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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
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
For the transition period from                      to                     
Commission File Number 1-11277
VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
New Jersey
 
22-2477875
(State or other jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
 
 
 
 
One Penn Plaza
 
 
New York,
NY
 
10119
(Address of principal executive office)
 
(Zip code)
973-305-8800
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbols
Name of exchange on which registered
Common Stock, no par value
VLY
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A, no par value
VLYPP
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series B, no par value
VLYPO
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.   Yes  No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files.)    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act (check one):
Large accelerated filer
 
Accelerated filer
  
Smaller reporting company
 
Non-accelerated filer
 
 
  
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  
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $3.5 billion on June 30, 2019.
There were 403,748,667 shares of Common Stock outstanding at March 10, 2020.
Documents incorporated by reference:
Certain portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement (the “2020 Proxy Statement”) for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held May 1, 2020 will be incorporated by reference in Part III. The 2020 Proxy Statement will be filed within 120 days of December 31, 2019.
 
 





TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
 
 
Page
PART I
 
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
 
 
 
PART II
 
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
 
Valley National Bancorp and Subsidiaries:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
 
 
PART III
 
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
 
 
PART IV
 
 
Item 15.
 






PART I
 
Item 1.
Business
The disclosures set forth in this item are qualified by Item 1A—Risk Factors and the section captioned “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements” in Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of this report and other cautionary statements set forth elsewhere in this report.
Valley National Bancorp, headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, is a New Jersey corporation organized in 1983 and is registered as a bank holding company with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (“Holding Company Act”). The words “Valley,” “the Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Valley National Bancorp and its wholly owned subsidiaries, unless we indicate otherwise. At December 31, 2019, Valley had consolidated total assets of $37.4 billion, total net loans of $29.5 billion, total deposits of $29.2 billion and total shareholders’ equity of $4.4 billion. In addition to its principal subsidiary, Valley National Bank (commonly referred to as the “Bank” in this report), Valley owns all of the voting and common shares of GCB Capital Trust III, State Bancorp Capital Trusts I and II, and Aliant Statutory Trust II at December 31, 2019 through which trust preferred securities were issued. These trusts are not consolidated subsidiaries. See Note 12 to the consolidated financial statements.
Valley National Bank is a national banking association chartered in 1927 under the laws of the United States. Currently, the Bank has 238 branches serving northern and central New Jersey, the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Long Island, Florida and Alabama. The Bank offers a full suite of banking solutions through various commercial, retail, insurance and wealth management financial services products. These products include, but are not limited to, traditional commercial and industrial lending, commercial real estate financing, small business loans, equipment, basic consumer and commercial deposit products, personal financing solutions such as residential mortgages, home equity loans and automobile financing, as well as solutions for homeowners associations and a full service line of cash management solutions. The Bank provides a variety of banking services including automated teller machines, telephone and internet banking, remote deposit capture, overdraft facilities, drive-in and night deposit services, and safe deposit facilities. In addition, certain international banking services are available to customers including standby letters of credit, documentary letters of credit and related products, and certain ancillary services such as foreign exchange transactions, documentary collections, foreign wire transfers, as well as transaction accounts for non-resident aliens.
Our primary focus is to build and develop profitable customer relationships across all lines of business and create a convenient and innovative omni-channel customer experience beyond our traditional branch footprint, including our recent launch of ValleyDirect on-line savings account.
Valley National Bank’s wholly-owned subsidiaries are all included in the consolidated financial statements of Valley (See Exhibit 21 at Part IV, Item 15 for a list of subsidiaries). These subsidiaries include, but are not limited to:
an insurance agency offering property and casualty, life and health insurance;
an asset management adviser that is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
a title insurance agency in New York which also provides services in New Jersey;
subsidiaries which hold, maintain and manage investment assets for the Bank;
a subsidiary which specializes in health care equipment lending and other commercial equipment leases; and
a subsidiary which owns and services New York commercial loans.
The Bank’s subsidiaries also include real estate investment trust subsidiaries (the REIT subsidiaries) which own real estate related investments and a REIT subsidiary, which owns some of the real estate utilized by the Bank and related real estate investments. Except for Valley’s REIT subsidiaries, all subsidiaries mentioned above are directly or indirectly wholly owned by the Bank. Because each REIT must have 100 or more shareholders to qualify as a REIT, each REIT has issued less than 20 percent of its outstanding non-voting preferred stock to individuals, most of whom are current and former (non-executive officer) Bank employees. The Bank owns the remaining preferred stock and all the common stock of the REITs.
Recent Acquisitions
Valley has grown significantly in the past five years primarily through bank acquisitions that expanded our branch footprint into Florida. Recent bank transactions are discussed further below.

 
3
2019 Form 10-K




Oritani Financial Corp. On December 1, 2019, Valley completed its acquisition of Oritani Financial Corp. ("Oritani") and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oritani Bank. Oritani had approximately $4.3 billion in assets, $3.4 billion in net loans, $2.9 billion in deposits, after purchase accounting adjustments, and a branch network of 26 locations. The acquisition represents a significant addition to Valley's New Jersey franchise, and will meaningfully enhance its presence in the Bergen County market. The common shareholders of Oritani received 1.60 shares of Valley common stock for each Oritani share that they owned prior to merger. The total consideration for the acquisition was approximately $835 million, consisting of approximately 71.1 million shares of Valley common stock and the outstanding Oritani stock-based awards.
USAmeriBancorp, Inc. On January 1, 2018, Valley completed its acquisition of USAmeriBancorp, Inc. (USAB) headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. USAB, largely through its wholly-owned subsidiary, USAmeriBank, had approximately $5.1 billion in assets, $3.7 billion in net loans and $3.6 billion in deposits, after purchase accounting adjustments, and maintained a branch network of 29 offices at December 31, 2018. The acquisition represents a significant addition to Valley’s Florida presence, primarily in the Tampa Bay market. The acquisition also brought Valley to the Birmingham, Montgomery, and Tallapoosa areas in Alabama, where USAB maintained 15 of its branches. The common shareholders of USAB received 6.1 shares of Valley common stock for each USAB share they owned prior to merger. The total consideration for the acquisition was approximately $737 million, consisting of 64.9 million shares of Valley common stock and the outstanding USAB stock-based awards.
CNLBancshares, Inc. On December 1, 2015, Valley completed its acquisition of CNLBancshares, Inc. (CNL) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, CNLBank, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, a commercial bank with approximately $1.6 billion in assets, $825 million in loans, $1.2 billion in deposits and 16 branch offices on the date of its acquisition by Valley. The acquired branches allowed us to service Florida's west coast markets of Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers and Sarasota. We also added three offices in the Jacksonville area and expanded our presence in the Orlando market. The common shareholders of CNL received 0.705 of a share of Valley common stock for each CNL share they owned prior to the merger. The total consideration for the acquisition was approximately $230 million, consisting of 20.6 million shares of Valley common stock.
Business Segments
Our business segments are reassessed by management, at least on an annual basis, to ensure the proper identification and reporting of our operating segments. Valley currently reports the results of its operations and manages its business through four business segments: commercial lending, consumer lending, investment management, and corporate and other adjustments. Valley’s Wealth Management Division comprised of trust, asset management and insurance services, is included in the consumer lending segment. See Note 23 to the consolidated financial statements for details of the financial performance of our business segments. We offer a variety of products and services within the commercial and consumer lending segments as described below.

Commercial Lending Segment
Commercial and industrial loans. Commercial and industrial loans totaled approximately $4.8 billion and represented 16.2 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2019. We make commercial loans to small and middle market businesses most often located in New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama. Loans originated from Florida accounted for approximately 30 percent of total commercial and industrial loans at December 31, 2019 as compared to 28 percent of such loans at December 31, 2018. A significant proportion of Valley’s commercial and industrial loan portfolio is granted to long-standing customers of proven ability, strong repayment performance, and high character. Underwriting standards are designed to assess the borrower’s ability to generate recurring cash flow sufficient to meet the debt service requirements of loans granted. While such recurring cash flow serves as the primary source of repayment, most of the loans are collateralized by borrower assets intended to serve as a secondary source of repayment should the need arise. Anticipated cash flows of borrowers, however, may not occur as expected and the collateral securing these loans may fluctuate in value. In the case of loans secured by accounts receivable, the ability of the borrower to collect all amounts due from its customers may be impaired. Our loan decisions include consideration of a borrower’s willingness to repay debts, collateral coverage, standing in the community and other forms of support. Strong consideration is given to long-term existing customers that have maintained a favorable relationship with the Bank. Commercial loan products offered consist of term loans for equipment purchases, working capital lines of credit that assist our customers’ financing of accounts receivable and inventory, and commercial mortgages for owner occupied properties. Working capital advances are generally used to finance seasonal requirements and are repaid at the end of the cycle. Short-term commercial business loans may be collateralized by a lien on accounts receivable, inventory, equipment and/or partly collateralized by real estate. Short-term loans may also be made on an unsecured basis based on a borrower’s financial strength and past performance. Whenever possible, we obtain the personal guarantee of the borrower’s principals to mitigate the risk. Unsecured loans, when made, are generally granted to the Bank’s most creditworthy borrowers. Unsecured commercial and industrial loans totaled $606.1 million at December 31, 2019. In addition, we provide financing to the health care and industrial equipment leasing market through our leasing subsidiary, Highland Capital Corp.

