SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
☒ Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
☐ 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 001-35272
MIDLAND STATES BANCORP, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State of other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)||(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)|
1201 Network Centre Drive
|(Address of principal executive offices)|
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common Stock, $0.01 par value||MSBI|
Nasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. ☐ Yes ☒ No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. ☐ Yes ☒ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. ☒ Yes ☐ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). ☒ Yes ☐ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||☐||Accelerated filer ||☒||Non-accelerated filer ||☐||Smaller reporting company ||☐|
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). ☐ Yes ☒ No
The aggregate market value of the Registrant’s voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates on June 30, 2021 was $566,736,176 (based on the closing price on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on that date of $26.27).
As of February 15, 2022, the Registrant had 22,031,410 shares of outstanding common stock, $0.01 par value.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held May 2, 2022, to be filed within 120 days after December 31, 2021, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K to the extent indicated in such part.
MIDLAND STATES BANCORP, INC.
2021 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of, and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, future events and our financial performance. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “might,” “should,” “could,” “predict,” “potential,” “believe,” “expect,” “continue,” “will,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “projection,” “goal,” “target,” “outlook,” “aim,” and “would” or the negative version of those words or other comparable words or phrases of a future or forward-looking nature. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry, management’s beliefs and certain assumptions made by management, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond our control. Accordingly, we caution you that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, assumptions, estimates and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date made, actual results may prove to be materially different from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
A number of important factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements, including those factors identified in Item 1A – "Risk Factors” or Item 7 – "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” or the following:
•business, economic and political conditions, particularly those affecting the financial services industry and our primary market areas;
•our ability to successfully manage our credit risk and the sufficiency of our allowance for credit losses on loans;
•the failure of assumptions and estimates underlying the establishment of our allowances for credit losses on loans, and estimation of values of collateral and various financial assets and liabilities;
•factors that can impact the performance of our loan portfolio, including real estate values and liquidity in our primary market areas, the financial health of our commercial borrowers and the success of construction projects that we finance, including any loans acquired in acquisition transactions;
•the effects of interest rates, including on our net interest income and the value of our securities portfolio;
•the effects of the Coronavirus Disease ("COVID") pandemic and its potential effects on the economic environment, our customers and our operations, as well as any changes to the federal, state or local government laws, regulations or orders in connection with the pandemic;
•compliance with governmental and regulatory requirements, particularly those relating to banking, consumer protection, securities and tax matters, and our ability to maintain licenses required in connection with commercial mortgage origination, sale and servicing operations;
•legislative and regulatory changes, including changes in banking, consumer protection, securities, trade and tax laws and regulations and their application by our regulators;
•our ability to identify and address cyber-security risks, fraud and systems errors;
•our ability to effectively execute our strategic plan and manage our growth;
•the effects of competition from a wide variety of local, regional, national and other providers of financial, investment and insurance services, including financial technology (“FinTech”) companies, and demand for financial services in our market areas;
•risks related to our acquisition strategy, including our ability to identify suitable acquisition candidates, exposure to potential asset and credit quality risks and unknown or contingent liabilities, the time and costs of integrating systems, procedures and personnel, the need for capital to finance such transactions, and possible failures in realizing the anticipated benefits from acquisitions;
•the effects of the accounting treatment for loans acquired in connection with our acquisitions;
•changes in our senior management team and our ability to attract, motivate and retain qualified personnel;
•monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, including policies of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”);
•developments related to the replacement of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), and the adoption of a substitute reference rate;
•liquidity issues, including fluctuations in the fair value and liquidity of the securities we hold for sale and our ability to raise additional capital, if necessary;
•changes in federal tax law or policy;
•the quality and composition of our loan and investment portfolios and the valuation of our investment portfolio;
•demand for loan products and deposit flows;
•the costs, effects and outcomes of existing or future litigation;
•changes in accounting principles, policies and guidelines; and
•the effects of severe weather, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, widespread disease or pandemics, and other external events.
The foregoing factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read together with the other cautionary statements included in this report. In addition, our past results of operations are not necessarily indicative of our future results. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
ITEM 1 – BUSINESS
Midland States Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company,” “we,” “our,” or “us”), an Illinois corporation formed in 1988, is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Effingham, Illinois. Our banking subsidiary, Midland States Bank (the “Bank”), an Illinois state-chartered bank formed in 1881, has branches across Illinois and in Missouri, and provides a full range of commercial and consumer banking products and services, business equipment financing, merchant credit card services, trust and investment management, and insurance and financial planning services. As of December 31, 2021, the Company had total assets of $7.44 billion, and our wealth management group had assets under administration of approximately $4.22 billion.
Prior to August 28, 2020, we provided multifamily and healthcare facility Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) financing through Love Funding Corporation (“Love Funding”), our non-bank subsidiary. On August 28, 2020, the Company completed the sale of Love Funding's commercial FHA origination platform to Dwight Capital, a nationwide mortgage banking firm headquartered in New York. The transaction was part of the Company’s ongoing effort to enhance efficiency and reduce volatility in its financial performance.
Our strategic plan is focused on building a performance-based, customer-centric culture, creating revenue diversification, seeking accretive acquisitions, achieving operational excellence and maintaining a robust enterprise-wide risk management program. Over the past several years, we have grown organically and through a series of acquisitions, with an over-arching focus on enhancing shareholder value and building a platform for scalability. Most recently, in June 2021, the Company completed its acquisition of substantially all of the trust assets of ATG Trust Company ("ATG Trust"), a trust company based in Chicago, Illinois. In July 2019, the Company completed its acquisition of HomeStar Financial Group, Inc. (“HomeStar”) and its wholly-owned banking subsidiary, HomeStar Bank and Financial Services (“HomeStar Bank”). Additional information on recent acquisitions is presented in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
Our Principal Businesses
Traditional Community Banking. Our traditional community banking business primarily consists of commercial and retail lending and deposit taking. We deliver a comprehensive range of banking products and services to individuals, businesses, municipalities and other entities within our market areas, which include Illinois and the St. Louis metropolitan area, where we operated 52 full-service banking offices as of December 31, 2021.
Our lending strategy is to maintain a broadly diversified loan portfolio based on the type of customer (i.e., businesses versus individuals), type of loan product (e.g., owner occupied commercial real estate, commercial loans, agricultural loans, etc.), geographic location and industries in which our business customers are engaged (e.g., manufacturing, retail, hospitality, etc.). We principally focus our commercial lending activities on loans that we originate from borrowers located in our market areas.
We market our lending products and services to qualified lending customers primarily through branch offices and high touch personal service. We focus our business development and marketing strategy primarily on middle market businesses. Our primary products and services include the following:
Commercial Loans. Our commercial loan portfolio is comprised primarily of term loans to purchase capital equipment and lines of credit for working capital and operational purposes to small and midsized businesses. Although most loans are made on a secured basis, loans may be made on an unsecured basis where warranted by the overall financial condition of the borrower. Part of our commercial loan portfolio includes loans extended to finance agricultural equipment and production. These loans are typically short-term loans extended to farmers and other agricultural producers to purchase seed, fertilizer and equipment.
Commercial Real Estate Loans. We offer real estate loans for owner occupied and non-owner occupied commercial property. The real estate securing our existing commercial real estate loans includes a wide variety of property types, such as owner occupied offices, warehouses and production facilities, office buildings, hotels, mixed-use residential and commercial facilities, retail centers, multifamily properties and assisted living facilities. Our commercial real estate loan portfolio includes farmland loans. Farmland loans are generally made to a borrower actively involved in farming rather than to passive investors.
Construction and Land Development Loans. Our construction portfolio includes loans to small and midsized businesses to construct owner-user properties, loans to developers of commercial real estate investment properties and residential developments and, to a lesser extent, loans to individual clients for construction of single family homes in our market areas. These loans are typically disbursed as construction progresses and carry interest rates that may vary with LIBOR through December 31, 2021, after which a successor index to LIBOR will be in place.
Residential Real Estate Loans. We offer first and second mortgage loans to our individual customers primarily for the purchase of primary residences. We also offer home equity lines of credit, consisting of loans secured by first or second mortgages on primarily owner occupied primary residences.
Consumer Installment Loans. We provide consumer installment loans for the purchase of cars, boats and other recreational vehicles, as well as for the purchase of major appliances and other home improvement projects. Our major appliance and other home improvement lending is originated principally through national and regional retailers and other vendors of these products and services. We typically use GreenSky Inc., a third party servicer, for our national and regional home improvement loans. On September 15, 2021, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and GreenSky, Inc. announced that they had entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Goldman Sachs will acquire GreenSky. Based on recent discussions with GreenSky, we expect to remain in the GreenSky program at least through 2023. During this time, we will continue to originate loans through the GreenSky program with the plan to replace the level of payoffs that we experience and keep the portfolio relatively stable. After the new loan originations end, we expect that approximately 50% of the portfolio would run off over the first 12 months with the remainder paying off over several years.
Commercial Equipment Leasing. We originate and manage custom leasing and financing programs for commercial customers on a nationwide basis. The industries we service include manufacturing, construction, transportation and healthcare. The financings generated are typically retained and serviced by the Bank, and are generally leases between $50,000 and $500,000, but can be larger in certain circumstances.
Deposit Taking. We offer traditional depository products, including checking, savings, money market and certificates of deposits, to individuals, businesses, municipalities and other entities throughout our market areas. We also offer sweep accounts to our business customers. Deposits at the Bank are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) up to statutory limits. We also offer sweep accounts that are guaranteed through repurchase agreements to our business and municipal customers. Our ability to gather deposits, particularly core deposits, is an important aspect of our business franchise.
Wealth Management. Our wealth management group operates under the name Midland Wealth Management and provides a comprehensive suite of trust and wealth management products and services, including financial and estate planning, trustee and custodial services, investment management, tax and insurance planning, business planning, corporate retirement plan consulting and administration and retail brokerage services through a nationally recognized third party broker dealer.
FHA Servicing. Prior to the sale of Love Funding’s commercial FHA origination platform to Dwight Capital in August 2020, we conducted our FHA origination business through Love Funding. Until August 2020, Love Funding originated commercial mortgage loans for multifamily and healthcare facilities under FHA insurance programs, and sold those loans into the secondary market through mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”). The Bank continues to service Love Funding’s current servicing portfolio.
We compete in a number of areas, including commercial and retail banking, residential mortgages, wealth management and commercial equipment leasing. These industries are highly competitive, and the Bank and its subsidiaries face strong direct competition for deposits, loans and leases, wealth management, and other financial-related services. We compete primarily with other community banks, thrifts and credit unions. In addition, we compete with large banks and other financial intermediaries, such as consumer finance companies, brokerage firms, mortgage banking companies, business leasing and finance companies, insurance companies, securities firms, mutual funds and certain government agencies as well as major retailers, all actively engaged in providing various types of loans and other financial services. Additionally, we face growing competition from so-called "online businesses" with few or no physical locations, including online banks, lenders and consumer and commercial lending platforms, and FinTech companies, as well as automated retirement and investment service providers. We believe that the range and quality of products that we offer, the knowledge of our personnel and our emphasis on building long-lasting relationships set us apart from our competitors.
The following table reflects information on the markets we currently serve:
|(dollars in thousands)||June 30, 2021||December 31, 2021|
|County||State||Deposits||Market Share||# of Banking Offices|
|St. Louis (City)||MO||1,668||—||1|
Human Capital Resources
At December 31, 2021, we had 907 employees, including 43 part-time employees. Our employees are not represented by any collective bargaining group. Management considers its employee relations to be good. We believe our ability to attract and retain employees is a key to our success. Accordingly, we strive to offer competitive salaries and employee benefits to all employees and monitor salaries in our market areas.
In addition, we are committed to developing our staff through continuing and specialty education within banking. In this regard, we have developed and provided all employees with access to our Midland University training program. This program was developed to provide continuing education required or advisable regarding regulatory matters (such as anti-money laundering, bank secrecy, etc.) as well as other matters important to our organization and culture (e.g., social inclusion, diversity
and non-discrimination, etc.). Additionally, our Midland University program provides for continuing education in areas specifically related to our banking and financial services business.
Leadership and professional development is also supported through our MASTERS and Midland WOMEN groups. Our MASTERS programs, Midland’s Advanced Study for Talent Enrichment and Resource Strengthening, were created to accelerate the career development of employees exhibiting the growth potential and qualities necessary to ensure the continued success of our Company. A total of 60 employees have participated in this high potential training program since its inception in 2016. Midland WOMEN is an affinity group that focuses on leadership development of women throughout all levels of the organization. Midland WOMEN currently has more than 25 employees participating on various activity committees and offers programs that engage hundreds of Midland employees annually.
Our principal executive offices are located at 1201 Network Centre Drive, Effingham, Illinois 62401, and our telephone number at that address is (217) 342-7321. Through our website at www.midlandsb.com under “Investors - SEC Filings,” we make available, free of charge, our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), as well as proxy statements, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The contents of our website are not incorporated by reference into this report.
Supervision and Regulation
FDIC-insured institutions, their holding companies and their affiliates are extensively regulated under federal and state law. As a result, the Company’s growth and earnings performance may be affected not only by management decisions and general economic conditions, but also by the requirements of federal and state statutes and by the regulations and policies of various bank regulatory agencies, including the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (the “DFPR”), the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”). Furthermore, taxation laws administered by the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities, accounting rules developed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “FASB”), securities laws administered by the SEC and state securities authorities, and anti-money laundering laws enforced by the Treasury have an impact on the Company’s business. The effect of these statutes, regulations, regulatory policies and accounting rules are significant to the Company’s operations and results.
Federal and state banking laws impose a comprehensive system of supervision, regulation and enforcement on the operations of FDIC-insured institutions, their holding companies and affiliates that is intended primarily for the protection of the FDIC-insured deposits and depositors of banks, rather than shareholders. These laws, and the regulations of the bank regulatory agencies issued under them, affect, among other things, the scope of the Company’s business, the kinds and amounts of investments the Company and the Bank may make, required capital levels relative to assets, the nature and amount of collateral for loans, the establishment of branches, the ability to merge, consolidate and acquire, dealings with the Company’s and the Bank’s insiders and affiliates and the Company’s payment of dividends. In reaction to the global financial crisis and particularly following the passage of the Dodd Frank Act, the Company experienced heightened regulatory requirements and scrutiny. Although the reforms primarily targeted systemically important financial service providers, their influence filtered down in varying degrees to community banks over time and caused the Company’s compliance and risk management processes, and the costs thereof, to increase. However, in May 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (“Regulatory Relief Act”) was enacted by Congress in part to provide regulatory relief for community banks and their holding companies. To that end, the law eliminated questions about the applicability of certain Dodd-Frank Act reforms to community bank systems, including relieving the Company of any requirement to engage in mandatory stress tests, maintain a risk committee or comply with the Volcker Rule’s complicated prohibitions on proprietary trading and ownership of private funds. The Company believes these reforms are favorable to its operations.
The supervisory framework for U.S. banking organizations subjects banks and bank holding companies to regular examination by their respective regulatory agencies, which results in examination reports and ratings that are not publicly available and that can impact the conduct and growth of their business. These examinations consider not only compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but also capital levels, asset quality and risk, management ability and performance, earnings, liquidity, and various other factors. The regulatory agencies generally have broad discretion to impose restrictions and limitations on the operations of a regulated entity where the agencies determine, among other things, that such operations are unsafe or unsound, fail to comply with applicable law or are otherwise inconsistent with laws and regulations.
The following is a summary of the material elements of the supervisory and regulatory framework applicable to the Company and its subsidiary bank, beginning with a discussion of the impact of the COVID pandemic on the banking industry.
It does not describe all of the statutes, regulations and regulatory policies that apply, nor does it restate all of the requirements of those that are described. The descriptions are qualified in their entirety by reference to the particular statutory and regulatory provision.
The federal bank regulatory agencies, along with their state counterparts, have issued a steady stream of guidance responding to the COVID pandemic and have taken a number of unprecedented steps to help banks navigate the pandemic and mitigate its impact. These include, without limitation: requiring banks to focus on business continuity and pandemic planning; adding pandemic scenarios to stress testing; encouraging bank use of capital buffers and reserves in lending programs; permitting certain regulatory reporting extensions; reducing margin requirements on swaps; permitting certain otherwise prohibited investments in investment funds; issuing guidance to encourage banks to work with customers affected by the pandemic and encourage loan workouts; and providing credit under the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) for certain pandemic-related loans, investments and public service. Moreover, because of the need for social distancing measures, the agencies revamped the manner in which they conducted periodic examinations of their regulated institutions, including making greater use of off-site reviews.
The Federal Reserve issued guidance encouraging banking institutions to utilize its discount window for loans and intraday credit extended by its Reserve Banks to help households and businesses impacted by the pandemic and announced numerous funding facilities. The FDIC also has acted to mitigate the deposit insurance assessment effects of participating in the Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") administered through the Small Business Administration ("SBA") and the Federal Reserve’s PPP Liquidity Facility and Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility.
Reference is made to the COVID discussion under "Operational, Strategic and Reputational Risks" under Item 1A - "Risk Factors" and "Material Trends and Developments - Impact of COVID" under Item 7 - "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for information on the CARES Act, PPP program and the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities and for discussions of the economic impact of the COVID pandemic. In addition, information as to selected topics, such as the impact on capital requirements, dividend payments, reserves and CRA, is contained in the relevant sections of this Supervision and Regulation discussion provided below.
The Role of Capital
Regulatory capital represents the net assets of a banking organization available to absorb losses. Because of the risks attendant to their business, FDIC-insured institutions are generally required to hold more capital than other businesses, which directly affects the Company’s earnings capabilities. While capital has historically been one of the key measures of the financial health of both bank holding companies and banks, its role became fundamentally more important in the wake of the global financial crisis, as the banking regulators recognized that the amount and quality of capital held by banks prior to the crisis was insufficient to absorb losses during periods of severe stress. Certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and Basel III, discussed below, establish capital standards for banks and bank holding companies that are meaningfully more stringent than those in place previously.
Minimum Required Capital Levels. Banks have been required to hold minimum levels of capital based on guidelines established by the bank regulatory agencies since 1983. The minimums have been expressed in terms of ratios of “capital” divided by “total assets”. As discussed below, bank capital measures have become more sophisticated over the years and have focused more on the quality of capital and the risk of assets. Bank holding companies have historically had to comply with less stringent capital standards than their bank subsidiaries and have been able to raise capital with hybrid instruments such as trust preferred securities. The Dodd-Frank Act mandated the Federal Reserve to establish minimum capital levels for holding companies on a consolidated basis as stringent as those required for FDIC-insured institutions. A result of this change is that the proceeds of hybrid instruments, such as trust preferred securities, were excluded from capital over a phase-out period. However, if such securities were issued prior to May 19, 2010 by bank holding companies with less than $15 billion of assets, they may be retained, subject to certain restrictions. Because the Company has assets of less than $15 billion, the Company is able to maintain its trust preferred proceeds as capital but the Company has to comply with new capital mandates in other respects and will not be able to raise capital in the future through the issuance of trust preferred securities.
The Basel International Capital Accords. The risk-based capital guidelines for U.S. banks since 1989 were based upon the 1988 capital accord known as “Basel I” adopted by the international Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a committee of central banks and bank supervisors that acts as the primary global standard-setter for prudential regulation, as implemented by the U.S. bank regulatory agencies on an interagency basis. The accord recognized that bank assets for the purpose of the capital ratio calculations needed to be assigned risk weights (the theory being that riskier assets should require more capital) and that off-balance sheet exposures needed to be factored in the calculations. Basel I had a very simple formula for assigning risk weights to bank assets from 0% to 100% based on four categories. In 2008, the banking agencies collaboratively began to
phase-in capital standards based on a second capital accord, referred to as “Basel II,” for large or “core” international banks (generally defined for U.S. purposes as having total assets of $250 billion or more, or consolidated foreign exposures of $10 billion or more) known as “advanced approaches” banks. The primary focus of Basel II was on the calculation of risk weights based on complex models developed by each advanced approaches bank. Because most banks were not subject to Basel II, the U.S. bank regulators worked to improve the risk sensitivity of Basel I standards without imposing the complexities of Basel II. This “standardized approach” increased the number of risk-weight categories and recognized risks well above the original 100% risk weight. It is institutionalized by the Dodd-Frank Act for all banking organizations, even for the advanced approaches banks, as a floor.
On September 12, 2010, the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, announced agreement on a strengthened set of capital requirements for banking organizations around the world, known as Basel III, to address deficiencies recognized in connection with the global financial crisis.
The Basel III Rule. In July 2013, the U.S. federal banking agencies approved the implementation of the Basel III regulatory capital reforms in pertinent part, and, at the same time, promulgated rules effecting certain changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act (the “Basel III Rule”). In contrast to capital requirements historically, which were in the form of guidelines, Basel III was released in the form of enforceable regulations by each of the regulatory agencies. The Basel III Rule is applicable to all banking organizations that are subject to minimum capital requirements, including federal and state banks and savings and loan associations, as well as to bank and savings and loan holding companies, other than “small bank holding companies” (generally holding companies with consolidated assets of less than $3 billion) and certain qualifying banking organizations that may elect a simplified framework (which the Company has not done.) Thus, the Company and the Bank are each currently subject to the Basel III Rule as described below.
The Basel III Rule increased the required quantity and quality of capital and, for nearly every class of assets, it requires a more complex, detailed and calibrated assessment of risk and calculation of risk-weight amounts.
Not only did the Basel III Rule increase most of the required minimum capital ratios in effect prior to January 1, 2015, but it introduced the concept of Common Equity Tier 1 Capital, which consists primarily of common stock, related surplus (net of Treasury stock), retained earnings, and Common Equity Tier 1 minority interests subject to certain regulatory adjustments. The Basel III Rule also changed the definition of capital by establishing more stringent criteria that instruments must meet to be considered Additional Tier 1 Capital (primarily non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock that meets certain requirements) and Tier 2 Capital (primarily other types of preferred stock and subordinated debt, subject to limitations). A number of instruments that qualified as Tier 1 Capital under Basel I do not qualify, or their qualifications changed. For example, noncumulative perpetual preferred stock, which qualified as simple Tier 1 Capital under Basel I, does not qualify as Common Equity Tier 1 Capital, but qualifies as Additional Tier 1 Capital. The Basel III Rule also constrained the inclusion of minority interests, mortgage-servicing assets, and deferred tax assets in capital and requires deductions from Common Equity Tier 1 Capital in the event that such assets exceed a certain percentage of a banking institution’s Common Equity Tier 1 Capital.
The Basel III Rule requires minimum capital ratios as follows:
•A ratio of minimum Common Equity Tier 1 Capital equal to 4.5% of risk-weighted assets;
•An increase in the minimum required amount of Tier 1 Capital from 4% to 6% of risk-weighted assets;
•A continuation of the minimum required amount of Total Capital (Tier 1 plus Tier 2) at 8% of risk-weighted assets; and
•A minimum leverage ratio of Tier 1 Capital to total quarterly average assets equal to 4% in all circumstances.
In addition, institutions that seek the freedom to make capital distributions (including for dividends and repurchases of stock) and pay discretionary bonuses to executive officers without restriction must also maintain 2.5% in Common Equity Tier 1 Capital attributable to a capital conservation buffer. The purpose of the conservation buffer is to ensure that banking institutions maintain a buffer of capital that can be used to absorb losses during periods of financial and economic stress. Factoring in the conservation buffer increases the minimum ratios depicted above to 7% for Common Equity Tier 1 Capital, 8.5% for Tier 1 Capital and 10.5% for Total Capital. The federal bank regulators released a joint statement in response to the COVID pandemic reminding the industry that capital and liquidity buffers were meant to give banks the means to support the economy in adverse situations, and that the agencies would support banks that use the buffers for that purpose if undertaken in a safe and sound manner.
Well-Capitalized Requirements. The ratios described above are minimum standards in order for banking organizations to be considered “adequately capitalized.” Bank regulatory agencies uniformly encourage banks to hold more capital and be “well-capitalized” and, to that end, federal law and regulations provide various incentives for banking organizations to maintain regulatory capital at levels in excess of minimum regulatory requirements. For example, a banking organization that is well-capitalized may: (i) qualify for exemptions from prior notice or application requirements otherwise applicable to certain types of activities; (ii) qualify for expedited processing of other required notices or applications; and (iii) accept, roll-over or renew brokered deposits. Higher capital levels could also be required if warranted by the particular circumstances or risk profiles of individual banking organizations. For example, the Federal Reserve’s capital guidelines contemplate that additional capital may be required to take adequate account of, among other things, interest rate risk, or the risks posed by concentrations of credit, nontraditional activities or securities trading activities. Further, any banking organization experiencing or anticipating significant growth would be expected to maintain capital ratios, including tangible capital positions (i.e., Tier 1 Capital less all intangible assets), well above the minimum levels.
Under the capital regulations of the Federal Reserve, in order to be well-capitalized, a banking organization must maintain:
•A Common Equity Tier 1 Capital ratio to risk-weighted assets of 6.5% or more;
•A ratio of Tier 1 Capital to total risk-weighted assets of 8% or more;
•A ratio of Total Capital to total risk-weighted assets of 10% or more; and
•A leverage ratio of Tier 1 Capital to total adjusted average quarterly assets of 5% or greater.
It is possible under the Basel III Rule to be well-capitalized while remaining out of compliance with the capital conservation buffer discussed above.
As of December 31, 2021: (i) the Bank was not subject to a directive from the Federal Reserve to increase its capital; and (ii) the Bank was well-capitalized, as defined by Federal Reserve regulations. As of December 31, 2021, the Company had regulatory capital in excess of the Federal Reserve’s requirements and met the Basel III Rule requirements to be well-capitalized. The Company is also in compliance with the capital conservation buffer.
Prompt Corrective Action. The concept of an institution being “well-capitalized” is part of a regulatory enforcement regime that provides the federal banking regulators with broad power to take “prompt corrective action” to resolve the problems of institutions based on the capital level of each particular institution. The extent of the regulators’ powers depends on whether the institution in question is “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized” or “critically undercapitalized,” in each case as defined by regulation. Depending upon the capital category to which an institution is assigned, the regulators’ corrective powers include: (i) requiring the institution to submit a capital restoration plan; (ii) limiting the institution’s asset growth and restricting its activities; (iii) requiring the institution to issue additional capital stock (including additional voting stock) or to sell itself; (iv) restricting transactions between the institution and its affiliates; (v) restricting the interest rate that the institution may pay on deposits; (vi) ordering a new election of directors of the institution; (vii) requiring that senior executive officers or directors be dismissed; (viii) prohibiting the institution from accepting deposits from correspondent banks; (ix) requiring the institution to divest certain subsidiaries; (x) prohibiting the payment of principal or interest on subordinated debt; and (xi) ultimately, appointing a receiver for the institution.
Community Bank Capital Simplification. Community banks have long raised concerns with bank regulators about the regulatory burden, complexity, and costs associated with certain provisions of the Basel III Rule. In response, Congress provided an “off-ramp” for institutions, like the Company, with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion. Section 201 of the Regulatory Relief Act instructed the federal banking regulators to establish a single “Community Bank Leverage Ratio” (“CBLR”) of between 8 and 10%. Under the final rule, a community banking organization is eligible to elect the new framework if it has less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, limited amounts of certain assets and off-balance sheet exposures, and a CBLR greater than 9%. The bank regulatory agencies temporarily lowered the CBLR to 8% as a result of the COVID pandemic. Nevertheless, the Company has not currently determined to elect the CBLR, but it may elect the framework at any time.
Supervision and Regulation of the Company
General. The Company, as the sole shareholder of the Bank, is a bank holding company. As a bank holding company, the Company is registered with, and is subject to regulation supervision and enforcement by, the Federal Reserve under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the "BHCA"). The Company is legally obligated to act as a source of financial strength to the Bank and to commit resources to support the Bank in circumstances where the Company might not otherwise do so. Under the BHCA, the Company is subject to periodic examination by the Federal Reserve. The Company is required to file with the Federal Reserve periodic reports of the Company’s operations and such additional information regarding the Company and its subsidiaries as the Federal Reserve may require.
