafe or unsound practices or violations of laws or regulations by financial institutions and holding companies in the performance of their supervisory and enforcement duties. The exercise of regulatory authority may have an adverse impact, which could be material, on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Additionally, our business is affected significantly by the fiscal and monetary policies of the U.S. federal government and its agencies, including the Federal Reserve.
We cannot accurately predict the full effects of recent legislation or the various other governmental, regulatory, monetary and fiscal initiatives which have been and may be enacted on the financial markets, on the Company and on the Bank. The terms and costs of these activities, or any worsening of current financial market and economic conditions, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as the trading price of our common stock.
We may be required, in the future, to recognize impairment with respect to investment securities.
Our securities portfolio currently includes securities with unrecognized losses. At December 31, 2019, gross unrealized losses in our securities portfolio were $20.4 million. We may continue to observe declines in the fair market value of these securities. Securities issued by certain states and municipalities have recently come under scrutiny due to concerns about credit quality. Although management believes the credit quality of the Company’s state and municipal securities portfolio to be good, there can be no assurance that the credit quality of these securities will not decline in the future. We evaluate the securities portfolio for any other-than-temporary impairment each reporting period, as required by GAAP in the United States. There can be no assurance, however, that future evaluations of the securities portfolio will not require us to recognize impairment charges with respect to these and other holdings. For example, it is possible that government-sponsored programs to allow mortgages to be refinanced to lower rates could materially adversely impact the yield on our portfolio of mortgage-backed securities, since a significant portion of our investment portfolio is composed of such securities.
Substantial competition in our market areas could adversely affect us.
Commercial banking is a highly competitive business. We compete with other commercial banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions and finance, insurance and other non-depository companies operating in our market areas. We also experience competition, especially for deposits, from Internet-based banking institutions, which have grown rapidly in recent years. We are subject to substantial competition for loans and deposits from other financial institutions. Some of our competitors are not subject to the same degree of regulation and restriction as we are and/or have greater financial resources than we do. Some of our competitors may have liquidity issues, which could impact the pricing of deposits, loans and other financial products in our markets. Our inability to effectively compete in our market areas could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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We may not be able to attract or retain key employees.
Our success depends in significant part on the skills of our management team and our ability to retain, recruit and motivate key officers and employees. We expect our future success to be driven in large part by the relationships maintained with our clients by our executives and other key employees. Leadership changes will occur from time to time, and we cannot predict whether significant resignations or other departures will occur or whether we will be able to recruit additional qualified personnel. Competition for senior executives and skilled personnel in the financial services and banking industry is intense, which means the cost of hiring, incentivizing and retaining skilled personnel may continue to increase. We need to continue to attract and retain key personnel and to recruit qualified individuals to succeed existing key personnel to ensure the continued growth and successful operation of our business. The unexpected loss of any such employees, or the inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel in the future, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In addition, the scope and content of U.S. banking regulators' regulations and policies on incentive compensation, as well as changes to these regulations and policies, could adversely affect our ability to hire, retain and motivate our key employees.
Changes in accounting standards could materially impact our financial statements.
From time to time, the FASB and the SEC change the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. These changes can materially impact how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations.
FASB’s ASU 2016-13, Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Topic 326) Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, became effective on January 1, 2020. The amendments in this ASU introduce a new impairment model based on CECL rather than incurred losses. The CECL model applies to most debt instruments, including loan receivables and loan commitments.
Unlike the incurred loss models, the CECL model does not specify a threshold for the recognition of an impairment allowance. Rather, the Company must recognize an impairment allowance equal to its current estimate of expected credit losses for financial instruments as of the end of the reporting period. Measuring expected credit losses will most likely be a significant challenge for all entities, including the Company.
Further, the impairment allowance measured under the CECL model will differ from the impairment allowance measured under the Company’s prior incurred loss model. To initially apply the amendments, the Company has recorded a cumulative-effect adjustment to its Consolidated Balance Sheets as of January 1, 2020 (a modified retrospective approach). The adoption of the standard has resulted in an overall increase in the allowance for credit losses. It is also possible that the Company’s ongoing reported earnings and lending activity will be negatively impacted in periods following adoption.
There can be no assurance as to the level of dividends we may pay on our common stock.
Holders of our common stock are only entitled to receive such dividends as our board of directors declares out of funds legally available for such payments. Although we have historically declared cash dividends on our common stock, we are not required to do so and there may be circumstances under which we would eliminate our common stock dividend in the future. This could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
We rely on dividends and other payments from our bank for substantially all of our revenue.
We are a separate and distinct legal entity from the Bank, and we receive substantially all of our operating cash flows from dividends and other payments from the Bank. These dividends and payments are the principal source of funds to pay dividends on our capital stock and interest and principal on any debt we may have. Various federal and state laws and regulations limit the amount of dividends that the Bank may pay to us. Also, our right to participate in a distribution of assets upon a subsidiary’s liquidation or reorganization is subject to the prior claims of the subsidiary’s creditors. In the event the Bank is unable to pay dividends to us, we may not be able to service debt, pay obligations, or pay dividends on our common stock. The inability to receive dividends from the Bank could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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Our ability to sustain or improve upon existing performance is dependent upon our ability to respond to technological change, and we may have fewer resources than some of our competitors to continue to invest in technological improvements.
The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. The effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to better serve customers and to reduce costs. Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements than we do. Our future success will depend, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our clients by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy client demands for convenience, as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations. We may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to our customers. In addition, the implementation of technological changes and upgrades to maintain current systems and integrate new ones may also cause service interruptions, transaction processing errors and system conversion delays and may cause us to fail to comply with applicable laws. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully manage the risks associated with our increased dependency on technology.
We are exposed to the risk of environmental liabilities in connection with real properties acquired.
During the ordinary course of business, we 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 previously unknown or undisclosed hazardous or toxic substances are discovered, we may be liable for remediation costs, as well as for personal injury and property damage. Environmental laws may require us to incur substantial expenses which may materially reduce the affected property’s value or limit our ability to use or sell the affected property. In addition, future laws or more stringent interpretations or enforcement polices with respect to existing laws may increase our exposure to environmental liability. Although we have policies and procedures to perform an environmental review at the time of underwriting a loan secured by real property, and also 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 our financial condition and results of operations.
Significant legal or regulatory actions could subject us to substantial uninsured liabilities and reputational harm and have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
We are from time to time subject to claims and proceedings related to our operations. Claims and legal actions, including supervisory or enforcement actions by our regulators, or criminal proceedings by prosecutorial authorities, could involve large monetary claims, including civil money penalties or fines imposed by government authorities and significant defense costs. To mitigate the cost of some of these claims, we maintain insurance coverage in amounts and with deductibles that we believe are appropriate for our operations. However, our insurance coverage does not cover any civil money penalties or fines imposed by government authorities and may not cover all other claims that might be brought against us or continue to be available to us at a reasonable cost. As a result, we may be exposed to substantial uninsured liabilities, which could adversely affect our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition. Substantial legal liability or significant regulatory action against us could cause significant reputational harm to us and/or could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Because we primarily serve individuals and businesses located in the Northwest, any negative impact resulting from reputational harm, including any impact on our ability to attract and retain customers and employees, likely would be greater than if our business were more geographically diverse.
We are subject to a variety of operational risks, including reputational risk, legal risk and compliance risk, and the risk of fraud or theft by employees or outsiders, which may adversely affect our business and results of operations.
We are exposed to many types of operational risks, including reputational risk, legal and compliance risk, the risk of fraud or theft by employees or outsiders, and unauthorized transactions by employees or operational errors, including clerical or record-keeping errors or those resulting from faulty or disabled computer or telecommunications systems.
The public perception of financial institutions remains negative. Our reputation and businesses may be adversely affected by negative publicity or information regarding our businesses and personnel, whether or not accurate or true, that may be posted on social media or other Internet forums or published by news organizations. The speed and pervasiveness with which information can be disseminated through these channels, in particular social media, may magnify risks relating to negative publicity.

