SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
For the fiscal year ended
For the transition period from to .
Commission File Number
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class:
Name of each exchange on which registered:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes◻
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◻
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.
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).
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 ◻
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
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.
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ◻
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule12b-2 of the Act). Yes
The aggregate market value of the 9,037,317 shares of common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the closing sale price of the registrant’s common stock on June 30, 2020 of $6.48 per share was $
(APPLICABLE ONLY TO CORPORATE REGISTRANTS)
Indicate the number of shares outstanding for each of the registrant’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.
As of March 12, 2021, there were issued and outstanding
Documents incorporated by reference:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Caution Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as other periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and written or oral communications made from time to time by or on behalf of Severn Bancorp and its subsidiaries (the “Company”), may contain statements relating to future events or future results of the Company that are considered “forward-looking statements” under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “estimate,” “intend,” and “potential,” or words of similar meaning, or future or conditional verbs such as “should,” “could,” or “may.” Forward-looking statements include statements of our goals, intentions and expectations; statements regarding our business plans, prospects, growth, and operating strategies; statements regarding the quality of our loan and investment portfolios; and estimates of our risks and future costs and benefits.
Forward-looking statements reflect our expectation or prediction of future conditions, events, or results based on information currently available. These forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks identified in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the following:
|●||general business and economic conditions nationally or in the markets that the Company serves could adversely affect, among other things, real estate prices, unemployment levels, and consumer and business confidence, which could lead to decreases in the demand for loans, deposits, and other financial services that we provide and increases in loan delinquencies and defaults;|
|●||changes or volatility in the capital markets and interest rates may adversely impact the value of securities, loans, deposits, and other financial instruments and the interest rate sensitivity of our balance sheet as well as our liquidity;|
|●||our liquidity requirements could be adversely affected by changes in our assets and liabilities;|
|●||our investment securities portfolio is subject to credit risk, market risk, and liquidity risk as well as changes in the estimates we use to value certain of the securities in our portfolio;|
|●||the effect of legislative or regulatory developments including changes in laws concerning taxes, banking, securities, insurance, and other aspects of the financial services industry;|
|●||competitive factors among financial services companies, including product and pricing pressures, and our ability to attract, develop, and retain qualified banking professionals;|
|●||the effect of fiscal and governmental policies of the United States (“U.S.”) federal government;|
|●||the effect of any mergers, acquisitions, or other transactions to which we or our subsidiary may from time to time be a party;|
|●||costs and potential disruption or interruption of operations due to cyber-security incidents;|
|●||the effect of any change in federal government enforcement of federal laws affecting the medical-use cannabis industry;|
|●||costs and potential disruption or interruption of operations due to global pandemics such as COVID-19;|
|●||the effect of changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the SEC, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and other regulatory agencies; and|
|●||geopolitical conditions, including acts or threats of terrorism, actions taken by the U.S. or other governments in response to acts or threats of terrorism, and/or military conflicts, which could impact business and economic conditions in the U.S. and abroad.|
Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date of this report or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events except as required by federal securities laws.
ITEM 1 BUSINESS
Severn Bancorp and Subsidiaries (the “Company,” “we,” “our,” or “us”) is a savings and loan holding company incorporated in the state of Maryland in 1990. The Company conducts business primarily through four subsidiaries, Severn Savings Bank, FSB (the “Bank”), Mid-Maryland Title Company, Inc. (“the Title Company”), SBI Mortgage Company (“SBI”), and the Bank’s principal subsidiary Louis Hyatt, Inc. (“Hyatt Commercial”), which conducts business as Hyatt Commercial (See “Subsequent Events” in Item 7 below for information on subsequent sale of certain Hyatt Commercial assets). SBI is the parent company of Crownsville Development Corporation (“Crownsville”), which does business as Annapolis Equity Group. Hyatt Commercial is a real estate brokerage company specializing in commercial real estate sales, leasing, and property management.
SBI engages in the origination of mortgages that do not meet the underwriting criteria of the Bank. It also owns subsidiary companies that purchase real estate for investment purposes. As of December 31, 2020, SBI had $1.2 million in outstanding mortgage loans and it had $714,000 invested in subsidiaries, which funds were held in cash, pending potential acquisition of investment real estate.
Crownsville, doing business as Annapolis Equity Group, is engaged in the business of acquiring real estate for investment and syndication purposes.
HS West, LLC (“HS”) is a subsidiary of the Bank which constructed a building in Annapolis, Maryland that serves as the Company’s and the Bank’s administrative headquarters. A branch office of the Bank is also located in the building. In addition, HS leases space to four unrelated companies and to a law firm of which the President of the Company and Bank is a partner.
The Title Company engages in title work related to real estate transactions.
The Bank has seven branches in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, which offer a full range of deposit products and originate mortgages in the Bank’s primary market of Anne Arundel County, Maryland and, to a lesser extent, in other parts of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.
As of December 31, 2020, we had consolidated total assets of $952.6 million, total loans of $642.9 million, total deposits of $806.5 million, and total stockholders’ equity of $109.6 million. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2020 was $6.7 million.
Availability of Information
The Company makes available through the Investor Relations area of the Company website, at www.severnbank.com, annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”). Access to these reports is provided by means of a link to a third-party vendor that maintains a database of such filings. In general, the Company intends that these reports be available as soon as practicable after they are filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Technical and other operational obstacles or delays caused by the vendor may delay their availability. The SEC maintains a website (www.sec.gov) where these filings also are available through the SEC’s EDGAR system. There is no charge for access to these filings through either the Company’s site or the SEC’s site. The information on the website listed above is not and should not be considered part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and is not incorporated by reference in this document.
Business of the Bank
The Bank was organized in 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland as Pompeii Permanent Building and Loan Association. It relocated to Annapolis, Maryland in 1980 and its name was changed to Severn Savings Association. Subsequently, the Bank obtained a federal charter and changed its name to Severn Savings Bank, FSB. The Bank operates seven full-service branch offices and one administrative office, all in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The Bank operates as a federally chartered savings bank whose principal business is attracting deposits from the general public and investing those funds in residential mortgage and commercial loans. The Bank also uses advances, or loans, from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, (“FHLB”) to fund its lending activities. The Bank provides a wide range of personal and commercial banking services. Personal services include mortgage lending and various other lending services as well as checking, savings, money market, time deposit, and individual retirement accounts, in addition to Internet and mobile banking. Commercial services include commercial secured and unsecured lending services as well as business Internet banking, corporate cash management services, and deposit services to commercial customers, including those in the medical-use cannabis industry. The Bank also provides safe deposit boxes, ATMs, debit cards, credit cards, personal Internet banking including on-line bill pay and telephone banking, among other products and services.
Revenues are derived principally from interest earned on residential mortgage, commercial, and other loans, and fees charged in connection with lending and other banking services. The Bank’s primary sources of funds are deposits, advances from the FHLB, proceeds from loans sold on the secondary market, sales and maturities of securities, and repayments and principal prepayment of loans. The principal executive offices of the Bank are maintained at 200 Westgate Circle, Suite 200, Annapolis Maryland, 21401 and the telephone number is 410-260-2000.
Medical-Use Cannabis Related Business
In 2017, we began providing banking services to customers that are licensed by the state of Maryland to do business in the medical-use cannabis industry as growers, processors, and dispensaries. Medical-use cannabis businesses are legal in the state of Maryland. We maintain stringent written policies and procedures related to the on-boarding of such businesses and to the monitoring and maintenance of such business accounts.
We do a deep upfront due diligence review of a medical-use cannabis business before the business is on-boarded, including a site visit and confirmation that the business is properly licensed by the state of Maryland. Throughout the relationship, we continue monitoring the business, including site visits, to ensure that the medical-use cannabis business continues to meet our stringent requirements, including maintenance of required licenses. We perform periodic financial reviews of the business and monitor the business in accordance with Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission requirements.
See Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a summary of the level of business activities with our medical-use cannabis customers.
Our Business Strategy
We are currently focused on growing assets and earnings by capitalizing on the network of Bank branches, mortgage offices, and ATMs that we have established.
To continue asset growth and profitability, our business strategy is targeted to:
|●||capitalize on our personal relationship approach that we believe differentiates us from our larger competitors;|
|●||provide our customers with access to local executives who make key credit and other decisions;|
|●||pursue commercial lending opportunities with small to mid-sized businesses that are underserved by our larger competitors;|
|●||develop innovative financial products and services to generate additional sources of revenue;|
|●||cross-sell our products and services to our existing customers to leverage relationships and enhance our profitability;|
|●||expand our closely monitored medical-use cannabis customer base in our market area; and|
|●||adhere to rigorous credit standards to maintain good quality assets as we implement our growth strategy.|
Our Lending Activities
We originate loans of all types, including residential mortgage, commercial, commercial mortgage, home equity, residential construction, commercial construction, land, residential lot, and consumer loans.
We originate residential mortgage loans that are to be held in our loan portfolio as well as loans that are intended for sale in the secondary market. Loans sold in the secondary market are primarily sold to investors with which the Bank maintains a correspondent relationship. These loans are made in conformity with standard government-sponsored enterprise (“GSE”) underwriting criteria required by the investors to assure maximum eligibility for possible resale in the secondary market and are approved either by the Bank’s underwriter or the correspondent’s underwriter. Additionally, we originate nonconforming loans sold only to private investors that are approved either by the Bank’s underwriter or the correspondent’s underwriter. Loans considered for our portfolio in the amounts of $500,000 or less can be approved by the Chief Lending Officer, the Chief Credit Officer, or the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”). Loans between $500,000 and $1.0 million must be approved by: (a) the Chief Credit Officer and the Chief Lending Officer or (b) the Chief Credit Officer and the CEO. Loans with balances between $1.0 million and $3.0 million must be approved by the Officers’ Loan Committee. Loans with balances between $3.0 million and $4.0 million must be approved by the Director’s Loan Committee. Loans between $4.0 million and $19.6 million (the maximum amount of loans to one borrower as of December 31, 2020), must be approved by the Board of Directors. Meetings of the Officers and Directors Loan Committees are open to attendance by any member of the Bank’s Board of Directors who wishes to attend. The loan committees report to and consult with the Board of Directors in interpreting and applying our lending policy.
Loans that are sold into the secondary market are typically residential long-term loans (15 or more years), generally with fixed rates of interest. Loans retained for our portfolio typically include construction loans, commercial loans, and loans that periodically reprice or mature prior to the end of an amortized term. Generally, loans are sold with servicing released, however for loans sold to the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”), the servicing rights have been retained. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank was servicing $159.8 million in loans for FNMA and $36.9 million in loans for FHLMC.
Our lending activities are subject to written policies approved by our Board of Directors to ensure proper management of credit risk. We make loans that are subject to a well-defined credit process that includes credit evaluation of borrowers, risk-rating of credits, establishment of lending limits, and application of lending procedures, including the holding of adequate collateral and the maintenance of compensating balances, as well as procedures for on-going identification and management of credit deterioration. We conduct regular portfolio reviews to identify potential under-performing credits, estimate loss exposure, geographic and industry concentrations, and to ascertain compliance with our policies. For significant problem loans, we review and evaluate the financial strengths of our borrower and the guarantor, the related collateral and the effects of economic conditions.
We generally do not make loans to be held in our loan portfolio outside our market area unless the borrower has an established relationship with us and conducts its principal business operations within our market area. Consequently, we and our borrowers are affected by the economic conditions prevailing in our market area.
Loan Approval Process
Our loan approval process is intended to assess the borrower’s ability to repay the loan, the viability of the loan, and the adequacy of the value of the collateral that will secure the loan. The authority of the Directors Loan Committee to approve loans is established by the Board of Directors. Our maximum amount of loans to one borrower is equal to 15% of the Bank’s unimpaired capital, or $19.6 million as of December 31, 2020. Loans greater than this amount require participation by one or more additional lenders. Letters of credit are subject to the same limitations as direct loans. For real estate collateral, we utilize independent qualified appraisers approved by management to appraise the collateral securing the loan and require title insurance or title opinions so as to ensure that we have a valid lien on the collateral. We require borrowers to maintain fire and casualty insurance on secured real estate.
The procedure for approval of construction loans is the same as above, except that the appraiser evaluates the building plans, construction specifications, and estimates of construction costs as well. The Bank also evaluates the feasibility of the proposed construction project and the experience and track record of the developer.
Consumer loans are underwritten on the basis of the borrower’s credit history and an analysis of the borrower’s income and expenses, ability to repay the loan, and the value of the collateral, if any.
Residential Mortgage Loans
At December 31, 2020, our residential mortgage loan portfolio totaled $209.7 million, or 32.4% of our loan portfolio. All of our residential mortgage loans are secured by one-to-four family residential properties and are primarily located in the Bank’s market area.
The Bank offers other business and commercial loans. These are loans to businesses and are typically lines of credit or other loans that , in general, are not secured by real estate. If not secured by real estate, they are usually secured by business assets, including accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, securities, or other collateral. At December 31, 2020, $63.8 million, or 9.9% of our loan portfolio, consisted of commercial loans. Of that $63.8 million, $30.2 million consist of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans that are 100% guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”). See more information on PPP loans later in this Item.
Commercial loans generally involve a greater degree of risk than residential mortgage loans. Because payments on commercial loans secured by business assets or other collateral are often dependent on the successful operation or management of the commercial enterprise, repayment of these loans may be subject to a greater extent to adverse conditions in the economy.
Commercial Real Estate Loans
At December 31, 2020, our commercial real estate loan portfolio totaled $243.4 million, or 37.7% of our loan portfolio. All of our commercial real estate loans are secured by improved property such as office buildings, retail strip shopping centers, industrial condominium units, and other small businesses, most of which are located in the Bank’s primary lending area.
Loans secured by commercial real estate properties generally involve a greater degree of risk than residential mortgage loans. Because payments on loans secured by commercial real estate properties are often dependent on the successful operation or management of the properties, repayment of these loans may be subject to a greater extent to adverse conditions in the real estate market or the economy.
Construction, Land Acquisition, and Development Loans (“ADC”)
We originate loans to finance the construction of one-to-four family dwellings, and to a lesser extent, commercial real estate. We also originate loans for the acquisition and development of unimproved property to be used for residential and/or commercial purposes, generally in cases where the Bank is to provide the construction funds to improve the properties. As of December 31, 2020, we had ADC loans outstanding in the amount of $112.9 million, or 17.5% of our loan portfolio.
Construction loan amounts are based on the appraised value of the property. Construction loans generally have terms of up to one year, with reasonable extensions as needed, and typically have interest rates that float monthly at margins ranging from the prime rate to 200 basis points above the prime rate. In addition to builders’ projects, we finance the construction of single-family, owner-occupied homes where qualified contractors are involved and on the basis of strict written underwriting and construction loan guidelines. Construction loans are structured either to be converted to permanent loans with the Bank upon the expiration of the construction phase or to be paid off by financing from another financial institution.
Construction loans afford the Bank the opportunity to increase the interest rate sensitivity of the loan portfolio and to receive yields higher than those obtainable on loans secured by existing residential properties. These higher yields correspond to the higher risks associated with construction lending. Construction loans involve additional risks attributable to the fact that loan funds are advanced upon the security of the project under construction that is of uncertain value prior to its completion. Because of the uncertainties inherent in estimating construction costs as well as the market value of the completed project and the effects of governmental regulation of real property, it is relatively difficult to value accurately the total funds required to complete a project and the related loan-to-value ratio (“LTV”). As a result, construction lending often involves the disbursement of substantial funds with repayment dependent, in part, on the ultimate success of the project rather than the ability of the borrower or guarantor to repay principal and interest. If we are forced to foreclose on a project prior to or at completion, due to a default, there can be no assurance that we will be able to recover all of the unpaid balance of the loan as well as related foreclosure and holding costs. In addition, we may be required to fund additional amounts to complete the project and may have to hold the property for an unspecified period of time. We have attempted to address these risks through our underwriting procedures and our limited amount of construction lending on multi-family and commercial real estate properties.
It is our policy to obtain third-party physical inspections of each property secured by a construction or rehabilitation loan for the purpose of reporting upon the progress of the project. These inspections, referred to as “construction draw inspections,” are to be performed at the time of a request for an advance of construction funds.
Home Equity and Other Consumer Loans
We offer various consumer loans including home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, and other personal loans. At December 31, 2020, $16.2 million, or 2.5% of our loan portfolio consisted of consumer loans. The majority of consumer loans are home equity lines of credit. Consumer loan repayments are dependent on the borrower’s continuing financial stability and are more likely to be affected by unemployment, illness, and/or other personal economic factors.
Our Deposit Activities
Subject to the Company’s Asset/Liability Committee (“ALCO”) policies and current business plan, the Treasury function (see information on Treasury activities below) works closely with the Company’s retail deposit operations to accomplish the objectives of maintaining deposit market share within the Company’s primary markets and managing funding costs to preserve the net interest margin.
One of the Company’s primary objectives as a community bank is to develop long-term, multi-product customer relationships from its comprehensive menu of financial products, which include both interest-bearing and noninterest-bearing checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit (“CDs”). To that end, the lead product to develop such relationships is typically a deposit product. Additionally, we determine new locations for branches to enhance our deposit and market share growth and in 2019, we opened a new branch in Crofton, Maryland. The Company intends to rely on deposit growth to fund long-term loan growth.
Core deposits are deposits that provide stable funding sources and are generally not reactive to changes in the interest rate environment. We consider all deposits, except CDs of $100,000 or more to be core deposits. Our experience has been that a substantial portion of CDs renew at time of maturity and remain on deposit with the Bank. Core deposits amounted to $691.5 million, or 85.7% of total deposits, and $532.8 million, or 80.6% of total deposits, at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Our Treasury Activities
The Treasury function manages the wholesale segments of the balance sheet, including investments, purchased funds and long-term debt, and is responsible for all facets of interest rate risk management for the Company, which includes the pricing of deposits consistent with conservative interest rate risk and liquidity practices. Management’s objective is to achieve the maximum level of consistent earnings over the long term, while minimizing interest rate risk, credit risk, and liquidity risk and optimizing capital utilization. In managing the investment portfolio under its stated objectives, we invest primarily in United States of America (“U.S.”) Treasury and Agency securities and U.S Agency mortgage-backed
securities (“MBS”). Treasury strategies and activities are overseen by the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors, ALCO and the Company’s Investment Committee, which reviews all investment and funding transactions. The ALCO activities are summarized and reviewed quarterly with the Company’s Board of Directors.
The primary objective of the investment portfolio is to provide the necessary liquidity consistent with anticipated levels of deposit funding and loan demand with a minimal level of risk. The overall average life of 3.3 years of the investment portfolio as of December 31, 2020, together with the types of investments, is intended to provide sufficient cash flows to support the Company’s lending goals. Liquidity is also provided by lines of credit maintained with the FHLB and to a lesser extent, lines of credit from other banks.
Our Borrowing Activities
Management utilizes a variety of sources to raise borrowed funds at competitive rates, including federal funds purchased and FHLB borrowings. FHLB borrowings typically carry rates at varying spreads from the LIBOR rate or treasury yield curve for the equivalent term because they may be secured with investments or high quality loans. Federal funds purchased, which are generally overnight borrowings, are typically purchased at the Federal Reserve Board (“FRB”) target rate.
The Company’s borrowing activities are achieved through the use of the previously mentioned lines of credit to address overnight and short-term funding needs, match-fund loan activity and, when opportunities are present, to lock in attractive rates due to market conditions.
Our Human Capital
At December 31, 2020, we had approximately 187 full-time equivalent employees. Our culture is defined by our corporate values of integrity, teamwork, ownership, and service. Through our long operating history and experience in the banking industry, we appreciate the importance of retention, growth, and development of our employees. We value a healthy work-life balance, competitive compensation and benefit packages, and a team-oriented environment. Further, from professional development opportunities to cost reimbursement of higher education, we strive to ensure that we cultivate talent throughout the Company. We are also focused on understanding our diversity and inclusion strengths and opportunities and executing on a strategy to support further progress. We have created a diversity task force which addresses diversity issues throughout the organization, which we believe help build community and enable opportunities for development. We continue to focus on building a pipeline for talent to create more opportunities for workplace diversity and to support greater representation within the Company.
The Annapolis, Maryland area has a high density of financial institutions, many of which are significantly larger and have greater financial resources than the Bank, and all of which are competitors of the Bank to varying degrees. Competition for loans comes primarily from savings and loan associations, savings banks, mortgage-banking companies, insurance companies, commercial banks, and Internet-based financial institutions. Many of our competitors have higher legal lending limits than we do. Our most direct competition for deposits has historically come from savings and loan associations, savings banks, commercial banks, and credit unions. We face additional competition for deposits from short-term money market funds and other corporate and government securities funds. We also face increased competition for deposits from other financial institutions such as brokerage firms, insurance companies, and mutual funds, as well as Internet-based financial institutions. We are a community-oriented financial institution serving our market area with a wide selection of mortgage loans and other consumer and commercial financial products and services. Management considers the Bank’s reputation for financial strength and customer service as its major competitive advantage in attracting and retaining customers in our market area. We believe we also benefit from our community engagement activities.
Our market area is primarily Anne Arundel County, Maryland and nearby areas, and our seven branch locations are all located in Anne Arundel County. Anne Arundel county maintains a diverse set of economic drivers such as a large international airport, the defense industry, a large number of large private sector employers as well as telecommunications,
retail, and distribution operations. The population of Anne Arundel County has been growing steadily since 2000 and is projected to continue such growth in the foreseeable future. The largest population demographic of Anne Arundel County is in the 20-44 age category.
We continue to expand our business relationship banking program by focusing on the needs of the business community in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. We focus our lending activities primarily on first mortgage loans secured by real estate for the purpose of purchasing, refinancing, developing, and constructing one-to-four family residences and commercial properties in and near Anne Arundel County, Maryland. We strive to offer competitive deposit and loan products that fit the needs of the Anne Arundel County community. Our desire is to be a one-stop shop for all of the community’s banking needs.
Supervision and Regulation
The Company and its subsidiaries operate in an industry that is subject to laws and regulations that are enforced by a number of federal and state agencies. Changes in these laws and regulations, including interpretation and enforcement activities, could impact the cost of operating in the financial services industry, limit or expand permissible activities, or affect competition among banks and other financial institutions.
Regulation of the Company
We are a unitary savings and loan holding company within the meaning of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (“HOLA”). As such, we are registered with the FRB and are subject to regulations, examinations, supervision, and reporting requirements applicable to savings and loan holding companies. In addition, the FRB has enforcement authority over us and any nonsavings bank subsidiaries. Among other things, this authority permits the FRB to restrict or prohibit activities that are determined to be a serious risk to the subsidiary savings institution.
As a unitary savings and loan holding company, we generally are not subject to activity restrictions, provided the Bank satisfies the Qualified Thrift Lender (“QTL”) test (see “QTL Test” under “Regulation of the Bank” below). If the Bank failed to meet the QTL test, then we would become subject to the activities restrictions applicable to multiple savings and loan holding companies and, unless the Bank qualifies as a QTL within one year thereafter, we would be required to register as, and would become subject to the restrictions applicable to, a bank holding company. Additionally, if we acquired control of another savings institution, other than in a supervisory acquisition where the acquired institution also met the QTL test, we would thereupon become a multiple savings and loan holding company and thereafter be subject to further restrictions on our activities. We currently intend to continue to operate as a unitary savings and loan holding company.
Regulatory Capital Requirements
Under capital regulations adopted pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, savings and loan holding companies became subject to additional regulatory capital requirements. However, in May 2015, amendments to the FRB’s small bank holding company policy statement (the “SBHC Policy”) became effective. The amendments made the SBHC Policy applicable to savings and loan holding companies such as us and increased the asset threshold to qualify to be subject to the provisions of the SBHC Policy from $500.0 million to $1.0 billion. In August, 2018, the SBHC Policy was increased to $3.0 billion in assets. Savings and loan holding companies that have total assets of $3.0 billion or less are subject to the SBHC Policy and are not required to comply with the additional regulatory capital requirements provided that such holding company (i) is not engaged in significant nonbanking activities either directly or through a nonbank subsidiary; (ii) does not conduct significant off-balance sheet activities (including securitization and asset management or administration) either directly or through a nonbank subsidiary; and (iii) does not have a material amount of debt or equity securities outstanding (other than trust preferred securities) that are registered with the SEC. The FRB may in its discretion exclude any savings and loan holding company, regardless of asset size, from the SBHC Policy if such action is warranted for supervisory purposes. The exemption continues until our total assets exceed $3.0 billion, we do not meet the other requirements discussed above, or the FRB deems it to be warranted for supervisory purposes.
Restrictions on Acquisitions
Except under limited circumstances, savings and loan holding companies, such as us, are prohibited from (i) acquiring, without approval of the FRB, control of a savings institution or a savings and loan holding company or all or substantially all of the assets of any such institution or holding company; (ii) acquiring, without prior approval of the FRB, more than 5% of the voting shares of a savings institution or a holding company which is not a subsidiary thereof; or (iii) acquiring control of an uninsured institution, or retaining, for more than one year after the date of any savings institution becomes uninsured, control of such institution. In evaluating proposed acquisitions of savings institutions by holding companies, the FRB considers the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the holding company and the target institution, the effect of the acquisition on the risk to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) fund, the convenience and the needs of the community, and competitive factors.
No director or officer of a savings and loan holding company or person owning or controlling by proxy or otherwise more than 25% of such company’s stock, may acquire control of any savings institution, other than a subsidiary savings institution, or of any other savings and loan holding company, without written approval of the FRB.
The FRB is prohibited from approving any acquisition that would result in a multiple savings and loan holding company controlling savings institutions in more than one state, subject to two exceptions: (i) the approval of interstate supervisory acquisitions by savings and loan holding companies and (ii) the acquisition of a savings institution in another state if the laws of the state of the target savings institution specifically permit such acquisitions. The states vary in the extent to which they permit interstate savings and loan holding company acquisitions.
Federal Securities Law
The Company’s securities are registered with the SEC under the Exchange Act. As such, we are subject to the information, proxy solicitation, insider trading, and other requirements and restrictions of the Exchange Act.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“Sarbanes-Oxley”) established a broad range of corporate governance and accounting measures intended to increase corporate responsibility and protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of disclosures under federal securities laws. The Company is subject to Sarbanes-Oxley because it is required to file periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act. Among other things, Sarbanes-Oxley regulations and related NASDAQ Stock Market rules have established membership requirements and additional responsibilities for the Company’s audit committee, imposed restrictions on the relationship between the Company and its outside auditors (including restrictions on the types of nonaudit services the auditors may provide to the Company), imposed additional financial statement certification responsibilities for the Company’s CEO and Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), expanded the disclosure requirements for corporate insiders, and required management to evaluate the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures and its internal control over financial reporting.
