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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934,
for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2019,
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934,
for the transition period from           N/A           to                                 .
Commission File Number: 0-23695
BROOKLINE BANCORP, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
 
04-3402944
 
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
131 Clarendon Street
Boston
MA
02116
 
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
 
(Zip Code)
 
(617425-4600
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, par value of $0.01 per share
BRKL
Nasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1934. Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Act of 1934. 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 requirement for the past 90 days. Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer", "accelerated filer", "smaller reporting company", and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
 
 
Accelerated filer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Non-accelerated filer
 
 
Smaller Reporting Company
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emerging growth company
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes     No 
As of June 28, 2019, the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the shares of common stock held by nonaffiliates, based upon the closing price per share of the registrant's common stock as reported on NASDAQ, was approximately $1.2 billion.



As of February 28, 2020, there were 85,177,172 and 79,767,595 shares of the registrant's common stock, par value $0.01 per share, issued and outstanding, respectively.
 


Table of Contents

BROOKLINE BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
2019 FORM 10-K
Table of Contents
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Table of Contents

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K that are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. These statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe Brookline Bancorp, Inc.'s (the "Company's") future plans, strategies and expectations, can generally be identified by the use of the words "may," "will," "should," "could," "would," "plan," "potential," "estimate," "project," "believe," "intend," "anticipate," "expect," "target" and similar expressions. These statements include, among others, statements regarding the Company's intent, belief or expectations with respect to economic conditions, trends affecting the Company's financial condition or results of operations, and the Company's exposure to market, liquidity, interest-rate and credit risk.
Forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions underlying the statements and other information with respect to the beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, expectations, anticipations, estimates and intentions of management and the financial condition, results of operations, future performance and business are only expectations of future results. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the Company's forward-looking statements are reasonable, the Company's actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of, among other factors, adverse conditions in the capital and debt markets; changes in interest rates; competitive pressures from other financial institutions; the effects of weakness in general economic conditions on a national basis or in the local markets in which the Company operates, including changes which adversely affect borrowers' ability to service and repay their loans and leases; changes in the value of securities and other assets in the Company's investment portfolio; changes in loan and lease default and charge-off rates; the adequacy of allowances for loan and lease losses; decreases in deposit levels that necessitate increases in borrowing to fund loans and investments; operational risks including, but not limited to, cybersecurity breaches, fraud, natural disaster and pandemics; changes in government regulation; the risk that goodwill and intangibles recorded in the Company's financial statements will become impaired; and changes in assumptions used in making such forward-looking statements, as well as the other risks and uncertainties detailed in Item 1A, "Risk Factors." Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made.
PART I
Item 1.    Business
General
Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company"), a Delaware corporation, operates as a multi-bank holding company for Brookline Bank and its subsidiaries and Bank Rhode Island ("BankRI") and its subsidiaries, and Brookline Securities Corp.
On February 15, 2020, Brookline Bank completed the merger of First Ipswich Bank ("First Ipswich") with and into Brookline Bank. First Ipswich was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. The Company's financial statements are consolidated, therefore information related to First Ipswich's financial performance during 2019 is incorporated and reported into this document.
Brookline Bank, which includes its wholly-owned subsidiaries, BBS Investment Corp., Longwood Securities Corp., First Ipswich Insurance Agency, First Ipswich Securities II Corp., and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Eastern Funding LLC ("Eastern Funding"), operates 31 full-service banking offices in the greater Boston metropolitan area with two additional lending offices. Brookline Bank was established as a savings bank in 1871 under the name Brookline Savings Bank. The Company was organized in November 1997 for the purpose of acquiring all of the capital stock of Brookline Savings Bank on completion of the reorganization of Brookline Savings Bank from a mutual savings bank into a mutual holding company structure and partial public offering. In 2002, the Company became fully public. In January 2003, Brookline Savings Bank changed its name to Brookline Bank.
BankRI is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. BankRI, which includes its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Acorn Insurance Agency, BRI Realty Corp., Macrolease Corporation ("Macrolease"), and BRI Investment Corp. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, BRI MSC Corp., operates 20 full-service banking offices in the greater Providence, Rhode Island area.
As a commercially-focused financial institution with 51 full-service banking offices throughout greater Boston, the north shore of Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, the Company, through Brookline Bank and BankRI (individually and collectively, the "Banks"), offers a wide range of commercial, business and retail banking services, including a full complement of cash management products, on-line banking services, consumer and residential loans and investment services, designed to meet the financial needs of small- to mid-sized businesses and individuals throughout central New England. Specialty lending activities

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including equipment financing are focused in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, with services offered throughout the United States.
The Company focuses its business efforts on profitably growing its commercial lending businesses, both organically and through acquisitions. The Company's customer focus, multi-bank structure, and risk management are integral to its organic growth strategy and serve to differentiate the Company from its competitors. As full-service financial institutions, the Banks and their subsidiaries focus on the continued addition of well-qualified customers, the deepening of long-term banking relationships through a full complement of products and excellent customer service, and strong risk management. The Company's multi-bank structure retains the local-bank orientation while relieving local bank management of the responsibility for most back-office functions, which are consolidated at the holding company level. Branding and decision-making, including credit decisions and pricing, remain largely local in order to better meet the needs of bank customers and further motivate the Banks' commercial, business and retail bankers.
The Company, has, from time to time, acquired other business lines or financial institutions that it believes share the Company's relationship and customer service orientations and provide access to complementary markets, customers, products and services. The Company expanded its geographic footprint with the acquisitions of First Ipswich in February 2011, BankRI in January 2012 and Brookline Bank's acquisition of First Commons Bank in 2018.
The Company's headquarters and executive management are located at 131 Clarendon Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116 and its telephone number is 617-425-4600.
The loan and lease portfolio grew $434.3 million, or 6.9%, to $6.7 billion as of December 31, 2019 from $6.3 billion as of December 31, 2018. The Company's commercial loan portfolios, which are comprised of commercial real estate loans and commercial loans and leases, continued to exhibit growth. The Company's commercial loan portfolios, which totaled $5.5 billion, or 81.7% of total loans and leases, as of December 31, 2019, increased $387.3 million, or 7.6%, from $5.1 billion, or 81.2% of total loans and leases, as of December 31, 2018.
Total deposits increased $376.0 million, or 6.9%, to $5.8 billion as of December 31, 2019 from $5.5 billion as of December 31, 2018. Core deposits, which include demand checking, NOW, money market and savings accounts, increased 3.9% to $3.8 billion as of December 31, 2019 from $3.6 billion at December 31, 2018. The Company's core deposits were 65.3% of total deposits as of December 31, 2019, a decrease from 67.2% as of December 31, 2018.
Throughout 2019, the Company added $9.6 million to its allowance for loan and lease losses and experienced net charge-offs of $7.2 million to bring the balance to $61.1 million as of December 31, 2019. The ratio of the allowance for loan and lease losses to total loans and leases was 0.91% as of December 31, 2019 compared to 0.93% as of December 31, 2018. Excluding the loans acquired from BankRI, First Ipswich and First Commons Bank, the ratio of the allowance for loan and lease losses related to originated loans and leases was 0.91% as of December 31, 2019 and 0.96% as of December 31, 2018 respectively. Nonperforming assets as of December 31, 2019 were $22.1 million, down from $28.1 million at the end of 2018. Nonperforming assets were 0.28% and 0.38% of total assets as of December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively. The Company's credit quality compares favorably to its peers, and remains a top priority within the Company.
Net interest income increased $5.6 million, or 2.3%, to $253.3 million in 2019 compared to $247.7 million in 2018. The net interest margin decreased 10 basis points to 3.51% in 2019 from 3.61% in 2018. Net income for 2019 increased $4.7 million, or 5.6%, to $87.7 million from $83.1 million for 2018. Basic and fully diluted earnings per common share ("EPS") increased to $1.10 for 2019 from $1.04 for 2018.
Competition
The Company provides banking alternatives in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, metropolitan marketplaces, each of which is dominated by several large national banking institutions. Based on total deposits at June 30, 2019, the Company ranks sixteenth in deposit market share among bank holding companies in the Massachusetts market area and fifth in deposit market share among bank holding companies in the Rhode Island market area. The Company faces considerable competition in its market area for all aspects of banking and related service activities. Competition from both bank and non-bank organizations is expected to continue with the Company facing strong competition in generating loans and attracting deposits.
In addition to other commercial banks, the Company's main competition for generating loans includes savings banks, credit unions, mortgage banking companies, insurance companies, and other financial services companies. Competitive factors considered for loan generation include product offerings, interest rates, terms offered, services provided and geographic locations. Lending services for the Company are concentrated in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, metropolitan areas, eastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire, and other Rhode Island areas, while the