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If personal, non-public, confidential or proprietary information of customers in our possession were to be mishandled or misused, we could suffer significant regulatory consequences, reputational damage and financial loss. Such mishandling or misuse could include, for example, if such information were erroneously provided to parties who are not permitted to have the information, either by fault of our systems, employees, or counterparties, or where such information is intercepted or otherwise inappropriately taken by third parties.
Because the nature of the financial services business involves a high volume of transactions, certain errors may be repeated or compounded before they are discovered and successfully rectified. Our necessary dependence upon automated systems to record and process transactions and our large transaction volume may further increase the risk that technical flaws or employee tampering or manipulation of those systems will result in losses that are difficult to detect. We are also subject to disruptions of our operating systems arising from events that are wholly or partially beyond our control (for example, computer viruses or electrical or telecommunications outages, natural disasters, disease pandemics or other damage to property or physical assets) that can give rise to disruption of service to customers and to financial loss or liability. We are further exposed to the risk that our external vendors may be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations (or will be subject to the same risk of fraud or operational errors by their respective employees as we are) and to the risk that we (or our vendors’) business continuity and data security systems prove to be inadequate. The occurrence of any of these risks could result in a diminished ability of us to operate our business (for example, by requiring us to expend significant resources to correct the defect), as well as potential liability to clients, reputational damage and regulatory intervention, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures may adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Management regularly reviews and updates our internal control over financial reporting, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures. We maintain controls and procedures to mitigate risks such as processing system failures or errors and customer or employee fraud, and we maintain insurance coverage for certain of these risks. Any system of controls and procedures, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and provides only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Events could occur which are not prevented or detected by our internal controls, are not insured against, or are in excess of our insurance limits. Any failure or circumvention of our controls and procedures, or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our business is subject to the risks of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires and other natural catastrophic events.
A major catastrophe, such as an earthquake, tsunami, flood, fire or other natural disaster, could result in a prolonged interruption of our business. For example, our headquarters are located in Tacoma, Washington and we have operations throughout the Northwest, a geographical region that has been or may be affected by earthquake, tsunami and flooding activity. Because we primarily serve individuals and businesses in the Northwest, a natural disaster likely would have a greater impact on our business, operations and financial condition than if our business were more geographically diverse. The occurrence of any of these natural disasters could negatively impact our performance by disrupting our operations or the operations of our customers, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We have various anti-takeover measures that could impede a takeover.
Our articles of incorporation include certain provisions that could make it more difficult to acquire us by means of a tender offer, a proxy contest, merger or otherwise. These provisions include certain non-monetary factors that our board of directors may consider when evaluating a takeover offer, and a requirement that any “Business Combination” be approved by the affirmative vote of no less than 66 2/3% of the total shares attributable to persons other than a “Control Person.” These provisions may have the effect of lengthening the time required for a person to acquire control of us through a tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise, and may deter any potentially hostile offers or other efforts to obtain control of us. This could deprive our shareholders of opportunities to realize a premium for their Columbia common stock, even in circumstances where such action is favored by a majority of our shareholders.
ITEM 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.

