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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020 

or

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the Transition Period From                            To

Commission File Number: 000-30421

HANMI FINANCIAL CORPORATION

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

Delaware

 

95-4788120

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1250

Los Angeles, California

 

90017

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

(213) 382-2200

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class

 

Trading Symbol

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, $0.001 Par Value

 

HAFC

 

Nasdaq Global Select Market

 

Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

(Title of Class)

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes    No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large Accelerated Filer

 

Accelerated Filer

Non-Accelerated Filer

 

Smaller Reporting Company

Emerging Growth Company

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).   Yes      No  

As of April 28, 2020, the aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was approximately $352,978,609. For purposes of the foregoing calculation only, in addition to affiliated companies, all directors and officers of the Registrant have been deemed affiliates.

Number of shares of common stock of the Registrant outstanding as of February 22, 2021 was 30,716,567 shares.

Documents Incorporated By Reference Herein: Sections of the Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed within 120 days of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report (or information will be provided by amendment to this Form 10-K), as noted therein.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Hanmi Financial Corporation

Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Fiscal Year ended December 31, 2020

 

Table of Contents

 

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

2

 

Part I

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

3

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

16

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

25

Item 2.

Properties

25

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

25

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

25

 

Part II

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

26

Item 6.

[RESERVED]

27

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

28

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

43

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

43

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosures

43

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

43

Item 9B.

Other Information

44

 

Part III

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

45

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

45

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

45

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

45

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

45

 

Part IV

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

46

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

46

 

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements

47

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

48

 

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2020 and 2019

53

 

Consolidated Statements of Income for the Years Ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018

54

 

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for the Years Ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018

55

 

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Stockholders’ Equity for the Years Ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018

56

 

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018

57

 

 

Exhibit Index

107

 

 

Signatures

109

 

 

1


 

 

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Report”) are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements in this Report other than statements of historical fact are “forward–looking statements” for purposes of federal and state securities laws, including, but not limited to, statements about anticipated future operating and financial performance, financial position and liquidity, business strategies, regulatory and competitive outlook, investment and expenditure plans, capital and financing needs, plans and objectives of management for future operations, and other similar forecasts and statements of expectations and assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” or “continue,” or the negative of such terms and other comparable terminology. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, strategies, outlook, needs, plans, objectives or achievements to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statement. These factors include the following: failure to maintain adequate levels of capital and liquidity to support our operations; the effect of potential future supervisory action against us or Hanmi Bank; our ability to remediate any material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting; general economic and business conditions internationally, nationally and in those areas in which we operate; volatility and deterioration in the credit and equity markets; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits; availability of capital; demographic changes; competition for loans and deposits and failure to attract or retain loans and deposits; fluctuations in interest rates and a decline in the level of our interest rate spread or net interest margin; risks of natural disasters; disruption due to pandemic or other public health emergency; a failure in or breach of our operational or security systems or infrastructure, including cyberattacks; the failure to maintain current technologies; the inability to successfully implement future information technology enhancements; difficult business and economic conditions that can adversely affect our industry and business, including competition and lack of soundness of other financial institutions, fraudulent activity and negative publicity; risks associated with Small Business Administration loans; failure to attract or retain key employees; our ability to access cost-effective funding; fluctuations in real estate values; changes in accounting policies and practices; the imposition of tariffs or other domestic or international governmental policies impacting the value of the products of our borrowers; changes in governmental regulation, including, but not limited to, any increase in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance premiums; the ability of Hanmi Bank to make distributions to Hanmi Financial Corporation, which is restricted by certain factors, including Hanmi Bank’s retained earnings, net income, prior distributions made, and certain other financial tests; the adequacy of our allowance for credit losses; credit quality and the effect of credit quality on our provision for loan losses and allowance for credit losses; changes in the financial performance and/or condition of our borrowers and the ability of our borrowers to perform under the terms of their loans and other terms of credit agreements; our ability to control expenses; risks as it relates to cyber security against our information technology and those of our third party providers and vendors; and changes in securities markets. For additional information concerning risks we face, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in Part I of this Report.

Further, given its ongoing and dynamic nature, it is difficult to predict what continued effects the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our business and results of operations. The pandemic and the related local and national economic disruption may result in a decline in demand for our products and services; increased levels of loan delinquencies, problem assets and foreclosures; an increase in our allowance for loan losses; a decline in the value of loan collateral, including real estate; a greater decline in the yield on our interest-earning assets than the decline in the cost of our interest-bearing liabilities; and increased cybersecurity risks, as employees increasingly work remotely.

We undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date on which such statements were made, except as required by law.

2


 

Part I

Item 1.

Business

General

Hanmi Financial Corporation (“Hanmi Financial,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our”) is a Delaware corporation incorporated on March 14, 2000 to be the holding company for Hanmi Bank (the “Bank”) and is subject to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”). Our principal office is located at 900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1250, Los Angeles, California 90017, and our telephone number is (213) 382-2200.

Hanmi Bank, the primary subsidiary of Hanmi Financial, is a state chartered bank incorporated under the laws of the State of California on August 24, 1981, and licensed pursuant to the California Financial Code (“California Financial Code”) on December 15, 1982. The Bank’s deposit accounts are insured under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act up to applicable limits thereof. The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (the “DFPI”) is the Bank’s primary state bank regulator and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) is its primary federal regulator. The Bank’s headquarters are located at 3660 Wilshire Boulevard, Penthouse Suite A, Los Angeles, California 90010.

The Bank is a community bank conducting general business banking, with its primary market encompassing the Korean-American community as well as other ethnic communities across California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington. The Bank’s full-service offices are located in markets where many of the businesses are run by immigrants and other minority groups. The Bank’s client base reflects the multi-ethnic composition of these communities.

The Bank’s revenues are derived primarily from interest and fees on loans, interest and dividends on the securities portfolio, and service charges on deposit accounts.

A summary of revenues for the periods indicated follows:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

Interest and fees on loans receivable

 

$

211,836

 

 

 

79.3

%

 

$

229,402

 

 

 

83.6

%

 

$

219,590

 

 

 

84.8

%

Interest and dividends on securities

 

 

11,438

 

 

 

4.3

%

 

 

15,808

 

 

 

5.8

%

 

 

14,230

 

 

 

5.5

%

Other interest income

 

 

592

 

 

 

0.2

%

 

 

1,562

 

 

 

0.6

%

 

 

577

 

 

 

0.2

%

Service charges, fees and other income

 

 

22,145

 

 

 

8.3

%

 

 

21,006

 

 

 

7.7

%

 

 

19,907

 

 

 

7.7

%

Gain on sale of SBA loans

 

 

5,247

 

 

 

2.0

%

 

 

5,251

 

 

 

1.9

%

 

 

4,954

 

 

 

1.9

%

Subtotal

 

 

251,258

 

 

 

94.1

%

 

 

273,029

 

 

 

99.5

%

 

 

259,258

 

 

 

100.1

%

Net gain (loss) on sale of securities

 

 

15,712

 

 

 

5.9

%

 

 

1,295

 

 

 

0.5

%

 

 

(341

)

 

 

(0.1

)%

Total revenues

 

$

266,970

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

274,324

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

258,917

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

Market Area

The Bank historically has provided its banking services through its branch network to a wide variety of small- to medium-sized businesses. Throughout the Bank’s service areas, competition is intense for both loans and deposits. While the market for banking services is dominated by a few nationwide banks with many offices operating over wide geographic areas, the Bank’s primary competitors are other community banks that focus their marketing efforts on Korean-American and other Asian-American businesses in the Bank’s service areas.

Lending Activities

The Bank originates loans for its own portfolio and for sale in the secondary market. Lending activities include real estate loans (commercial property, construction and residential property), commercial and industrial loans (commercial term, commercial lines of credit and international), equipment lease financing and Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loans.

3


 

Real Estate Loans

Real estate lending involves risks associated with the potential decline in the value of the underlying real estate collateral and the cash flows from income-producing properties. Declines in real estate values and cash flows can be caused by a number of factors, including a decline in general economic conditions, rising interest rates, changes in tax and other laws and regulations affecting the holding of real estate, environmental conditions, governmental and other use restrictions, development of competitive properties and increasing vacancy rates. When real estate values decline, the Bank’s real estate dependence increases the risk of loss both in the Bank’s loan portfolio and the Bank’s holdings of other real estate owned (“OREO”), which are the result of foreclosures on real property due to default by borrowers who use the property as collateral for loans. OREO properties are categorized as real property that is owned by the Bank but which is not directly related to the Bank’s business.

Commercial Property

The Bank offers commercial real estate loans, which are usually collateralized by first deeds of trust. The Bank obtains formal appraisals in accordance with applicable regulations to support the value of the real estate collateral. All appraisal reports on commercial mortgage loans are reviewed by an appraisal review officer. The review generally covers an examination of the appraiser’s assumptions and methods, as well as compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (the “USPAP”). The Bank determines creditworthiness of a borrower by evaluating cash flow ability, asset and debt structure, as well as credit history. The purpose of the loan is also an important consideration that dictates loan structure and the credit decision.

The Bank’s commercial real estate loans are principally secured by investor-owned or owner-occupied commercial and industrial buildings. Generally, these types of loans are made with a maturity date of up to seven years, with longer amortization periods. Typically, the Bank’s commercial real estate loans have a debt-coverage ratio at time of origination of 1.25 or more and a loan-to-value ratio of 70 percent or less. The Bank offers fixed-rate commercial real estate loans, including hybrid-fixed rate loans that are fixed for one to five years and then convert to adjustable rate loans for the remaining term. In addition, the Bank originates loans with an adjustable rate of interest indexed to the prime rate appearing in The Wall Street Journal (the “WSJ Prime Rate”) or the Bank’s prime rate (the “Bank Prime Rate”), as adjusted from time to time. Amortization schedules for commercial real estate loans generally do not exceed 25 years.

Payments on loans secured by investor-owned and owner-occupied properties are often dependent upon successful operation or management of the properties. Repayment of such loans may be subject to the risk from adverse conditions in the real estate market or the economy. The Bank seeks to minimize these risks in a variety of ways, including limiting the size of such loans in relation to the market value of the property and strictly scrutinizing the property securing the loan. At the time of loan origination, a sensitivity analysis is performed for potential increases in vacancy and interest rates. Additionally, an annual risk assessment is also performed for the commercial real estate secured loan portfolio, which involves evaluating recent industry trends. When possible, the Bank also obtains corporate or individual guarantees. Representatives of the Bank conduct site visits of most commercial properties securing the Bank’s real estate loans before the loans are approved.