Acquisitions, Activities and Financial Holding Company Election. The primary purpose of a bank holding company is to control and manage banks. The BHCA generally requires the prior approval of the Federal Reserve for any merger involving a bank holding company or any acquisition by a bank holding company of another bank or bank holding company. Subject to certain conditions (including deposit concentration limits established by the BHCA), the Federal Reserve may allow a bank holding company to acquire banks located in any state of the United States. In approving interstate acquisitions, the Federal Reserve is required to give effect to applicable state law limitations on the aggregate amount of deposits that may be held by the acquiring bank holding company and its FDIC-insured institution affiliates in the state in which the target bank is located (provided that those limits do not discriminate against out-of-state institutions or their holding companies) and state laws that require that the target bank have been in existence for a minimum period of time (not to exceed five years) before being acquired by an out-of-state bank holding company. Furthermore, in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, bank holding companies must be well-capitalized and well-managed in order to effect interstate mergers or acquisitions. For a discussion of the capital requirements, see “-The Role of Capital” above.
The BHCA generally prohibits the Company from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of 5% or more of the voting shares of any company that is not a bank and from engaging in any business other than that of banking, managing and controlling banks or furnishing services to banks and their subsidiaries. This general prohibition is subject to a number of exceptions. The principal exception allows bank holding companies to engage in, and to own shares of companies engaged in, certain businesses found by the Federal Reserve prior to November 11, 1999 to be “so closely related to banking ... as to be a proper incident thereto.” This authority permits the Company to engage in a variety of banking-related businesses, including the ownership and operation of a savings association, or any entity engaged in consumer finance, equipment leasing, the operation of a computer service bureau (including software development) and mortgage banking and brokerage services. The BHCA does not place territorial restrictions on the domestic activities of nonbank subsidiaries of bank holding companies.
Additionally, bank holding companies that meet certain eligibility requirements prescribed by the BHCA and elect to operate as financial holding companies may engage in, or own shares in companies engaged in, a wider range of nonbanking activities, including securities and insurance underwriting and sales, merchant banking and any other activity that the Federal Reserve, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines by regulation or order is financial in nature or incidental to any such financial activity or that the Federal Reserve determines by order to be complementary to any such financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of FDIC-insured institutions or the financial system generally. In 2006, the Company elected to operate as a financial holding company. In order to maintain its status as a financial holding company, the Company and the Bank must be well-capitalized, well-managed, and the Bank must have a least a satisfactory CRA rating. If the Federal Reserve determines that a financial holding company is not well-capitalized or well-managed, the Company has a period of time in which to achieve compliance, but during the period of noncompliance, the Federal Reserve may place any limitations on the Company that it believes to be appropriate. Furthermore, if the Federal Reserve determines that a financial holding company’s subsidiary bank has not received a satisfactory CRA rating, that company will not be able to commence any new financial activities or acquire a company that engages in such activities.
Change in Control. Federal law prohibits any person or company from acquiring “control” of an FDIC-insured depository institution or its holding company without prior notice to the appropriate federal bank regulator. “Control” is conclusively presumed to exist upon the acquisition of 25% or more of the outstanding voting securities of a bank or bank holding company, but may arise under certain circumstances between 10% and 24.99% ownership.
Capital Requirements. Bank holding companies are required to maintain capital in accordance with Federal Reserve capital adequacy requirements. For a discussion of capital requirements, see “—The Role of Capital” above.
Dividend Payments. The Company’s ability to pay dividends to the Company’s shareholders may be affected by both general corporate law considerations and policies of the Federal Reserve applicable to bank holding companies. As an Illinois corporation, the Company is subject to the limitations of the Illinois Business Corporations Act, as amended, which allows us to pay dividends unless, after such dividend, (i) the Company would not be able to pay its debts as they become due in the usual course of business or (ii) the Company’s total assets would be less than the sum of the Company’s total liabilities plus any
amount that would be needed if it were to be dissolved at the time of the dividend payment, to satisfy the preferential rights upon dissolution of shareholders whose rights are superior to the rights of the shareholders receiving the distribution.
As a general matter, the Federal Reserve has indicated that the board of directors of a bank holding company should eliminate, defer or significantly reduce dividends to shareholders if: (i) the company’s net income available to shareholders for the past four quarters, net of dividends previously paid during that period, is not sufficient to fully fund the dividends; (ii) the prospective rate of earnings retention is inconsistent with the company’s capital needs and overall current and prospective financial condition; or (iii) the company will not meet, or is in danger of not meeting, its minimum regulatory capital adequacy ratios. These factors have come into consideration as a result of the COVID pandemic. The Federal Reserve also possesses enforcement powers over bank holding companies and their nonbank subsidiaries to prevent or remedy actions that represent unsafe or unsound practices or violations of applicable statutes and regulations. Among these powers is the ability to proscribe the payment of dividends by banks and bank holding companies. In addition, under the Basel III Rule, institutions that seek the freedom to pay dividends have to maintain 2.5% in Common Equity Tier 1 Capital attributable to the capital conservation buffer. See “—The Role of Capital” above.
Incentive Compensation. There have been a number of developments in recent years focused on incentive compensation plans sponsored by bank holding companies and banks, reflecting recognition by the bank regulatory agencies and Congress that flawed incentive compensation practices in the financial industry were one of many factors contributing to the global financial crisis. Layered on top of that are the abuses in the headlines dealing with product cross-selling incentive plans. The result is interagency guidance on sound incentive compensation practices.
The interagency guidance recognized three core principles. Effective incentive plans should: (i) provide employees incentives that appropriately balance risk and reward; (ii) be compatible with effective controls and risk-management; and (iii) be supported by strong corporate governance, including active and effective oversight by the organization’s board of directors. Much of the guidance addresses large banking organizations and, because of the size and complexity of their operations, the regulators expect those organizations to maintain systematic and formalized policies, procedures, and systems for ensuring that the incentive compensation arrangements for all executive and non-executive employees covered by this guidance are identified and reviewed, and appropriately balance risks and rewards. Smaller banking organizations like the Company that use incentive compensation arrangements are expected to be less extensive, formalized, and detailed than those of the larger banks.
Monetary Policy. The monetary policy of the Federal Reserve has a significant effect on the operating results of financial or bank holding companies and their subsidiaries. Among the tools available to the Federal Reserve to affect the money supply are open market transactions in U.S. government securities, changes in the discount rate on bank borrowings and changes in reserve requirements against bank deposits. These means are used in varying combinations to influence overall growth and distribution of bank loans, investments and deposits, and their use may affect interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits.
Federal Securities Regulation. The Company’s common stock is registered with the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Exchange Act. Consequently, the Company is subject to the information, proxy solicitation, insider trading and other restrictions and requirements of the SEC under the Exchange Act.
Corporate Governance. The Dodd-Frank Act addressed many investor protection, corporate governance and executive compensation matters that will affect most U.S. publicly traded companies. The Dodd Frank Act increased shareholder influence over boards of directors by requiring companies to give shareholders a nonbinding vote on executive compensation and so-called “golden parachute” payments, and authorizing the SEC to promulgate rules that would allow shareholders to nominate and solicit voters for their own candidates using a company’s proxy materials. The legislation also directed the Federal Reserve to promulgate rules prohibiting excessive compensation paid to executives of bank holding companies, regardless of whether such companies are publicly traded.
Supervision and Regulation of the Bank
General. The Bank is an Illinois-chartered bank. The deposit accounts of the Bank are insured by the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”) to the maximum extent provided under federal law and FDIC regulations, currently $250,000 per insured depositor category. As an Illinois-chartered FDIC-insured bank, the Bank is subject to the examination, supervision, reporting and enforcement requirements of the DFPR, the chartering authority for Illinois banks, and, as a member bank, the Federal Reserve.
Deposit Insurance. As an FDIC-insured institution, the Bank is required to pay deposit insurance premium assessments to the FDIC. The FDIC has adopted a risk-based assessment system whereby FDIC-insured institutions pay insurance premiums at rates based on their risk classification. For institutions like the Bank that are not considered large and highly complex banking organizations, assessments are now based on examination ratings and financial ratios. The total base
assessment rates currently range from 1.5 basis points to 30 basis points. At least semi-annually, the FDIC updates its loss and income projections for the DIF and, if needed, increases or decreases the assessment rates, following notice and comment on proposed rulemaking. The assessment base against which an FDIC-insured institution’s deposit insurance premiums paid to the DIF has been calculated since effectiveness of the Dodd-Frank Act based on its average consolidated total assets less its average tangible equity. This method shifted the burden of deposit insurance premiums toward those large depository institutions that rely on funding sources other than U.S. deposits.
The reserve ratio is the FDIC insurance fund balance divided by estimated insured deposits. The Dodd-Frank Act altered the minimum reserve ratio of the DIF, increasing the minimum from 1.15% to 1.35% of the estimated amount of total insured deposits. The reserve ratio reached 1.36% as of September 30, 2018, exceeding the statutory required minimum. As a result, the FDIC provided assessment credits to insured depository institutions, like the Bank, with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion for the portion of their regular assessments that contributed to growth in the reserve ratio between 1.15% and 1.35%. The FDIC applied the small bank credits for quarterly assessment periods beginning July 1, 2019. However, the reserve ratio fell to 1.30% in 2020 as a result of extraordinary insured deposit growth caused by an unprecedented inflow of more than $1 trillion in estimated insured deposits in the first half of 2020 stemming mainly from the COVID pandemic. Although the FDIC could have ceased the small bank credits, it waived the requirement that the reserve ratio be at least 1.35% for full remittance of the remaining assessment credits, and it refunded all small bank credits as of September 30, 2020.
Supervisory Assessments. All Illinois-chartered banks are required to pay supervisory assessments to the DFPR to fund the operations of that agency. The amount of the assessment is calculated on the basis of the Bank’s total assets.
During the year ended December 31, 2021, the Bank paid supervisory assessments to the DFPR totaling approximately $475,000.
Capital Requirements. Banks are generally required to maintain capital levels in excess of other businesses. For a discussion of capital requirements, see “—The Role of Capital” above.
Liquidity Requirements. Liquidity is a measure of the ability and ease with which bank assets may be converted to cash. Liquid assets are those that can be converted to cash quickly if needed to meet financial obligations. To remain viable, FDIC-insured institutions must have enough liquid assets to meet their near-term obligations, such as withdrawals by depositors. Because the global financial crisis was in part a liquidity crisis, Basel III also includes a liquidity framework that requires FDIC-insured institutions to measure their liquidity against specific liquidity tests. One test, referred to as the liquidity coverage ratio, or LCR, is designed to ensure that the banking entity has an adequate stock of unencumbered high-quality liquid assets that can be converted easily and immediately in private markets into cash to meet liquidity needs for a 30-calendar day liquidity stress scenario. The other test, known as the net stable funding ratio, or NSFR, is designed to promote more medium- and long-term funding of the assets and activities of FDIC-insured institutions over a one-year horizon. These tests provide an incentive for banks and holding companies to increase their holdings in Treasury securities and other sovereign debt as a component of assets, increase the use of long-term debt as a funding source and rely on stable funding like core deposits (in lieu of brokered deposits).
In addition to liquidity guidelines already in place, the federal bank regulatory agencies implemented the Basel III LCR in September 2014, which requires large financial firms to hold levels of liquid assets sufficient to protect against constraints on their funding during times of financial turmoil, and in 2016 proposed implementation of the NSFR. While these rules do not, and will not, apply to the Bank, it continues to review its liquidity risk management policies in light of developments.
Dividend Payments. The primary source of funds for the Company is dividends from the Bank. Under Illinois banking law, Illinois-chartered banks generally may pay dividends only out of undivided profits. The DFPR may restrict the declaration or payment of a dividend by an Illinois-chartered bank, such as the Bank. The payment of dividends by any FDIC-insured institution is affected by the requirement to maintain adequate capital pursuant to applicable capital adequacy guidelines and regulations, and an FDIC-insured institution generally is prohibited from paying any dividends if, following payment thereof, the institution would be undercapitalized. As described above, the Bank exceeded its capital requirements under applicable guidelines as of December 31, 2021. Notwithstanding the availability of funds for dividends, however, the Federal Reserve and the DFPR may prohibit the payment of dividends by the Bank if either or both determine such payment would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice. In addition, under the Basel III Rule, institutions that seek the freedom to pay dividends have to maintain 2.5% in Common Equity Tier 1 Capital attributable to the capital conservation buffer. See “—The Role of Capital” above.
State Bank Investments and Activities. The Bank is permitted to make investments and engage in activities directly or through subsidiaries as authorized by Illinois law. However, under federal law and FDIC regulations, FDIC-insured state banks are prohibited, subject to certain exceptions, from making or retaining equity investments of a type, or in an amount, that are
not permissible for a national bank. Federal law and FDIC regulations also prohibit FDIC-insured state banks and their subsidiaries, subject to certain exceptions, from engaging as principal in any activity that is not permitted for a national bank unless the bank meets, and continues to meet, its minimum regulatory capital requirements and the FDIC determines that the activity would not pose a significant risk to the DIF. These restrictions have not had, and are not currently expected to have, a material impact on the operations of the Bank.
Insider Transactions. The Bank is subject to certain restrictions imposed by federal law on “covered transactions” between the Bank and its “affiliates.” The Company is an affiliate of the Bank for purposes of these restrictions, and covered transactions subject to the restrictions include extensions of credit to the Company, investments in the stock or other securities of the Company and the acceptance of the stock or other securities of the Company as collateral for loans made by the Bank. The Dodd-Frank Act enhanced the requirements for certain transactions with affiliates, including an expansion of the definition of “covered transactions” and an increase in the amount of time for which collateral requirements regarding covered transactions must be maintained.