2019 Form 10-K
4
 




The commercial portfolio also includes approximately $107.5 million and $7.3 million of New York City and Chicago taxi medallion loans at December 31, 2019, respectively, which we continue to closely monitor due to the weakness exhibited in the taxi industry caused by strong competition from alternative ride-sharing services. At December 31, 2019, the medallion portfolio included impaired loans totaling $87.1 million with related reserves of $35.5 million within the allowance for loan losses. While most of the taxi medallion loans within the portfolio at December 31, 2019 are currently performing to their contractual terms, negative trends in the market valuations of the underlying taxi medallion collateral and a decline in borrower cash flows, among other factors, could impact the future performance of this portfolio. See the “Non-performing Assets” section of “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” (MD&A) for additional information regarding our taxi medallion loans.
Commercial real estate loans. Commercial real estate and construction loans totaled $17.6 billion and represented 59.5 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2019. We originate commercial real estate loans that are secured by various diversified property types across the New York metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) along with Florida and our Alabama footprint. Property types in this portfolio range from multi-family residential properties to non-owner occupied commercial, industrial/warehouse and retail. Loans originated from Florida lending represented 25 percent of the total commercial real estate loans at December 31, 2019 as compared to 28 percent of such loans at December 31, 2018. Loans are generally written on an adjustable basis with rates tied to a specifically identified market rate index. Adjustment periods generally range between five to ten years and repayment is generally structured on a fully amortizing basis for terms up to thirty years. Commercial real estate loans are subject to underwriting standards and processes similar to commercial and industrial loans but generally they involve larger principal balances and longer repayment periods as compared to commercial and industrial loans. Commercial real estate loans are viewed primarily as cash flow loans and secondarily as loans secured by real property. Repayment of most loans is dependent upon the cash flow generated from the property securing the loan or the business that occupies the property. Commercial real estate loans may be more adversely affected by conditions in the real estate markets or in the general economy and accordingly, conservative loan to value ratios are required at origination, as well as stress tested to evaluate the impact of market changes relating to key underwriting elements. The properties securing the commercial real estate portfolio represent diverse types, with most properties located within Valley’s primary markets. With respect to loans to developers and builders, we originate and manage construction loans structured on either a revolving or a non-revolving basis, depending on the nature of the underlying development project. Our construction loans totaling approximately $1.6 billion at December 31, 2019 are generally secured by the real estate to be developed and may also be secured by additional real estate to mitigate the risk. Within our construction portfolio we have a diverse mix of both residential (for sale and rental) and commercial development projects. Non-revolving construction loans often involve the disbursement of substantially all committed funds with repayment substantially dependent on the successful completion and sale, or lease, of the project. Sources of repayment for these types of loans may be from pre-committed permanent loans from other lenders, sales of developed property, or an interim loan commitment from Valley until permanent financing is obtained elsewhere. Revolving construction loans (generally relating to single-family residential construction) are controlled with loan advances dependent upon the presale of housing units financed. These loans are closely monitored by on-site inspections and are considered to have higher risks than other real estate loans due to their ultimate repayment being sensitive to interest rate changes, governmental regulation of real property, general economic conditions and the availability of long-term financing.
Consumer Lending Segment
Residential mortgage loansResidential mortgage loans totaled $4.4 billion and represented 14.7 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2019. Our residential mortgage loans include fixed and variable interest rate loans mostly located in New Jersey, New York and Florida. Valley’s ability to be repaid on such loans is closely linked to the economic and real estate market conditions in our lending markets. We also make mortgage loans secured by homes beyond this primary geographic area; however, lending outside this primary area is generally made in support of existing customer relationships, as well as targeted purchases of loans guaranteed by third parties. Mortgage loan originations are based on underwriting standards that generally comply with Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac requirements. Appraisals and valuations of real estate collateral are contracted through an approved appraisal management company. The appraisal management company adheres to all regulatory requirements. The Bank’s appraisal management policy and procedure is in accordance with regulatory requirements and guidance issued by the Bank’s primary regulator. Credit scoring, using FICO® and other proprietary, credit scoring models is employed in the ultimate, judgmental credit decision by Valley’s underwriting staff. Valley does not use third party contract underwriting services. In deciding whether to originate each residential mortgage, Valley considers the qualifications of the borrower, the value of the underlying property and other factors that we believe are predictive of future loan performance. Valley originated first mortgages include both fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) products with 10-year to 30-year maturities. The adjustable rate loans have a fixed-rate, fixed payment, introductory period of 5 to 10 years that is selected by the borrower. The adjustable rate residential mortgage loans totaled approximately $1.0 billion and $898 million at December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Additionally, Valley began to originate interest-only (i.e., non-amortizing) residential mortgage loans during 2017 due to demand for this type of loan product in the New York City and northern New Jersey markets. Valley's interest-only residential mortgage loans have 15-year to 30-year maturities and totaled $54.6 million (or 1.3 percent of the total residential mortgage loan portfolio) at December 31, 2019. The

 
5
2019 Form 10-K




Bank is also a servicer of residential mortgage portfolios, and it is compensated for loan administrative services performed for mortgage servicing rights related primarily to loans originated and sold by the Bank. See Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements for further details.
Other consumer loans. Other consumer loans totaled $2.9 billion and represented 9.6 percent of the total loan portfolio at December 31, 2019. Our other consumer loan portfolio is primarily comprised of direct and indirect automobile loans, loans secured by the cash surrender value of life insurance, home equity loans and lines of credit, and to a lesser extent, secured and unsecured other consumer loans (including credit card loans). Valley is an auto lender in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Connecticut, Delaware and Alabama offering indirect auto loans secured by either new or used automobiles. Automobile originations (including light truck and sport utility vehicles) are largely produced via indirect channels, originated through approved automobile dealers. Valley acquired an immaterial amount of automobile loans from its bank acquisitions in Florida since 2014, as auto lending was not a focus of the acquired operations. However, we implemented our indirect auto lending model in Florida during 2015, and Alabama in 2018 using our New Jersey based underwriting and loan servicing platform. The relatively new Florida auto dealer network generated over $169 million and $154 million of auto loans in 2019 and 2018, respectively, while the auto loans originated from Alabama totaled $39.4 million in 2019 as compared to $5.4 million in 2018. Home equity lending consists of both fixed and variable interest rate products mainly to provide home equity loans to our residential mortgage customers or take a secondary position to another lender’s first lien position within the footprint of our primary lending territories. We generally will not exceed a combined (i.e., first and second mortgage) loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent when originating a home equity loan. Other consumer loans include direct consumer term loans, both secured and unsecured, but are largely comprised of personal lines of credit secured by cash surrender value of life insurance. The product is mainly originated through the Bank’s retail branch network and third party financial advisors. Unsecured consumer loans totaled approximately $53.9 million, including $8.2 million of credit card loans, at December 31, 2019.
Wealth Management. Our Wealth Management and Insurance Services Division provides asset management advisory services, trust services, commercial and personal insurance products, and title insurance. Asset management advisory services include investment services for individuals and small to medium sized businesses, trusts and custom -tailored investment strategies designed for various types of retirement plans. Trust services include living and testamentary trusts, investment management, custodial and escrow services, and estate administration, primarily to individuals.
Investment Management Segment
Although we are primarily focused on our lending and wealth management services, a large portion of our income is generated through investments in various types of securities, and depending on our liquid cash position, interest-bearing deposits with banks (primarily the Federal Reserve Bank of New York), as part of our asset/liability management strategies. As of December 31, 2019, our total investment securities and interest bearing deposits with banks were $3.9 billion and $178.4 million, respectively. See the “Investment Securities Portfolio” section of the MD&A and Note 4 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information concerning our investment securities.
Changes in Loan Portfolio Composition
At December 31, 2019 and 2018, approximately 76 percent and 74 percent, respectively, of Valley’s gross loans totaling $29.7 billion and $25.0 billion, respectively, consisted of commercial real estate (including construction loans), residential mortgage, and home equity loans. The remaining 24 percent and 26 percent at December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively, consisted of loans not collateralized by real estate. Valley has no internally planned changes that would significantly impact the current composition of our loan portfolio by loan type. However, we have continued to diversify the geographic concentrations in the New Jersey and New York City Metropolitan area within our loan portfolio primarily through our bank acquisitions in Florida since 2014, including our acquisition of USAB on January 1, 2018. Many external factors outlined in “Item 1A. Risk Factors”, the “Executive Summary” section of our MD&A, and elsewhere in this report may impact our ability to maintain the current composition of our loan portfolio. See the “Loan Portfolio” section of Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) in this report for further discussion of our loan composition and concentration risks.






2019 Form 10-K
6
 




The following table presents the loan portfolio segments by state as an approximate percentage of each applicable segment and our percentage of total loans by state at December 31, 2019. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Percentage of Loan Portfolio Segment:
 
 
 
Commercial and Industrial
 
Commercial
Real Estate
 
Residential
 
Consumer
 
% of Total
Loans
New Jersey
27
%
 
28
%
 
41
%
 
36
%
 
30
%
New York
27

 
37

 
28

 
28

 
34

Florida
30

 
25

 
20

 
17

 
24

Pennsylvania
1

 
3

 
2

 
8

 
3

Alabama
1

 
2

 
1

 
2

 
2

California
2

 
1

 
4

 
1

 
1

Connecticut
1

 
*

 
1

 
2

 
1

Other
11

 
4

 
3

 
6

 
5

Total
100
%
 
100
%
 
100
%
 
100
%
 
100
%
 
 
*
Represents less than one percent of the loan portfolio segment.

Risk Management
Financial institutions must manage a variety of business risks that can significantly affect their financial performance. Significant risks we confront are credit risks and asset/liability management risks, which include interest rate and liquidity risks. Credit risk is the risk of not collecting payments pursuant to the contractual terms of loan, lease and investment assets. Interest rate risk results from changes in interest rates which may impact the re-pricing of assets and liabilities in different amounts or at different dates. Liquidity risk is the risk that we will be unable to fund obligations to loan customers, depositors or other creditors at a reasonable cost.

Valley’s Board performs its risk oversight function primarily through several standing committees, including the Risk Committee, all of which report to the full Board. The Risk Committee assists the Board by, among other things, establishing an enterprise-wide risk management framework that is appropriate for Valley’s capital, business activities, size and risk appetite. The Risk Committee also reviews and recommends to the Board appropriate risk tolerances and limits for strategic, credit, interest rate, liquidity, compliance, operational (including information security risk), reputation and price risk (and ensures that risks are managed within those tolerances), and monitors compliance with applicable laws and regulations. With guidance from and oversight by the Risk Committee, management continually refines and enhances its risk management policies, procedures and monitoring programs to maintain risk management programs and processes.

In May 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “EGRRCPA”) was signed into law. On July 6, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a joint interagency statement regarding the impact of the EGRRCPA. As a result of this statement and the EGRRCPA, Valley and the Bank are no longer subject to Dodd-Frank Act stress testing requirements. While Valley is no longer required to publish company-run annual stress tests, it continues to internally run stress tests of its capital position that are subject to review by Valley's primary regulators. Additionally, the results of the internal stress tests are considered in combination with other risk management and monitoring practices at Valley to maintain an effective risk management program.
Cyber Security
Information security is a significant operational risk for Valley. Information security includes the risk of losses resulting from cyber-attacks. Valley frequently experiences attempted cyber security attacks against its systems. However, to date, none of these incidents have resulted in material losses, known breaches of customer data or significant disruption of services to our customers. Within the past few years, we have significantly increased the resources dedicated to cyber security. We believe that further increases are likely to be required in the future, in anticipation of increases in the sophistication and persistency of cyber-attacks. We employ personnel dedicated to overseeing the infrastructure and systems necessary to defend against cyber security incidents. Senior management is briefed on information and cyber security matters, preparedness and any incidents requiring a response.


 
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Valley’s Board through its Risk Committee has primary oversight responsibility for information security and receives regular updates and reporting from management on information and cyber security matters, including information related to any third-party assessments of Valley’s cyber program. The Risk Committee periodically approves Valley’s information security policies.

