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WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) of the
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DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Part III - Portions of the Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on April 13, 2021 are incorporated by reference into Part III hereof.
LAKELAND FINANCIAL CORPORATION
Annual Report on Form 10-K
Table of Contents
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Lakeland Financial Corporation (“Lakeland Financial”), an Indiana corporation incorporated in 1983, is a bank holding company headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana that provides, through its wholly owned subsidiary Lake City Bank (the “Bank” and together with Lakeland Financial, the “Company”), a broad array of financial products and services throughout its Northern and Central Indiana markets. The Company offers commercial and consumer banking services, as well as trust and wealth management, brokerage, and treasury management commercial services. The Company serves a wide variety of industries including, among others, commercial real estate, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, retail, wholesale, finance and insurance, accommodation and food services and health care. The Company’s customer base is similarly diverse. The Company is not dependent upon any single industry or customer. At December 31, 2020, Lakeland Financial had consolidated total assets of $5.8 billion and was the sixth largest independent bank holding company headquartered in the State of Indiana.
Company’s Business. Lakeland Financial is a bank holding company as defined in the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended. Lakeland Financial owns all of the outstanding stock of the Bank, a full-service commercial bank organized under Indiana law. Lakeland Financial conducts no business except that which is incident to its ownership of the outstanding stock of the Bank and the operation of the Bank. Although Lakeland Financial is a corporate entity, legally separate and distinct from its affiliates, bank holding companies such as Lakeland Financial are required to act as a source of financial strength for their subsidiary banks. The principal source of Lakeland Financial’s income is dividends from the Bank. There are certain regulatory restrictions on the extent to which subsidiary banks can pay dividends or otherwise supply funds to their holding companies. See “Supervision and Regulation of the Company” below for further discussion of these matters. Lakeland Financial’s executive offices are located at 202 East Center Street, Warsaw, Indiana 46580, and its telephone number is (574) 267-6144.
Bank’s Business. The Bank was originally organized in 1872 and has continuously operated under the laws of the State of Indiana since its organization. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank had 50 offices in fifteen counties, including 44 offices in northern Indiana and six offices in central Indiana, in the Indianapolis market. The Bank’s deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) to the maximum extent provided under federal law and FDIC regulations. The Bank’s activities cover all traditional facets of commercial banking, including deposit products, commercial and consumer lending, retail and merchant credit card services, corporate treasury management services, and wealth advisory, trust and brokerage services.
The Bank’s business strategy is focused on building long-term relationships with its customers based on top quality service, high ethical standards and safe and sound lending. The Bank operates as a community-based financial services organization augmented by experienced, centralized support in select critical areas. The Bank’s local market orientation is reflected in its regional management, which divides the Bank’s market area into five distinct geographic regions, each headed by a retail and commercial regional manager. This arrangement allows decision making to be as close to the customer as possible and enhances responsiveness to local banking needs. Despite this local-market, community-based focus, the Bank offers many of the products and services available at much larger regional and national competitors. While our strategy encompasses all phases of traditional community banking, including consumer lending and wealth advisory and trust services, we focus on building expansive commercial relationships and developing retail and commercial deposit gathering strategies through relationship-based client services. Substantially all of the Bank’s assets and income are located in and derived from the United States.
The Company is not a party to any collective bargaining agreements, and employee relations are considered good.
Operating Segment. While the Company has assigned certain management responsibilities by region and business-line, the Company’s chief decision-makers monitor and evaluate financial performance on a Company-wide basis. The majority of the Company’s revenue is from the business of banking and the Company’s assigned regions have similar economic characteristics, products, services and customers. Accordingly, all of the Company’s operations are considered by management to be aggregated in one reportable operating segment.
Expansion Strategy. Since 1990, the Company has expanded from 17 offices in four Indiana counties to 50 offices in fifteen Indiana counties primarily through de novo branching. During this period, the Company has grown its assets from $286 million to
$5.8 billion, a compound annual growth rate of 11%. Mergers and acquisitions have not played a role in this growth as the Company’s expansion strategy has been driven by organic growth. The Company has opened six de novo branches in the past six years and plans to continue expansion in the Indianapolis and Elkhart markets.
Over the past twenty years, the Company has primarily targeted growth in the larger cities located in Northern Indiana and the Indianapolis market in Central Indiana. The Company believes these areas offer above average growth potential with attractive demographics and potential for commercial lending and deposit gathering opportunities. The Company considers expanding into a market when the Company believes that market would be receptive to its strategic plan to deliver broad-based financial services to businesses with a commitment to local communities. When entering new markets, the Company believes it is critical to attract experienced local management and staff with a similar philosophy in order to provide a basis for success.
Competition. The financial services industry is highly competitive. Competition is based on a number of factors including, among others, customer service, quality and range of products and services offered, price, reputation, interest rates on loans and deposits, lending limits and customer convenience. Our competitors include national, regional and community banks, e-commerce and other Fintech or nonbanking companies offering financial services, as well as thrifts, credit unions, farm credit services, finance companies, personal loan companies, brokerage firms, investment companies, insurance companies, mortgage banking companies, credit card issuers and mutual fund companies. Many of these competitors enjoy fewer regulatory constraints and some may have lower cost structures.
Human Capital. Lake City Bank is committed to being the acknowledged and recognized leader in Indiana Community Banking. We achieve this mission only through the hard work and dedication of our employees. The Lake City Bank team is 629 people strong, including 573 full-time, 42 part-time, and 14 seasonal/temporary employees as of December 31, 2020.
Lake City Bank is committed to social and governance responsibility, and in 2020, the management team added “inclusivity” as the eighth core value defining our organizational culture. The Bank’s employee Code of Conduct supports diversity and inclusion efforts in our workplace, and we established a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to develop and promote initiatives throughout the corporation. Seventy-five percent of our employees identify as women or people of color. At present, women comprise 58% of the Bank’s officers, 33% (9 of 27 members) of Senior Leadership Council (which includes those with the title of “Senior Vice President” and above) and 44% (4 of 9 members) of the executive Management Committee. Additionally, two of our 13 board members identify as women or people of color.
A positive workplace culture is vital to Lake City Bank's success. By supporting, respecting, engaging, and appreciating employees, Lake City Bank has built a team well-equipped to show the same commitment to its customers. Building and strengthening this positive workplace culture starts with Lake City University. Founded in 1999, Lake City University is dedicated to helping employees thrive professionally and personally. In 2020, Lake City Bank employees averaged 19.64 hours per employee of instruction through the University. From courses to improve technical skills, product knowledge, and customer service to classes focused on an employee's wellbeing, like personal financial planning and benefits education, Lake City University supports and promotes the personal and professional growth of all Lake City Bank employees.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic required that most of Lake City University's training transition to a virtual environment. That transition proved successful, and while we all look forward to working together in person soon, employee and customer safety has been and must continue to be a top priority. Lake City Bank has been intentional about ensuring compliance with all federal, state, and local recommendations related to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. The bank's efforts ranged from providing multiple high-quality masks to employees, to implementing limited lobby policies, expanding paid leave options, installing hand sanitizers at entrances and many other initiatives. While the pandemic has proved challenging, Lake City Bank's strong culture persists and ensures we do not waiver from our mission.
In addition to the substantial investment in employee professional development, Lake City Bank's benefit and compensation programs are designed to ensure we recruit and retain top talent. With less than 12% turnover during 2020, we believe those efforts have proven effective. Lake City Bank offers employees a comprehensive health benefits package, provides a 401(k) match of up to 6% of an employee's salary to encourage retirement savings, and structures its bonus program for officers to create meaningful performance-based incentives. These programs, combined with an intentional focus to create a positive, values-based culture ensures the Lake City Bank team will continue as the acknowledged and recognized leader in Indiana Community Banking.
This document (including information incorporated by reference) contains, and future oral and written statements of the Company and its management may contain, forward-looking statements, within the meaning of such term in the federal securities law. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts and are generally identifiable by the use of words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “possible,” “continue,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should” or other similar expressions. Additionally, all statements in this document, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events.
The Company’s ability to predict results or the actual effect of future plans or strategies is inherently uncertain and, accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement made by the Company. Actual results could differ materially from those addressed in the forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors, including, without limitation:
|●||the effects of future economic, business and market conditions and changes, both domestic and foreign;|
|●||the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its effects on our customers, local economic conditions, our operations and vendors, and the responses of federal, state and local governmental authorities;|
|●||the risks of changes in interest rates on the levels, composition and costs of deposits, loan demand, and the values and liquidity of loan collateral, securities and other interest sensitive assets and liabilities;|
|●||changes in borrowers’ credit risks and payment behaviors;|
|●||the failure of assumptions and estimates used in our reviews of our loan portfolio, underlying the establishment of reserves for possible loan losses, our analysis of our capital position and other estimates;|
|●||changes in the prices, values and sales volumes of residential and commercial real estate;|
|●||changes in the scope and cost of FDIC insurance, the state of Indiana’s Public Deposit Insurance Fund and other coverages;|
|●||the effects of disruption and volatility in capital markets on the value of our investment portfolio;|
|●||changes in the availability and cost of credit and capital in the financial markets;|
|●||the anticipated phase out of most LIBOR tenors by mid-2023 and establishing a new reference rate;|
|●||the effects of competition from a wide variety of local, regional, national and other providers of financial, investment and insurance services;|
|●||the risks of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, including, without limitation, the related time and costs of implementing such transactions, integrating operations as part of these transactions and possible failures to achieve expected gains, revenue growth and/or expense savings from such transactions;|
|●||the timing and scope of any legislative and regulatory changes, including changes in banking, securities and tax laws and regulations and their application by our regulators;|
|●||governmental monetary and fiscal policies and the impact the most recent election will have on these;|
|●||changes in accounting policies, rules and practices, including as a result of adopting CECL on January 1, 2021;|
|●||changes in technology or products that may be more difficult or costly, or less effective than anticipated;|
|●||cyber-security risks and or cyber-security damage that could result from attacks on the Company’s or third-party service providers networks or data of the Company;|
|●||the effects of any employee or customer fraud;|
|●||the risk of trade policy and tariffs could impact loan demand from the manufacturing sector;|
|●||the effects of war or other conflicts, acts of terrorism or other catastrophic events, including storms, droughts, tornados and flooding, that may affect general economic conditions, including agricultural production and demand and prices for agricultural goods and land used for agricultural purposes, generally and in our markets; and|
|●||the risks noted in the Risk Factors discussed under Item 1A of Part 1 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in the Company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).|
These risks and uncertainties should be considered in evaluating forward-looking statements and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements.
The Company maintains an internet site at www.lakecitybank.com. The Company makes available free of charge in the Investor Relations section on this site, its Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and other statements and 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 soon as reasonably practicable after it electronically files such material with, or furnishes it to, the SEC. All such documents filed with the SEC are also available for free on the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov). The Company’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Code of Conduct and the charters of the various committees of the Company’s board of directors are also available on the Investor Relations section of the website.
SUPERVISION AND REGULATION
FDIC-insured institutions, like the Bank, their holding companies and their affiliates are extensively regulated under federal and state law. As a result, our growth and earnings performance may be affected not only by management decisions and general economic conditions, but also by the requirements of federal and state statutes and by the regulations and policies of various bank regulatory agencies, including the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions (the “DFI”), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (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, securities laws administered by the SEC and state securities authorities, and anti-money laundering laws enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) have an impact on our business. The effect of these statutes, regulations, regulatory policies and accounting rules are significant to our operations and results.
Federal and state banking laws impose a comprehensive system of supervision, regulation and enforcement on the operations of FDIC-insured institutions, their holding companies and affiliates that is intended primarily for the protection of the FDIC-insured deposits and depositors of banks, rather than shareholders. These laws, and the regulations of the bank regulatory agencies issued under them, affect, among other things, the scope of our business, the kinds and amounts of investments we may make, required capital levels relative to our assets, the nature and amount of collateral for loans, the establishment of branches, our ability to merge, consolidate and acquire, dealings with our insiders and affiliates and our payment of dividends. In reaction to the global financial crisis and particularly following passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), we 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 our
compliance and risk management processes, and the costs thereof, to increase. Then, 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 us 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. We believe these reforms are favorable to our 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 or with the supervisory policies of these agencies.
The following is a summary of the material elements of the supervisory and regulatory framework applicable to the Company and the Bank, beginning with a discussion of the impact of the COVID-19 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-19 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. 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.
Moreover, 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") and the Federal Reserve's PPP Liquidity Facility and Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility.
Reference is made to the discussion of Risks Relating to General Economic Conditions in the Risk Factors section below for information on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), PPP program and the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities and for discussions of the economic impact of the COVID-19 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.
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 our 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.
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". The capital guidelines for U.S. banks beginning in 1989 have been based upon international capital accords (known as “Basel " rules) adopted by the 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 accords recognized that bank assets for the purpose of the capital ratio calculations needed to be risk weighted (the theory being that riskier assets should require more capital) and that off-balance sheet exposures needed to be factored in the calculations.
Following the global financial crisis, 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 binding regulations by each of the regulatory agencies. The Basel III Rule increased the required quantity and quality of capital and required more detailed categories of risk weighting of riskier, more opaque assets. For nearly every class of assets, the Basel III Rule requires a more complex, detailed and calibrated assessment of risk in the calculation of risk weightings. 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 we have not done). Thus, the Company and the Bank are each currently subject to the Basel III Rule as described below.
Not only did the Basel III Rule increase most of the required minimum capital ratios in effect prior to January 1, 2015, but, in requiring that forms of capital be of higher quality to absorb loss, 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). The Basel III Rule also constrained the inclusion of minority interests, mortgage-servicing assets, and deferred tax assets in capital and required deductions from Common Equity Tier 1 Capital in the event that such assets exceeded a 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;|
|●||A ratio of minimum Tier 1 Capital equal 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-19 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, 2020: (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, 2020, the Company had regulatory capital in excess of the Federal Reserve’s requirements and met the Basel III Rule requirements to be well-capitalized. We are 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 us, with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion. Section 201 of the Regulatory Relief Act instructed the federal banking regulators to establish a single "Community Bank Leverage Ratio" (“CBLR”) of between 8 and 10%. 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-19 pandemic. We may elect the CBLR framework at any time but have not currently determined to do so.
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, we are registered with, and subject to regulation by, the Federal Reserve under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (“BHCA”). We are legally obligated to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to the Bank and to commit resources to support the Bank in circumstances where we might not otherwise do so. Under the BHCA, we are subject to periodic examination by the Federal Reserve and are required to file with the Federal Reserve periodic reports of our operations and such additional information regarding us and the Bank as the Federal Reserve may require.
Acquisitions and Activities. The primary purpose of a bank holding company is to control and manage banks. The BHCA generally requires the prior approval of the Federal Reserve for any merger involving a bank holding company or any acquisition by a bank holding company of another bank or bank holding company. Subject to certain conditions (including deposit concentration limits established by the BHCA), the Federal Reserve may allow a bank holding company to acquire banks located in any state of the United States. In approving interstate acquisitions, the Federal Reserve is required to give effect to applicable state law limitations on the aggregate amount of deposits that may be held by the acquiring bank holding company and its FDIC-insured institution affiliates in the state in which the target bank is located (provided that those limits do not discriminate against out-of-state institutions or their holding companies) and state laws that require that the target bank have been in existence for a minimum period of time (not to exceed five years) before being acquired by an out-of-state bank holding company. Furthermore, in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, bank holding companies must be well-capitalized and well-managed in order to effect interstate mergers or acquisitions. For a discussion of the capital requirements, see “The Role of Capital” above.
The BHCA generally prohibits us from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any company that is not a bank and from engaging in any business other than that of banking, managing and controlling banks or furnishing services to banks and their subsidiaries. This general prohibition is subject to a number of exceptions. The principal exception allows bank holding companies to engage in, and to own shares of companies engaged in, certain businesses found by the Federal Reserve prior to November 11, 1999 to be “so closely related to banking ... as to be a proper incident thereto.” This authority would permit us to engage in a variety of banking-related businesses, including the ownership and operation of a savings association, or any entity engaged in consumer finance, equipment leasing, the operation of a computer service bureau (including software development) and mortgage banking and brokerage services. The BHCA does not place territorial restrictions on the domestic activities of nonbank subsidiaries of bank holding companies.
Additionally, bank holding companies that meet certain eligibility requirements prescribed by the BHCA and elect to operate as financial holding companies may engage in, or own shares in companies engaged in, a wider range of nonbanking activities, including securities and insurance underwriting and sales, merchant banking and any other activity that the Federal Reserve, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines by regulation or order is financial in nature or incidental to any such financial activity or that the Federal Reserve determines by order to be complementary to any such financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of FDIC-insured institutions or the financial system generally. We have elected to operate as a financial holding company. In order to maintain our status as a financial holding company, the Company and the Bank must be well-capitalized, well-managed, and the Bank must have at least a satisfactory CRA rating. If the Federal Reserve determines that a financial holding company or any bank subsidiary is not well-capitalized or well-managed, the Federal Reserve will provide a period of time in which to achieve compliance, but, during the period of noncompliance, the Federal Reserve may place any additional limitations on the Company that it deems appropriate. Furthermore, if non-compliance is based on the failure of the Bank to achieve a satisfactory CRA rating, we would 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. As a bank holding company, we 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. Our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders may be affected by both general corporate law considerations and policies of the Federal Reserve applicable to bank holding companies. As an Indiana corporation, we are subject to the limitations of Indiana General Business Corporations Law, which prohibit us from paying dividends if we are, or by payment of the dividend would become, insolvent, or if the payment of dividends would render us unable to pay its debts as they become due in the usual course of business. In addition, under the Basel III Rule, institutions that seek the freedom to pay dividends will have to maintain 2.5% in Common Equity Tier 1 Capital attributable to the capital conservation buffer.
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 in the industry as a result of the COVID-19 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.
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 and changes in the discount rate on bank borrowings. These means are used in varying combinations to influence overall growth and distribution of bank loans, investments and deposits, and their use may affect interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits.
Federal Securities Regulation. Our common stock is registered with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Consequently, we are subject to the information, proxy solicitation, insider trading and other restrictions and requirements of the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act.
Corporate Governance. The Dodd-Frank Act addressed many investor protection, corporate governance and executive compensation matters that will affect most U.S. publicly traded companies. It increased shareholder influence over boards of directors by requiring companies to give stockholders a nonbinding vote on executive compensation and so-called “golden parachute” payments, and authorizing the SEC to promulgate rules that would allow 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 Indiana-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. The Bank is also a member of the Federal Reserve System (a “member bank”). As an Indiana-chartered FDIC- insured member bank, the Bank is subject to the examination, supervision, reporting and enforcement requirements of the DFI, the chartering authority for Indiana banks, the Federal Reserve, as the primary federal regulator of member banks, and the FDIC, as administrator of the DIF.
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 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 then 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-19 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 Indiana banks are required to pay supervisory assessments to the DFI 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, 2020, the Bank paid supervisory assessments to the DFI totaling approximately $289,000.
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). While these rules do not, and will not, apply to the Bank, we continue to review our liquidity risk management policies in light of developments.
Dividend Payments. Our primary source of funds is dividends from the Bank. Indiana law prohibits the Bank from paying dividends in an amount greater than its undivided profits. The Bank is required to obtain the approval of the DFI for the payment of any dividend if the total of all dividends declared by the Bank during the calendar year, including the proposed dividend, would exceed the sum of the Bank's net income for the year-to-date combined with its retained net income for the previous two years. Indiana law defines "retained net income" to mean the net income of a specified period, calculated under the consolidated report of income instructions, less the total amount of all dividends declared for the specified period. The Federal Reserve Act also imposes limitations on the amount of dividends that may be paid by state member banks, such as the Bank. Without Federal Reserve approval, a state member bank may not pay dividends in any calendar year that, in the aggregate, exceed that bank's calendar year-to-date net income plus the bank's retained net income for the two preceding calendar years. Moreover, 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, 2020. Notwithstanding the availability of funds for dividends, however, the Federal Reserve and the DFI 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 unrestricted dividends will have to maintain 2.5% in Common Equity Tier 1 Capital attributable to the capital conservation buffer. See “The Role of Capital” above.
State Bank Investments and Activities. The Bank is permitted to make investments and engage in activities directly or through subsidiaries as authorized by Indiana law. However, under federal law, FDIC-insured institutions 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 also prohibits 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. Bank regulators have identified key risk themes for 2021 as: credit risk management given projected weaker economic conditions and commercial and residential real estate concentration risk management. The agencies will also be monitoring banks for their transition away from LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) as a reference rate, compliance risk management related to COVID-19 pandemic-related activities, Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (“AML”) compliance, cybersecurity, planning for and implementation of the current-expected-credit-losses (“CECL”) accounting standard, and CRA performance. 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, as a part of its operational risk mitigation, 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 and to require the same of its service providers. These security and privacy policies and procedures are in effect across all business lines and geographic locations.
Branching Authority. Indiana banks, such as the Bank, have the authority under Indiana law to establish branches anywhere in the State of Indiana, subject to receipt of all required regulatory approvals. 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. 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.