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Company's equipment financing activities are primarily concentrated in the greater New York and New Jersey metropolitan markets.
The Company's primary competitors for attracting deposits are savings banks, commercial banks, credit unions, and other non-depository institutions such as securities and brokerage firms and insurance companies. Competitive factors considered in attracting and retaining deposits include product offerings and rate of return, convenient branch locations and automated teller machines and online access to accounts. Deposit customers are generally in communities where banking offices are located.
Market Area and Credit Risk Concentration
As of December 31, 2019, the Company, through its Banks, operated 51 full-service banking offices in greater Boston, Massachusetts, and greater Providence, Rhode Island. The Banks' deposits are gathered from the general public primarily in the communities in which the banking offices are located. The deposit market in Massachusetts and Rhode Island is highly concentrated in several banks. Based on June 30, 2019 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") statistics, the five largest banks in Massachusetts have an aggregate market share of approximately 65%, and the three largest banks in Rhode Island have an aggregate deposit market share of approximately 68%. The Banks' lending activities are concentrated primarily in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, metropolitan areas, eastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and other Rhode Island areas. In addition, the Company, through its subsidiaries of Brookline Bank and BankRI, conducts equipment financing activities in the greater New York and New Jersey metropolitan area and elsewhere in the United States.
Commercial real estate loans. Multi-family and commercial real estate mortgage loans typically generate higher yields, but also involve greater credit risk. In addition, many of the Banks' borrowers have more than one multi-family or commercial real estate loan outstanding. The Banks manage this credit risk by prudent underwriting with conservative debt service coverage and LTV ratios at origination; lending to seasoned real estate owners/managers; frequently with personal guarantees of repayment; using reasonable appraisal practices; cross-collateralizing loans to one borrower when deemed prudent; and limiting the amount and types of construction lending. As of December 31, 2019, the largest commercial real estate relationship in the Company’s portfolio was $50.4 million.
Commercial loans and equipment leasing. Brookline Bank originates commercial loans and leases for working capital and other business-related purposes, and concentrate such lending to companies located primarily in Massachusetts, and, in the case of Eastern Funding, in New York and New Jersey. BankRI originates commercial loans and lines of credit for various business-related purposes, for businesses located primarily in Rhode Island, and engages in equipment financing through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Macrolease, in New York and New Jersey.
Because commercial loans are typically made on the basis of the borrower's ability to repay from the cash flow of the business, the availability of funds for the repayment of commercial and industrial loans may be significantly dependent on the success of the business itself. Further, the collateral securing the loans may be difficult to value, may fluctuate in value based on the success of the business and may deteriorate over time. For this reason, these loans and leases involve greater credit risk. Loans and leases originated by Eastern Funding generally earn higher yields because the borrowers are typically small businesses with limited capital such as laundries, dry cleaners, fitness centers, convenience stores and tow truck operators. The Macrolease equipment financing portfolio is comprised of small- to medium-sized businesses such as fitness centers, restaurants and other commercial equipment. The Banks manage the credit risk inherent in commercial lending by requiring strong debt service coverage ratios; limiting loan-to-value ratios; securing personal guarantees from borrowers; and limiting industry concentrations, franchisee concentrations and the duration of loan maturities. As of December 31, 2019, the largest commercial relationship in the Company’s portfolio was $30.8 million.
Consumer loans. Retail customers of Brookline Bank typically live and work in the Boston metropolitan area and eastern Massachusetts, are financially active and value personalized service and easy branch access. Retail customers of BankRI typically live and work throughout Rhode Island and value easy branch access, personalized service, and knowledge of local communities. The Banks' consumer loan portfolios, which include residential mortgage loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, and other consumer loans, cater to the borrowing needs of this customer base. Credit risk in these portfolios is managed by limiting loan-to-value ratios at loan origination and by requiring borrowers to demonstrate strong credit histories. As of December 31, 2019, the largest consumer relationship in the Company’s portfolio was $21.2 million.

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Economic Conditions and Governmental Policies
Repayment of multi-family and commercial real estate loans are generally dependent on the properties generating sufficient income to cover operating expenses and debt service. Repayment of commercial loans and equipment financing loans and leases generally are dependent on the demand for the borrowers' products or services and the ability of borrowers to compete and operate on a profitable basis. Repayment of residential mortgage loans, home equity loans and indirect automobile loans generally are dependent on the financial well-being of the borrowers and their capacity to service their debt levels. The asset quality of the Company's loan and lease portfolio, therefore, is greatly affected by the economy.
Economic conditions in the geographic areas that the Company operates its businesses continued to demonstrate moderate improvement throughout 2019. Factors that the Company evaluates when determining economic improvements include employment levels, job growth, economic activity, and other factors. According to the Department of Labor, the national unemployment rate peaked at 10.0% in October 2009. In December 2019, the unemployment rate was 3.5% nationally, down from 3.9% at the end of 2018.
The Company's primary geographic footprints are the Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, metropolitan areas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest employment sectors in Massachusetts are, in order: education and health services; business and professional services; and trade, transportation and utilities, a sector that includes wholesale and retail trade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest employment sectors in Rhode Island are, in order: education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities, and business and professional services. The unemployment rate in Massachusetts decreased to 2.8% in December 2019 from 3.3% in December 2018, slightly lower than the national average. The unemployment rate in Rhode Island decreased to 3.5% in December 2019 from 3.9% in December 2018, equal to the national average.
Should there be any setback in the economy or increase in the unemployment rates in the Boston, Massachusetts, or Providence, Rhode Island, metropolitan areas, the resulting negative consequences could affect occupancy rates in the properties financed by the Company and cause certain individual and business borrowers to be unable to service their debt obligations.
The earnings and business of the Company are affected by external influences such as general economic conditions and the policies of governmental authorities, including the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the "FRB"). The FRB regulates the supply of money and bank credit to influence general economic conditions throughout the United States of America. The instruments of monetary policy employed by the FRB affect interest rates earned on investment securities and loans and interest rates paid on deposits and borrowed funds. The rate-setting actions of the Federal Open Market Committee of the FRB have a significant effect on the Company's operating results and the level of growth in its loans and leases and deposits.
Personnel
As of December 31, 2019, the Company had 763 full-time employees and 48 part-time employees. The employees are not represented by a collective bargaining unit and the Company considers its relationship with its employees to be good.
Access to Information
As a public company, Brookline Bancorp, Inc. is subject to the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and in accordance therewith, files reports, proxy and information statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Company makes available on or through its internet website, www.brooklinebancorp.com, without charge, its annual reports on Form 10-K, proxy, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. The Company’s reports filed with, or furnished to, the SEC are also available at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Press releases are also maintained on the Company’s website. Additional information for Brookline Bank and BankRI can be found at www.brooklinebank.com, and www.bankri.com, respectively. Information on the Company’s and any subsidiary's website is not incorporated by reference into this document and should not be considered part of this Report.
The Company’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select MarketSM under the symbol “BRKL.”
Supervision and Regulation
The following discussion addresses elements of the regulatory framework applicable to bank holding companies and their subsidiaries. This regulatory framework is intended primarily for the protection of the safety and soundness of depository institutions, the federal deposit insurance system, and depositors, rather than for the protection of shareholders of a bank holding company such as the Company.