Certain limitations and reporting requirements are also placed on extensions of credit by the Bank to its directors and officers, to directors and officers of the Company and its subsidiaries, to principal shareholders of the Company and to “related interests” of such directors, officers and principal shareholders. In addition, federal law and regulations may affect the terms upon which any person who is a director or officer of the Company or the Bank, or a principal shareholder of the Company, may obtain credit from banks with which the Bank maintains a correspondent relationship.
Safety and Soundness Standards/Risk Management. The federal banking agencies have adopted operational and managerial standards to promote the safety and soundness of FDIC-insured institutions. The standards apply to internal controls, information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, compensation, fees and benefits, asset quality and earnings.
In general, the safety and soundness standards prescribe the goals to be achieved in each area, and each institution is responsible for establishing its own procedures to achieve those goals. While regulatory standards do not have the force of law, if an institution operates in an unsafe and unsound manner, the FDIC-insured institution’s primary federal regulator may require the institution to submit a plan for achieving and maintaining compliance. If an FDIC-insured institution fails to submit an acceptable compliance plan, or fails in any material respect to implement a compliance plan that has been accepted by its primary federal regulator, the regulator is required to issue an order directing the institution to cure the deficiency. Until the deficiency cited in the regulator’s order is cured, the regulator may restrict the FDIC-insured institution’s rate of growth, require the FDIC-insured institution to increase its capital, restrict the rates the institution pays on deposits or require the institution to take any action the regulator deems appropriate under the circumstances. Noncompliance with safety and soundness may also constitute grounds for other enforcement action by the federal bank regulatory agencies, including cease and desist orders and civil money penalty assessments.
During the past decade, the bank regulatory agencies have increasingly emphasized the importance of sound risk management processes and strong internal controls when evaluating the activities of the FDIC-insured institutions they supervise. Properly managing risks has been identified as critical to the conduct of safe and sound banking activities and has become even more important as new technologies, product innovation, and the size and speed of financial transactions have changed the nature of banking markets. The agencies have identified a spectrum of risks facing a banking institution including, but not limited to, credit, market, liquidity, operational, legal, and reputational risk. The key risk themes identified for 2020 before the COVID pandemic were: (i) elevated operational risk as banks adapt to an evolving technology environment and persistent cybersecurity risks, (ii) the need for banks to prepare for a cyclical change in credit risk while credit performance is strong, (iii) elevated interest rate risk due to lower rates continuing to compress net interest margins, and (iv) strategic risks from non-depository financial institutions, use of innovative and evolving technology, and progressive data analysis capabilities. Pandemic planning and business continuity are now important risk management issues as well. The Bank is expected to have active board and senior management oversight; adequate policies, procedures, and limits; adequate risk measurement, monitoring, and management information systems; and comprehensive internal controls.
Privacy and Cybersecurity. The Bank is subject to many U.S. federal and state laws and regulations governing requirements for maintaining policies and procedures to protect non-public confidential information of their customers. These laws require the Bank to periodically disclose its privacy policies and practices relating to sharing such information and permit consumers to opt out of their ability to share information with unaffiliated third parties under certain circumstances. They also impact the Bank’s ability to share certain information with affiliates and non-affiliates for marketing and/or non-marketing purposes, or to contact customers with marketing offers. In addition, the Bank is required to implement a comprehensive information security program that includes administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer records and information. These security and privacy policies and procedures, for the protection of personal and confidential information, are in effect across all businesses and geographic locations.
Branching Authority. Illinois banks, such as the Bank, have the authority under Illinois law to establish branches anywhere in the State of Illinois, subject to receipt of all required regulatory approvals. The establishment of new interstate branches has historically been permitted only in those states the laws of which expressly authorize such expansion. The Dodd-Frank Act permits well-capitalized and well-managed banks to establish new interstate branches or the acquisition of individual branches of a bank in another state (rather than the acquisition of an out-of-state bank in its entirety) without impediments. Federal law permits state and national banks to merge with banks in other states subject to: (i) regulatory approval; (ii) federal and state deposit concentration limits; and (iii) state law limitations requiring the merging bank to have been in existence for a minimum period of time (not to exceed five years) prior to the merger.
Transaction Account Reserves. Federal law requires FDIC-insured institutions to maintain reserves against their transaction accounts (primarily NOW and regular checking accounts) to provide liquidity. Reserves are maintained on deposit at the Federal Reserve Banks. The reserve requirements are subject to annual adjustment by the Federal Reserve, and, for 2020, the Federal Reserve had determined that the first $16.9 million of otherwise reservable balances had a zero percent reserve requirement; for transaction accounts aggregating between $16.9 million to $127.5 million, the reserve requirement was 3% of those transaction account balances; and for net transaction accounts in excess of $127.5 million, the reserve requirement was 10% of the aggregate amount of total transaction account balances in excess of $127.5 million. However, in March 2020, in an unprecedented move, the Federal Reserve announced that the banking system had ample reserves, and, as reserve requirements no longer played a significant role in this regime, it reduced all reserve tranches to zero percent, thereby freeing banks from the reserve maintenance requirement. The action permits the Bank to loan or invest funds that were previously unavailable. The Federal Reserve has indicated that it expects to continue to operate in an ample reserves regime for the foreseeable future.
Community Reinvestment Act Requirements. The CRA requires the Bank to have a continuing and affirmative obligation in a safe and sound manner to help meet the credit needs of the entire community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Federal regulators regularly assess the Bank’s record of meeting the credit needs of its communities. Applications for acquisitions would also be affected by the evaluation of the Bank’s effectiveness in meeting its CRA requirements. In a joint statement responding to the COVID pandemic, the bank regulatory agencies announced favorable CRA consideration for banks providing retail banking services and lending activities in their assessment areas, consistent with safe and sound banking practices, that are responsive to the needs of low- and moderate-income individuals, small businesses, and small farms affected by the pandemic. Those activities include waiving certain fees, easing restrictions on out-of-state and non-customer checks, expanding credit products, increasing credit limits for creditworthy borrowers, providing alternative service options, and offering prudent payment accommodations. The joint statement also provided favorable CRA consideration for certain pandemic-related community development activities.
Anti-Money Laundering. The USA PATRIOT Act, among other laws, is designed to deny terrorists and criminals the ability to obtain access to the U.S. financial system and has significant implications for FDIC-insured institutions, brokers, dealers and other businesses involved in the transfer of money. The USA PATRIOT Act mandates financial services companies to have policies and procedures with respect to measures designed to address any or all of the following matters: (i) customer identification programs; (ii) money laundering; (iii) terrorist financing; (iv) identifying and reporting suspicious activities and currency transactions; (v) currency crimes; and (vi) cooperation between FDIC-insured institutions and law enforcement authorities.
Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate. Concentration risk exists when FDIC-insured institutions deploy too many assets to any one industry or segment. A concentration in commercial real estate is one example of regulatory concern. The interagency Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate (“CRE”) Lending, Sound Risk Management Practices guidance (“CRE Guidance”) provides supervisory criteria, including the following numerical indicators, to assist bank examiners in identifying banks with potentially significant commercial real estate loan concentrations that may warrant greater supervisory scrutiny: (i) commercial real estate loans exceeding 300% of capital and increasing 50% or more in the preceding three years; or (ii) construction and land development loans exceeding 100% of capital. The CRE Guidance does not limit banks’ levels of commercial real estate lending activities, but rather guides institutions in developing risk management practices and levels of capital that are commensurate with the level and nature of their commercial real estate concentrations. On December 18, 2015, the federal banking agencies issued a statement to reinforce prudent risk-management practices related to CRE lending, having observed substantial growth in many CRE asset and lending markets, increased competitive pressures, rising CRE concentrations in banks, and an easing of CRE underwriting standards. The federal bank agencies reminded FDIC-insured institutions to maintain underwriting discipline and exercise prudent risk-management practices to identify, measure, monitor, and manage the risks arising from CRE lending. In addition, FDIC-insured institutions must maintain capital commensurate with the level and nature of their CRE concentration risk. As of December 31, 2021, the Bank did not exceed these guidelines.
Consumer Financial Services. The historical structure of federal consumer protection regulation applicable to all providers of consumer financial products and services changed significantly on July 21, 2011, when the CFPB commenced operations to supervise and enforce consumer protection laws. The CFPB has broad rulemaking authority for a wide range of
consumer protection laws that apply to all providers of consumer products and services, including the Bank, as well as the authority to prohibit “unfair, deceptive or abusive” acts and practices. The CFPB has examination and enforcement authority over providers with more than $10 billion in assets. FDIC-insured institutions with $10 billion or less in assets, like the Bank, continue to be examined by their applicable bank regulators.
Because abuses in connection with residential mortgages were a significant factor contributing to the financial crisis, many rules issued by the CFPB, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, addressed mortgage and mortgage-related products, their underwriting, origination, servicing and sales. The Dodd-Frank Act significantly expanded underwriting requirements applicable to loans secured by 1-4 family residential real property and augmented federal law combating predatory lending practices. In addition to numerous disclosure requirements, the Dodd-Frank Act imposed new standards for mortgage loan originations on all lenders, including banks and savings associations, in an effort to strongly encourage lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay, while also establishing a presumption of compliance for certain “qualified mortgages.”
The CFPB’s rules have not had a significant impact on the Bank’s operations, except for higher compliance costs.
Regulation of Affiliates
The Company operates one affiliate that is regulated by functional financial regulatory agencies. Midland Risk Management Company, Inc. is a captive insurance company organized under the laws of the state of Nevada and subject to regulation, supervision and enforcement by the state Department of Insurance.
ITEM 1A – RISK FACTORS
The material risks that management believes affect the Company are described below. You should carefully consider the risks, together with all of the information included herein. The risks described below are not the only risks the Company faces. Additional risks not presently known or that the Company believes are immaterial also may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations and financial condition.
A decline in general business and economic conditions and any regulatory responses to such conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and growth prospects.
Our business and operations are sensitive to business and economic conditions in the United States, generally, and particularly the state of Illinois and the St. Louis metropolitan area. If the national, regional and local economies experience worsening economic conditions, our growth and profitability could be constrained. Weak economic conditions are characterized by, among other indicators, deflation, elevated levels of unemployment, fluctuations in debt and equity capital markets, increased delinquencies on mortgage, commercial and consumer loans, residential and commercial real estate price declines, and lower home sales and commercial activity. All of these factors are generally detrimental to our business. Our business is significantly affected by monetary and other regulatory policies of the U.S. federal government, its agencies and government-sponsored entities. Changes in any of these policies are influenced by macroeconomic conditions and other factors that are beyond our control, are difficult to predict and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and growth prospects.
If we do not effectively manage our credit risk, we may experience increased levels of nonperforming loans, charge-offs and delinquencies, which could require increases in our provision for credit losses on loans.
There are risks inherent in making any loan, including risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers, risks of nonpayment, risks resulting from uncertainties as to the future value of collateral and cash flows available to service debt and risks resulting from changes in economic and market conditions. We cannot guarantee that our credit underwriting and monitoring procedures will reduce these credit risks, and they cannot be expected to completely eliminate our credit risks. If the overall economic climate in the United States, generally, or our market areas, specifically, declines, our borrowers may experience difficulties in repaying their loans, and the level of nonperforming loans, charge-offs and delinquencies could rise and require further increases in the provision for credit losses on loans, which would cause our net income, return on equity and capital to decrease. We maintain our allowance for credit losses on loans at a level that management considers adequate to absorb expected credit losses on loans based on an analysis of our portfolio and market environment.
As of December 31, 2021, our allowance for credit losses on loans as a percentage of total loans was 0.98% and as a percentage of total nonperforming loans was 119.92%. Although management believed, as of such date, that the allowance
for credit losses on loans was adequate to absorb losses on any existing loans that may become uncollectible, we may be required to take additional provisions for credit losses on loans in the future to further supplement the allowance for credit losses on loans, either due to management’s decision to do so or because our banking regulators require us to do so. Our bank regulatory agencies will periodically review our allowance for credit losses on loans and the value attributed to nonaccrual loans or to real estate acquired through foreclosure and may require us to adjust our determination of the value for these items. These adjustments may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Because a significant portion of our loan portfolio is comprised of real estate loans, negative changes in the economy affecting real estate values and liquidity could impair the value of collateral securing our real estate loans and result in loan and other losses.
At December 31, 2021, approximately 45.0% of our loan portfolio was comprised of loans with real estate as a primary or secondary component of collateral. As a result, adverse developments affecting real estate values in our market areas could increase the credit risk associated with our real estate loan portfolio. The market value of real estate can fluctuate significantly in a short period of time as a result of market conditions in the area in which the real estate is located. Adverse changes affecting real estate values and the liquidity of real estate in one or more of our markets could increase the credit risk associated with our loan portfolio, significantly impair the value of property pledged as collateral on loans and affect our ability to sell the collateral upon foreclosure without a loss or additional losses, which could result in losses that would adversely affect profitability. Such declines and losses would have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and growth prospects. In addition, if hazardous or toxic substances are found on properties pledged as collateral, the value of the real estate could be impaired. If we foreclose on and take title to such properties, 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 to address unknown liabilities and may materially reduce the affected property’s value or limit our ability to use or sell the affected property.
Many of our loans are to commercial borrowers, which have a higher degree of risk than other types of loans.
Commercial loans represented 66.2% of our total loan portfolio at December 31, 2021. Commercial loans are often larger and involve greater risks than other types of lending. Because payments on such loans often depend on the successful operation or development of the property or business involved, repayment of such loans is often more sensitive than other types of loans to adverse conditions in the real estate market or the general business climate and economy. Accordingly, a downturn in the real estate market and a challenging business and economic environment may increase our risk related to commercial loans, particularly commercial real estate loans. Unlike residential mortgage loans, which generally are made on the basis of the borrowers’ ability to make repayment from their employment and other income and which are secured by real property, the value of which tends to be more easily ascertainable, commercial loans typically are made on the basis of the borrowers’ ability to make repayment from the cash flow of the commercial venture. Our operating commercial loans are primarily made based on the identified cash flow of the borrower and secondarily on the collateral underlying the loans. Most often, this collateral consists of accounts receivable, inventory and equipment. Inventory and equipment may depreciate over time, may be difficult to appraise and may fluctuate in value based on the success of the business. If the cash flow from business operations is reduced, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan may be impaired. Due to the larger average size of each commercial loan as
compared with other loans such as residential loans, as well as collateral that is generally less readily-marketable, losses incurred on a small number of commercial loans could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
The small to midsized businesses that we lend to may have fewer resources to weather adverse business developments, which may impair a borrower’s ability to repay a loan, and such impairment could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We target our business development and marketing strategy primarily to serve the banking and financial services needs of small to midsized businesses. These businesses generally have fewer financial resources in terms of capital or borrowing capacity than larger entities, frequently have smaller market shares than their competition, may be more vulnerable to economic downturns, often need substantial additional capital to expand or compete and may experience substantial volatility in operating results, any of which may impair a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. In addition, the success of a small or midsized business often depends on the management talents and efforts of one or two people or a small group of people, and the death, disability or resignation of one or more of these people could have a material adverse impact on the business and its ability to repay its loan. If general economic conditions negatively impact the markets in which we operate and small to midsized businesses are adversely affected or our borrowers are otherwise affected by adverse business developments, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Real estate construction loans are based upon estimates of costs and values associated with the complete project. These estimates may be inaccurate, and we may be exposed to significant losses on loans for these projects.
Real estate construction loans comprised approximately 3.7% of our total loan portfolio as of December 31, 2021, and such lending involves additional risks because funds are advanced upon the security of the project, which is of uncertain value prior to its completion, and costs may exceed realizable values in declining real estate markets. Because of the uncertainties inherent in estimating construction costs and the realizable market value of the completed project and the effects of governmental regulation of real property, it is relatively difficult to evaluate accurately the total funds required to complete a project and the related loan-to-value ratio. As a result, construction loans often involve the disbursement of substantial funds with repayment dependent, in part, on the success of the ultimate project and the ability of the borrower to sell or lease the property, rather than the ability of the borrower or guarantor to repay principal and interest. If our appraisal of the value of the completed project proves to be overstated or market values or rental rates decline, we may have inadequate security for the repayment of the loan upon completion of construction of the project. If we are forced to foreclose on a project prior to or at completion due to a default, we may not be able to recover all of the unpaid balance of, and accrued interest on, the loan as well as related foreclosure and holding costs. In addition, we may be required to fund additional amounts to complete the project and may have to hold the property for an unspecified period of time while we attempt to dispose of it.
Real estate market volatility and future changes in our disposition strategies could result in net proceeds that differ significantly from our other real estate owned fair value appraisals.
As of December 31, 2021, we had $12.1 million of other real estate owned. Our other real estate owned portfolio consists of properties that we obtained through foreclosure or through an in-substance foreclosure in satisfaction of loans. Properties in our other real estate owned portfolio are recorded at the lower of the recorded investment in the loans for which the properties previously served as collateral or the “fair value,” which represents the estimated sales price of the properties on the date acquired less estimated selling costs.
In response to market conditions and other economic factors, we may utilize alternative sale strategies other than orderly disposition as part of our other real estate owned disposition strategy, such as immediate liquidation sales. In this event,
as a result of the significant judgments required in estimating fair value and the variables involved in different methods of disposition, the net proceeds realized from such sales transactions could differ significantly from appraisals, comparable sales and other estimates used to determine the fair value of our other real estate owned properties.
Nonperforming assets take significant time to resolve and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition, and could result in further losses in the future.
Our nonperforming assets adversely affect our net income in various ways. We do not record interest income on nonaccrual loans or other real estate owned, thereby adversely affecting our net income and returns on assets and equity, increasing our loan administration costs and adversely affecting our efficiency ratio. When we take collateral in foreclosure and similar proceedings, we are required to mark the collateral to its then-fair market value, which may result in a loss. These nonperforming loans and other real estate owned also increase our risk profile and the level of capital our regulators believe is appropriate for us to maintain in light of such risks. The resolution of nonperforming assets requires significant time commitments from management and can be detrimental to the performance of their other responsibilities. If we experience increases in nonperforming loans and nonperforming assets, our net interest income may be negatively impacted and our loan administration costs could increase, each of which could have an adverse effect on our net income and related ratios, such as return on assets and equity.
Operational, Strategic and Reputational Risks
The COVID pandemic, including variants of the coronavirus, has adversely affected the U.S. economy and our customers, which has had, and may continue to have, a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
The COVID pandemic, including variants of the coronavirus, continues to negatively impact the United States and the world. The spread of COVID and the responses of federal, state and local governments have negatively impacted the U.S. economy and our customers, including through periods of economic recession, volatile levels of unemployment, increased inflation, supply chain and labor shortages, and other trends, all of which have had and may continue to have an adverse effect on our business and operations.
In particular, these trends have, among other things, negatively impacted loan demand and our growth strategy, and increased the risk of delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, and losses on our loans, particularly for our customers with exposure to the hospitality, hotel, restaurant, ground transportation, long-term healthcare and retail industries.
The ultimate impact of the pandemic is highly uncertain and subject to change, and even if after the pandemic subsides, we may continue to experience material adverse impacts to our business as a result of the global economic impact of the pandemic and related governmental and social responses.
The occurrence of fraudulent activity, breaches or failures of our information security controls or cybersecurity-related incidents could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
As a bank, we are susceptible to fraudulent activity, information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents that may be committed against us or our clients, which may result in financial losses or increased costs to us or our clients, disclosure or misuse of our information or our client information, misappropriation of assets, privacy breaches against our clients, litigation or damage to our reputation. Such fraudulent activity may take many forms, including check fraud, electronic fraud, wire fraud, phishing, social engineering and other dishonest acts. Information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents may include fraudulent or unauthorized access to systems used by us or our clients, denial or degradation of service attacks and malware or other cyber-attacks.
In recent periods, there continues to be a rise in electronic fraudulent activity, security breaches and cyber-attacks within the financial services industry, especially in the commercial banking sector due to cyber criminals targeting commercial bank accounts. Moreover, in recent periods, several large corporations, including financial institutions and retail companies, have suffered major data breaches, in some cases exposing not only confidential and proprietary corporate information, but also sensitive financial and other personal information of their customers and employees and subjecting them to potential fraudulent activity. Some of our clients may have been affected by these breaches, which could increase their risks of identity theft and other fraudulent activity that could involve their accounts with us.
Information pertaining to us and our clients is maintained, and transactions are executed, on networks and systems maintained by us and certain third party partners, such as our online banking, mobile banking or accounting systems. The secure maintenance and transmission of confidential information, as well as execution of transactions over these systems, are essential to protect us and our clients against fraud and security breaches and to maintain the confidence of our clients. Breaches
of information security also may occur through intentional or unintentional acts by those having access to our systems or the confidential information of our clients, including employees. In addition, increases in criminal activity levels and sophistication, advances in computer capabilities, new discoveries, vulnerabilities in third party technologies (including browsers and operating systems) or other developments could result in a compromise or breach of the technology, processes and controls that we use to prevent fraudulent transactions and to protect data about us, our clients and underlying transactions, as well as the technology used by our clients to access our systems. Our third party partners’ inability to anticipate, or failure to adequately mitigate, breaches of security could result in a number of negative events, including losses to us or our clients, loss of business or clients, damage to our reputation, the incurrence of additional expenses, disruption to our business, additional regulatory scrutiny or penalties or our exposure to civil litigation and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
We depend on information technology and telecommunications systems of third parties, and any systems failures, interruptions or data breaches involving these systems could adversely affect our operations and financial condition.
Our business is highly dependent on the successful and uninterrupted functioning of our information technology and telecommunications systems, third party servicers, accounting systems, mobile and online banking platforms and financial intermediaries. We outsource to third parties many of our major systems, such as data processing and mobile and online banking. The failure of these systems, or the termination of a third party software license or service agreement on which any of these systems is based, could interrupt our operations. Because our information technology and telecommunications systems interface with and depend on third party systems, we could experience service denials if demand for such services exceeds capacity or such third party systems fail or experience interruptions. A system failure or service denial could result in a deterioration of our ability to process loans, gather deposits or provide customer service, compromise our ability to operate effectively, result in potential noncompliance with applicable laws or regulations, damage our reputation, result in a loss of customer business or subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. In addition, failures of third parties to comply with applicable laws and regulations, or fraud or misconduct on the part of employees of any of these third parties, could disrupt our operations or adversely affect our reputation.
It may be difficult for us to replace some of our third party vendors, particularly vendors providing our core banking and information services, in a timely manner if they are unwilling or unable to provide us with these services in the future for any reason, and even if we are able to replace them, it may be at higher cost or result in the loss of customers. Any such events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
Our operations rely heavily on the secure processing, storage and transmission of information and the monitoring of a large number of transactions on a minute-by-minute basis, and even a short interruption in service could have significant consequences. We also interact with and rely on retailers, for whom we process transactions, as well as financial counterparties and regulators. Each of these third parties may be targets of the same types of fraudulent activity, computer break-ins and other cyber security breaches described above, and the cyber security measures that they maintain to mitigate the risk of such activity may be different than our own and may be inadequate.
As a result of financial entities and technology systems becoming more interdependent and complex, a cyber incident, information breach or loss, or technology failure that compromises the systems or data of one or more financial entities could have a material impact on counterparties or other market participants, including ourselves. As a result of the foregoing, our ability to conduct business may be adversely affected by any significant disruptions to us or to third parties with whom we interact.
We are subject to certain operational risks, including, but not limited to, customer or employee fraud and data processing system failures and errors.
Employee errors and employee and customer misconduct could subject us to financial losses or regulatory sanctions and seriously harm our reputation. Misconduct by our employees could include hiding unauthorized activities
from us, improper or unauthorized activities on behalf of our customers or improper use of confidential information. It is not always possible to prevent employee errors and misconduct, and the precautions we take to prevent and detect this activity may not be effective in all cases. Employee errors could also subject us to financial claims for negligence.
We maintain a system of internal controls and insurance coverage to mitigate against operational risks, including data processing system failures and errors and customer or employee fraud. If our internal controls fail to prevent or detect an occurrence, or if any resulting loss is not insured or exceeds applicable insurance limits, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our strategy of pursuing growth via acquisitions exposes us to financial, execution and operational risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and growth prospects.
Our acquisition activities could require us to use a substantial amount of cash, or other liquid assets and/or incur debt. There are risks associated with an acquisition strategy, including the following:
•We may incur time and expense associated with identifying and evaluating potential acquisitions and negotiating potential transactions, resulting in management’s attention being diverted from the operation of our existing business.
•We are exposed to potential asset and credit quality risks and unknown or contingent liabilities of the banks or businesses we acquire. If these issues or liabilities exceed our estimates, our earnings, capital and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.
•The acquisition of other entities generally requires integration of systems, procedures and personnel of the acquired entity. This integration process is complicated and time consuming and can also be disruptive to the customers and employees of the acquired business and our business. If the integration process is not conducted successfully, we may not realize the anticipated economic benefits of acquisitions within the expected time frame, or ever, and we may lose customers or employees of the acquired business. We may also experience greater than anticipated customer losses even if the integration process is successful.
•To finance an acquisition, we may borrow funds or pursue other forms of financing, such as issuing voting and/or non-voting common stock or preferred stock, which may have high dividend rights or may be highly dilutive to holders of our common stock, thereby increasing our leverage and diminishing our liquidity.
•We may be unsuccessful in realizing the anticipated benefits from acquisitions. For example, we may not be successful in realizing anticipated cost savings. We also may not be successful in preventing disruptions in service to existing customer relationships of the acquired institution, which could lead to a loss in revenues.
In addition to the foregoing, we may face additional risks in acquisitions to the extent we acquire new lines of business or new products, or enter new geographic areas, in which we have little or no current experience, especially if we lose key employees of the acquired operations. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in overcoming these risks or any other problems encountered in connection with acquisitions. Our inability to overcome risks associated with acquisitions could have an adverse effect on our ability to successfully implement our acquisition growth strategy and grow our business and profitability.
We may not be able to continue growing our business, particularly if we cannot make acquisitions or increase loans through organic loan growth, either because of an inability to find suitable acquisition candidates, constrained capital resources or otherwise.
While we intend to continue to grow our business through strategic acquisitions coupled with organic loan growth, because certain of our market areas are comprised of mature, rural communities with limited population growth, we anticipate that much of our future growth will be dependent on our ability to successfully implement our acquisition growth strategy. A risk exists, however, that we will not be able to identify suitable additional candidates for acquisitions. In addition, even if suitable targets are identified, we expect to compete for such businesses with other potential bidders, many of which may have greater financial resources than we have, which may adversely affect our ability to make acquisitions at attractive prices. Furthermore, many acquisitions we may wish to pursue would be subject to approvals by bank regulatory authorities, and we cannot predict whether any targeted acquisitions will receive the required regulatory approvals. In light of the foregoing, our ability to continue to grow successfully will depend to a significant extent on our capital resources. It also will depend, in part, upon our ability to attract deposits and to identify favorable loan and investment opportunities and on whether we can continue to fund growth while maintaining cost controls and asset quality, as well on other factors beyond our control, such as national, regional and local economic conditions and interest rate trends.
Also, as our acquired loan portfolio, which produces higher yields than our originated loans due to loan discount accretion, is paid down, we expect downward pressure on our income to the extent that the run-off is not replaced with other high-yielding loans. If we are unable to replace loans in our existing portfolio with comparable high-yielding loans or a larger volume of loans, our results of operations could be adversely affected. We could also be materially and adversely affected if we choose to pursue riskier higher-yielding loans that fail to perform.
We are highly dependent on our management team, and the loss of our senior executive officers or other key employees could harm our ability to implement our strategic plan, impair our relationships with customers and adversely affect our business, results of operations and growth prospects.
Our success is dependent, to a large degree, upon the continued service and skills of our existing executive management team, particularly Mr. Jeffrey G. Ludwig, our President and Chief Executive Officer, and Mr. Eric T. Lemke, our Chief Financial Officer.
Our business and growth strategies are built primarily upon our ability to retain employees with experience and business relationships within their respective market areas. The loss of Mr. Ludwig, Mr. Lemke or any of our other key personnel could have an adverse impact on our business and growth because of their skills, years of industry experience, knowledge of our market areas and the difficulty of finding qualified replacement personnel, particularly in light of the fact that we are not headquartered in a major metropolitan area. In addition, although we have non-competition agreements with each of our executive officers and with several others of our senior personnel, we do not have any such agreements with other employees who are important to our business, and in any event the enforceability of non-competition agreements varies across the states in which we do business. While our mortgage originators, loan officers and wealth management professionals are generally subject to non-solicitation provisions as part of their employment, our ability to enforce such agreements may not fully mitigate the injury to our business from the breach of such agreements, as such employees could leave us and immediately begin soliciting our customers. The departure of any of our personnel who are not subject to enforceable non-competition agreements could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and growth prospects.
Our mortgage banking profitability could significantly decline if we are not able to originate and resell a high volume of mortgage loans.
Mortgage production, especially refinancing activity, declines in rising interest rate environments, and in a rising interest rate environment, there can be no assurance that our mortgage production will continue at current levels. Because we sell a substantial portion of the mortgage loans we originate, the profitability of our mortgage banking business also depends in large part on our ability to aggregate a high volume of loans and sell them in the secondary market at a gain. Thus, in addition to our dependence on the interest rate environment, we are dependent upon (i) the existence of an active secondary market and (ii) our ability to profitably sell loans or securities into that market. If our level of mortgage production declines, the profitability will depend upon our ability to reduce our costs commensurate with the reduction of revenue from our mortgage operations.
Our ability to originate and sell mortgage loans readily is dependent upon the availability of an active secondary market for single-family mortgage loans, which in turn depends in part upon the continuation of programs currently offered by government-sponsored entities (“GSEs”) and other institutional and non-institutional investors. These entities account for a substantial portion of the secondary market in residential mortgage loans. Because the largest participants in the secondary market are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, GSEs whose activities are governed by federal law, any future changes in laws that significantly affect the activity of these GSEs could, in turn, adversely affect our operations. In September 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorship by the U.S. government. The federal government has for many years considered proposals to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the results of any such reform, and their impact on us, are difficult to predict. To date, no reform proposal has been enacted.
In addition, our ability to sell mortgage loans readily is dependent upon our ability to remain eligible for the programs offered by the GSEs and other institutional and non-institutional investors. Any significant impairment of our eligibility with any of the GSEs could materially and adversely affect our operations. Further, the criteria for loans to be accepted under such programs may be changed from time to time by the sponsoring entity, which could result in a lower volume of corresponding loan originations. The profitability of participating in specific programs may vary depending on a number of factors, including our administrative costs of originating and purchasing qualifying loans and our costs of meeting such criteria.
We may be liable to purchasers of mortgage loans and mortgage servicing rights, including as a result of any breach of representations and warranties we make to the purchasers.
When we sell or securitize mortgage loans in the ordinary course of business, we are required to make certain representations and warranties to the purchaser about the mortgage loans and the manner in which they were originated. Under these agreements, we may be required to repurchase mortgage loans if we have breached any of these representations or warranties, in which case we may record a loss. In addition, if repurchase and indemnity demands increase on loans that we sell from our portfolios, our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. In addition, we have sold residential mortgage servicing rights to third parties pursuant to customary purchase agreements, under which we could be required to indemnify the purchasers for losses resulting from pre-closing servicing errors or breaches of our representations and warranties, which could affect our results of operations.
Our ability to maintain our reputation is critical to the success of our business, and the failure to do so may materially adversely affect our business and the value of our stock.
We are a community bank, and our reputation is one of the most valuable components of our business. Similarly, each of our subsidiaries operate in niche markets where reputation is critically important. As such, we strive to conduct our business in a manner that enhances our reputation. This is done, in part, by recruiting, hiring and retaining employees who share our core values of being an integral part of the communities we serve, delivering superior service to our customers and caring about our
customers and associates. If our reputation is negatively affected, by the actions of our employees or otherwise, our business and, therefore, our operating results and the value of our stock may be materially adversely affected.
We have a continuing need for technological change, and we may not have the resources to effectively implement new technology or we may experience operational challenges when implementing new technology.
The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. In addition to better serving customers, the effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to reduce costs. Our future success will depend in part upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands for convenience as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations as we continue to grow and expand our market area. We may experience operational challenges as we implement these new technology enhancements, or seek to implement them across all of our offices and business units, which could result in us not fully realizing the anticipated benefits from such new technology or require us to incur significant costs to remedy any such challenges in a timely manner.
Many of our larger competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. As a result, they may be able to offer additional or superior products to those that we will be able to offer, which would put us at a competitive disadvantage. Accordingly, a risk exists that we will not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing such products and services to our customers.
We depend on the accuracy and completeness of information provided by customers and counterparties.
In deciding whether to extend credit or enter into other transactions with customers and counterparties, we may rely on information furnished to us by or on behalf of customers and counterparties, including financial statements and other financial information. We also may rely on representations of customers and counterparties as to the accuracy and completeness of that information. In deciding whether to extend credit, we may rely upon our customers’ representations that their financial statements conform to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and present fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of the customer. We also may rely on customer representations and certifications, or other audit or accountants’ reports, with respect to the business and financial condition of our clients. Our financial condition, results of operations, financial reporting and reputation could be negatively affected if we rely on materially misleading, false, inaccurate or fraudulent information.
We face strong competition from financial services companies and other companies that offer banking, mortgage, leasing, and wealth management services, which could harm our business.
Our operations consist of offering banking and mortgage services, and we also offer trust, wealth management and leasing services to generate noninterest income. Many of our competitors offer the same, or a wider variety of, banking and related financial services within our market areas. These competitors include national banks, regional banks and other community banks. We also face competition from many other types of financial institutions, including savings and loan institutions, finance companies, brokerage firms, insurance companies, credit unions, mortgage banks and other financial intermediaries. In addition, a number of out-of-state financial intermediaries have opened production offices or otherwise solicit deposits in our market areas. Additionally, we face growing competition from so-called “online businesses” with few or no physical locations, including online banks, lenders and consumer and commercial lending platforms, and FinTech companies, as well as automated retirement and investment service providers. Increased competition in our markets may result in reduced loans, deposits and commissions and brokers’ fees, as well as reduced net interest margin and profitability. Ultimately, we may not be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors. If we are unable to attract and retain banking, mortgage, leasing and wealth management customers, we may be unable to continue to grow our business and our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Consumers and businesses are increasingly using non-banks to complete their financial transactions, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Technology and other changes are allowing consumers and businesses to complete financial transactions that historically have involved banks through alternative methods. For example, the wide acceptance of internet-based commerce has resulted in a number of alternative payment processing systems and lending platforms in which banks play only minor roles. Customers can now maintain funds in prepaid debit cards or digital currencies, and pay bills and transfer funds directly without the direct assistance of banks. The diminishing role of banks as financial intermediaries has resulted and could continue to result in the loss of fee income, as well as the loss of customer deposits and the related income generated from those deposits. The loss of these revenue streams and the potential loss of lower cost deposits as a source of funds could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Interest rates on the Company’s and the Bank’s financial instruments might be subject to change based on developments related to LIBOR, which could adversely impact the Company’s revenue, expenses, and value of those financial instruments.
The United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority, the authority regulating LIBOR, along with various other regulatory bodies, announced plans to discontinue the publication of LIBOR, an index rate commonly referenced in financial instruments. We have exposure to LIBOR in various aspects of our business through our financial contracts. Instruments that may be impacted include loans, securities, and derivatives, among other financial contracts and subordinated notes indexed to LIBOR and that mature after December 31, 2021.
While there is no certainty as to what rate or rates may become accepted alternatives to LIBOR, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of U.S. financial market participants, selected by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, started in May 2018 to publish the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as an alternative to LIBOR. SOFR is a broad measure of the cost of overnight borrowings collateralized by Treasury securities that was selected by the Alternative Reference Rate Committee due to the depth and robustness of the U.S. Treasury repurchase market.
The market transition away from LIBOR to an alternative reference rate, such as SOFR, is complex and could have a range of adverse effects on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In particular, any such transition could:
•adversely affect the interest rates paid or received on, the revenue and expenses associate with, and the value of our floating-rate obligations, loans, deposits, subordinated debentures, derivatives, and other financial instruments tied to LIBOR rates, or other securities or financial arrangements given LIBOR’s role in determining market interest rates globally;
•prompt inquiries or other actions from regulators in respect of our preparation and readiness for the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate;
•result in disputes, litigation or other actions with counterparties regarding the interpretation and enforceability of certain fallback language, or lack of fallback language, in LIBOR-based instruments; and
•require the transition to or development of appropriate systems and analytics to effectively transition our risk management processes from LIBOR-based products to those based on the applicable alternative pricing benchmark, such as SOFR.
The manner and impact of this transition, as well as the effect of these developments on our funding costs, loan and investment and trading securities portfolios, asset-liability management, and business, is uncertain.
Legal, Accounting and Compliance Risks
If the goodwill that we recorded in connection with a business acquisition becomes impaired, it could require charges to earnings, which would have a negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
Goodwill represents the amount by which the cost of an acquisition exceeded the fair value of net assets we acquired in connection with the purchase. We review goodwill for impairment at least annually, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the asset might be impaired.
We determine impairment by comparing the implied fair value of the reporting unit goodwill with the carrying amount of that goodwill. If the carrying amount of the reporting unit goodwill exceeds the implied fair value of that goodwill, an impairment loss is recognized in an amount equal to that excess. Any such adjustments are reflected in our results of operations in the periods in which they become known. There can be no assurance that our future evaluations of goodwill will not result in findings of impairment and related write-downs, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our risk management framework may not be effective in mitigating risks and/or losses to us.
Our risk management framework is comprised of various processes, systems and strategies, and is designed to manage the types of risk to which we are subject, including, among others, credit, market, liquidity, interest rate and compliance. Our framework also includes financial or other modeling methodologies that involve management assumptions and judgment. Our risk management framework may not be effective under all circumstances or may not adequately mitigate risk or loss to us. If our framework is not effective, we could suffer unexpected losses and our business, financial condition, results of operations or growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected. We may also be subject to potentially adverse regulatory consequences.
We are subject to potential claims and litigation pertaining to our fiduciary responsibilities.
Some of the services we provide, such as wealth management services, require us to act as fiduciaries for our customers and others. From time to time, third parties make claims and take legal action against us pertaining to the
performance of our fiduciary responsibilities. If these claims and legal actions are not resolved in a manner favorable to us, we may be exposed to significant financial liability and/or our reputation could be damaged. Either of these results may adversely impact demand for our products and services or otherwise have a harmful effect on our business and, in turn, on our financial condition and results of operations.
Legislative and regulatory actions taken now or in the future may increase our costs and impact our business, governance structure, financial condition or results of operations.
Compliance with applicable bank regulations has resulted, and may continue to result, in additional operating and compliance costs that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. In addition, new proposals for legislation may continue to be introduced in the U.S. Congress that could further substantially change regulation of the bank and non-bank financial services industries and impose restrictions on the operations and general ability of firms within the industry to conduct business consistent with historical practices. Federal and state regulatory agencies also frequently adopt changes to their regulations or change the manner in which existing regulations are applied. Legislation and regulations may be impacted by the political ideologies of the executive branches of the U.S. government as well as the heads of regulatory and administrative agencies, which may change as a result of elections. Certain aspects of current or proposed regulatory or legislative changes to laws applicable to the financial industry, if enacted or adopted, may impact the profitability of our business activities, require more oversight or change certain of our business practices, including the ability to offer new products, obtain financing, attract deposits, make loans and achieve satisfactory interest spreads and could expose us to additional costs, including increased compliance costs. These changes also may require us to invest significant management attention and resources to make any necessary changes to operations to comply and could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to stringent capital requirements, and failure to comply with these requirements may impact dividend payments and limit our activities.
As a result of the implementation of the Basel III Rule, we are required to meet minimum capital requirements. The failure to meet applicable regulatory capital requirements of the Basel III Rule could result in one or more of our regulators placing limitations or conditions on our activities, including our growth initiatives, or restricting the commencement of new activities, and could affect customer and investor confidence, our costs of funds and FDIC insurance costs, our ability to pay dividends on our common stock, our ability to make acquisitions, and our business, results of operations and financial conditions, generally. In addition, banking institutions that do not maintain a capital conservation buffer, comprised of Common Equity Tier 1 Capital, of 2.5% above the regulatory minimum capital requirements face constraints on the payment of dividends, stock repurchases and discretionary bonus payments to executive officers based on the amount of the shortfall, unless prior regulatory approval is obtained. Accordingly, if the Bank or the Company fails to maintain the applicable minimum capital ratios and the capital conservation buffer, distributions by the Bank to the Company, or dividends or stock repurchases by the Company, may be prohibited or limited.
Federal and state regulators periodically examine our business, and we may be required to remediate adverse examination findings.
The Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the DFPR periodically examine our business, including our compliance with laws and regulations. If, as a result of an examination, a banking agency were to determine that our financial condition, capital resources, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity or other aspects of any of our operations had become unsatisfactory, or that we were in violation of any law or regulation, they may take a number of different remedial actions as they deem appropriate. These actions include the power to enjoin “unsafe or unsound” practices, to require affirmative action to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice, to issue an administrative order that can be judicially enforced, to direct an increase in our capital, to restrict our growth, to assess civil money penalties, to fine or remove officers and directors and, if it is concluded that such conditions cannot be corrected or there is an imminent risk of loss to depositors, to terminate our deposit insurance and place us into receivership or conservatorship. Any regulatory action against us could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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 CRA, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act and other fair lending laws and regulations prohibit discriminatory lending practices by financial institutions. The U.S. Department of Justice, federal banking agencies, and other federal agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. A challenge to an institution’s compliance with 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 activity, restrictions on expansion, and restrictions on entering new business lines. Private parties may also challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in private class action
litigation. Such actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
We face a risk of noncompliance and enforcement action with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations.
The Bank Secrecy Act, the USA PATRIOT Act and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and to file reports such as suspicious activity reports and currency transaction reports. We are required to comply with these and other anti-money laundering requirements. The federal banking agencies and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network are authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and have recently engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts against banks and other financial services providers with the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service. We are also subject to increased scrutiny of compliance with the rules enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. If our policies, procedures and systems are deemed deficient, we would be subject to liability, including fines and regulatory actions, which may include restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and the necessity to obtain regulatory approvals to proceed with certain aspects of our business plan, including our acquisition plans.
Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
The Federal Reserve may require us to commit capital resources to support the Bank.
As a matter of policy, the Federal Reserve expects a bank holding company to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to a subsidiary bank and to commit resources to support such subsidiary bank. The Dodd-Frank Act codified the Federal Reserve’s policy on serving as a source of financial strength. Under the “source of strength” doctrine, the Federal Reserve may require a bank holding company to make capital injections into a troubled subsidiary bank and may charge the bank holding company with engaging in unsafe and unsound practices for failure to commit resources to a subsidiary bank. A capital injection may be required at times when the holding company may not have the resources to provide it and therefore may be required to borrow the funds or raise capital. Any loans by a holding company to its subsidiary banks are subordinate in right of payment to deposits and to certain other indebtedness of such subsidiary bank. In the event of a bank holding company’s bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee will assume any commitment by the holding company to a federal bank regulatory agency to maintain the capital of a subsidiary bank. Moreover, bankruptcy law provides that claims based on any such commitment will be entitled to a priority of payment over the claims of the institution’s general unsecured creditors, including the holders of its note obligations. Thus, any borrowing that must be done by the Company to make a required capital injection becomes more difficult and expensive and could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The financial services industry, as well as the broader economy, may be subject to new legislation, regulation, and government policy.
At this time, it is difficult to predict the legislative and regulatory changes that will result from having a new President of the United States. The new administration and Congress may cause broad economic changes due to changes in governing ideology and governing style. New appointments to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve could affect monetary policy and interest rates, and changes in fiscal policy could affect broader patterns of trade and economic growth. Future legislation, regulation, and government policy could affect the banking industry as a whole, including our business and results of operations, in ways that are difficult to predict. In addition, our results of operations also could be adversely affected by changes in the way in which existing statutes and regulations are interpreted or applied by courts and government agencies.
Market and Interest Rate Risks
Fluctuations in interest rates may reduce net interest income and otherwise negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Shifts in short-term interest rates may reduce net interest income, which is the principal component of our earnings. Net interest income is the difference between the amounts received by us on our interest-earning assets and the interest paid by us on our interest-bearing liabilities. When interest rates rise, the rate of interest we pay on our liabilities, such as deposits, generally rises more quickly than the rate of interest that we receive on our interest-bearing assets, such as loans, which may cause our profits to decrease. The impact on earnings is more adverse when the slope of the yield curve flattens, that is, when short-term interest rates increase more than long-term interest rates or when long-term interest rates decrease more than short-term interest rates.
Interest rate increases often result in larger payment requirements for our borrowers, which increases the potential for default. At the same time, the marketability of the underlying property may be adversely affected by any reduced demand resulting from higher interest rates. In a declining interest rate environment, there may be an increase in prepayments on loans as borrowers refinance their mortgages and other indebtedness at lower rates.
Changes in interest rates also can affect the value of loans, securities and other assets. An increase in interest rates that adversely affects the ability of borrowers to pay the principal or interest on loans may lead to an increase in nonperforming assets and a reduction of income recognized, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows. Further, when we place a loan on nonaccrual status, we reverse any accrued but unpaid interest receivable, which decreases interest income. Subsequently, we continue to have a cost to fund the loan, which is reflected as interest expense, without any interest income to offset the associated funding expense. Thus, an increase in the amount of nonperforming assets would have an adverse impact on net interest income.
If short-term interest rates remain at low levels for a prolonged period, and assuming longer term interest rates fall, we could experience net interest margin compression as our interest earning assets would continue to reprice downward while our interest-bearing liability rates could fail to decline in tandem. This would have a material adverse effect on our net interest income and our results of operations.
We could recognize losses on securities held in our securities portfolio, particularly if interest rates increase or economic and market conditions deteriorate.
Factors beyond our control can significantly influence the fair value of securities in our portfolio and can cause potential adverse changes to the fair value of these securities. For example, fixed-rate securities acquired by us are generally subject to decreases in market value when interest rates rise, which we expect to occur in 2022. Additional factors include, but are not limited to, rating agency downgrades of the securities or our own analysis of the value of the security, defaults by the issuer or individual mortgagors with respect to the underlying securities, and continued instability in the credit markets. Any of the foregoing factors could cause an other-than-temporary impairment in future periods and result in realized losses. The process for determining whether impairment is other-than-temporary usually requires difficult, subjective judgments about the future financial performance of the issuer and any collateral underlying the security in order to assess the probability of receiving all contractual principal and interest payments on the security. Because of changing economic and market conditions affecting interest rates, the financial condition of issuers of the securities and the performance of the underlying collateral, we may recognize realized and/or unrealized losses in future periods, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Downgrades in the credit rating of one or more insurers that provide credit enhancement for our state and municipal securities portfolio may have an adverse impact on the market for and valuation of these types of securities.
We invest in tax-exempt state and local municipal securities, some of which are insured by monoline insurers. Even though management generally purchases municipal securities on the overall credit strength of the issuer, the reduction in the credit rating of an insurer may negatively impact the market for and valuation of our investment securities. Such downgrade could adversely affect our liquidity, financial condition and results of operations.
Monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition to being affected by general economic conditions, our earnings and growth are affected by the policies of the Federal Reserve. An important function of the Federal Reserve is to regulate the money supply and credit conditions. Among the instruments used by the Federal Reserve to implement these objectives are open market purchases and sales of U.S. government securities, adjustments of the discount rate and changes in banks’ reserve requirements against bank deposits. These instruments are used in varying combinations to influence overall economic growth and the distribution of credit, bank loans, investments and deposits. Their use also affects interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits.
The monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve have had a significant effect on the operating results of commercial banks in the past and are expected to continue to do so in the future. The effects of such policies upon our business, financial condition and results of operations cannot be predicted.
Liquidity and Funding Risks
Liquidity risks could affect operations and jeopardize our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Liquidity is essential to our business. An inability to raise funds through deposits, borrowings, the sale of loans and/or investment securities and from other sources could have a substantial negative effect on our liquidity. Our most important
source of funds consists of our customer deposits, including escrow deposits held in connection with our commercial mortgage servicing business. Such deposit balances can decrease when customers perceive alternative investments, such as the stock market, as providing a better risk/return tradeoff, or, in connection with our commercial mortgage servicing business, third parties for whom we provide servicing choose to terminate that relationship with us. If customers move money out of bank deposits and into other investments, we could lose a relatively low cost source of funds, which would require us to seek wholesale funding alternatives in order to continue to grow, thereby increasing our funding costs and reducing our net interest income and net income.
Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance or capitalize our activities or on terms that are acceptable to us could be impaired by factors that affect us directly or the financial services industry or economy in general, such as disruptions in the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry.
Any decline in available funding could adversely impact our ability to continue to implement our strategic plan, including originate loans, invest in securities, meet our expenses, pay dividends to our shareholders or to fulfill obligations such as repaying our borrowings or meeting deposit withdrawal demands, any of which could have a material adverse impact on our liquidity, business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may need to raise additional capital in the future, and if we fail to maintain sufficient capital, whether due to losses, an inability to raise additional capital or otherwise, our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations, as well as our ability to maintain regulatory compliance, would be adversely affected.
We face significant capital and other regulatory requirements as a financial institution. The Company, on a consolidated basis, and the Bank, on a stand-alone basis, must meet certain regulatory capital requirements and maintain sufficient liquidity. Importantly, regulatory capital requirements could increase from current levels, which could require us to raise additional capital or contract our operations. Our ability to raise additional capital depends on conditions in the capital markets, economic conditions and a number of other factors, including investor perceptions regarding the banking industry, market conditions and governmental activities, and on our financial condition and performance. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will be able to raise additional capital if needed or on terms acceptable to us. If we fail to maintain capital to meet regulatory requirements, our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations would be materially and adversely affected.
We may be adversely affected by the soundness of other financial institutions.
Our ability to engage in routine funding transactions could be adversely affected by the actions and commercial soundness of other financial institutions. Financial services companies are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty, and other relationships. We have exposure to different industries and counterparties, and through transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, and other institutional clients. As a result, defaults by, or even rumors or questions about, one or more financial services companies, or the financial services industry generally, have led to market-wide liquidity problems and could lead to losses or defaults by us or by other institutions. These losses or defaults could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. Additionally, if our competitors were extending credit on terms we found to pose excessive risks, or at interest rates which we believed did not warrant the credit exposure, we may not be able to maintain our business volume and could experience deteriorating financial performance.
ITEM 1B – UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2 – PROPERTIES
Our corporate headquarters office building is located at 1201 Network Centre Drive, Effingham, Illinois, 62401. We own our corporate headquarters office building, which was built in 2011 and also houses our primary operations center. We have additional operations centers located in St. Louis, Missouri and Rockford, Illinois, supporting our banking and wealth management businesses. At December 31, 2021, the Bank operated a total of 52 full-service banking centers, including 41 located in Illinois and 11 located in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Of these facilities, 43 were owned, and we leased 9 from unaffiliated third parties.
We believe that the leases to which we are subject are generally on terms consistent with prevailing market terms. None of the leases are with our directors, officers, beneficial owners of more than 5% of our voting securities or any affiliates of the foregoing. We believe that our facilities are in good condition and are adequate to meet our operating needs for the foreseeable future.
ITEM 3 – LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
In the normal course of business, we are named or threatened to be named as a defendant in various lawsuits, none of which we expect to have a material effect on the Company. However, given the nature, scope and complexity of the extensive legal and regulatory landscape applicable to our business (including laws and regulations governing consumer protection, fair lending, fair labor, privacy, information security, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism), we, like all banking organizations, are subject to heightened legal and regulatory compliance and litigation risk. There are no material pending legal proceedings, other than ordinary routine litigation incidental to the business, to which the Company or any of its subsidiaries is a party or of which any of their property is the subject.
ITEM 4 – MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5 – MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
As of February 15, 2022, the Company had 924 common stock shareholders of record, and the closing price of the Company’s common stock, traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the ticker symbol MSBI, was $29.90 per share.
Stock Performance Graph
The following graph compares Company's five year cumulative shareholder returns with the Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P U.S. Small Cap Banks Index. The graph assumes an investment of $100.00 in the Company's common stock and each index on December 31, 2016 and reinvestment of all quarterly dividends. Measurement points are the last trading day of the second quarter and fourth quarter of each subsequent year through December 31, 2021. There is no assurance that the Company's common stock performance will continue in the future with the same or similar results as shown in the graph.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table sets forth information regarding the Company’s repurchase of shares of its outstanding common stock during the fourth quarter of 2021.
Part of Publicly
Dollar Value of
Shares That May
Yet be Purchased
Under the Plans
or Programs (2)
October 1 - 31, 2021
|205,015 ||$||25.58 ||205,015 ||$||19,673,699 |
November 1 - 30, 2021
|19,261 ||25.91 ||— ||19,673,699 |
December 1 - 31, 2021
|242 ||24.08 ||— ||19,673,699 |
|Total||224,518 ||$||25.60 ||205,015 ||$||19,673,699 |
(1)Represents shares of the Company’s common stock repurchased under the employee stock purchase program, shares withheld to satisfy tax withholding obligations upon the vesting of awards of restricted stock and/or pursuant to a publicly announced repurchase plan or program, as discussed in footnote 2 below.
(2)On August 6, 2019, the board of directors of the Company approved a stock repurchase program authorizing the Company to repurchase up to $25.0 million of its common stock. On March 11, 2020, the Company announced that its Board of Directors authorized the Company to repurchase up to an additional $25.0 million of its common stock in addition to the amount remaining under the prior authorization. On December 2, 2020, the Company announced that the Board had extended the expiration date of the repurchase program from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2021. At the time of the extension, the program had approximately $6.4 million of remaining repurchase authority. On September 7, 2021, the Company announced that the Board approved modifications to the Company’s stock repurchase program, which increased the aggregate repurchase authority to $75.0 million from $50.0 million, and extended the expiration date of the program to December 31, 2022. At the time of the extension, the program had approximately $1.3 million of remaining repurchase authority. Stock repurchases under these programs may be made from time to time on the open market, in privately negotiated transactions, or in any manner that complies with applicable securities laws, at the discretion of the Company. The timing of purchases and the number of shares repurchased under the programs are dependent upon a variety of factors including price, trading volume, corporate and regulatory requirements and market condition. The repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time without notice. As of December 31, 2021, $55.3 million, or 2,953,768 shares of the Company’s common stock, had been repurchased under the program.
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities
ITEM 6 – [RESERVED]
ITEM 7 – MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto, included in Item 8 - "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data", and other financial data appearing elsewhere in this report. This discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, including but not limited to those set forth under “Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,” Item 1A – "Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report, may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. We assume no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements. Readers of our Annual Report on Form 10-K should therefore consider these risks and uncertainties in evaluating forward-looking statements and should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Midland States Bancorp, Inc. is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Effingham, Illinois. Its wholly-owned banking subsidiary, Midland States Bank, has branches across Illinois and in Missouri, and provides a full range of commercial and consumer banking products and services, business equipment financing, merchant credit card services, and trust and investment management services and insurance and financial planning services. As of December 31, 2021, we had assets of $7.44 billion, deposits of $6.11 billion and shareholders’ equity of $663.8 million.
Our strategic plan is focused on building a performance-based, customer-centric culture, creating revenue diversification, seeking accretive acquisitions, achieving operational excellence and maintaining a robust enterprise-wide risk management program. Over the past several years, we have grown organically and through a series of acquisitions, with an over-arching focus on enhancing shareholder value and building a platform for scalability. Most recently, on January 25, 2022, the Company announced the signing of a branch purchase and assumption agreement with FNBC Bank & Trust (“FNBC”) whereby Midland has agreed to acquire the deposits and certain loans and other assets associated with FNBC’s branches in Mokena and Yorkville, Illinois. We expect to acquire approximately $86 million of deposits and approximately $26 million of loans. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. On June 1, 2021, the Company completed its acquisition of substantially all of the trust assets of ATG Trust, a trust company based in Chicago, Illinois. In July 2019, the Company completed its acquisition of HomeStar and its wholly-owned banking subsidiary, HomeStar Bank. Additional information on recent acquisitions is presented in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
Our principal lines of business include traditional community banking and wealth management. Our traditional community banking business primarily consists of commercial and retail lending and deposit taking. Our wealth management group provides a comprehensive suite of trust and wealth management products and services, and has grown to $4.22 billion of assets under administration as of December 31, 2021.
Our principal business activity has been lending to and accepting deposits from individuals, businesses, municipalities and other entities. We have derived income principally from interest charged on loans and leases and, to a lesser extent, from interest and dividends earned on investment securities. We have also derived income from noninterest sources, such as: fees received in connection with various lending and deposit services; wealth management services; commercial FHA mortgage loan servicing; residential mortgage loan originations and sales; and, from time to time, gains on sales of assets. Our principal expenses include interest expense on deposits and borrowings, operating expenses, such as salaries and employee benefits, occupancy and equipment expenses, data processing costs, professional fees and other noninterest expenses, provisions for credit losses and income tax expense.
Material Trends and Developments
Community Banking. We believe the most important trends affecting community banks in the United States over the foreseeable future will be related to heightened regulatory capital requirements, increasing regulatory burdens generally, including the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and the regulations promulgated and to be promulgated thereunder, and net interest margin compression. We expect that community banks will face increased competition for lower cost capital as a result of regulatory policies that may offer larger financial institutions greater access to government assistance than is available for smaller institutions, including community banks. We expect that troubled community banks will continue to face significant challenges when attempting to raise capital. We also believe that heightened regulatory capital requirements will make it more difficult for even well-capitalized, healthy community banks to grow in their communities. We believe these trends will favor community banks that have sufficient capital, a diversified business model and a strong deposit franchise, and we believe we possess these characteristics.
We also believe that increased regulatory burdens will have a significant adverse effect on smaller community banks, which often lack the personnel, experience and technology to efficiently comply with new regulations in a variety of areas in the banking industry, including in the areas of deposits, lending, compensation, information security and overdraft protection. We believe the increased costs to smaller community banks from a more complex regulatory environment, coupled with challenges in the real estate lending area, present attractive acquisition opportunities for larger community banks that have already made significant investments in regulatory compliance and risk management and can acquire and quickly integrate these smaller institutions into their existing platform. Furthermore, we believe that, as a result of our significant operational investments and our experience acquiring other institutions and quickly integrating them into our organization, we are well positioned to capitalize on the challenges facing smaller community banks.
We continue to believe we have significant opportunities for further growth through additional acquisitions of banks, branches, wealth management firms and trust departments of community banks, selective de novo opportunities, continued expansion of our wealth management operations, the hiring of commercial banking and wealth management professionals from other organizations and organic growth within our existing branch network. We also believe we have the necessary experience, management and infrastructure to take advantage of these growth opportunities.
Credit Reserves. One of our key operating objectives has been, and continues to be, maintenance of an appropriate level of reserve protection against estimated losses in our loan portfolio. Our allowance for credit losses on loans totaled $51.1 million, or 0.98% of total loans, and $60.4 million, or 1.18% of total loans, at December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Effective January 1, 2020, the Company adopted CECL. The CECL model requires a reporting entity to estimate credit losses expected over the “life” of an asset, or pool of assets. The estimate of expected credit losses considers historical information, current information, and the reasonable and supportable forecasts of future events and circumstances, as well as estimates of prepayments. The allowance for credit losses ("ACL") on loans and related provision for credit losses on loans was modeled under the provisions of CECL for the twelve months ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, as opposed to the incurred loss model for periods prior to January 1, 2020.
Regulatory Environment. As a result of regulatory changes, including the Dodd-Frank Act and the Basel III Rule, we expect to be subject to more restrictive capital requirements, more stringent asset concentration and growth limitations and new and potentially heightened examination and reporting requirements. We also expect to face a more challenging environment for customer loan demand due to the increased costs that could be ultimately borne by borrowers, and to incur higher costs to comply with these new regulations. This uncertain regulatory environment could have a detrimental impact on our ability to manage our business consistent with historical practices and cause difficulty in executing our growth plan. See Item 1A - "Risk Factors—Legal, Accounting and Compliance Risks” and Item 1 - "Business—Supervision and Regulation.”
Impact of COVID. The progression of the COVID pandemic in the United States has had an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations as of and for the twelve months ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, and may continue to have a complex and adverse impact on the economy, the banking industry and our Company in future fiscal periods.
Effects on Our Business. The COVID pandemic, federal, state and local government responses to the pandemic, and the effects of the existing and future variants of the disease, including the Delta and Omicron variants, have had, and are expected to continue to have, a significant impact on our business. In particular, a significant portion of the Bank’s borrowers in the hotel, restaurant, ground transportation, long-term healthcare and retail industries have endured significant economic distress, which has adversely affected their ability to repay existing indebtedness and adversely impacted the value of collateral. These developments, together with economic conditions generally, are also expected to impact our commercial real estate portfolio, particularly with respect to real estate with exposure to these industries, our equipment leasing business and loan portfolio, our consumer loan business and loan portfolio, and the value of certain collateral securing our loans.
Our Response. We have taken numerous steps in response to the COVID pandemic, including the following:
•The Bank has granted requests for payment deferrals on loans related to the impact of COVID on such borrowers. At December 31, 2021, loans totaling $13.3 million, or 0.3% of total loans, were on deferral. Deferrals of $8.0 million related to assisted living facilities and $3.1 million related to transit and ground transportation accounted for 83% of our deferrals at December 31, 2021. This is a significant improvement from December 31, 2020, when loans totaling $209.1 million were on deferral. Deferrals of $82.6 million related to the hotel and motel industry and $44.1 million related to transit and ground transportation accounted for 61% of our deferrals at December 31, 2020. We are continuing to work with our customers to address their specific needs.
•The Bank participated as a lender in the PPP and began taking applications on the first day of the program. We funded $418.2 million in PPP loans since its inception, and at December 31, 2021, we had $52.5 million of PPP
loans outstanding to 535 customers. Income recognized on PPP loans totaled $9.0 million, including net deferred fee accretion of $7.6 million, in 2021 compared to income of $7.1 million, including net deferred fee accretion of $5.2 million, in 2020. The resulting PPP portfolio yield was 6.36% and 3.99% for the twelve months ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Additional Factors Affecting Comparability
Each factor listed below affects the comparability of our results of operations and financial condition in 2021 and 2020, and may affect the comparability of financial information we report in future fiscal periods.
FHLB Advance Prepayments. During 2021, the Company pre-paid FHLB advances of $50.0 million in the first quarter, $85.0 million in the second quarter and $130.0 million in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the Company pre-paid $114.2 million of FHLB advances. As a result, we paid prepayment fees of $8.5 million in 2021 and $4.9 million in 2020.
Tax Settlement. On June 29, 2021, the Company announced the settlement of a prior tax issue related to the treatment of gains recognized on FDIC-assisted transactions that resulted in a $6.8 million tax benefit that was recognized in the second quarter of 2021. The Company also recognized approximately $3.6 million in consulting and legal expenses related to the settlement of the tax issue, resulting in an after-tax gain of approximately $2.9 million.
Redemption of Subordinated Notes. On June 18, 2021, the Company redeemed all of its outstanding fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes due June 18, 2025, having an aggregate principal amount of $31.1 million, in accordance with the terms of the notes. The aggregate redemption price was 100% of the aggregate principal amount of the subordinated notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest. The interest rate on the subordinated notes was 4.54%.
Recent Acquisitions. On June 1, 2021, the Company completed its acquisition of substantially all of the trust assets of ATG Trust, a trust company based in Chicago, Illinois, with $399.7 million in assets under management.
Facilities Optimization Plan. The Company closed 13 branches, or 20% of its branch network, and vacated approximately 23,000 square feet of corporate office space between September 3, 2020 and December 31, 2020, recording $12.7 million of asset impairment on existing banking facilities and $0.8 million in other related charges. The branch and corporate office reductions resulted in cost savings of $3.7 million in 2021. Additionally, the Company plans to renovate and upgrade five additional branches to reduce the size of and better utilize those facilities to serve retail and commercial customers. The timing and scope are under review as the Company evaluates the impact of supply chain pressures and building supply costs on these planned projects. We had facility-related assets classified as held for sale in other assets on the consolidated balance sheet of $2.3 million and $4.2 million at December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Sale of Commercial FHA Origination Platform. On August 28, 2020, the Company announced that it had completed the sale of its commercial FHA origination platform to Dwight Capital, a nationwide mortgage banking firm headquartered in New York.
Purchased Loans. Our net interest margin benefits from accretion income associated with purchase accounting discounts established on the purchased loans included in our acquisitions. Effective January 1, 2020, PCI loans were reclassified as purchased credit deteriorated ("PCD") loans, and due to this change, accretion income will decrease in future periods. Our reported net interest margins for 2021 and 2020 were 3.33% and 3.40%, respectively. Accretion income associated with accounting discounts established on loans acquired totaled $4.3 million and $7.7 million in 2021 and 2020, respectively, increasing the reported net interest margins by 7 and 13 basis points for each respective period.
Results of Operations
For discussion of the results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared with the year ended December 31, 2019, refer to Item 7 of the Company’s 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the SEC on February 26, 2021, which is incorporated herein by reference.
Overview. The following table sets forth condensed income statement information of the Company for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019:
|For the Years Ended December 31,|
|(dollars in thousands, except per share data)||2021||2020||2019|
|Income Statement Data:|
|Interest income||$||237,817 ||$||244,888 ||$||249,518 |
|Interest expense||30,142 ||45,752 ||59,703 |
|Net interest income||207,675 ||199,136 ||189,815 |
|Provision for credit losses||3,393 ||44,361 ||16,985 |
|Noninterest income||69,899 ||61,249 ||75,282 |
|Noninterest expense||175,069 ||184,010 ||175,641 |
|Income before income taxes||99,112 ||32,014 ||72,471 |
|Income taxes||17,795 ||9,477 ||16,687 |
|Net income||81,317 ||22,537 ||55,784 |
|Preferred stock dividends and premium amortization||— ||— ||46 |
|Net income available to common shareholders||$||81,317 ||$||22,537 ||$||55,738 |
|Per Share Data:|
|Basic earnings per share||$||3.58 ||$||0.95 ||$||2.28 |
|Diluted earnings per share||3.57 ||0.95 ||2.26 |
|Return on average assets||1.18 ||%||0.35 ||%||0.96 ||%|
|Return on average shareholders' equity||12.65 ||3.55 ||8.74 |
In 2021, we generated net income of $81.3 million, or diluted earnings per common share of $3.57, compared to net income of $22.5 million, or diluted earnings per common share of $0.95 in 2020. Earnings in 2021 increased primarily due to an $8.5 million increase in net interest income, a $41.0 million decrease in provision for credit losses, an $8.7 million increase in noninterest income and an $8.9 million decrease in noninterest expense. These results were partially offset by an $8.3 million increase in income tax expense. These are discussed in further detail below.
Net Interest Income and Margin. Our primary source of revenue is net interest income, which is the difference between interest income from interest-earning assets (primarily loans and securities) and interest expense of funding sources (primarily interest-bearing deposits and borrowings). Net interest income is influenced by many factors, primarily the volume and mix of interest-earning assets, funding sources, and interest rate fluctuations. Noninterest-bearing sources of funds, such as demand deposits and shareholders’ equity, also support earning assets. The impact of the noninterest-bearing sources of funds is captured in net interest margin, which is calculated as net interest income divided by average interest-earning assets. Net interest margin is presented on a tax-equivalent basis, which means that tax-free interest income has been adjusted to pretax-equivalent income, assuming a federal income tax rate of 21% for 2021 and 2020.
In 2021, net interest income, on a tax-equivalent basis, increased to $209.2 million with a tax-equivalent net interest margin of 3.33% compared to net interest income, on a tax-equivalent basis, of $200.9 million and a tax-equivalent net interest margin of 3.40% in 2020.
Average Balance Sheet, Interest and Yield/Rate Analysis. The following table presents average balance sheet information, interest income, interest expense and the corresponding average yields earned and rates paid for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019. The average balances are principally daily averages and, for loans, include both performing and nonperforming balances. Interest income on loans includes the effects of discount accretion and net deferred loan origination costs accounted for as yield adjustments.
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(tax-equivalent basis, dollars in thousands)||Average|
|Federal funds sold and cash investments||$||518,804 ||$||728 ||0.14 ||%||$||433,965 ||$||1,479 ||0.34 ||%||$||245,772 ||$||4,951 ||2.01 ||%|
|Taxable investment securities||646,079 ||13,898 ||2.15 ||533,985 ||14,789 ||2.77 ||502,557 ||14,690 ||2.92 |
Investment securities exempt from federal income tax (1)
|130,495 ||4,222 ||3.24 ||119,612 ||4,471 ||3.74 ||144,721 ||5,187 ||3.58 |
|Total securities||776,574 ||18,120 ||2.33 ||653,597 ||19,260 ||2.95 ||647,278 ||19,877 ||3.07 |
|4,821,718 ||213,922 ||4.44 ||4,622,651 ||217,459 ||4.70 ||4,127,374 ||218,416 ||5.29 |
Loans exempt from federal income tax (1)
|81,730 ||3,127 ||3.83 ||99,173 ||3,937 ||3.97 |