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ITEM 2.     PROPERTIES
The Company’s principal properties include our corporate headquarters which is located at 13th & A Street, Tacoma, Washington, two operations facilities in Pierce County, Washington, one operations facility in Vancouver, Washington, and one operations facility in Wilsonville, Oregon.
The Company’s branch network as of December 31, 2019 is made up of 146 branches located throughout several Washington, Oregon and Idaho counties compared to 150 branches at December 31, 2018. The number of branches per state, as well as whether they are owned or operated under a lease agreement is detailed in the following table:
 
 
Number of
Branches
 
Occupancy Type
 
 
Owned
 
Leased
Washington branches
 
71

 
52

 
19

Oregon branches
 
61

 
34

 
27

Idaho branches
 
14

 
10

 
4

Total Columbia Bank branches
 
146

 
96

 
50

For additional information concerning our premises and equipment and lease obligations, see Notes 8 and 10 respectively, to the Consolidated Financial Statements in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this report.
ITEM 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
The Company and its subsidiaries are party to routine litigation arising in the ordinary course of business. Management believes that, based on information currently known to it, any liabilities arising from such litigation will not have a material adverse impact on the Company’s financial conditions, results of operations or cash flows.
ITEM 4.    MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.


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PART II
ITEM 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Common Stock
The Company’s common stock is traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC under the symbol “COLB.” At January 31, 2020, the number of shareholders of record was 3,208. This figure does not represent the actual number of beneficial owners of common stock because shares are frequently held in “street name” by securities dealers and others for the benefit of individual owners who may vote the shares.
At December 31, 2019, there were no stock options outstanding. Additional information about stock options and other equity compensation plans is included in Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this report.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
The following table provides information as of December 31, 2019, regarding securities issued and to be issued under our equity compensation plans that were in effect during 2019:
 
 
Year Ended December 31, 2019
 
 
Number of Shares to be
Issued Upon Exercise of
Outstanding Options and Rights
 
Weighted Average
Exercise Price of
Outstanding Options and Rights
 
Number of Shares
Remaining Available for
Future Issuance Under
Equity Compensation
Plans (1)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders
 

 
$

 
2,930,242

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders
 

 

 

 
__________
(1)
Includes 2,627,086 shares available for future issuance under the current stock option and equity compensation plan and 303,156 shares available for purchase under the Employee Stock Purchase Plan as of December 31, 2019.

The following table provides information about repurchases of common stock by the Company during the quarter ended December 31, 2019:
Period
 
Total Number of Common Shares Purchased (1)
 
Average Price Paid per Common Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plan (2)
 
Maximum Number of Remaining Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plan (2)
10/1/2019 - 10/31/2019
 
152,059

 
$
35.95

 
151,716

 
1,447,745

11/1/2019 - 11/30/2019
 
66

 
38.65

 

 
1,447,745

12/1/2019 - 12/31/2019
 
293

 
39.96

 

 
1,447,745

 
 
152,418

 
35.96

 
151,716

 
 
 __________
(1)
Common shares repurchased by the Company during the quarter consisted of cancellation of 702 shares of common stock to pay the shareholders’ withholding taxes and 151,716 shares of common stock purchased under the Company’s stock repurchase program.
(2)
On November 14, 2018, the board of directors approved a stock repurchase program. The program, as extended by the board of directors on October 23, 2019, authorizes the Company to repurchase up to 2.9 million shares of its outstanding stock, up to a maximum aggregate purchase price of $100.0 million through May 2020.

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Five-Year Stock Performance Graph
The following graph shows a five-year comparison of the total return to shareholders of Columbia’s common stock, the NASDAQ Composite Index (which is a broad nationally recognized index of stock performance by companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market) and the KBW Regional Banking Index (comprised of 50 banks and bank holding companies headquartered throughout the country, including Columbia).
The definition of total return includes appreciation in market value of the stock as well as the actual cash and stock dividends paid to shareholders. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in Columbia’s common stock, the NASDAQ Composite and the KBW Regional Banking Index was $100 on December 31, 2014, and that all dividends were reinvested.
 403024676_performance_graph.jpg

Index
 
Period Ending
12/31/2014
 
12/31/2015
 
12/31/2016
 
12/31/2017
 
12/31/2018
 
12/31/2019
Columbia Banking System, Inc.
 
100.00

 
122.92