10-K 1 shbi-20161231x10k.htm FORM 10-K 20161231 10K FY




Washington, D.C. 20549








For the Year Ended December 31, 2016


Commission File No. 0-22345



(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)







(State or Other Jurisdiction of


(I.R.S. Employer

Incorporation or Organization)


Identification No.)




28969 Information Lane, Easton, Maryland



(Address of Principal Executive Offices)


(Zip Code)


Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code: (410) 763-7800


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




Title of Each Class:


Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered:

Common stock, par value $.01 per share


Nasdaq Global Select Market


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


Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 16(d) of the Act. Yes No


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


Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 and post such files). Yes No


Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K


Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer (check one):




Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller Reporting Company


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


State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter: $  116,646,865.


The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s common stock as of the latest practicable date: 12,672,675 as of February 28, 2017.


Documents Incorporated by Reference


Certain information required by Part III of this annual report is incorporated therein by reference to the definitive proxy statement for the 2017 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.









Part I



Item 1.


Item 1A.

Risk Factors


Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments


Item 2.



Item 3.

Legal Proceedings


Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures





Part II



Item 5.

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


Item 6.

Selected Financial Data


Item 7.

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


Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk


Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data


Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure


Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures


Item 9B.

Other Information





Part III



Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance


Item 11.

Executive Compensation


Item 12.

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


Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence


Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services





Part IV



Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules













Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements


This Annual Report on Form 10-K of Shore Bancshares, Inc. (the “Company” and “we,” “our” or “us” on a consolidated basis) contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward looking statements represent plans, estimates, objectives, goals, guidelines, expectations, intentions, projections and statements of our beliefs concerning future events, business plans, expected operating results and the assumptions upon which those statements are based. In some cases, you can identify these forward-looking statements by words like “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” or “continue” or the negative of those words and other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. We caution that the forward-looking statements are based largely on our expectations and information available at the time the statements are made and are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that are subject to change based on factors which are in many instances, beyond our control. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed, or implied by the forward-looking statements. You should bear this in mind when reading this annual report and not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause our financial performance to differ materially from that expressed in such forward-looking statements:




general economic conditions, whether national or regional, and conditions in the lending markets in which we participate that may have an adverse effect on the demand for our loans and other products, our credit quality and related levels of nonperforming assets and loan losses, and the value and salability of the real estate that we own or that is the collateral for our loans;




results of examinations of us by our regulators, including the possibility that our regulators may, among other things, require us to increase our reserve for loan losses or to write-down assets;



our ability to prudently manage our growth and execute our strategy;



impairment of our goodwill and intangible assets;




changing bank regulatory conditions, policies or programs, whether arising as new legislation or regulatory initiatives, that could lead to restrictions on activities of banks generally, or our subsidiary banks in particular, more restrictive regulatory capital requirements, increased costs, including deposit insurance premiums, regulation or prohibition of certain income producing activities or changes in the secondary market for loans and other products;




changes in market rates and prices may adversely impact the value of securities, loans, deposits and other financial instruments and the interest rate sensitivity of our balance sheet;




our liquidity requirements could be adversely affected by changes in our assets and liabilities;




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 organizations, including product and pricing pressures and our ability to attract, develop and retain qualified banking professionals;




the growth and profitability of non-interest or fee income being less than expected;




the effect of changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and other regulatory agencies; and




the effect of fiscal and governmental policies of the United States federal government.


You should also consider carefully the Risk Factors contained in Item 1A of Part I of this annual report, which address additional factors that could cause our actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements and could materially and adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition. The risks discussed in this annual report are factors that, individually or in the aggregate, management believes could cause our actual results to differ materially from expected and historical results. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors. Consequently, you should not consider such disclosures to be a complete discussion of all potential risks or uncertainties.


The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and, except to the extent required by federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. In addition, we cannot assess the impact of each factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.







Item 1.Business.





The Company was incorporated under the laws of Maryland on March 15, 1996 and is a financial holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHC Act”). The Company is the largest independent financial holding company located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides commercial banking products and services, including trust, wealth management and financial planning services, and insurance products and services. The Company and its affiliated subsidiaries are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employers. Financial information related to our operations in these segments for each of the three years ended December 31, 2016 is provided in Note 27 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of Part II of this annual report.   


Until June 30, 2016, the Company conducted its banking operations through two wholly owned banking subsidiaries, CNB and The Talbot Bank of Easton (“Talbot”). CNB and Talbot, which commenced operations in 1876 and 1885, respectively, were merged on July 1, 2016 to form Shore United Bank (the “Bank”). The consolidation has streamlined efficiencies, reduced costs and facilitated a consistent corporate culture and unified branding. As used in this annual report, the term “Banks” refers to CNB and Talbot for periods prior to July 1, 2016 and the term “Bank” refers to Shore United Bank for all other periods.   

The Company engages in the insurance business through an insurance producer, The Avon-Dixon Agency, LLC, a Maryland limited liability company, with two specialty lines, trading as Elliot Wilson Insurance (Trucking) and Jack Martin & Associates (Marine); and an insurance premium finance company, Mubell Finance, LLC, a Maryland limited liability company, (all of the foregoing are collectively referred to as the “Insurance Subsidiaries”).


Banking Products and Services


Shore United Bank is a Maryland chartered commercial bank with trust powers that can trace its origin to 1876.  The Bank currently operates 18 full service branches and 20 ATMs and provides a full range of commercial and consumer banking products and services to individuals, businesses, and other organizations in Kent County, Queen Anne’s County, Caroline County, Talbot County and Dorchester County in Maryland and in Kent County, Delaware. The Banks’ deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”).


The Bank is an independent community bank that serves businesses and individuals in their respective market areas. Services offered are essentially the same as those offered by larger regional institutions that compete with the Bank. Services provided to businesses include commercial checking, savings, certificates of deposit and overnight investment sweep accounts. The Bank offers all forms of commercial lending, including secured and unsecured loans, working capital loans, lines of credit, term loans, accounts receivable financing, real estate acquisition and development, construction loans and letters of credit. Merchant credit card clearing services are available as well as direct deposit of payroll, internet banking and telephone banking services.


Services to individuals include checking accounts, various savings programs, mortgage loans, home improvement loans, installment and other personal loans, credit cards, personal lines of credit, automobile and other consumer financing, safe deposit boxes, debit cards, 24-hour telephone banking, internet banking, mobile banking, and 24-hour automatic teller machine services. The Bank also offers nondeposit products, such as mutual funds and annuities, and discount brokerage services to their customers. Additionally, the Bank has Saturday hours and extended hours on certain evenings during the week for added customer convenience.






Lending Activities


The Bank originates secured and unsecured loans for business purposes. Commercial loans are typically secured by real estate, accounts receivable, inventory, equipment and/or other assets of the business. Commercial loans generally involve a greater degree of credit risk than one to four family residential mortgage loans. Repayment is often dependent upon the successful operation of the business and may be affected by adverse conditions in the local economy or real estate market. The financial condition and cash flow of commercial borrowers is therefore carefully analyzed during the loan approval process, and continues to be monitored by obtaining business financial statements, personal financial statements and income tax returns. The frequency of this ongoing analysis depends upon the size and complexity of the credit and collateral that secures the loan. It is also the Banks general policy to obtain personal guarantees from the principals of the commercial loan borrowers.


The Banks commercial real estate loans are primarily secured by land for residential and commercial development, agricultural purpose properties, service industry buildings such as restaurants and motels, retail buildings and general purpose business space. The Bank attempts to mitigate the risks associated with these loans through thorough financial analyses, conservative underwriting procedures, including loan to value ratio standards, obtaining additional collateral, closely monitoring construction projects to control disbursement of funds on loans, and management’s knowledge of the local economy in which the Bank lends.


The Bank provides residential real estate construction loans to builders and individuals for single family dwellings. Residential construction loans are usually granted based upon “as completed” appraisals and are secured by the property under construction. Additional collateral may be taken if loan to value ratios exceed 80%. Site inspections are performed to determine pre-specified stages of completion before loan proceeds are disbursed. These loans typically have maturities of six to 12 months and may have fixed or variable rate features. Permanent financing options for individuals include fixed and variable rate loans with three- and five-year balloon features and one-, three- and five-year adjustable rate mortgage loans. The risk of loss associated with real estate construction lending is controlled through conservative underwriting procedures such as loan to value ratios of 80% or less at origination, obtaining additional collateral when prudent, and closely monitoring construction projects to control disbursement of funds on loans.


The Bank originates fixed and variable rate residential mortgage loans. As with any consumer loan, repayment is dependent upon the borrower’s continuing financial stability, which can be adversely impacted by job loss, divorce, illness, or personal bankruptcy, among other factors. Underwriting standards recommend loan to value ratios not to exceed 80% at origination based on appraisals performed by approved appraisers. The Bank relies on title insurance to protect their lien priorities and protect the property securing the loans by requiring fire and casualty insurance.


A variety of consumer loans are offered to customers, including home equity loans, credit cards and other secured and unsecured lines of credit and term loans. Careful analysis of an applicant’s creditworthiness is performed before granting credit, and ongoing monitoring of loans outstanding is performed in an effort to minimize risk of loss by identifying problem loans early.


Deposit Activities


The Bank offers a full array of deposit products including checking, savings and money market accounts, and regular and IRA certificates of deposit. The Bank also offers the CDARS program, providing up to $50 million of FDIC insurance to our customers. In addition, we offer our commercial customers packages which include cash management services and various checking opportunities.


Trust Services


The Bank has a trust department through which it offers trust, asset management and financial planning services to customers within our market areas using the trade name Wye Financial & Trust.


Internet Access to Company Documents. The Company provides access to its Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filings through its web site at www.shorebancshares.com. After accessing the web site, the filings are available upon selecting "Investor Relations." Reports available include the annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after the reports are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC.