Financial Services Modernization Legislation
In November 1999, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (“GLBA”) was enacted. GLBA generally permits banks, other depository institutions, insurance companies, and securities firms to enter into combinations that result in a single financial services organization to offer customers a wider array of financial services and products provided that they do not pose a substantial risk to the safety and soundness of depository institutions or the financial system in general.
GLBA resulted in increased competition for the Company and the Bank from larger institutions and other types of companies offering financial products, many of which may have substantially more financial resources than we have.
Maryland Corporation Law
We are incorporated under the laws of the state of Maryland, and are therefore subject to regulation by the state of Maryland. The rights of our stockholders are governed by the Maryland General Corporation Law.
Regulation of the Bank
As a federally chartered, FDIC insured savings institution, the Bank is subject to extensive regulation, primarily by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) and secondarily, by the FDIC. Lending activities and other investments of the Bank must comply with various statutory and regulatory requirements. The Bank has been and could be again in the future subject to certain reserve requirements promulgated by the FRB. The OCC regularly examines the Bank and prepares reports for the consideration of the Bank’s Board of Directors on the operations of the Bank. The relationship between the Bank and depositors and borrowers is also regulated by federal and state laws, especially in such matters as the ownership of savings accounts and the form and content of mortgage documents utilized by the Bank.
The Bank must file reports with the OCC and the FDIC concerning its activities and financial condition, in addition to obtaining regulatory approvals prior to entering into certain transactions such as mergers with, or acquisitions of, other financial institutions.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”)
The CARES Act, which became law on March 27, 2020, provided over $2 trillion to combat the novel coronavirus disease (“COVID-19”) and stimulate the economy. The law had several provisions relevant to financial institutions, including:
Allowing institutions not to characterize loan modifications relating to the COVID-19 pandemic as troubled debt restructures (“TDR” or “TDRs”) and also allowing them to suspend the corresponding impairment determination for accounting purposes;
As described further below, temporarily reducing the community bank leverage ratio alternative available to institutions of less than $10 billion of assets to 8%;
The establishment of the PPP, a specialized low-interest forgivable loan program funded by the U.S. Treasury Department and administered through the SBA 7(a) loan guaranty program to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and
The ability of a borrower of a federally-backed mortgage loan (Veterans Administration (“VA”), Federal Housing Authority (“FHA”), U.S. Dairy Association (“USDA”), FHLMC, and FNMA) experiencing financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic, to request forbearance from paying their mortgage by submitting a request to the borrower’s servicer affirming their financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency. Such a forbearance could be granted for up to 180 days, subject to extension for an additional 180-day period upon the request of the borrower. During that time, no fees, penalties or interest beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated as if the borrower made all contractual payments on time and in full under the mortgage contract could accrue on the borrower’s account. Except for vacant or abandoned property, the servicer of a federally-backed mortgage was prohibited from taking any foreclosure action, including any eviction or sale action, for not less than the 60-day period beginning March 18, 2020, extended by federal mortgage-backing agencies to at least June 30, 2021.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, among other things, further extends CARES Act TDR suspension.
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act of 2018
On May 24, 2018, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (the “Regulatory Relief Act”) was enacted, which repeals or modifies certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and eases regulations on all but the largest banks. The Regulatory Relief Act’s provisions include, among other things: (i) exempting banks with less than $10 billion in assets from the ability-to-repay requirements for certain qualified residential mortgage loans held in portfolio; (ii) not requiring appraisals for certain transactions valued at less than $400,000 in rural areas; (iii) exempting banks that originate fewer than 500 open-end and 500 closed-end mortgages from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act’s (“HMDA”) expanded data disclosures; (iv) clarifying that, subject to various conditions, reciprocal deposits of another depository institution obtained using a deposit broker through a deposit placement network for purposes of obtaining maximum deposit insurance would not be considered brokered deposits subject to the FDIC’s brokered-deposit
regulations; (v) raising eligibility for the 18-month exam cycle from $1 billion to banks with $3 billion in assets; (vi) allowing qualifying federal savings banks to elect to operate with National Bank powers; and (vii) simplifying capital calculations by requiring regulators to establish for institutions under $10 billion in assets a community bank leverage ratio at between 8% and 10% that such institutions may elect to replace the general applicable risk-based capital requirements for determining well-capitalized status.
Regulatory Capital Requirements
Federal regulations require all FDIC insured depository institutions to meet several minimum capital standards: a common equity Tier 1 capital to total risk-based assets ratio of 4.5%; a Tier 1 capital to total risk-based assets ratio of 6.0%, a total capital to total risk-based assets ratio of 8%, a leverage ratio of 4%, and a tangible capital, measured as core capital (Tier 1 capital), to average total assets ratio of 1.5%.
Common equity Tier 1 capital generally consists of common stock and related surplus, retained earnings, accumulated other comprehensive gain/loss, and, subject to certain adjustments, minority common equity interests in subsidiaries, reduced by goodwill and other intangible assets (other than certain mortgage servicing assets), net of associated deferred tax liabilities.
Tier 1 capital consists of the sum of common equity Tier 1 capital and additional Tier 1 capital. Additional Tier 1 capital generally includes certain noncumulative perpetual preferred stock and related surplus and minority interests in equity accounts of consolidated subsidiaries. Cumulative preferred stock does not qualify as additional Tier 1 capital. Trust preferred securities and other nonqualifying capital instruments issued prior to May 19, 2010 by bank and savings and loan holding companies with less than $15.0 billion in assets as of December 31, 2009 or by mutual holding companies may continue to be included in Tier 1 capital but will be phased out over 10 years beginning in 2016 for all other banking organizations.
Total Capital includes Tier 1 capital and Tier 2 capital. Tier 2 capital is comprised of capital instruments and related surplus meeting specified requirements, and may include cumulative preferred stock and long-term perpetual preferred stock, mandatory convertible securities, intermediate preferred stock, and subordinated debt.
Tangible Capital means the amount of core capital (Tier 1 capital), plus the amount of outstanding perpetual preferred stock (including related surplus) not included in Tier 1 capital.
Calculation of all types of regulatory capital is subject to deductions and adjustments specified in the regulations.
In determining the amount of risk-weighted assets for purposes of calculating risk-based capital ratios, assets, including certain off-balance sheet assets (e.g., recourse obligations, direct credit substitutes, and residual interests) are multiplied by a risk-weight factor assigned by the regulations based on the risks believed inherent in the type of asset. Higher levels of capital are required for asset categories believed to present greater risk. For example, a risk weight of 0% is assigned to cash and U.S. government securities, a risk weight of 50% is generally assigned to prudently underwritten first-lien residential mortgage loans, a risk weight of 100% is assigned to first-lien residential mortgage loans not qualifying under the prudently underwritten standards as well as commercial and consumer loans, a risk weight of 150% is assigned to certain past due loans, a risk weight of 250% is assigned to certain mortgage serving rights (“MSRs”), and a risk weight of between 0% to 600% is assigned to permissible equity interests, depending on certain specified factors.
The regulations also provide that depository institutions and their holding companies are required to maintain a common equity Tier 1 capital conservation buffer of at least 2.5% of risk-weighted assets over and above the minimum risk-based capital requirements. Institutions that do not maintain the required capital buffer will become subject to progressively more stringent limitations on the percentage of earnings that can be paid out in dividends, used for stock repurchases, or for the payment of discretionary bonuses to senior executive management. The capital conservation buffer requirement effectively raises the minimum required risk-based capital ratios to 7% common equity Tier 1 capital, 8.5% Tier 1 capital, and 10.5% total capital on a fully phased-in basis.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, pursuant to the Regulatory Relief Act (discussed above), the OCC finalized a rule that establishes a community bank leverage ratio (tier 1 capital to average total consolidated assets) at 9% for institutions under $10 billion in assets that such institutions may elect to utilize in lieu of the general applicable risk-based capital requirements under Basel III. Such institutions that meet the community bank leverage ratio and certain other qualifying criteria will automatically be deemed to be well-capitalized. The new rule took effect on January 1, 2020. Pursuant to the CARES Act, the OCC issued final rules to set the community bank leverage ratio at 8% beginning in the second quarter of 2020 through the end of 2020. Beginning in 2021, the community bank leverage ratio will increase to 8.5% for the calendar year. Community banks will have until January 1, 2022, before the community bank leverage ratio requirement will return to 9%. A financial institution can elect to be subject to this new definition. The Bank elected to become subject to the community bank leverage ratio beginning in the first quarter of 2020.
In addition to requiring institutions to meet the applicable capital standards for savings institutions, the OCC may require institutions to meet capital standards in excess of the prescribed standards as the OCC determines necessary or appropriate for such institution in light of the particular circumstances of the institution. Such circumstances would include a high degree of exposure to interest rate risk, concentration of credit risk, and certain risks arising from nontraditional activity. The OCC may treat the failure of any savings institution to maintain capital at or above such level as an unsafe or unsound practice and may issue a directive requiring any savings institution which fails to maintain capital at or above the minimum level required by the OCC to submit and adhere to a plan for increasing capital.
The OCC has primary enforcement responsibility over federal savings institutions and has the authority to bring enforcement action against the institution and all “institution-affiliated parties,” including stockholders, attorneys, appraisers, and accountants who knowingly or recklessly participate in wrongful action likely to have an adverse effect on an insured institution. Formal enforcement actions by the OCC may range from issuance of a capital directive or a cease and desist order, to removal of officers or directors of the institution and the appointment of a receiver or conservator. The FDIC also has the authority to terminate deposit insurance or recommend to the OCC that enforcement action be taken with respect to a particular savings institution. If action is not taken by the OCC, the FDIC has authority to take action under specific circumstances.
Safety and Soundness Standards
Federal law requires each federal banking agency, including the OCC, to prescribe to certain standards relating to internal controls, information and internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate risk exposure, asset growth, compensation, fees, and benefits. In general, the guidelines require, among other things, appropriate systems and practices to identify and manage the risks and exposures specified in the guidelines. The guidelines further provide that savings institutions should maintain safeguards to prevent the payment of compensation, fees, and benefits that are excessive or that could lead to material financial loss, and should take into account factors such as comparable compensation practices at comparable institutions. If the OCC determines that a savings institution is not in compliance with the safety and soundness guidelines, it may require the institution to submit an acceptable plan to achieve compliance with the guidelines. A savings institution must submit an acceptable compliance plan to the OCC within 30 days of receipt of a request for such a plan. If the institution fails to submit an acceptable plan, the OCC must issue an order directing the institution to correct the deficiency. Failure to submit or implement a compliance plan may subject the institution to regulatory sanctions.
Prompt Corrective Action
Under the prompt corrective action regulations, the OCC is required and authorized to take supervisory actions against undercapitalized savings institutions. If the Bank does not meet the applicable community bank leverage ratio requirement following in some cases a grace period, the Bank will be categorized based on the generally applicable capital rules. For
this purpose, a savings institution is placed into one of the following five categories dependent on their respective capital ratios:
|●||An institution is deemed to be “well capitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of 10.0% or greater, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 8.0% or greater, a common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 6.5% or greater, and a leverage ratio of 5.0% or greater.|
|●||An institution is “adequately capitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of 8.0% or greater, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 6.0% or greater, a common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 4.5% or greater, and a leverage ratio of 4.0% or greater.|
|●||An institution is “undercapitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 8.0%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 6.0%, a common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 4.5%, or a leverage ratio of less than 4.0%.|
|●||An institution is deemed to be “significantly undercapitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 6.0%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 4.0%, a common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 3.0%, or a leverage ratio of less than 3.0%.|
|●||An institution is considered to be “critically undercapitalized” if it has a ratio of tangible equity (as defined in the regulations) to total assets that is equal to or less than 2.0%.|
Generally, the FDIC Improvement Act (“FDICIA”) requires the OCC to appoint a receiver or conservator for an institution within 90 days of that institution becoming “critically undercapitalized.” The regulation also provides that a capital restoration plan must be filed with the OCC within 45 days after an institution receives notice that it is “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” or “critically undercapitalized.” In addition, numerous mandatory supervisory actions become immediately applicable to the institution, including, but not limited to, restrictions on growth, investment activities, payment of dividends and other capital distributions, and affiliate transactions. The OCC may also take any one of a number of discretionary supervisory actions against the undercapitalized institutions, including the issuance of a capital directive and, in the case of an institution that fails to file a required capital restoration plan, the replacement of senior executive officers and directors.
As of December 31, 2020, the Bank met the capital requirements of a “well capitalized” institution under applicable OCC regulations.
Premiums for Deposit Insurance
The deposits of the Bank are insured up to the applicable limits by the Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”) of the FDIC, generally up to $250,000 per insured depositor. The Bank pays deposit insurance premiums based on assessment rates established by the FDIC. Assessments for most institutions are based on financial measures and supervisory ratings derived from statistical modeling estimating the probability of failure within three years. In conjunction with the DIF reserve ration achieving 1.15%, the assessment range (inclusive of possible adjustments) has been reduced for most banks and savings associations to 1.5 basis points to 30 basis points.
Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC has backup enforcement authority over a depository institution holding company, such as us, if the conduct or threatened conduct of such holding company poses a risk to the DIF, although such authority may not be used if the holding company is generally in sound condition and does not pose a foreseeable and material risk to the DIF.
The FDIC is authorized to terminate a depository institution’s deposit insurance upon a finding by the FDIC that the institution’s financial condition is unsafe or unsound or that the institution has engaged in unsafe or unsound practices or has violated any applicable rule, regulation, order, or condition enacted or imposed by the institution’s regulatory agency. Additionally, the FDIC has authority to increase insurance assessments. The termination of deposit insurance for the Bank or an increase in the Bank’s insurance assessments could have a material adverse effect on our earnings.
The Bank is subject to the Right to Financial Privacy Act, which imposes a duty to maintain confidentiality of consumer financial records and prescribes procedures for complying with administrative subpoenas of financial records. Additionally, GLBA places limitations on the sharing of consumer financial information by financial institutions with unaffiliated third parties. Pursuant to GLBA and rules adopted thereunder, financial institutions must provide an initial notice to customers about their privacy policies, describing the conditions under which they may disclose nonpublic personal information to nonaffiliated third parties and affiliates.
Since GLBA’s enactment, a number of states have implemented their own versions of privacy laws. The Bank has implemented its privacy policies in accordance with all applicable laws.
Savings institutions must meet a QTL test, which may be met either by maintaining, on average, at least 65% of its portfolio assets in qualified thrift investments in at least nine of the most recent twelve month period, or meeting the definition of a “domestic building and loan association” as defined in the Code. “Portfolio Assets” generally means total assets of a savings institution, less the sum of (i) specified liquid assets up to 20% of total assets; (ii) goodwill and other intangible assets; and (iii) the value of property used in the conduct of the savings institution’s business. Qualified thrift investments are primarily residential mortgages and related investments, including certain mortgage-related securities. Institutions that fail to meet the QTL test are subject to OCC enforcement action for a violation of law or elect to be treated as a national bank. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank was in compliance with its QTL requirement and met the definition of a domestic building and loan institution.
Transactions between savings institutions and any affiliate are governed by Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act (“FRA”) as made applicable to savings institutions by Section 11 of the HOLA. A savings institution affiliate includes any company or entity which controls the savings institution or that is controlled by a company that controls the savings institution. For example, the holding company of a savings institution and any companies which are controlled by such holding company, are affiliates of the savings institution. Generally, Section 23A limits the extent to which the savings institution or its subsidiaries may engage in “covered transactions” with any one affiliate to an amount equal to 10% of such institution’s capital stock and surplus, as well as contains an aggregate limit on all such transactions with all affiliates to an amount equal to 20% of such capital stock and surplus. Section 23B applies to “covered transactions,” as well as certain other transactions and requires that all transactions be on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable, to the savings institution as those provided to a nonaffiliate. “Covered transaction” include the making of loans to, purchase of assets from, and issuance of a guarantee to an affiliate and similar transactions. Section 23B transactions also include the provision of services and the sale of assets by a savings institution to an affiliate. In addition to the restrictions imposed by Sections 23A and 23B, Section 11 of HOLA prohibits a savings institution from (i) making a loan or other extension of credit to an affiliate, except for any affiliate which engages only in certain activities which are permissible for bank holding companies or (ii) purchasing or investing in any stocks, bonds, debentures, notes, or similar obligations of any affiliate, except for affiliates which are subsidiaries of the savings institution.
The Bank’s authority to extend credit to executive officers, directors, trustees, and 10% stockholders, as well as entities under such person’s control, is currently governed by Section 22(g) and 22(h) of the FRA and Regulation O promulgated by the FRB. Among other things, these regulations generally require such loans to be made on terms substantially similar to those offered to unaffiliated individuals, place limits on the amounts of the loans the Bank may make to such persons based, in part, on the Bank’s capital position, and require certain board of directors’ approval procedures to be followed.
Capital Distribution Limitations
OCC regulations impose limitations upon all capital distributions by savings institutions, such as cash dividends, payments to repurchase or otherwise acquire its shares, payments to shareholders of another institution in a cash-out merger, and other distributions charged against capital.
The OCC regulations require a savings institution to file an application for approval of a capital distribution if:
|●||the institution is not eligible for expedited treatment of its filings with the OCC;|
|●||the total amount of all of capital distributions, including the proposed capital distribution, for the applicable calendar year exceeds net income for that year to date plus retained net income for the preceding two years;|
|●||the institution would not be at least adequately capitalized, as determined under the capital requirements described above under “Prompt Corrective Action,” following the distribution; or|
|●||the proposed capital distribution would violate any applicable statute, regulation, or regulatory agreement or condition.|
In addition, a savings institution must give the OCC notice of a capital distribution if the savings institution is not required to file an application, but:
|●||would not be well capitalized, as determined under the capital requirements described above under “Prompt Corrective Action,” following the distribution;|
|●||the proposed capital distribution would reduce the amount of or retire any part of the savings institution’s common or preferred stock or retire any part of debt instruments such as notes or debentures included in capital, other than regular payments required under a debt instrument; or|
|●||the savings institution is a subsidiary of a savings and loan holding company, is filing a notice of the distribution with the FRB and is not otherwise required to file an application or notice regarding the proposed distribution with the OCC, in which case an information copy of the notice filed by the holding company with the FRB needs to be simultaneously provided to the OCC.|
Further, any savings institution subsidiary of a savings and loan holding company, such as the Bank, also must file a notice with the FRB of any proposed dividend or distribution.
The application or notice, as applicable, must be filed with the regulators at least 30 days before the proposed declaration of dividend or approval of the proposed capital distribution by its board of directors.
The OCC or FRB may prohibit a proposed dividend or capital distribution that would otherwise be permitted if it determines that:
|●||following the distribution, the savings institution will be undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized, or critically undercapitalized, as determined under the capital requirements described above under “Prompt Corrective Action;”|
|●||the proposed distribution raises safety or soundness concerns; or|
|●||the proposed capital distribution would violate any applicable statute, regulation, or regulatory agreement or condition.|
In addition, as noted above, if the Bank does not have the required capital conservation buffer, if applicable, its ability to pay dividends to the Company may be limited. See “Regulation of the Bank - Prompt Corrective Action” above for additional information on the capital conservation buffer.
Under OCC branching regulations, the Bank is generally authorized to open branches in any state of the U.S. (i) if the Bank qualifies as a “domestic building and loan association” under the Code, which qualification requirements are similar to those for a QTL under HOLA or (ii) if the law of the state in which the branch is located, or is to be located, would permit establishment of the branch if the savings institution were a state savings institution chartered by such state. The OCC authority preempts any state law purporting to regulate branching by federal savings banks.
Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) and the Fair Lending Laws
Federal savings banks have a responsibility under the CRA and related regulations of the OCC to help meet the credit needs of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. In addition, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act prohibits lenders from discriminating in their lending practices on the basis of characteristics specified in those statutes. An institution’s failure to comply with the provisions of the CRA could, at a minimum, result in regulatory restrictions on its activities and the denial of applications. In addition, an institution’s failure to comply with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act could result in the OCC, other federal regulatory agencies, as well as the Department of Justice, taking enforcement actions. We received a satisfactory rating from our most recent examination.
The Bank is a member of the FHLB. Among other benefits, each FHLB serves as a reserve or central bank for its members within its assigned region. Each FHLB is financed primarily from the sale of consolidated obligations of the FHLB system. Each FHLB makes available loans or advances to its members in compliance with the policies and procedures established by the Board of Directors of the individual FHLB.
Under the capital plan of the FHLB, as of December 31, 2020, the Bank was required to own at least $1.2 million of the capital stock of the FHLB. As of such date, we were in compliance with the capital plan requirements.
Federal Reserve System
The FRB required all depository institutions to maintain noninterest-bearing reserves at specified levels against their transaction accounts (primarily checking, NOW, and Super NOW checking accounts) and nonpersonal time deposits. In March 2020, due to a change in its approach to monetary policy, the FRB announced an interim rule which was finalized in December 2020 amending Regulation D requirements and reducing the reserve requirement ratios to zero. The FRB has indicated it has no current plans to re-impose reserve requirements, but may do so in the future.
Activities of Subsidiaries
A federal savings bank seeking to establish a new subsidiary, acquire control of an existing company, or conduct a new activity through an existing subsidiary must provide 30 days prior notice to the OCC and conduct any activities of the subsidiary in compliance with regulations and orders of the OCC. The OCC has the power to require a savings institution to divest any subsidiary or terminate any activity conducted by a subsidiary that the OCC determines to pose a serious threat to the financial safety, soundness, or stability of the savings institution or to be otherwise inconsistent with sound banking practices.
Federal savings banks are prohibited, subject to some exceptions, from extending credit to or offering any other services, or fixing or varying the consideration for such extension of credit or service, on the condition that the customer obtain some additional service from the institution or its affiliates or not obtain services of a competitor of the institution.
U.S. Patriot Act (“Patriot Act”)
Anti-terrorism legislation enacted under the Patriot Act expanded the scope of anti-money laundering laws and regulations and imposed significant new compliance obligations for financial institutions, including the Bank. The Patriot Act gives the federal government powers to address terrorist threats through enhanced domestic security measures, expanded surveillance powers, increased information sharing, and broadened anti-money laundering requirements. By way of amendments to the BSA, Title III of the Patriot Act takes measures intended to encourage information sharing among bank regulatory agencies and law enforcement bodies. Further, these regulations impose affirmative obligations on a wide range of financial institutions to maintain appropriate policies, procedures, and controls to detect, prevent, and report money laundering and terrorist financing.
Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by the Bank are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates. The Bank’s operations are also subject to federal laws applicable to credit transactions, such as the:
|●||Truth-In-Lending Act, governing disclosures of credit terms to consumer borrowers;|
|●||Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, requiring that borrowers for mortgage loans for one-to-four family residential real estate receive various disclosures, including good faith estimates of settlement costs, lender servicing, and escrow account practices, and prohibiting certain practices that increase the cost of settlement services;|
|●||HMDA, requiring financial institutions to provide information to enable the public and public officials to determine whether a financial institution is fulfilling its obligation to help meet the housing needs of the community it serves;|
|●||Fair Credit Reporting Act, governing the use and provision of information to credit reporting agencies;|
|●||Fair Debt Collection Act, governing the manner in which consumer debts may be collected by collection agencies;|
|●||Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E promulgated thereunder, which govern automatic deposits to and withdrawals from deposit accounts and customers’ rights and liabilities arising from the use of automated teller machines and other electronic banking services;|
|●||Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (also known as “Check 21”), which gives “substitute checks,” such as digital check images and copies made from that image, the same legal standing as the original paper check; and|
|●||rules and regulations of the various federal agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing such federal laws.|
In addition, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issues regulations and standards under these federal consumer protection laws that affect our consumer loan transactions. These include regulations setting “ability to repay” and “qualified mortgage” standards for residential mortgage loans and mortgage loan servicing and originator compensation standards.
ITEM 1A RISK FACTORS
Risks Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Types of Disasters
The economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
In December 2019, COVID-19 was reported in China, and, in March 2020, the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. On March 12, 2020, the President of the U.S. declared the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. a national emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant economic disruption in the U.S. as many state and local governments have ordered nonessential businesses to close and residents to shelter in place at home. While most of these restrictions were lifted in June of 2020, the actions and continued presence of COVID-19 have resulted in an unprecedented slow-down in economic activity and a related increase in unemployment. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been a record number of claims for unemployment and stock markets have remained volatile and, in particular, bank stocks have significantly declined in value. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the FRB has reduced the benchmark fed funds rate to a target range of 0% to 0.25%, and the yields on 10 and 30-year treasury notes have declined to historic lows. Various state governments and federal agencies are requiring lenders to provide forbearance and other relief to borrowers (e.g., waiving late payment and other fees). The federal banking agencies have encouraged financial institutions to prudently work with affected borrowers and legislation has provided relief from reporting loan classifications due to modifications related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Certain industries have been particularly hard-hit, including the travel and hospitality industry, the restaurant industry, and the retail industry. Finally, the spread of COVID-19 has caused us to modify our business practices, including employee travel, employee work locations, and cancellation of physical participation in meetings, events, and conferences. We may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, and business partners.
Given the ongoing and dynamic nature of the circumstances, it is difficult to predict the full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our business. The extent of such impact will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain, including when COVID-19 can be controlled and abated and when and how the economy may be permanently reopened.
As the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related adverse local and national economic consequences, we could be subject to any of the following risks, any of which could have a material, adverse effect on our business, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations:
demand for our products and services may decline, making it difficult to grow assets and income;
if the economy is unable to permanently reopen, and high levels of unemployment continue for an extended period of time, loan delinquencies, problem assets, and foreclosures may increase, resulting in increased charges and reduced income;
●collateral for loans, especially real estate, may decline in value, which could cause loan losses to increase;
our allowance for loan losses (“Allowance”) may have to be increased if borrowers experience financial difficulties beyond forbearance periods, which will adversely affect our net income;
●the net worth and liquidity of loan guarantors may decline, impairing their ability to honor commitments to us;
as the result of the decline in the FRB’s target federal funds rate, the yield on our assets may decline to a greater extent than the decline in our cost of interest-bearing liabilities, reducing our net interest margin and spread and reducing net income;
a material decrease in net income or a net loss over several quarters could result in a decrease in the rate of our quarterly cash dividend;
a prolonged weakness in economic conditions resulting in a reduction of future projected earnings could result in our recording additional valuation allowance against our current outstanding deferred tax assets (“DTAs”);
a prolonged weakness in economic conditions could result in a devaluation of our company value and result in an impairment charge on goodwill;
the unavailability of a critical service from a third party vendor due to the COVID-19 outbreak could have an adverse effect on us; and
FDIC premiums may increase if the agency experiences additional resolution costs.
Moreover, our future success and profitability substantially depends on the management skills of our executive officers and directors, many of whom have held officer and director positions with us for many years. The unanticipated loss or unavailability of key employees due to the outbreak could harm our ability to operate our business or execute our business strategy. We may not be successful in finding and integrating suitable successors in the event of key employee loss or unavailability.
Any one or a combination of the factors identified above could negatively impact our business, financial condition, and results of operations and prospects.