We may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures, to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures and if we experienced a cyber security breach of customer data, to make required notifications to customers and disclosure to government officials. As a result, cyber security and the continued development and enhancement of the controls and processes designed to protect our systems, computers, software, data and networks from attack, damage or unauthorized access is a high priority for us. While we have faith in our cyber security practices and personnel, we also know we are not immune from a costly and successful attack.

Credit Risk Management and Underwriting Approach
Credit risk management. For all loan types, we adhere to a credit policy designed to minimize credit risk while generating the maximum income given the level of risk appetite. Management reviews and approves these policies and procedures on a regular basis with subsequent approval by the Board of Directors annually. Credit authority relating to a significant dollar percentage of the overall portfolio is centralized and controlled by the Credit Risk Management Division and by a Credit Committee. A reporting system supplements the review process by providing management with frequent reports concerning loan production, loan quality, internal loan classifications, concentrations of credit, loan delinquencies, non-performing, and potential problem loans. Loan portfolio diversification is an important factor utilized by us to manage the portfolio’s risk across business sectors and through cyclical economic circumstances.
Our historical and current loan underwriting practice prohibits the origination of payment option adjustable residential mortgages which allow for negative interest amortization and subprime loans. Virtually all of our residential mortgage loan originations in recent years have conformed to rules requiring documentation of income, assets sufficient to close the transactions and debt to income ratios that support the borrower’s ability to repay under the loan’s proposed terms and conditions. These rules are applied to all loans originated for retention in our portfolio or for sale in the secondary market.
Loan underwriting and loan documentation. Loans are well documented in accordance with specific and detailed underwriting policies and verification procedures. General underwriting guidance is consistent across all loan types with possible variations in procedures and due diligence dictated by specific loan requests. Due diligence standards require acquisition and verification of sufficient financial information to determine a borrower’s or guarantor’s credit worthiness, capital support, capacity to repay, collateral support, and character. Credit worthiness is generally verified using personal or business credit reports from independent credit reporting agencies. Capital support is determined by acquisition of independent verifications of deposits, investments or other assets. Capacity to repay the loan is based on verifiable liquidity and earnings capacity as shown on financial statements and/or tax returns, banking activity levels, operating statements, rent rolls or independent verification of employment. Finally, collateral valuation is determined via appraisals from independent, bank-approved, certified or licensed property appraisers, valuation services, or readily available market resources.
Types of collateral. Loan collateral, when required, may consist of any one or a combination of the following asset types depending upon the loan type and intended purpose: commercial or residential real estate; general business assets including working assets such as accounts receivable, inventory, or fixed assets such as equipment or rolling stock; marketable securities or other forms of liquid assets such as bank deposits or cash surrender value of life insurance; automobiles; or other assets wherein adequate protective value can be established and/or verified by reliable outside independent appraisers. In addition to these types of collateral, we, in many cases, will obtain the personal guarantee of the borrower’s principals or an affiliated corporate entity to mitigate the risk of certain commercial and industrial loans and commercial real estate loans.
Many times, we will underwrite loans to legal entities formed for the limited purpose of the business which is being financed. Credit granted to these entities and the ultimate repayment of such loans is primarily based on the cash flow generated from the property securing the loan or the business that occupies the property. The underlying real property securing the loans is considered a secondary source of repayment, and normally such loans are also supported by guarantees of the legal entity members. Absent such guarantees or approval by our credit committee, our commercial real estate underwriting guidelines require that the loan to value ratio (at origination) should not exceed 60 percent, except for certain low risk loan categories where the loan to value ratio requirement may be higher, based on the estimated market value of the property as established by an independent licensed appraiser.
Reevaluation of collateral values. Commercial loan renewals, refinancings and other subsequent transactions that include the advancement of new funds or result in the extension of the amortization period beyond the original term, require a new or updated appraisal. Renewals, refinancings and other subsequent transactions that do not include the advancement of new funds (other than for reasonable closing costs) or, in the case of commercial loans, the extension of the amortization period beyond the original term, do not require a new appraisal unless management believes there has been a material change in market conditions

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or the physical aspects of the property which may negatively impact the collectability of our loan. In general, the period of time an appraisal continues to be relevant will vary depending upon the circumstances affecting the property and the marketplace. Examples of factors that could cause material changes to reported values include the passage of time, the volatility of the local market, the availability of financing, the inventory of competing properties, new improvements to, or lack of maintenance of, the subject or competing surrounding properties, changes in zoning and environmental contamination.
Certain impaired loans are reported at the fair value of the underlying collateral (less estimated selling costs) if repayment is expected solely from the collateral and are commonly referred to as “collateral dependent impaired loans.” Collateral values for such loans are typically estimated using individual appraisals performed every 12 months (or 18 months for impaired loans no greater than $1.0 million with current loan to value ratios less than 75 percent). Between scheduled appraisals, property values are monitored within the commercial portfolio by reference to recent trends in commercial property sales as published by leading industry sources. Property values are monitored within the residential mortgage portfolio by reference to available market indicators, including real estate price indices within Valley’s primary lending areas.
All refinanced residential mortgage loans require new appraisals for loans held in our loan portfolio. However, certain residential mortgage loans may be originated for sale and sold without new appraisals when the investor (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) presents a refinance of an existing government sponsored enterprise loan without the benefit of a new appraisal. Additionally, all loan types are assessed for full or partial charge-off when they are between 90 and 120 days past due (or sooner when the borrowers’ obligation has been released in bankruptcy) based upon their estimated net realizable value. See Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information concerning our loan portfolio risk elements, credit risk management and our loan charge-off policy.
Loan Renewals and Modifications
In the normal course of our lending business, we may renew loans to existing customers upon maturity of the existing loan. These renewals are granted provided that the new loan meets our standard underwriting criteria for such loan type. Additionally, on a case-by-case basis, we may extend, restructure, or otherwise modify the terms of existing loans from time to time to remain competitive and retain certain profitable customers, as well as assist customers who may be experiencing financial difficulties. If the borrower is experiencing financial difficulties and a concession has been made at the time of such modification, the loan is classified as a troubled debt restructured loan (TDR).
The majority of the concessions made for TDRs involve lowering the monthly payments on loans through either a reduction in interest rate below a market rate, an extension of the term of the loan without a corresponding adjustment to the risk premium reflected in the interest rate, or a combination of these two methods. The concessions rarely result in the forgiveness of principal or accrued interest. In addition, Valley frequently obtains additional collateral or guarantor support when modifying such loans. If the borrower has demonstrated performance under the previous terms and Valley’s underwriting process shows the borrower has the capacity to continue to perform under the restructured terms, the loan will continue to accrue interest. Non-accruing restructured loans may be returned to accrual status when there has been a sustained period of repayment performance (generally six consecutive months of payments) and both principal and interest are deemed collectible.
Extension of Credit to Past Due Borrowers
Loans are placed on non-accrual status generally when they become 90 days past due and the full and timely collection of principal and interest becomes uncertain. Valley prohibits the advancement of additional funds on non-accrual and TDR loans, except under certain workout plans if such extension of credit is intended to mitigate losses.
Loans Originated by Third Parties
From time to time, the Bank makes purchases of commercial real estate loans and loan participations, residential mortgage loans, automobile loans, and other loan types, originated by, and sometimes serviced by, other financial institutions. The purchase decision is usually based on several factors, including current loan origination volumes, market interest rates, excess liquidity, our continuous efforts to meet the credit needs of certain borrowers under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), as well as other asset/liability management strategies. Valley purchased approximately $35 million and $105 million of 1-4 family loans, qualifying for CRA purposes during 2019 and 2018, respectively. All of the purchased loans are selected using Valley’s normal underwriting criteria at the time of purchase, or in some cases guaranteed by third parties. Purchased commercial and industrial, and commercial real estate participation loans are generally seasoned loans with expected shorter durations. Additionally, each purchased participation loan is stress-tested by Valley to assure its credit quality.



 
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Purchased commercial loans (including commercial and industrial and commercial real estate loans), and residential mortgage loans totaled approximately $741.7 million and $955.2 million, respectively, at December 31, 2019 representing 3.56 percent, and 21.82 percent of our total commercial and residential mortgage loans, respectively.
At December 31, 2019, the commercial real estate loans originated by third parties had loans past due 30 days or more totaling 1.51 percent as compared to 0.12 percent for our total commercial real estate portfolio, including all delinquencies. Residential mortgage loans originated by third parties had loans past due 30 days or more totaling 1.85 percent of these loans at December 31, 2019 as compared to 0.53 percent for our total residential mortgage portfolio.
Additionally, Valley has performed credit due diligence on the majority of the loans acquired in our bank acquisitions (disclosed under the "Recent Acquisitions" section above) in determining the estimated cash flows receivable from such loans. See the "Loan Portfolio" section of our MD&A of this report below for additional information.
Competition
Valley National Bank is one of the largest commercial banks headquartered in New Jersey, with its primary markets located in northern and central New Jersey, the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Long Island, Florida and Alabama. Valley ranked 17th in competitive ranking and market share based on the deposits reported by 187 FDIC-insured financial institutions in the New York, Northern New Jersey and Long Island deposit markets as of June 30, 2019. The FDIC also ranked Valley 7th, 37th, 22nd, and 16th in the states of New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Alabama, respectively, based on deposit market share as of June 30, 2019. While our FDIC rankings reflect a solid foundation in our primary markets, the market for banking and bank-related services is highly competitive and we face substantial competition in all phases of our operations. In addition to the FDIC-insured commercial banks in our principal metropolitan markets, we also compete with other providers of financial services such as savings institutions, credit unions, mutual funds, captive finance companies, mortgage companies, title agencies, asset managers, insurance companies and a growing list of other local, regional and national companies which offer various financial services. Many of these competitors may have fewer regulatory constraints, broader geographic service areas, greater capital, and, in some cases, lower cost structures.
In addition, competition has further intensified as a result of recent changes in regulation, and advances in technology and product delivery systems. We face strong competition for our borrowers, depositors, and other customers from financial technology (fintech) companies that provide innovative web-based solutions to traditional retail banking services and products. Fintech companies tend to have stronger operating efficiencies and fewer regulatory burdens than their traditional bank counterparts, including Valley. Within our markets, we also compete with some of the largest financial institutions in the world that have greater human and financial resources and are able to offer a large range of products and services at competitive rates and prices. In addition, we face an intense competition among direct banks because online banking provides customers the ability to rapidly deposit and withdraw funds and open and close accounts in favor of products and services offered by competitors. Nevertheless, we believe we can compete effectively as a result of utilizing various strategies including our long history of local customer service and convenience as part of a relationship management culture, in conjunction with the pricing of loans and deposits. Our customers are influenced by the convenience, quality of service from our knowledgeable staff, personal contacts and attention to customer needs, as well as availability of products and services and related pricing. We provide such convenience through our banking network of 238 branches, an extensive ATM network, and our telephone and on-line banking systems. Our competitive advantage also lies in our strong community presence with over 90 years of service. This longevity is especially appealing to customers seeking a strong, stable and service-oriented bank.
We continually review our pricing, products, locations, alternative delivery channels and various acquisition prospects, and periodically engage in discussions regarding possible acquisitions to maintain and enhance our competitive position.
Personnel
At December 31, 2019, Valley National Bank and its subsidiaries employed 3,174 full-time equivalent persons. Management considers relations with its employees to be satisfactory.

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Information about our Executive Officers
Name
Age at
December 31,
2019
Executive
Officer
Since
Office
Principal occupation during last five years other than Valley
Ira Robbins
45
2009
Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Valley and Valley National Bank
 
Michael D. Hagedorn
53
2019
Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Valley and Valley National Bank.
2015 - 2018 Vice Chairman, UMB Financial Corporation, President and CEO, UMB Bank n.a.
Thomas A. Iadanza
61
2015
Senior Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Banking Officer of Valley National Bank
 
Ronald H. Janis
71
2017
Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Valley and Valley National Bank
1992 - 2016 Partner, SEC, Banking and Merger & Acquisitions, Day Pitney LLP
Robert J. Bardusch
54
2016
Senior Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Operating Officer of Valley National Bank
2014 - 2016 Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Head of Technology and Operations, MVB Financial Corp.
Melissa F. Scofield
60
2015
Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Risk Officer of Valley National Bank
2015 Assistant Deputy Comptroller, National Bank Examiner and Federal Thrift Regulator, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, New York Metro. Field Office
Yvonne M. Surowiec
59
2017
Senior Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Human Resources Officer of Valley National Bank
2014 - 2016 Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, CDK Global
Mark Saeger
55
2018
Executive Vice President of Valley and Chief Credit Officer of Valley National Bank
2012 - 2015 Managing Director of Credit, Santander Bank, N.A.
Mitchell L. Crandell
49
2007
Executive Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer of Valley and Valley National Bank
 
All officers serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
Available Information
The SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov which contains reports and other information filed with the SEC electronically. We make our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments thereto available on our website at www.valley.com without charge as soon as reasonably practicable after filing or furnishing them to the SEC. Also available on our website are Valley’s Code of Conduct and Ethics that applies to all of our employees including our executive officers and directors, Valley’s Audit Committee Charter, Valley’s Compensation and Human Resources Committee Charter, Valley’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter, and Valley’s Corporate Governance Guidelines.
Additionally, we will provide without charge a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K or the Code of Conduct and Ethics to any shareholder by mail. Requests should be sent to Valley National Bancorp, Attention: Shareholder Relations, 1455 Valley Road, Wayne, NJ 07470.
SUPERVISION AND REGULATION
The banking industry is highly regulated. Statutory and regulatory controls increase a bank holding company’s cost of doing business and limit the options of its management to deploy assets and maximize income. The following discussion is not intended to be a complete list of all the activities regulated by the banking laws or of the impact of such laws and regulations on Valley or Valley National Bank. It is intended only to briefly summarize some material provisions.

 
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Bank Holding Company Regulation
Valley is a bank holding company within the meaning of the Holding Company Act. As a bank holding company, Valley is supervised by the FRB and is required to file reports with the FRB and provide such additional information as the FRB may require.
The Holding Company Act prohibits Valley, with certain exceptions, from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of five percent or more of the voting shares of any company which is not a bank and from engaging in any business other than that of banking, managing and controlling banks or furnishing services to subsidiary banks, except that it may, upon application, engage in, and may own shares of companies engaged in, certain businesses found by the FRB to be so closely related to banking “as to be a proper incident thereto.” The Holding Company Act requires prior approval by the FRB of the acquisition by Valley of five percent or more of the voting stock of any other bank. Satisfactory capital ratios, Community Reinvestment Act ratings, and anti-money laundering policies are generally prerequisites to obtaining federal regulatory approval to make acquisitions. The policy of the FRB provides that a bank holding company is expected to act as a source of financial strength to its subsidiary bank and to commit resources to support the subsidiary bank in circumstances in which it might not do so absent that policy. Acquisitions through the Bank require approval of the OCC. The Holding Company Act does not place territorial restrictions on the activities of non-bank subsidiaries of bank holding companies. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, discussed below, allows Valley to expand into insurance, securities and other activities that are financial in nature if Valley elects to become a financial holding company.
Regulation of Bank Subsidiary
Valley National Bank is subject to the supervision of, and to regular examination by, the OCC. Various laws and the regulations thereunder applicable to Valley and its bank subsidiary impose restrictions and requirements in many areas, including capital requirements, the maintenance of reserves, establishment of new offices, the making of loans and investments, consumer protection, employment practices, bank acquisitions and entry into new types of business. There are various legal limitations, including Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, which govern the extent to which a bank subsidiary may finance or otherwise supply funds to its holding company or its holding company’s non-bank subsidiaries. Under federal law, no bank subsidiary may, subject to certain limited exceptions, make loans or extensions of credit to, or investments in the securities of, its parent or the non-bank subsidiaries of its parent (other than direct subsidiaries of such bank which are not financial subsidiaries) or take their securities as collateral for loans to any borrower. Each bank subsidiary is also subject to collateral security requirements for any loans or extensions of credit permitted by such exceptions.
Capital Requirements
The FRB and the OCC have rules establishing a comprehensive capital framework for U.S. banking organizations, referred to as the Basel III rules.
Under Basel III, the minimum capital ratios for us and Valley National Bank are as follows:
4.5 percent CET1 (common equity Tier 1) to risk-weighted assets.
6.0 percent Tier 1 capital (i.e., CET1 plus Additional Tier 1) to risk-weighted assets.
8.0 percent Total capital (i.e., Tier 1 plus Tier 2) to risk-weighted assets.
4.0 percent Tier 1 capital to average consolidated assets as reported on consolidated financial statements (known as the “leverage ratio”).
As of January 1, 2019, Basel III required us and Valley National Bank to also maintain a 2.5 percent “capital conservation buffer” on top of the minimum risk-weighted asset ratios, effectively resulting in minimum ratios of (i) CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 7.0 percent, (ii) Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.5 percent, and (iii) total capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 10.5 percent. The capital conservation buffer is designed to absorb losses during periods of economic stress. Banking institutions with a ratio of (i) CET1 to risk-weighted assets, (ii) Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets or (iii) total capital to risk-weighted assets above the respective minimum but below the capital conservation buffer will face constraints on dividends, equity repurchases and discretionary bonus payments to executive officers based on the amount of the shortfall. Basel III also provides for a number of complex deductions from and adjustments to its various capital components.
Pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (FDICIA), each federal banking agency has promulgated regulations, specifying the levels at which a financial institution would be considered “well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” or “critically undercapitalized,” and to take certain mandatory and discretionary supervisory actions based on the capital level of the institution.
With respect to Valley National Bank, Basel III also revised the “prompt corrective action” regulations of FDICIA, by (i) introducing a CET1 ratio requirement at each capital quality level (other than critically undercapitalized); (ii) increasing the

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minimum Tier 1 capital ratio requirement for each category; and (iii) requiring a leverage ratio of 5 percent to be well-capitalized. The OCC’s regulations implementing these provisions of FDICIA provide that an institution will be classified as “well capitalized” if it (i) has a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 10.0 percent, (ii) has a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 8.0 percent, (iii) has a CET1 ratio of at least 6.5 percent, (iv) has a Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 5.0 percent, and (v) meets certain other requirements. An institution will be classified as “adequately capitalized” if it meets the aforementioned minimum capital ratios under Basel III. An institution will be classified as “undercapitalized” if it (i) has a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 8.0 percent, (ii) has a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 6.0 percent, (iii) has a CET1 ratio of less than 4.5 percent or (iv) has Tier 1 leverage ratio of less than 4.0 percent. An institution will be classified as “significantly undercapitalized” if it (i) has a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 6.0 percent, (ii) has a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 4.0 percent, (iii) has a CET1 ratio of less than 3.0 percent or (iv) has a Tier 1 leverage ratio of less than 3.0 percent. An institution will be classified as “critically undercapitalized” if it has a tangible equity to total assets ratio that is equal to or less than 2.0 percent. An insured depository institution may be deemed to be in a lower capitalization category if it receives an unsatisfactory examination rating. Similar categories apply to bank holding companies. On January 1, 2019, the capital conservation buffer was fully phased in, and as a result, the capital ratios applicable to depository institutions under Basel III now exceed the ratios to be considered well-capitalized under the prompt corrective action regulations.
Valley National Bank’s capital ratios were all above the minimum levels required for it to be considered a “well capitalized” financial institution at December 31, 2019, under the “prompt corrective action” regulations.
In December 2018, the Federal Banking Agencies issued a final rule to address regulatory capital treatment of credit loss allowances under the current expected credit loss (“CECL”) model. The CECL model was effective for Valley as of January 1, 2020. The final rule revised the Federal Banking Agencies’ regulatory capital rules to identify which credit loss allowances under the CECL model are eligible for inclusion in regulatory capital and to provide banking organizations the option to phase in over three years any day-one adverse effects on regulatory capital that may result from the adoption of the CECL model.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the Dodd-Frank Act)
The Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law on July 21, 2010. The Dodd-Frank Act significantly changed the bank regulatory landscape and has impacted the lending, deposit, investment, trading and operating activities of financial institutions and their holding companies. Some of the effects are discussed below.
The Dodd-Frank Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and shifted most of the federal consumer protection rules applicable to banks and the enforcement power with respect to such rules to the CFPB.
Under the Durbin Amendment contained in the Dodd-Frank Act, the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) adopted rules applying to banks with more than $10 billion in assets which established a maximum permissible interchange fee equal to no more than 21 cents plus 5 basis points of the transaction value for many types of debit interchange transactions. The FRB also adopted a rule to allow a debit card issuer to recover 1 cent per transaction for fraud prevention purposes if the issuer complies with certain fraud-related requirements required by the FRB. The FRB also has rules governing routing and exclusivity that require issuers to offer two unaffiliated networks for routing transactions on each debit or prepaid product. Because we exceed $10 billion in assets, we are subject to the interchange fee cap.
On May 24, 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “EGRRCPA”) was signed into law. On July 6, 2018, the Fed, the OCC and the FDIC issued a joint interagency statement regarding the impact of the EGRRCPA. As a result of this statement and the EGRRCPA, Valley and the Bank are no longer subject to Dodd-Frank Act stress testing requirements. However, under safety and soundness requirements we will continue to conduct stress testing of our own design.
Volcker Rule
The Volcker Rule (contained in the Dodd-Frank Act) prohibits an insured depository institution and its affiliates from: (i) engaging in “proprietary trading” and (ii) investing in or sponsoring certain types of funds (Covered Funds). The rule also effectively prohibits most short-term trading strategies investments and prohibits the use of some hedging strategies. We identified no investments held as of December 31, 2019 that meet the definition of Covered Funds.
Incentive Compensation
The Dodd-Frank Act requires the federal bank regulators and the SEC to maintain guidelines prohibiting incentive-based payment arrangements at specified regulated entities, including us and our 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.

 
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The Federal Reserve reviews, 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.
Dividend Limitations
Valley is a legal entity separate and distinct from its subsidiaries. Valley’s revenues (on a parent company only basis) result in substantial part from dividends paid by the Bank. The Bank’s dividend payments, without prior regulatory approval, are subject to regulatory limitations. Under the National Bank Act, without consent, a national bank may declare, in any one year, dividends only in an amount aggregating not more than the sum of its net profits for such year and its retained net profits for the preceding two years. In addition, the bank regulatory agencies have the authority to prohibit us from paying dividends if the supervising agency determines that such payment would constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice. Among other things, consultation with the FRB supervisory staff is required in advance of our declaration or payment of a dividend to our shareholders that exceeds our earnings for the trailing four-quarter period in which the dividend is being paid.
Transactions by the Bank with Related Parties
Valley National Bank’s authority to extend credit to its directors, executive officers and 10 percent shareholders, as well as to entities controlled by such persons, is currently governed by the requirements of the National Bank Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Regulation O of the FRB thereunder. Among other things, these provisions require that extensions of credit to insiders (i) be made on terms that are substantially the same as, and follow credit underwriting procedures that are not less stringent than, those prevailing for comparable transactions with unaffiliated persons and that do not involve more than the normal risk of repayment or present other unfavorable features and (ii) not exceed certain limitations on the amount of credit extended to such persons, individually and in the aggregate, which limits are based, in part, on the amount of the Bank’s capital. In addition, extensions of credit in excess of certain limits must be approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Valley and its subsidiaries, other than the Bank under the authority of Regulation O, may not extend or arrange for any personal loans to its directors and executive officers.
Section 22 of the Federal Reserve Act prohibits the Bank from paying to a director, officer, attorney or employee a rate on deposits that is greater than the rate paid to other depositors on similar deposits with the Bank. Regulation W governs and limits transactions between the Bank and Valley.
Community Reinvestment
Under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), as implemented by OCC regulations, a national bank has a continuing and affirmative obligation consistent with its safe and sound operation to help meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods. The CRA does not establish specific lending requirements or programs for financial institutions nor does it limit an institution’s discretion to develop the types of products and services that it believes are best suited to its particular community. The CRA requires the OCC, in connection with its examination of a national bank, to assess the association’s record of meeting the credit needs of its community and to take such record into account in its evaluation of certain applications by such association. The CRA also requires all institutions to make public disclosure of their CRA ratings. Valley National Bank received an overall “outstanding” CRA rating in its most recent examination.
A bank which does not have a CRA program that is deemed satisfactory or better by its regulator may be prevented from making acquisitions.
USA PATRIOT Act
As part of the USA PATRIOT Act, Congress adopted the International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “Anti Money Laundering Act”). The Anti Money Laundering Act authorizes the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, in consultation with the heads of other government agencies, to adopt special measures applicable to financial institutions such as banks, bank holding companies, broker-dealers and insurance companies. Among its other provisions, the Anti Money Laundering Act requires each financial institution: (i) to establish an anti-money laundering program; (ii) to establish due diligence policies, procedures and controls that are reasonably designed to detect and report instances of money laundering in United States private banking accounts and correspondent accounts maintained for non-United States persons or their representatives; and (iii) to avoid establishing, maintaining, administering, or managing correspondent accounts in the United States for, or on behalf of, a foreign shell bank that does not have a physical presence in any country.
Regulations implementing the due diligence requirements require minimum standards to verify customer identity and maintain accurate records, encourage cooperation among financial institutions, federal banking agencies, and law enforcement authorities regarding possible money laundering or terrorist activities, prohibit the anonymous use of “concentration accounts,” and require all covered financial institutions to have in place an anti-money laundering compliance program.

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The OCC, along with other banking agencies, have strictly enforced various anti-money laundering and suspicious activity reporting requirements using formal and informal enforcement tools to cause banks to comply with these provisions.
A bank which is issued a formal or informal enforcement requirement with respect to its Anti Money Laundering program will be prevented from making acquisitions.
Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulation (OFAC)
The U.S. Treasury Department’s OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries and regimes, under authority of various laws, including designated foreign countries, nationals and others. OFAC publishes lists of specially designated targets and countries. We and our Bank are responsible for, among other things, blocking accounts of, and transactions with, such targets and countries, prohibiting unlicensed trade and financial transactions with them and reporting blocked transactions after their occurrence. Failure to comply with these sanctions could have serious legal and reputational consequences, including causing applicable bank regulatory authorities not to approve merger or acquisition transactions when regulatory approval is required or to prohibit such transactions even if approval is not required.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Supervision
As a financial institution with more than $10 billion in assets, Valley National Bank is supervised by the CFPB for consumer protection purposes. The CFPB’s regulation of Valley National Bank is focused on risks to consumers and compliance with the federal consumer financial laws and includes regular examinations of the Bank. The CFPB, along with the Department of Justice and bank regulatory authorities also seek to enforce discriminatory lending laws. In such actions, the CFPB and others have used a disparate impact analysis, which measures discriminatory results without regard to intent. Consequently, unintentional actions by Valley could have a material adverse impact on our lending and results of operations if the actions are found to be discriminatory by our regulators.
Valley National Bank is subject to federal consumer protection statutes and regulations promulgated under those laws, including, but not limited to the following:
Truth-In-Lending Act and Regulation Z, governing disclosures of credit terms to consumer borrowers;
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Regulation C, requiring financial institutions to provide certain information about home mortgage and refinanced loans;
Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or other prohibited factors in extending credit;
Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V, governing the provision of consumer information to credit reporting agencies and the use of consumer information; and
Fair Debt Collection Act, governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies.
Valley National Bank’s deposit operations are also subject to the following federal statutes and regulations, among others:
The Truth in Savings Act and Regulation DD, which requires disclosure of deposit terms to consumers;
Regulation CC, which relates to the availability of deposit funds to consumers;
The Right to Financial Privacy Act, which imposes a duty to maintain the confidentiality of consumer financial records and prescribes procedures for complying with administrative subpoenas of financial records; and
Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E, governing automatic deposits to, and withdrawals from, deposit accounts and customers’ rights and liabilities arising from the use of automated teller machines and other electronic banking services.
The CFPB examines Valley National Bank’s compliance with such laws and the regulations under them.
Insurance of Deposit Accounts
The Bank’s deposits are insured up to applicable limits by the FDIC. Under the FDIC’s risk-based system, insured institutions are assigned to one of four risk categories based on supervisory evaluations, regulatory capital levels and certain other factors with less risky institutions paying lower assessments on their deposits.
As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC has adopted rules that revise the assessment base to consist of average consolidated total assets during the assessment period minus the average tangible equity during the assessment period. In addition, the rules eliminated the adjustment for secured borrowings, including Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) advances, and made certain other changes to the impact of unsecured borrowings and brokered deposits on an institution’s deposit insurance assessment.

 
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The rules also revised the assessment rate schedule to provide initial base assessment rates ranging from 5 to 35 basis points and total base assessment rates ranging from 2.5 to 45 basis points after adjustment. The Dodd-Frank Act made permanent a $250 thousand limit for federal deposit insurance.
In 2016, the FDIC added a surcharge to the insurance assessments for banks with over $10 billion in assets, which became effective in July 2016 and continued until the Bank's December 2018 assessment invoice, which covered the assessment period from July 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018. After that invoice, the FDIC assessment no longer included a quarterly surcharge.
London Interbank Offered Rate
Central banks around the world, including the Fed, have commissioned working groups of market participants and official sector representatives with the goal of finding suitable replacements for the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) based on observable market transactions because of the probable phase out of LIBOR. It is expected that a transition away from the widespread use of LIBOR to alternative rates will occur over the course of the next year. This change may have an adverse impact on the value of, return on and trading markets for a broad array of financial products, including any LIBOR-based securities, loans and derivatives that are included in our financial assets and liabilities. A transition away from LIBOR also requires extensive changes to the contracts that govern these LIBOR-based products, as well as our systems and processes. A number of the Bank's commercial loans, certain residential loans, derivative positions, trust preferred securities issued to our capital trusts, and the reset provisions for our preferred stock issuances are based upon LIBOR. The Bank has established a working group to identify and prepare replacement provisions.
Prohibitions Against Tying Arrangements
Banks are subject to the prohibitions of 12 U.S.C. Section 1972 on certain tying arrangements. A depository institution is prohibited, subject to some exceptions, from extending credit to or offering any other service, or fixing or varying the consideration for such extension of credit or service, on the condition that the customer obtain some additional service from the institution or its affiliates or not obtain services of a competitor of the institution.
Item 1A.
Risk Factors
An investment in our securities is subject to risks inherent to our business. The material risks and uncertainties that management believes may affect Valley are described below. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all of the other information included or incorporated by reference in this report. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing Valley. Additional risks and uncertainties that management is not aware of or that management currently believes are immaterial may also impair Valley’s business operations. The value or market price of our securities could decline due to any of these identified or other risks, and you could lose all or part of your investment. This report is qualified in its entirety by these risk factors.