Insurance Products and Services


The Insurance Subsidiaries offer a full range of insurance products and services to customers throughout the Delmarva Region. The insurance entity of Avon Dixon offers coverage under the categories of personal, business, benefits, commercial trucking, and marine which are provided below:



















-Long-Term Care







-Motorcycle & ATV







-Recreational Vehicle



















-Directors & Officers


-Foreign Liability


-Marine & Boat builders



-Excess Liability


-General Liability


-Local/Long-Haul Trucking

-Cyber Liability




-Workers Compensation



















-Medicare & Supplemental


-Group Dental





Prescription Plans


-Voluntary Benefits



-Long-Term Care


-Group Health












Commercial Trucking







-Primary Liability


-Physical Damage


-Motor Truck Cargo



-Non-Trucking Liability


  (comprehensive & collision)


-Surety Bonds





-General Liability


-Workers Compensation



















-Ocean Voyaging







-Grand Prix Yacht Racing













In addition, the Company offers insurance premium financing through a separate legal entity, Mubell, LLC.




Management does not believe that our business activities are seasonal in nature.




At February 28, 2017, we employed 305 persons, of which 290 were employed on a full-time basis. None of our employees are represented by any collective bargaining unit or are a party to a collective bargaining agreement. Management of the Company considers its employee relations to be excellent.




Shore Bancshares, Inc. and its community of companies operate in a highly competitive environment. Our competitors include community banks, commercial banks, credit unions, thrifts, mortgage banking companies, credit card issuers, investment advisory firms, brokerage firms, mutual fund companies, insurance companies, and e-commerce and other internet based companies. We compete with our competitors on a local and regional basis as it relates to banking and investments, and on a national basis for our insurance products.


The primary factors when competing in the financial service market include personalized services, the quality and range of products and services, interest rates on loans and deposits, lending services, price, customer convenience, and our ability to attract and retain experienced employees.


To compete in our market areas, we utilize multiple media channels including print, online, social media, television, radio, direct mail, e-mail and digital signage. Our employees also play a significant role in maintaining existing relationships with customers while establishing new relationships to grow all areas of our businesses.






The following tables set forth deposit data for FDIC-insured institutions in Kent County, Queen Anne’s County, Caroline County, Talbot County and Dorchester County in Maryland and in Kent County, Delaware as of June 30, 2016, the most recent date for which comparative information is available.











% of

Kent County, Maryland







(in thousands)




PNC Bank, NA







The Peoples Bank







Branch Banking & Trust







Chesapeake Bank & Trust Co.







Shore United Bank




















Source: FDIC DataBook











% of

Queen Anne's County, Maryland







(in thousands)




The Queenstown Bank of MD







Shore United Bank







Bank of America, NA







PNC Bank, NA














First National Bank of Pennsylvania







Branch Banking & Trust







The Peoples Bank







SunTrust Bank




















Source: FDIC DataBook

















% of

Caroline County, Maryland







(in thousands)




Provident State Bank, Inc







PNC Bank, NA







Shore United Bank














Branch Banking & Trust







The Queenstown Bank of MD




















Source: FDIC DataBook




















% of

Talbot County, Maryland







(in thousands)




Shore United Bank







Bank of America, NA







PNC Bank, NA







1880 Bank







Branch Banking & Trust














The Queenstown Bank of MD







Provident State Bank, Inc







SunTrust Bank




















Source: FDIC DataBook

















% of

Dorchester County, Maryland







(in thousands)




1880 Bank







Hebron Savings Bank







Branch Banking & Trust







Provident State Bank, Inc














Bank of America, NA







SunTrust Bank







Shore United Bank




















Source: FDIC DataBook

















% of

Kent County, Delaware







(in thousands)











PNC Bank, NA







Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB







Citizens Bank, NA







Wells Fargo Bank, NA







Shore United Bank







TD Bank, NA







Artisans' Bank







County Bank







MidCoast Community Bank







The Fort Sill National Bank




















Source: FDIC DataBook







For further information about competition in our market areas, see the Risk Factor entitled “We operate in a highly competitive market and our inability to effectively compete in our markets could have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations” in Item 1A of Part I of this annual report.






The following is a summary of the material regulations and policies applicable to us and is not intended to be a comprehensive discussion. Changes in applicable laws and regulations may have a material effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.




The Company is a financial holding company registered with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “FRB”) under the BHC Act and, as such, is subject to the supervision, examination and reporting requirements of the BHC Act and the regulations of the FRB.


The Bank is a Maryland chartered commercial bank subject to the banking laws of Maryland and to regulation by the Commissioner of Financial Regulation of Maryland, who is required by statute to make at least one examination in each calendar year (or at 12-month intervals if the Commissioner determines that an examination is unnecessary in a particular calendar year). The primary federal regulator of the Bank is the FRB. The deposits of the Bank are insured by the FDIC, so certain laws and regulations administered by the FDIC also govern their deposit taking operations. In addition to the foregoing, the Bank is subject to numerous state and federal statutes and regulations that affect the business of banking generally.


Nonbank affiliates of the Company are subject to examination by the FRB, and, as affiliates of the Bank, may be subject to examination by the Bank’s regulators from time to time. In addition, the Insurance Subsidiaries are each subject to licensing and regulation by the insurance authorities of the states in which they do business. Retail sales of insurance products by the Insurance Subsidiaries to customers of the Bank are also subject to the requirements of the Interagency Statement on Retail Sales of Nondeposit Investment Products promulgated in 1994, as amended, by the FDIC, the FRB and the other federal banking agencies.


Regulation of Financial Holding Companies


In November 1999, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (the “GLB Act”) was signed into law. The GLB Act revised the BHC Act and repealed the affiliation provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which, taken together, limited the securities, insurance and other non-banking activities of any company that controls an FDIC insured financial institution. Under the GLB Act, a bank holding company can elect, subject to certain qualifications, to become a “financial holding company.” The GLB Act provides that a financial holding company may engage in a full range of financial activities, including insurance and securities underwriting and agency activities, merchant banking, and insurance company portfolio investment activities, with new expedited notice procedures. The Company is a financial holding company.


Under FRB policy, the Company is expected to act as a source of strength to the bank, and the FRB may charge the Company with engaging in unsafe and unsound practices for failure to commit resources to the bank when required. This support may be required at times when the Company may not have the resources to provide the support. Under the prompt corrective action provisions, if a controlled bank is undercapitalized, then the regulators could require the bank holding company to guarantee the bank’s capital restoration plan. In addition, if the FRB believes that a Company’s activities, assets or affiliates represent a significant risk to the financial safety, soundness or stability of a controlled bank, then the FRB could require the bank holding company to terminate the activities, liquidate the assets or divest the affiliates. The regulators may require these and other actions in support of controlled banks even if such actions are not in the best interests of the bank holding company or its stockholders. Because the Company is a bank holding company, it is viewed as a source of financial and managerial strength for any controlled depository institutions, like the Bank.


On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which made sweeping changes to the financial regulatory landscape that impacts all financial institutions, including the Company and the Bank. The Dodd-Frank Act directs federal bank regulators to require that all companies that directly or indirectly control an insured depository institution serve as sources of financial strength for the institution. The term “source of financial strength” is defined under the Dodd-Frank Act as the ability of a company to provide financial assistance to its insured depository institution subsidiaries in the event of financial distress. The appropriate federal banking agency for such a depository institution may require reports from companies that control the insured depository institution to assess their abilities to serve as sources of strength and to enforce compliance with the source-of-strength requirements. The appropriate federal banking agency may also require a holding company to provide financial assistance to a bank with impaired capital. Under this requirement, the Company could be required to provide financial assistance to the Bank should it experience financial distress.

In addition, under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”), depository institutions insured by the FDIC can be held liable for any losses incurred by, or reasonably anticipated to be incurred by, the FDIC in connection with (i) the default of a commonly controlled FDIC-insured depository institution or (ii) any assistance provided by the FDIC to a commonly controlled FDIC-insured depository institution in danger of default. Accordingly, in the event that any insured subsidiary of the Company causes a loss to the FDIC, other insured subsidiaries of the Company could be required to compensate the FDIC by reimbursing it for the estimated amount of such loss. Such cross guaranty liabilities generally are superior in priority to obligations of a financial institution to its stockholders and obligations to other affiliates.




Federal Regulation of Banks


Federal and state banking regulators may prohibit the institutions over which they have supervisory authority from engaging in activities or investments that the agencies believe are unsafe or unsound banking practices. These banking regulators have extensive enforcement authority over the institutions they regulate to prohibit or correct activities that violate law, regulation or a regulatory agreement or which are deemed to be unsafe or unsound practices. Enforcement actions may include the appointment of a conservator or receiver, the issuance of a cease and desist order, the termination of deposit insurance, the imposition of civil money penalties on the institution, its directors, officers, employees and institution-affiliated parties, the issuance of directives to increase capital, the issuance of formal and informal agreements, the removal of or restrictions on directors, officers, employees and institution-affiliated parties, and the enforcement of any such mechanisms through restraining orders or other court actions.


The Bank is subject to the provisions of Section 23A and Section 23B of the Federal Reserve Act. Section 23A limits the amount of loans or extensions of credit to, and investments in, the Company and its nonbank affiliates by the Bank. Section 23B requires that transactions between the Bank and the Company and its nonbank affiliates be on terms and under circumstances that are substantially the same as with non-affiliates.


The Bank is also subject to certain restrictions on extensions of credit to executive officers, directors, and principal stockholders or any related interest of such persons, which generally require that such credit extensions be made on substantially the same terms as are available to third parties dealing with the Bank and not involve more than the normal risk of repayment. Other laws tie the maximum amount that may be loaned to any one customer and its related interests to capital levels.