We are subject to regulatory enforcement risk and reputation risk regarding our participation in the PPP and we are subject to the risk that the SBA may not fund some or all PPP loan guarantees.
The CARES Act included the PPP as a loan program administered through the SBA. Under the PPP, small businesses and other entities and individuals were able to apply for loans from existing SBA lenders and other approved regulated lenders that enrolled in the program, subject to detailed qualifications and eligibility criteria.
Because of the short timeframe between the passing of the CARES Act and implementation of the PPP, some of the rules and guidance relating to PPP were issued after lenders began processing PPP applications. Also, there was and continues to be uncertainty in the laws, rules and guidance relating to the PPP. Since the opening of the PPP, several banks have been subject to litigation regarding the procedures used in processing PPP applications, and several banks have been subject to litigation regarding the payment of fees to agents that assisted borrowers in obtaining PPP loans. In addition, some banks and borrowers have received negative media attention associated with PPP loans. Although we believe that we have administered the PPP in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and guidance, we may be exposed to litigation risk and negative media attention related to our participation in the PPP. Any financial liability, litigation costs
or reputational damage caused by PPP-related litigation or media attention could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
The PPP has also attracted interest from federal and state enforcement authorities, oversight agencies, regulators, and U.S. Congressional committees. State Attorneys General and other federal and state agencies may assert that they are not subject to the provisions of the CARES Act and the PPP regulations entitling us to rely on borrower certifications, and take more aggressive action against us for alleged violations of the provisions governing the PPP. Federal and state regulators can impose or request that we consent to substantial sanctions, restrictions and requirements if they determine there are violations of laws, rules or regulations or weaknesses or failures with respect to general standards of safety and soundness, which could adversely affect our business, reputation, results of operation and financial condition, and thereby adversely affect your investment.
We also have credit risk on PPP loans if the SBA determines that there is a deficiency in the manner in which we originated, funded or serviced loans, including any issue with the eligibility of a borrower to receive a PPP loan. In the event of a loss resulting from a default on a PPP loan and a determination by the SBA that there was a deficiency in the manner in which we originated, funded or serviced a PPP loan, the SBA may deny its liability under the guaranty, reduce the amount of the guaranty or, if the SBA has already paid under the guaranty, seek recovery of any loss related to the deficiency from us.
Terrorist attacks, threats or actual war, natural disasters, global climate change, pandemics, and other global conflicts may impact all aspects of our operations, revenues, costs, and stock price in unpredictable ways.
Terrorist attacks in the U.S. and abroad, as well as future events occurring in response to or in connection with them, including, without limitation, future terrorist attacks against U.S. targets, rumors or threats of war, actual conflicts involving the U.S. or its allies, or military or trade disruptions, may impact our operations. In addition, natural disasters, global climate change, pandemics, and other global conflicts may impact our operations as well. Any of these events could cause consumer confidence and savings to decrease or could result in increased volatility in the U.S. and worldwide financial markets and economy. Any of these occurrences could have an adverse impact on our operating results, revenues, and costs and may result in the volatility of the market price for our common stock and on the future price of our common stock.
Risks Related to Our Lending and Deposit Activities
Most of our loans are secured by real estate located in our market area. If there is a downturn in the real estate market, additional borrowers may default on their loans and we may not be able to fully recover our investment in such loans.
A downturn in the real estate market could adversely affect our business because most of our loans are secured by real estate. Substantially all of our real estate collateral is located in the states of Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. Real estate values and real estate markets are generally affected by changes in national, regional, or local economic conditions, fluctuations in interest rates and the availability of loans to potential purchasers, changes in tax laws and other governmental statutes, regulations and policies, and acts of nature.
In addition to the risks generally present with respect to mortgage-lending activities, our operations are affected by other factors affecting our borrowers, including:
|●||the ability of our customers to make loan payments;|
|●||the ability of our borrowers to attract and retain buyers or tenants, which may in turn be affected by local conditions such as an oversupply of space or a reduction in demand for rental space in the area, the attractiveness of properties to buyers and tenants, and competition from other available space, or by the ability of the owner to pay leasing commissions, provide adequate maintenance and insurance, pay tenant improvements costs, and make other tenant concessions;|
|●||interest rate levels and the availability of credit to refinance loans at or prior to maturity; and|
|●||increased operating costs, including energy costs, real estate taxes, and costs of compliance with environmental controls and regulations.|
As of December 31, 2020, approximately 90% of the book value of our loan portfolio consisted of loans collateralized by various types of real estate. If real estate prices decline, the value of real estate collateral securing our loans will be reduced. Our ability to recover loans in default through the process of foreclosure and subsequent sale of the real estate collateral would then be diminished and we would be more likely to incur financial losses on such loans.
In addition, approximately 55% of the book value of our loans consisted of ADC and commercial real estate loans, which present additional risks described in “Item 1. Business – “Lending Activities” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our operations are located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, which makes our business highly susceptible to local economic conditions. An economic downturn or recession in this area may adversely affect our ability to operate profitably.
Unlike larger banking organizations that are geographically diversified, our operations are concentrated in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. In addition, nearly all of our loans have been made to borrowers in the states of Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. As a result of this geographic concentration, our financial results depend largely upon economic conditions in our market area. A deterioration or decline in economic conditions in this market area could result in one or more of the following:
|●||a decrease in deposits;|
|●||an increase in loan delinquencies;|
|●||an increase in problem assets and foreclosures;|
|●||a decrease in the demand for our products and services; and|
|●||a decrease in the value of collateral for loans, especially real estate, and reduction in customers’ borrowing capacities.|
Any of the foregoing factors may adversely affect our ability to operate profitably.
Our loan portfolio exhibits a high degree of risk.
We have a significant amount of nonresidential loans, as well as construction and land loans granted on a speculative basis. Although permanent single-family, owner-occupied loans currently represent the largest single component of assets and impaired loans, we have a significant level of nonresidential loans, construction loans, and land loans that have an above-average risk exposure.
At December 31, 2020, commercial real estate loans totaled $243.4 million, or 37.7% of our loan portfolio and ADC real estate loans totaled $112.9 million, or 17.5% of our loan portfolio. Given their larger balances and the complexity of the underlying collateral, commercial real estate and ADC real estate loans generally have more risk than the owner-occupied one- to four-family residential real estate loans we originate. Because the repayment of commercial real estate and ADC real estate loans depends on the successful management and operation of the borrower’s properties or related businesses, or, in the case of ADC loans, the successful development/construction of a property, repayment of such loans can be affected by adverse conditions in the local real estate market or economy. The adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could adversely impact the value of properties securing the loan or the revenues from the borrower’s business, thereby increasing the risk of non-performing loans. If we foreclose on these loans, our holding period for the collateral typically is longer than for a one- to four-family residential property because there are fewer potential purchasers of the collateral. In addition, commercial real estate and ADC loans typically involve larger loan balances to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers compared to one- to four-family residential loans. Accordingly, charge-offs on commercial real estate and ADC loans may be larger on a per loan basis than those incurred with our residential or consumer loan portfolios.
As our commercial real estate and ADC real estate loan portfolios increase, the corresponding risks and potential for losses from these loans may also increase, which would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We provide banking services to customers who do business in the medical-use cannabis industry and the strict enforcement of federal laws regarding medical-use cannabis would likely result in our inability to continue to provide banking services to these customers and we could have legal action taken against us by the federal government.
We have deposit and loan customers that are licensed by the state of Maryland to do business in the medical-use cannabis industry as growers, processors, and dispensaries. While medical-use cannabis is legal in the state of Maryland, it remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). As such, the cultivation, use, distribution, and possession of cannabis is a violation of federal law that is punishable by imprisonment and fines. Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in USA v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Coop. that the federal government has the authority to regulate and criminalize cannabis, including medical marijuana.
In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) rescinded the “Cole Memo” and related memoranda which characterized the enforcement of the CSA against persons and entities complying with state regulatory systems permitting the use, manufacture and sale of medical marijuana as an inefficient use of their prosecutorial resources and discretion. The impact of the DOJ’s rescission of the Cole Memo and related memoranda is unclear, but may result in the DOJ increasing its enforcement actions against the regulated cannabis industry generally.
The U.S. Congress previously enacted an omnibus spending bill that includes a provision prohibiting the DOJ and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration from using funds appropriated by that bill to prevent states from implementing their medical-use cannabis laws. This provision, however, expires September 30, 2021. Further, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held in USA v. McIntosh that this provision prohibits the DOJ from spending funds from relevant appropriations acts to prosecute individuals who engage in conduct permitted by state medical-use cannabis laws and who strictly comply with such laws. There is no guarantee that the U.S. Congress will extend this provision or that U.S. Federal courts located outside the Ninth Circuit will follow the ruling in USA v. MacIntosh.
Federal prosecutors have significant discretion and there can be no assurance that the federal prosecutor for the District of Maryland will not choose to strictly enforce the federal laws governing cannabis, including medical-use cannabis, or that the federal courts in Maryland will follow the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in USA v. MacIntosh. Any change in the federal government’s enforcement position, could cause us to immediately cease providing banking services to the medical-use cannabis industry in Maryland.
Additionally, as the possession and use of cannabis remains illegal under the CSA, we may be deemed to be aiding and abetting illegal activities through the services that we provide to these customers and could have legal action taken against us by the Federal government, including imprisonment and fines. Any change in position or potential action taken against us could result in significant financial damage to us and our stockholders.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) published guidelines in 2014 for financial institutions servicing state legal cannabis business. A financial institution that provides services to a medical-use cannabis related business can comply with BSA disclosure standards by following the FinCEN guidelines. Any adverse change in this FinCEN guidance, any new regulations or legislation, any change in existing regulations or oversight, whether a change in regulatory policy or a change in a regulator’s interpretation of a law or regulation, could have a negative impact on our interest income and noninterest income, as well as the cost of our operations, increasing our cost of regulatory compliance and of doing business, and/or otherwise affect us, which may materially affect our profitability.
We are exposed to risk of environmental liabilities with respect to properties on which we take title.
In the course of our business, we may foreclose upon and take title to real estate and could be subject to environmental liabilities with respect to these properties. We may be held liable to a governmental entity or to third parties for property damage, personal injury, investigation and clean-up costs incurred by these parties in connection with environmental contamination, or may be required to investigate or clean up hazardous or toxic substances or chemical releases at a property. The costs associated with investigation or remediation activities could be substantial. In addition, if we are the owner or former owner of a contaminated site, we may be subject to common law claims by third parties based on damages and costs resulting from environmental contamination emanating from the property. If we become subject to significant
environmental liabilities, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.
Income from mortgage-banking operations is volatile and we may incur losses with respect to our mortgage-banking operations that could negatively affect our earnings.
A key component of our strategy is to sell on the secondary market the longer term, conforming fixed-rate residential mortgage loans that we originate, earning noninterest income in the form of gains on the sale of the loans. When interest rates rise, the demand for mortgage loans tend to fall and may reduce the number of loans we can originate for sale. Weak or deteriorating economic conditions also tend to reduce loan demand. Although we sell, and intend to continue selling, most loans in the secondary market with limited or no recourse, we are required, and will continue to be required, to give customary representations and warranties to the buyers relating to compliance with applicable law. If we breach those representations and warranties, the buyers will be able to require us to repurchase the loans and we may incur a loss on the repurchase. We have not been required to repurchase any loans in the last two years.
We have established an Allowance based on management’s estimates. Actual losses could differ significantly from those estimates. If the Allowance is not adequate, it could have a material adverse effect on our earnings and the price of our common stock.
We maintain an Allowance, which is a reserve established through a provision for loan losses charged to expense, that represents management’s best estimate of probable incurred losses within the existing portfolio of loans. The Allowance, in the judgment of management, is necessary to reserve for estimated loan losses and risks inherent in the loan portfolio. The level of the Allowance reflects management’s continuing evaluation of specific credit risks, loan loss experience, current loan portfolio quality, present economic, political, and regulatory conditions, including the COVID-19 pandemic, industry concentrations, and other unidentified losses inherent in the current loan portfolio. The determination of the appropriate level of the Allowance inherently involves a high degree of subjectivity and judgment and requires us to make significant estimates of current credit risks and future trends, all of which may undergo material changes. Changes in economic conditions affecting borrowers, new information regarding existing loans, identification of additional problem loans, and other factors, both within and outside of our control, may require an increase in the Allowance.
In addition, bank regulatory agencies periodically review our Allowance and may require an increase in the provision for loan losses or the recognition of further loan charge-offs, based on judgments different than those of management. If charge-offs in future periods exceed the Allowance, we may need additional provisions to increase the Allowance. Furthermore, growth in the loan portfolio would generally lead to an increase in the provision for loan losses.
Any increases in the Allowance will result in a decrease in net income and capital, and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
At December 31, 2020 and 2019, our nonaccrual loans equaled $4.4 million and $4.2 million, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, we recognized $632,000 and $(406,000) in net loan recoveries (charge-offs), respectively. At December 31, 2020, the total Allowance was $8.7 million, which was 1.35% of total loans, compared with $7.1 million, which was 1.11% of total loans, as of December 31, 2019.
Risks Related to Our Regulatory Environment
Changes in laws and regulations and the cost of regulatory compliance with new laws and regulations may adversely affect our operations and/or increase our costs of operations.
We are subject to extensive regulation, supervision and examination by our banking regulators, the FRB, the OCC, and the FDIC. Such regulation and supervision govern the activities in which a financial institution and its holding company may engage and are intended primarily for the protection of insurance funds and the depositors and borrowers of the Bank rather than for the protection of our stockholders. Regulatory authorities have extensive discretion in their supervisory and enforcement activities, including the ability to impose restrictions on our operations, classify our assets, and determine the level of our Allowance. These regulations, along with the currently existing tax, accounting, securities, deposit insurance,
and monetary laws, rules, standards, policies, and interpretations, control the ways financial institutions conduct business, implement strategic initiatives, and prepare financial reporting and disclosures. Any change in such regulation and oversight, whether in the form of regulatory policy, new regulations, legislation, or supervisory action, may have a material impact on our operations. Further, changes in accounting standards can be both difficult to predict and may involve judgment and discretion in their interpretation by us and our independent accounting firms. These changes could materially impact, potentially retroactively, how we report our financial condition and results of operations.
Non-compliance with the Patriot Act, BSA, or other laws and regulations could result in fines or sanctions.
The Patriot Act and BSA require financial institutions to develop programs to prevent financial institutions from being used for money laundering and terrorist activities. If such activities are detected, financial institutions are obligated to file suspicious activity reports with FinCEN. These rules require financial institutions to establish procedures for identifying and verifying the identity of customers seeking to open new financial accounts. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in fines or sanctions, including restrictions on pursuing acquisitions or establishing new branches. The policies and procedures we have adopted that are designed to assist in compliance with these laws and regulations may not be effective in preventing violations of these laws and regulations.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures, we may be unable to accurately report our financial results and comply with the reporting requirements under the Exchange Act. As a result, current and potential stockholders may lose confidence in our financial reporting and disclosure required under the Exchange Act, which could adversely affect our business and stock price and could subject us to regulatory scrutiny.
Pursuant to Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley, referred to as Section 404, we are required to include in our Annual Reports on Form 10-K our management’s report on internal control over financial reporting. Compliance with the requirements of Section 404 is expensive and time-consuming. If we fail to complete this evaluation in a timely manner, we could be subject to regulatory scrutiny and a loss of public confidence in our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, any failure to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and procedures could cause our current and potential stockholders and customers to lose confidence in our financial reporting and disclosures required under the Exchange Act, which could adversely affect our business and stock price.
Risks Related to Competition
We compete with a number of local, regional, and national financial institutions for customers.
We face strong competition from savings and loan institutions, banks, and other financial institutions that have branch offices or otherwise operate in our market area, as well as many other companies now offering a range of financial services. Many of these competitors have substantially greater financial resources and larger branch systems than us and offer products that we do not offer. In addition, many of our competitors have higher legal lending limits than us. Particularly intense competition exists for sources of funds including savings and retail time deposits, as well as for loans and other services we offer. Significant ongoing consolidation in the banking industry may result in one or more large competitors emerging in our primary target market. The financial resources, human capital, and expertise of one or more large institutions could threaten our ability to maintain our competitiveness.
We face intense competitive pressure on customer pricing, which may materially and adversely affect revenues and profitability.
We generate net interest income and charge our customers fees based on prevailing market conditions for deposits, loans, and other financial services. In order to increase deposit, loan, and other service volumes, enter new market segments, and expand our base of customers and the size of individual relationships, we must provide competitive pricing for such products and services. In order to stay competitive, we have had to intensify our efforts around attractively pricing our products and services. To the extent that we must continue to adjust our pricing to stay competitive, we will need to grow our volumes and balances in order to offset the effects of declining net interest income and fee-based margins. Increased
pricing pressure also enhances the importance of cost containment and productivity initiatives and we may not succeed in these efforts.
Risks Related to Use of Technology
The operations of our business, including our interaction with customers, are increasingly done via electronic means and this has increased our risks related to cyber-attacks.
We are exposed to the risk of cyber-attacks in the normal course of business. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. There has been an increased level of attention focused on cyber-attacks against large corporations that include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems for purposes of misappropriating cash, other assets, or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyber-attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as by causing denial-of-service attacks on websites. Cyber-attacks may be carried out by third parties or insiders using techniques that range from highly sophisticated efforts to electronically circumvent network security or overwhelm websites to more traditional intelligence gathering and social engineering aimed at obtaining information necessary to gain access. The objectives of cyber-attacks vary widely and can include theft of financial assets, intellectual property, or other sensitive information, including the information belonging to our banking customers. Cyber-attacks may also be directed at disrupting our operations.
While we have not incurred any losses related to cyber-attacks, nor are we aware of any specific or threatened cyber-incidents as of the date of this report, we may incur substantial costs and suffer other negative consequences if we fall victim to successful cyber-attacks. Such negative consequences could include remediation costs that may include liability for stolen assets or information and repairing system damage that may have been caused, increased cybersecurity protection costs that may include organizational changes, deploying additional personnel and protection technologies, training employees, and engaging third-party experts and consultants, lost revenues resulting from unauthorized use of proprietary information or the failure to retain or attract customers following an attack, litigation, and reputational damage adversely affecting customer or investor confidence.
Our business is highly reliant on technology and our ability to manage the operational risks associated with technology.
We rely heavily on communications and information systems to conduct our business. Our business involves storing and processing sensitive customer data. Any failure, interruption, or breach in security of these systems could result in theft of customer data or failures or disruptions in our customer relationship management, general ledger, deposit, loan, data storage, processing, and other systems. Our inability to access these information systems at critical points in time could unfavorably impact the timeliness and efficiency of our business operations. In addition, we operate a number of money transfer and related electronic, check, and other payment connections that are vulnerable to individuals engaging in fraudulent activities that seek to compromise payments and related financial systems illegally. While we have policies and procedures designed to prevent or limit the effect of the failure, interruption, or security breach of our information systems, there can be no assurance that failures, interruptions, or security breaches will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be adequately addressed. The occurrence of any failures, interruptions, or security breaches of our information systems could damage our reputation, result in a loss of customer business, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, result in increased expense to contain the event and/or require that we provide credit monitoring services for affected customers or expose us to civil litigation and regulatory fines and sanctions, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our business is highly reliant on third-party vendors and our ability to manage the operational risks associated with outsourcing those services.
We rely on third parties to provide services that are integral to our operations. These vendors provide services that support our operations, including storage and processing of sensitive consumer date. A cyber-security breach of a vendor’s system may result in theft of our data or disruption of business processes. A material breach of customer data at a service provider’s site may negatively impact our business reputation and cause a loss of customer business, result in increased expense to contain the event and/or require that we provide credit monitoring services for affected customers, result in regulatory
fines and sanctions, and may result in litigation. In most cases, we remain primarily liable to our customers for losses arising from a breach of a vendor’s data security system. We rely on our outsourced service providers to implement and maintain prudent cyber-security controls. We have procedures in place to assess a vendor’s cyber-security controls prior to establishing a contractual relationship and to periodically review assessments of those control systems; however, these procedures are not infallible and a vendor’s system can be breached despite the procedures we employ.
If our third-party providers experience financial, operational, or technological difficulties, or if there is any other disruption in our relationships with them, we may be required to locate alternative sources of such services and we cannot ensure that we would be able to negotiate terms that are as favorable to us, or could obtain services with similar functionality as found in our existing systems, without the need to expend substantial resources, if at all.
We continually encounter technological change, and, if we are unable to develop and implement efficient and customer friendly technology, we could lose business.
The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change, with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. The effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to better serve customers and to reduce costs. Our future success depends, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands, as well as to achieve additional efficiencies in our operations. Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. We may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to our customers. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry could have a material adverse impact on our business and, in turn, our financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to the General Banking Industry
Changes in interest rates could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
The operations of financial institutions such as ours are dependent to a large degree on net interest income, which is the difference between interest income from loans and investments and interest expense on deposits and borrowings. Our net interest income is significantly affected by market rates of interest that in turn are affected by prevailing economic conditions, fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government, and the policies of various regulatory agencies. Like all financial institutions, our balance sheet is affected by fluctuations in interest rates. Volatility in interest rates can also result in disintermediation, which is the flow of funds away from financial institutions into direct investments, such as U.S. Government bonds, corporate securities, and other investment vehicles, including mutual funds, which, because of the absence of federal insurance premiums and reserve requirements, generally pay higher rates of return than those offered by financial institutions such as ours.
Sharply rising interest rates could disrupt domestic and world markets and could adversely affect the value of our investment portfolio or our liquidity and results of operations. We expect to experience continual competition for deposit accounts which may make it difficult to reduce the interest paid on some deposits.
During the majority of the first quarter of 2020, the interest rate environment remained stable as compared to the 2019 rate environment. However, near the end of the first quarter of 2020, rates began dropping significantly due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic. We do believe, however, that in the current market environment, we have adequate policies and procedures for maintaining a conservative interest rate sensitive position. There is no assurance that this condition will continue. A sharp movement up or down in deposit rates, loan rates, investment fund rates, and other interest-sensitive instruments on our balance sheet could have a significant, adverse impact on our net interest income and operating results.
We may be adversely affected by changes in economic and political conditions and by governmental monetary and fiscal policies.
The banking industry is affected, directly and indirectly, by local, domestic, and international economic and political conditions, and by governmental monetary and fiscal policies. Conditions such as inflation, recession, unemployment,
volatile interest rates, tight money supply, real estate values, international conflicts, and other factors beyond our control may adversely affect our potential profitability. Any future rises in interest rates, while increasing the income yield on our earning assets, may adversely affect loan demand and the cost of funds and, consequently, our profitability. Any future decreases in interest rates may adversely affect our profitability because such decreases could reduce the amounts earned on our assets. Economic downturns have resulted and may continue to result in the delinquency of outstanding loans. We do not expect any one particular factor to materially affect our results of operations. However, downtrends in several areas, including real estate, construction, and consumer spending, have had and may continue to have, a material adverse impact on our ability to remain profitable. Further, there can be no assurance that the asset values of the loans included in our loan portfolio, the value of properties and other collateral securing such loans, or the value of real estate acquired through foreclosure will remain at current levels.
Reforms to and uncertainty regarding LIBOR may adversely affect our business.
In 2017, a committee of private-market derivative participants and their regulators convened by the FRB, the ARRC, was created to identify an alternative reference interest rate to replace LIBOR. The ARRC announced SOFR, a broad measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight collateralized by Treasury securities, as its preferred alternative to LIBOR. The Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced its intention to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR to the administrator of LIBOR. In December 2020, the administrator of LIBOR announced its intention to (i) cease the publication of the one-week and two-month U.S. dollar LIBOR after December 31, 2021 and (ii) cease the publication of all other tenors of U.S. dollar LIBOR (one, three, six, and twelve month LIBOR) after June 30, 2023. The FRB announced final plans for the production of SOFR, which resulted in the commencement of its published rates by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on April 2, 2018. Whether or not SOFR attains market traction as a LIBOR replacement tool remains in question and the future of LIBOR at this time is uncertain. The uncertainty as to the nature and effect of such reforms and actions and the political discontinuance of LIBOR may adversely affect the value of and return on our financial assets and liabilities that are based on or are linked to LIBOR, our results of operations or financial condition. In addition, these reforms may also require extensive changes to the contracts that govern these LIBOR based products, as well as our systems and processes.
Risks Related to the Investment in our Common Stock
Our stock price may be volatile due to limited trading volume.
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market. However, the average daily trading volume in the Company’s common stock has been relatively small. As a result, trades involving a relatively small number of shares may have a significant effect on the market price of the common stock and it may be difficult for investors to acquire or dispose of large blocks of stock without significantly affecting the market price.
There can be no assurance that we will pay dividends in the future.
Bank regulations govern and limit the payment of dividends and capital distributions to stockholders and purchases or redemption by the Company of its stock. Although we paid dividends in 2019 and 2020 and in the first quarter of 2021, this dividend policy will continue to be reviewed in light of future earnings, bank regulations, and other considerations. No assurance can be given, therefore, that cash dividends on our common stock will be paid in the future.
Our 2035 Debentures contain restrictions on our ability to declare and pay dividends on or repurchase our common stock.
Under the terms of our Junior Subordinated Debt Securities due 2035, referred to as the 2035 Debentures, if (i) there has occurred and is continuing an event of default; (ii) we are in default with respect to payment of any obligations under the related guarantee; or (iii) we have given notice of our election to defer payments of interest on the 2035 Debentures by extending the interest distribution period as provided in the indenture governing the 2035 Debentures and such period, or any extension thereof, has commenced and is continuing, then we may not, among other things, declare or pay any dividends or distributions on, or redeem, purchase, acquire, or make a liquidation payment with respect to, any of our
capital stock, including our common stock. As of December 31, 2020, we were current on all interest due on the 2035 Debentures.
An investment in our securities is not insured against loss.
Investments in our common stock are not deposits insured against loss by the FDIC or any other entity. As a result, an investor may lose some or all of his, her, or its investment.
“Anti-takeover” provisions will make it more difficult for a third-party to acquire control of us, even if the change in control would be beneficial to our equity holders.
Our charter presently contains certain provisions that may be deemed to be “anti-takeover” and “anti-greenmail” in nature in that such provisions may deter, discourage, or make more difficult the assumption of control of us by another corporation or person through a tender offer, merger, proxy contest, or similar transaction or series of transactions. For example, currently, our charter provides that our Board of Directors may amend the charter, without stockholder approval, to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of our stock or the number of shares of any class that we have authority to issue. In addition, our charter provides for a classified Board, with each Board member serving a staggered three-year term. Directors may be removed only for cause and only with the approval of the holders of at least 75% of our common stock. The overall effects of the “anti-takeover” and “anti-greenmail” provisions may be to discourage, make more costly or more difficult, or prevent a future takeover offer, prevent stockholders from receiving a premium for their securities in a takeover offer, and enhance the possibility that a future bidder for control of us will be required to act through arms-length negotiation with our Board of Directors. These provisions may also have the effect of perpetuating incumbent management.