We may fail to realize all of the anticipated benefits of the Oritani merger.
The success of our merger with Oritani (which was completed in the fourth quarter 2019) will depend, in part, on Valley’s ability to realize anticipated cost savings and to combine the businesses of Valley and Oritani in a manner that permits growth opportunities to be realized and does not materially disrupt the existing customer relationships of Oritani nor result in decreased revenues due to any loss of customers. However, to realize these anticipated benefits, the businesses of Valley and Oritani must be successfully combined. If the combined company is not able to achieve these objectives, the anticipated benefits of the merger may not be realized fully or at all or may take longer to realize than expected. The anticipated cost savings from the merger are largely expected to derive from the closure of certain Valley or Oritani branches and from the absorption by Valley of many of Oritani’s back-office administrative functions and the conversion of Oritani’s operating platform to Valley’s systems. Valley completed the conversion of Oritani's operating platform and closed 6 of the 26 acquired branch offices during February 2020. However, some normal post-systems integration matters involving back-office and other functions, as well as further planned branch consolidation efforts, were still underway at the filing date of this report.
Another expected benefit from the merger is an expected increase in the revenues of the combined company from anticipated sales of Valley’s wider variety of financial products, and from increased lending out of Valley’s substantially larger capital base, to Oritani’s existing customers and to new customers in Oritani’s market area who may be attracted by the combined company’s enhanced offerings. An inability to successfully market Valley’s products to Oritani’s customer base could cause the earnings of the combined company to be less than anticipated.
Changes in interest rates could reduce our net interest income and earnings.
Valley’s earnings and cash flows are largely dependent upon its net interest income. Net interest income is the difference between interest income earned on interest-earning assets, such as loans and investment securities, and interest expense paid on

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interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits and borrowed funds. Interest rates are sensitive to many factors that are beyond Valley’s control, including general economic conditions, competition, and policies of various governmental and regulatory agencies and, in particular, the policies of the FRB. Changes in interest rates driven by such factors could influence not only the interest Valley receives on loans and investment securities and the amount of interest it pays on deposits and borrowings, but such changes could also affect (i) Valley’s ability to originate loans and obtain deposits, (ii) the fair value of Valley’s financial assets, including the held to maturity and available for sale investment securities portfolios, and (iii) the average duration of Valley’s interest-earning assets and liabilities. This also includes the risk that interest-earning assets may be more responsive to changes in interest rates than interest-bearing liabilities, or vice versa (repricing risk), the risk that the individual interest rates or rate indices underlying various interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities may not change in the same degree over a given time period (basis risk), and the risk of changing interest rate relationships across the spectrum of interest-earning asset and interest-bearing liability maturities (yield curve risk). Any substantial or unexpected change in market interest rates could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s financial condition and results of operations. See additional information in the “Net Interest Income” and “Interest Rate Sensitivity” sections of our MD&A.
Our financial results and condition may be adversely impacted by changing economic conditions.
Financial institutions can be affected by changing conditions in the real estate and financial markets. Weak economic conditions could result in financial stress on our borrowers that would adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Volatility in the housing markets, real estate values and unemployment levels could result in significant write-downs of asset values by financial institutions. The majority of Valley’s lending is in northern and central New Jersey, the New York City metropolitan area, Florida and Alabama. As a result of this geographic concentration, a significant broad-based deterioration in economic conditions in these areas could have a material adverse impact on the quality of Valley’s loan portfolio, results of operations and future growth potential. Adverse economic conditions in our market areas can reduce our rate of growth, affect our customers’ ability to repay loans and adversely impact our financial condition and earnings. General economic conditions, including inflation, unemployment and money supply fluctuations, also may adversely affect our profitability.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected by the outbreak of pandemic disease, acts of terrorism, and other external events.
The emergence of widespread health emergencies or pandemics, such as the potential spread of the coronavirus, could lead to regional quarantines, business shutdowns, labor shortages, disruptions to supply chains, and overall economic instability. Additionally, New York City and New Jersey remain central targets for potential acts of terrorism against the United States. Such events could affect the stability of our deposit base, impair the ability of borrowers to repay outstanding loans, impair the value of collateral securing loans, cause significant property damage, result in loss of revenue and/or cause us to incur additional expenses. Although we have established and regularly test disaster recovery policies and procedures, the occurrence of any such event in the future could have a material adverse effect on our business, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our investments in certain tax-advantaged projects may not generate returns as anticipated and may have an adverse impact on our results of operations.
We invest in certain tax-advantaged investments that support qualified affordable housing projects, community development and, prior to 2019, renewable energy resources. Our investments in these projects are designed to generate a return primarily through the realization of federal and state income tax credits, and other tax benefits, over specified time periods. Third parties perform diligence on these investments for us on which we rely both at inception and on an on-going basis. We are subject to the risk that previously recorded tax credits, which remain subject to recapture by taxing authorities based on compliance features required to be met at the project level, may fail to meet certain government compliance requirements and may not be able to be realized. The possible inability to realize these tax credits and other tax benefits may have a negative impact on our financial results. The risk of not being able to realize the tax credits and other tax benefits depends on many factors outside our control, including changes in the applicable tax code and the ability of the projects to be completed.
We previously invested in mobile solar generators sold and leased back by DC Solar and its affiliates (DC Solar). DC Solar had its assets frozen in December 2018 by the U.S. Department of Justice. DC Solar and related entities are in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A group of investors who purchased mobile solar generators from, and leased them back to, DC Solar, including us received tax credits for making these renewable resource investments. During the fourth quarter 2019, several of the co-conspirators pleaded guilty to fraud in the on-going federal investigation. Based upon this new information, Valley deemed that its tax positions related to the DC Solar funds did not meet the more likely than not recognition threshold in Valley's tax reserve assessment at December 31, 2019. As a result, our net income for the year ended December 31, 2019 included an increase to our provision for income taxes of $31.1 million, reflecting the reserve for uncertain tax liability positions related to tax credits and other tax benefits previously recognized from the investments in the DC Solar funds plus interest. The principals pled guilty to fraud in early 2020.

 
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While we believe that Valley was fully reserved for the tax positions related to DC Solar at December 31, 2019, we continue to evaluate all our existing tax positions each quarter under U.S. GAAP. If we are required to recognize an increase to our uncertain tax position liability in our 2020 consolidated financial statements, the resulting charge to income tax expense may have an adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.
The replacement of the LIBOR benchmark interest rate may have an impact on Valley’s business, financial condition or results of operations.
On July 27, 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a regulator of financial services firms in the United Kingdom, announced that it intends to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit LIBOR rates after 2021. The FCA and the submitting LIBOR banks have indicated they will support the LIBOR indices through 2021 to allow for an orderly transition to an alternative reference rate. In the United States, efforts to identify a set of alternative U.S. dollar reference interest rates include proposals by the Alternative Reference Rates Committee of the FRB. Other financial services regulators and industry groups are evaluating the phase-out of LIBOR and the development of alternate reference rate indices or reference rates. Many of Valley’s assets and liabilities are indexed to LIBOR. We are evaluating the impact of the possible replacement of the LIBOR benchmark interest rate, and whether the alternative rates the FRB expects to publish will become market benchmarks in place of LIBOR, or what the impact of such a transition will have on Valley’s business, financial condition, or results of operations. The proposed Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) is a “near risk-free" rate whereas LIBOR is credit related.
The future impact of changes to the Internal Revenue Code is uncertain and may adversely affect our business.
The U.S. Congress passed significant reform of the Internal Revenue Code, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Act) at the end of 2017. While the decline in the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent lowered Valley’s income tax expense as a percentage of its taxable income in 2019 and 2018, other provisions of the Tax Act negatively impacted Valley's consolidated financial statements and it may adversely affect Valley in the future. For example, under the new provisions of the Tax Act, the $2.5 million and $3.3 million of the Bank's total FDIC insurance assessment for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively, was non-tax deductible based upon the asset size of the Bank.
The Tax Act also imposes limitations for individuals on the deductibility of interest and property tax expenses which may adversely impact the property values of real estate used to secure loans and create an additional tax burden for many borrowers, particularly in high tax jurisdictions such as New Jersey and New York where Valley operates. These and other federal tax changes could significantly impact the level of lending activity and the financial health of our customers. The negative impact to customers could potentially result in, among other things, an inability to repay loans or maintain deposits at Valley in states where Valley operates, especially New York and New Jersey. Any negative financial impact to our customers resulting from tax reform could adversely impact our financial condition and earnings. The future impact of the Tax Act or subsequent amendments to the tax rates and laws on our business and our customers may be adverse.
Claims and litigation could result in significant expenses, losses and damage to our reputation.
From time to time as part of Valley’s normal course of business, customers, bankruptcy trustees, former customers, contractual counterparties, third parties and current and former employees make claims and take legal action against Valley based on actions or inactions of Valley. If such claims and legal actions are not resolved in a manner favorable to Valley, they may result in financial liability and/or adversely affect the market perception of Valley and its products and services. This may also impact customer demand for Valley’s products and services. Any financial liability could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s financial condition and results of operations. Any reputation damage could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s business.
Cyber-attacks could compromise our information or result in the data of our customers being improperly divulged, which could expose us to liability, losses and escalating operating costs.
Valley regularly collects, processes, transmits and stores confidential information regarding its customers, employees and others for whom it services loans.  In some cases, this confidential or proprietary information is collected, compiled, processed, transmitted or stored by third parties on Valley’s behalf.
Information security risks have increased because of the proliferation of new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of perpetrators of cyber-attacks. Many financial institutions and companies engaged in data processing have reported significant breaches in the security of their websites or other systems, some of which have involved sophisticated and targeted attacks intended to obtain unauthorized access to confidential information, destroy data, denial-of-service, or sabotage systems, often through the introduction of computer viruses or malware, cyber-attacks and other means. Although Valley frequently experiences attempted cybersecurity attacks against its systems, to date, none of these incidents have resulted in material losses, known breaches of customer data or significant disruption of services to Valley’s customers. However, there can be no assurance that Valley will not incur such issues in the future, exposing us to significant on-going operational costs and reputational harm.

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Additionally, risk exposure to cyber security matters will remain elevated or increase in the future due to, among other things, the increasing size and prominence of Valley in the financial services industry, our expansion of Internet and mobile banking tools and products based on customer needs, and the system and customer account conversions associated with the integration of merger targets.
In managing our cyber risks, when entering a new vendor relationship, we review and gage the cyber security risk of such third-party service providers. A successful attack on one of our third-party service providers could adversely affect our business and result in the disclosure or misuse of our confidential information. While we believe we are taking reasonable, risk-based precautions to manage the risk of cyber-attacks against third-party service providers, there can be no assurance that our third-party service providers will not suffer a cyber-attack that exposes us to significant operational costs and damages.
While we believe we have risk based technology reasonably capable of discovering cyber-attacks, and personnel who are qualified to monitor our technology and systems to detect cyber-attacks, we can offer no assurance that we will be able to identify and prevent cyber-attacks when they occur. Significant damage may occur if Valley fails to identify, or there is a delay in identifying, a cyber-attack on our systems, or those of our third-party service providers.
A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real estate, and events that negatively impact the real estate market could adversely affect our asset quality and profitability for those loans secured by real property and increase the number of defaults and the level of losses within our loan portfolio.
A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real estate. As of December 31, 2019, approximately 76 percent of our total loans had real estate as a primary or secondary component of collateral. The real estate collateral in each case provides an alternate source of repayment in the event of default by the borrower and could deteriorate in value during the time the credit is extended. A downturn in the real estate market in our primary market areas could result in an increase in the number of borrowers who default on their loans and a reduction in the value of the collateral securing their loans, which in turn could have an adverse effect on our profitability and asset quality. If we are required to liquidate the collateral securing a loan to satisfy the debt during a period of reduced real estate values, our earnings and shareholders’ equity could be adversely affected. The declines in home or commercial real estate prices in the New Jersey, New York and Florida markets we primarily serve, along with the reduced availability of mortgage credit, also may result in increases in delinquencies and losses in our loan portfolios. Unexpected decreases in home or commercial real estate prices coupled with slow economic growth and elevated levels of unemployment could drive losses beyond those which are provided for in our allowance for loan losses. In that event, our earnings could be adversely affected.
The secondary market for residential mortgage loans, for the most part, is limited to conforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. The effects of this limited mortgage market combined with another correction in residential real estate market prices and reduced levels of home sales, could result in price reductions in home values, adversely affecting the value of collateral securing mortgage loans held, mortgage loan originations and gains on sale of mortgage loans. Declines in real estate values and home sales volumes, and financial stress on borrowers as a result of job losses or other factors, could have further adverse effects on borrowers that result in higher delinquencies and greater charge-offs in future periods, which could adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations. For additional risks related to our sales of residential mortgages in the secondary market, see the “We may incur future losses in connection with repurchases and indemnification payments related to mortgages that we have sold into the secondary market” risk factor below.
Net gains on sales of residential mortgage loans are a significant component of our non-interest income and could fluctuate in future periods.
Net gains on sales of residential mortgage loans represented approximately 9 percent and 15 percent of our non-interest income for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.  Our ability or decision to sell a portion of our mortgage loan production in the secondary market is dependent upon, amongst other factors, the levels of market interest rates, consumer demand marketable loans, our sales and pricing strategies, the economy and our need to maintain the appropriate level of interest rate risk on our balance sheet.  A change in one or more of these or other factors could significantly impact our ability to sell mortgage loans in the future and adversely impact the level of our non-interest income and financial results.   
Our adoption of the CECL model for determining our allowance for credit losses expected to increase the level of our allowance and could add significant volatility to our provision for credit losses and earnings
Effective January 1, 2020, Valley adopted the FASB's new accounting guidance on the impairment of financial instruments, commonly known as the current expected credit loss (CECL) model. The CECL model requires the allowance for credit losses for certain financial assets, including loans, held to maturity securities and certain off-balance sheet credit exposures, to be calculated based on current expected credit losses over the lives of the assets rather than incurred losses as of a point in time.
The adoption of the CECL model is anticipated to increase our allowance for credit losses, which may have a material negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations. Actual allowance for credit losses may be materially different than