As part of the Federal Deposit Insurance Company Improvement Act of 1991 (“FDICIA”), each federal banking regulator adopted non-capital safety and soundness standards for institutions under its authority. These standards include internal controls, information systems and internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, and compensation, fees and benefits. An institution that fails to meet those standards may be required by the agency to develop a plan acceptable to meet the standards. Failure to submit or implement such a plan may subject the institution to regulatory sanctions. The Company, on behalf of the Bank, believes that the Bank meets substantially all standards that have been adopted. FDICIA also imposes capital standards on insured depository institutions.


The Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) requires that, in connection with the examination of financial institutions within their jurisdictions, the federal banking regulators evaluate the record of the financial institution in meeting the credit needs of their communities including low and moderate income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of those banks. These factors are also considered by all regulatory agencies in evaluating mergers, acquisitions and applications to open a branch or facility. As of the date of its most recent examination report, the Bank has a CRA rating of “Satisfactory.”


The Bank is also subject to a variety of other laws and regulations with respect to the operation of their businesses, including, but not limited to, the Truth in Lending Act, the Truth in Savings Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Expedited Funds Availability (Regulation CC), Reserve Requirements (Regulation D), Privacy of Consumer Information (Regulation P), Margin Stock Loans (Regulation U), the Right To Financial Privacy Act, the Flood Disaster Protection Act, the Homeowners Protection Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the CAN-SPAM Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act.

The Dodd-Frank Act


The Dodd-Frank Act significantly changed the bank regulatory structure and affected the lending, investment, trading and operating activities of financial institutions and their holding companies. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the FRB to set minimum capital levels for bank holding companies that are as stringent as those required for insured depository institutions. The legislation also establishes a floor for capital of insured depository institutions and directs the federal banking regulators to implement new leverage and capital requirements. The new leverage and capital requirements must take into account off-balance sheet activities and other risks, including risks relating to securitized products and derivatives. Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC has backup enforcement authority over a depository institution holding company, such as the Company, if the conduct or threatened conduct of such holding company poses a risk to the Deposit Insurance Fund (“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. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act contains a wide variety of provisions (many of which are not yet effective) affecting the regulation of depository institutions, including restrictions related to mortgage originations, risk retention requirements as to securitized loans and the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”).


The Dodd-Frank Act will increase our regulatory compliance burden and costs and may restrict the financial products and services we offer to our customers. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act will require us to invest significant management attention and resources so that we can evaluate the impact of this law and its regulations and make any necessary changes to our product offerings and operations. These impacts may be material.





On February 3, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order calling for his administration to review existing U.S. financial laws and regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Act, in order to determine their consistency with a set of “core principles” of financial policy. The core financial principles identified in the executive order include the following: empowering Americans to make independent financial decisions and informed choices in the marketplace, save for retirement, and build individual wealth; preventing taxpayer-funded bailouts; fostering economic growth and vibrant financial markets through more rigorous regulatory impact analysis that addresses systemic risk and market failures, such as moral hazard and information asymmetry; enabling American companies to be competitive with foreign firms in domestic and foreign markets; advancing American interests in international financial regulatory negotiations and meetings; and restoring public accountability within Federal financial regulatory agencies and “rationalizing” the Federal financial regulatory framework.

Although the order does not specifically identify any existing laws or regulations that the administration considers to be inconsistent with the core principles, areas that the mandated agency report may ultimately identify for reform include the Volcker Rule; any “fiduciary” standard applicable to investment advisers and broker-dealers; and the powers, structure and funding arrangements of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the Office of Financial Research, the prudential bank regulators, the SEC, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and CFPB. While some changes can be implemented by the regulatory agencies themselves, implementing much of the anticipated agenda of changes would require legislation from Congress.

In conjunction with the executive order, President Trump also issued a memorandum to the Department of Labor (“DOL”) on the fiduciary rule, delaying the rule’s effectiveness and requiring further analysis. DOL must postpone the application of the rule for 180 days beyond its originally scheduled effective date of April 10, 2017, and must prepare an economic and legal analysis of the likely impact of the rule. If this analysis concludes that the rule will harm investors, disrupt the retirement services industry, increase litigation (and therefore the price of retirement services), be undermined as the result of certain exemptions, or violate any statute (including the Administrative Procedure Act) or that the rule is inconsistent with Administration policy, then DOL must propose rescission of or revisions to the rule.

Regulatory Capital Requirements




FDICIA established a system of prompt corrective action to resolve the problems of undercapitalized institutions. Under this system, the federal banking regulators are required to rate supervised institutions on the basis of five capital categories: “well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” and “critically undercapitalized;” and to take certain mandatory actions (and are authorized to take other discretionary actions) with respect to institutions in the three undercapitalized categories. The severity of the actions will depend upon the category in which the institution is placed. A depository institution is “well capitalized” if it has a total risk based capital ratio of 10% or greater, a Tier 1 risk based capital ratio of 6% or greater, and a leverage ratio of 5% or greater and is not subject to any order, regulatory agreement, or written directive to meet and maintain a specific capital level for any capital measure. An “adequately capitalized” institution is defined as one that has a total risk based capital ratio of 8% or greater, a Tier 1 risk based capital ratio of 4% or greater and a leverage ratio of 4% or greater (or 3% or greater in the case of a bank with a composite CAMEL rating of 1).


FDICIA generally prohibits a depository institution from making any capital distribution, including the payment of cash dividends, or paying a management fee to its holding company if the depository institution would thereafter be undercapitalized. Undercapitalized depository institutions are subject to growth limitations and are required to submit capital restoration plans. For a capital restoration plan to be acceptable, the depository institution’s parent holding company must guarantee (subject to certain limitations) that the institution will comply with such capital restoration plan.


Significantly undercapitalized depository institutions may be subject to a number of other requirements and restrictions, including orders to sell sufficient voting stock to become adequately capitalized and requirements to reduce total assets and stop accepting deposits from correspondent banks. Critically undercapitalized depository institutions are subject to the appointment of a receiver or conservator; generally within 90 days of the date such institution is determined to be critically undercapitalized.


As of December 31, 2016, the Bank was categorized as “well capitalized.” For more information regarding the capital condition of the Company, see Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements appearing in Item 8 of Part II of this annual report.





Basel III


In December 2010, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), an international forum for cooperation on banking supervisory matters, announced the "Basel III" capital standards, which substantially revised the existing capital requirements for banking organizations. Modest revisions were made in June 2011.  On July 2, 2013, the Federal Reserve adopted a final rule for the Basel III capital framework. The requirements in the rule began to phase in on January 1, 2015 for the Company. The requirements in the rule will be fully phased in by January 1, 2019.


The rule imposes higher risk-based capital and leverage requirements than those currently in place. Specifically, the rule imposes the following minimum capital requirements: (1) a new common equity Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 4.5%; (2) a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 6% (increased from the previous 4% requirement); (3) a total risk-based capital ratio of 8% (unchanged from the previous requirement); and (4) a leverage ratio of 4%.


Under the rule, Tier 1 capital has been redefined to include two components: Common Equity Tier 1 capital and additional Tier 1 capital. The new and highest form of capital, Common Equity Tier 1 capital, consists solely of common stock (plus related surplus), retained earnings, accumulated other comprehensive income, and limited amounts of minority interests that are in the form of common stock. Additional Tier 1 capital includes other perpetual instruments historically included in Tier 1 capital, such as non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock. The rule permits bank holding companies with less than $15 billion in total consolidated assets to continue to include trust preferred securities and cumulative perpetual preferred stock issued before May 19, 2010 in Tier 1 capital, but not in Common Equity Tier 1 capital, subject to certain restrictions. Tier 2 capital consists of instruments that previously qualified in Tier 2 capital plus instruments that the rule has disqualified from Tier 1 capital treatment.


In addition, in order to avoid restrictions on capital distributions or discretionary bonus payments to executives, a covered banking organization must maintain a "capital conservation buffer" on top of its minimum risk-based capital requirements. This buffer must consist solely of Tier 1 Common Equity, but the buffer applies to all three measurements (Common Equity Tier 1, Tier 1 capital and total capital). The capital conservation buffer will be phased in incrementally over time, becoming fully effective on January 1, 2019, and will consist of an additional amount of common equity equal to 2.5% of risk-weighted assets.


The previous capital rules required certain deductions from or adjustments to capital. The new rule retains many of these deductions and adjustments and also provides for new ones. As a result, deductions from Common Equity Tier 1 capital will be required for goodwill (net of associated deferred tax liabilities); intangible assets such as non-mortgage servicing assets and purchased credit card relationships (net of associated deferred tax liabilities); deferred tax assets that arise from net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards (net of any related valuation allowances and net of deferred tax liabilities); any gain on sale in connection with a securitization exposure; any defined benefit pension fund net asset (net of any associated deferred tax liabilities) held by a bank holding company (this provision does not apply to a bank or savings association); the aggregate amount of outstanding equity investments (including retained earnings) in financial subsidiaries; and identified losses.


Additionally, the new rule provides for the deduction of three categories of assets: (i) deferred tax assets arising from temporary differences that cannot be realized through net operating loss carrybacks (net of related valuation allowances and of deferred tax liabilities), (ii) mortgage servicing assets (net of associated deferred tax liabilities) and (iii) investments in more than 10% of the issued and outstanding common stock of unconsolidated financial institutions (net of associated deferred tax liabilities). The amount in each category that exceeds 10% of Common Equity Tier 1 capital must be deducted from Common Equity Tier 1 capital. The remaining, non-deducted amounts are then aggregated, and the amount by which this total amount exceeds 15% of Common Equity Tier 1 capital must be deducted from Common Equity Tier 1 capital. Amounts of minority investments in consolidated subsidiaries that exceed certain limits and investments in unconsolidated financial institutions may also have to be deducted from the category of capital to which such instruments belong.


Accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) is presumptively included in Common Equity Tier 1 capital and often would operate to reduce this category of capital. The new rule provided a one-time opportunity at the end of the first quarter of 2015 for covered banking organizations to opt out of much of this treatment of AOCI and the Company has elected this option. The new rule also has the effect of increasing capital requirements by increasing the risk weights on certain assets, including high volatility commercial real estate, mortgage servicing rights not includable in Common Equity Tier 1 capital, equity exposures, and claims on securities firms, that are used in the denominator of the three risk-based capital ratios.


Deposit Insurance


The Bank is a member of the FDIC and pays an insurance premium on a quarterly basis. Deposits are insured by the FDIC through the DIF and such insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, a permanent increase in deposit insurance to $250,000 was authorized. The coverage limit is per depositor, per insured depository institution, for each account ownership category.





The Dodd-Frank Act also set a new minimum DIF reserve ratio at 1.35% of estimated insured deposits. The FDIC is required to attain this ratio by September 30, 2020. The Dodd-Frank Act required the FDIC to redefine the deposit insurance assessment base for an insured depository institution. Prior to the Dodd-Frank Act, an institution’s assessment base has historically been its domestic deposits, with some adjustments. As redefined pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, an institution’s assessment base is now an amount equal to the institution’s average consolidated total assets during the assessment period minus average tangible equity. Institutions with $1.0 billion or more in assets at the end of a fiscal quarter must report their average consolidated total assets on a daily basis and report their average tangible equity on an end-of-month balance basis. Institutions with less than $1.0 billion in assets at the end of a fiscal quarter may opt to report average consolidated total assets and average tangible equity on a weekly and end-of-quarter basis, respectively.


The Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act of 2005, which created the DIF, gave the FDIC greater latitude in setting the assessment rates for insured depository institutions which could be used to impose minimum assessments. Deposit insurance assessments are based on average consolidated total assets minus average tangible equity. Under the FDIC’s risk-based assessment system, insured institutions with less than $10 billion in assets are assigned to one of four risk categories based on supervisory evaluations, regulatory capital level, and certain other factors, with less risky institutions paying lower assessments. An institution’s assessment rate depends upon the category to which it is assigned and certain other factors. The Bank expensed a total of $696 thousand in FDIC insurance premiums during 2016. The FDIC has the flexibility to adopt actual deposit assessment rates that are higher or lower than the total base assessment rates adopted without notice and comment, if certain conditions are met.


DIF-insured institutions pay a Financing Corporation (“FICO”) assessment in order to fund the interest on bonds issued in the 1980s in connection with the failures in the thrift industry. For the fourth quarter of 2016, the FICO assessment was equal to 0.140 basis points computed on assets as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. These assessments will continue until the bonds mature in 2019.


The FDIC is authorized to conduct examinations of and require reporting by FDIC-insured institutions. It is also authorized to terminate a depository bank’s deposit insurance upon a finding by the FDIC that the bank’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 bank’s regulatory agency. The termination of deposit insurance for the Bank would have a material adverse effect on our earnings, operations and financial condition.

Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering


The Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), which is intended to require financial institutions to develop policies, procedures, and practices to prevent and deter money laundering, mandates that every national bank have a written, board-approved program that is reasonably designed to assure and monitor compliance with the BSA.


The program must, at a minimum: (i) provide for a system of internal controls to assure ongoing compliance; (ii) provide for independent testing for compliance; (iii) designate an individual responsible for coordinating and monitoring day-to-day compliance; and (iv) provide training for appropriate personnel. In addition, state-chartered banks are required to adopt a customer identification program as part of its BSA compliance program. State-chartered banks are also required to file Suspicious Activity Reports when they detect certain known or suspected violations of federal law or suspicious transactions related to a money laundering activity or a violation of the BSA.


In addition to complying with the BSA, the Bank is subject to the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA Patriot Act”). The USA Patriot Act is designed to deny terrorists and criminals the ability to obtain access to the United States’ financial system and has significant implications for depository institutions, brokers, dealers, and other businesses involved in the transfer of money. The USA Patriot Act mandates that financial service companies implement additional policies and procedures and take heightened measures designed to address any or all of the following matters: (i) customer identification programs; (ii) money laundering; (iii) terrorist financing; (iv) identifying and reporting suspicious activities and currency transactions; (v) currency crimes; and (vi) cooperation between financial institutions and law enforcement authorities.





Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule


Pursuant to the Dodd Frank Act, the CFPB issued a final rule on January 10, 2013 (effective on January 10, 2014), amending Regulation Z, as implemented by the Truth in Lending Act, that requires mortgage lenders to make a reasonable and good faith determination based on verified and documented information that a consumer applying for a mortgage loan has a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms. Mortgage lenders are required to determine consumers’ ability to repay in one of two ways. The first alternative requires the mortgage lender to consider the following eight underwriting factors when making the credit decision: (i) current or reasonably expected income or assets; (ii) current employment status; (iii) the monthly payment on the covered transaction; (iv) the monthly payment on any simultaneous loan; (v) the monthly payment for mortgage-related obligations; (vi) current debt obligations, alimony, and child support; (vii) the monthly debt-to-income ratio or residual income; and (viii) credit history. Alternatively, the mortgage lender can originate “qualified mortgages,” which are entitled to a presumption that the creditor making the loan satisfied the ability-to-repay requirements. In general, a “qualified mortgage” is a mortgage loan without negative amortization, interest-only payments, balloon payments, or terms exceeding 30 years. In addition, to be a qualified mortgage the points and fees paid by a consumer cannot exceed three percent of the total loan amount. Qualified mortgages that are “higher-priced” (e.g. subprime loans) garner a rebuttable presumption of compliance with the ability-to-repay rules, while qualified mortgages that are not “higher-priced” (e.g. prime loans) are given a safe harbor of compliance.


Federal Securities Laws


The shares of the Company’s common stock are registered with the SEC under Section 12(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. The Company is subject to information reporting requirements, proxy solicitation requirements, insider trading restrictions and other requirements of the Exchange Act, including the requirements imposed under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the rules of The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC. Among other things, loans to and other transactions with insiders are subject to restrictions and heightened disclosure, directors and certain committees of the Board must satisfy certain independence requirements, and the Company is generally required to comply with certain corporate governance requirements.


Governmental Monetary and Credit Policies and Economic Controls


The earnings and growth of the banking industry and ultimately of the Company are affected by the monetary and credit policies of governmental authorities, including the FRB. An important function of the FRB is to regulate the national supply of bank credit in order to control recessionary and inflationary pressures. Among the instruments of monetary policy used by the FRB to implement these objectives are open market operations in U.S. Government securities, changes in the federal funds rate, changes in the discount rate of member bank borrowings, and changes in reserve requirements against member bank deposits. These means are used in varying combinations to influence overall growth of bank loans, investments and deposits and may also affect interest rates charged on loans or paid for deposits. The monetary policies of the FRB authorities have had a significant effect on the operating results of commercial banks in the past and are expected to continue to have such an effect in the future. In view of changing conditions in the national economy and in the money markets, as well as the effect of actions by monetary and fiscal authorities, including the FRB, no prediction can be made as to possible future changes in interest rates, deposit levels, loan demand or their effect on the business and earnings of the Company and its subsidiaries.



The Company maintains an Internet site at www.shorebancshares.com on which it makes available, free of charge, its Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to the foregoing as soon as reasonably practicable after these reports are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. In addition, stockholders may access these reports and documents on the SEC’s web site at www.sec.gov  .



An investment in our common stock involves significant risks. You should consider carefully the risk factors included below together with all of the information included in or incorporated by reference into this annual report, as the same may be updated from time to time by our future filings with the SEC under the Exchange Act, before making a decision to invest in our common stock. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. If any of the matters included in the following information about risk factors were to occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In such case, you may lose all or a substantial part of your investment. To the extent that any of the information contained in this document constitutes forward-looking statements, the risk factors below should be reviewed as cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf. See “Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements.”





Risks Relating to Our Business


Changes in U.S. or regional economic conditions could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our business activities and earnings are affected by general business conditions in the United States and in the local market area.  These conditions include short-term and long-term interest rates, inflation, unemployment levels, consumer confidence and spending, fluctuations in both debt and equity capital markets, and the strength of the economy in the United States generally and in our market area in particular.  Several years ago, the national economy experienced an extended recession, with rising unemployment levels, declines in real estate values and erosion in consumer confidence.  Dramatic declines in the U.S. housing market during the recession, with falling home prices and higher levels of foreclosures, negatively affected the performance of mortgage loans and resulted in significant write-downs of asset values by many financial institutions.  Although the housing sector has improved, real estate prices have rebounded and consumer confidence has shown improvement, the economy remains in a slow-growth mode in many respects.  A return to elevated levels of unemployment, declines in the values of real estate, or other events that affect household and/or corporate incomes could impair the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans in accordance with their terms and reduce demand for banking products and services.

A majority of our business is concentrated in Maryland and Delaware, a significant amount of which is concentrated in real estate lending, so a decline in the local economy and real estate markets could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.


Because most of our loans are made to customers who reside on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and in Delaware, a decline in local economic conditions may have a greater effect on our earnings and capital than on the earnings and capital of larger financial institutions whose loan portfolios are geographically diverse. Further, a significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real estate, including construction and land development loans, all of which are in greater demand when interest rates are low and economic conditions are good. Accordingly, a decline in local economic conditions would likely have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations, and the impact on us would likely be greater than the impact felt by larger financial institutions whose loan portfolios are geographically diverse. We cannot guarantee that any risk management practices that we implement to address our geographic and loan concentrations will be effective in preventing losses relating to our loan portfolio.


Our concentrations of commercial real estate loans could subject us to increased regulatory scrutiny and directives, which could force us to preserve or raise capital and/or limit our future commercial lending activities.


The FRB and the FDIC, along with the other federal banking regulators, issued guidance in December 2006 entitled “Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate Lending, Sound Risk Management Practices” directed at institutions that have particularly high concentrations of commercial real estate loans within their lending portfolios. This guidance suggests that these institutions face a heightened risk of financial difficulties in the event of adverse changes in the economy and commercial real estate markets. Accordingly, the guidance suggests that institutions whose concentrations exceed certain percentages of capital should implement heightened risk management practices appropriate to their concentration risk. The guidance provides that banking regulators may require such institutions to reduce their concentrations and/or maintain higher capital ratios than institutions with lower concentrations in commercial real estate. Due to our emphasis on commercial real estate and construction lending, as of December 31, 2016, non-owner-occupied commercial real estate loans (including construction, land and land development loans) represented 219.4% of total risk based capital. Construction, land and land development loans represent 62.7% of total risk based capital. The commercial real estate portfolio has increased 35.6% during the prior 36 months. We may be subject to heightened supervisory scrutiny during future examinations and/or be required to maintain higher levels of capital as a result of our commercial real estate concentrations, which could require us to obtain additional capital, and may adversely affect shareholder returns. Management cannot predict the extent to which this guidance will impact our operations or capital requirements. Further, we cannot guarantee that any risk management practices we implement will be effective in preventing losses resulting from concentrations in our commercial real estate portfolio.


Interest rates and other economic conditions will impact our results of operations.


Our results of operations may be materially and adversely affected by changes in prevailing economic conditions, including declines in real estate values, rapid changes in interest rates and the monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government. Our results of operations are significantly impacted by the spread between the interest rates earned on assets and the interest rates paid on deposits and other interest-bearing liabilities (i.e., net interest income), including advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank (the “FHLB”) of Atlanta. Interest rate risk arises from mismatches (i.e., the interest sensitivity gap) between the dollar amount of repricing or maturing assets and liabilities. If more assets reprice or mature than liabilities during a falling interest rate environment, then our earnings could be negatively impacted. Conversely, if more liabilities reprice or mature than assets during a rising interest rate environment, then our earnings could be negatively impacted. Fluctuations in interest rates are not predictable or controllable.





Changes in interest rates, particularly by the FRB, which implements national monetary policy in order to mitigate recessionary and inflationary pressures, also affect the value of our loans. In setting its policy, the FRB may utilize techniques such as: (i) engaging in open market transactions in United States government securities; (ii) setting the discount rate on member bank borrowings; and (iii) determining reserve requirements. These techniques may have an adverse effect on our deposit levels, net interest margin, loan demand or our business and operations. In addition, an increase in interest rates could adversely affect borrowers’ ability to pay the principal or interest on existing loans or reduce their desire to borrow more money. This may lead to an increase in our nonperforming assets, a decrease in loan originations, or a reduction in the value of and income from our loans, any of which could have a material and negative effect on our results of operations.

Changes in market interest rates are affected by many factors beyond our control, including inflation, unemployment, money supply, international events, and events in world financial markets. We attempt to manage our risk from changes in market interest rates by adjusting the rates, maturity, re-pricing, and balances of the different types of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities, but interest rate risk management techniques are not exact. As a result, a rapid increase or decrease in interest rates could have an adverse effect on the net interest margin and results of operations. Changes in the market interest rates for types of products and services in various markets also may vary significantly from location to location and over time based upon competition and local or regional economic factors. At December 31, 2016, our interest rate sensitivity simulation model projected that net interest income would increase by 2.8% if interest rates immediately rose by 200 basis points. The results of an interest rate sensitivity simulation model depend upon a number of assumptions which may not prove to be accurate. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully manage interest rate risk.


The Bank may experience credit losses in excess of its allowances, which would adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.


The risk of credit losses on loans varies with, among other things, general economic conditions, the type of loan being made, the creditworthiness of the borrower over the term of the loan and, in the case of a collateralized loan, the value and marketability of the collateral for the loan. Management at the Bank bases the allowance for credit losses upon, among other things, historical experience, an evaluation of economic conditions and regular reviews of delinquencies and loan portfolio quality. If management’s assumptions and judgments prove to be incorrect and the allowance for credit losses is inadequate to absorb future losses, or if the bank regulatory authorities, as a part of their examination process, require the Bank to increase its allowance for credit losses, our earnings and capital could be significantly and adversely affected. Material additions to the allowance for credit losses at the Bank would result in a decrease in the Bank’s net income and capital and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.


Although we believe that our allowance for credit losses is maintained at a level adequate to absorb any inherent losses in our loan portfolio, these estimates of loan losses are necessarily subjective and their accuracy depends on the outcome of future events.


While we strive to carefully monitor credit quality and to identify loans that may become nonperforming, at any time there are loans included in the portfolio that have not been identified as nonperforming or potential problem loans, but that will result in losses. We cannot be sure that we will be able to identify deteriorating loans before they become nonperforming assets, or that we will be able to limit losses on those loans that are identified. As a result, future additions to the allowance may be necessary.


Economic conditions and increased uncertainty in the financial markets could adversely affect our ability to accurately assess our allowance for credit losses. Our ability to assess the creditworthiness of our customers or to estimate the values of our assets and collateral for loans will be reduced if the models and approaches we use become less predictive of future behaviors, valuations, assumptions or estimates. We estimate losses inherent in our loan portfolio, the adequacy of our allowance for credit losses and the values of certain assets by using estimates based on difficult, subjective, and complex judgments, including estimates as to the effects of economic conditions and how those economic conditions might affect the ability of our borrowers to repay their loans or the value of assets.


Our investment securities portfolio is subject to credit risk, market risk and liquidity risk.


As of December 31, 2016, we had classified 96% of our investment securities as available-for-sale pursuant to the Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 320 (“ASC 320”) of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) relating to accounting for investments. ASC 320 requires that unrealized gains and losses in the estimated value of the available-for-sale portfolio be “marked to market” and reflected as a separate item in stockholders’ equity (net of tax) as accumulated other comprehensive income (loss). The remaining investment securities are classified as held-to-maturity in accordance with ASC 320 and are stated at amortized cost.

In the past, gains on sales of investment securities have not been a significant source of income for us. There can be no assurance that future market performance of our investment portfolio will enable us to realize income from sales of securities. Stockholders’ equity will continue to reflect the unrealized gains and losses (net of tax) of these investments. There can be no assurance that the market value of our investment portfolio will not decline, causing a corresponding decline in stockholders’ equity.


The Bank is a member of the FHLB of Atlanta. A member of the FHLB system is required to purchase stock issued by the relevant FHLB bank based on how much it borrows from the FHLB and the quality of the collateral pledged to secure that borrowing. Accordingly, our investments include stock issued by the FHLB of Atlanta. These investments could be subject to future impairment charges and there can be no guaranty of future dividends.





Management believes that several factors will affect the market values of our investment portfolio. These risk factors include, but are not limited to, rating agency downgrades of the securities, defaults of the issuers of the securities, lack of market pricing of the securities, and instability in the credit markets. Lack of market activity with respect to some securities has, in certain circumstances, required us to base our fair market valuation on unobservable inputs. Any changes in these risk factors, in current accounting principles or interpretations of these principles could impact our assessment of fair value and thus the determination of other-than-temporary impairment of the securities in the investment securities portfolio. Investment securities that previously were determined to be other-than-temporarily impaired could require further write-downs due to continued erosion of the creditworthiness of the issuer. Write-downs of investment securities would negatively affect our earnings and regulatory capital ratios.


Impairment of investment securities, goodwill, other intangible assets, or deferred tax assets could require charges to earnings, which could result in a negative impact on our results of operations.


We are required to record a non-cash charge to earnings when management determines that an investment security is other-than-temporarily impaired. In assessing whether the impairment of investment securities is other-than-temporary, management considers the length of time and extent to which the fair value has been less than cost, the financial condition and near-term prospects of the issuer, and the intent and ability to retain our investment in the security for a period of time sufficient to allow for any anticipated recovery in fair value in the near term.


Under current accounting standards, goodwill is not amortized but, instead, is subject to impairment tests on at least an annual basis or more frequently if an event occurs or circumstances change that reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. Intangible assets other than goodwill are also subject to impairment tests at least annually. A decline in the price of the Company’s common stock or occurrence of a triggering event following any of our quarterly earnings releases and prior to the filing of the periodic report for that period could, under certain circumstances, cause us to perform goodwill and other intangible assets impairment tests and result in an impairment charge being recorded for that period which was not reflected in such earnings release. In the event that we conclude that all or a portion of our goodwill or other intangible assets may be impaired, a non-cash charge for the amount of such impairment would be recorded to earnings. At December 31, 2016, we had recorded goodwill of $11.9 million and other intangible assets of $1.1 million, representing approximately 7.7% and 0.70% of stockholders’ equity, respectively.


In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets, management considers whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Assessing the need for, or the sufficiency of, a valuation allowance requires management to evaluate all available evidence, both negative and positive, including the recent trend of quarterly earnings. Positive evidence necessary to overcome the negative evidence includes whether future taxable income in sufficient amounts and character within the carryback and carry forward periods is available under the tax law, including the use of tax planning strategies. When negative evidence (e.g., cumulative losses in recent years, history of operating loss or tax credit carry forwards expiring unused) exists, more positive evidence than negative evidence will be necessary. At December 31, 2016, our deferred tax assets were approximately $7.0 million. There was no valuation allowance for deferred taxes recorded at December 31, 2016 as management believes it is more likely than not that all of the deferred taxes will be realized because they were supported by positive evidence such as the expected generation of a sufficient level of future taxable income from operations and tax planning strategies.


The impact of each of these impairment matters could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. See Notes  1 and 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of Part II of this annual report for further information.


The change of control rules under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code may limit our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards (“NOLs”) and other tax attributes to reduce future tax payments which may have an adverse impact on our results of operations.


We have $2.2 million of NOLs for federal and state income tax purposes that can be utilized to offset future taxable income. Our use of the NOLs would be limited, however, under Section 382 of the IRC, if we were to undergo a change in ownership of more than 50% of our capital stock over a three-year period as measured under Section 382 of the IRC. The annual limit generally would equal the product of the applicable federal long term tax exempt rate and the value of our capital stock immediately before the ownership change. Due to the stock sale in June, 2014 and other ownership changes by shareholders owning 5% or more of our common stock, we estimate that we have experienced an ownership change of approximately 44% within the three-year period ended December 31, 2016.


If we experience an ownership change, the resulting annual limit on the use of its NOLs could result in an increase in our federal and state income tax liability in future years. Whether an ownership change occurs by reason of public trading in our stock is largely outside our control, and the determination of whether an ownership change has occurred is complex. No assurance can be given that we will not in the future undergo an ownership change that would have an adverse effect on its results of operations and the value of our stock.

Any changes in the Federal or State tax laws may negatively impact our financial performance.

We are subject to changes in tax law that could increase the effective tax rate payable to the state or federal government. These law changes may be retroactive to previous periods and as a result, could negatively affect our current and future financial performance.




Changes in accounting standards or interpretation of new or existing standards may affect how we report our financial condition and results of operations.

From time to time the FASB and the SEC change accounting regulations and reporting standards that govern the preparation of the Company’s financial statements. In addition, the FASB, SEC, bank regulators and the outside independent auditors may revise their previous interpretations regarding existing accounting regulations and the application of these accounting standards. These changes can be hard to predict and can materially impact how to record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, there could be a requirement to apply a new or revised accounting standard retroactively, resulting in the restatement of prior period financial statements.


Our future success will depend on our ability to compete effectively in the highly competitive financial services industry.


We face substantial competition in all phases of our operations from a variety of different competitors. We compete with commercial banks, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage banking firms, consumer finance companies, securities brokerage firms, insurance companies, money market funds and other mutual funds, as well as other local and community, super-regional, national and international financial institutions that operate offices in our primary market areas and elsewhere. Our future growth and success will depend on our ability to compete effectively in this highly competitive financial services environment.


Many of our competitors are well-established, larger financial institutions and many offer products and services that we do not. Many have substantially greater resources, name recognition and market presence that benefit them in attracting business. Some of our competitors are not subject to the same regulations that are imposed on us, including credit unions that do not pay federal income tax, and, therefore, have regulatory advantage over us in accessing funding and in providing various services. While we believe we compete effectively with these other financial institutions in our primary markets, we may face a competitive disadvantage as a result of our smaller size, smaller asset base, lack of geographic diversification and inability to spread our marketing costs across a broader market. If we have to raise interest rates paid on deposits or lower interest rates charged on loans to compete effectively, our net interest margin and income could be negatively affected. Failure to compete effectively to attract new or to retain existing, clients may reduce or limit our net income and our market share and may adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and growth.





Our funding sources may prove insufficient to replace deposits and support our future growth.


We rely on customer deposits, advances from the FHLB, and lines of credit at other financial institutions to fund our operations. Although we have historically been able to replace maturing deposits and advances if desired, no assurance can be given that we would be able to replace such funds in the future if our financial condition or the financial condition of the FHLB or market conditions were to change. Our financial flexibility will be severely constrained and/or our cost of funds will increase if we are unable to maintain our access to funding or if financing necessary to accommodate future growth is not available at favorable interest rates. Finally, if we are required to place greater reliance on more expensive funding sources to support future growth, our revenues may not increase proportionately to cover our costs. In this case, our profitability would be adversely affected.


In addition, the FRB has issued rules pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act governing debit card interchange fees that apply to institutions with greater than $10 billion in assets. Although we are not subject to these rules, market forces may effectively require all banks to adopt debit card interchange fee structures that comply with these rules, in which case our non-interest income for future periods could be materially and adversely affected.


The loss of key personnel could disrupt our operations and result in reduced earnings.


Our growth and profitability will depend upon our ability to attract and retain skilled managerial, marketing and technical personnel. Competition for qualified personnel in the financial services industry is intense, and there can be no assurance that we will be successful in attracting and retaining such personnel. Our current executive officers provide valuable services based on their many years of experience and in-depth knowledge of the banking industry. Due to the intense competition for financial professionals, these key personnel would be difficult to replace and an unexpected loss of their services could result in a disruption to the continuity of operations and a possible reduction in earnings.


The cost savings that we estimate for mergers and acquisitions may not be realized.

The success of our mergers and acquisitions may depend, in part, on the ability to realize the estimated cost savings from combining the acquired businesses with our existing operations. It is possible that the potential cost savings could turn out to be more difficult to achieve than anticipated. The cost savings estimates also depend on the ability to combine the businesses in a manner that permits those cost savings to be realized. If the estimates turn out to be incorrect or there is an inability to combine successfully, the anticipated cost savings may not be realized fully or at all, or may take longer to realize than expected.


Combining acquired businesses with the Bank may be more difficult, costly, or time-consuming than expected, or could result in the loss of customers.

It is possible that the process of merger integration of acquired companies could result in the loss of key employees, the disruption of ongoing business or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies that adversely affect the ability to maintain relationships with clients and employees or to achieve the anticipated benefits of the merger or acquisition. There also may be disruptions that cause the Bank to lose customers or cause customers to withdraw their deposits. Customers may not readily accept changes to their banking arrangements or other customer relationships after the merger or acquisition.


Our lending activities subject us to the risk of environmental liabilities.


A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real property. During the ordinary course of business, we may foreclose on and take title to properties securing certain loans. In doing so, there is a risk that hazardous or toxic substances could be found on these properties. If hazardous or toxic substances are found, we may be liable for remediation costs, as well as for personal injury and property damage. Environmental laws may require us to incur substantial expenses and may materially reduce the affected property’s value or limit our ability to use or sell the affected property. In addition, future laws or more stringent interpretations of enforcement policies with respect to existing laws may increase our exposure to environmental liability. Although we have policies and procedures to perform an environmental review before initiating any foreclosure action on real property, these reviews may not be sufficient to detect all potential environmental hazards. The remediation costs and any other financial liabilities associated with an environmental hazard could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.


We may be subject to other adverse claims.


We may from time to time be subject to claims from customers for losses due to alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, errors and omissions of employees, officers and agents, incomplete documentation, the failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, or many other reasons. Also, our employees may knowingly or unknowingly violate laws and regulations. Management may not be aware of any violations until after their occurrence. This lack of knowledge may not insulate us or our subsidiaries from liability. Claims and legal actions may result in legal expenses and liabilities that may reduce our profitability and hurt our financial condition.





We depend on the accuracy and completeness of information about customers and counterparties and our financial condition could be adversely affected if we rely on misleading information.


In deciding whether to extend credit or to enter into other transactions with customers and counterparties, we may rely on information furnished to us by or on behalf of customers and counterparties, including financial statements and other financial information, which we do not independently verify. We also may rely on representations of customers and counterparties as to the accuracy and completeness of that information and, with respect to financial statements, on reports of independent auditors. For example, in deciding whether to extend credit to customers, we may assume that a customer’s audited financial statements conform with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”) and present fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of the customer. Our financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted to the extent we rely on financial statements that do not comply with GAAP or are materially misleading.

Our exposure to operational, technological and organizational risk may adversely affect us.


We are exposed to many types of operational risks, including reputation, legal and compliance risk, the risk of fraud or theft by employees or outsiders, unauthorized transactions by employees or operational errors, clerical or record-keeping errors, and errors resulting from faulty or disabled computer or telecommunications systems.


Certain errors may be repeated or compounded before they are discovered and successfully rectified. Our necessary dependence upon automated systems to record and process transactions may further increase the risk that technical system flaws or employee tampering or manipulation of those systems will result in losses that are difficult to detect. We may also be subject to disruptions of our operating systems arising from events that are wholly or partially beyond our control (for example, computer viruses or electrical or telecommunications outages), which may give rise to disruption of service to customers and to financial loss or liability. We are further exposed to the risk that our external vendors may be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations (or will be subject to the same risk of fraud or operational errors by their respective employees as are we) and to the risk that our (or our vendors’) business continuity and data security systems prove to be inadequate.


Our information systems may experience an interruption or breach in security.


We rely heavily on communications and information systems to conduct our business. We, our customers, and other financial institutions with which we interact, are subject to ongoing, continuous attempts to penetrate key systems by individual hackers, organized criminals, and in some cases, state-sponsored organizations. Any failure, interruption or breach in security of these systems could result in failures or disruptions in our customer relationship management, general ledger, deposit, loan and other systems, misappropriation of funds, and theft of proprietary Company or customer data. While we have policies and procedures designed to prevent or limit the effect of the possible failure, interruption or security breach of our information systems, there can be no assurance that any such failure, interruption or security breach will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be adequately addressed. The occurrence of any failure, interruption or security breach of our information systems could damage our reputation, result in a loss of customer business, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, or expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability. 

Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.

In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including intellectual property, our proprietary business information and that of our customers, suppliers and business partners, and personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, in our data centers and on our networks. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations and business strategy. Despite our security measures, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. Any such breach could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, and regulatory penalties, disrupt our operations and the services we provide to customers, damage our reputation, and cause a loss of confidence in our products and services, which could adversely affect our business, revenues and competitive position.


Our reliance on third party vendors could expose us to additional cyber risk and liability.

The operation of our business involves outsourcing of certain business functions and reliance on third-party providers, which may result in transmission and maintenance of personal, confidential, and proprietary information to and by such vendors.  Although we require third-party providers to maintain certain levels of information security, such providers remain vulnerable to breaches, unauthorized access, misuse, computer viruses, or other malicious attacks that could ultimately compromise sensitive information possessed by our company.  Although we contract to limit our liability in connection with attacks against third-party providers, we remain exposed to risk of loss associated with such vendors.





We outsource certain aspects of our data processing to certain third-party providers which may expose us to additional risk.

We outsource certain key aspects of our data processing to certain third-party providers. While we have selected these third-party providers carefully, we cannot control their actions. If our third-party providers encounter difficulties, including those which result from their failure to provide services for any reason or their poor performance of services, or if we have difficulty in communicating with them, our ability to adequately process and account for customer transactions could be affected, and our business operations could be adversely impacted. Replacing these third-party providers could also entail significant delay and expense.