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. CRA requires the Bank to have a continuing and affirmative obligation in a safe and sound manner to help meet the credit needs of its entire community, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Federal regulators regularly assess the Bank’s record of meeting the credit needs of its communities. Applications for additional acquisitions would be affected by the evaluation of the Bank’s effectiveness in meeting its CRA requirements. In a joint statement responding to the COVID-19 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 Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (“USA PATRIOT Act”) is designed to deny terrorists and criminals the ability to obtain access to the U.S. financial system and has significant implications for FDIC-insured institutions, brokers, dealers and other businesses involved in the transfer of money. The USA PATRIOT Act, along with other legal authority, 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 Lending, Sound Risk Management Practices guidance (“CRE Guidance”) provides supervisory criteria, including the following numerical indicators, to assist bank examiners in identifying banks with potentially significant commercial real estate loan concentrations that may warrant greater supervisory scrutiny: (i) commercial real estate loans exceeding 300% of capital and increasing 50% or more in the preceding three years; or (ii) construction and land development loans exceeding 100% of capital. The CRE Guidance does not limit banks’ levels of commercial real estate lending activities, but rather guides institutions in developing risk management practices and levels of capital that are commensurate with the level and nature of their commercial real estate concentrations. On December 18, 2015, the federal banking agencies issued a statement to reinforce prudent risk-management practices related to CRE lending, having observed substantial growth in many CRE asset and lending markets, increased competitive pressures, rising CRE concentrations in banks, and an easing of CRE underwriting standards. The federal bank agencies reminded FDIC-insured institutions to maintain underwriting discipline and exercise prudent risk-management practices to identify, measure, monitor, and manage the risks arising from CRE lending. In addition, FDIC-insured institutions must maintain capital commensurate with the level and nature of their CRE concentration risk.
Based on the Bank’s loan portfolio as of December 31, 2020, it did not exceed the 300% guideline for commercial real estate loans.
Consumer Financial Services. The historical structure of federal consumer protection regulation applicable to all providers of consumer financial products and services changed significantly on July 21, 2011, when the CFPB commenced operations to supervise and enforce consumer protection laws. The CFPB has broad rulemaking authority for a wide range of consumer protection laws that apply to all providers of consumer products and services, including the Bank, as well as the authority to prohibit “unfair, deceptive or abusive” acts and practices. The CFPB has examination and enforcement authority over providers with more than $10 billion in assets. FDIC-insured institutions with $10 billion or less in assets, like the Bank, continue to be examined by their applicable bank regulators.
Because abuses in connection with residential mortgages were a significant factor contributing to the financial crisis, many new rules issued by the CFPB and required by the Dodd-Frank Act addressed mortgage and mortgage-related products, their underwriting, origination, servicing and sales. The Dodd-Frank Act significantly expanded underwriting requirements applicable to loans secured by 1-4 family residential real property and augmented federal law combating predatory lending practices. In addition to numerous disclosure requirements, the Dodd-Frank Act imposed new standards for mortgage loan originations on all lenders, including banks and savings associations, in an effort to strongly encourage lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay, while also establishing a presumption of compliance for certain “qualified mortgages.” The Regulatory Relief Act provided relief in connection with mortgages for banks with assets of less than $10 billion, and, as a result, mortgages the Bank makes are now considered to be qualified mortgages if they are held in portfolio for the life of the loan. The CFPB has from time to time released additional rules as to qualified mortgages and the borrower’s ability to repay, most recently in October of 2020. The CFPB’s rules have not had a significant impact on the Bank’s operations, except for higher compliance costs.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
In addition to the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, stockholders or prospective investors should carefully consider the following risk factors:
Risks Relating to General Economic Conditions
A continued downturn in the general economic or business conditions, nationally or in markets where our business is concentrated, could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our success depends upon the business activity, population, employment rates, income levels, deposits and real estate activity in our markets in northern and central Indiana. Although our customers’ business and financial interests may extend well beyond these market areas, adverse economic conditions that affect these market areas could reduce our growth rate, diminish the ability of our customers to repay their loans to us, decrease the value of any collateral securing our loans and generally adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, because of our geographic concentration, we are less able than other regional or national financial institutions to diversify our credit risks across multiple markets.
In general, business activity, employment rates, income levels and other measures of economic activity have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The speed and strength of any economic recovery from the pandemic is subject to a high degree of uncertainty, but is expected to be affected by further developments in the pandemic, including the scope of federal and state governmental policies, the success of vaccination efforts and other matters, as described in further detail below.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an adverse impact on our business and results of operations, and could have an adverse impact on our financial condition or capital levels, any of which could be material.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant economic impact on the communities in which we operate, our borrowers and depositors, and the national economy generally, including a general curtailment of business activity and increased levels of unemployment in our Indiana markets. We expect this impact could continue to be volatile, and last for a significant and indeterminate period. These developments have adversely affected our business and results of operations, and we believe they could adversely impact our financial condition and capital levels, the amounts of which cannot be determined and could be material. In particular, certain of our borrowers and depositors are in or have exposure to industries, such as hotel and accommodations, entertainment and recreation and full-service restaurants, which have reduced or suspended operations. Any continued decrease, or delayed recovery, in economic activity as a result of COVID-19 could have a negative adverse impact on certain of our borrowers and their financial condition, which could impact their ability to meet their financial obligations and could result in elevated levels of delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures and loan losses. See “Note 26 – COVID-19 and Current Economic Conditions” for additional information.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic could have a material impact on our operations. We rely upon our third-party vendors to conduct business and to process, record and monitor transactions. If any of these vendors are unable to continue to provide us with these services, it could negatively impact our ability to serve our customers. Furthermore, the outbreak could negatively impact our employees and customers’ ability to engage in banking and other financial transactions and could create widespread business continuity issues for us. We also could be adversely affected if key personnel or a significant number of employees were to become unavailable due to the effects and restrictions of a COVID-19 outbreak in our market areas.
The pandemic has also increased our exposure to related business risks, including the following:
|●||We have had to modify our business practices, including with respect to branch operations, employee travel, employee work locations, participation in meetings, events and conferences, and related changes for our vendors and other business partners. The effects of these changes on our business are uncertain and difficult to quantify, but could include decreased efficiency, lower growth and increased risks of fraud.|
|●||As a result of the decline in the Federal Reserve’s target federal funds rate to near 0%, the yield on our assets may decline to a greater extent than the decline in our cost of interest bearing liabilities, reducing our net interest margin and reducing net income.|
|●||Demand for our products and services may decline, and we may determine that we are not able to prudently grow our loan portfolio.|
|●||Net interest margin may be negatively impacted due to elevated liquidity on our balance sheet due to the PPP program, government stimulus payments to consumers and businesses and increased rates of saving excess cash.|
|●||If the economic downturn or elevated levels of unemployment continue for an extended period of time, loan delinquencies, problem assets, and foreclosures may increase, resulting in increased provisions for credit losses and charge-offs and reduced income.|
|●||The net worth and liquidity of loan guarantors may decline, impairing their ability to honor commitments to us.|
|●||Federal and state taxes may increase, including as a result of the effects of the pandemic on governmental budgets, which could reduce our net income.|
|●||FDIC premiums could increase if the agency experiences additional resolution costs.|
|●||In addition, we depend upon the management skills of our executive officers and directors. The unanticipated loss or unavailability of key employees due to the pandemic could harm our ability to operate our business or execute our business strategy. We may not be successful in finding and integrating suitable successors in the event of key employee loss or unavailability.|
Interest rate shifts 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 bearing 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 may rise more quickly than the rate of interest that we receive on our interest bearing assets, which may cause our profits to decrease. Conversely, when interest rates fall our interest bearing assets reprice more quickly than our interest bearing liabilities, given our asset-sensitive balance sheet, which may cause our net interest income to decrease. The impact on earnings is more adverse when the slope of the yield curve flattens, i.e. when short-term interest rates increase more than corresponding changes in long-term interest rates or when long-term interest rates decrease more than corresponding changes in 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 the loans as borrowers refinance their mortgages 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. Thus, an increase in the amount of nonperforming assets would have an adverse impact on net interest income.
The Federal Reserve Bank has lowered the target fed funds rate range to 0.00%-0.25%, and short-term interest rates have remained at historically low levels for a prolonged period. As a result, we have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, net interest margin compression, which negatively affects our net interest income and results of operations.
Risks Relating to Our Business
If we do not effectively manage our credit risk, we may experience increased levels of nonperforming loans, charge offs and delinquencies, which could require further increases in our provision for loan losses.
There are risks inherent in making any loan, including risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers, risks of nonpayment, risks resulting from uncertainties as to the future value of collateral and risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions. In general, these risks have increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted business trends that we evaluate when making credit decisions, and changed the short- and long-term outlook for businesses and individuals in our markets. We cannot assure you that our loan application approval procedures, use of loan concentration limits, credit monitoring, use of independent reviews of outstanding loans or other procedures will reduce these credit risks. If the overall economic climate in the United States, generally, and our market areas, specifically, does not perform in the manner we expect, or even if it does, our borrowers may experience difficulties in repaying their loans, and the level of nonperforming loans, charge-offs and delinquencies could rise and require increases in the provision for loan losses, which would cause our net income and return on equity to decrease.
If our allowance for loan losses is not sufficient to absorb losses that may occur in our loan portfolio, our financial condition and liquidity could suffer.
We establish our allowance for loan losses and maintain it at a level considered adequate by management to absorb probable incurred loan losses that are inherent in the portfolio. The allowance contains provisions for probable incurred losses that have been identified relating to specific borrowing relationships, as well as probable losses inherent in the loan portfolio and credit undertakings that are not specifically identified. Additions to the allowance for loan losses, which are charged to earnings through the provision for loan losses, are determined based on a variety of factors, including an analysis of the loan portfolio, historical loss experience and an evaluation of current economic conditions in our market areas. The actual amount of loan losses is affected by changes in economic, operating and other conditions within our markets, which may be beyond our control, and such losses may exceed current estimates.
At December 31, 2020, our allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total loans was 1.32% and as a percentage of total nonperforming loans was 507%. Because of the nature of our loan portfolio and our concentration in commercial and industrial loans, which tend to be larger loans, the movement of a small number of loans to nonperforming status can have a significant impact on these ratios. Although management believes that the allowance for loan losses is adequate to absorb probable losses on any existing loans, we cannot predict loan losses with certainty and we cannot assure you that our allowance for loan losses will prove sufficient to cover actual loan losses in the future. Loan losses in excess of our reserves may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Commercial and industrial loans make up a significant portion of our loan portfolio.
Commercial and industrial loans were $1.791 billion, or approximately 38.5% of our total loan portfolio, as of December 31, 2020. Commercial and industrial loans are often larger and involve greater risks than other types of lending. Because payments on such loans are often dependent on the successful operation of the borrower involved, repayment of such loans is often more sensitive than other types of loans to adverse conditions in the general economy. For example, decreased economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected commercial and industrial loans, and we expect this trend to continue for certain portions of our loan portfolio, depending on the strength and speed of economic recovery and other factors.
Our commercial and industrial loans are primarily made based on the identified cash flow of the borrower and secondarily on the underlying collateral provided by the borrower. Most often, this collateral is accounts receivable, inventory, machinery or real estate. Whenever practical, we require a personal guarantee on commercial and industrial loans. Credit support provided by the borrower for most of these loans and the probability of repayment is based on the liquidation of the pledged collateral and enforcement of a personal guarantee, if any exists. As a result, in the case of loans secured by accounts receivable, the availability of funds for the repayment of these loans may be substantially dependent on the ability of the borrower to collect amounts due from its customers. The collateral securing other loans may depreciate over time, may be difficult to appraise and may fluctuate in value based on the success of the business. Due to the larger average size of each commercial loan as compared with other loans such as residential loans, as well as collateral that is generally less readily-marketable, losses incurred on a small number of commercial loans could adversely affect our business, results of operations and growth prospects.
Our loan portfolio includes commercial real estate loans, which involve risks specific to real estate value.
Commercial real estate loans were $1.895 billion, or approximately 40.7% of our total loan portfolio as of December 31, 2020. The market value of real estate can fluctuate significantly in a short period of time as a result of market conditions in the geographic area in which the real estate is located, and, as a general matter, these values have been significantly and negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although a significant portion of such loans are secured by real estate as a secondary form of collateral, these developments and any future adverse developments affecting real estate values in one or more of our markets could increase the credit risk associated with our loan portfolio. Additionally, real estate lending typically involves higher loan principal amounts and the repayment of the loans generally is dependent, in large part, on sufficient income from the properties securing the loans to cover operating expenses and debt service. Economic events or governmental regulations outside of the control of the borrower or lender could negatively impact the future cash flow and market values of the affected properties.
If the loans that are collateralized by real estate become troubled and the value of the real estate has been significantly impaired, then we may not be able to recover the full contractual amount of principal and interest that we anticipated at the time of originating the loan, which could cause us to increase our provision for loan losses and adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.
Our loan portfolio has a notable concentration in agri-business, which has a higher level of uncontrolled risk.
Our agri-business loans, which totaled $429.6 million, or approximately 9.2% of our total loan portfolio as of December 31, 2020, are subject to risks outside of our or the borrower’s control. These risks, specific to the agricultural industry, include decreases in livestock and crop prices, increases in labor and seed prices, increase in stockpiles of agricultural commodities, the strength of the U.S. dollar, the potential impact of tariffs on commodities and the nature of climate and weather conditions. To the extent these or other factors affect the performance or financial condition of our agri-business borrowers, our results of operations and financial performance could suffer.
Our consumer loans generally have a higher degree of risk of default than our other loans.
At December 31, 2020, consumer loans totaled $103.6 million, or 2.2% of our total loan portfolio. Consumer loans typically have shorter terms and lower balances with higher yields as compared to commercial loans, but generally carry higher risks of default. Consumer loan collections are dependent on the borrower’s continuing financial stability, and thus are more likely to be affected by adverse personal circumstances. Furthermore, the application of various federal and state laws, including bankruptcy and insolvency laws, may limit the amount which can be recovered on these loans.
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, which adversely affects our net income and returns on assets and equity, increases our loan administration costs and adversely affects our efficiency ratio. When we take collateral in foreclosure and similar proceedings, we are required to mark the collateral to its current fair market value at the time of transfer, which may result in a loss. These nonperforming loans and other real estate owned also increase our risk profile and our regulatory capital requirements may increase 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 other nonperforming assets, our net interest income and provision expense 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.
Liquidity risks could affect operations and jeopardize our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Liquidity is essential to our business. An inability to raise funds through deposits, borrowings, the sale of loans and other sources could have a substantial, negative effect on our liquidity. Our primary sources of funds consist of deposits, cash from operations and investment maturities and sales. Additional liquidity is provided by brokered deposits, CD Option of IntraFi Network Deposits (“CD Option”, formerly known as CDARS), American Financial Exchange overnight borrowings, IntraFi Network’s insured cash sweep program, as well as our ability to borrow from federal funds lines at correspondent banks, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Home Loan Bank (the “FHLB”). 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. In addition, increased competition with the largest banks for retail deposits may impact our ability to raise funds through deposits and could have a negative effect on our liquidity.
During the last recession, the financial services industry and the credit markets generally were materially and adversely affected by significant declines in asset values and historically depressed levels of liquidity. The liquidity issues were also particularly acute for regional and community banks, as many of the larger financial institutions curtailed their lending to regional and community banks to reduce their exposure to the risks of other banks. In addition, many of the larger correspondent lenders reduced or even eliminated federal funds lines for their correspondent customers. Furthermore, regional and community banks generally have less access to the capital markets than national and super-regional banks because of their smaller size and limited analyst coverage. Any decline in available funding could adversely impact our ability to originate loans, invest in securities, meet our expenses, pay dividends to our stockholders, or 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, results of operations and financial condition.
Any action or steps to change coverages or eliminate Indiana’s Public Deposit Insurance Fund could require us to find alternative, higher-cost funding sources to replace public fund deposits or to provide for collateralization of these deposits.
Approximately 23% of our deposits are concentrated in public funds from a small number of municipalities and government agencies located in the Bank’s geographic footprint. A shift in funding away from public fund deposits would impact liquidity availability and could increase our cost of funds, as the alternate funding sources, such as brokered certificates of deposit, can be higher-cost, are less favorable deposits and could require additional collateral to be pledged. The inability to maintain these public funds on deposit could result in a material adverse effect on the Bank’s liquidity and could materially impact our ability to grow and remain profitable.
Declines in asset values may result in impairment charges and adversely affect the value of our investments, financial performance and capital.
We maintain an investment portfolio that includes, but is not limited to, mortgage-backed securities and municipal securities. The market value of investments may be affected by factors other than the underlying performance of the servicer of the securities or the mortgages underlying the securities, such as ratings downgrades, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financial condition of state and local governments, adverse changes in the business climate and a lack of liquidity in the secondary market for certain investment securities. On a quarterly basis, we evaluate investments and other assets for impairment indicators. We may be required to record additional impairment charges if our investments suffer a decline in value that is considered other-than-temporary. If we determine that a significant impairment has occurred, we would be required to charge against earnings the credit-related portion of the other-than-temporary impairment, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations in the periods in which the write-offs occur.
We may be adversely impacted by the discontinuance of LIBOR as a short-term interest rate utilized for loans and other financing agreements.
In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (the authority that regulates LIBOR) announced it intends to stop compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee ("ARRC") has proposed that the Secured Overnight Financing Rate ("SOFR") is the rate that represents best practice as the alternative to USD-LIBOR for use in derivatives and other financial contracts that are currently indexed to USD-LIBOR. ARRC has proposed a paced market transition plan to SOFR from USD-LIBOR and organizations are currently working on industry wide and company-specific transition plans as it relates to derivatives and cash markets exposed to USD-LIBOR. The Company has material contracts that are indexed to USD-LIBOR and is monitoring this activity and evaluating the related risks. This includes identifying outstanding USD-LIBOR-based loans without ARRC recommended fallback language, internal training and education, and working with our core provider to ensure proper integration once an alternative reference is implemented. Management is also monitoring ARRC publications for best practices.
Risks Relating to Our Corporate Strategy
We may need to raise additional capital in the future to achieve our growth plans, but that capital may not be available when it is needed.
We are required by federal and state regulatory authorities to maintain adequate levels of capital to support our operations. Accordingly, we may need to raise additional capital to support our future growth plans. 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 make assurances of our ability to raise additional capital, if needed, on terms acceptable to us. If we cannot raise additional capital when needed, our financial condition and our ability to further expand our operations through internal growth or acquisitions could be materially impaired.
We may experience difficulties in managing our growth, and our growth strategy involves risks that may negatively impact our net income.
In addition to our continuing expansion in Indianapolis and larger cities in Northern Indiana, we may expand into additional communities or attempt to strengthen our position in our current markets through opportunistic acquisitions of all or part of other financial institutions, or by opening new branches in or within two hours of our contiguous geographic footprint. To the extent that we undertake acquisitions or new branch openings, we are likely to experience the effects of higher operating expenses relative to operating income from the new operations, which may have an adverse effect on our levels of reported net income, return on average equity and return on average assets. Other effects of engaging in such growth strategies may include potential diversion of our management’s time and attention and general disruption to our business.
To the extent that we grow through acquisitions and branch openings, we cannot assure you that we will be able to adequately and profitably manage this growth. Acquiring other banks and businesses will involve similar risks to those commonly associated with branching but may also involve additional risks, including:
|●||potential exposure to unknown or contingent liabilities of banks and businesses we acquire;|
|●||exposure to potential asset quality issues of the acquired bank or related business;|
|●||difficulty and expense of integrating the operations and personnel of banks and businesses we acquire; and|
|●||the possible loss of key employees and customers of the banks and businesses we acquire.|
We face intense competition in all phases of our business from other banks and financial institutions.
The banking and financial services business in our market is highly competitive. Our competitors include large national, regional and local community banks, credit unions, Fintech and nonbank financial service providers, securities and brokerage companies, mortgage companies, insurance companies, finance companies, money market mutual funds and farm credit services. Many of these competitors are not subject to the same operating costs or regulatory restrictions as we are and are able to provide customers with a feasible alternative to traditional banking services.
Increased competition in our market may also result in a decrease in the amounts of our loans and deposits, reduced spreads between loan rates and deposit rates or loan terms that are more favorable to the borrower. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our ability to grow and remain profitable. If increased competition causes us to significantly discount the interest rates we offer on loans or increase the amount we pay on deposits, our net interest income could be adversely impacted. If increased competition causes us to relax our underwriting standards, we could be exposed to higher losses from lending activities. Moreover, we rely on deposits to be a low-cost source of funding, and a loss in our deposit base could cause us to incur higher funding costs.
Additionally, many of our competitors are much larger in total assets and capitalization, have greater access to capital markets, possess larger lending limits and offer a broader range of financial services than we can offer.
Attractive acquisition opportunities may not be available to us in the future.
We expect that other banking and financial service companies, many of which have significantly greater resources than us, will compete with us in acquiring other financial institutions if we pursue such acquisitions. This competition could increase prices for potential acquisitions that we believe are attractive. Also, acquisitions are subject to various regulatory approvals. If we fail to receive the appropriate regulatory approvals, we will not be able to consummate an acquisition that we believe is in our best interests. Among other things, our regulators consider our capital, liquidity, profitability, regulatory compliance and levels of goodwill and intangibles when considering acquisition and expansion proposals. Any acquisition could be dilutive to our earnings and stockholders’ equity per share of our common stock.
Risks Relating to Regulation, Tax and Accounting
We may be materially and adversely affected by the highly regulated environment in which we operate.