The Bank generally requires the borrower to provide, at least annually, current cash flow information in order for the Bank to re-assess the debt-coverage ratio. In addition, the Bank requires title insurance to insure the status of its lien on real estate secured loans when a trust deed on the real estate is taken as collateral. The Bank also requires the borrower to maintain fire insurance, extended coverage casualty insurance and, if the property is in a flood zone, flood insurance, in an amount equal to the outstanding loan balance, subject to applicable laws that may limit the amount of hazard insurance a lender can require to replace such improvements. We cannot assure that these procedures will protect against losses on loans secured by real property.

Construction

The Bank maintains a small construction portfolio for multifamily and commercial and industrial properties within its market areas. The future condition of the local economy could negatively affect the collateral values of such loans. The Bank’s construction loans typically have the following structure:

 

maturities of two years or less;

 

a floating rate of interest based on the WSJ Prime Rate or the Bank Prime Rate;

 

minimum cash equity consistent with high volatility commercial real estate guidelines;

 

third party fund control monitoring;

4


 

 

 

a reserve of anticipated interest costs during construction or an advance of fees;

 

a first lien position on the underlying real estate;

 

advance rates at time of origination that do not exceed the lesser of 75 percent loan of the value of the property or costs of construction; and

 

recourse against a guarantor in the event of default.

On a case-by-case basis, the Bank originates permanent loans on the property under loan conditions that require strong project stability and debt service coverage. Construction loans involve additional risks compared to loans secured by existing improved real property. Such risks include:

 

the uncertain value of the project prior to completion;

 

the uncertainty in estimating construction costs;

 

construction delays and cost overruns;

 

possible difficulties encountered in connection with municipal, state or other governmental ordinances or regulations during construction; and

 

the difficulty in accurately evaluating the market value of the completed project.

Because of these uncertainties, construction lending often involves the disbursement of substantial funds where repayment of the loan is dependent on the success of the final project rather than the ability of the borrower or guarantor to repay principal and interest on the loan. If the Bank is forced to foreclose on a construction project prior to, or at completion, due to a default under the terms of a loan, there can be no assurance that the Bank will be able to recover all of the unpaid balance of, or accrued interest on, the loan as well as the related foreclosure and holding costs. In addition, the Bank may be required to fund additional amounts in order to complete a pending construction project and may have to hold the property for an indeterminable period of time. The Bank has underwriting procedures designed to identify factors that it believes to maintain acceptable levels of risk in construction lending, including, among other procedures, engaging qualified and bonded third parties to provide progress reports and recommendations for construction loan disbursements. No assurance can be given that these procedures will prevent losses arising from the risks associated with construction loans described above.

Residential Property

The Bank purchases and originates fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgage loans secured by one- to four-family properties with amortization schedules of 15 to 30 years and maturity schedules of up to 30 years. The loan fees, interest rates and other provisions of the Bank’s residential loans are determined by an analysis of the Bank’s cost of funds, cost of origination, cost of servicing, risk factors and portfolio needs.

Commercial and Industrial Loans

The Bank offers commercial loans for intermediate and short-term credit. Commercial loans may be unsecured, partially secured or fully secured. The majority of the commercial loans that the Bank originates are for businesses located primarily in California, Illinois and Texas, and the maturity schedules range from 12 to 60 months. The Bank finances primarily small- and middle-market businesses in a wide spectrum of industries. Commercial and industrial loans consist of credit lines for operating needs, loans for equipment purchases and working capital, and various other business purposes. The Bank requires credit underwriting before considering any extension of credit.

Commercial lending entails significant risks. Commercial loans typically involve larger loan balances, are generally dependent on the cash flows of the business, and may be subject to adverse conditions in the general economy or in a specific industry. Short-term business loans are customarily intended to finance current operations and typically provide for principal payment at maturity, with interest payable monthly. Term loans typically provide for floating interest rates, with monthly payments of both principal and interest.

5


 

In general, it is the intent of the Bank to take collateral whenever possible, regardless of the loan purpose(s). Collateral may include, but is not limited to, liens on inventory, accounts receivable, fixtures and equipment, leasehold improvements and real estate. Where real estate is the primary collateral, the Bank obtains formal appraisals in accordance with applicable regulations to support the value of the real estate collateral. Typically, the Bank requires all principals and significant stockholders of a business to be guarantors on all loan instruments. All borrowers must demonstrate the ability to service and repay not only their obligations to the Bank, but also any and all outstanding business debt, without liquidating the collateral, based on historical earnings or reliable projections.

Commercial Term

The Bank offers term loans for a variety of needs, including loans for purchases of equipment, machinery or inventory, business acquisitions, tenant improvements, and refinancing of existing business-related debts. These loans have repayment terms of up to seven years.

Commercial Lines of Credit

The Bank offers lines of credit for a variety of short-term needs, including lines of credit for working capital, accounts receivable and inventory financing, and other purposes related to business operations. Commercial lines of credit usually have a term of 12 months.

International

The Bank offers a variety of international finance and trade services and products, including letters of credit, import financing (trust receipt financing and bankers’ acceptances) and export financing. Although most of our trade finance activities are related to trade with Asian countries, all of our loans are made to companies domiciled in the United States, and a substantial portion of those borrowers are California-based businesses engaged in import and export activities.

Leases Receivable

Equipment finance agreements have terms ranging from one to seven years. Commercial equipment leases are secured by the business assets being financed. The Bank generally obtains a personal guaranty of the owner(s) of the business. Equipment finance leases are similar to commercial business loans in that the leases are typically made on the basis of the borrower’s ability to make repayment from the cash flows of the borrower’s business. As a result, the availability of funds for the repayment of commercial equipment leases may be substantially dependent on the success of the business itself, which in turn, is often dependent in part upon general economic conditions.

SBA Loans

The Bank originates loans that are guaranteed by the SBA, an independent agency of the federal government. SBA loans are offered for business purposes such as owner-occupied commercial real estate, business acquisitions, start-ups, franchise financing, working capital, improvements and renovations, inventory and equipment, and debt-refinancing. SBA loans offer lower down payments and longer term financing, which helps small business that are starting out, or about to expand. The guarantees on SBA loans and SBA express loans are generally 75 percent and 50 percent of the principal amount of the loan, respectively. The Bank typically requires that SBA loans be secured by business assets and by a first or second deed of trust on any available real property. When the SBA loan is secured by a first deed of trust on real property, the Bank obtains appraisals in accordance with applicable regulations. SBA loans have terms ranging from five to 25 years depending on the use of the proceeds. To qualify for a SBA loan, a borrower must demonstrate the capacity to service and repay the loan, without liquidating the collateral, based on historical earnings or reliable projections.

The Bank normally sells to unrelated third parties a substantial amount of the guaranteed portion of the SBA loans that it originates. When the Bank sells a SBA loan, it has an option to repurchase the loan if the loan defaults. If the Bank repurchases a defaulted loan, the Bank will make a demand for the guaranteed portion to the SBA. Even after the sale of an SBA loan, the Bank retains the right to service the SBA loan and to receive servicing fees. The unsold portions of the SBA loans that remain owned by the Bank are included in loans receivable on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank had $8.6 million of SBA loans held for sale and $473.9 million of SBA loans in its loan portfolio, including $295.7 million of loans originated under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), and was servicing $429.4 million of SBA loans sold to investors.

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Off-Balance Sheet Commitments

As part of the suite of services available to its small- to medium-sized business customers, the Bank from time to time issues formal commitments and lines of credit. These commitments can be either secured or unsecured. They may be revolving lines of credit for seasonal working capital needs, commercial letters of credit or standby letters of credit. Commercial letters of credit facilitate import trade. Standby letters of credit are conditional commitments issued by the Bank to guarantee the performance of a customer to a third party.

Lending Procedures and Lending Limits

Individual lending authority is granted to the Chief Credit Administration Officer and certain additional designated officers. Loans for which direct and indirect borrower liability exceeds an individual’s lending authority are referred to the Bank’s Management Credit Committee.

Legal lending limits are calculated in conformance with the California Financial Code, which prohibits a bank from lending to any one individual, entity or its related interests on an unsecured basis any amount that exceeds 15 percent of the sum of such bank’s stockholders’ equity plus the allowance for credit losses, capital notes and any debentures, or 25 percent on a secured and unsecured basis. At December 31, 2020, the Bank’s authorized legal lending limits for loans to one borrower was $113.3 million for unsecured loans and an additional $75.5 million for secured and unsecured loans combined.

The Bank seeks to mitigate the risks inherent in its loan portfolio by adhering to strict underwriting practices. The review of each loan application includes analysis of the applicant’s business, experience, prior credit history, income level, cash flows, financial condition, tax returns, cash flow projections, and the value of any collateral to secure the loan, based upon reports of independent appraisers and/or audits of accounts receivable or inventory pledged as security. In the case of real estate loans over a specified threshold, the review of collateral value includes an appraisal report prepared by an independent Bank-approved appraiser. All appraisal reports on commercial real property secured loans are reviewed by an appraisal review officer. The review generally covers an examination of the appraiser’s assumptions and methods, as well as compliance with the USPAP.

Allowance for Credit Losses, Allowance for Credit Losses Related to Off-Balance Sheet Items and Provision for Loan Losses

The Bank maintains an allowance for credit losses at an appropriate level considered by management to be adequate to cover the current expected credit losses associated with its loan portfolio under prevailing economic conditions. In addition, the Bank maintains an allowance for credit losses related to off-balance sheet items associated with unfunded commitments and letters of credit, which is included in other liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

The Bank assesses its allowance for credit losses for adequacy on a quarterly basis and more frequently as needed. The DFPI and the FDIC may require the Bank to recognize additions to the allowance for credit losses through a provision for loan losses based upon their assessment of the information available to them at the time of their examinations.

Deposits

The Bank offers a traditional array of deposit products, including noninterest-bearing checking accounts, interest-bearing checking and savings accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal (“NOW”) accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. These accounts, except for noninterest-bearing checking accounts, earn interest at rates established by management based on competitive market factors and management’s desire to increase certain types or maturities of deposit liabilities. Our approach is to tailor products and bundle those that meet the customer’s needs. This approach is designed to add value for the customer, increase products per household, and produce higher service fee income.

Available Information

We file reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including our Proxy Statements, Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and any amendments thereto. The SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov, which contains the reports, proxy and information statements and other information we file with the SEC.

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We also maintain an Internet website at www.hanmi.com. We make available free of charge through our website our Proxy Statements, Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and any amendments thereto, as soon as reasonably practicable after we file such reports with the SEC. We make our website content available for information purposes only. It should not be relied upon for investment purposes. None of the information contained in or hyperlinked from our website is incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Human Capital Resources

The success of our business is dependent on our dedicated employees, who not only strive to provide value to our customers but also provide invaluable support to the communities that we serve. We believe our ability to attract and retain employees is a key to our success.

(a) Employee Headcount

At December 31, 2020, the Bank employed 602 employees, nearly all of whom are full-time. None of the employees are represented by a union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement. The management of the Bank believes that its employee relations are good.

 

(b) Hiring, Promotion & Talent Development

We strive to make Hanmi an inclusive, safe and healthy workplace, with opportunities for our employees to grow and develop in their careers. We recruit the best people for the job regardless of gender, ethnicity or other protected traits and it is our policy to fully comply with all laws applicable to discrimination in the workplace. We are committed to developing our staff through continuing education opportunities, internally developed training programs, and educational reimbursement programs at accredited institutions that teach skills or knowledge relevant to our business, as well as for seminars, conferences, and other training events designed to support our employee’s job duties.

 

(c) Employee Benefits, Healthy & Safety

As part of our compensation philosophy, the Bank offers competitive salaries and employee benefits to attract and retain superior talent. In addition to healthy base wages, additional programs include annual bonus opportunities, company matched 401(k) Plan, healthcare and insurance benefits, flexible spending accounts, wellness incentives, long term disability, paid time off, and employee assistance programs. Employee retention helps us operate efficiently and offers continuity to our customers and the community. At December 30, 2020, 42% of our current staff had been with us for at least 5 years.

 

We recognize that the success of our business is fundamentally connected to the well-being of our employees. We provide benefits that support their physical and mental health by providing tools and resources to help them improve or maintain their health status; and that offer choice where possible so they can customize their benefits to meet their needs.

 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented significant operating environment changes that we determined were in the best interest of our employees, as well as the communities in which we operate, and which comply with health and safety standards as required by federal, state and local government agencies, taking into consideration guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health authorities. This includes having the vast majority of our employees work from home, while implementing additional safety measures for employees continuing critical on-site work.

Insurance

We maintain directors and officers, financial institution bond and commercial insurance at levels deemed adequate by management to protect Hanmi Financial from certain litigation and other losses.

Competition

The banking and financial services industry is highly competitive. The increasingly competitive environment faced by banks is primarily the result of changes in laws and regulation, changes in technology and product delivery systems, new competitors in the market, and the accelerating pace of consolidation among financial service providers. We compete for loans, deposits and customers with other commercial banks, savings institutions, securities and brokerage companies, mortgage companies, real estate investment trusts, insurance companies, finance companies, money market funds, credit unions, financial technology companies, and other non-bank financial service providers. Some of these competitors are larger in total assets and capitalization, have greater access to capital markets, including foreign-ownership, and/or offer a broader range of financial products and services, such as more extensive and established branch networks and trust services, which the Bank does not provide.

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Other institutions, including brokerage firms, credit card companies and retail establishments, offer banking services and products to consumers that are in direct competition with the Bank, including money market funds with check access and cash advances on credit card accounts. In addition, many non-bank competitors are not subject to the same extensive federal or state regulations that govern bank holding companies and federally insured banks.

The Bank’s direct competitors are community banks that focus their marketing efforts on Korean-American, Asian-American and immigrant-owned businesses, while offering the same or similar services and products as those offered by the Bank. These banks compete for loans and deposits primarily through the interest rates and fees they charge, and the convenience and quality of service they provide to customers.

Economic, Legislative and Regulatory Developments

Future profitability, like that of most financial institutions, is primarily dependent on interest rate differentials and credit quality. In general, the difference between the interest rates paid by us on interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits and other borrowings, and the interest rates received by us on our interest-earning assets, such as loans extended to our customers and securities held in our investment portfolio, will comprise the major portion of our earnings. These rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control, such as inflation, recession and unemployment, and the impact that future changes in domestic and foreign economic conditions might have on us.

Our business is also influenced by the monetary and fiscal policies of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”), the federal government, and the policies of regulatory agencies, particularly the FDIC and the DFPI. The Federal Reserve implements national monetary policies (with objectives such as curbing inflation and combating recession) through its open-market operations in U.S. government securities, by adjusting the required level of reserves for depository institutions subject to its reserve requirements, and by varying the target federal funds and discount rates applicable to borrowings by depository institutions. The actions of the Federal Reserve in these areas influence the growth of bank loans, investments and deposits, and affect interest earned on interest-earning assets and interest paid on interest-bearing liabilities. The nature and impact on us of any future changes in monetary and fiscal policies cannot be predicted.

From time to time, federal and state legislation is enacted that may have the effect of materially increasing the cost of doing business, limiting or expanding permissible activities, or affecting the competitive balance between banks and other financial services providers, such as federal legislation permitting affiliations among commercial banks, insurance companies and securities firms. We cannot predict whether or when any potential legislation will be enacted, and if enacted, the effect that it, or any implementing regulations, would have on our financial condition or results of operations. In addition, the outcome of any investigations initiated by state authorities or litigation raising issues may result in necessary changes in our operations, additional regulation and increased compliance costs.

Regulation and Supervision

(a) General

The Company, which is a bank holding company, and the Bank, which is a California-chartered state nonmember bank, are subject to significant regulation and restrictions by federal and state laws and regulatory agencies. The applicable statutes and regulations, among other things, restrict activities and investments in which we may engage and our conduct of them, impose capital requirements with which we must comply, impose various reporting and information collecting obligations upon us, and subject us to comprehensive supervision and regulation by regulatory agencies. The federal and state banking statutes and regulations and the supervision, regulation and examination of banks and their parent companies by the regulatory agencies are intended primarily for the maintenance of the safety and soundness of banks and their depositors, the Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”) of the FDIC, and the financial system as a whole, rather than for the protection of stockholders or creditors of banks or their parent companies. The following discussion of statutes and regulations is a summary and does not purport to be complete, nor does it address all applicable statutes and regulations. This discussion is qualified in its entirety by reference to the statutes and regulations referred to in this discussion. Banking statutes, regulations and policies are continuously under review by federal and state legislatures and regulatory agencies, and a change in them could have a material adverse effect on our business, such as materially increasing the cost of doing business, limiting or expanding permissible activities, or affecting the competitive balance between banks and other financial services providers.

We cannot predict whether or when other legislation or new regulations may be enacted, and if enacted, the effect that new legislation, or any implemented regulations and supervisory policies, would have on our financial condition and results of operations. Such developments may further alter the structure, regulation, and competitive relationship among financial institutions, and may subject us to increased regulation, disclosure, and reporting requirements.

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(b) Legislation and Regulatory Developments

Legislative and regulatory developments to date, as well as those that come in the future, have had, and are likely to continue to have, an impact on the conduct of our business. Additional legislation, changes in rules promulgated by federal and state bank regulators, or changes in the interpretation, implementation, or enforcement of existing laws and regulations, may directly affect the method of operation and profitability of our business. The profitability of our business may also be affected by laws and regulations that impact the business and financial sectors in general.

In the exercise of their supervisory and examination authority, the regulatory agencies have emphasized corporate governance, stress testing, enterprise risk management and other board responsibilities; anti-money laundering compliance and enhanced high risk customer due diligence; vendor management; cyber security and fair lending and other consumer compliance obligations.

(c) Capital Adequacy Requirements

Bank holding companies and banks are subject to various regulatory capital requirements administered by state and federal banking regulators. The current capital rules require banking organizations to maintain: (i) a minimum capital ratio of Common Equity Tier 1 to risk-weighted assets of 4.5 percent; (ii) a minimum capital ratio of Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of 6.0 percent; (iii) a minimum capital ratio of total capital to risk-weighted assets of 8.0 percent; and (iv) a minimum leverage ratio of Tier 1 capital to adjusted average consolidated assets of 4.0 percent. In addition, the current capital rules require a capital conservation buffer of 2.5 percent above the minimum capital ratios. Banking organizations with capital ratios above the minimum capital ratio but below the capital conservation buffer will face limitation on the payment of dividends, common stock repurchases and discretionary cash payments to executive officers.

Capital adequacy requirements and, additionally for banks, prompt corrective action regulations (See “Prompt Corrective Action Provisions” below), involve quantitative measures of assets, liabilities, and certain off-balance sheet items calculated under regulatory accounting practices. Capital amounts and classifications are also subject to qualitative judgments by regulators about components, risk weighting, and other factors. The risk-based capital requirements for banking organizations require capital ratios that vary based on the perceived degree of risk associated with an organization’s operations for both transactions reported on the balance sheet as assets, such as loans, and those recorded as off-balance sheet items, such as commitments, letters of credit and recourse arrangements. The risk-based capital ratio is determined by classifying assets and certain off-balance sheet financial instruments into weighted categories, with higher levels of capital being required for those categories perceived as representing greater risks and dividing its qualifying capital by its total risk-adjusted assets and off-balance sheet items. Banking organizations engaged in significant trading activity may also be subject to the market risk capital guidelines and be required to incorporate additional market and interest rate risk components into their risk-based capital standards.

At December 31, 2020, the Company and the Bank’s total risk-based capital ratios were 15.21 percent and 14.86 percent, respectively; Tier 1 risk-based capital ratios were 11.93 percent and 13.60 percent, respectively; Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratios were 11.52 percent and 13.60 percent, respectively, and the Company’s and Bank’s Tier 1 leverage capital ratios were 9.49 percent and 10.83 percent, respectively, all of which ratios exceeded the minimum percentage requirements for the Bank to be deemed “well-capitalized” and for the Company to meet and exceed all applicable capital ratio requirements for regulatory purposes. The Bank’s capital conservation buffer was 6.86 percent and 6.64 percent, and the Company’s capital conservation buffer was 5.93 percent and 5.78 percent as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Capital Resources.” The federal banking regulators may require banks and bank holding companies subject to enforcement actions to maintain capital ratios in excess of the minimum ratios otherwise required to be deemed well capitalized, in which case institutions may no longer be deemed to be well capitalized and may therefore be subject to restrictions on taking brokered deposits.

Bank regulators may also continue their past policies of expecting banks to maintain additional capital beyond the new minimum requirements. The implementation of more stringent requirements to maintain higher levels of capital, or to maintain higher levels of liquid assets, could adversely impact the Company’s net income and return on equity, restrict the ability to pay dividends or executive bonuses, and require the raising of additional capital.

Management believes that, as of December 31, 2020, the Company and the Bank met all applicable capital requirements to which it was subject.