Our brand, reputation, and relationship with our customers are key assets of our business and may be affected by how we are perceived in the marketplace.
Our brand and its attributes are key assets of our business. The ability to attract and retain customers to our products and services is highly dependent upon the external perceptions of us and the industry in which we operate. Our business may be affected by actions taken by competitors, customers, third-party providers, employees, regulators, suppliers, or others that impact the perception of the brand, such as creditor practices that may be viewed as “predatory,” customer service quality issues, and employee relations issues. Adverse developments with respect to our industry may also, by association, impair our reputation, or result in greater regulatory or legislative scrutiny.
Our success depends on our senior management team, and if we are not able to retain our senior management team, it could have a material adverse effect on us.
We are highly dependent upon the continued services and experience of our senior management team, including Alan J. Hyatt, our Chairman, President, and CEO. We depend on the services of Mr. Hyatt and the other members of our senior management team to, among other things, continue the development and implementation of our strategies, and maintain and develop our customer relationships. If we are unable to retain Mr. Hyatt and other members of our senior management team, our business could be materially and adversely affected.
ITEM 1B UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2 PROPERTIES
HS constructed a building in Annapolis, Maryland that serves as the Company’s and the Bank’s administrative headquarters. A branch office of the Bank is also included in the building. The Company and the Bank lease their executive and administrative offices from HS. In addition, HS leases space to four unrelated companies and to a law firm in which the President of the Company and Bank is a partner.
The Company has seven retail branch locations in Anne Arundel County, Maryland (shown below), a mortgage loan office in Frederick, Maryland, and also leases office space in Annapolis, Maryland from a third party. The leases are for various terms, with the longest ending in 2035.
Headquarters Branch (1)
Full Service Branch
200 Westgate Circle
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Annapolis Branch (1)
Full Service Branch with drive-thru
1917 West Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Crofton Branch (2)
Full Service Branch with drive-thru
2151 Defense Highway
Crofton, Maryland 21114
Edgewater Branch (2)
Full Service Branch with drive-thru
3083 Solomon's Island Road
Edgewater, Maryland 21037
Glen Burnie Branch (1)
Full Service Branch with drive-thru
413 Crain Highway, S.E.
Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061
Lothian Branch (2)
Full Service Branch with drive-thru
5401 Southern Maryland Boulevard
Lothian, Maryland 20711
Severna Park Branch (2)
Full Service Branch with drive-thru
598 Benfield Road
Severna Park, Maryland 21146
Frederick Mortgage Office (2)
Mortgage loan office
5291 Corporate Drive Ste. 202
Frederick, Maryland 21703
(1) Branch is owned by Company
(2) Branch/Office is leased by Company
ITEM 3 LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
At December 31, 2020, we were party to legal actions that are routine and incidental to our business. In management’s opinion, the outcome of these matters, individually or in the aggregate, will not have a material effect on our results of operations or financial position.
ITEM 4 MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5 MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
The common stock of the Company is traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “SVBI.” As of March 8, 2021, we had 157 shareholders of record.
Equity Compensation Plan
The following table sets forth the securities authorized for issuance under the Company’s equity based compensation plans:
securities to be
exercise price of
for future issuance
Equity compensation plan approved by security holders
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders
Federal banking regulations limit the amount of dividends that banking institutions may pay and may require prior approval or non-objection from federal banking regulators before any dividends, capital distributions, or share redemptions can be made.
Our main source of income is dividends from the Bank. As a result, any dividends paid to our common shareholders depend primarily upon regulatory approval and receipt of dividends from the Bank.
Under the terms of the Company’s 2035 Debentures, if (i) there has occurred and is continuing an event of default; (ii) the Company is in default with respect to payment of any obligations under the related guarantee; or (iii) the Company has given notice of its election to defer payments of interest on the 2035 Debentures by extending the interest distribution period as provided in the indenture governing the 2035 Debentures and such period, or any extension thereof, has commenced and is continuing, then the Company may not, among other things, declare or pay any dividends or distributions on, or redeem, purchase, acquire, or make a liquidation payment with respect to any of its capital stock, including common stock. As of December 31, 2020, the Company was current on all interest due on the 2035 Debentures.
Any dividend amount is established by the board of directors each quarter. In making its decision on dividends, the Board of Directors considers operating results, financial condition, capital adequacy, regulatory requirements, shareholder returns, and other factors. Shareholders received quarterly cash common stock dividends totaling $2.1 million in 2020 and $1.8 million in 2019. There is no guarantee that dividends will be paid any time in the future.
The Company did not repurchase any shares of common stock during the fourth quarter of 2020.
ITEM 6 SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following summary financial information as of and for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 is derived from our audited Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The information is a summary and should be read in conjunction with our audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Item 7 below. Certain prior year amounts have been adjusted for the correction of an immaterial error as described in “Financial Condition – Capital Resources” in Item 7 below.
Consolidated Statement of Income Data:
(dollars in thousands, except per share data)
Net interest income
Provision for (reversal of) loan losses
Income tax expense
Consolidated Statement of Financial Condition Data:
Loans receivable, net of Allowance
Per Share Data:
Number of shares of common stock outstanding at year end
Net income per common share:
Dividends declared per common share
Performance and Capital Ratios:
Return on average assets
Return on average equity
Net interest margin
Average equity to average assets
Community bank leverage ratio (1)
Tier 1 leverage ratio (1)
Common equity Tier 1 capital ratio (1)
Tier 1 capital ratio (1)
Total capital ratio (1)
Dividend payout ratio
Asset Quality Ratios:
Nonperforming assets to total assets
Net recoveries (charge-offs) to average total loans, net of unearned income
(1) Bank only. The Bank elected to use the Community Bank Leverage Ratio beginning on January 1, 2020. See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information.
ITEM 7 MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The Company is a savings and loan holding company chartered as a corporation in the state of Maryland in 1990. It conducts business primarily through four subsidiaries, the Bank, SBI, the Title Company, and Hyatt Commercial (see “Subsequent Events” later in this Item for information on subsequent sale of certain Hyatt Commercial assets). Hyatt Commercial conducts business as a commercial real estate brokerage and property management company. SBI holds mortgages that do not meet the underwriting criteria of the Bank and is the parent company of Crownsville, which does business as Annapolis Equity Group and acquires real estate for syndication and investment purposes. The Title Company engages in title work related to real estate transactions. The Bank has seven branches in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, which offer a full range of deposit products and originate mortgages in its primary market of Anne Arundel County, Maryland and, to a lesser extent, in other parts of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.
Significant Developments - COVID-19
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, which continues to spread throughout the U.S. and around the world. The declaration of a global pandemic indicates that almost all public commerce and related business activities must be, to varying degrees, curtailed with the goal of decreasing the rate of new infections. The COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. has had and is expected to continue to have a complex and significant adverse impact on the economy, the banking industry, and the Company in future fiscal periods, all subject to a high degree of uncertainty.
Effects on Our Market Areas
Our commercial and consumer banking products and services are offered primarily in Maryland, where individual and governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a broad curtailment of economic activity since March 2020. In Maryland, the Governor issued a series of orders, including ordering schools to close for an indefinite period of time and an order that, subject to limited exceptions, all individuals stay at home and non-essential businesses cease all activities for an indeterminate amount of time. Since June 2020, many of these restrictions have been removed and some non-essential businesses were allowed to re-open in a limited capacity, adhering to social distancing and disinfection guidelines. The Bank has remained open during these orders because banks have been identified as essential services. The Bank has been serving its customers through its drive-ups, ATMs, and in all of its branch offices by appointment only.
Locally, as well as nationally, we have experienced an increase in unemployment levels in our market area as a result of the curtailment of business activities, the levels of which are expected to remain elevated for the near future.
Policy and Regulatory Developments
Federal, state and local governments and regulatory authorities have enacted and issued a range of policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the following:
The FRB decreased the range for the federal funds target rate by 0.5% on March 3, 2020, and by another 1.0% on March 16, 2020, reaching the current range of 0.0% - 0.25%.
On March 27, 2020, the President of the U.S. signed the CARES Act, which established a $2.0 trillion economic stimulus package, including cash payments to individuals, supplemental unemployment insurance benefits and a $659.0 billion loan program (revised by subsequent legislation) administered through the SBA, referred to as the PPP. Under the PPP, small businesses, sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed individuals were able to apply for forgivable loans from existing SBA lenders and other approved regulated lenders that enroll in the program, subject to numerous limitations and eligibility criteria. PPP loans have an interest rate of 1.0%, a two-year or five-year loan term to maturity, and principal and
interest payments deferred until the lender receives the applicable forgiven amount or the end of the borrower's loan forgiveness. The Bank participates as a lender in the PPP. In addition, the CARES Act provides financial institutions the option to temporarily suspend certain requirements under accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”) related to TDRs for a limited period of time to account for the effects of COVID-19. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 extended the period established by the CARES Act for consideration of TDR identification to January 1, 2022 or 60 days after the date the national COVID-19 pandemic emergency terminates.
On April 7, 2020, federal banking regulators issued a revised Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions, which, among other things, encouraged financial institutions to work prudently with borrowers who are or may be unable to meet their contractual payment obligations because of the effects of COVID-19, and stated that institutions generally do not need to categorize COVID-19-related modifications as TDRs and that the agencies will not direct supervised institutions to automatically categorize all COVID-19 related loan modifications as TDRs. On August 3, 2020, Interagency Statement on Additional Loan Accommodations Related to COVID-19 was issued that addresses loans nearing the end of their original relief period and provides guidance for extension of such relief period.
On April 9, 2020, the FRB announced additional measures aimed at supporting small and mid-sized businesses, as well as state and local governments impacted by COVID-19. The FRB announced the Main Street Business Lending Program, which established two new loan facilities intended to facilitate lending to small and mid-sized businesses: (1) the Main Street New Loan Facility (“MSNLF”) and (2) the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (“MSELF”). MSNLF loans were unsecured term loans originated on or after April 8, 2020, while MSELF loans were provided as upsized tranches of existing loans originated before April 8, 2020. The combined size of the program was $600.0 billion. The program was designed for businesses with up to 10,000 employees or $2.5 billion in 2019 revenues. To obtain a loan, borrowers had to confirm that they were seeking financial support because of COVID-19 and that they would not use proceeds from the loan to pay off debt. The FRB also stated that it would provide additional funding to banks offering PPP loans to help struggling small businesses. The PPP Loan Facility (“PPPLF”) was created by the FRB on April 9, 2020 to facilitate lending by participating financial institutions to small businesses under the PPP of the CARES Act. Under the facility, the FRB lent to participating financial institutions on a non-recourse basis, taking PPP loans as collateral. Lenders participating in the PPP were able to exclude loans financed by the facility from their leverage ratio. Due to our high liquidity levels, we did not participate in the PPPLF.
The FRB also created a Municipal Liquidity Facility to support state and local governments with up to $500.0 billion in lending, with the Treasury Department backing $35.0 billion for the facility using funds appropriated by the CARES Act. The facility made short-term financing available to cities with a population of more than one million or counties with a population of greater than two million. The FRB expanded both the size and scope of its Primary and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities to support up to $750.0 billion in credit to corporate debt issuers. This allowed companies that were investment grade before the onset of COVID-19 but then subsequently downgraded after March 22, 2020 to gain access to the facility. Finally, the FRB announced that its Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility would be scaled up in scope to include the triple A-rated tranche of commercial mortgage-backed securities and newly issued collateralized loan obligations. The size of the facility was $100.0 billion.
Effects on Our Business
The COVID-19 pandemic and the specific developments referred to above could have and are expected to continue to have a significant impact on our business. The outbreak of COVID-19 could continue to adversely impact a broad range of industries in which the Company’s customers operate and impair their ability to fulfill their financial obligations to the Company. In particular, we anticipate that a significant portion of the Bank’s borrowers in the hotel, restaurant, and retail industries will continue to endure significant economic distress, which has caused, and may continue to cause, them to draw on their existing lines of credit and adversely affect their ability to repay existing indebtedness, and is expected to adversely impact the value of collateral. These developments, together with economic conditions generally, are also expected to impact our commercial real estate portfolio, particularly with respect to real estate with exposure to
these industries, and the value of certain collateral securing our loans. As a result, we anticipate that our financial condition, capital levels, and results of operations could be adversely affected. As of December 31, 2020, we held $4.1 million, $14.7 million, and $48.9 million in hotel, restaurant, and retail industry loans, respectively.
We have taken numerous steps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the following:
actively working with loan customers to evaluate prudent loan modification terms;
continuing to promote our digital banking options through our website. Customers are encouraged to utilize online and mobile banking tools, and our customer service and retail departments are fully staffed and available to assist customers remotely;
acted as a participating lender in the PPP as well as the second round of PPP that expires March 31, 2021. We believe it is our responsibility as a community bank to assist the SBA in the distribution of funds authorized under the CARES Act and subsequent legislation to our customers and communities, which we have carried out in a prudent and responsible manner. As of December 31, 2020, we held $30.2 million in PPP loans in our loan portfolio, and are working diligently with customers on the loan forgiveness aspect of the program (see “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements – Note 3 – Loans Receivable and the Allowance” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and “Financial Condition – Credit Risk Management and the Allowance – TDRs” later in this Item for more information regarding PPP loans and loan modifications under the CARES Act); and
closing all branches to customer activity indefinitely, except for drive-up and appointment only services. We continue to pay all employees according to their normal work schedule, even if their work has been reduced. No employees have been furloughed. Employees whose job responsibilities can be effectively carried out remotely are working from home. Employees whose critical duties require their continued presence on-site are observing social distancing and cleaning protocols.
The Company provides a wide range of personal and commercial banking services. Personal services include mortgage and consumer lending as well as deposit products such as personal Internet banking and online bill pay, checking accounts, individual retirement accounts, money market accounts, and savings and CDs. Commercial services include commercial secured and unsecured lending services as well as business Internet banking, corporate cash management services, and deposit services, including services related to the medical-use cannabis industry. The Company also provides ATMs, credit cards, debit cards, safe deposit boxes, and telephone banking, among other products and services.
We have experienced a decreased level of profitability in our operations in 2020, primarily due to loan runoff and increased noninterest expenses as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Less interest income was generated from lower volumes of interest-earning assets, as well as a decreased interest rate environment. Loan interest income decreased from lower loan volumes, which was slightly offset by a reduction in interest expense from less reliance on borrowings and a lower interest rate environment. Our income before income taxes amounted to $9.4 million in 2020 and $11.6 million in 2019. In 2020, both the Mid-Atlantic region in which we operate and the national economy experienced decreased economic activity primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased unemployment. Consumer confidence has been affected by certain economic trends such as higher unemployment and the uncertainty around the COPVID-19 pandemic. While we have been operating in a depressed economic environment, we have been able to maintain strong levels of liquidity, capital, and credit quality, despite decreased profitability.
The Company expects to experience similar market conditions during 2021, at least through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. If interest rates increase, demand for borrowing may decrease and our interest rate spread could decrease. Additionally, an interest rate increase could negatively impact mortgage-banking revenue. If interest rates decrease, demand for borrowing may increase, which could improve our interest rate spread, depending on other factors. We will continue to manage loan and deposit pricing against the risks of rising costs of our deposits and borrowings. Interest rates
are outside of our control, so we must attempt to balance the pricing and duration of the loan portfolio against the risks of rising costs of our deposits and borrowings.
The continued success and attraction of Anne Arundel County, Maryland and vicinity, will also be important to our ability to originate and grow mortgage loans and deposits, as will our continued focus on maintaining low overhead.
If the market and/or economy worsens, our business, financial condition, results of operations, access to funds, and the price of our stock could be materially and adversely impacted.
Critical Accounting Policies
Our accounting and financial reporting policies conform to GAAP and general practice within the banking industry. Accordingly, preparation of the financial statements requires management to exercise significant judgment or discretion or make significant assumptions and estimates based on the information available that have, or could have, a material impact on the carrying value of certain assets or on income. These estimates and assumptions affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of income and expenses during the periods presented. The accounting policies we view as critical are those relating to the Allowance, the valuation of real estate acquired through foreclosure, and the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities. Significant accounting policies are discussed in detail in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements - Note 1 - Summary of Significant Account Policies” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Results of Operations
Net income decreased by $1.6 million, or 19.0%, to $6.7 million for 2020, compared to $8.3 million for 2019. Basic and diluted income per share decreased to $0.52 for 2020, compared to $0.65 and $0.64, respectively, for 2019. We recognized a decrease in net interest income and an increase in noninterest income compared to 2019, primarily a result of increased mortgage-banking revenue. Noninterest expenses increased in 2020 compared to 2019 due primarily to an increase in compensation and related expenses, and we recorded a provision for loan losses in 2020 primarily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to a reversal of provision for loan losses in 2019.
Net Interest Income
Net interest income, which is interest earned net of interest expense, decreased by $3.0 million, or 9.8%, to $27.5 million for 2020, compared to $30.5 million for 2019. The decrease in net interest income was primarily due to the decreased average balance and yield on interest-earning assets, partially offset by the decreased average balance and yield on interest-bearing liabilities. Our net interest margin decreased from 3.50% in 2019 to 3.29% in 2020 and our net interest spread decreased from 3.17% in 2019 to 2.91% in 2020.
Interest income decreased by $5.9 million, or 14.8%, to $33.9 million for 2020, compared to $39.8 million for 2019. Average interest-earning assets decreased from $871.5 million in 2019 to $837.0 million in 2020. The yield on average assets decreased from 4.57% for 2019 to 4.05% in 2020 primarily as a result of decreasing interest rates in the depressed COVID-19 pandemic economy. The average yield on loans decreased from 5.27% in 2019 to 4.91% in 2020.
Average loans outstanding decreased by $24.6 million in 2020 compared to 2019 due primarily to significant loan runoff in 2020 as a result of the low interest rate environment despite increased overall loan originations in 2020. Average held-to-maturity (“HTM”) securities decreased by $12.8 million in 2020 compared to 2019 due to maturities of securities and repayments from MBS. Average available-for-sale (“AFS”) securities increased $10.4 million due to securities purchases in 2020. Average other interest-earning assets decreased from $133.9 million in 2019 to $120.9 million in 2020. The decrease was primarily due to the aforementioned securities purchases.
Interest expense decreased by $2.9 million, or 31.3%, to $6.4 million for 2020, compared to $9.3 million for 2019. The decrease was primarily due to the decreased average rate paid on our deposit accounts attributable to the decreased interest rate environment in 2020, as well as the decreased average balance of deposits. The average rate paid on deposits decreased from 1.25% in 2019 to 1.03% in 2020. The average balance of interest-bearing deposits decreased from $589.4 million in 2019 to $511.9 million in 2020. The decrease resulted from a decrease in both checking and savings accounts as well as CDs. The average balance of CDs decreased due to maturities. The average balance of checking and savings accounts decreased due primarily to medical-use cannabis related accounts, which fluctuate depending on customer investment opportunities. The average rate paid on CDs decreased from 2.38% in 2019 to 1.60% in 2020. We also recognized a decrease in interest expense related to borrowings due to both a decrease in the average borrowings in 2020 compared to 2019 and a decreased average rate paid on borrowings in 2020 compared to 2019. Average borrowings decreased $26.7 million in 2020 compared to 2019. We paid off $25.0 million in long-term FHLB advances in 2020.
The following table sets forth, for the years indicated, information regarding the average balances of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities and the resulting yields on average interest-earning assets and rates paid on average interest-bearing liabilities. Average balances are also provided for noninterest-earning assets and noninterest-bearing liabilities.
(dollars in thousands)
Mortgage loans held for sale ("LHFS")
Other interest-earning assets (3)
Restricted stock investments, at cost
Total interest-earning assets
Cash and other noninterest-earning assets
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Checking and savings
Certificates of deposit
Total interest-bearing deposits
Total interest-bearing liabilities
Noninterest-bearing deposit accounts
Other noninterest-bearing liabilities
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity
Net interest income/net interest spread
Net interest margin
|(1)||Nonaccrual loans are included in average loans.|
|(2)||There are no tax equivalency adjustments.|
|(3)||Other interest-earning assets include interest-earning deposits, federal funds sold, and certificates of deposit held for investment.|
The “Rate/Volume Analysis” below indicates the changes in our net interest income as a result of changes in volume and rates. We maintain an asset and liability management policy designed to provide a proper balance between rate-sensitive assets and rate-sensitive liabilities to attempt to optimize interest margins while providing adequate liquidity for our
anticipated needs. Changes in interest income and interest expense that result from variances in both volume and rates have been allocated to rate and volume changes in proportion to the absolute dollar amounts of the change in each.
2020 vs. 2019
2019 vs. 2018
Due to Variances in
Due to Variances in
Interest earned on:
(dollars in thousands)
Other interest-earning assets
Restricted stock investments, at cost
Total interest income
Interest paid on:
Checking and savings
Certificates of deposit
Total interest-bearing deposits
Total interest expense
Net interest income
Provision for Loan Losses
Our loan portfolio is subject to varying degrees of credit risk and an Allowance is maintained to absorb losses inherent in our loan portfolio. Credit risk includes, but is not limited to, the potential for borrower default and the failure of collateral to be worth what we determined it was worth at the time of the origination of the loan. We monitor loan delinquencies at least monthly. All loans that are delinquent and all loans within the various categories of our portfolio as a group are evaluated. Management, with the advice and recommendation of the Company’s Board of Directors, estimates an Allowance to be set aside for probable loan losses inherent in the loan portfolio. Included in determining the calculation are such factors as historical losses for each loan portfolio, current market value of the loan’s underlying collateral, inherent risk contained within the portfolio after considering the state of the general economy, economic trends, consideration of particular risks inherent in different kinds of lending, and consideration of known information that may affect loan collectability. Additionally, some of those factors were adjusted in 2020 to reflect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of our Allowance analysis, for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, we determined that a provision and a (reversal of provision) of $900,000 and $(500,000), respectively, were appropriate.
See additional information about the provision for loan losses under “Credit Risk Management and the Allowance” later in this Item.
Total noninterest income increased by $5.6 million, or 54.1%, to $15.8 million for 2020 compared to $10.3 million for 2019, primarily due to increased mortgage-banking revenue, increased deposit service charges, and increased title company revenue. Mortgage-banking revenue increased $5.7 million, or 152.6%, to $9.5 million for 2020 compared to $3.7 million for 2019. This increase was the result of an increase in mortgage-banking activity in 2020, with an increase of originations from $171.8 million in 2019 to $320.1 million in 2020 primarily as a result of the decrease in interest rates.
Deposit service charges increased $103,000, or 4.7%, to $2.3 million in 2020, compared to $2.2 million in 2019 due primarily to on-boarding and monthly service fees charged to medical-use cannabis customers. Title company revenue increased $231,000 from $1.1 million in 2019 to $1.4 million in 2020 due to increased loan closings. Real estate
commissions by Hyatt Commercial decreased by $621,000, or 33.9%, to $1.2 million for 2020 compared to $1.8 million for 2019. The decrease was due to decreased commercial sales activity in 2020, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Total noninterest expense increased $3.4 million, or 11.4%, to $33.1 million for 2020, compared to $29.7 million for 2019, primarily due to increases in compensation and related expenses and data processing costs. Compensation and related expenses increased by $3.4 million, or 17.5%, to $23.2 million for 2020, compared to $19.7 million for 2019. This increase was primarily due to annual salary increases, increased commissions, and bonuses.
Data processing fees increased $244,000 in 2020 compared to 2019 due to additional efficiency and security enhancements to our core and related systems, as well as the implementation of a new customer relationship management (“CRM”) system in the latter part of 2019.
Professional fees decreased by $285,000, or 24.8%, to $862,000 in 2020 compared to $1.1 million in 2019, primarily due to decreased external audit and consulting fees in 2020. The 2019 fiscal year contained increased expenses due to significant internal controls related work.
Income Tax Provision
We recognized a $2.7 million provision for income taxes on income before income taxes of $9.4 million for an effective tax rate of 28.5% during 2020 compared to a provision for income taxes of $3.3 million on income before taxes of $11.6 million for an effective tax rate of 28.7% in 2019.
Total assets increased $126.5 million, or 15.3%, to $952.6 million at December 31, 2020 compared to $826.0 million at December 31, 2019. Cash and cash equivalents increased by $68.4 million, or 77.6%, to $156.6 million at December 31, 2020 compared to $88.2 million at December 31, 2019, primarily due to the increase in deposits noted below. Total securities increased $42.2 million, or 108.5%, due to securities purchases made to utilize our excess liquidity. LHFS increased $25.4 million, or 232.7%, to $36.3 million at December 31, 2020 compared to $10.9 million at December 31, 2019. This increase was due to an increased volume of originations from $171.8 million in 2019 to $320.1 million in 2020, as well as timing of sales to investors. Loans decreased $2.8 million, or 0.4%, to $642.9 million at December 31, 2020 compared to $645.7 million at December 31, 2019 due to loan runoff, which offset increased origination activity in 2020. Real estate acquired through foreclosure decreased $1.4 million, or 57.7%, to $1.0 million at December 31, 2020 compared to $2.4 million at December 31, 2019. This decrease was due to the sale of three properties. Total deposits increased $145.4 million, or 22.0%, to $806.5 million at December 31, 2020 compared to $661.0 million at December 31, 2019, primarily due to increased medical-use cannabis deposits and fluctuations in medical-use cannabis related deposit accounts. Additionally, customers have been maintaining increasing cash balances during the pandemic. Long-term borrowings decreased by $25.0 million, or 71.4%, to $10.0 million at December 31, 2020 compared to $35.0 million at December 31, 2019 as we paid off FHLB advances.
We utilize the securities portfolio as part of our overall asset/liability management practices to enhance interest revenue while providing necessary liquidity for the funding of loan growth or deposit withdrawals. We continually monitor the credit risk associated with investments and diversify the risk in the securities portfolios. We held $65.1 million and $12.9 million in securities classified as AFS as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. We held $15.9 million and $26.0 million in securities classified as HTM as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Changes in current market conditions, such as interest rates and the economic uncertainties in the mortgage, housing, and banking industries impact the securities market. Quarterly, we review each security in our AFS portfolio to determine the nature of any decline in value and evaluate if any impairment should be classified as other-than-temporary impairment (“OTTI”). Such evaluations resulted in the determination that no OTTI charges were required during 2020 or 2019.
All of the AFS and HTM securities that were impaired as of December 31, 2020 were so due to declines in fair values resulting from changes in interest rates or increased credit/liquidity spreads compared to the time they were purchased. We have the intent to hold these securities to maturity and it is more likely than not that we will not be required to sell the securities before recovery of value. As such, management considers the impairments to be temporary.
Our securities portfolio composition was as follows at December 31:
(dollars in thousands)
U.S. Treasury securities
U.S. government agency notes