We are subject to extensive federal and state regulation, supervision and examination. A more detailed description of the primary federal and state banking laws and regulations that affect us is contained in the section of this Annual Report on Form 10-K captioned “Supervision and Regulation.” Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors’ funds, FDIC funds, customers and the banking system as a whole, rather than our shareholders. These regulations affect our lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy and growth, among other things.
As a bank holding company, we are subject to extensive regulation and supervision and undergo periodic examinations by our regulators, who have extensive discretion and authority to prevent or remedy unsafe or unsound practices or violations of law by banks and bank holding companies. Failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations or policies could result in sanctions by regulatory agencies, civil monetary penalties and/or damage to our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on us. Although we have policies and procedures designed to mitigate the risk of any such violations, there can be no assurance that such violations will not occur.
The laws, regulations, rules, standards, policies and interpretations governing us are constantly evolving and may change significantly over time. For example, on July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, which significantly changed the regulation of financial institutions and the financial services industry. The Dodd-Frank Act, together with the regulations to be developed thereunder, includes provisions affecting large and small financial institutions alike, including several provisions that affect how community banks, thrifts and small bank and thrift holding companies will be regulated. In addition, the Federal Reserve, in recent years, has adopted numerous new regulations addressing banks’ overdraft and mortgage lending practices. Further, the CFPB was recently established, with broad powers to supervise and enforce consumer protection laws, and additional consumer protection legislation and regulatory activity is anticipated in the near future.
In addition, in July 2013, the U.S. federal banking authorities approved the implementation of the Basel III Rule, defined previously. The Basel III Rule is applicable to all U.S. banks that are subject to minimum capital requirements as well as to bank and saving and loan holding companies, other than “small bank holding companies” (generally bank holding companies with consolidated assets of less than $3 billion).
These provisions, as well as any other aspects of current or proposed regulatory or legislative changes to laws applicable to the financial industry, may impact the profitability of our business activities and may change certain of our business practices, including our 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. Although we are currently compliant with the Basel III Rule, these changes also may require us to invest significant management attention and resources to make any necessary changes to operations in order to comply and could therefore also materially and adversely affect our business, 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 operations in U.S. government securities, adjustments of the discount rate and changes in reserve requirements against bank deposits. These instruments are used in varying combinations to influence overall economic growth and the distribution of credit, bank loans, investments and deposits. Their use also affects interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits. Declining federal funds rate lowers short-term rates and the interest earned from floating rate loans. The bank may not be able to lower deposit rates fast enough to offset the effect of declining short-term rates on loan interest income.
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.
We may be adversely affected by changes in U.S. tax laws and regulations.
Any change in federal or state tax laws or regulations, including any increase in the federal corporate income tax rate from the current level of 21%, could negatively affect our business and results of operations, including as a result of our income tax expense and any impact to the profitability of our loan customers.
We are required to maintain capital to meet regulatory requirements, 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.
The Company, on a consolidated basis, and the Bank, on a stand-alone basis, must meet certain regulatory capital requirements and maintain sufficient liquidity. We face significant capital and other regulatory requirements as a financial institution, which were heightened with the implementation of the Basel III Rule and the phase-in of capital conservation buffer requirement. 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 subject to a higher consolidated effective tax rate if there is a change in tax laws relating to LCB Investments II, Inc. or if LCB Funding, Inc. fails to qualify as a real estate investment trust.
The Bank holds certain investment securities in its wholly owned subsidiary LCB Investments II, Inc., which is incorporated in Nevada. Pursuant to the State of Indiana’s current tax laws and regulations, we are not subject to Indiana income tax for income earned through that subsidiary. If there are changes in Indiana’s tax laws or interpretations thereof requiring us to pay state taxes for income generated by LCB Investments II, Inc., the resulting tax consequences could increase our effective tax rate or cause us to have a tax liability for prior years.
The Bank also holds certain commercial real estate loans, residential real estate loans and other loans in a real estate investment trust through LCB Investments II, Inc., which is incorporated in Maryland. Qualification as a real estate investment trust involves application of specific provisions of the Internal Revenue Code relating to various asset tests. If LCB Funding, Inc. fails to meet any of the required provisions for real estate investment trusts, it could no longer qualify as a real estate investment trust and the resulting tax consequences would increase our effective tax rate or cause us to have a tax liability for prior years.
Our accounting policies and methods are the basis for how we prepare our consolidated financial statements and how we report our financial condition and results of operations, and they require management to make estimates about matters that are inherently uncertain.
Our accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. Our management must exercise judgment in selecting and applying many of these accounting policies and methods in order to ensure they comply with GAAP and reflect management’s judgment as to the most appropriate manner in which to record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, management must select the accounting policy or method to apply from two or more alternatives, any of which might be reasonable under the circumstances. The application of that chosen accounting policy or method might result in the Company reporting different amounts than would have been reported under a different alternative. If management’s estimates or assumptions are incorrect, the Company may experience material losses.
Management has identified two accounting policies as being “critical” to the presentation of the Company’s financial condition and results of operations because they require management to make particularly subjective and complex judgments about matters that are inherently uncertain and because of the likelihood that materially different amounts would be reported under different conditions or using different assumptions. These critical accounting policies relate to: (1) the allowance for loan losses and (2) determining the fair value and possible other-than-temporary impairment of investment securities available-for-sale. Because of the inherent uncertainty of these estimates, no assurance can be given that the application of alternative policies or methods might not result in the reporting of different amounts of the fair value of securities available-for-sale, or the allowance for loan losses and, accordingly, net income.
From time to time, the FASB and the SEC change the financial accounting and reporting standards or the interpretation of those standards that govern the preparation of our external financial statements. These changes are beyond our control, can be difficult to predict and could materially impact how we report our financial condition and results of operations. Changes in these standards are continuously occurring, and given the current economic environment, more drastic changes may occur. The implementation of such changes could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We may experience increases to, and volatility in, the balance of the allowance for credit losses and related provision expense due to the adoption of the CECL methodology.
We will adopt CECL, effective as of January 1, 2021, following the delayed adoption period permitted by the CARES Act and extended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The CECL methodology differs substantially from the incurred loss methodology previously used in that it is forward looking, requiring measurement to occur when a financial asset is first added to the balance sheet and periodically thereafter. These measurements require significant use of management judgments as well as forward- looking information and forecasts. Any failure of these judgments or forecasts to be correct could negatively affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Risks Relating to our Operations
Our ability to attract and retain management and key personnel and any damage to our reputation may affect future growth and earnings.
Much of our success and growth has been influenced strongly by our ability to attract and retain management experienced in banking and financial services and familiar with the communities in our market areas. Our ability to retain the executive officers, management teams, branch managers and loan officers at the Bank will continue to be important to the successful implementation of our strategy. It is also critical, as we grow, to be able to attract and retain qualified additional management and loan officers with the appropriate level of experience and knowledge about our market areas to implement our community-based operating strategy. The unexpected loss of services of any key management personnel, or the inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel in the future, could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, our business depends on earning and maintaining the trust of our customers and communities. Harm to our reputation could arise from numerous sources, including employee misconduct, compliance failures, litigation or our failure to deliver appropriate levels of service. If any events or circumstances occur which could undermine our reputation, there can be no assurance that the additional costs and expenses we may incur as a result would not have an adverse impact on our business.
We have a continuing need to adapt to technological change and we may not have the resources to effectively implement new technology.
The financial services industry is constantly 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 areas. Many of our larger competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. As a result, they may be able to offer additional or superior products to those that we will be able to offer, which would put us at a competitive disadvantage. Accordingly, we cannot provide assurances that we will be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing such products and services to our customers.
The Company’s information systems may experience an interruption or breach in security and cyber-attacks, all of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business.
The Company relies heavily on internal and outsourced technologies, communications, and information systems to conduct its business. Additionally, in the normal course of business, the Company collects, processes and retains sensitive and confidential information regarding our customers. As the Company’s reliance on technology has increased, so have the potential risks of a technology-related operation interruption (such as disruptions in the Company’s core provider, general ledger, deposit, loan, digital banking or other systems) or the occurrence of a cyber-attack (such as unauthorized access to the Company’s systems). These risks have increased for all financial institutions as new technologies, the use of the Internet and telecommunications technologies (including mobile devices) to conduct financial and other business transactions and the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, perpetrators of fraud, hackers, terrorists and others have increased. In addition to cyber-attacks or other security breaches involving the theft of sensitive and confidential information, hackers recently have engaged in attacks against financial institutions, particularly denial of service attacks, which are designed to disrupt key business services, such as customer-facing web sites and social engineering attacks that could influence an employee of the Company to click on a link that downloads malware or ransomware to the Company’s system. The Company is not able to anticipate or implement effective preventive measures against all security breaches of these types, especially because the techniques used change frequently and because attacks can originate from a wide variety of sources. In addition, it is possible that we may not be able to detect security breaches on a timely basis, or at all, which could increase the costs and risks associated with any such breach.
The Company also faces risks related to cyber-attacks and other security breaches in connection with credit card and debit card transactions that typically involve the transmission of sensitive information regarding the Company’s customers through various third parties, including merchant acquiring banks, payment processors, payment card networks and its processors. Some of these parties have in the past been the target of security breaches and cyber-attacks, and because the transactions involve third parties and environments such as the point of sale that the Company does not control or secure, future security breaches or cyber-attacks affecting any of these third parties could impact the Company through no fault of its own, and in some cases it may have exposure and suffer losses for breaches or attacks relating to them. In addition, the Company offers its customers protection against fraud and certain losses for unauthorized use of debit cards in order to stay competitive with other financial institutions. Offering such protection exposes the Company to losses that could adversely affect its business, financial condition and results of operations. Further cyber-attacks or other breaches in the future, whether affecting the Company or others, could intensify consumer concern and regulatory focus and result in reduced use of payment cards and increased costs, all of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business. To the extent we are involved in any future cyber-attacks or other breaches, the Company’s reputation could be affected, which could also have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition or results of operations.
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 misconduct could subject us to financial losses or regulatory sanctions and seriously harm our reputation. Misconduct by our employees could include hiding their own 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, among others.
In addition, as a bank, we are susceptible to fraudulent activity that may be committed against us, third parties 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. For example, as previously disclosed, in the third quarter of 2019, the Bank discovered potentially fraudulent activity by a former treasury management client involving multiple banks. In the context of resulting bankruptcy proceedings involving the former client, the debtors have stated that, based on their investigation, which is ongoing, they believe that they hold claims and causes of action against the Bank. We cannot predict what legal claims, if any, will be made against the Bank. See "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Results of Operations-Noninterest Expense" for additional information.
We maintain a system of internal controls and insurance coverage to mitigate operational risks, including data processing system failures and errors, cyber-attacks, and customer or employee fraud. Should 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, results of operations and financial condition.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
We have no unresolved SEC staff comments.
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
The Company is headquartered in the main office building of the Bank at 202 E. Center Street, Warsaw, Indiana 46580. The Company operates in 57 locations, 51 of which are owned by the Bank and six of which are leased from third parties.
None of the Company’s real property assets are the subject of any material encumbrances.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
There are no material pending legal proceedings, other than ordinary routine litigation incidental to the business of the Company, to which Lakeland Financial or the Bank is a party or to which any of their property is subject.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
The quarterly high and low closing prices for the Company’s common stock and the cash dividends declared and paid on that common stock are set forth in the table below.
The common stock of the Company was first quoted on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol “LKFN” on August 14, 1997. Currently, the Company’s common stock is listed for trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “LKFN.” On February 17, 2021, the Company had approximately 327 stockholders of record.
The Company paid dividends on its common stock as set forth in the table above. The Company’s ability to pay dividends to stockholders is largely dependent upon the dividends it receives from the Bank, and the Bank is subject to regulatory limitations on the amount of cash dividends it may pay. See “Supervision and Regulation – Dividend Payments” for additional information.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
The table below sets forth the following information as of December 31, 2020 for (i) all compensation plans previously approved by the Company’s stockholders and (ii) all compensation plans not previously approved by the Company’s stockholders:
(a) the number of securities to be issued upon the exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights;
(b) the weighted-average exercise price of such outstanding options, warrants and rights; and
(c) other than securities to be issued upon the exercise of such outstanding options, warrants and rights, the number of securities remaining available for future issuance under the plans.
EQUITY COMPENSATION PLAN INFORMATION
Number of securities
Number of securities to be
for future issuance
issued upon exercise of
exercise price of
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders(1)
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders
(1) Lakeland Financial Corporation 2017 Equity Incentive Plan was adopted on April 12, 2017 by the board of directors.
STOCK PRICE PERFORMANCE GRAPH
The graph below compares the cumulative total return of the Company, the Nasdaq Market Index, and the SNL U.S. Bank Nasdaq Index.
Lakeland Financial Corporation
NASDAQ Composite Index
SNL U.S. Bank NASDAQ Index
The above returns assume that $100 invested on December 31, 2015 and that all dividends were reinvested.
ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
On January 8, 2019, the Company's board of directors approved a share repurchase program, under which the Company is authorized to repurchase, from time to time as the Company deems appropriate, shares of the Company's common stock with an aggregate purchase price of up to $30 million. Repurchases may be made in the open market, through block trades or otherwise, and in privately negotiated transactions. The repurchase program expired on December 31, 2019, and it was reauthorized and extended through January 21, 2021 by the Company’s board of directors on January 14, 2020. As extended, the repurchase program has an aggregate purchase price cap of $30 million. The repurchase program does not obligate the Company to repurchase any dollar amount or number of shares, and the program may be extended, modified, suspended or discontinued at any time.
Share repurchases under the repurchase plan were suspended in March of 2020 with $20 million of authorization remaining available under the plan. No shares were repurchased under the plan during the fourth quarter of 2020. The Company continues to evaluate the share repurchase program pursuant to its previously established criteria for execution.
The following table provides information about purchases by the Company and its affiliates during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 of equity securities that are registered by the Company pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act:
Maximum Number (or
Total Number of
Shares Purchased as
Value) of Shares that
Part of Publicly
May Yet Be Purchased
Total Number of
Announced Plans or
Under the Plans or
Paid per Share
10/01/20 - 10/31/20
11/01/20 - 11/30/20
12/01/20 - 12/31/20
|(1)||Does not reflect $30 million shares that were authorized for p|