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(d) Final Volcker Rule

Under the Volcker Rule, and subject to certain exceptions, banking entities, including the Company and the Bank, are restricted in their ability to engage in activities that are considered short-term proprietary trading and their ability to invest in, and have relationships with, certain private investment funds, including hedge or private equity funds that are considered “covered funds.” The Company and the Bank held no investment positions at December 31, 2020 and 2019 that were subject to the Volcker Rule. Therefore, while the Volcker Rule, including its implementing regulations, requires us to conduct certain internal analysis and reporting, it did not require any material changes in our operations or business. Bank holding companies with less than $10 billion in consolidated assets are exempt if its total trading assets or liabilities do not exceed 5.0 percent of total consolidated assets.

(e) Bank Holding Company Regulation

The Company is a bank holding company that is subject to comprehensive supervision, regulation, examination and enforcement by the Federal Reserve.

Bank holding companies and their subsidiaries are subject to significant regulation and restrictions by Federal and State laws and regulatory agencies, which may affect the cost of doing business, and may limit permissible activities and expansion or impact the competitive balance between banks and other financial services providers. Federal and state banking laws and regulations, among other things:

 

Require periodic reports and such additional reports of information as the Federal Reserve may require;

 

Limit the scope of bank holding companies’ activities and investments;

 

Require bank holding companies to meet or exceed certain levels of capital (See “Capital Adequacy Requirements” above);

 

Require that bank holding companies serve as a source of financial and managerial strength to subsidiary banks and commit resources as necessary to support each subsidiary bank;

 

Limit dividends payable to shareholders and restrict the ability of bank holding companies to obtain dividends or other distributions from their subsidiary banks. The Company’s ability to pay dividends on both its common and preferred stock is subject to legal and regulatory restrictions. Substantially all of the Company’s funds to pay dividends or to pay principal and interest on our debt obligations are derived from dividends paid by the Bank;

 

Require a bank holding company to terminate an activity or terminate control of or liquidate or divest certain subsidiaries, affiliates or investments if the Federal Reserve believes the activity or the control of the subsidiary or affiliate constitutes a significant risk to the financial safety, soundness or stability of any bank subsidiary;

 

Require the prior approval of senior executive officer or director changes and prohibit golden parachute payments, including change in control agreements, or new employment agreements with such payment terms, which are contingent upon termination if an institution is in “troubled condition;”

 

Regulate provisions of certain bank holding company debt, including the authority to impose interest ceilings and reserve requirements on such debt and require prior approval to purchase or redeem securities; and

 

Require prior Federal Reserve approval to acquire substantially all the assets of a bank, to acquire more than 5.0 percent of a class of voting shares of a bank, or to merge with another bank holding company and consider certain competitive, management, financial, anti-money-laundering compliance, potential impact on U.S. financial stability or other factors in granting these approvals, in addition to similar California or other state banking agency approvals which may also be required.

A bank holding company is subject to supervision and examination by the Federal Reserve. Examinations are designed to inform the Federal Reserve of the financial condition and nature of the operations of the bank holding company and its subsidiaries and to monitor compliance with the BHCA and other laws affecting the operations of bank holding companies.  To determine whether potential weaknesses in the condition or operations of bank holding companies might pose a risk to the safety and soundness of their subsidiary banks, examinations focus on whether a bank holding company has adequate systems and internal controls in place to manage the risks inherent in its business, including credit risk, interest rate risk, market risk, liquidity risk, operational risk, legal risk and reputation risk. Bank holding companies may be subject to potential enforcement actions by the Federal Reserve for unsafe or unsound practices in conducting their businesses or for violations of any law, rule, regulation or any condition imposed in writing by the Federal Reserve. Enforcement actions may include the issuance of cease and desist orders, the imposition of civil money penalties, the requirement to meet and maintain specific capital levels for any capital measure, the issuance of directives to increase capital, formal and informal agreements, or removal and prohibition orders against officers or directors and other institution-affiliated parties. The Company is a bank holding company within the meaning of Section 3700 of the California Financial Code. Therefore, the Company and any of its subsidiaries are subject to examination by, and may be required to file reports with, the DFPI. The DFPI approvals may also be required for certain mergers and acquisitions.

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(f) Bank Regulation

The Bank is a California state-chartered commercial bank whose deposits are insured by the FDIC. The FDIC is its primary federal bank regulator and the DFPI is the Bank’s primary state bank regulator. The Bank is subject to comprehensive supervision, regulation, examination and enforcement by the FDIC and the DFPI. Specific federal and state laws and regulations which are applicable to banks regulate, among other things, the scope of their business, their investments, their reserves against deposits, the timing of the availability of deposited funds, their activities relating to dividends, investments, loans, the nature and amount of and collateral for certain loans, servicing and foreclosing on loans, borrowings, capital requirements, certain check-clearing activities, branching, and mergers and acquisitions.

Banks are also subject to restrictions on their ability to conduct transactions with affiliates and other related parties. The Federal Reserve Regulation O imposes limitations on loans or extensions of credit to “insiders”, including officers, directors, and principal shareholders. The Federal Reserve Act Section 23A and Regulation W impose quantitative limits, qualitative requirements, and collateral requirements on certain transactions with, or for the benefit of, its affiliates. Transactions covered generally include loans, extensions of credit, investments in securities issued by an affiliate, and acquisitions of assets from an affiliate. Section 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and Regulation W require that most types of transactions by a bank with, or for the benefit of, an affiliate be on terms and conditions at least as favorable to the bank as those prevailing for comparable transactions with unaffiliated parties. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) expanded definitions and restrictions on transactions with affiliates and insiders under Sections 23A and 23B, and also lending limits for derivative transactions, repurchase agreements, and securities lending and borrowing transactions.

Pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“FDI Act”) and the California Financial Code, California state chartered commercial banks may generally engage in any activity permissible for national banks. Therefore, the Bank may form subsidiaries to engage in the activities commonly conducted by national banks in operating subsidiaries. Further, the Bank may conduct certain “financial” activities permitted under the Gramm Leach Bliley Act of 1999 (“GLBA”) in a “financial subsidiary” to the same extent as may a national bank, provided the Bank is and remains “well-capitalized,” “well-managed” and in satisfactory compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”). The Bank currently has no financial subsidiaries.

(g) Enforcement Authority

The federal and California regulatory structure gives the bank regulatory agencies extensive discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities and examination policies, including policies with respect to the classification of assets and the establishment of appropriate loan loss reserves for regulatory purposes. The regulatory agencies have adopted guidelines to assist in identifying and addressing potential safety and soundness concerns before an institution’s capital becomes impaired. The guidelines establish operational and managerial standards generally relating to: (1) internal controls, information systems and security, and internal audit systems; (2) loan documentation; (3) credit underwriting; (4) interest-rate exposure; (5) asset growth and asset quality; and (6) compensation, fees, and benefits. Further, the regulatory agencies have adopted safety and soundness guidelines for asset quality and for evaluating and monitoring earnings to ensure that earnings are sufficient for the maintenance of adequate capital and reserves. If, as a result of an examination, the DFPI or FDIC, as applicable, determines that the financial condition, capital resources, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity, or other aspects of the Bank’s operations are unsatisfactory or that the Bank or its management is violating or has violated any law or regulation, the DFPI and the FDIC have residual authority to:

 

Require affirmative action to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice;

 

Direct an increase in capital and the maintenance of higher specific minimum capital ratios, which could preclude the Bank from being deemed well capitalized and restrict its ability to accept certain brokered deposits;

 

Restrict the Bank’s growth geographically, by products and services, or by mergers and acquisitions, including bidding in FDIC receiverships for failed banks;

 

Enter into or issue informal or formal enforcement actions, including required Board resolutions, Matters Requiring Board Attention, written agreements, and consent or cease and desist orders, or prompt corrective action orders to take corrective action and cease unsafe and unsound practices;

 

Require the sale of subsidiaries or assets;

 

Limit dividend and distributions;

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Require prior approval of senior executive officer or director changes, or remove officers and directors;

 

Assess civil monetary penalties; and

 

Terminate FDIC insurance, revoke the charter and/or take possession of and close and liquidate the Bank or appoint the FDIC as receiver.

(h) Deposit Insurance

The FDIC is an independent federal agency that insures deposits, up to prescribed statutory limits, of federally insured banks and savings institutions, and safeguards the safety and soundness of the banking and savings industries. The FDIC insures our customer deposits through the DIF up to prescribed limits for each depositor. As a general matter, the maximum deposit insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category. The amount of FDIC assessments paid by each DIF member institution is based on its relative risk of default as measured by FDIC modeling, based on regulatory capital and other financial ratios as well as supervisory factors. The FDIC may terminate a depository institution’s deposit insurance upon a finding that the institution’s financial condition is unsafe or unsound, or that the institution has engaged in unsafe or unsound practices that pose a risk to the DIF or that may prejudice the interest of the bank’s depositors. The termination of deposit insurance for a bank would also result in the revocation of the bank’s charter by the DFPI.

We are generally unable to control the amount of premiums that we are required to pay for FDIC insurance, which can be affected by the cost of bank failures to the FDIC among other factors. Any future increases in FDIC insurance premiums may have a material and adverse effect on our earnings and could have a material adverse effect on the value of, or market for, our common stock.

(i) Prompt Corrective Action Provisions

The FDI Act requires the federal bank regulatory agencies to take “prompt corrective action” with respect to a depository institution if that institution does not meet certain capital adequacy requirements, including requiring the prompt submission of an acceptable capital restoration plan. Depending on the bank’s capital ratios, the agencies’ regulations define five categories in which an insured depository institution will be placed: well-capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized, and critically undercapitalized. At each successive lower capital category, an insured bank is subject to more restrictions, including restrictions on the bank’s activities, operational practices or the ability to pay dividends. Based upon its capital levels, a bank that is classified as well-capitalized, adequately capitalized or undercapitalized may be treated as though it were in the next lower capital category if the appropriate federal banking agency, after notice and opportunity for hearing, determines that an unsafe or unsound condition, or an unsafe or unsound practice, warrants such treatment.

To be considered well-capitalized under the prompt corrective action standards, the Bank is required to maintain a Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of 6.5 percent, a Tier 1 capital ratio of 8.0 percent (increased from 6.0 percent), a total capital ratio of 10.0 percent (unchanged), and a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 5.0 percent (unchanged). An institution that complies with the community bank leverage ratio, if elected by a qualifying institution, is considered to be “well capitalized.”

(j) Dividends

The Company depends in part upon dividends received from the Bank to fund its activities, including the payment of dividends. The Company and the Bank are subject to various federal and state restrictions on their ability to pay dividends. It is the Federal Reserve’s policy that bank holding companies should generally pay dividends on common stock only out of income available over the past year, and only if prospective earnings retention is consistent with the organization’s expected future needs and financial condition. It is also the Federal Reserve’s policy that bank holding companies should not maintain dividend levels that undermine their ability to be a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries. The Federal Reserve also discourages dividend payment ratios that are at maximum allowable levels unless both asset quality and capital are very strong. In addition, the federal bank regulators are authorized to prohibit a bank or bank holding company from engaging in unsafe or unsound banking practices and, depending upon the circumstances, could find that paying a dividend or making a capital distribution would constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice.

The Bank is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its holding company. The Company is dependent on the performance of the Bank for funds which may be received as dividends from the Bank for use in the operation of the Company and for the ability of the Company to pay dividends to shareholders. Future cash dividends by the Bank will also depend upon management’s assessment of future capital requirements, contractual restrictions, and other factors. The current capital rules may restrict dividends by the Bank if the additional capital conservation buffer is not achieved.

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The power of the board of directors of the Bank to declare a cash dividend to the Company is subject to California law, which restricts the amount available for cash dividends to the lesser of a bank’s retained earnings or net income for its last three fiscal years (less any distributions to shareholders made during such period). Where the above test is not met, cash dividends may still be paid, with the prior approval of the DFPI, in an amount not exceeding the greatest of: (1) retained earnings of the bank; (2) the net income of the bank for its last fiscal year; or (3) the net income of the bank for its current fiscal year.

(k) Operations and Consumer Compliance Laws

The Bank must comply with numerous federal and state anti-money laundering and consumer protection statutes and implementing regulations, including the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, the Bank Secrecy Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the CRA, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the National Flood Insurance Act, the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, and various federal and state privacy protection laws. Noncompliance with any of these laws could subject the Bank to compliance enforcement actions as well as lawsuits, and could also result in administrative penalties, including, fines and reimbursements. The Bank and the Company are also subject to federal and state laws prohibiting unfair or fraudulent business practices, untrue or misleading advertising, and unfair competition.

These laws and regulations mandate certain disclosure and reporting requirements, and regulate the manner in which financial institutions must deal with customers when taking deposits, making loans, servicing, collecting and foreclosure of loans, and providing other services. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations can subject the Bank to various penalties, including but not limited to enforcement actions, injunctions, fines or criminal penalties, punitive damages to consumers, and the loss of certain contractual rights. The CRA is intended to encourage banks to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations. The bank regulators examine and assign each bank a public CRA rating. The CRA requires the bank regulators to take into account the bank’s record in meeting the needs of its communities when considering an application by a bank to establish or relocate a branch or to conduct certain mergers or acquisitions, or an application by the parent holding company to merge with another bank holding company or acquire a banking organization. An unsatisfactory CRA record could substantially delay approval or result in denial of an application. The Bank was rated “Satisfactory” in meeting community credit needs under the CRA at its most recent examination for CRA performance.

Dodd-Frank provided for the creation of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (the “CFPB”), which has broad rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement authority over consumer financial products and services, including deposit products, residential mortgages, home-equity loans and credit cards. The CFPB’s functions include investigating consumer complaints, conducting market research, rulemaking, supervising and examining bank consumer transactions, and enforcing rules related to consumer financial products and services. CFPB regulations and guidance apply to banks, and banks with $10 billion or more in assets are subject to examination by the CFPB. Banks with less than $10 billion in assets, including the Bank, continue to be examined for compliance by their primary federal banking agency.

(l) Federal Home Loan Bank System

The Bank is a member and holder of the capital stock of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (“FHLBSF”). There are a total of twelve Federal Home Loan Banks (each, an “FHLB”) across the U.S. owned by their members who are more than 7,300 community financial institutions of all sizes and types. Each FHLB serves as a reserve or central bank for its members within its assigned region and makes available loans or advances to its members. Each FHLB is financed primarily from the sale of consolidated obligations of the FHLB system. Each FHLB makes available loans or advances to its members in compliance with the policies and procedures established by the Board of Directors of the individual FHLB. Each member of FHLBSF is currently required to own stock in an amount equal to the greater of: (i) a membership stock requirement of 1.0 percent of an institution’s “membership asset value” which is determined by multiplying the amount of the member’s membership assets by the applicable membership asset factors and is capped at $15.0 million; or (ii) an activity based stock requirement (2.7 percent of the member’s outstanding advances). At December 31, 2020, the Bank was in compliance with the FHLBSF’s stock ownership requirement, and our investment in FHLBSF capital stock was $16.4 million. The total borrowing capacity available based on pledged collateral and the remaining available borrowing capacity as of December 31, 2020 were $1.73 billion and $1.44 billion, respectively.

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(m) Impact of Monetary Policies

The earnings and growth of the Bank are largely dependent on its ability to maintain a favorable differential or spread between the yield on its interest-earning assets and the rates paid on its deposits and other interest-bearing liabilities. As a result, the Bank’s performance is influenced by general economic conditions, both domestic and foreign, the monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government, and the policies of the regulatory agencies. The Federal Reserve implements national monetary policies (such as seeking to curb inflation and combat recession) by its open-market operations in U.S. government securities, by adjusting the required level of reserves for financial institutions subject to its reserve requirements, and by varying the discount rate applicable to borrowings by banks from the Federal Reserve Banks. The actions of the Federal Reserve in these areas influence the growth of bank loans, investments, and deposits, and also affect interest rates charged on loans, and deposits. The nature and impact of any future changes in monetary policies cannot be predicted.

(n) Regulation of Non-Bank Subsidiaries

Non-bank subsidiaries are subject to additional or separate regulation and supervision by other state, federal and self-regulatory bodies. Additionally, any foreign-based subsidiaries would also be subject to foreign laws and regulations.

(o) Federal Securities Law

The Company’s common stock is registered with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The Company is subject to the information and proxy solicitation requirements, insider trading restrictions and other requirements under the Exchange Act.

(p)  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”)

The CARES Act, which became law on March 27, 2020, provided over $2 trillion to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) and stimulate the economy. The law had several provisions relevant to depository institutions, including:

 

Allowing institutions not to characterize loan modifications relating to the COVID-19 pandemic as a troubled debt restructuring and also allowing them to suspend the corresponding impairment determination for accounting purposes;

 

As previously noted, temporarily reducing the community bank leverage ratio alternative available to institutions of less than $10 billion of assets to 8%.

 

The ability of a borrower of a federally-backed mortgage loan experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to request forbearance from paying their mortgage for up to 180 days, subject to extension for an additional 180-day period. During that time, no fees, penalties or interest beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated as if the borrower made all contractual payments on time and in full under the mortgage contract could accrue on the borrower’s account.  Except for vacant or abandoned property, the servicer of a federally-backed mortgage was prohibited from taking any foreclosure action, including any eviction or sale action, for not less than the 60-day period beginning March 18, 2020, extended by federal mortgage-backing agencies to at least December 31, 2020.

 

The ability of a borrower of a multi-family federally-backed mortgage loan that was current as of February 1, 2020, to submit a request for forbearance for up to 30 days, which could be extended for up to two additional 30-day periods upon the request of the borrower.  Later extensions were made available, for a total of six months, for certain federally-backed multi-family mortgage loans.  During the time of the forbearance, the multi-family borrower could not evict or initiate the eviction of a tenant or charge any late fees, penalties or other charges to a tenant for late payment of rent.  Additionally, a multi-family borrower that received a forbearance could not require a tenant to vacate a dwelling unit before a date that is 30 days after the date on which the borrower provided the tenant notice to vacate and may not issue a notice to vacate until after the expiration of the forbearance.

(q)  The Paycheck Protection Program

The CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provided $659 billion to fund loans by depository institutions to eligible small businesses through the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) 7(a) loan guaranty program. The Consolidated Appropriations Bill, 2021 included an additional $284 billion in funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).  These loans are 100% federally guaranteed (principal and interest). An eligible business could apply under the PPP during the applicable covered period and receive a loan up to 2.5 times its average monthly “payroll costs” limited to a loan amount of $10.0 million.  The proceeds of the loan could be used for payroll (excluding individual employee compensation over $100,000 per year), mortgage, interest, rent, insurance, utilities and other qualifying expenses.  PPP loans have: (a) an interest rate of 1.0%, (b) a two-year loan term (or five-year loan term for loans

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made after June 5, 2020); and (c) principal and interest payments deferred until the date on which the SBA remits the loan forgiveness amount to the borrower’s lender or, alternatively, notifies the lender no loan forgiveness is allowed.  The entire principal amount of the borrower’s PPP loan, including any accrued interest, is eligible to be fully reduced by the loan forgiveness amount under the PPP so long as, during the applicable loan forgiveness covered period, employee and compensation levels of the business are maintained and 60% of the loan proceeds are used for payroll expenses, with the remaining 40% of the loan proceeds used for other qualifying expenses.  The Federal Reserve Board established, though the federal reserve banks, a PPP lending facility to provide liquidity to institutions making PPP loans.  In addition, the federal bank regulatory agencies adopted certain changes to their regulations in recognition that an institution’s participation in the PPP may lead to rapid, but temporary, asset growth.  For example, institutions and holding companies of under $10 billion in total assets of December 31, 2019 may use asset data on that date to determine the applicability of various regulatory asset thresholds through year-end 2021.  The FDIC has also issued a final rule designed to mitigate the deposit insurance assessment effects of an institution’s participation in the PPP.

(r)  Board Diversity

On September 30, 2020, a law was passed in California requiring all public companies (defined as companies with outstanding shares listed on a major United States stock exchange) that are headquartered in California to have at least three female directors (assuming a board size of at least six directors) by the end of 2021.  Further, such legislation requires that by the end of 2021, California-headquartered public companies have at least one director on their boards who is from an underrepresented community, defined as “an individual who self identifies as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or who self identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender”. In addition to that initial 2021 requirement, the law mandates that the number of directors from underrepresented communities be increased by the end of calendar year 2022, depending on the size of the board, up to three members of the board, assuming the board size of at least nine directors.

In December 2020, Nasdaq filed a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) to adopt new listing rules that would require each company (1) to have at least one director who self-identifies as a female, and (2) to have at least one director who self-identifies as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, two or more races or ethnicities, or as LGBTQ+, or (3) to explain why the company does not have at least two directors on its board who self-identify in the categories listed above.  The proposed rules also required Nasdaq-listed companies to provide statistical information in a proposed uniform format on the company’s board of directors related to a director’s self-identified gender, race, and self-identification as LGBTQ+.  Each Nasdaq-listed company would have one year from the date the SEC approves the Nasdaq rules to comply with requirement for statistical information regarding diversity. Nasdaq-listed companies would have two years from the date the SEC approves the Nasdaq rules have, or explain why it does not have, one diverse director and four years after the SEC approves the Nasdaq rules to have, or explain why it does not have, two diverse directors.

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with the information included elsewhere in this Report and other documents we file with the SEC. The following risks and uncertainties described below are those that we have identified as material. Events or circumstances arising from one or more of these risks could adversely affect our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects and the price of our common stock could decline. The risks identified below are not intended to be a comprehensive list of all risks we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or that we may currently view as not material, may also adversely impact our financial condition, business operations and results of operations.

Risks Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak

The economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. The economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has and is expected to continue to adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant economic dislocation in the United States as many state and local governments have placed restrictions on businesses.  This resulted in a slow-down in economic activity, an increase in unemployment and extreme volatility in the stock market, and in particular, bank stocks, have significantly declined in value.  In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Federal Reserve reduced the benchmark Federal funds rate to a target range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent, and the yields on 10- and 30-year treasury notes have declined to historic lows.  Various state governments and federal agencies required lenders to provide forbearance and other relief to borrowers (e.g., waiving late payment and other fees).  The federal banking agencies have encouraged financial institutions to prudently work with affected borrowers and legislation has provided relief from reporting loan classifications due to modifications related to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Certain industries have been particularly hard-hit, including the travel and hospitality industry, the restaurant industry and the retail industry.  Finally, the spread of the coronavirus has caused us to modify our business practices, including employee travel, employee work locations, and cancellation of physical participation in meetings, events and conferences.  We have many employees working remotely and we may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers and business partners.

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Given the ongoing and dynamic nature of the circumstances, it is difficult to predict the full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our business. The extent of such impact will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain, including when the coronavirus can be controlled and abated and whether the gradual reopening of businesses will result in a meaningful increase in economic activity.  As the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related adverse local and national economic consequences, we could be subject to any of the following risks, any of which could have a material, adverse effect on our business, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations:

 

demand for our products and services may decline, making it difficult to grow assets and income;

 

if the economy is unable to substantially reopen, and high levels of unemployment continue for an extended period of time, loan delinquencies, problem assets, and foreclosures may increase, resulting in increased charges and reduced income;

 

collateral for loans, especially real estate, may decline in value, which could cause credit loss expense to increase;

 

our allowance for credit losses may have to be increased if borrowers experience financial difficulties, which will adversely affect our net income;

 

the net worth and liquidity of loan guarantors may decline, impairing their ability to honor commitments to us;

 

as the result of the decline in the Federal Reserve Board’s target federal funds rate, 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 spread and reducing net income;

 

a material decrease in net income or a net loss over several quarters could result in a further decrease of our quarterly cash dividend;

 

our cyber security risks are increased as the result of an increase in the number of employees working remotely;

 

we rely on third party vendors for certain services and the unavailability of a critical service due to the COVID-19 outbreak could have an adverse effect on us;

 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation premiums may increase if the agency experiences additional resolution costs;

 

potential goodwill impairment charges could result if acquired assets and operations are adversely affected and remain at reduced levels;

 

due to legislation and government action limiting foreclosure of real property and reduced governmental capacity to effect business transactions and property transfers, we may have more difficulty taking possession of collateral supporting our loans, which may negatively impact our ability to minimize our losses, which could adversely impact our financial results; and

 

we face litigation, regulatory enforcement and reputation risk as a result of our participation in the Paycheck Participation Program (“PPP”) and the risk that the Small Business Administration may not fund some or all PPP loan guaranties.

Moreover, our future success and profitability substantially depends on the management skills of our executive officers and directors, many of whom have held officer and director positions with us for many years. The unanticipated loss or unavailability of key employees due to the outbreak 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.

Any one or a combination of the factors identified above could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations and prospects.

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Risks Related to our Lending Activities

Our concentrations of loans in certain industries could have adverse effects on credit quality. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank’s loan portfolio included loans to: (i) lessors of non-residential buildings of $1.45 billion, or 29.7 percent of total loans; (ii) borrowers in the hospitality industry of $915.3 million, or 18.8 percent of total loans; and (iii) borrowers in the retail industry of $303.7 million, or 6.2 percent of total loans. Because of these concentrations of loans in specific industries, a deterioration within these industries, especially those that have been particularly adversely impacted by the COVID outbreak, could affect the ability of borrowers, guarantors and related parties to perform in accordance with the terms of their loans, which could have material and adverse consequences on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our focus on lending to small to mid-sized community-based businesses may increase our credit risk. Most of our commercial business and commercial real estate loans are made to small or middle market businesses. These businesses generally have fewer financial resources in terms of capital or borrowing capacity than larger entities and have a heightened vulnerability to economic conditions. If general economic conditions in the markets in which we operate negatively impact this customer sector, our results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected. Moreover, a portion of these loans have been made by us in recent years, thus we do not have a significant payment history from which to judge future collectability. As a result, it may be difficult to predict the future performance of this part of our loan portfolio. Furthermore, the deterioration of our borrowers’ businesses may hinder their ability to repay their loans with us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our loan portfolio is predominantly secured by real estate and thus we have a higher degree of risk from a downturn in our real estate markets, especially a downturn in the Southern California real estate market. A downturn in the real estate markets could hurt our business because many of our loans are secured by real estate, predominantly in California. Real estate values and real estate markets are generally affected by changes in national, regional or local economic conditions, fluctuations in interest rates and the availability of loans to potential purchasers, changes in tax laws and other governmental statutes, regulations and policies, and acts of nature, such as earthquakes and natural disasters and pandemic disease. If real estate values decline, the value of real estate collateral securing our loans could be significantly reduced. Our ability to recover on defaulted loans by foreclosing and selling the real estate collateral would then be diminished, and we would be more likely to suffer material losses on defaulted loans.

We are exposed to risk of environmental liabilities with respect to properties to which we take title. In the course of our business, we may foreclose and take title to real estate, and could be subject to environmental liabilities with respect to these properties. We may be held liable to a governmental entity or to third parties for property damage, personal injury or investigation and clean-up costs incurred by these parties in connection with environmental contamination or the release of hazardous or toxic substances at a property. The costs associated with investigation or remediation activities could be substantial. In addition, if we are the owner or former owner of a contaminated site, we may be subject to claims by third parties based on damages and costs resulting from environmental contamination emanating from the property. In addition, future laws or more stringent interpretations or enforcement policies with respect to existing laws may increase our exposure to environmental liability. Although we have policies and procedures to perform an environmental review before initiating any foreclosure on nonresidential real property, these reviews may not be sufficient to detect all potential environmental hazards. If we become subject to significant environmental liabilities, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

Risks Related to Local and International Economic Conditions

Deteriorating business and economic conditions can adversely affect our industry and business. Our financial performance generally, and the ability of borrowers to make payments on outstanding loans and the value of the collateral securing those loans, is highly dependent upon the business and economic conditions in the markets in which we operate and in the United States as a whole. In addition, rising geopolitical risks nationally and abroad may adversely impact the economy and financial markets in the United States. These economic pressures may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and stock price. In particular, we may face the following risks in connection with deterioration in economic conditions:

 

Problem assets and foreclosures may increase;

 

Demand for our products and services may decline;

 

Low cost or non-interest-bearing deposits may decrease;

 

The value of our securities portfolio may decrease; and

 

Collateral for loans made by us, especially real estate, may decline in value.

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Our banking operations are concentrated primarily in California, Illinois and Texas. Adverse economic conditions in these states in particular could impair borrowers’ ability to repay their loans, decrease the level and duration of deposits by customers, and erode the value of loan collateral. Adverse economic conditions can potentially cause a decline in real estate sales and prices in many markets across the United States, the recurrence of an economic recession, and higher rates of unemployment. These conditions could increase the amount of our non-performing assets and have an adverse effect on our ability to collect on our non-performing loans or otherwise liquidate our non-performing assets (including other real estate owned) on terms favorable to us, if at all, any of which may cause us to incur losses, adversely affect our capital, and hurt our business.

Our Southern California concentration means economic conditions in Southern California could adversely affect our operations. Though the Bank’s operations have expanded outside of our original Southern California focus, the majority of our loan and deposit concentration is still primarily in Los Angeles County and Orange County in Southern California. Because of this geographic concentration, our results depend largely upon economic conditions in these areas. A deterioration in the economic conditions or a significant natural or man-made disaster, pandemics or disease in these market areas, could have a material adverse effect on the quality of the Bank’s loan portfolio, the demand for our products and services, and on our overall financial condition and results of operations.

Changing conditions in South Korea could adversely affect our business. A substantial number of our customers have economic and cultural ties to South Korea and, as a result, we are likely to feel the effects of adverse economic and political conditions in South Korea. U.S. and global economic policies, political or political tension, and global economic conditions may adversely impact the South Korean economy.

Management closely monitors our exposure to the South Korean economy and, to date, we have not experienced any significant loss attributable to our exposure to South Korea. Nevertheless, our efforts to minimize exposure to downturns in the South Korean economy may not be successful in the future, and a significant downturn in the South Korean economy could possibly have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. If economic conditions in South Korea change, we could experience an outflow of deposits from our customers with connections to South Korea, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Risk Related to Laws and Regulation and Their Enforcement

Changes in laws and regulations and the cost of regulatory compliance with new laws and regulations may adversely affect our operations and/or increase our costs of operations. We are subject to extensive regulation, supervision and examination by our banking regulators.  Such regulation and supervision govern the activities in which a financial institution and its holding company may engage and are intended primarily for the protection of insurance funds and the depositors and borrowers of Hanmi Bank rather than for the protection of our stockholders.  Regulatory authorities have extensive discretion in their supervisory and enforcement activities, including the ability to impose restrictions on our operations, comments on the classification of our assets, and determine the level of our allowance for credit losses.  These regulations, along with the currently existing tax, accounting, securities, deposit insurance and monetary laws, rules, standards, policies, and interpretations, control the ways financial institutions conduct business, implement strategic initiatives, and prepare financial reporting and disclosures.  Changes in such regulation and oversight, whether in the form of regulatory policy, new regulations, legislation or supervisory action, may have a material impact on our operations. Further, compliance with such regulation may increase our costs and limit our ability to pursue business opportunities.