Our third-party providers may be vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer viruses, phishing schemes and other security breaches. Threats to information security also exist in the processing of customer information through various other third-party providers and their personnel. We may be required to expend significant additional resources to protect against the threat of such security breaches and computer viruses, or to alleviate problems caused by such security breaches or viruses. To the extent that the activities of our third-party providers or the activities of our customers involve the storage and transmission of confidential information, security breaches and viruses could expose us to claims, regulatory scrutiny, litigation and other possible liabilities.


We are dependent on our information technology and telecommunications systems and third-party servicers, and systems failures, interruptions or breaches of security could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our business is highly dependent on the successful and uninterrupted functioning of our information technology and telecommunications systems and third-party servicers. We outsource many of our major systems, such as data processing and deposit processing systems. The failure of these systems, or the termination of a third-party software license or service agreement on which any of these systems is based, could interrupt our operations. Because our information technology and telecommunications systems interface with and depend on third-party systems, we could experience service denials if demand for such services exceeds capacity or such third-party systems fail or experience interruptions. If sustained or repeated, a system failure or service denial could result in a deterioration of our ability to provide customer service, compromise our ability to operate effectively, damage our reputation, result in a loss of customer business and/or subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.


In addition, we provide our customers the ability to bank remotely, including online over the Internet. The secure transmission of confidential information is a critical element of remote banking. Our network could be vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer viruses, phishing schemes, spam attacks, human error, natural disasters, power loss and other security breaches. We may be required to spend significant capital and other resources to protect against the threat of security breaches and computer viruses, or to alleviate problems caused by security breaches or viruses. Further, we outsource some of the data processing functions used for remote banking, and accordingly we are dependent on the expertise and performance of our third-party providers. To the extent that our activities, the activities of our customers, or the activities of our third-party service providers involve the storage and transmission of confidential information, security breaches and viruses could expose us to claims, litigation and other possible liabilities. Any inability to prevent security breaches or computer viruses could also cause existing customers to lose confidence in our systems and could adversely affect our reputation, results of operations and ability to attract and maintain customers and businesses. In addition, a security breach could also subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability and cause reputational damage.

Technological changes affect our business, and we may have fewer resources than many competitors to invest in technological improvements.


The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. In addition to serving customers better, the effective use of technology may increase efficiency and may enable financial institutions to reduce costs. Our future success will depend, in part, upon our ability to use technology to provide products and services that provide convenience to customers and to create additional efficiencies in operations. We may need to make significant additional capital investments in technology in the future, and we may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services. Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements.


Risks Relating to the Regulation of our Industry


We operate in a highly regulated environment, which could restrain our growth and profitability.


We are subject to extensive laws and regulations that govern almost all aspects of our operations. These laws and regulations, and the supervisory framework that oversees the administration of these laws and regulations, are primarily intended to protect depositors, the DIF and the banking system as a whole, and not shareholders and consumers. These laws and regulations, among other matters, affect our lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy, operations and growth. Compliance with the myriad laws and regulations applicable to our organization can be difficult and costly. In addition, these laws, regulations and policies are subject to continual review by governmental authorities, and changes to these laws, regulations and policies, including changes in interpretation or implementation of these laws, regulations and policies, could affect us in substantial and unpredictable ways and often impose additional compliance costs. Further, any new laws, rules and regulations, such as the Dodd-Frank Act and regulatory capital rules, could make compliance more difficult or expensive. All of these laws and regulations, and the supervisory framework applicable to our industry, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.





Federal and state regulators periodically examine our business, and we may be required to remediate adverse examination findings.


The FRB, the FDIC and the Commissioner periodically examine our business, including our compliance with laws and regulations. If, as a result of an examination, the FRB, the FDIC or the Commissioner were to determine that our financial condition, capital resource, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity or other aspects of any of our operations had become unsatisfactory, or that we were in violation of any law or regulation, it may take a number of different remedial actions as it deems appropriate. These actions include the power to enjoin “unsafe or unsound” practices, to require affirmative action to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice, to issue an administrative order that can be judicially enforced, to direct an increase in our capital, to restrict our growth, to assess civil monetary penalties against our officers or directors, to remove officers and directors and, if it is concluded that such conditions cannot be corrected or there is an imminent risk of loss to depositors, to terminate our deposit insurance and place us into receivership or conservatorship. Any regulatory action against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


Our FDIC deposit insurance premiums and assessments may increase.


The deposits of the Bank are insured by the FDIC up to legal limits and, accordingly, subject to the payment of FDIC deposit insurance assessments. The Banks’ regular assessments are determined by its risk classifications, which are based on its regulatory capital levels and the level of supervisory concern that it poses. High levels of bank failures since the beginning of the financial crisis and increases in the statutory deposit insurance limits have increased resolution costs to the FDIC and put significant pressure on the DIF. In order to maintain a strong funding position and restore the reserve ratios of the Deposit Insurance Fund, the FDIC increased deposit insurance assessment rates and charged a special assessment to all FDIC-insured financial institutions. Further increase in assessment rates or special assessments may occur in the future, especially if there are significant additional financial institution failures. Any future special assessments, increases in assessment rates or required prepayments in FDIC insurance premiums could reduce our profitability or limit our ability to pursue certain business opportunities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


We are subject to numerous laws designed to protect consumers, including the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws, and failure to comply with these laws could lead to a wide variety of sanctions.


The Community Reinvestment Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act and other fair lending laws and regulations impose nondiscriminatory lending requirements on financial institutions. The Department of Justice and other federal agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. A successful regulatory challenge to an institution's performance under the Community Reinvestment Act or fair lending laws and regulations could result in a wide variety of sanctions, including damages and civil money penalties, injunctive relief, restrictions on mergers and acquisition activity, restrictions on expansion and restrictions on entering new business lines. Private parties may also have the ability to challenge an institution's performance under fair lending laws in private class action litigation. Such actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


We are subject to evolving and extensive regulations and requirements. Our failure to adhere to these requirements or the failure or circumvention of our controls and procedures could seriously harm our business.


We are subject to extensive regulation as a financial institution and are also required to follow the corporate governance and financial reporting practices and policies required of a company whose stock is registered under the Exchange Act and listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Compliance with these requirements means we incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses. Compliance also requires a significant diversion of management time and attention, particularly with regard to disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. Although we have reviewed, and will continue to review, our disclosure controls and procedures in order to determine whether they are effective, our controls and procedures may not be able to prevent errors or frauds in the future. Faulty judgments, simple errors or mistakes, or the failure of our personnel to adhere to established controls and procedures may make it difficult for us to ensure that the objectives of the control system will be met. A failure of our controls and procedures to detect other than inconsequential errors or fraud could seriously harm our business and results of operations.


We face a risk of noncompliance and enforcement action with the BSA and other anti-money laundering statues and regulations.


The BSA, the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and file suspicious activity and currency transaction reports as appropriate. The federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and has recently engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts with the individual federal banking regulators, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service. We are also subject to increased scrutiny of compliance with the rules enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. If our policies, procedures and systems are deemed deficient, we would be subject to liability, including fines and regulatory actions, which may include restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and the necessity to obtain regulatory approvals to proceed with certain aspects of our business plan, including our acquisition plans. Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.




Risks Relating to the Company’s Securities


Our common stock is not insured by any governmental entity.


Our common stock is not a deposit account or other obligation of any bank and is not insured by the FDIC or any other governmental entity. Investment in our common stock is subject to risk, including possible loss.


Our ability to pay dividends is limited by law and contract.

The continued ability to pay dividends to shareholders depends in part on dividends from the Bank. The amount of dividends that the Bank may pay to the Company is limited by federal laws and regulations. The ability of the Bank to pay dividends is also subject to its profitability, financial condition and cash flow requirements.  There is no assurance that the Bank will be able to pay dividends to the Company in the future. The decision may be made to limit the payment of dividends even when the legal ability to pay them exists, in order to retain earnings for other uses. 


The shares of our common stock are not heavily traded.


Shares of our common stock are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, but are not heavily traded. Securities that are not heavily traded can be more volatile than stock trading in an active public market. Stock price volatility may make it more difficult for you to resell your common stock when you want and at prices you find attractive. Our stock price can fluctuate significantly and may decline in response to a variety of factors including:




Actual or anticipated variations in quarterly results of operations;

Developments in our business or the financial sector generally;

Recommendations by securities analysts;

Operating and stock price performance of other companies that investors deem comparable to us;

News reports relating to trends, concerns and other issues in the financial services industry;

Perceptions in the marketplace regarding us or our competitors;

New technology used or services offered by competitors;

Significant acquisitions or business combinations, strategic partnerships, joint venture or capital commitments by or involving us or our competitors;

Failure to integrate acquisitions or realize anticipated benefits from acquisitions;

Regulatory changes affecting our industry generally or our business or operations; or

Geopolitical conditions such as acts or threats of terrorism or military conflicts.

Management cannot predict the extent to which an active public market for the shares of the common stock will develop or be sustained in the future. Accordingly, holders of shares of our common stock may not be able to sell them at the volumes, prices, or times that they desire. General market fluctuations, industry factors and general economic and political conditions and events, such as economic slowdowns or recessions, interest rate changes or credit loss trends, could also cause our stock price to decrease regardless of operating results. We urge you to obtain current market quotations for our common stock when you consider investing in our common stock.


Future sales of our common stock or other securities may dilute the value and adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

In many situations, the board of directors has the authority, without any vote of our shareholders, to issue shares of authorized but unissued stock, including shares authorized and unissued under our equity incentive plans. In the future, additional securities may be issued, through public or private offerings, in order to raise additional capital. Any such issuance would dilute the percentage of ownership interest of existing shareholders and may dilute the per share book value of our common stock. In addition, option holders may exercise their options at a time when we would otherwise be able to obtain additional equity capital on more favorable terms.




Our Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws and Maryland law may discourage a corporate takeover which may make it more difficult for stockholders to receive a change in control premium.


Our Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation, as supplemented (the “Charter”), and Amended and Restated By-Laws, as amended (the “By-Laws”), contain certain provisions designed to enhance the ability of the board of directors to deal with attempts to acquire control of us. The Charter and By-Laws provide for the classification of the board into three classes; directors of each class generally serve for staggered three-year periods. No director may be removed except for cause and then only by a vote of at least two-thirds of the total eligible stockholder votes. The Charter gives the board certain powers in respect of our securities. First, the board has the authority to classify and reclassify unissued shares of stock of any class or series of stock by setting, fixing, eliminating, or altering in any one or more respects the preferences, rights, voting powers, restrictions and qualifications of, dividends on, and redemption, conversion, exchange, and other rights of, such securities. Second, a majority of the board, without action by the stockholders, may amend the Charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class that we have authority to issue. The board could use these powers, along with its authority to authorize the issuance of securities of any class or series, to issue securities having terms favorable to management to persons affiliated with or otherwise friendly to management.


Maryland law also contains anti-takeover provisions that apply to us. The Maryland Business Combination Act generally prohibits, subject to certain limited exceptions, corporations from being involved in any “business combination” (defined as a variety of transactions, including a merger, consolidation, share exchange, asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities) with any “interested shareholder” for a period of five years following the most recent date on which the interested shareholder became an interested shareholder. An interested shareholder is defined generally as a person who is the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation after the date on which the corporation had 100 or more beneficial owners of its stock or who is an affiliate or associate of the corporation and was the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding stock of the corporation at any time within the two-year period immediately prior to the date in question and after the date on which the corporation had 100 or more beneficial owners of its stock. The Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act applies to acquisitions of “control shares,” which, subject to certain exceptions, are shares the acquisition of which entitle the holder, directly or indirectly, to exercise or direct the exercise of the voting power of shares of stock of the corporation in the election of directors within any of the following ranges of voting power: one-tenth or more, but less than one-third of all voting power; one-third or more, but less than a majority of all voting power or a majority or more of all voting power. Control shares have limited voting rights. The By-Laws exempt our capital securities from the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act, but the board has the authority to eliminate the exemption without stockholder approval.


Although these provisions do not preclude a takeover, they may have the effect of discouraging, delaying or deferring a tender offer or takeover attempt that a stockholder might consider in his or her best interest, including those attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for the common stock. Such provisions will also render the removal of the board of directors and of management more difficult and, therefore, may serve to perpetuate current management. These provisions could potentially adversely affect the market price of our common stock.


We may issue debt and equity securities that are senior to the common stock as to distributions and in liquidation, which could negatively affect the value of the common stock.


In the future, we may increase our capital resources by entering into debt or debt-like financing or issuing debt or equity securities, which could include issuances of senior notes, subordinated notes, preferred stock or common stock. In the event of our liquidation, our lenders and holders of our debt or preferred securities would receive a distribution of our available assets before distributions to the holders of our common stock. Our decision to incur debt and issue securities in future offerings will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control. We cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of its future offerings and debt financings. Future offerings could reduce the value of shares of our common stock and dilute a stockholder’s interest in us.


Item 1B.   Unresolved Staff Comments.








Item 2.   Properties.


Our offices are listed in the tables below. The address of the Company’s main office is 28969 Information Lane in Easton, Maryland. The Company owns the real property at this location, which also houses the Operations, Information Technology and Finance departments of the Company and its subsidiaries, and certain operations of The Avon-Dixon Agency, LLC.






Shore United Bank






Main Office

18 East Dover Street

Easton, Maryland 21601


Elliott Road Branch

8275 Elliott Road

Easton, Maryland 21601


Tred Avon Square Branch

212 Marlboro Road

Easton, Maryland 21601






St. Michaels Branch

1013 South Talbot Street

St. Michaels, Maryland 21663


Sunburst Branch

424 Dorchester Avenue

Cambridge, Maryland 21613


Tilghman Branch

5804 Tilghman Island Road

Tilghman, Maryland 21671






 Centreville Branch

109 North Commerce Street

Centreville, Maryland 21617


Route 213 South Branch

2609 Centreville Road

Centreville, Maryland 21617


Chester Branch

300 Castle Marina Road

Chester, Maryland 21619





Denton Branch

850 South 5 th Avenue

Denton, Maryland 21629


Grasonville Branch

202 Pullman Crossing

Grasonville, Maryland 21638


Stevensville Branch

408 Thompson Creek Road

Stevensville, Maryland 21666






Tuckahoe Branch

22151 WES Street

Ridgely, Maryland 21660



Washington Square Branch

899 Washington Avenue

Chestertown, Maryland 21620



Felton Branch

120 West Main Street

Felton, Delaware 19943







Milford Branch

698-A North Dupont Boulevard

Milford, Delaware 19963



Camden Branch

4580 South DuPont Highway

Camden, Delaware 19934



Dover Branch

800 S. Governors Avenue

Dover, Delaware 19904





Memorial Hospital at Easton

219 South Washington Street

Easton, Maryland 21601



218 North Washington Street

Easton, Maryland 21601












Division Office - Wye Financial & Trust

16 North Washington Street, Suite 1

Easton, Maryland 21601


Loan Production Office – Middletown

651 North Broad Street

Suite 201

Middletown, Delaware 19709








The Avon-Dixon Agency, LL C






106 North Harrison Street

Easton, Maryland 21601


Benefits Office

28969 Information Lane

Easton, Maryland 21601


Centreville Office

2977 4H Park Road, Suite 204

Centreville, Maryland 21617






Elliott-Wilson Insurance

106 North Harrison Street

Easton, Maryland 21601


Jack Martin & Associates

135 Old Solomon’s Island Road

Annapolis, Maryland 21401








Mubell Finance, LLC











106 North Harrison Street

Easton, Maryland 21601










The Bank owns the real property on which all of its Maryland offices are located, except that it operates under leases at its St. Michaels and Tilghman branches and the office of Wye Financial and Trust in Easton. The Bank leases the real property on which all of its Delaware offices are located, except that it owns the real property on which the Camden and Dover Branches are located. The Insurance Subsidiaries do not own any real property, but operate under leases. For information about rent expense for all leased premises, see Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements appearing in Item 8 of Part II of this annual report.




Item 3.

Legal Proceedings.


We are at times, in the ordinary course of business, subject to legal actions. Management, upon the advice of counsel, believes that losses, if any, resulting from current legal actions will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.




Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures.


This item is not applicable.










Item 5.

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




The shares of the Company’s common stock are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SHBI”. As of February 28, 2017, the Company had approximately 2,616 registered holders of record. The high and low sales prices for the shares of common stock of the Company, as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, and the cash dividends declared on those shares for each quarterly period of 2016 and 2015 are set forth in the table below.


























Price Range





Price Range
















First Quarter




















Second Quarter




















Third Quarter




















Fourth Quarter







































On February 28, 2017, the closing sales price for the shares of common stock as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market was $17.37 per share.


Shareholders received quarterly cash common stock dividends totaling $1.8 million in 2016 and $506 thousand in 2015. Dividends have increased from 2015 due to the Company’s improved operating results and the regulatory upgrade of Talbot in 2015. As a general matter, the payment of dividends is at the discretion of the Company’s Board of Directors, based on such factors as operating results, financial condition, capital adequacy, regulatory requirements, and stockholder return. The Company’s ability to pay dividends is limited by federal banking and state corporate law and is generally dependent on the ability of the Bank to declare dividends to the Company. For more information regarding these dividend limitations, see “Risk Factors - Our ability to pay dividends is limited by law and contract”.


The transfer agent for the Company’s common stock is:



51 Mercedes Way

Edgewood, NY 11717

Investor Relations: 1-800-353-0103

E-mail for investor inquiries: shareholder@broadridge.com  .







The performance graph below compares the cumulative total stockholder return on the common stock of the Company with the cumulative total return on the equity securities included in the NASDAQ Composite Index (reflecting overall stock market performance), the NASDAQ Bank Index (reflecting changes in banking industry stocks), the SNL Small Cap Bank Index and the SNL U.S. Bank Nasdaq Index (reflecting changes in stocks of banking institutions of a size similar to the Company) assuming in each case an initial $100 investment on December 31, 2011 and reinvestment of dividends as of the end of each of the Company’s fiscal years between December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2016. Returns are shown on a total return basis. The performance graph represents past performance and should not be considered to be an indication of future performance.


Picture 1




























Period Ending





















Shore Bancshares, Inc.

























NASDAQ Composite


















































SNL Small Cap Bank





















































Pursuant to the SEC’s Regulation S-K Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation 106.01, the information regarding the Company’s equity compensation plans required by this Item pursuant to Item 201(d) of Regulation S-K is located in Item 12 of Part III of this annual report and is incorporated herein by reference.







Item 6.

Selected Financial Data.


The following table sets forth certain selected financial data for each of the five years ended December 31, 2016, and is qualified in its entirety by the detailed statistical and other information contained in this annual report, including “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” appearing in Item 7 of Part II of this annual report and the financial statements and notes thereto appearing in Item 8 of Part II of this annual report. 






















Years Ended December 31,

(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
































Interest income





















Interest expense





















Net interest income





















Provision for credit losses





















Net interest income after provision for credit










































Noninterest income





















Noninterest expense





















Income (loss) before income taxes





















Income tax expense (benefit)





















Net income (loss)






























































Net income (loss) - basic





















Net income (loss) - diluted





















Dividends paid





















Book value (at year end)





















Tangible book value (at year end)1





























































































































Stockholders' equity









































PERFORMANCE RATIOS (for the year):





















Return on average total assets





















Return on average stockholders' equity





















Net interest margin