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As a bank holding company, the Company is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the FRB under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”), and by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks (the "Commissioner") under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 167A. The FRB is also the primary federal regulator of the Banks. In addition, Brookline Bank is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the Massachusetts Division of Banks ("MDOB"), and BankRI is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the Banking Division of the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (the “RIBD”).
The following is a summary of certain aspects of various statutes and regulations applicable to the Company and its subsidiaries. This summary is not a comprehensive analysis of all applicable law, and is qualified by reference to the full text of the statutes and regulations referenced below.
Regulation of the Company
The Company is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the FRB, which has the authority, among other things, to order bank holding companies to cease and desist from unsafe or unsound banking practices; to assess civil money penalties; and to order termination of non-banking activities or termination of ownership and control of a non-banking subsidiary by a bank holding company.
Source of Strength
Under the BHCA, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Company is required to serve as a source of financial strength for the Banks in the event of the financial distress of the Banks. This provision of the Dodd-Frank Act codifies the longstanding policy of the FRB. This support may be required at times when the bank holding company may not have the resources to provide the additional financial support required by its subsidiary banks. In the event of a bank holding company’s bankruptcy, any commitment by the bank holding company to a federal bank regulatory agency to maintain the capital of a bank subsidiary will be assumed by the bankruptcy trustee and entitled to priority of payment.
Acquisitions and Activities
The BHCA prohibits a bank holding company, without prior approval of the FRB, from acquiring all or substantially all the assets of a bank, acquiring control of a bank, merging or consolidating with another bank holding company, or acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of any voting shares of another bank or bank holding company if, after such acquisition, the acquiring bank holding company would control more than 5% of any class of the voting shares of such other bank or bank holding company. Further, as a Massachusetts bank holding company, the Company generally must obtain the prior approval of the Massachusetts Board of Bank Incorporation to acquire ownership or control of more than 5% of any voting stock in any other banking institution, acquire substantially all the assets of a bank, or merge with another bank holding company. However, there is an exemption from this approval requirement in certain cases in which the banking institution to be acquired, simultaneously with the acquisition, merges with a banking institution subsidiary of the Company in a transaction approved by the Commissioner.
The BHCA also generally prohibits a bank holding company from engaging directly or indirectly in activities other than those of banking, managing or controlling banks or furnishing services to its subsidiary banks. However, among other permitted activities, a bank holding company may engage in and may own shares of companies engaged in certain activities that the FRB has determined to be so closely related to banking or managing and controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto, subject to certain notification requirements.
Limitations on Acquisitions of Company Common Stock
The Change in Bank Control Act prohibits a person or group of persons from acquiring “control” of a bank holding company unless the FRB has been notified and has not objected to the transaction. Under a rebuttable presumption of control established by the FRB, the acquisition of control of more than 5% of a class of voting securities of a bank holding company, together with other factors enumerated by the FRB, could constitute the acquisition of control of a bank holding company. In addition, the BHCA prohibits any company from acquiring control of a bank or bank holding company without first having obtained the approval of the FRB. Pursuant to the BHCA, a company is deemed to have control of a bank or bank holding company in a number of ways including: if the company owns, controls or holds with power to vote 25% or more of a class of voting securities of the bank or bank holding company; controls in any manner the election of a majority of directors or trustees of the bank or bank holding company; or the FRB has determined, after notice and opportunity for hearing, that the company has the power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of the bank or bank holding company.

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Regulation of the Banks
Brookline Bank is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the MDOB and the FRB. BankRI is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the RIBD and the FRB. The enforcement powers available to federal and state banking regulators include, among other things, the ability to issue cease and desist or removal orders to terminate insurance of deposits; to assess civil money penalties; to issue directives to increase capital; to place the bank into receivership; and to initiate injunctive actions against banking organizations and institution-affiliated parties.
Deposit Insurance
Deposit obligations of the Banks are insured by the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund up to $250,000 per separately insured depositor for deposits held in the same right and capacity.
In 2016, as mandated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (the “FDIA”), the FDIC’s Board of Directors approved a final rule to increase the DIF's reserve ratio to the statutorily required minimum ratio of 1.35% of estimated insured deposits. On September 30, 2018, the DIF reserve ratio reached 1.36%. Small banks, which are generally banks with less than $10 billion in assets, were awarded assessment credits for the portion of their assessments that contributed to the growth in the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent.
Deposit premiums are based on assets. In 2016, the FDIC’s Board of Directors adopted a final rule that changed the manner in which deposit insurance assessment rates are calculated for established small banks, generally those banks with less than $10 billion of assets that have been insured for at least five years. Under this method, each of seven financial ratios and a weighted average of CAMELS composite ratings are multiplied by a corresponding pricing multiplier. The sum of these products is added to a uniform amount, with the resulting sum being an institution’s initial base assessment rate (subject to minimum or maximum assessment rates based on a bank’s CAMELS composite rating). This method takes into account various measures, including an institution’s leverage ratio, brokered deposit ratio, one year asset growth, the ratio of net income before taxes to total assets, and considerations related to asset quality. For 2019, the Banks’ FDIC insurance assessments costs were $1.4 million.
The FDIC has the authority to adjust deposit insurance assessment rates at any time. In addition, under the FDIA, the FDIC may terminate deposit insurance, among other circumstances, upon a finding that the institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices; is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations; or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC.
Until July 31, 2019, Brookline Bank was a member bank of the Depositors Insurance Fund (the “DIF”), a private, industry-sponsored insurance fund that insures all deposits above FDIC limits for Massachusetts-chartered savings banks. Brookline Bank converted its charter from a Massachusetts-chartered savings bank to a Massachusetts-chartered trust company and ended its membership in the DIF on July 31, 2019. Excess deposits that are insured by the DIF on July 31, 2019 will continue to be insured by the DIF until July 31, 2020. Term deposits in excess of the FDIC insurance coverage will continue to be insured by the DIF until they reach maturity.
Cross-Guarantee
Similar to the source of strength doctrine discussed above in “Regulation of the Company-Source of Strength,” under the cross-guarantee provisions of the FDIA, the FDIC can hold any FDIC-insured depository institution liable for any loss suffered or anticipated 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.”
Acquisitions and Branching
The Banks must seek prior approval from the FRB to acquire another bank or establish a new branch office. Brookline Bank must also seek prior approval from the MDOB to acquire another bank or establish a new branch office and BankRI must also seek prior approval from the RIBD to acquire another bank or establish a new branch office. Well capitalized and well managed banks may acquire other banks in any state, subject to certain deposit concentration limits and other conditions, pursuant to the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act authorizes a state-chartered bank to establish new branches on an interstate basis to the same extent a bank chartered by the host state may establish branches.


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Activities and Investments of Insured State-Chartered Banks
The FDIA generally limits the types of equity investments that FDIC-insured state-chartered member banks, such as the Banks, may make and the kinds of activities in which such banks may engage, as a principal, to those that are permissible for national banks. Further, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (the “GLBA”) permits state banks, to the extent permitted under state law, to engage through “financial subsidiaries” in certain activities which are permissible for subsidiaries of a financial holding company. In order to form a financial subsidiary, a state-chartered bank must be well capitalized, and must comply with certain capital deduction, risk management and affiliate transaction rules, among other requirements. In addition, the Federal Reserve Act provides that state member banks are subject to the same restrictions with respect to purchasing, selling, underwriting, and holding of investment securities as national banks.
Brokered Deposits
The FDIA and federal regulations generally limit the ability of an insured depository institution to accept, renew or roll over any brokered deposit unless the institution’s capital category is “well capitalized” or, with regulatory approval, “adequately capitalized.” Depository institutions that have brokered deposits in excess of 10% of total assets will be subject to incr