Additional requirements imposed by Dodd-Frank and other regulations, including additional requirements imposed by the CFPB, could adversely affect us. Dodd-Frank and related regulations subject us and other financial institutions to more restrictions, oversight, reporting obligations and costs. In addition, this increased regulation of the financial services industry restricts the ability of institutions within the industry to conduct business consistent with historical practices, including aspects such as compensation practices and interest rates for customers. Federal and state regulatory agencies also frequently adopt changes to their regulations or change the manner in which existing regulations are applied.

Dodd-Frank created the CFPB, which is tasked with establishing and implementing rules and regulations under certain federal consumer protection laws with respect to the conduct of providers of certain consumer financial products and services. The CFPB has rulemaking authority over many of the statutes governing products and services offered to bank consumers.

Current and future legal and regulatory requirements, restrictions and regulations, including those imposed under Dodd-Frank, may adversely impact our business, financial condition, and results of operations, may require us to invest significant management attention and resources to evaluate and make any changes required by the legislation and accompanying rules. If we fail to comply with applicable consumer rules and regulations, we may be subject to adverse enforcement actions, fines or penalties.

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We face a risk of noncompliance and enforcement action with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations. The Bank Secrecy Act, the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and file suspicious activity and currency transaction reports as appropriate. The federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and has engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts with the individual federal banking regulators, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Internal Revenue Service. We are also subject to increased scrutiny of our compliance with the rules enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If our policies, procedures and systems are deemed deficient, we could be subject to liability, including fines and regulatory actions, which may include restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and to obtain regulatory approvals to proceed with certain transactions, including conducting acquisitions or establishing new branches. Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us.

Future changes to the FDIC assessment rate could adversely affect our earnings. The amount of premiums that we are required to pay for FDIC insurance is generally beyond our control. If there are additional bank or financial institution failures, if our risk classification changes, or the method for calculating premiums change, this may impact assessment rates, which may have a material and adverse effect on our earnings.

Risks Related to Our Operations

Liquidity risk could impair our ability to fund operations and jeopardize our financial condition. Liquidity is essential to our business. An inability to raise funds through deposits, including brokered deposits, borrowings, the sale of loans, and other sources could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity. Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance our activities could be impaired by factors that affect us specifically or the financial services industry in general. Factors that could detrimentally impact our access to liquidity sources include a decrease in the level of our business activity due to a market downturn or adverse regulatory action against us. Furthermore, if certain funding sources become unavailable, we may need to seek alternatives at higher costs, which would negatively impact our results of operations.

Our ability to acquire deposits or borrow could also be impaired by factors that are not specific to us, such as a severe disruption of the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry as a whole.

The soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect us. Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty or other relationships. We have exposure to many different industries and counterparties, and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, mutual and hedge funds, and other institutional clients. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or client. In addition, our credit risk may be exacerbated when the collateral held by us cannot be realized upon or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the financial instrument exposure due us. Any such losses could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

A failure in or breach of our operational or security systems or infrastructure, including as a result of cyber attacks or data breaches, could disrupt our businesses, result in the disclosure or misuse of confidential or proprietary information, damage our reputation, increase our costs and cause losses. As a financial institution, we depend on our ability to process, record and monitor a large number of customer transactions. As our customer base and locations have expanded throughout the U.S. and as customer, public, legislative and regulatory expectations regarding operational and information security have increased, our operational systems and infrastructure must continue to be safeguarded and monitored for potential failures, disruptions and breakdowns.

Our business, financial, accounting, data processing and other operating systems and facilities may stop operating properly or become disabled or damaged as a result of a number of factors, including events that are wholly or partially beyond our control. For example, there could be sudden increases in customer transaction volume; electrical or telecommunications outages; degradation or loss of public internet domain; climate change-related impacts and natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes; disease pandemics; events arising from local or larger scale political or social matters, including terrorist acts; building emergencies such as water leakage, fires and structural issues; and cyber attacks. Although we have business continuity plans and other safeguards in place, our business operations may be adversely affected by significant and widespread disruption to our physical infrastructure or operating systems that support our businesses and customers.

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As a financial institution, we are susceptible to information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents that may be committed against us, our clients or our vendors, which may result in financial losses or increased costs to us, our clients or our vendors, disclosure or misuse of our information or our client or vendor information, misappropriation of assets, privacy breaches against our clients or our vendors, litigation or damage to our reputation. Information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents may include fraudulent or unauthorized access to systems used by us, our clients or our vendors, denial or degradation of service attacks, and malware or other cyber attacks. We also may become subject to governmental enforcement actions or litigation in the event we do not comply with data privacy requirements or experience a data breach.

Our business relies on our digital technologies, computer and email systems, software, and networks to conduct our operations. In addition, to access our products and services, our customers may use personal smart-phones, tablet PCs, and other mobile devices that are beyond our control systems. Although we believe we have strong information security procedures and controls, our technologies, systems, networks, and our customers’ devices may become the target of cyber attacks or information security breaches that could result in the unauthorized release, gathering, monitoring, misuse, loss or destruction of the Bank’s or our customers’ confidential, proprietary and other information, or otherwise disrupt the Bank’s or its customers’ or other third parties’ business operations.

Our risk and exposure to cyber attacks or other information security breaches remains heightened because of, among other things, the evolving nature of these threats, our plans to continue to enhance our internet banking and mobile banking channel strategies and our expanded geographic footprint. There continues to be a rise in security breaches and cyber attacks within the financial services industry, especially in the commercial banking sector. Consistent with industry trends, we are exposed to an increase in attempted security breaches and cybersecurity-related. As cyber threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities.

Disruptions or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support our businesses, customers or third parties, or cyber attacks or security breaches of the networks, systems or devices that our customers or third parties use to access our products and services could result in customer attrition, financial losses, the inability of our customers or vendors to transact business with us, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties or intervention, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs, any of which could materially adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.

The failure to maintain current technologies and the costs to update technology could negatively impact our business and financial results. Our future success depends, in part, on our ability to effectively embrace technology to better serve customers and reduce costs. We may be required to expand additional resources to employ this technology. Failure to keep pace with technological change could potentially have an adverse effect on our business operations and financial condition and results of operations.

We may not be able to successfully implement future information technology system enhancements, which could adversely affect our business operations and profitability. We invest significant resources in information technology system enhancements to improve functionality and security. We may not be able to successfully implement and integrate future system enhancements, which could adversely impact the ability to provide timely and accurate financial information in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, which could result in sanctions from regulatory authorities. In addition, future system enhancements could have higher than expected costs and/or result in operating inefficiencies.

Failure to properly utilize system enhancements that are implemented in the future could result in impairment charges that adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations and could result in significant costs to remediate or replace the defective components. In addition, we may incur significant training, licensing, maintenance, consulting and amortization expenses during and after systems implementations, and any such costs may continue for an extended period of time.

We rely on third party vendors and other service providers, which could expose us to additional risk. We face additional risk of failure in or breach of operational or security systems or infrastructure related to our reliance on third party vendors and other service providers. Third parties with which we do business or that facilitate our business activities or vendors that provide services or security solutions for our operations, particularly those that are cloud-based, could be sources of operational and information security risk to us, including from breakdowns or failures of their own systems or capacity constraints. We are subject to operational risks relating to such third parties’ technology and information systems. The continued efficacy of our technology and information systems, related operational infrastructure and relationships with third party vendors in our ongoing operations is integral to our performance. Failure of any of these resources, including

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operational or systems failures, interruptions of client service operations and ineffectiveness of or interruption in third party data processing or other vendor support, may cause material disruptions in our business, impairment of customer relations and exposure to liability for our customers, as well as action by bank regulatory authorities. In addition, a number of our vendors are large national entities, and their services could prove difficult to replace in a timely manner if a failure or other service interruption were to occur. Failures of certain vendors to provide contracted services could adversely affect our ability to deliver products and services to our customers and cause us to incur significant expense.

Fraudulent activity could damage our reputation, disrupt our businesses, increase our costs and cause losses. We are susceptible to fraudulent activity that may be committed against us, our clients or our vendors, which may result in damage to our reputation, financial losses or increased costs to us or our clients or vendors, disclosure or misuse of our information or our client or vendor information, misappropriation of assets, privacy breaches against our clients or vendors, litigation, or damage to our reputation. Such fraudulent activity may take many forms, including check fraud (counterfeit, forgery, etc.), electronic fraud, wire fraud, phishing, social engineering and other dishonest acts. The occurrence of fraudulent activity could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are dependent on key personnel and the loss of one or more of those key personnel may materially and adversely affect our prospects. Our success depends in large part on our ability to attract key people who are qualified and have knowledge and experience in the banking industry in our markets and to retain those people to successfully implement our business objectives. Competition for qualified employees and personnel in the banking industry is intense, particularly for qualified persons with knowledge of, and experience in, our banking space. The process of recruiting personnel with the combination of skills and attributes required to carry out our strategies is often lengthy. Our success depends to a significant degree upon our ability to attract and retain qualified management, loan origination, finance, administrative, compliance, marketing and technical personnel and upon the continued contributions of our management and employees. The unexpected loss of services of one or more of our key personnel or failure to attract or retain such employees could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud. Effective internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and disclosures to stockholders, to prevent fraud and to operate successfully as a public company. If we cannot provide reliable financial reports and disclosures or prevent fraud, our business may be adversely affected and our reputation and operating results would be harmed. Any failure to develop or maintain effective internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures or difficulties encountered in their implementation may also result in regulatory enforcement action against us, adversely affect our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations.

Risks Related to Accounting Matters

Our allowance for credit losses may not be adequate to cover actual losses. Current U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) requires credit loss recognition using a methodology that estimates current expected credit losses for the life of the loan and requires consideration of a broader range of reasonableness and supportable information to inform credit loss estimates.

A significant source of risk arises from the possibility that we could sustain losses because borrowers, guarantors and related parties may fail to perform in accordance with the terms of their loans. The underwriting and credit monitoring policies and procedures that we have adopted to address this risk may not prevent unexpected losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We maintain an allowance for credit losses to provide for losses resulting from loan defaults and non-performance. The allowance is also increased for new loan growth. We make various assumptions and judgments about the collectability of loans in our portfolio, including the creditworthiness of borrowers and the value of the real estate and other assets serving as collateral for the repayment of loans.  In determining the adequacy of the allowance for credit losses, we rely on our experience and our evaluation of economic conditions.  If our assumptions prove to be incorrect, our allowance for credit losses may not be sufficient to cover losses inherent in our loan portfolio, and adjustments may be necessary to address different economic conditions or adverse developments in the loan portfolio.  Consequently, a problem with one or more loans could require us to significantly increase our provision for loan losses.  In addition, the DFPI and the FDIC review our allowance for credit losses and as a result of such reviews, they may require us to adjust our allowance for credit losses or recognize loan charge-offs.  Material additions to the allowance would materially decrease our net income.

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Changes in accounting standards may affect how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. Our accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. From time to time, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and SEC change the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. Further, changes in accounting standards can be both difficult to predict and may involve judgment and discretion in their interpretation by us and our independent accounting firm.  These changes could materially impact, potentially retroactively, how we report our financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Market Interest Rates

 

Our earnings are affected by changing interest rates. Our profitability is dependent to a large extent on our net interest income. Like most financial institutions, we are affected by changes in general interest rate levels and by other economic factors beyond our control. Although we believe we have implemented strategies to reduce the potential effects of changes in interest rates on our results of operations, any substantial and prolonged change in market interest rates could adversely affect our operating results.

Net interest income may decline in a particular period if:

 

in a declining interest rate environment, more interest-earning assets than interest-bearing liabilities re-price or mature, or

 

in a rising interest rate environment, more interest-bearing liabilities than interest-earning assets re-price or mature.

Our net interest income may decline based on our exposure to a difference in short-term and long-term interest rates. If the difference between the short-term and long-term interest rates shrinks or disappears, the difference between rates paid on deposits and received on loans could narrow significantly resulting in a decrease in net interest income. In addition to these factors, if market interest rates rise rapidly, interest rate adjustment caps may limit increases in the interest rates on adjustable rate loans, thus reducing our net interest income. Also, certain adjustable rate loans re-price based on lagging interest rate indices. This lagging effect may also negatively impact our net interest income when general interest rates continue to rise periodically. Increasing interest rates may also reduce the fair value of our fixed rate available-for-sale investment securities negatively impacting shareholders’ equity.

Any substantial, unexpected or prolonged change in market interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.  While we pursue an asset/liability strategy designed to mitigate our risk from changes in interest rates, changes in interest rates can still have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.  Changes in interest rates also may negatively affect our ability to originate real estate loans, the value of our assets and our ability to realize gains from the sale of our assets, all of which affects our earnings.  Also, our interest rate risk modeling techniques and assumptions cannot fully predict or capture the impact of actual interest rate changes on our balance sheet or projected operating results.

Risks Related to Competitive Matters

Competition may adversely affect our performance. The banking and financial services businesses in our market areas are highly competitive. We face competition in attracting deposits, making loans, and attracting and retaining employees, particularly in the Korean-American community. Price competition for loans and deposits sometimes requires us to charge lower interest rates on our loans and pay higher interest rates on our deposits, which may reduce our net interest income.  Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources and lending limits than we have and may offer services that we do not provide. The greater resources and broader offering of deposit and loan products of some of our competitors may also limit our ability to increase our interest-earning assets. The increasingly competitive environment is a result of changes in regulation, changes in technology and product delivery systems, new competitors in the market, and the pace of consolidation among financial services providers. Our results in the future may be materially and adversely impacted depending upon the nature and level of competition.

Risks Related to Tax Matters

If our deferred tax assets are determined not to be recoverable, it would negatively impact our earnings. Deferred tax assets are evaluated on a quarterly basis to determine if they are expected to be recoverable in the future. Our evaluation considers positive and negative evidence to assess whether it is more likely than not that a portion of the asset will not be realized. Future negative operating performance or other negative evidence may result in a valuation allowance being recorded against some or the entire amount.

23


 

Changes to tax regulations could negatively impact our earnings. Our future earnings could be negatively impacted by changes in tax legislation including changing tax rates and tax base such as limiting, phasing-out or eliminating deductions or tax credits, taxing certain excess income from intellectual property and changing other tax laws in the U.S.

Other Risks Related to Our Business

Uncertainty surrounding the future of LIBOR (London Interbank Offer Rate) may affect the fair value and return on our financial instruments that use LIBOR as a reference rate. We hold assets, liabilities, and derivatives that are indexed to the various tenors of LIBOR. LIBOR will not be supported in its current form after the end of 2021. We believe the U.S. financial sector will maintain an orderly and smooth transition to new interest rate benchmarks, which we will evaluate and adopt if appropriate. While in the U.S., the Alternative Rates Reference Committee of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “FRB”) and Federal Reserve Bank of New York have identified the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as an alternative U.S. dollar reference interest rate, it is too early to predict the financial impact this rate index replacement may have, if at all.

We are exposed to the risks of natural disasters and global market disruptions. A significant portion of our operations is concentrated in Southern California. California is in an earthquake-prone region. A major earthquake may result in material loss to us. A significant percentage of our loans are and will be secured by real estate. Many of our borrowers may suffer uninsured property damage, experience interruption of their businesses or lose their jobs after an earthquake. Those borrowers might not be able to repay their loans, and the collateral for such loans may decline significantly in value. We are vulnerable to losses if an earthquake, fire, flood or other natural catastrophe occurs in Southern California.

Additionally, global markets may be adversely affected by natural disasters, the emergence of widespread health emergencies or pandemics, cyber attacks or campaigns, military conflict, terrorism or other geopolitical events. Also, any sudden or prolonged market downturn in the U.S. or abroad, as a result of the above factors or otherwise could result in a decline in revenue and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition, including capital and liquidity levels.

Risks Relating to Ownership of Our Common Stock

The Bank could be restricted from paying dividends to us, its sole shareholder, and, thus, we would be restricted from paying dividends to our stockholders in the future. The primary source of our income from which we pay our obligations and distribute dividends to our stockholders is from the receipt of dividends from the Bank. The availability of dividends from the Bank is limited by various statutes and regulations. As of January 1, 2021, the Bank had the ability to pay $17.8 million of dividends without the prior approval of the Commissioner of DFPI.

The price of our common stock may be volatile or may decline. The trading price of our common stock may fluctuate significantly due to a number of factors, many of which are outside our control. In addition, the stock market is subject to fluctuations. These broad market fluctuations could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. Among the factors that could affect our stock price are:

 

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results and financial condition;

 

changes in revenue or earnings estimates or publication of research reports and recommendations by financial analysts;

 

failure to meet analysts’ revenue or earnings estimates;

 

speculation in the press or investment community;

 

strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions or restructurings;

 

general market conditions and, in particular, developments related to market conditions for the financial services industry;

 

proposed or adopted legislative or regulatory or accounting changes or developments;

 

anticipated or pending investigations, proceedings or litigation that involve or affect us; or

 

domestic and international economic factors unrelated to our performance.

The stock market and, in particular, the market for financial institution stocks, has experienced significant volatility. The trading price of the shares of our common stock will depend on many factors, which may change from time to time, including, without limitation, our financial condition, performance, creditworthiness and prospects, future sales of our equity or equity-related securities, and other factors identified above in the section captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.” A significant decline in our stock price could result in substantial losses for individual stockholders and could lead to costly and disruptive securities litigation and potential delisting from Nasdaq.

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Your share ownership may be diluted by the issuance of additional shares of our common stock in the future. Your share ownership may be diluted by the issuance of additional shares of our common stock in the future. We may decide to raise additional funds for many reasons, including in response to regulatory or other requirements to meet our liquidity and capital needs, to finance our operations and business strategy or for other reasons. If we raise funds by issuing equity securities or instruments that are convertible into equity securities, the percentage ownership of our existing stockholders will be reduced, the new equity securities may have rights, preferences and privileges superior to those of our common stock.

Anti-takeover provisions and state and federal law may limit the ability of another party to acquire us, which could cause our stock price to decline. Various provisions of our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and By-laws could delay or prevent a third-party from acquiring us, even if doing so might be beneficial to our stockholders. These provisions provide for, among other things, supermajority approval for certain actions, limitation on large stockholders taking certain actions and authorization to issue “blank check” preferred stock by action of the Board of Directors without stockholder approval. In addition, the BHCA, and the Change in Bank Control Act of 1978, as amended, together with applicable federal regulations, require that, depending on the particular circumstances, either Federal Reserve approval must be obtained or notice must be furnished to Federal Reserve and not disapproved prior to any person or entity acquiring “control” of a state nonmember bank, such as the Bank. Additional prior approvals from other federal or state bank regulators may also be necessary depending upon the particular circumstances. These provisions may prevent a merger or acquisition that would be attractive to stockholders and could limit the price investors would be willing to pay in the future for our common stock.

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2.

Properties

Hanmi Financial’s principal office is located at 900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1250, Los Angeles, California. As of December 31, 2020, we had 44 properties consisting of 35 branch offices and 9 loan production offices. We own 11 locations and the remaining properties are leased.

As of December 31, 2020, our consolidated investment in premises and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation and amortization, was $26.4 million. Our lease expense was $8.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. We consider our present facilities to be sufficient for our current operations.

Item 3.

Hanmi Financial and its subsidiaries are subject to lawsuits and claims that arise in the ordinary course of their businesses. Neither Hanmi Financial nor any of its subsidiaries is currently involved in any legal proceedings, the outcome of which we believe would have a material adverse effect on the business, financial condition or results of operations of Hanmi Financial or its subsidiaries.

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

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Part II

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Hanmi Financial’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbol “HAFC.” As of February 22, 2021 there were approximately 721 record holders of our common stock.

Performance Graph

 

The following graph shows a comparison of cumulative total stockholder return on Hanmi Financial’s common stock with the cumulative total returns for: (i) the Nasdaq Composite Index; (ii) the Standard and Poor’s 500 Financials Index (“S&P 500 Financials”); (iii) the SNL U.S. Bank $1B-$5B Index and the SNL U.S. Bank $5B-$10B Index, which were compiled by S&P Global, New York, New York. Beginning in the year ended December 31, 2017, the Company’s assets exceeded $5 billion. Accordingly, both the SNL Bank $1B-$5B index and the SNL Bank $5B-$10B index are shown in the chart below. The graph assumes an initial investment of $100 and reinvestment of dividends. The graph is historical only and may not be indicative of possible future performance. The performance graph shall not be deemed incorporated by reference to any general statement incorporating by reference to this Annual Report on Form 10-K into any filing under the Securities Act, or under the Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate this information by reference, and shall not otherwise be deemed filed under either the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.

 


 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2017

 

 

2018

 

 

2019

 

 

2020

 

Hanmi Financial Corporation

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

86.96

 

 

$

56.45

 

 

$

57.31

 

 

$

32.49

 

NASDAQ Composite

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

128.24

 

 

$

123.26

 

 

$

166.68

 

 

$

239.42

 

S&P 500 Financials

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

120.03

 

 

$