 
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the amounts reported due to the inherent uncertainty in the estimation process, including future loss estimates based upon reasonable and supportable economic forecasts. Also, future amount could differ materially from those estimates due to changes in values and circumstances after the balance sheet date. See Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding the impact of the adoption of the CECL model.
Higher charge-offs and weak credit conditions could require us to increase our allowance for credit losses through a provision charge to earnings.
The process for determining the amount of the allowance for credit losses is critical to our financial results and conditions. It requires difficult, subjective and complex judgments about the future, including the impact of national and regional economic conditions on the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans. If our judgment proves to be incorrect, our allowance for credit losses may not be sufficient to cover losses inherent in our loan and investment portfolios. Deterioration in economic conditions affecting borrowers, new information regarding existing loans, identification of additional problem loans and other factors, both within and outside of our control, may require an increase in the allowance for credit losses. Additionally, bank regulators review the classification of our loans in their examination of us and we may be required in the future to change the internal classification on certain loans, which may require us to increase our provision for credit losses or loan charge-offs. If actual net charge-offs were to exceed Valley’s allowance, its earnings would be negatively impacted by additional provisions for credit losses. Any increase in our allowance for credit losses or loan charge-offs as required by the OCC or otherwise could have an adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
An increase in our non-performing assets may reduce our interest income and increase our net loan charge-offs, provision for loan losses, and operating expenses.
Our non-accrual loans increased from 0.22 percent of total loans at December 31, 2016 to 0.31 percent of total loans at December 31, 2019 largely due to a significant increase in non-accrual taxi medallion loans within our commercial and industrial loan portfolio since 2016. While most of the taxi medallion loans are currently performing to their contractual terms, continued negative trends in the market valuations of the underlying taxi medallion collateral caused by ride-sharing services could impact the future performance of such loans, the level of our loan charge-offs and the provision for credit losses. Additionally, a downturn in economic or real estate market conditions could result in increased charge-offs to our allowance for credit losses and lost interest income relating to non-performing loans.
Non-performing assets (including non-accrual loans, other real estate owned, and other repossessed assets) totaled $104.4 million at December 31, 2019. These non-performing assets can adversely affect our net income mainly through decreased interest income and increased operating expenses incurred to maintain such assets or loss charges related to subsequent declines in the estimated fair value of foreclosed assets. Adverse changes in the value of our non-performing assets, or the underlying collateral, or in the borrowers’ performance or financial conditions could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. There can be no assurance that we will not experience increases in non-performing loans in the future, or that our non-performing assets will not result in lower financial returns in the future.
The loss of or decrease in lower-cost funding sources within our deposit base, including our inability to achieve deposit retention targets under our branch transformation strategy, may adversely impact our net interest income and net income.
Checking and savings, NOW, and money market deposit account balances and other forms of customer deposits can decrease when customers perceive alternative investments, such as the stock market or money market or fixed income mutual funds, as providing a better risk/return tradeoff. Additionally, our customers largely bank with us because of our local customer service and convenience. For a certain percentage customers, this convenience could be negatively impacted by recent branch consolidation activity undergone as part of our branch transformation strategy. If customers move money out of bank deposits and into other investments, Valley could lose a low cost source of funds, increasing its funding costs and reducing Valley’s net interest income and net income.
We may not be able to detect money laundering and other illegal or improper activities fully or on a timely basis, which could expose us to additional liability and could have a material adverse effect on us.
We are required to comply with anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism and other laws and regulations in the United States. These laws and regulations require us, among other things, to adopt and enforce “know-your-customer” policies and procedures and to report suspicious and large transactions to applicable regulatory authorities. These laws and regulations have become increasingly complex and detailed, require improved systems and sophisticated monitoring and compliance personnel and have become the subject of enhanced government supervision.
While we have adopted policies and procedures aimed at detecting and preventing the use of our banking network for money laundering and related activities, those policies and procedures may not completely eliminate instances in which we may be used by customers to engage in money laundering and other illegal or improper activities. To the extent we fail to fully comply with

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applicable laws and regulations, the OCC, along with other banking agencies, have the authority to impose fines and other penalties and sanctions on us. In addition, our business and reputation could suffer if customers use our banking network for money laundering or illegal or improper purposes.
Our controls and procedures may fail or be circumvented, which may result in a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Management periodically reviews and updates our internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure or circumvention of the controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We could incur future goodwill impairment.
If our estimates of the fair value of our goodwill change as a result of changes in our business or other factors, we may determine a goodwill impairment charge is necessary. Estimates of the fair value of goodwill are determined using several factors and assumptions, including, but not limited to, industry pricing multiples and estimated cash flows. Based upon Valley’s 2019 goodwill impairment testing, the fair values of its four reporting units, wealth management, consumer lending, commercial lending, and investment management, were in excess of their carrying values. However, due to lower yields on our investment portfolio and reinvestment of normal repayments from investment securities into new loan originations, our investment management segment experienced downward pressure on its fair value. While not expected at this time, we may be required to record a charge to earnings should there be a deficiency in our estimated fair value of the investment management and other reporting units during our subsequent impairment tests. No assurance can be given that we will not record an impairment loss on goodwill in the future and any such impairment loss could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. At December 31, 2019, our goodwill totaled $1.4 billion. See Note 9 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information.
We may reduce or eliminate the cash dividend on our common stock, which could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
Holders of our common stock are only entitled to receive such cash dividends as our Board of Directors may declare 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 may reduce or eliminate our common stock cash dividend in the future depending upon our results of operations, financial condition or other metrics. This could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. Additionally, as a bank holding company, our ability to declare and pay dividends is dependent on federal regulatory policies and regulations including the supervisory policies and guidelines of the OCC and the FRB regarding capital adequacy and dividends. Among other things, consultation of the FRB supervisory staff is required in advance of our declaration or payment of a dividend that exceeds our earnings for a four-quarter period in which the dividend is being paid.
If our subsidiaries are unable to pay dividends or make distributions to us, we may be unable to make dividend payments to our preferred and common shareholders or interest payments on our long-term borrowings and junior subordinated debentures issued to capital trusts.
We are a separate and distinct legal entity from our banking and non-banking subsidiaries and depend on dividends, distributions, and other payments from the Bank and its non-banking subsidiaries to fund cash dividend payments on our preferred and common stock and to fund most payments on our other obligations. Regulations relating to capital requirements affect the ability of the Bank to pay dividends and other distributions to us and to make loans to us. Additionally, if our subsidiaries’ earnings are not sufficient to make dividend payments to us while maintaining adequate capital levels, we may not be able to make dividend payments to our preferred and common shareholders or interest payments on our long-term borrowings and junior subordinated debentures issued to capital trusts. Furthermore, 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.
Extensive regulation and supervision have a negative impact on our ability to compete in a cost-effective manner and may subject us to material compliance costs and penalties.
Valley, primarily through its principal subsidiary and certain non-bank subsidiaries, is subject to extensive federal and state regulation and supervision. Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors’ funds, federal deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole. Many laws and regulations affect Valley’s lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy and growth, among other things. They encourage Valley to ensure a satisfactory level of lending in defined areas and establish and maintain comprehensive programs relating to anti-money laundering and customer identification. Congress, state legislatures, and federal and state regulatory agencies continually review banking laws, regulations and policies

 
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for possible changes. Changes to statutes, regulations or regulatory policies, including changes in interpretation or implementation of statutes, regulations or policies, could affect Valley in substantial and unpredictable ways. Such changes could subject Valley to additional costs, limit the types of financial services and products it may offer and/or increase the ability of non-banks to offer competing financial services and products, among other things. Failure to comply with laws, regulations or policies could result in sanctions by regulatory agencies, civil money penalties and/or reputation damage, which could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Valley’s compliance with certain of these laws will be considered by banking regulators when reviewing bank merger and bank holding company acquisitions.
We are subject to numerous laws designed to protect consumers, including the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws, and failure to comply with these laws could lead to a wide variety of sanctions.
The Community Reinvestment Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act and other fair lending laws and regulations impose community investment and nondiscriminatory lending requirements on financial institutions. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Justice and other federal agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. A successful regulatory challenge to an institution’s performance under the Community Reinvestment Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act or other fair lending laws and regulations could result in a wide variety of sanctions, including damages and civil money penalties, injunctive relief, restrictions on mergers and acquisitions, restrictions on expansion and restrictions on entering new business lines. Private parties also may challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in litigation. Such actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Future acquisitions may dilute shareholder value, especially tangible book value per share.
We regularly evaluate opportunities to acquire other financial institutions. As a result, merger and acquisition discussions and, in some cases, negotiations may take place and future mergers or acquisitions involving cash, debt, or equity securities may occur at any time. Acquisitions typically involve the payment of a premium over book and market values, and, therefore, some dilution of our tangible book value per common share may occur in connection with any future acquisitions.
Future offerings of common stock, preferred stock, debt or other securities may adversely affect the market price of our stock and dilute the holdings of existing shareholders.
In the future, we may increase our capital resources or, if our or the Bank’s actual or projected capital ratios fall below or near the current (Basel III) regulatory required minimums, we or the Bank could be forced to raise additional capital by making additional offerings of common stock, preferred stock or debt securities. Additional equity offerings may dilute the holdings of our existing shareholders or reduce the market price of our common stock, or both. Holders of our common stock are not entitled to preemptive rights or other protections against dilution. Upon liquidation, holders of our debt securities and shares of preferred stock, and lenders with respect to other borrowings will receive distributions of our available assets prior to the holders of our common stock. In August 2017, Valley issued 4.0 million shares of non-cumulative perpetual stock with a dividend at issuance of 5.50 percent and a liquidation preference of $25 per share. See Note 19 to the consolidated financial statements for more details on our common and preferred stock.
Changes in accounting policies or accounting standards could cause us to change the manner in which we report our financial results and condition in adverse ways and could subject us to additional costs and expenses.
Valley’s accounting policies are fundamental to understanding its financial results and condition. Some of these policies require the use of estimates and assumptions that may affect the value of Valley’s assets or liabilities and financial results. Valley identified its accounting policies regarding the allowance for loan losses, purchased credit-impaired loans, goodwill and other intangible assets, and income taxes to be critical because they require management to make difficult, subjective and complex judgments about matters that are inherently uncertain. Under each of these policies, it is possible that materially different amounts would be reported under different conditions, using different assumptions, or as new information becomes available.
From time to time, the FASB and the SEC change their guidance governing the form and content of Valley’s external financial statements. In addition, accounting standard setters and those who interpret U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP), such as the FASB, SEC, banking regulators and Valley’s independent registered public accounting firm, may change or even reverse their previous interpretations or positions on how these standards should be applied. Such changes are expected to continue and may accelerate dependent upon the FASB and International Accounting Standards Board commitments to achieving convergence between U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards. Changes in U.S. GAAP and changes in current interpretations are beyond Valley’s control, can be hard to predict and could materially impact how Valley reports its financial results and condition. In certain cases, Valley could be required to apply new or revised guidance retroactively or apply existing guidance differently (also retroactively) which may result in Valley restating prior period financial statements for material amounts. Additionally, significant changes to U.S. GAAP may require costly technology changes, additional training and personnel, and other expenses that will negatively impact our results of operations.

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We may be unable to adequately manage our liquidity risk, which could affect our ability to meet our obligations as they become due, capitalize on growth opportunities, or pay regular dividends on our common stock.
Liquidity risk is the potential that Valley will be unable to meet its obligations as they come due, capitalize on growth opportunities as they arise, or pay regular dividends on our common stock because of an inability to liquidate assets or obtain adequate funding on a timely basis, at a reasonable cost and within acceptable risk tolerances.
Liquidity is required to fund various obligations, including credit commitments to borrowers, mortgage and other loan originations, withdrawals by depositors, repayment of borrowings, dividends to shareholders, operating expenses and capital expenditures. Liquidity is derived primarily from retail deposit growth and retention; principal and interest payments on loans; principal and interest payments on investment securities; sale, maturity and prepayment of investment securities; net cash provided from operations; and access to other funding sources, such as the FHLB and certain brokered deposit channels established by the Bank.
Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance our activities could be impaired by factors that affect us specifically or the financial services industry in general. Factors that could have a detrimental impact to our access to liquidity sources include a decrease in the level of our business activity due to persistent weakness, or downturn, in the economy or adverse regulatory action against us. Our ability to borrow could also be impaired by factors that are not necessarily specific to us, such as a severe disruption of the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry as a whole.
Our market share and income may be adversely affected by our inability to successfully compete against larger and more diverse financial service providers and digital fintech start-up firms.
Valley faces substantial competition in all areas of its operations from a variety of different competitors, many of which are larger and may have more financial resources than Valley to deal with the potential negative changes in the financial markets and regulatory landscape. Valley competes with other providers of financial services such as commercial and savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, money market and mutual funds, mortgage companies, title agencies, asset managers, insurance companies, and a large list of other local, regional and national institutions which offer financial services. Additionally, the financial services industry is facing a wave of digital disruption from fintech companies that provide innovative web-based solutions to traditional retail banking services and products. Fintech companies tend to have stronger operating efficiencies and fewer regulatory burdens than their traditional bank counterparts, including Valley.
Mergers and acquisitions of financial institutions within New Jersey, the New York Metropolitan area and Florida may also occur given the current difficult banking environment and add more competitive pressure to a substantial portion of our marketplace. Our profitability depends upon our continued ability to successfully compete in our market area. If Valley is unable to compete effectively, it may lose market share and its income generated from loans, deposits, and other financial products may decline.
Our ability to make opportunistic acquisitions is subject to significant risks, including the risk that regulators will not provide the requisite approvals.
We may make opportunistic whole or partial acquisitions of other banks, branches, financial institutions, or related businesses from time to time that we expect may further our business strategy. Any possible acquisition will be subject to regulatory approval, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain such approval in a timely manner or at all. Even if we obtain regulatory approval, these acquisitions could involve numerous risks, including lower than expected performance or higher than expected costs, difficulties related to integration, diversion of management's attention from other business activities, changes in relationships with customers, and the potential loss of key employees. In addition, we may not be successful in identifying acquisition candidates, integrating acquired institutions, or preventing deposit erosion or loan quality deterioration at acquired institutions. Competition for acquisitions can be highly competitive, and we may not be able to acquire other institutions on attractive terms. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in completing or will even pursue future acquisitions, or if such transactions are completed, that we will be successful in integrating acquired businesses into operations. Ability to grow may be limited if we choose not to pursue or are unable to successfully make acquisitions in the future.
Failure to successfully implement our growth strategies could cause us to incur substantial costs and expenses which may not be recouped and adversely affect our future profitability.
From time to time, Valley may implement new lines of business or offer new products and services within existing lines of business. There are substantial risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts, particularly in instances where the markets are not fully developed. Valley may invest significant time and resources to develop and market new lines of business and/or products and services. Initial timetables for the introduction and development of new lines of business and/or new products or services may not be achieved, and price and profitability targets may not prove feasible. External factors, such as compliance with regulations, competitive alternatives, and shifting customer preferences, may also impact the successful implementation of a new line of

 
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business or a new product or service. Additionally, any new line of business and/or new product or service could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of Valley’s system of internal controls. Failure to successfully manage these risks could have a material adverse effect on Valley’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may not keep pace with technological change within the financial services industry, negatively affecting our ability to remain competitive and profitable.
The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change 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. Valley’s future success depends, in part, upon its ability to address the needs of its customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands, as well as to create additional efficiencies in Valley’s operations. Many of Valley’s competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. Valley may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to its customers. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry could have a material adverse impact on Valley’s business and, in turn, Valley’s financial condition and results of operations.
We rely on our systems, employees and certain service providers, and if our system fails, our operations could be disrupted.
We face the risk that the design of our controls and procedures, including those to mitigate the risk of fraud by employees or outsiders, may prove to be inadequate or are circumvented, thereby causing delays in detection of errors or inaccuracies in data and information. We regularly review and update our internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure or circumvention of our controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may also be subject to disruptions of our systems arising from events that are wholly or partially beyond our control (including, for example, electrical or telecommunications outages), which may give rise to losses in 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 us) and to the risk that our (or our vendors’) business continuity and data security systems prove to be inadequate. We maintain a system of comprehensive policies and a control framework designed to monitor vendor risks including, among other things, (i) changes in the vendor’s organizational structure or internal controls, (ii) changes in the vendor’s financial condition, (iii) changes in the vendor’s support for existing products and services and (iv) changes in the vendor’s strategic focus. While we believe these policies and procedures help to mitigate risk, the failure of an external vendor to perform in accordance with the contracted arrangements under service level agreements could be disruptive to our operations, which could have a material adverse impact on our business and, in turn, our financial condition and results of operations.
We may not be able to attract and retain skilled people.
Our success depends, in large part, on our ability to attract and retain key people. Competition for the best people in most activities in which we engage can be intense and we may not be able to hire people or to retain them. The unexpected loss of services of one or more of our key personnel, including, but not limited to, the executive officers disclosed in Item 1 of this Annual Report, could have a material adverse impact on our business because we would lose the employees’ skills, knowledge of the market, and years of industry experience and may have difficulty promptly finding qualified replacement personnel.
Climate change and severe weather could significantly impact our ability to conduct our business.
A significant portion of our primary markets is located near coastal waters which could generate naturally occurring severe weather, or in response to climate change, that could have a significant impact on our ability to conduct business. Many areas in New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama in which our branches operate are subject to severe flooding from time to time and significant weather related disruptions may become common events in the future. Heavy storms and hurricanes can also cause severe property damage and result in business closures, negatively impacting both the financial health of retail and commercial customers and our ability to operate our business. The risk of significant disruption and potential losses from future storm activity exists in all of our primary markets.
We are subject to environmental liability risk associated with lending activities which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real property. During the ordinary course of business, we may foreclose on and take title to properties securing certain loans. In doing so, there is a risk that hazardous or toxic substances could

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be found on these properties. If hazardous or toxic substances are found, 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 and 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 policies with respect to existing laws may increase our exposure to environmental liability. Although we have policies and procedures to perform an environmental review prior to originating certain commercial real estate loans, as well as 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.
We may incur future losses in connection with repurchases and indemnification payments related to mortgages that we have sold into the secondary market.
We engage in the origination of residential mortgages for sale into the secondary market, while typically retaining the loan servicing. In connection with such sales, we make representations and warranties, which, if breached, may require us to repurchase such loans, substitute other loans or indemnify the purchasers of such loans for actual losses incurred in respect of such loans. The aggregate principal balances of residential mortgage loans serviced by the Bank for others approximated $3.4 billion and $3.2 billion at December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Over the past several years, we have experienced a nominal amount of repurchase requests, and only a few of which have actually resulted in repurchases by Valley (only four and five loan repurchases in 2019 and 2018, respectively). None of the loan repurchases resulted in material loss. As of December 31, 2019, no reserves pertaining to loans sold were established on our financial statements. While we currently believe our repurchase risk remains low based upon our careful loan underwriting and documentation standards, it is possible that requests to repurchase loans could occur in the future and such requests may have a negative financial impact on us.

Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments
None. 

 
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Item 2.
Properties
We conduct our business at 238 retail banking centers locations in northern and central New Jersey, the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Long Island, Florida and Alabama. We own 106 of our banking center facilities and several non-branch operating facilities. The other properties are leased for various terms.
The following table summarizes our retail banking centers in each state: