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Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 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 000-23423

C&F FINANCIAL CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Virginia

54-1680165

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

3600 La Grange Parkway

Toano, VA 23168

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (804) 843-2360

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $1.00 par value per share

CFFI

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

NONE

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

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or 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, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated Filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

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

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

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

The aggregate market value of common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2020, the last business day of the registrant’s second fiscal quarter, was $114,205,770.

There were 3,684,221 shares of common stock, $1.00 par value per share, outstanding as of February 28, 2021.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement to be delivered to shareholders in connection with the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held April 20, 2021 are incorporated by reference in Part III of this report.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I

    

    

Page

ITEM 1.

BUSINESS

5

ITEM 1A.

RISK FACTORS

20

ITEM 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

29

ITEM 2.

PROPERTIES

29

ITEM 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

29

ITEM 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

29

PART II

ITEM 5.

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

30

ITEM 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

32

ITEM 7.

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

33

ITEM 7A.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

75

ITEM 8.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

78

ITEM 9.

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

132

ITEM 9A.

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

132

ITEM 9B.

OTHER INFORMATION

135

PART III

ITEM 10.

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

135

ITEM 11.

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

135

ITEM 12.

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

135

ITEM 13.

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

136

ITEM 14.

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

136

PART IV

ITEM 15.

EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

137

ITEM 16.

FORM 10-K SUMMARY

139

SIGNATURES

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Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This report contains statements concerning the Corporation’s expectations, plans, objectives or beliefs regarding future financial performance and other statements that are not historical facts. These statements may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal securities laws and may include, but are not limited to: statements regarding expected future operations and financial performance; potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including on asset quality, the allowance for loan losses, provision for loan losses, interest rates, and results of operations, the anticipated benefits of the early repayment of certain borrowings, certain items that management does not expect to have an ongoing impact on consolidated net income, including a gain upon the sale of a pool of purchased credit impaired loans, impairment charges related to a branch consolidation, and certain tax benefits provided by the Coroanvirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), future dividend payments, net interest margin compression and items affecting net interest margin, including future repricing of time deposits at maturity, expected impacts of the Corporation’s acquisition of Peoples Bankshares, Inc. (Peoples), strategic business initiatives and the anticipated effects thereof, including new or consolidated facilities, lending under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the Small Business Administration (SBA), margin compression, technology initiatives, asset quality, adequacy of allowances for loan losses and the level of future charge-offs, liquidity and capital levels, the effect of future market and industry trends and the effects of future interest rate levels and fluctuations.  These forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties due to factors that could have a material adverse effect on the operations and future prospects of the Corporation including, but not limited to, changes in:

interest rates, such as volatility in short-term interest rates or yields on U.S. Treasury bonds and increases or volatility in mortgage interest rates

general business conditions, as well as conditions within the financial markets

general economic conditions, including unemployment levels and slowdowns in economic growth, and particularly related to further and sustained economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

the effectiveness of the Corporation’s efforts to respond to COVID-19, the severity and duration of the pandemic, the pace of vaccinations, the pace of recovery when the pandemic subsides and the heightened impact it has on many of the risks described herein

potential claims, damages and fines related to litigation or government actions, including litigation or actions arising from the Corporation’s participation in and administration of programs related to COVID-19, including, among other things, the PPP under the CARES Act, as subsequently extended

the legislative/regulatory climate, regulatory initiatives with respect to financial institutions, products and services, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the CFPB) and the regulatory and enforcement activities of the CFPB

monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. Government, including policies of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Federal Reserve Board), and the effect of these policies on interest rates and business in our markets

the value of securities held in the Corporation’s investment portfolios

demand for loan products and the impact of changes in demand on loan growth

the quality or composition of the loan portfolios and the value of the collateral securing those loans

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the inventory level and pricing of used automobiles, including sales prices of repossessed vehicles

the level of net charge-offs on loans and the adequacy of our allowance for loan losses

the level of indemnification losses related to mortgage loans sold

deposit flows

the strength of the Corporation’s counterparties

competition from both banks and non-banks, including competition in the non-prime automobile finance markets

demand for financial services in the Corporation’s market area

reliance on third parties for key services

the commercial and residential real estate markets

the demand in the secondary residential mortgage loan markets

the Corporation's technology initiatives and other strategic initiatives

the Corporation’s branch expansions and consolidations

cyber threats, attacks or events

expansion of C&F Bank’s product offerings

accounting principles, policies and guidelines and elections made by the Corporation thereunder

These risks and uncertainties, and the risks discussed in more detail in Item 1A. “Risk Factors,” should be considered in evaluating the forward-looking statements contained herein.  Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “may,” “will,” “intend,” “should,” “could,” or similar expressions, are not statements of historical fact, and are based on management’s beliefs, assumptions and expectations regarding future events or performance as of the date of this report, taking into account all information currently available.  Readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from historical results or those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements, or that the beliefs, assumptions and expectations underlying such forward-looking statements will be proven to be accurate. Forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this report and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which the statement was made, except as otherwise required by law.

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PART I

ITEM 1.BUSINESS

General

C&F Financial Corporation (the Corporation) is a bank holding company that was incorporated in March 1994 under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Corporation owns all of the stock of Citizens and Farmers Bank (the Bank or C&F Bank), which is an independent commercial bank chartered under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. C&F Bank originally opened for business under the name Farmers and Mechanics Bank on January 22, 1927. C&F Bank has the following five wholly-owned subsidiaries, all incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia:

C&F Mortgage Corporation

C&F Finance Company

C&F Wealth Management Corporation

C&F Insurance Services, Inc.

CVB Title Services, Inc.

The Corporation operates in a decentralized manner in three principal business segments: (1) community banking through C&F Bank, (2) mortgage banking through C&F Mortgage Corporation (C&F Mortgage) and (3) consumer finance through C&F Finance Company (C&F Finance). For detailed information about the financial condition and results of operations of these segments, see “Note 21: Business Segments” in Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” in this report. C&F Wealth Management Corporation, organized in April 1995, is a full-service brokerage firm offering a comprehensive range of wealth management services and insurance products through third-party service providers. C&F Insurance Services, Inc. was organized in July 1999 for the primary purpose of owning an equity interest in an independent insurance agency that operates in Virginia and North Carolina. CVB Title Services, Inc. was organized for the primary purpose of owning an equity interest in a full service title and settlement agency. The financial position and operating results of C&F Wealth Management Corporation, C&F Insurance Services, Inc. and CVB Title Services, Inc. are not significant to the Corporation as a whole.

The Corporation also owns three non-operating subsidiaries, C&F Financial Statutory Trust II (Trust II) formed in December 2007, C&F Financial Statutory Trust I (Trust I) formed in July 2005, and Central Virginia Bankshares Statutory Trust I (CVBK Trust I) formed in December 2003. These trusts were formed for the purpose of issuing $10.0 million each for Trust II and Trust I and $5.0 million for CVBK Trust I of trust preferred capital securities in private placements to institutional investors. All three trusts are unconsolidated subsidiaries of the Corporation. The principal assets of these trusts are $10.3 million each for Trust II and Trust I and $5.2 million for CVBK Trust I of the Corporation’s junior subordinated debt securities (such securities of the Corporation referred to herein as “trust preferred capital notes”) that are reported as liabilities in the consolidated balance sheet of the Corporation.

Community Banking

We provide community banking services through C&F Bank. C&F Bank provides community banking services at its main office in West Point, Virginia, and 30 Virginia branches located one each in the counties of Albermarle, Goochland, Hanover, Middlesex, Powhatan, Stafford and York and the towns and cities of Charlottesville, Hampton, Montross, Newport News, Richmond, Warsaw and Williamsburg, two each in the counties of Cumberland, James City, King George, and New Kent, and four each in the counties of Chesterfield and Henrico. These branches provide a wide range of banking services to individuals and businesses. These services include various types of checking and savings deposit accounts, as well as business, real estate, development, mortgage, home equity and installment loans. The Bank

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also offers ATMs, internet and mobile banking, peer-to-peer payment capabilities and debit and credit cards, as well as safe deposit box rentals, notary public, electronic transfer and other customary bank services to its customers. C&F Bank manages its commercial lending portfolio primarily through commercial lending offices located in Charlottesville, Chesapeake, Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia. Revenues from community banking operations consist primarily of interest earned on loans and investment securities and fees earned on deposit accounts and debit card interchange. Community banking revenues and operations are not materially affected by seasonal factors; however, public deposits tend to increase with tax collections primarily in the fourth quarter of each year and decline with spending thereafter. The community banking segment was previously referred to as the retail banking segment. At December 31, 2020, assets of the community banking segment totaled $2.0 billion. For the year ended December 31, 2020, net income for this segment totaled $5.4 million.

Mortgage Banking

We conduct mortgage banking activities through C&F Mortgage, which was organized in September 1995, and its 51%-owned subsidiary, C&F Select LLC, which was organized in January 2019. C&F Mortgage provides mortgage loan origination services through 14 locations in Virginia, one in Maryland, two in North Carolina, one in South Carolina, and one in West Virginia. The Virginia offices are located one each in Charlottesville, Chesapeake, Fishersville, Fredericksburg, Glen Allen, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Newport News, Richmond, Waynesboro, and Williamsburg and three in Midlothian. The Maryland office is located in Waldorf. The North Carolina offices are located in Gastonia and Moyock. The South Carolina office is located in Fort Mill.  The West Virginia office is located in Keyser.  C&F Select LLC provides mortgage loan origination services through two locations in Richmond, Virginia.  The mortgage banking segment offers a wide variety of residential mortgage loans, which are originated for sale generally to the following investors: Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; PennyMac Corporation; SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.; AmeriHome Mortgage Company, LLC; Freedom Mortgage Corporation and Planet Home Lending, LLC. The mortgage banking segment does not securitize loans. C&F Bank may also purchase mortgage loans from the mortgage banking segment. The mortgage banking segment originates conventional mortgage loans, mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (the FHA), and mortgage loans guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (the USDA) and the Veterans Administration (the VA). A majority of the conventional loans are conforming loans that qualify for purchase by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). The remainder of the conventional loans are non-conforming in that they do not meet Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines, but are eligible for sale to various other investors. The mortgage banking segment also has a division, Lender Solutions, that provides certain mortgage loan origination functions as a service to third party mortgage lenders and a subsidiary, Certified Appraisals LLC, which provides ancillary mortgage loan production services to third parties for residential appraisals. Revenues from mortgage banking operations consist principally of gains on sales of loans to investors in the secondary mortgage market, loan origination fee income and interest earned on mortgage loans held for sale. Revenues and income from mortgage banking, which are driven primarily by the origination and sale of mortage loans, are subject to seasonal factors, including the volume of home sales in the residential real estate market, which typically rises during spring and summer months and declines during fall and winter months. However, seasonal trends may be disrupted by cyclical and other economic factors that affect the residential real estate market. At December 31, 2020, assets of the mortgage banking segment totaled $239.4 million. For the year ended December 31, 2020, net income for this segment totaled $10.7 million.

Consumer Finance

We conduct consumer finance activities through C&F Finance. C&F Finance is a regional finance company purchasing automobile, marine and recreational vehicle (RV) loans throughout Virginia and in portions of Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia through its offices in Richmond and Hampton, Virginia. C&F Finance is an indirect lender that primarily provides automobile financing through lending programs that are designed to serve customers in the “non-prime” market who have limited access to traditional automobile financing. C&F Finance generally purchases automobile retail installment sales contracts from manufacturer-franchised dealerships with used-car operations and through selected independent dealerships. C&F Finance selects these dealers based on the types of vehicles sold. Specifically, C&F Finance prefers to finance later model, low mileage used vehicles

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because the initial depreciation on new vehicles is extremely high. The typical borrowers on the automobile retail installment sales contracts purchased have experienced prior credit difficulties. Because C&F Finance serves customers who are unable to meet the credit standards imposed by most traditional automobile financing sources, C&F Finance typically charges interest at higher rates than those charged by traditional financing sources. In addition, because C&F Finance provides financing in a relatively high-risk market, it expects to experience a higher level of credit losses than traditional automobile financing sources. In addition to non-prime automobile financing, beginning in the first quarter of 2018, C&F Finance expanded its lending portfolio to include marine and RV loan contracts in the prime sector. These contracts are also purchased on an indirect basis through a referral program administered by a third party. Because these contracts are for prime loans made to individuals with higher credit scores, they are priced at rates substantially lower than the non-prime automobile portfolio. Revenues from consumer finance operations consist principally of interest earned on automobile, marine and RV loans. While the consumer finance segment’s loans outstanding and interest income are not materially affected by seasonal factors, delinquencies on automobile loans are generally highest in the period from November through January, related in part to seasonal trends affecting borrowers, including consumer spending. At December 31, 2020, assets of the consumer finance segment totaled $314.7 million. For the year ended December 31, 2020, net income for this segment totaled $7.6 million.

Human Capital Resources

The Corporation and its subsidiaries foster a culture of respect, teamwork, ownership, responsibility, initiative, integrity, and service. We believe that our officers and employees are our most important assets. Our people are critical to the Corporation’s performance and the achievement of our strategic goals, and they represent a key element of how the Corporation’s businesses compete and succeed.

Acquiring and retaining strong talent is a top strategic priority for each of the Corporation’s businesses. We provide a competitive compensation and benefits program to help meet the needs of our employees, including benefits that incentivize retention and reward longevity. We support the health and well-being of our employees through a comprehensive program designed to increase employee focus on wellness and prevention, including the benefit plans we offer, health incentives and dedicated healthcare resources for employees and their families provided through an onsite health center located at our corporate office and virtually. We encourage and support the growth and development of our employees and, wherever possible, seek to fill positions by promotion and transfer from within our organization. We have created career paths for specific positions that are designed to encourage an employee’s advancement and growth within our organization, and we aim to provide employees with the skills and opportunities they need to achieve their career goals and become leaders in our businesses.

At December 31, 2020, we employed 697 full-time equivalent employees. We consider relations with our employees to be excellent. We strive for our workforce to reflect the diversity of the customers and communities we serve. Our selection and promotion processes are without bias and include the active recruitment of minorities and women. At December 31, 2020, women represented 67 percent of our employees, and racial and ethnic minorities represented 29 percent of our employees.  We also aim for our employees to develop their careers in our businesses.  At December 31, 2020, 21 percent of our employees have been employed by the Corporation or its subsidiaries for at least 15 years.

Competition

Community Banking

In the Bank’s market area, we compete with large national and regional financial institutions, savings associations and other independent community banks, as well as credit unions, mutual funds, brokerage firms, insurance companies and other lending and deposit platforms offered by non-bank financial technology firms, including those that only operate digitally. Increased competition has come from out-of-state banks through their acquisition of Virginia-based banks and interstate branching, and expansion of community and regional banks into our service areas.

The banking business in Virginia, and specifically in the Bank’s primary service areas between Hampton Roads and Charlottesville, and in the Northern Neck region of Virginia, is highly competitive for both loans and deposits, and is

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dominated by a relatively small number of large banks with many offices operating over a wide geographic area. Among the advantages such large banks have are their ability to finance wide-ranging advertising campaigns, to maximize efficiencies through economies of scale and, by virtue of their greater total capitalization, to have substantially higher lending limits than the Bank.

Factors such as interest rates offered, the number and location of branches and the types of products offered, as well as the reputation of the institution, affect competition for deposits and loans. We compete by emphasizing customer service, establishing long-term customer relationships, building customer loyalty and providing traditional and digital products and services to address the specific needs of our customers. Our relationships with customers depend on, among other things, our ability to attract and retain talented community bankers. We target individual customers, small-to-medium size business customers and acquisition, development and construction loan customers in our markets.

No material part of the Bank’s business is dependent upon a single or a few customers, and the loss of any single customer would not have a materially adverse effect upon the Bank’s business.

Mortgage Banking

C&F Mortgage competes with large national and regional banks, credit unions, smaller regional mortgage lenders, small local broker operations and internet lending platforms. Due to the increased regulatory and compliance burden, the industry has seen a consolidation in the number of competitors in the marketplace. The agency guidelines for sales of mortgages in the secondary market business continue to be stringent.  

The competitive factors faced by C&F Mortgage continue to evolve because of regulatory reforms and initiatives, including expansion in recent years of consumer protections and related regulation of mortgage lending. While C&F Mortgage has kept pace with changes in such regulations to date, potential future legislative and regulatory initiatives have the potential to affect the operations of C&F Mortgage. Given the far-reaching effect of these regulations on mortgage finance, compliance has required and may continue to require substantial changes to mortgage lending systems and processes and other implementation efforts.

To operate profitably in this competitive and regulatory environment, mortgage companies must have a high level of operational and risk management skills and be able to attract and retain top mortgage origination talent. C&F Mortgage competes by attracting the top people in sales and operations in the industry, expanding into new markets that offer strategic growth opportunities, providing an infrastructure that manages regulatory changes efficiently and effectively, utilizing technology to improve efficiency and consistency in its operations and to mitigate compliance risk, offering products that are competitive in both loan parameters and pricing, and providing consistently high quality customer service.

No material part of C&F Mortgage’s business is dependent upon a single customer and the loss of any single customer would not have a materially adverse effect upon C&F Mortgage’s business. C&F Mortgage, like all residential mortgage lenders, would be affected by the inability of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA or the VA to purchase or guarantee loans. Although C&F Mortgage sells loans to various third-party investors, the ability of these aggregators to purchase or guarantee loans would be limited if these government-sponsored entities cease to exist or materially limit their purchases or guarantees of mortgage loans or suffer deteriorations in their financial condition.

Consumer Finance

The non-prime automobile finance business is highly competitive. The automobile finance market is highly fragmented and is served by a variety of financial entities, including the captive finance affiliates of major automotive manufacturers, banks, savings associations, credit unions and independent finance companies. Many of these competitors have substantially greater financial resources and lower costs of funds than our finance subsidiary. In addition, competitors often provide financing on terms that are more favorable to automobile purchasers or dealers than the terms C&F Finance offers. Many of these competitors also have long-standing relationships with automobile dealerships and may offer dealerships or their customers other forms of financing, including dealer floor plan financing and leasing, which we do not.

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Over the past several years, a number of financial institutions and other lenders have increased focus on operations in the non-prime automobile finance markets resulting in intensified competition for loans and qualified personnel. In addition, certain competitors in the industry have (i) relaxed underwriting standards resulting in higher delinquencies and charge-offs for the industry and (ii) used loan pricing strategies resulting in lower loan yields.  To continue to operate profitably, lenders must have a high level of operational and risk management skills and access to competitive costs of funds.

Providers of automobile financing traditionally have competed on the basis of interest rates charged, the quality of credit accepted, the flexibility of loan terms offered and the quality of service provided to dealers and customers. To establish C&F Finance as one of the principal financing sources for the dealers it serves, we compete predominantly by providing a high level of dealer service, building strong dealer relationships, offering flexible loan terms and quickly funding loans purchased from dealers.

No material part of C&F Finance’s business is dependent upon any single dealer relationship, and the loss of any single dealer relationship would not have a materially adverse effect upon C&F Finance’s business.

Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the business environment in which the Corporation and its subsidiaries operate has been subject to numerous changes as a result of public health measures, economic disruption, government intervention and changes in regulation.  These changes have affected our businesses operationally, including how we serve our customers, as well as financially.  In our workplaces, we have implemented safe and healthy practices of social distancing and enhanced cleaning to protect our employees and customers as we continue to operate and serve our communities.  We also adapted our technology and processes in March 2020 to allow a substantial portion of our administrative personnel to work remotely.  As of December 31, 2020, many employees have returned to our offices on a full-time or part-time basis, but a significant number continue to work remotely.  Retail branch lobbies of our community banking segment were temporarily closed for several months, except by appointment, while customers were continuously able to access our products and services through our online and mobile platforms, ATMs and drive-thru facilities.  Branch lobbies generally reopened in September 2020.  We are making paid leave available to employees who are affected by the coronavirus and unable to work remotely.  We are working proactively with borrowers affected by the pandemic through our community banking and consumer finance segments, including by offering short-term modifications, such as payment deferrals or interest only periods, to borrowers who are temporarily unable to make loan payments.

The federal government and federal regulatory agencies introduced numerous initiatives in response to the pandemic.  For example, the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, enacted on March 18, 2020, made it possible to provide emergency and extended paid leave during 2020 for employees affected by the coronavirus, including employees who became ill or who needed to care for a family member that became ill.  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), enacted on March 27, 2020, included provisions that, among other things, (i) established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to businesses affected by the pandemic, (ii) established the Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility (PPPLF) to provide funding to eligible financial institutions through the Federal Reserve Board system to facilitate lending under the PPP, (iii) provided certain forms of economic stimulus, including direct payments to certain U.S. households, enhanced unemployment benefits, certain income tax benefits intended to assist businesses in surviving the economic crisis, and delayed the required implementation of certain new accounting standards for some entities, and (iv) provided limited regulatory relief to banking institutions.  The federal banking agencies have eased certain bank capital requirements and reporting requirements in response to the pandemic, and have encouraged banking institutions to work prudently with borrowers affected by the pandemic by offering loan modifications that can improve borrowers’ capacity to service debt, increase the potential for financially stressed residential borrowers to keep their homes, and facilitate financial institutions’ ability to collect on their loans.  The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, enacted on December 27, 2020, expanded on some of the benefits made available under the CARES Act, including the PPP program, and provided further economic stimulus.  

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The Corporation and its subsidiaries continue to adapt to the changing business environment and are committed to providing necessary support to our customers and employees to meet the challenges of these uncertain times.

Regulation and Supervision

General

Bank holding companies, banks and their affiliates are extensively regulated under both federal and state law. Consequently, the growth and earnings performance of the Corporation and the Bank can be affected not only by management’s decisions and general economic conditions, but also by the statutes administered by, and the regulations and policies of, various governmental regulatory authorities including, but not limited to, the Virginia State Corporation Commission Bureau of Financial Institutions (VBFI), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the FDIC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Federal Reserve Board), the Internal Revenue Service, federal and state taxing authorities, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC).

The following summary briefly describes significant provisions of currently applicable federal and state laws and certain regulations and the potential impact of such provisions. This summary is not complete, and we refer you to the particular statutory or regulatory provisions or proposals for more information. Because regulation of financial institutions changes regularly and is the subject of constant legislative and regulatory debate, we cannot forecast how federal and state regulation and supervision of financial institutions may change in the future and affect the Corporation’s and the Bank’s operations. See “Risks Related to the Regulation of the Corporation” below in Item 1A of Part I of Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion.

Regulatory Reform

The financial crisis of 2008, including the downturn of global economic, financial and money markets and the threat of collapse of numerous financial institutions, and other events led to the adoption of numerous laws and regulations that apply to, and focus on, financial institutions. The most significant of these laws is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act), which was enacted on July 21, 2010 and, in part, was intended to implement significant structural reforms to the financial services industry.

The Dodd-Frank Act implemented far-reaching changes across the financial regulatory landscape, including changes that have significantly affected the business of all bank holding companies and banks, including the Corporation and the Bank.  Some of the rules that have been proposed and, in some cases, adopted to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act's mandates are discussed further below. In May 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (the EGRRCPA) was enacted to reduce the regulatory burden on certain banking organizations, including community banks, by modifying or eliminating certain federal regulatory requirements. While the EGRRCPA maintains most of the regulatory structure established by the Dodd-Frank Act, it amends certain aspects of the regulatory framework for small depository institutions with assets of less than $10 billion as well as for larger banks with assets above $50 billion. In addition, the EGRRCPA included regulatory relief for community banks regarding regulatory examination cycles, call reports, application of the Volcker Rule (proprietary trading prohibitions), mortgage disclosures, qualified mortgages, and risk weights for certain high-risk commercial real estate loans. However, federal banking agencies retain broad discretion to impose additional regulatory requirements on banking organizations based on safety and soundness and U.S. financial system stability considerations.

The Corporation continues to experience ongoing regulatory reform. These regulatory changes could have a significant effect on how we conduct business. The specific implications of the Dodd-Frank Act, the EGRRCPA, and other potential regulatory reforms cannot yet be fully predicted and will depend to a large extent on the specific regulations that are to be adopted in the future.  Certain aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act and the EGRRCPA are discussed in more detail below.

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Regulation of the Corporation

As a bank holding company, the Corporation is subject to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (the BHCA) and regulation and supervision by the Federal Reserve Board. Pursuant to the BHCA the Federal Reserve Board has the power to order any bank holding company or its subsidiaries to terminate any activity or to terminate its ownership or control of any subsidiary when the Federal Reserve Board has reasonable grounds to believe that continuation of such activity or ownership constitutes a serious risk to the financial soundness, safety or stability of any bank subsidiary of the bank holding company.  The Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC have adopted guidelines and released interpretative materials that establish operational and managerial standards to promote the safe and sound operation of banks and bank holding companies.  These standards relate to the institution’s key operating functions, including but not limited to capital management, internal controls, internal audit systems, information systems, data and cybersecurity, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure and risk management, vendor management, executive management and its compensation, corporate governance, asset growth, asset quality, earnings, liquidity and risk management.

The BHCA generally limits the activities of a bank holding company and its subsidiaries to that of banking, managing or controlling banks, or any other activity that is closely related to banking or to managing or controlling banks, and permits interstate banking acquisitions subject to certain conditions, including national and state concentration limits. The Federal Reserve Board has jurisdiction under the BHCA to approve any bank or non-bank acquisition, merger or consolidation proposed by a bank holding company. A bank holding company must be “well capitalized” and “well managed” to engage in an interstate bank acquisition or merger, and banks may branch across state lines provided that the law of the state in which the branch is to be located would permit establishment of the branch if the bank were a state bank chartered by such state.  Bank holding companies and their subsidiaries are also subject to restrictions on transactions with insiders and affiliates, as further discussed below.

Each of the Bank’s depository accounts is insured by the FDIC against loss to the depositor to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, and federal law and regulatory policy impose a number of obligations and restrictions on the Corporation and the Bank to reduce potential loss exposure to depositors and to the FDIC Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF). For example, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act and Federal Reserve Board policy, a bank holding company must commit resources to support its subsidiary depository institutions, which is referred to as serving as a “source of strength.” In addition, insured depository institutions under common control must reimburse the FDIC for any loss suffered or reasonably anticipated by the DIF as a result of the default of a commonly controlled insured depository institution. The FDIC may decline to enforce the provisions if it determines that a waiver is in the best interest of the DIF. An FDIC claim for damages is superior to claims of stockholders of an insured depository institution or its holding company but is subordinate to claims of depositors, secured creditors and holders of subordinated debt, other than affiliates, of the commonly controlled insured depository institution.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Act (the FDIA) provides that amounts received from the liquidation or other resolution of any insured depository institution must be distributed, after payment of secured claims, to pay the deposit liabilities of the institution before payment of any other general creditor or stockholder of that institution – including that institution’s parent holding company. This provision would give depositors a preference over general and subordinated creditors and stockholders if a receiver is appointed to distribute the assets of a bank.

The Corporation also is subject to regulation and supervision by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The Corporation also must file annual, quarterly and other periodic reports with, and comply with other regulations of, the SEC.

Capital Requirements

Regulatory Capital Requirements. All financial institutions are required to maintain minimum levels of regulatory capital. The FDIC establishes risk-based and leveraged capital standards for the financial institutions they regulate. The FDIC also may impose capital requirements in excess of these standards on a case-by-case basis for various reasons, including financial condition or actual or anticipated growth.

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Basel III Capital Framework. The Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC have adopted rules to implement the Basel III capital framework as outlined by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and standards for calculating risk-weighted assets and risk-based capital measurements (collectively, the Basel III Final Rules) that apply to banking institutions they supervise. For the purposes of these capital rules, (i) common equity tier 1 capital (CET1) consists principally of common stock (including surplus) and retained earnings; (ii) Tier 1 capital consists principally of CET1 plus non-cumulative preferred stock and related surplus, and certain grandfathered cumulative preferred stocks and trust preferred securities; and (iii) Tier 2 capital consists of other capital instruments, principally qualifying subordinated debt and preferred stock, and limited amounts of an institution’s allowance for loan losses. Each regulatory capital classification is subject to certain adjustments and limitations, as implemented by the Basel III Final Rules. The Basel III Final Rules also establish risk weightings that are applied to many classes of assets held by community banks, importantly including applying higher risk weightings to certain commercial real estate loans.

The Basel III Final Rules and minimum capital ratios required to be maintained by banks were effective January 1, 2015. The Basel III Final Rules also include a requirement that banks maintain additional capital (the capital conservation buffer), which was phased in beginning January 1, 2016 and was fully phased in effective January 1, 2019. The Basel III Final Rules and fully phased in capital conservation buffer require banks to maintain:

(i)a minimum ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 4.5 percent, plus a 2.5 percent capital conservation buffer (which is added to the minimum CET1 ratio, effectively resulting in a required ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 7 percent),

(ii)a minimum ratio of Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 6.0 percent, plus the capital conservation buffer (effectively resulting in a required Tier 1 capital ratio of 8.5 percent),

(iii)a minimum ratio of total (that is, Tier 1 plus Tier 2) capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.0 percent, plus the capital conservation buffer (effectively resulting in a required total capital ratio of 10.5 percent) and

(iv)a minimum leverage ratio of 4 percent, calculated as the ratio of Tier 1 capital to average total assets, subject to certain adjustments and limitations.

The Basel III Final Rules provide deductions from and adjustments to regulatory capital measures, primarily to CET1, including deductions and adjustments that were not applied to reduce CET1 under historical regulatory capital rules. For example, mortgage servicing rights, deferred tax assets dependent upon future taxable income, and significant investments in non-consolidated financial entities must be deducted from CET1 to the extent that any one such category exceeds 10 percent of CET1 or all such categories in the aggregate exceed 15 percent of CET1.

The Basel III Final Rules permanently include in Tier 1 capital trust preferred securities issued prior to May 19, 2010 by bank holding companies with less than $15 billion in total assets, subject to a limit of 25 percent of Tier 1 capital. The Corporation expects that its trust preferred securities will be included in the Corporation’s regulatory capital as Tier 1 capital instruments until their maturity.

As of December 31, 2020, the Bank met all capital adequacy requirements under the Basel III Final Rules, including the capital conservation buffer on a fully phased-in basis.

Community Bank Leverage Ratio. As a result of the EGRRCPA, the federal banking agencies were required to develop a Community Bank Leverage Ratio (the ratio of a bank’s tangible equity capital to average total consolidated assets) for banking organizations with assets of less than $10 billion, such as the Bank. On October 29, 2019, the federal banking agencies issued a final rule that implements the Community Bank Leverage Ratio Framework (the CBLRF).  To qualify for the CBLRF, a bank must have less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, limited amounts of off-balance sheet exposures and trading assets and liabilities, and a leverage ratio greater than 9 percent. A bank that elects the CBLRF and has a leverage ratio greater than 9 percent will be considered to be in compliance with Basel III capital requirements and exempt from the complex Basel III calculations and will also be deemed “well capitalized” under Prompt Corrective

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Action regulations, discussed below.  A bank that falls out of compliance with the CBLRF will have a two-quarter grace period to come back into full compliance, provided its leverage ratio remains above 8 percent (a bank will be deemed “well capitalized” during the grace period).  The CBLRF became available beginning March 31, 2020, with the flexibility for banking organizations to subsequently opt into or out of the CBLRF, as applicable.  The federal banking agencies issued an interim final rule in April 2020 to implement certain provisions of the CARES Act that temporarily modified the minimum leverage ratio requirements of the CBLRF.  The minimum leverage ratio requirement was reduced from 9 percent to 8 percent for the second through fourth quarters of 2020 and 8.5 percent through 2021.  A bank that falls out of compliance with the CBLRF will have a two-quarter grace period to come back into full compliance, provided its leverage ratio remains no more than 100 basis points below the applicable minimum leverage ratio requirement.  The Bank has not elected to opt into the CBLRF.

 

Small Bank Holding Company. The EGRRCPA also expanded the category of bank holding companies that may rely on the Federal Reserve Board’s Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement by raising the maximum amount of assets a qualifying bank holding company may have from $1 billion to $3 billion. In addition to meeting the asset threshold, a bank holding company must not engage in significant nonbanking activities, not conduct significant off-balance sheet activities, and not have a material amount of debt or equity securities outstanding and registered with the SEC (subject to certain exceptions). The Federal Reserve Board may, in its discretion, exclude any bank holding company from the application of the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement if such action is warranted for supervisory purposes.

In August 2018, the Federal Reserve Board issued an interim final rule to apply the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement to bank holding companies with consolidated total assets of less than $3 billion. The policy statement, which, among other things, exempts certain bank holding companies from minimum consolidated regulatory capital ratios that apply to other bank holding companies. As a result of the interim final rule, which was effective August 30, 2018, the Corporation expects that it will be treated as a small bank holding company and will not be subject to regulatory capital requirements. The comment period on the interim final rule closed on October 29, 2018 and, to date, the Federal Reserve Board has not issued a final rule to replace the interim final rule. The Bank remains subject to the regulatory capital requirements described above.

Limits on Dividends

The Corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from the Bank. A significant portion of the revenues of the Corporation result from dividends paid to it by the Bank. Both the Corporation and C&F Bank are subject to laws and regulations that limit the payment of dividends, including limits on the sources of dividends and requirements to maintain capital at or above regulatory minimums. Banking regulators have indicated that Virginia banking organizations should generally pay dividends only (1) from net undivided profits of the bank, after providing for all expenses, losses, interest and taxes accrued or due by the bank and (2) if the prospective rate of earnings retention appears consistent with the organization’s capital needs, asset quality and overall financial condition. In addition, Federal Reserve Board supervisory guidance indicates that the Federal Reserve Board may have safety and soundness concerns if a bank holding company pays dividends that exceed earnings for the period in which the dividend is being paid.  Further, the FDIA prohibits insured depository institutions such as C&F Bank from making capital distributions, including paying dividends, if, after making such distribution, the institution would become undercapitalized as defined in the statute. We do not expect that any of these laws, regulations or policies will materially affect the ability of the Corporation or C&F Bank to pay dividends.

Insurance of Accounts, Assessments and Regulation by the FDIC

The Bank’s deposits are insured by the DIF of the FDIC up to the standard maximum insurance amount for each deposit insurance ownership category. The basic limit on FDIC deposit insurance coverage is $250,000 per depositor. Under the FDIA, the FDIC may terminate deposit insurance upon a finding that the institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations as an insured institution, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC, subject to administrative and potential judicial hearing and review processes.  The FDIC may also suspend deposit insurance temporarily during the hearing process

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for the permanent termination of insurance if the institution has no tangible capital. If deposit insurance is terminated, the deposits at the institution at the time of termination, less subsequent withdrawals, shall continue to be insured for a period from six months to two years, as determined by the FDIC. Management is aware of no existing circumstances that could result in termination of the Bank’s deposit insurance.

Deposit Insurance Assessments.  The DIF is funded by assessments on banks and other depository institutions calculated based on average consolidated total assets minus average tangible equity (defined as Tier 1 capital). As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC has adopted a large-bank pricing assessment scheme, set a target “designated reserve ratio” (described in more detail below) of 2 percent for the DIF and, in lieu of dividends, provides for a lower assessment rate schedule when the reserve ratio reaches 2 percent and 2.5 percent. An institution's assessment rate is based on a statistical analysis of financial ratios that estimates the likelihood of failure over a three-year period, which considers the institution’s weighted average CAMELS component rating, and is subject to further adjustments including those related to levels of unsecured debt and brokered deposits (not applicable to banks with less than $10 billion in assets).  At December 31, 2020, total base assessment rates for institutions that have been insured for at least five years range from 1.5 to 30 basis points applying to banks with less than $10 billion in assets.

The Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the FDIC increased discretion with regard to managing the required amount of reserves for the DIF, or the “designated reserve ratio.” The FDIA requires that the FDIC consider the appropriate level for the designated reserve ratio on at least an annual basis. As of December 31, 2020, the designated reserve ratio was 2.00 percent and the minimum designated reserve ratio was 1.35 percent.

At September 30, 2019, the reserve ratio was 1.41 percent. Banks with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets were eligible for credits to offset the portion of their assessments that helped to raise the reserve ratio to 1.35 percent. The FDIC automatically applied these credits to reduce an eligible bank’s regular DIF assessment up to the entire amount of the assessment.  The Bank was awarded credits of $365,000, of which $207,000 was used to offset its DIF assessment in the third and fourth quarters of 2019 and $158,000 was used to offset its DIF assessment in the first and second quarters of 2020.

In June 2020, the FDIC adopted a final rule that generally removes the effect of PPP lending when calculating a bank’s deposit insurance assessment by providing an offset to the bank’s total assessment amount for the increase in the assessment base attributable to the bank’s participation in the PPP.  This final rule began applying to FDIC deposit insurance assessments during the second quarter of 2020.

Regulation of the Bank and Other Subsidiaries

The Bank is subject to supervision, regulation and examination by the VBFI and its primary federal regulator, the FDIC. The various laws and regulations issued and administered by the regulatory agencies (including the CFPB) affect corporate practices, such as the payment of dividends, the incurrence of debt and the acquisition of financial institutions and other companies, and affect business practices and operations, such as the payment of interest on deposits, the charging of interest on loans, the types of business conducted, the products and terms offered to customers and the location of offices. Prior approval of the applicable primary federal regulator and the VBFI is required for a Virginia chartered bank or bank holding company to merge with another bank or bank holding company, or purchase the assets or assume the deposits of another bank or bank holding company, or acquire control of another bank or bank holding company. In reviewing applications seeking approval of merger and acquisition transactions, the bank regulatory agencies will consider, among other things, the competitive effect and public benefits of the transactions, the financial condition, managerial resources, capital position and any asset concentrations (including commercial real estate loan concentrations) of the constituent organizations and the combined organization, the risks to the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system, the applicant's performance record under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and fair housing initiatives, the data security and cybersecurity infrastructure of the constituent organizations and the combined organization, the applicant’s risk management programs and processes, and the applicant’s compliance with and the effectiveness of the subject organizations in combating money laundering activities and complying with Bank Secrecy Act requirements.

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Certain Transactions by Insured Banks with their Affiliates. There are statutory restrictions related to the extent bank holding companies and their non-bank subsidiaries may borrow, obtain credit from or otherwise engage in “covered transactions” with their insured depository institution (i.e., banking) subsidiaries. In general, an “affiliate” of a bank includes the bank’s parent holding company and any subsidiary thereof. However, an “affiliate” does not generally include the bank’s operating subsidiaries. A bank (and its subsidiaries) may not lend money to, or engage in other covered transactions with, its non-bank affiliates if the aggregate amount of covered transactions outstanding involving the bank, plus the proposed transaction, exceeds the following limits: (a) in the case of any one such affiliate, the aggregate amount of covered transactions of the bank and its subsidiaries cannot exceed 10 percent of the bank’s capital stock and surplus; and (b) in the case of all affiliates, the aggregate amount of covered transactions of the bank and its subsidiaries cannot exceed 20 percent of the bank’s capital stock and surplus. “Covered transactions” are defined to include a loan or extension of credit to an affiliate, a purchase of or investment in securities issued by an affiliate, a purchase of assets from an affiliate, the acceptance of securities issued by an affiliate as collateral for a loan or extension of credit to any person or company, the issuance of a guarantee, acceptance or letter of credit on behalf of an affiliate, securities borrowing or lending transactions with an affiliate that creates a credit exposure to such affiliate, or a derivatives transaction with an affiliate that creates a credit exposure to such affiliate. Certain covered transactions are also subject to collateral security requirements.

Covered transactions as well as other types of transactions between a bank and a bank holding company must be on market terms, which means that the transaction must be conducted on terms and under circumstances that are substantially the same, or at least as favorable to the bank, as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with or involving nonaffiliates or, in the absence of comparable transactions, that in good faith would be offered to or would apply to nonaffiliates. Moreover, certain amendments to the BHCA provide that, to further competition, a bank holding company and its subsidiaries are prohibited from engaging in certain tying arrangements in connection with any extension of credit, lease or sale of property of any kind, or furnishing of any service.  

Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA imposes on financial institutions an affirmative and ongoing obligation to meet the credit needs of their local communities, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of those institutions. A financial institution’s efforts in meeting community credit needs are assessed based on specified factors. These factors also are considered in evaluating mergers, acquisitions and applications to open a branch or facility. In 2020, the Bank received a “Satisfactory” CRA rating.

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. The Bank is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Atlanta, which is one of 11 regional FHLBs that provide funding to their members for making housing loans as well as for affordable housing and community development loans. Each FHLB serves as a reserve, or central bank, for the members within its assigned region. Each FHLB makes loans to members in accordance with policies and procedures established by the Board of Directors of the FHLB. As a member, the Bank must purchase and maintain stock in the FHLB. At December 31, 2020, the Bank owned $1.6 million of FHLB stock.

Consumer Protection. The CFPB is the federal regulatory agency that is responsible for implementing, examining and enforcing compliance with federal consumer financial laws for institutions with more than $10 billion of assets and, to a lesser extent, smaller institutions. The CFPB supervises and regulates providers of consumer financial products and services, and has rulemaking authority in connection with numerous federal consumer financial protection laws (for example, but not limited to, the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)).

Because the Corporation and the Bank are smaller institutions (i.e., with assets of $10 billion or less), most consumer protection aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act will continue to be applied to the Corporation by the Federal Reserve Board and to the Bank by the FDIC. However, the CFPB may include its own examiners in regulatory examinations by a smaller institution’s principal regulators and may require smaller institutions to comply with certain CFPB reporting requirements. In addition, regulatory positions taken by the CFPB and administrative and legal precedents established by CFPB enforcement activities, including in connection with supervision of larger bank holding companies and banks, could influence how the Federal Reserve Board and FDIC apply consumer protection laws and regulations to financial institutions that are not directly supervised by the CFPB. The precise effect of the CFPB’s consumer protection activities on the Corporation and the Bank cannot be determined with certainty.

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Mortgage Banking Regulation. In connection with making mortgage loans, the Bank and C&F Mortgage are subject to rules and regulations that, among other things, establish standards for loan origination, prohibit discrimination, provide for inspections and appraisals of property, require credit reports on prospective borrowers, in some cases restrict certain loan features and fix maximum interest rates and fees, require the disclosure of certain basic information to mortgagors concerning credit and settlement costs, limit payment for settlement services to the reasonable value of the services rendered and require the maintenance and disclosure of information regarding the disposition of mortgage applications based on race, gender, geographical distribution and income level. The Bank’s mortgage origination activities are subject to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), TILA, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, RESPA, and Home Ownership Equity Protection Act, and the regulations promulgated under these acts, among other additional state and federal laws, regulations and rules.

The Bank’s mortgage origination activities are also subject to Regulation Z, which implements TILA. Certain provisions of Regulation Z require mortgage lenders to make a reasonable and good faith determination, based on verified and documented information, that a consumer applying for a mortgage loan has a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms. Alternatively, a mortgage lender can originate “qualified mortgages”, which are generally defined as mortgage loans without negative amortization, interest-only payments, balloon payments, terms exceeding 30 years, and points and fees paid by a consumer equal to or less than 3 percent of the total loan amount. Under the EGRRCPA, most residential mortgage loans originated and held in portfolio by a bank with less than $10 billion in assets will be designated as “qualified mortgages.”  Higher-priced qualified mortgages (e.g., sub-prime loans) receive a rebuttable presumption of compliance with ability-to-repay rules, and other qualified mortgages (e.g., prime loans) are deemed to comply with the ability-to-repay rules. The Corporation’s mortgage banking segment predominately originates mortgage loans that comply with Regulation Z’s “qualified mortgage” rules.

In addition to certain regulations applicable to the Bank’s mortgage origination activities, C&F Mortgage is subject to the rules and regulations of, and examination by, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the FHA, the USDA, the VA and state regulatory authorities with respect to originating, processing and selling mortgage loans. Those rules and regulations, among other things, establish standards for loan origination, prohibit discrimination, provide for inspections and appraisals of property, require credit reports on prospective borrowers and, in some cases, restrict certain loan features and fix maximum interest rates and fees.

Consumer Financing Regulation. C&F Finance also is regulated by the VBFI and the states and jurisdictions in which it operates, and its lending operations are subject to numerous federal regulations over which the CFPB has rulemaking authority and regarding which enforcement authority is shared by the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. The VBFI regulates and enforces laws relating to consumer lenders and sales finance agencies such as C&F Finance. Such rules and regulations generally provide for licensing of sales finance agencies; limitations on amounts, duration and charges, including interest rates, for various categories of loans; requirements as to the form and content of finance contracts and other documentation; and restrictions on collection practices and creditors’ rights.

Certain federal regulatory agencies, and in particular, the CFPB, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Reserve Board, have recently become more active in investigating the products, services and operations of banks and other finance companies engaged in auto finance activities. These investigations have extended to banks that engage in indirect automobile lending. As of January 1, 2021, the Corporation and C&F Finance were not subject to supervision by the CFPB.

Brokered Deposits. Section 29 of the FDIA and FDIC regulations generally limit the ability of any bank to accept, renew or roll over any brokered deposit unless it is “well capitalized” or, with the FDIC’s approval, “adequately capitalized.” However, as a result of the EGRRCPA, the FDIC undertook a comprehensive review of its regulatory approach to brokered deposits, including reciprocal deposits, and interest rate caps applicable to banks that are less than “well capitalized.” On December 15, 2020, the FDIC issued final rules that amend the FDIC’s methodology for calculating interest rate caps, provide a new process for banks that seek FDIC approval to offer a competitive rate on deposits when the prevailing rate in the bank’s local market exceeds the national rate cap, and provides specific exemptions and

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streamlined application and notice procedures for certain deposit-placement arrangements that are not subject to brokered deposit restrictions. These final rules are effective on April 1, 2021.

Other Regulations

Prompt Corrective Action. The federal banking agencies have broad powers under current federal law to take prompt corrective action to resolve problems of insured depository institutions. The extent of these powers depends upon whether the institution in question is “well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized” or “critically undercapitalized.” These terms are defined under uniform regulations issued by each of the federal banking agencies regulating these institutions. An insured depository institution which is less than adequately capitalized must adopt an acceptable capital restoration plan, is subject to increased regulatory oversight and is increasingly restricted in the scope of its permissible activities. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank was considered “well capitalized.”

Incentive Compensation. Federal banking agencies have issued regulatory guidance (the Incentive Compensation Guidance) intended to ensure that the incentive compensation policies of banking organizations do not undermine the safety and soundness of such organizations by encouraging excessive risk-taking. The FDIC will review, as part of the regular, risk-focused examination process, the incentive compensation arrangements of banking organizations, such as the Bank, that are not “large, complex banking organizations.” The findings will be included in reports of examination, and deficiencies will be incorporated into the organization’s supervisory ratings. Enforcement actions may be taken against a banking organization if its incentive compensation arrangements, or related risk-management control or governance processes, pose a risk to the organization’s safety and soundness and the organization is not taking prompt and effective measures to correct the deficiencies.

In 2016, the SEC and the federal banking agencies proposed rules that prohibit covered financial institutions (including bank holding companies and banks) from establishing or maintaining incentive-based compensation arrangements that encourage inappropriate risk taking by providing covered persons (consisting of senior executive officers and significant risk takers, as defined in the rules) with excessive compensation, fees or benefits that could lead to material financial loss to the financial institution.  The proposed rules outline factors to be considered when analyzing whether compensation is excessive and whether an incentive-based compensation arrangement encourages inappropriate risks that could lead to material loss to the covered financial institution, and establishes minimum requirements that incentive-based compensation arrangements must meet to be considered to not encourage inappropriate risks and to appropriately balance risk and reward.  The proposed rules also impose additional corporate governance requirements on the boards of directors of covered financial institutions and impose additional record-keeping requirements.  The comment period for these proposed rules has closed and a final rule has not yet been published.  

Confidentiality and Required Disclosures of Customer Information. The Corporation is subject to various laws and regulations that address the privacy of nonpublic personal financial information of consumers. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and certain regulations issued thereunder protect against the transfer and use by financial institutions of consumer nonpublic personal information. A financial institution must provide to its customers, at the beginning of the customer relationship and annually thereafter, the institution’s policies and procedures regarding the handling of customers’ nonpublic personal financial information. These privacy provisions generally prohibit a financial institution from providing a customer’s personal financial information to unaffiliated third parties unless the institution discloses to the customer that the information may be so provided and the customer is given the opportunity to opt out of such disclosure. Certain exceptions may apply to the requirement to deliver an annual privacy notice based on how a financial institution limits sharing of nonpublic personal information and whether the institution’s disclosure practices or policies have changed in certain ways since the last privacy notice that was delivered.

The Corporation is also subject to various laws and regulations that attempt to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The Bank Secrecy Act (the BSA) requires all financial institutions to, among other things, create a system of controls designed to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and imposes recordkeeping and reporting requirements. The USA PATRIOT Act added regulations to facilitate information sharing among governmental entities and financial institutions for the purpose of combating terrorism and money laundering, and requires financial institutions to establish anti-money laundering programs. Regulations adopted under the BSA impose on financial

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institutions customer due diligence requirements, and the federal banking agencies expect that customer due diligence programs will be integrated within a financial institution’s broader BSA and anti-money laundering compliance program. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which is a division of the U. S. Department of the Treasury, is responsible for helping to ensure that United States entities do not engage in transactions with “enemies” of the United States, as defined by various Executive Orders and Acts of Congress. If the Bank finds the name of an “enemy” of the United States on any transaction, account or wire transfer that is on an OFAC list, it must freeze such account or place transferred funds into a blocked account, and report it to OFAC.

Although these laws and programs impose compliance costs and create privacy obligations and, in some cases, reporting obligations, and compliance with all of the laws, programs, and privacy and reporting obligations may require significant resources of the Corporation and the Bank, these laws and programs do not materially affect the Bank’s products, services or other business activities.

Corporate Transparency Act. On January 1, 2021, as part of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress enacted the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which requires The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to issue regulations implementing reporting requirements for “reporting companies” (as defined in the CTA) to disclose beneficial ownership interests of certain U.S. and foreign entities by January 1, 2022. The CTA imposes additional reporting requirements on entities not previously subject to such beneficial ownership disclosure regulations and also contains exemptions for several different types of entities, including among others: (i) certain banks, bank holding companies, and credit unions; (ii) money transmitting businesses registered with FinCEN; and (iii) certain insurance companies. Reporting companies subject to the CTA will be required to provide specific information with respect to beneficial owner(s) (as defined in the CTA) as well as satisfy initial filing obligations (for newly-formed reporting companies) and submit on-going periodic reports. Non-compliance with FinCEN regulations promulgated under the CTA may result in civil fines as well as criminal penalties. At this time, FinCEN has yet to issue any proposed rules to implement the CTA. Accordingly, the Corporation is unable to determine what impact (if any) the CTA and related regulations will have on the Corporation and its subsidiaries, including the Bank. The Corporation will continue to monitor regulatory developments related to the CTA.

Cybersecurity. The federal banking agencies have adopted guidelines for establishing information security standards and cybersecurity programs for implementing safeguards under the supervision of a financial institution’s board of directors. These guidelines, along with related regulatory materials, increasingly focus on risk management and processes related to information technology and the use of third parties in the provision of financial products and services. The federal banking agencies expect financial institutions to establish lines of defense and ensure that their risk management processes also address the risk posed by compromised customer credentials, and also expect financial institutions to maintain sufficient business continuity planning processes to ensure rapid recovery, resumption and maintenance of the institution’s operations after a cyber-attack. If the Corporation or the Bank fails to meet the expectations set forth in this regulatory guidance, the Corporation or the Bank could be subject to various regulatory actions and any remediation efforts may require significant resources of the Corporation or the Bank.  In addition, all federal and state banking agencies continue to increase focus on cybersecurity programs and risks as part of regular supervisory exams.

In October 2016, the federal banking agencies issued proposed rules on enhanced cybersecurity risk-management and resilience standards that would apply to very large financial institutions and to services provided by third parties to these institutions. The comment period for these proposed rules has closed and a final rule has not been published. Although the proposed rules would apply only to bank holding companies and banks with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, these rules could influence the federal banking agencies’ expectations and supervisory requirements for information security standards and cybersecurity programs of smaller financial institutions, such as the Corporation and the Bank.

Stress Testing. The federal banking agencies have implemented stress testing requirements for certain large or risky financial institutions, including bank holding companies and state-chartered banks.  Although these requirements do not apply to the Corporation and the Bank, the federal banking agencies emphasize that all banking organizations, regardless of size, should have the capacity to analyze the potential effect of adverse market conditions or outcomes on the organization’s financial condition. Based on existing regulatory guidance, the Corporation and the Bank will be expected

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to consider the institution’s interest rate risk management, commercial real estate loan concentrations and other credit-related information, and funding and liquidity management during this analysis of adverse market conditions or outcomes.

Volcker Rule. The Dodd-Frank Act prohibits bank holding companies and their subsidiary banks from engaging in proprietary trading except in limited circumstances, and places limits on ownership of equity investments in private equity and hedge funds (the Volcker Rule). The EGRRCPA, and final rules adopted to implement the EGRRCPA, exempt  all banks with less than $10 billion in assets (including their holding companies and affiliates) from the Volcker Rule, provided that the institution has total trading assets and liabilities of 5 percent or less of total assets, subject to certain limited exceptions. The Corporation believes that its financial condition and its operations are not affected by the Volcker Rule, amendments thereto, or its implementing regulations.

Call Reports and Examination Cycle. All institutions, regardless of size, submit a quarterly call report that includes data used by federal banking agencies to monitor the condition, performance, and risk profile of individual institutions and the industry as a whole. The EGRRCPA contained provisions expanding the number of regulated institutions eligible to use streamlined call report forms. In June 2019, consistent with the provisions of the EGRRCPA, the federal banking agencies issued a final rule to permit insured depository institutions with total assets of less than $5 billion that do not engage in certain complex or international activities to file the most streamlined version of the quarterly call report, and to reduce data reportable on certain streamlined call report submissions.

In December 2018, consistent with the provisions of the EGRRCPA, the federal banking agencies jointly adopted final rules that permit banks with up to $3 billion in total assets, that received a composite CAMELS rating of “1” or “2,” and that meet certain other criteria (including not having undergone any change in control during the previous 12-month period, and not being subject to a formal enforcement proceeding or order), to qualify for an 18-month on-site examination cycle.

COVID-19 Related Regulatory Relief.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal banking agencies issued a joint statement on March 22, 2020 encouraging banking institutions to work with borrowers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including offering short-term loan modifications to borrowers unable to meet their contractual payment obligations.  Under this interagency guidance, certain loans that have been modified are exempt from being reported as past due or as troubled debt restructurings (TDRs).  Further, the CARES Act provided additional exemptions from TDR reporting for certain loans that have been modified for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Regulatory agencies also issued an interim final rule on April 7, 2020 which provides relief in bank regulatory capital requirements that allow loans originated under the PPP to be excluded from risk-weighted assets, and to be excluded from total assets for purposes of bank leverage ratio requirements if they are pledged as collateral to the PPPLF.

Congress also enacted the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, on December 27, 2020, which included (i) the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits, and Venues Act, (ii) the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020, and (iii) the Taxpayer Certainty and Disability Relief Act of 2020. These laws include significant clarifications and modifications to PPP, which had terminated on August 8, 2020. In particular, Congress revived the PPP and allocated an additional $284.45 billion in PPP funds for 2021. As a result, the SBA has modified prior guidance and promulgated new regulations and guidance to conform with and implement the new provisions during the first quarter of 2021. As a participating PPP lender, the Bank continues to monitor legislative, regulatory, and supervisory developments related thereto.

Effect of Governmental Monetary Policies. As with other financial institutions, the earnings of the Corporation and the Bank are affected by general economic conditions as well as by the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve Board. Such policies, which include regulating the national supply of bank reserves and bank credit, can have a major effect upon the source and cost of funds and the rates of return earned on loans and investments. The Federal Reserve Board exerts a substantial influence on interest rates and credit conditions, primarily through establishing target rates for federal funds, open market operations in U.S. Government securities, varying the discount rate on member bank borrowings and setting cash reserve requirements against deposits. Changes in monetary policy, including changes in interest rates, will influence the origination of loans, the purchase of investments, the generation of deposits, and rates received on loans and investment

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securities and paid on deposits. Fluctuations in the Federal Reserve Board’s monetary policies have had a significant impact on the operating results of the Corporation and the Bank and are expected to continue to do so in the future.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve Board’s Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC) set the federal funds target rate – i.e., the interest rate at which depository institutions such as the Bank lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight on an uncollateralized basis – to an historic low. On March 16, 2020, the FOMC set the federal funds target rate at zero to 0.25 percent. Consistent with Federal Reserve Board policy, the Federal Reserve Board has committed to the use of overnight reverse repurchase agreements as a supplementary policy tool, as necessary, to help control the federal funds rate and keep it in the target range set by the FOMC.

Future Regulation

From time to time, various legislative and regulatory initiatives are introduced in Congress and state legislatures, as well as by regulatory agencies. Such initiatives may include proposals to expand or contract the powers of bank holding companies and depository institutions or proposals to substantially change the financial institution regulatory system. Such legislation could change banking statutes and the operating environment of the Corporation in substantial and unpredictable ways. If enacted, such legislation could increase or decrease the cost of doing business, limit or expand permissible activities or affect the competitive balance among banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other financial institutions. The Corporation cannot predict whether any such legislation will be enacted, and, if enacted, the effect that it, or any implementing regulations, would have on the financial condition or results of operations of the Corporation. A change in statutes, regulations or regulatory policies applicable to the Corporation or any of its subsidiaries could have a material effect on the business of the Corporation.

Available Information

The Corporation’s SEC filings are filed electronically and are available to the public over the Internet at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. The Corporation’s SEC filings also are available through our website at http://www.cffc.com under “Investor Relations/Financial Documents/SEC Filings” as of the day they are filed with the SEC. Copies of documents also can be obtained free of charge by writing to the Corporation’s secretary at 3600 La Grange Parkway, Toano, VA 23168 or by calling 804-843-2360.

ITEM 1A.RISK FACTORS

Risk Factors Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Corporation’s results of operations and financial condition have been, and will likely continue to be, adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and, depending on future developments, may be materially adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 pandemic, the widespread government response and the impact on consumers and businesses have caused significant disruption in the United States and international economies and financial markets and have had and will likely continue to have a significant impact on consumers and businesses in our market area and the operations and financial performance of the Corporation.  Governments, businesses and the public have taken unprecedented actions to try and contain the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate its effects including quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, state of emergency declarations, travel bans, closures of businesses and schools, fiscal stimulus and legislative initiatives to deliver monetary aid and other relief.  Many of these actions have adversely impacted the economy and forced temporary closures of nonessential business, and as a result, the businesses of many of our customers have been adversely impacted, which could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Although the scope, duration and full effects of the pandemic are evolving and cannot be fully known at this time, consequences of the pandemic and efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the pandemic’s effects have included and may include further market volatility, lower interest rates, disrupted trade and supply chains, increased unemployment and reduced economic activity.  The period of recovery from the negative economic effects of the pandemic cannot be predicted and may be protracted.  If these effects continue for a prolonged period of time, the Corporation may experience significant delinquencies and credit losses due to the inability of borrowers to make timely payments on loans, net interest margin compression, lower demand for our products and services, decreased capital, which may affect the Corporation’s ability to originate new loans, disruption of operational processes arising from practices of social distancing and telecommuting and potential impairment of assets, including securities available for sale and goodwill. Credit deterioration in the Corporation’s loan portfolio due to the pandemic may be masked or obscured by loan payment deferral programs or government stimulus or relief efforts, such as the PPP.  The COVID-19 pandemic may also exacerbate many of the risk factors identified in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including risk related to our credit quality, collateral, capital, liquidity, operations, interest rate risk, strategic risk and technology.

Although banks have generally been permitted to continue operating during the COVID-19 outbreak, the outbreak has caused the Corporation to change its business operations, including updating branch operations to comply with governmental recommendations and increasing work from home options for our employees.  These changes may have adverse impacts on the Corporation’s business due to reduced effectiveness of operations, unavailability of personnel, increased cybersecurity risks related to use of remote technology, and increased costs related to these operational changes. Additionally, our business operations may be disrupted if key personnel or significant portions of our employees are unable to work effectively, including because of illness.  The changes in business operations could also have a detrimental effect on the Corporation’s relationships with its customers and could reduce demand for the Corporation’s products and services.

Unfavorable economic conditions and elevated unemployment due to the pandemic may make it difficult for the Corporation to maintain deposit levels and loan origination volume.  Such unfavorable conditions may cause the value of our investment portfolio and of the collateral securing the Corporation’s loans to decline.  The Federal Reserve has lowered the federal funds rate to a range of zero to 0.25 percent in part as a result of the pandemic.  A prolonged period of very low interest rates could reduce the Corporation’s net income and have a material adverse effect on the Corporation’s cash flows.

The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to the duration, spread, severity and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the actions required to contain and mitigate it, the effectiveness of vaccines and vaccine distribution efforts, the effects of the pandemic on our customers and vendors, the remedial actions and stimulus measures adopted by local, state and federal governments, the timing and availability of government support for the economy and financial markets including indirect governmental support for various financial assets including mortgage loans, the short- and long-term health impacts of the pandemic, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume, if at all. If the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, additional actions may be taken by federal, state, and local governments to contain COVID-19 or treat its impact, including additional shelter-in-place orders. There can be no assurance that any efforts by the Corporation to address the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be effective.  Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, we may continue to experience adverse impacts to our business as a result of any economic recession or depression that has occurred or may occur in the future, or as a result of changes in the behavior of customers, businesses and their employees. Furthermore, the financial condition of our customers and vendors may be adversely impacted, which may result in an elevated level of loan losses, a decrease in demand for our products and services, or reduced availability of services provided by third parties on which we rely. Any of these events may, in turn, have a material adverse impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

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Risk Factors Related to our Lending Activities and Economic Conditions

Our business is subject to various lending and other economic risks that could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Deterioration in economic conditions could adversely affect our business. Our business is directly affected by general economic and market conditions; broad trends in industry and finance; legislative and regulatory changes; changes in governmental monetary and fiscal policies; and inflation, all of which are beyond our control. A deterioration in economic conditions, in particular a prolonged economic slowdown within our geographic region or a broader disruption in the economy, possibly as a result of a pandemic or other widespread public health emergency, could result in the following consequences, any of which could hurt our business materially: an increase in loan delinquencies; an increase in problem assets and foreclosures; a decline in demand for our products and services; and a deterioration in the value of collateral for loans made by our various business segments.

Adverse changes in economic conditions in our market areas or adverse conditions in an industry on which a local market in which we do business is dependent could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We provide full service banking and other financial services between Hampton Roads and Charlottesville, and in the Northern Neck region of Virginia. Our loan and deposit activities are directly affected by, and our financial success depends on, economic conditions within these markets, as well as conditions in the industries on which those markets are economically dependent. A deterioration in local economic conditions or in the condition of an industry on which a local market depends, such as the U.S. military and related defense contractors and industries, could adversely affect such factors as unemployment rates, business formations and expansions and housing market conditions. Adverse developments in any of these factors could result in among other things, a decline in loan demand, a reduction in the number of creditworthy borrowers seeking loans, an increase in delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures, an increase in classified and nonaccrual loans, a decrease in the value of loan collateral, and a decline in the financial condition of borrowers and guarantors, any of which could adversely affect our financial condition or business.

Weakness in the secondary residential mortgage loan markets or demand for mortgage loans may adversely affect income from C&F Mortgage.

Our mortgage banking segment provides a significant portion of our noninterest income.  We generate gains on sales of mortgage loans primarily from sales of mortgage loans that we originate.  Interest rates, housing inventory, housing demand, cash buyers, new mortgage lending regulations and other market conditions have a direct effect on loan originations across the industry.  In particular, in a rising or higher interest rate environment, our originations of mortgage loans may decrease, resulting in fewer loans that are available to be sold to investors.  This would result in a decrease in noninterest income.  In addition, our results of operations are affected by the amount of noninterest expenses (including for personnel and systems infrastructure) associated with mortgage banking activities.  During periods of reduced loan demand, our results of operations may be adversely affected to the extent that we are unable to reduce expenses commensurate with the decline in mortgage loan origination activity.

If our allowance for loan losses becomes inadequate, our results of operations may be adversely affected.

Making loans is an essential element of our business. The risk of nonpayment is affected by a number of factors, including but not limited to: the duration of the credit; credit risks of a particular customer; changes in economic and industry conditions; and, in the case of a collateralized loan, risks resulting from uncertainties about the future value of the collateral. Although we seek to mitigate risks inherent in lending by adhering to specific underwriting practices, our loans may not be repaid. We attempt to maintain an appropriate allowance for loan losses to provide for losses in our loan portfolio. Because any estimate of loan losses is necessarily subjective and the accuracy of any estimate depends on the outcome of future events that are not within our control, we face the risk that charge-offs in future periods will exceed our allowance for loan losses and that additional provision for loan losses will be required, which would have an adverse effect on the Corporation’s net income. Although we believe our allowance for loan losses is adequate to absorb losses that are

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inherent in our loan portfolio, we cannot predict the timing or severity of such losses nor give any assurance that our allowance will be adequate in the future.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a new accounting standard that will be effective for the Corporation for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2023. This standard, Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 326, “Financial Instruments—Credit Losses” (ASC 326) will require the Corporation to record an allowance for credit losses that represents expected credit losses over the lifetime of all loans in its portfolio. This represents a change from the current method of providing for an allowance for loan losses that have been incurred.  We have not yet determined the impact that ASC 326 will have on our consolidated financial statements and regulatory capital.  While the adoption of ASC 326 will not affect ultimate loan performance or cash flows of the Corporation from making loans, the period in which expected credit losses affect net income of the Corporation may not be similar to the recognition of loan losses under current accounting guidance. If recognition of the allowance for credit losses results in a reduction of the regulatory capital of C&F Bank, the initial reduction in regulatory capital will be phased in over three years under regulatory guidance. If the reduction in regulatory capital of C&F Bank is significant, it may adversely impact the future ability of the Corporation to pay dividends to shareholders.

An increase in mortgage loan defaults or prepayments may result in losses related to loans sold by C&F Mortgage.

Deterioration in economic conditions may cause borrowers to default on their mortgages.  This may result in potential repurchase or indemnification obligations for C&F Mortgage on residential mortgage loans originated and sold into the secondary market.  Such obligations may arise in the event of claims by investors of borrower misrepresentation, fraud, early-payment default, or underwriting error, as investors attempt to minimize their losses. We cannot be assured that a prolonged period of payment defaults and foreclosures will not result in an increase in requests for repurchases or indemnifications. Alternatively, during periods of low or falling interest rates, our customers may find opportunities to refinance shortly after obtaining a mortgage loan from C&F Mortgage, which may result in unexpected prepayments on loans that have been sold into the secondary market.  This may result in obligations of C&F Mortgage to return a portion of the sales proceeds from such loans to investors pursuant to the terms of the sale.  We attempt to maintain an appropriate reserve for indemnification losses and for prepayment obligations.  Although we believe our reserves for indemnification losses and prepayment obligations are adequate, these estimates are inherently subjective and actual indemnification losses and prepayment obligations will depend on future events that are often not within our control. Therefore, we can give no assurance that established reserves will be adequate.  Additional provision for indemnification losses or additional obligations arising from prepayments would have an adverse effect on the Corporation’s net income.

Our level of credit risk is higher due to the concentration of our loan portfolio in commercial loans and in consumer finance loans.

At December 31, 2020, 51.8 percent of our loan portfolio consisted of commercial, financial and agricultural loans, which include loans secured by real estate for builder lines, acquisition and development and commercial development, as well as commercial loans secured by personal property. These loans generally carry larger loan balances and involve a greater degree of financial and credit risk than home equity and residential loans. The increased financial and credit risk associated with these types of loans is a result of several factors, including the concentration of principal in a limited number of loans and to borrowers in similar lines of business, the size of loan balances, the effects of general economic conditions on income-producing properties and the increased difficulty of evaluating and monitoring these types of loans.

At December 31, 2020, 23.1 percent of our loan portfolio consisted of consumer finance loans that provide automobile financing for customers in the non-prime market. During periods of economic slowdown or recession, delinquencies, defaults, repossessions and losses may increase in this portfolio. Significant increases in the inventory of used automobiles during periods of economic recession may also depress the prices at which we may sell repossessed vehicles or delay the timing of these sales. Because we focus on non-prime borrowers, the actual rates of delinquencies, defaults, repossessions and losses on these loans are higher than those experienced in the general automobile finance industry and could be dramatically affected by a general economic downturn. In addition, our servicing costs may increase without a corresponding increase in our finance charge income. While we manage the higher risk inherent in loans made

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to non-prime borrowers through our underwriting criteria for installment sales contracts we purchase and collection methods, we cannot guarantee that these criteria or methods will ultimately provide adequate protection against these risks.

Risk Factors Related to our Industry

We are subject to interest rate risk and fluctuations in interest rates may negatively affect our financial performance.

Our profitability depends in substantial part on our net interest margin, which is the difference between the interest earned on loans, securities and other interest-earning assets, and interest paid on deposits and borrowings divided by total interest-earning assets. Changes in interest rates will affect our net interest margin in diverse ways, including the pricing of loans and deposits, the levels of prepayments and asset quality. We are unable to predict actual fluctuations of market interest rates because many factors influencing interest rates, including changes in economic conditions, are beyond our control. We believe that our current interest rate exposure is manageable and does not indicate any significant exposure to interest rate changes.  In March 2020, the FOMC announced emergency rate cuts for the federal funds rate, which is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight, in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.  Since March 2020, the FOMC has kept the federal funds rate near zero, and financial markets expect interest rates to remain historically low for a prolonged period as the economy recovers from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Longer-term market interest rates, including yields on U.S. treasury bonds, have also remained low.  Therefore, we are expecting continued pressure on our net interest margin due to intense competition for loans and deposits from both local and national financial institutions and the continued effect of lower interest rates on interest income.  In addition, the Corporation could experience further net interest margin compression if it is unable to maintain its current level of loans outstanding by continuing to originate new loans or if it experiences a decrease in deposit balances, which would require the Corporation to seek funding from other sources at higher rates of interest.

We rely substantially on deposits obtained from customers in our target markets to provide liquidity and support growth.

Our business strategies are based on access to funding from local customer deposits. Deposit levels may be affected by a number of factors, including interest rates paid by competitors, general interest rate levels, returns available to customers on alternative investments and general economic conditions that affect savings levels and the amount of liquidity in the economy, including government stimulus efforts in response to economic crises. If our deposit levels fall, we could lose a relatively low cost source of funding and our interest expense would likely increase as we obtain alternative funding to replace lost deposits. If local customer deposits are not sufficient to fund our normal operations and growth, we will look to outside sources, such as borrowings from the FHLB, which is a secured funding source. Our ability to access borrowings from the FHLB will be dependent upon whether and the extent to which we can provide collateral to secure FHLB borrowings. We may also look to federal funds purchased and brokered deposits, although the use of brokered deposits may be limited or discouraged by our banking regulators. We may also seek to raise funds through the issuance of shares of our common stock, or other equity or equity-related securities, or debt securities including subordinated notes as additional sources of liquidity. If we are unable to access funding sufficient to support our business operations and growth strategies or are unable to access such funding on attractive terms, we may not be able to implement our business strategies which may negatively affect our financial performance.

Consumers may increasingly decide not to use banks to complete their financial transactions, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and operations.

Technology and other changes are allowing parties to complete financial transactions through alternative methods that historically have involved banks. For example, consumers can now maintain funds that would have historically been held as bank deposits in brokerage accounts, mutual funds or general-purpose reloadable prepaid cards. Consumers can also complete transactions such as paying bills or transferring funds directly without the assistance of banks. The process of eliminating banks as intermediaries, known as “disintermediation,” could result in the loss of fee income, as well as the loss of customer deposits and the related income generated from those deposits. The loss of these revenue streams and the loss of deposits as a lower cost source of funds could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

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Competition from other financial institutions and financial intermediaries may adversely affect our profitability.

We face substantial competition in originating loans and in attracting deposits. Our competition in originating loans and attracting deposits comes principally from other banks, mortgage banking companies, consumer finance companies, savings associations, credit unions, brokerage firms, insurance companies and other institutional lenders and purchasers of loans. Additionally, banks and other financial institutions with larger capitalization and financial intermediaries not subject to bank regulatory restrictions have larger lending limits and are thereby able to serve the credit needs of larger clients. These institutions may be able to offer the same loan products and services that we offer at more competitive rates and prices. Increased competition could require us to increase the rates we pay on deposits or lower the rates we offer on loans, which could adversely affect our profitability.

Accounting for past business combinations may expose us to intangible asset risk, which could affect our results of operations.

In connection with accounting for prior acquisitions, we recorded assets acquired and liabilities assumed at their fair value, which resulted in the recognition of certain intangible assets, including goodwill. Adverse conditions in our business climate, including a significant decline in future operating cash flows, changes in interest rates that may lead to net interest margin compression, changes in demand for loans or our ability to originate and hold loans, a sustained period of elevated loan losses, a significant decrease in valuations or stock prices of the Corporation or other bank holding companies, or a deviation from our expected growth rate and performance, may significantly affect the fair value of the Corporation’s reporting units and may trigger impairment losses on intangible assets, which could be materially adverse to our results of operations.

Risk Factors Related to our Operations and Technology

Our risk management framework may not be effective in mitigating risk and loss.

We maintain an enterprise risk management program that is designed to identify, quantify, monitor, report and control the risks we face. These risks include, but are not limited to, interest rate, credit, liquidity, operational, reputation, legal, compliance, economic and litigation risk. Although we assess our risk management program on an ongoing basis and make identified improvements to it, we can give no assurance that this approach and risk management framework (including related controls) will effectively mitigate the risks listed above or limit losses that we may incur. If our risk management program has flaws or gaps, or if our risk management controls do not function effectively, our results of operations, financial condition or business may be adversely affected.

We are subject to security and operational risks, including cybersecurity risks and cyber attacks, relating to our use of technology that could damage our reputation and our business.

In the ordinary course of business, the Corporation collects and stores sensitive data, including proprietary business information and personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, in systems and on networks. The secure processing, maintenance and use of this information is critical to operations and the Corporation’s business strategy. The Corporation has invested in information security technologies and continually reviews processes and practices that are designed to protect its networks, computers and data from damage or unauthorized access. Despite these security measures, the Corporation’s computer systems and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or may be breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. Security breaches, including cyber incidents, identity theft and hacking events, have been experienced by several of the world’s largest financial institutions that utilize sophisticated security tools to prevent such breaches, incidents and events.  Any security breach that we experience could result in legal claims, regulatory penalties, disruption in operation, remediation expenses, costs associated with customer notification and credit monitoring services, increased insurance premiums, loss of customers and business partners and damage to the Corporation’s reputation. We rely on customary security systems and procedures to provide the security and authentication necessary to effect secure collection, transmission and storage of sensitive data. These systems and

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procedures include but are not limited to (i) regular penetration testing of our network, (ii) regular employee training programs on sound security practices and awareness of security threats, (iii) deployment of tools to monitor our network including intrusion prevention and detection systems, electronic mail spam filters, anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, resource logging and patch management, (iv) multifactor authentication for customers using treasury management tools and employees who access our network from outside of our premises, and (v) enforcement of security policies and procedures for the additions and maintenance of user access and rights to resources. However, because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, or to disable or degrade systems change frequently and are often not recognized until launched against a target, the Corporation may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate protective measures.

While most of our core data processing is conducted internally, certain key applications are outsourced to third party providers. If our third party providers encounter difficulties or if we have difficulty in communicating with such third parties, it will significantly affect our ability to adequately process and account for customer transactions, which would significantly affect our business operations and reputation.  Additionally, in recent years banking regulators have focused on the responsibilities of financial institutions to supervise vendors and other third-party service providers.  We may have to dedicate significant resources to manage risks and regulatory burdens presented by our relationship with vendors and third-party service providers, including our data processing and cybersecurity service providers.

We rely on other companies to provide key components of our business infrastructure.

Third parties provide key components of our businesses’ operations such as data processing, recording and monitoring transactions, online banking interfaces and services, internet connections, and network access. While we have selected these third-party vendors carefully, we do not control their actions. Any problem caused by these third parties, such as poor performance of services, failure to provide services, disruptions in communication services provided by a vendor, or failure to handle current or higher volumes could adversely affect the Corporation’s ability to deliver products and services to its customers and otherwise conduct its business, and may harm its reputation. Financial or operational difficulties of a third-party vendor could also hurt the Corporation’s operations if those difficulties affect the vendor’s ability to serve the Corporation. Replacing these third-party vendors could also create significant delay and expense. Accordingly, use of such third parties creates an unavoidable inherent risk to our businesses’ operations.

Our business is technology dependent, and an inability to successfully implement technological improvements may adversely affect our ability to be competitive and our results of operations and financial condition.

The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products, systems and services, which may require substantial initial investment to be implemented, including the cost of modifying or adapting existing products, systems and services. The Corporation invests in new technology to enhance customer service, and to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. Our future success will depend in part upon our ability to create synergies in our operations through the use of technology and to facilitate the ability of customers to engage in financial transactions in a manner that enhances the customer experience. We cannot give any assurance that technological improvements will increase operational efficiency or that we will be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products, systems and services or be successful in marketing new products and services to our customers.  A failure to maintain or enhance a competitive position with respect to technology, whether because of a failure to anticipate customer expectations, substantially fewer resources to invest in technological improvements than larger competitors, or because our technological developments fail to perform as desired or are not implemented in a timely manner, could result in higher operating costs, decreased customer satisfaction, and lower market share. An inability to effectively implement new technology and realize operational efficiencies could result in the loss of initial investments in such projects and higher operating costs. Either of these outcomes could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

We rely heavily on our management team and the unexpected loss of key officers may adversely affect our operations.

We believe that our growth and future success will depend in large part on the skills of our executive officers. We also depend upon the experience of the officers of our subsidiaries and on their relationships with the communities they

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serve. The loss of the services of one or more of these officers could disrupt our operations and impair our ability to implement our business strategy, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The success of our business strategies depends on our ability to identify and recruit individuals with experience and relationships in our primary markets.

The successful implementation of our business strategy will require us to continue to attract, hire, motivate and retain skilled personnel to develop new customer relationships as well as new financial products and services. The market for qualified management personnel is competitive, which has contributed to salary and employee benefit costs that have risen and are expected to continue to rise, which may have an adverse effect on the Corporation’s net income. In addition, the process of identifying and recruiting individuals with the combination of skills and attributes required to carry out our strategy is often lengthy, and we may not be able to effectively integrate these individuals into our operations. Our inability to identify, recruit and retain talented personnel to manage our operations effectively and in a timely manner could limit our growth, which could materially adversely affect our business.

Risks Related to the Regulation of the Corporation

Compliance with laws, regulations and supervisory guidance, both new and existing, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to numerous laws, regulations and supervision from both federal and state agencies. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could result in financial, structural and operational penalties, including receivership. In addition, establishing systems and processes to achieve compliance with these laws and regulations may increase our costs and/or limit our ability to pursue certain business opportunities.

Laws and regulations, and any interpretations and applications with respect thereto, generally are intended to benefit consumers, borrowers and depositors, but not stockholders. The legislative and regulatory environment is beyond our control, may change rapidly and unpredictably and may negatively influence our revenues, costs, earnings, and capital levels. Our success depends on our ability to maintain compliance with both existing and new laws and regulations.

Future legislation, regulation and government policy, particularly following changes in political leadership and policymakers in the federal government, could affect the banking industry as a whole, including the Corporation’s business and results of operations, in ways that are difficult to predict. In addition, the Corporation’s results of operations could be adversely affected by changes in the way in which existing statutes and regulations are interpreted or applied by courts and government agencies.

The CFPB may increase our regulatory compliance burden and could affect the consumer financial products and services that we offer.

The CFPB significantly influences consumer financial laws, regulation and policy through rulemaking related to enforcement of the Dodd-Frank Act’s prohibitions against unfair, deceptive and abusive consumer finance products or practices, which are directly affecting the business operations of financial institutions offering consumer financial products or services, including the Corporation.  This agency’s broad rulemaking authority includes identifying practices or acts that are unfair, deceptive or abusive in connection with any consumer financial transaction, financial product or service.  Although the CFPB has jurisdiction over banks with $10 billion or greater in assets, rules, regulations and policies issued by the CFPB may also apply to the Corporation or its subsidiaries by virtue of the adoption of such policies and practices by the Federal Reserve and the FDIC.  Further, the CFPB may include its own examiners in regulatory examinations by the Corporation’s primary regulators. The total costs, limitations and restrictions related to the CFPB may produce significant, material effects on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Our earnings are significantly affected by the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government and its agencies.

The policies of the Federal Reserve affect us significantly. The Federal Reserve regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States. Its policies directly and indirectly influence the rate of interest earned on loans and paid on borrowings and interest-bearing deposits and can also affect the value of financial instruments we hold. Those policies determine to a significant extent our cost of funds for lending and investing. Changes in those policies are beyond our control and are difficult to predict. Federal Reserve policies can also affect our borrowers, potentially increasing the risk that they may fail to repay their loans. For example, a tightening of the money supply by the Federal Reserve could reduce the demand for a borrower's products and services. This could adversely affect the borrower’s earnings and ability to repay a loan, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.  Alternatively, an expansion of the  money supply could make it easier for a borrower to obtain a loan from another financial institution at a lower interest rate, resulting in a payoff of that borrower’s higher rate loan with us, and which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

General Risk Factors

Our common stock price may be volatile, which could result in losses to our investors.

Our common stock price has been volatile in the past, and several factors could cause the price to fluctuate in the future. These factors include, but are not limited to, actual or anticipated variations in earnings, changes in analysts’ recommendations or projections with regard to our common stock or the markets and businesses in which we operate, operations and stock performance of other companies deemed to be our peers, and reports of trends and concerns and other issues related to the financial services industry. Fluctuations in our common stock price may be unrelated to our performance. General market declines or market volatility in the future, especially in the financial institutions sector, could adversely affect the price of our common stock, and the current market price may not be indicative of future market prices.

Future sales of our common stock by shareholders or the perception that those sales could occur may cause our common stock price to decline.

Although our common stock is listed for trading on NASDAQ Global Select Market, the trading volume in our common stock may be lower than that of other larger financial institutions. A public trading market having the desired characteristics of depth, liquidity and orderliness depends on the presence in the marketplace of willing buyers and sellers of the common stock at any given time. This presence depends on the individual decisions of investors and general economic and market conditions over which we have no control. Given the potential for lower relative trading volume in our common stock, significant sales of the common stock in the public market, or the perception that those sales may occur, could cause the trading price of our common stock to decline or to be lower than it otherwise might be in the absence of these sales or perceptions.

Future issuances of our common stock could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and could be dilutive.

We may issue additional shares of common stock or securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for, or that represent the right to receive, shares of our common stock. Issuances of a substantial number of shares of our common stock, or the expectation that such issuances might occur, including in connection with acquisitions, could materially adversely affect the market price of the shares of our common stock and could be dilutive to shareholders. Any decision we make to issue common stock in the future will depend on market conditions and other factors, and we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing, or nature of possible future issuances of our common stock. Accordingly, our shareholders bear the risk that future issuances of our securities will reduce the market price of the common stock and dilute their stock holdings in the Corporation.

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The Corporation’s dividends may not be sustained.

Although the Corporation has historically paid cash dividends to holders of its common stock, holders of common stock are not entitled to receive dividends.  Financial, regulatory or economic factors may cause the Corporation’s Board of Directors to consider, among other actions, the suspension or reduction of dividends paid on the Corporation’s common stock.  Furthermore, the Corporation is a bank holding company that conducts substantially all of its operations through its subsidiaries, including the Bank. As a result, the Corporation relies on dividends from the Bank for substantially all of its revenues. There are various regulatory restrictions on the ability of the Bank to pay dividends or make other payments to the Corporation, and the Corporation’s right to participate in a distribution of assets upon the Bank’s liquidation or reorganization is subject to the prior claims of the Bank’s creditors. If the Bank is unable to pay dividends to the Corporation, the Corporation may not be able to service its outstanding borrowings and other debt, pay its other obligations or pay a cash dividend to the holders of the Corporation’s common stock, and the Corporation’s business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

ITEM 1B.UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

The Corporation has no unresolved comments from the SEC staff.

ITEM 2.PROPERTIES

The following describes the location and general character of the principal offices and other materially important physical properties of the Corporation.

The main office of C&F Bank is located in West Point, VA. The operations center of C&F Bank, which includes the offices of the community banking segment’s loan, deposit and administrative functions, is located in Toano, Virginia.  Additionally, the community banking segment operates 30 branch offices. The community banking segment also operates four regional commercial lending offices in Virginia, two of which are situated at bank branch locations.  Of the 32 locations used as bank branches or commercial lending offices, 26 are owned by the community banking segment, 5 are leased from nonaffiliates and one is located in a loan production office of the mortgage banking segment.

The mortgage banking segment’s main administrative office and a loan production office are located in Midlothian, Virginia, in a building owned by C&F Bank that also houses a branch of C&F Bank.  In addition, the mortgage banking segment has 20 loan production offices, of which 3 in Virginia are located in C&F Bank branches and 17 are leased from nonaffiliates, including: 12 in Virginia, 1 in Maryland, 2 in North Carolina, 1 in South Carolina and 1 in West Virginia.  

The consumer finance segment’s headquarters and its loan and administrative functions and staff are located in Richmond, Virginia, in offices that are leased. The consumer finance segment expects to relocate its loan and administrative functions and staff into a building that it owns in Richmond, Virginia, upon completion of the building project in 2021.

All of the Corporation’s properties are in good operating condition and are adequate for the Corporation’s present and anticipated future needs.

ITEM 3.LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

The Corporation and its subsidiaries may be involved in certain litigation matters arising in the ordinary course of business. Although the ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be ascertained at this time, and the results of legal proceedings cannot be predicted with certainty, we believe, based on current knowledge, that the resolution of any such matters arising in the ordinary course of business will not have a material adverse effect on the Corporation.

ITEM 4.MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

None.

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INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

 

Name (Age)

Present Position

    

Business Experience

During Past Five Years

  

  

Thomas F. Cherry (52)

President and Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation and C&F Bank since 2019; President of the Corporation and C&F Bank since 2014; Director of the Corporation and C&F Bank since 2015; Secretary of the Corporation and C&F Bank from 2002 to 2018; Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation and C&F Bank from 2004 to 2016

 

 

Larry G. Dillon (68)

Executive Chairman

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Corporation and C&F Bank since 1989; Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation and C&F Bank from 1989 to 2018; President of the Corporation and C&F Bank from 1989 to 2014  

 

 

Jason E. Long (41)

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation and C&F Bank since 2020; Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation and C&F Bank from 2016 to 2020; Secretary of the Corporation and C&F Bank since 2019; First Vice President of C&F Bank from 2014 to 2016; Various positions, most recently Principal from April 2013 through September 2014, at the accounting firm of Yount, Hyde & Barbour, P.C. since 2002, focusing on the financial services industry

Bryan E. McKernon (64)

President and Chief Executive Officer,

C&F Mortgage

President and Chief Executive Officer of C&F Mortgage since 1995; Director of C&F Bank since 1998

S. Dustin Crone (52)

President and Chief Executive Officer, C&F Finance

Chief Executive Officer of C&F Finance since 2020; President of C&F Finance since 2010

John A. Seaman, III (63)

Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer,

C&F Bank

Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of C&F Bank since 2011

PART II

ITEM 5.MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

The Corporation’s common stock is listed for trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market of the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “CFFI.” As of March 2, 2021, there were approximately 3,000 shareholders of our common stock. As of that date, the closing price of our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Stock Market was $42.66.  

Payment of dividends is at the discretion of the Corporation’s Board of Directors and is subject to various federal and state regulatory limitations. For further information regarding payment of dividends refer to Item 1. “Business,” under the heading “Limits on Dividends.”  In making its decision on the payment of dividends on the Corporation’s common

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stock, the Corporation’s Board of Directors considers operating results, financial condition, capital adequacy, regulatory requirements, shareholder returns, and other factors.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The Corporation’s Board of Directors authorized a program, effective November 17, 2020, to repurchase up to 365,000 shares of the Corporation’s common stock through November 30, 2021 (the Repurchase Program). Repurchases under the Repurchase Program may be made through privately negotiated transactions or open market transactions, including pursuant to a trading plan in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 and/or Rule 10b-18 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and shares repurchased will be returned to the status of authorized and unissued shares of common stock. As of December 31, 2020, the Corporation has made aggregate common stock repurchases of 7,459 shares for an aggregate cost of $275,000 under the Repurchase Program. The Corporation’s previous share repurchase program expired on May 31, 2020.

The following table summarizes repurchases of the Corporation’s common stock that occurred during the three months ended December 31, 2020.

 

    

    

    

    

Maximum Number

 

(or Approximate

 

Total Number of

Dollar Value) of

 

Shares Purchased as

Shares that May Yet

 

Part of Publicly

Be Purchased

 

Total Number of

Average Price Paid

Announced Plans or

Under the Plans or

 

Shares Purchased1 

per Share

Programs

Programs

 

October 1, 2020 - October 31, 2020

228

$

30.30

November 1, 2020 - November 30, 2020

$

365,000

December 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020

11,817

$

36.89

7,459

357,541

Total

 

12,045

$

36.76

 

7,459

1During the three months ended December 31, 2020, 4,586 shares were withheld upon the vesting of restricted shares granted to employees of the Corporation and its subsidiaries in order to satisfy tax withholding obligations.

 

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ITEM 6.SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

Five Year Financial Summary

(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

 

Financial Condition:

Total assets1

$

2,086,310

$

1,657,432

$

1,521,411

$

1,509,056

$

1,451,992

Securities, available for sale

286,389

189,733

214,910

218,976

210,026

Loans held for sale

214,266

90,500

41,895

55,384

52,027

Loans (net of allowance for loan losses)

 

1,313,250

 

1,082,318

 

1,028,097

 

992,062

 

962,674

Total deposits

 

1,752,173

 

1,291,250

 

1,181,661

 

1,171,429

 

1,119,921

Total borrowings

76,169

161,170

159,691

167,860

164,567

Total equity

 

194,471

 

165,279

 

151,958

 

141,702

 

139,214

Results of Operations:

Interest income

$

96,913

$

95,010

$

92,548

$

89,593

$

89,439

Interest expense

 

13,382

 

14,556

 

11,027

 

9,601

 

8,968

Net interest income

 

83,531

 

80,454

 

81,521

 

79,992

 

80,471

Provision for loan losses

 

11,080

 

8,515

 

11,006

 

16,435

 

18,040

Net interest income after provision for loan losses

 

72,451

 

71,939

 

70,515

 

63,557

 

62,431

Noninterest income

 

55,418

 

32,012

 

26,368

 

27,232

 

26,047

Noninterest expenses

 

98,650

 

80,019

 

74,342

 

72,823

 

70,560

Income before taxes

 

29,219

 

23,932

 

22,541

 

17,966

 

17,918

Income tax expense2

 

6,795

 

5,082

 

4,521

 

11,394

 

4,459

Net income2

$

22,424

$

18,850

$

18,020

$

6,572

$

13,459

Share Data:

Earnings per share—basic2

$

6.06

$

5.47

$

5.15

$

1.89

$

3.90

Earnings per share—assuming dilution2

 

6.06

 

5.47

 

5.15

 

1.88

 

3.89

Dividends per share

 

1.52

 

1.49

 

1.41

 

1.33

 

1.29

Weighted average number of shares—basic

3,648,696

3,450,745

3,501,221

3,486,510

3,454,282

Weighted average number of shares—assuming dilution

 

3,648,696

 

3,450,745

 

3,501,221

 

3,486,589

 

3,455,883

Significant Ratios:

Net interest margin

4.65

%  

5.52

%  

5.80

%  

5.99

6.30

%

Return on average assets2

 

1.14

 

1.20

 

1.19

 

0.45

 

0.96

Return on average equity2

 

12.54

 

12.02

 

12.40

 

4.58

 

9.90

Dividend payout ratio2

 

25.08

 

27.24

 

27.38

 

70.37

 

33.08

Average equity to average assets

 

9.10

 

10.02

 

9.63

 

9.82

 

9.65

Asset Quality:

Allowance for loan losses (ALL)

Community banking

$

15,035

$

10,482

$

10,426

$

10,775

$

11,115

Mortgage banking

608

598

598

598

598

Consumer finance

23,513

21,793

22,999

24,353

25,353

Ratio of ALL to total loans

Community banking

1.46

%  

1.31

%  

1.37

%  

1.47

1.61

%

Mortgage banking

8.38

12.88

17.19

18.22

18.26

Consumer finance

7.53

6.96

7.77

8.34

8.33

Ratio of ALL to total loans, excluding purchased loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans

Community banking

1.74

%

1.36

%

1.37

%

1.48

%

1.63

%

1On January 1, 2019, the Corporation adopted Accounting Standards Update 2016-02, “Leases (Topic 842)” on a modified restrospective basis, which resulted in recognition of a lease liability of approximately $3.14 million and a corresponding right-of-use asset. Periods prior to January 1, 2019 have not been restated.
2In connection with the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate as a result of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Corporation recognized a one-time remeasurement of its federal net deferred tax asset in 2017, which resulted in additional income tax expense and a decrease in net income of $6.6 million.

On January 1, 2020, the Corporation completed the acquisition of Peoples and its banking subsidiary, Peoples Community Bank for an aggregate purchase price of $22.19 million of cash and stock, which added total assets of $190.6 million.

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ITEM 7.MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion supplements and provides information about the major components of the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and capital resources of the Corporation. This discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the accompanying consolidated financial statements.  In addition to current and historical information, the following discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to our future business, financial condition or results of operations. For a description of certain factors that may have a significant impact on our future business, financial condition or results of operations, see “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” prior to Item 1. “Business.”

OVERVIEW

Our primary financial goals are to maximize the Corporation’s earnings and to deploy capital in profitable growth initiatives that will enhance long-term shareholder value. We track three primary financial performance measures in order to assess the level of success in achieving these goals: (1) return on average assets (ROA), (2) return on average equity (ROE), and (3) growth in earnings.  In addition to these financial performance measures, we track the performance of the Corporation’s three principal business segments: community banking, mortgage banking, and consumer finance.  We also actively manage our capital through growth, dividends and share repurchases, while considering the need to maintain a strong capital position.

Financial Performance Measures

Consolidated net income for the Corporation was $22.4 million in 2020, or $6.06 per share assuming dilution, compared to $18.9 million in 2019, or $5.47 per share assuming dilution, and $18.0 million in 2018, or $5.15 per share assuming dilution.  The Corporation’s ROE and ROA were 12.54 percent and 1.14 percent, respectively, for 2020, compared to 12.02 percent and 1.20 percent, respectively, for 2019 and 12.40 percent and 1.19 percent, respectively, for 2018. 

Consolidated net income for 2020 and 2019 were affected by certain items that management does not expect to have an ongoing impact on consolidated net income, including a gain upon sale of a pool of purchased credit impaired (PCI) loans in 2020, charges related to early repayment of borrowings in 2020, merger related expenses incurred in connection with the Corporation’s acquisition of Peoples Bankshares, Incorporated (Peoples) recorded in 2020 and 2019, impairment charges related to branch consolidation in 2020, and provisions of the CARES Act, which provided income tax benefits related to prior tax years.  Excluding the effects of these items, adjusted net income for 2020 was $22.4 million, or $6.06 per share, compared to $19.5 million, or $5.66 per share, for 2019 and $18.0 million, or $5.15 per share, for 2018.  Adjusted ROE and adjusted ROA were 12.54 percent and 1.14 percent, respectively, for 2020, compared to 12.44 percent and 1.25 percent, respectively, for 2019 and 12.40 percent and 1.19 percent, respectively, for 2018.  Refer to “Use of Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures,” below, for a reconciliation of adjusted net income, adjusted earnings per share, adjusted ROE and adjusted ROA, which are non-GAAP financial measures, to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

Consolidated net income and earnings per share increased 19.0 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively, for 2020, compared to 2019.  Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share increased 15.0 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively, for 2020, compared to 2019.  The increase in adjusted earnings per share for 2020 compared to 2019 is due primarily to higher mortgage banking segment net income, partially offset by higher provision for loan losses at the community banking segment, and the issuance of 209,871 shares of common stock in connection with the acquisition of Peoples.  

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Impact of and Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant disruption in economic activity worldwide, and has had a significant impact on businesses and consumers in our market areas and on our results of operations, which the Corporation expects to continue.  Many businesses temporarily closed or reduced their availability at the beginning of the pandemic; and while many people have returned to work, the U.S. unemployment rate remained elevated at 6.7 percent in December 2020, after having reached 14.7 percent in April 2020.  Additional unemployment issues may be obscured given the government relief programs that have been made available during late 2020 and early 2021 to assist those in need.  There remains substantial uncertainty about critical factors that may affect the economy and employment, including the severity and duration of the pandemic; the availability and pace of vaccinations, the pace of economic recovery when the pandemic subsides, potential re-tightening of policies that had previously allowed businesses to open; any further government stimulus efforts, including the nature, timing and extent of such stimulus; and the timing of reopening of schools, many of which are currently being conducted virtually.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents significant risks and uncertainties to our businesses; however, at this time we cannot determine the ultimate impact of the pandemic on the results of operations of the Corporation.  The federal government and state and local governments have responded to this crisis with unprecedented relief efforts and economic stimulus.  We cannot predict the duration or severity of the pandemic, the extent of government intervention during and following the pandemic or the effects the pandemic will have on the Corporation.  We believe that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our results of operations may be impacted by elevated loan losses, net interest margin compression and falling demand for loans.

Risks to Results of Operations

Elevated loan losses. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses and consumers in our market areas.  Many businesses temporarily or permanently closed or have faced declines in revenue since the beginning of the pandemic as consumers were instructed to stay at home.  Even as many businesses have reopened, restrictions remain, including limited gathering sizes.  This disruption has caused employers to lay off or reduce compensation of certain employees, and has caused some people not to receive steady incomes because they are not able to work due to illness or having to care for children or family members, resulting in many households facing reduced income.  Commercial and consumer borrowers affected by the pandemic may not be able to make timely payments on loans, which may lead to an increase in delinquencies or defaults and may ultimately result in increases in net charge-offs and provision for loan losses.  Furthermore, collateral values may decline as a result of decreased economic activity and increased uncertainty during the crisis, which may contribute to an increase in loan losses during and after the pandemic.

In 2020, the Corporation recorded additional provision for loan losses of approximately $8.0 million as a result of asset quality deterioration that is expected to arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic disruption.  Management continues to monitor changes in economic conditions and asset quality resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.  If conditions deteriorate further, then additional provision for loan losses may be required in future periods.

Net interest margin compression.  Since December 31, 2019, the FOMC has reduced its benchmark interest rate target to near zero by announcing rate cuts of 50 basis points on March 3, 2020 and 100 basis points on March 15, 2020.  Treasury yields for all maturities are also lower since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Lower market interest rates have resulted in lower average yields on all classes of earning assets.  While average costs of deposits and borrowings have also decreased, and we expect the average cost of time deposits to continue to decrease due to the repricing of time deposits at maturity, those factors may not offset the effect on net interest margin of lower yields on earning assets.

Falling demand for loans. As businesses and consumers have been affected by the pandemic, new investment and consumer spending may decline, resulting in lower demand for loans.  Our recent performance and strategic planning have depended, in part, on growth in lending at the community banking segment, and we have invested in expanding our commercial lending team.  While loans outstanding at the community banking segment grew during 2020 (which included loans originated under the PPP), there can be no assurance that loan growth will continue during or after the pandemic.  

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Lower demand for loans in our markets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with lower interest rates on new loans, may negatively impact interest income from loans.

Impairment of securities and goodwill.  A broad decrease in economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to affect tax revenues of states and political subdivisions, the pandemic has required increased health and safety expenditures by states and political subdivisions, and increased uncertainty has resulted in volatility in the market price of investments.  The Corporation holds securities issued by states and political subdivisions that may experience shortfalls in general revenues or an inability to repay obligations when due as a result of the crisis. Additionally, the Corporation holds debt securities of corporate issuers whose financial condition may be adversely impacted by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  There is a risk that these securities may become impaired, which would have a negative impact on the Corporation’s results of operations.  Additionally, depending on the severity and duration of the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Corporation’s goodwill allocated to the community banking segment may become impaired, which would have a negative impact on the Corporation’s results of operations.

2021 Outlook

Management’s overall outlook for 2021 is relatively positive given our diversified business strategy; however, we will be affected by many challenges in 2021, including the COVID-19 pandemic and limited availability and distribution of vaccines, cyber security and fraud prevention, the low interest rate environment and the impacts of the changing social and political landscapes. These uncertainties could potentially lead to a continued economic downturn, fraud losses, further margin compression, asset quality deterioration and regulatory actions. The following additional factors could influence our financial performance in 2021:

Community Banking: Growth in higher-yielding earning assets, specifically loans, will continue to be our primary focus at the Bank during 2021.  Despite the issues faced during 2020, our growing lending team continued focus on commercial lending and our completion of the acquisition of Peoples contributed to growth in our loan portfolio during 2020.  Growth in loans also included PPP loans, many of which may be repaid or forgiven by the SBA during 2021.  While our asset quality remains strong, we do expect some deterioration in asset quality as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In 2021, we will continue to explore expansion opportunities and we will continue to add to our digital services platform by leveraging our treasury solutions team, branch network, and commercial relationship managers to communicate the benefits of our mobile business services to our existing and potential customers. We also intend to introduce contactless debit cards to customers during 2021, further enhancing our customers’ experience.

Mortgage Banking: C&F Mortgage generates significant noninterest income from the origination and sale of residential loan products into the secondary market. In 2020, a favorable interest rate environment and an extremely active housing market contributed to record loan production, subsequent gains on sales of loans and ancillary fee income at the mortgage banking segment. Revenue from mortgage lender services offered through C&F Mortgage’s Lender Solutions division also reached record levels due to new customers and higher loan production volume. Loan production and revenue in 2021 are highly uncertain and will depend on economic conditions and market factors beyond our control, including the COVID-19 pandemic, interest rates, housing inventory and loan demand. In addition, during 2021, C&F Mortgage anticipates it will continue to (1) compete to retain and attract qualified loan officers, (2) invest in technology to further enhance our fully digital application and document collection process and (3) grow our Lender Solutions division.

Consumer Finance: C&F Finance provides automobile financing through programs that are designed to serve customers in the non-prime sector and marine and RV financing for borrowers in the prime sector. As has been the case for the last several years, competition in the non-prime automobile loan business remains aggressive, resulting in lower interest rates and in many cases, less restrictive underwriting standards by several of our competitors. We expect organic loan growth to continue to be challenging in 2021.  Credit quality has consistently improved since we strengthened our underwriting standards in 2016, and as a result we have experienced a sustained decline in annual charge offs as a percentage of average loans that continued in 2020.  However, we do anticipate some deterioration in asset quality in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,

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and particularly the potential impacts of the pandemic on nonprime automobile borrowers. We continued to grow our marine and RV loan portfolio in 2020 and remain committed to only purchasing prime contracts in this segment, which should result in lower loan losses for these higher credit quality borrowers.  During the second quarter of 2021, we plan to relocate our C&F Finance corporate headquarters to a new, larger facility in Richmond, Virginia.

Principal Business Segments

An overview of the financial results for each of the Corporation’s principal segments is presented below. A more detailed discussion is included in the section “Results of Operations.”

Community Banking:  The community banking segment reported net income of $5.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to net income of $9.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. Previously, the community banking segment was referred to as the retail banking segment.  There have been no changes to the composition of the community banking segment.

The decrease in community banking segment net income for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 was due primarily to (1) lower average yields on loans; (2) higher provision for loan losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic disruption; (3) higher operating expenses, including the effects of (a) assuming certain operating costs of Peoples, which was acquired by the Corporation on January 1, 2020, including costs that have been eliminated following the integration of its operations into the Bank’s, (b) opening two new financial centers in the third quarter of 2020 and (c) investing in technology infrastructure to support continued growth; (4) early debt repayment charges of $2.2 million incurred in connection with the payoff of borrowings of $44.5 million; (5) lower interest income on excess cash reserves; (6) higher merger related expenses in connection with the acquisition of Peoples; (7) higher interest expense on deposits as a result of higher average deposit balances; and (8) a $281,000 write-down of assets in connection with the consolidation of the Bank’s former main office in West Point, VA into a nearby branch office and the donation of the building to the Town of West Point; partially offset by (1) a gain of $3.5 million on the sale of a pool of PCI loans; (2) higher average loans outstanding, which contributed to higher interest income on loans; (3) higher interchange income; and (4) income tax benefits of $326,000 related to prior tax years of Peoples as a result of favorable net operating loss carryback treatment under the CARES Act.

Average loans increased $216.5 million, or 27.8 percent, for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the year ended December 31, 2019.  These increases included $99.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 of average balances of loans acquired in the acquisition of Peoples, and $59.7 million of average balances of loans originated under the PPP.  In addition to increases resulting from the acquisition of Peoples and the PPP, the increase in average loans outstanding for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 resulted from growth in the commercial real estate and commercial business lending segments of the loan portfolio.  Average loan yields were lower for 2020 compared to 2019 due to repricing of variable rate loans and lower average yields on new lending, including PPP loans.  The recognition of interest income on PCI loans is based on management’s expectation of future payments of principal and interest, which is inherently uncertain. Earlier than expected repayments of certain PCI loans resulted in the recognition of additional interest income during 2020 and 2019. Interest income recognized on PCI loans was $3.0 million and $3.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

C&F Bank’s total nonperforming assets were $3.9 million at December 31, 2020, compared to $2.6 million at December 31, 2019. Nonperforming assets at December 31, 2020 included $3.0 million in nonaccrual loans, compared to $1.5 million at December 31, 2019 and included $907,000 in other real estate owned, compared to $1.1 million at December 31, 2019.  The increase in nonaccrual loans compared to December 31, 2019 is due primarily to the downgrading of one commercial relationship in the fourth quarter of 2020, partially offset by payoffs.  Nonaccrual loans were comprised primarily of one commercial relationship at December 31, 2020 and were comprised primarily of residential mortgages and equity lines at December 31, 2019.  The community banking segment recorded provision for loan losses of $4.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $360,000, for the year ended December 31, 2019.  During the year ended December 31, 2020, the allowance for loan losses increased primarily as a result of reserves based on qualitative adjustments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and due to loan growth.  As of December 31, 2020, compared to December

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31, 2019, there have not been significant changes in the overall credit quality of the loan portfolio, although management believes the effects of PPP loans, payment deferrals and government stimulus may be delaying signs of credit deterioration. Management believes that the level of the allowance for loan losses is sufficient to absorb losses inherent in the portfolio.  However, if there is further deterioration in economic conditions, additional provision may be required in future periods.  

Mortgage Banking: The mortgage banking segment reported net income of $10.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to net income of $3.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.

The increase in net income of the mortgage banking segment for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 was due primarily to higher gains on sales of loans and mortgage banking fee income, resulting from higher margins and record loan production, higher mortgage lender services income for providing mortgage origination functions to third parties, and higher net interest income due to higher balances of loans held for sale.  Partially offsetting these factors were higher expenses tied to loan production, including compensation expense, loan processing expense and data processing expense. Mortgage loan originations for the mortgage banking segment were $1.8 billion and $944.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.  Loan production for the year ended December 31, 2020 was the highest reported by the mortgage banking segment for any calendar year in the Corporation’s history.  Lower interest rates on mortgage loans have contributed to an increase in volume in the broader mortgage industry in the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the same period in the prior year.  Mortgage loan originations for the mortgage banking segment during the year ended December 31, 2020 for refinancings and home purchases were $917.5 million and $854.5 million, respectively, compared to $224.9 million and $719.2 million, respectively, during the year ended December 31, 2019.  

Consumer Finance: The consumer finance segment reported net income of $7.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to net income of $6.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.

The increase in net income of the consumer finance segment for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 was due primarily to lower provision for loan losses as a result of lower net charge-offs and a decrease in interest expense due to lower average cost of borrowings, partially offset by lower interest income due to lower average yields on loans. The average yield on loans for the year ended December 31, 2020 was lower compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 due to continued competition in the non-prime automobile loan business, including the effect of a lower interest rate environment, and the consumer finance segment’s pursuing growth in higher quality, lower yielding loans, which include prime marine and recreational vehicle (RV) loans.

The net charge-off ratio for 2020 decreased to 1.54 percent from 3.05 percent for 2019. The decline reflects a lower number of charge-offs during 2020, due to improvement in loan performance, and lower losses per loan charged off as a result of a strong used car market.  Improvement in loan performance has resulted from C&F Finance Company continuing to purchase higher quality loans as well as borrowers benefitting from the government’s stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020.  C&F Finance Company offers payment deferrals at times to non-prime automobile borrowers as a management technique to achieve higher ultimate cash collections.  C&F Finance Company offered a higher number of payment deferrals during the first and second quarters of 2020 to borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as of December 31, 2020, most borrowers who received a deferral had resumed making payments and were current.  The average amount deferred on a monthly basis during the fourth quarter of 2020 and the year ended December 31, 2020 was 1.56 percent and 2.93 percent of non-prime automobile loans outstanding, compared to 1.87 percent and 1.90 percent during the same periods in 2019.  At December 31, 2020, total delinquent loans, which does not include loans that have been granted a payment deferral, as a percentage of total loans was 3.08 percent, compared to 2.48 percent at September 30, 2020 and 4.17 percent at December 31, 2019. The allowance for loan losses was $23.5 million, or 7.53 percent of total loans at December 31, 2020, compared to $21.8 million, or 6.96 percent of total loans at December 31, 2019. The increase in the level of the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total loans is a result of reserves based on qualitative adjustments to reflect losses that management believes are probable as a result of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Management believes that the level of the allowance for loan losses is sufficient to absorb losses inherent in the portfolio.  However, if there is further deterioration in economic conditions, additional provision may be required in future periods.  

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Other: The remaining components included in the consolidated results of operations of the Corporation are comprised primarily of net losses associated with holding company expenses of the Corporation, partially offset by the net income of C&F Wealth Management.  These components reported aggregate net losses of $1.4 million and $1.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.  The lower net loss during 2020, compared to 2019, was primarily due to higher net wealth management services income and lower merger related expenses recorded at the holding company during 2020.

Acquisition of Peoples Bankshares, Incorporated: On January 1, 2020, the Corporation completed the acquisition of Peoples and its banking subsidiary, Peoples Community Bank for an aggregate purchase price of $22.2 million of cash and stock.  For the year ended December 31, 2020, the Corporation recorded merger related expenses of $1.4 million ($1.1 million after income taxes), of which $1.3 million (1.0 million after income taxes) was allocated to the community banking segment and $100,000 ($100,000 after income taxes) was recorded as a holding company expense.  For the year ended December 31, 2019, the Corporation recorded merger related expenses of $709,000 ($653,000 after income taxes), of which $236,000 ($196,000 after income taxes) was allocated to the community banking segment and the remainder was recorded as a holding company expense.  In the aggregate, in connection with the acquisition of Peoples, the Corporation recorded merger related expenses of $2.1 million ($1.8 million after income taxes).

Capital Management and Dividends

Total equity was $194.5 million at December 31, 2020, compared to $165.3 million at December 31, 2019.  Capital growth resulted primarily from earnings for the year ended December 31, 2020 and the issuance of $11.6 million of common equity in connection with the acquisition of Peoples on January 1, 2020, which was partially offset by cash dividends during 2020.  On September 29, 2020, the Corporation completed the issuance of $20.0 million in aggregate principal amount of subordinated notes due in 2030, which are included in Tier 2 capital of the Corporation for regulatory purposes.  The subordinated notes will initially bear interest at a fixed rate of 4.875% for five years and at the three month SOFR plus 475.5 basis points thereafter.  The Corporation assumed $4.0 million in outstanding principal of subordinated notes in connection with the acquisition of Peoples, which are also included in Tier 2 capital of the Corporation for regulatory purposes.

The Corporation’s Board of Directors continued its historical practice of paying dividends in 2020. For the year ended December 31, 2020, the Corporation declared dividends of $1.52 per share. Annual dividends per share increased 2.0 percent over dividends of $1.49 per share declared in 2019.  The Board of Directors of the Corporation continually reviews the amount of cash dividends per share and the resulting dividend payout ratio in light of changes in economic conditions, current and future capital levels and requirements and expected future earnings. In making its decision on the payment of dividends on the Corporation’s common stock, the Corporation’s Board of Directors considers operating results, financial condition, capital adequacy, regulatory requirements, shareholder returns, and other factors.

On November 17, 2020, the Board of Directors of the Corporation authorized a program, effective November 17, 2020, to repurchase up to 365,000 shares of the Corporation’s common stock (the Repurchase Program) through November 30, 2021.  Repurchases under the program may be made through privately negotiated transactions or open market transactions, including pursuant to a trading plan in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 and/or Rule 10b-18 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and shares repurchased will be returned to the status of authorized and unissued shares of common stock. The Corporation’s previous share repurchase program expired on May 31, 2020 and the Corporation had made aggregate common stock repurchases of $2.1 million under the previous repurchase program.  As of December 31, 2020, the Corporation has made aggregate common stock repurchases of 7,459 shares for an aggregate cost of $275,000 under the Repurchase Program.  At December 31, 2020, the book value per share of the Corporation’s common stock was $52.80, and tangible book value per share was $45.32, compared to $48.07 and $43.61, respectively, at December 31, 2019.

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CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES

The preparation of financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions. Those accounting policies with the greatest uncertainty and that require management’s most difficult, subjective or complex judgments affecting the application of these policies, and the greatest likelihood that materially different amounts would be reported under different conditions, or using different assumptions, are described below.

Allowance for Loan Losses: We establish the allowance for loan losses through charges to earnings in the form of a provision for loan losses. Loan losses are charged against the allowance when we believe that the collection of the principal is unlikely. Subsequent recoveries of losses previously charged against the allowance are credited to the allowance. The allowance represents an amount that, in our judgment, will be adequate to absorb probable losses inherent in the loan portfolio. Our judgment in determining the level of the allowance is based on evaluations of the collectibility of loans while taking into consideration such factors as trends in delinquencies and charge-offs for relevant periods of time, changes in the nature and volume of the loan portfolio, current economic conditions that may affect a borrower’s ability to repay and the value of collateral, overall portfolio quality and review of specific potential losses. This evaluation is inherently subjective because it requires estimates that are susceptible to significant revision as more information becomes available.  

Impairment of Loans: We consider a loan impaired when it is probable that the Corporation will be unable to collect all interest and principal payments as scheduled in the loan agreement. We do not consider a loan impaired during a period of delay in payment if we expect the ultimate collection of all amounts due. We measure impairment on a loan-by-loan basis based on either the present value of expected future cash flows discounted at the loan’s effective interest rate, the loan’s obtainable market price, or the fair value of the collateral if the loan is collateral dependent. Large groups of smaller balance homogeneous loans are collectively evaluated for impairment. We maintain a valuation allowance to the extent that the measure of the impaired loan is less than the recorded investment in the loan. All troubled debt restructurings (TDRs) are also considered impaired loans and are evaluated individually. A TDR occurs when we agree to significantly modify the original terms of a loan by granting a concession due to the deterioration in the financial condition of the borrower. For more information see the section titled “Asset Quality” within Item 7.

Loans Acquired in a Business Combination: Acquired loans are classified as either  (i) PCI loans or (ii) purchased performing loans and are recorded at fair value on the date of acquisition.

PCI loans are those for which there is evidence of credit deterioration since origination and for which it is probable at the date of acquisition that the Corporation will not collect all contractually required principal and interest payments. When determining fair value, PCI loans are aggregated into pools of loans based on common risk characteristics as of the date of acquisition such as loan type, date of origination, and evidence of credit quality deterioration such as internal risk grades and past due and nonaccrual status. The difference between contractually required payments at acquisition and the cash flows expected to be collected at acquisition is referred to as the “nonaccretable difference.” Any excess of cash flows expected at acquisition over the estimated fair value is referred to as the “accretable yield” and is recognized as interest income over the remaining life of the loan when there is a reasonable expectation about the amount and timing of such cash flows.

On a quarterly basis, we evaluate our estimate of cash flows expected to be collected on PCI loans. Estimates of cash flows for PCI loans require significant judgment. Subsequent decreases to the expected cash flows will generally result in a provision for loan losses resulting in an increase to the allowance for loan losses. Subsequent significant increases in cash flows may result in a reversal of post-acquisition provision for loan losses or a transfer from nonaccretable difference to accretable yield that increases interest income over the remaining life of the loan, or pool(s) of loans. Disposals of loans, which may include sale of loans to third parties, receipt of payments in full or in part from the borrower or foreclosure of the collateral, result in removal of the loan from the PCI loan portfolio at its carrying amount.

PCI loans are not classified as nonperforming by the Corporation at the time they are acquired, regardless of whether they had been classified as nonperforming by the previous holder of such loans, and they will not be classified as nonperforming so long as, at quarterly re-estimation periods, we believe we will fully collect the new carrying value of

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the pools of loans.

The Corporation accounts for purchased performing loans using the contractual cash flows method of recognizing discount accretion based on the acquired loans’ contractual cash flows. Purchased performing loans are recorded at fair value, including a credit discount.  The fair value discount is accreted as an adjustment to yield over the estimated lives of the loans. There is no allowance for loan losses established at the acquisition date for purchased performing loans. A provision for loan losses may be required for any deterioration in these loans in future periods.

Goodwill: The Corporation's goodwill was recognized in connection with past business combinations and is reported at the community banking segment and the consumer finance segment. The Corporation reviews the carrying value of goodwill at least annually or more frequently if certain impairment indicators exist. In testing goodwill for impairment, the Corporation may first consider qualitative factors to determine whether the existence of events or circumstances lead to a determination that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If, after assessing the totality of events and circumstances, we conclude that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then no further testing is required and the goodwill of the reporting unit is not impaired. If the Corporation elects to bypass the qualitative assessment or if we conclude that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then the fair value of the reporting unit is compared with its carrying value to determine whether an impairment exists.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the Corporation elected to bypass the qualitative assessment and performed a test of goodwill for impairment at the community banking segment and the consumer finance segment by measuring the fair value of each reporting unit at the testing date and comparing to their respective carrying values. Management concluded that no impairment existed as of December 31, 2020 and that the fair value of the consumer finance segment substantially exceeded its carrying value.  The fair value of the community banking segment exceeded its carrying value by $8.8 million or approximately 6 percent. Management measured the fair value of the community banking segment  based on correlated indications of value using an income approach (discounted cash flows) and market approach (capitalized forward earnings, capitalized tangible book value and observed transaction multiples of tangible book value). The measurement of fair value was dependent upon management’s expectation of future earnings of the community banking segment, which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic disruption, as well as management’s understanding and expectations regarding pricing of bank mergers and acquisitions during and after the pandemic.  The impacts on the earnings of the community banking segment of the pandemic include recognition of higher provisions for loan losses and a decrease in net interest margin. Management’s estimate of the fair value of the community banking segment may be negatively impacted if adverse effects of the pandemic on loan losses and net interest margin are greater than management expects them to be in future periods.

Income Taxes: Determining the Corporation’s effective tax rate requires judgment. The Corporation’s net deferred tax asset is determined annually based on temporary differences between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities that will result in taxable or deductible amounts in the future based on enacted tax laws and rates applicable to the periods in which the differences are expected to affect taxable income. In addition, there may be transactions and calculations for which the ultimate tax outcomes are uncertain and the Corporation’s tax returns are subject to audit by various tax authorities. Although we believe that estimates related to income taxes are reasonable, no assurance can be given that the final tax outcome will not be materially different than that which is reflected in the consolidated financial statements.

For further information concerning accounting policies, refer to Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” under the heading “Note 1: Summary of Significant Accounting Policies.”

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

NET INTEREST INCOME

The following table shows the average balance sheets, the amounts of interest earned on earning assets, with related yields, and interest expense on interest-bearing liabilities, with related rates, for each of the years ended December 31,

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2020, 2019 and 2018. Loans include loans held for sale. Loans placed on a nonaccrual status are included in the balances and are included in the computation of yields, but had no material effect. Accretion and amortization of fair value purchase adjustments related to business combinations are included in the computation of yields on loans and investments and on the costs of deposits and borrowings. The accretion contributed approximately 34 basis points and 23 basis points to the yields on community banking segment loans and total loans, respectively, and 18 basis points to both the yield on interest earning assets and net interest margin for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to approximately 44 basis points and 29 basis points to the yields on community banking segment loans and total loans, respectively, and 23 basis points to both the yield on interest earning assets and net interest margin for the year ended December 31, 2019, and approximately 41 basis points and 28 basis points to the yields on community banking segment loans and total loans, respectively, and 21 basis points to both the yield on interest earning assets and the net interest margin for the year ended December 31, 2018.  Interest on tax-exempt loans and securities is presented on a taxable-equivalent basis (which converts the income on loans and investments for which no income taxes are paid to the equivalent yield as if income taxes were paid) using the federal corporate income tax rate of 21 percent that was applicable for all periods presented.

TABLE 1: Average Balances, Income and Expense, Yields and Rates

   

2020

    

2019

    

2018

    

Average

    

Income/

    

Yield/

Average

    

Income/

    

Yield/

Average

    

Income/

    

Yield/

(Dollars in thousands)

Balance

   

Expense

   

Rate

Balance

   

Expense

   

Rate

Balance

   

Expense

   

Rate

Assets

Securities: