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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

(MARK ONE)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

or the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

OR

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

FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                                      TO

Commission file number 000-23877

Heritage Commerce Corp

(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

California
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)

77-0469558
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)

224 Airport Parkway
San JoseCalifornia 95110
(Address of Principal Executive Offices including Zip Code)

(408947-6900
(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

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

Title of Each Class

    

Trading Symbol

    

Name of each exchange on which Registered

Common Stock, No Par Value

HTBK

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
(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. Yes  No

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

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T 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 whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer 

Smaller reporting company 

Emerging growth company

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

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

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

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of June 30, 2021, based upon the closing price on that date of $11.13 per share as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, and 46,172,282 shares held, was approximately $513.9 million.

As of February 10, 2022, there were 60,371,687 shares of the Registrant’s common stock (no par value) outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A in connection with the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 26, 2022 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report. The proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days after the Registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.

Table of Contents

HERITAGE COMMERCE CORP

INDEX TO ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

FOR YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2021

Page

PART I.

Item 1.

Business

5

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

24

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

50

Item 2.

Properties

50

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

52

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

52

PART II.

Item 5.

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

52

Item 6.

[RESERVED]

55

Item 7.

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

56

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

88

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

88

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosures

88

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

88

Item 9B.

Other Information

89

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

89

PART III.

Item 10.

Directors and Executive Officers of Registrant

90

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

90

Item 12.

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

90

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

90

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

90

PART IV.

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

90

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

93

Signatures

94

Financial Statements

95

2

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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This Report on Form 10-K contains various statements that may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Rule 175 promulgated thereunder, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, Rule 3b-6 promulgated thereunder and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements about our expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not historical facts and may be forward-looking. These forward-looking statements often can be, but are not always, identified by the use of words such as “assume,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “anticipate,” “may,” “might,” “should,” “could,” “goal,” “potential” and similar expressions. We base these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events, our assumptions regarding these events and our knowledge of facts at the time the statements are made. These statements include statements relating to our projected growth, anticipated future financial performance, and management’s long-term performance goals, as well as statements relating to the anticipated effects on results of operations and financial condition.

These forward looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that may be outside our control and our actual results could differ materially from our projected results. Risks and uncertainties that could cause our financial performance to differ materially from our goals, plans, expectations and projections expressed in forward-looking statements include those set forth in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and the following listed below:

geopolitical and domestic political developments that can increase levels of political and economic unpredictability and increase the volatility of financial markets;
conditions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other infectious illness outbreaks that may arise in the future, on our customers, employees, businesses, liquidity, financial results and overall condition including severity and duration of the associated uncertainties in U.S. and global markets;
current and future economic and market conditions in the United States generally or in the communities we serve, including the effects of declines in property values and overall slowdowns in economic growth should these events occur;
effects of and changes in trade, monetary and fiscal policies and laws, including the interest rate policies of the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve Board;
inflation and changes in the interest rate environment that reduce our margins and yields, the fair value of financial instruments or our level of loan originations, or increase the level of defaults, losses and prepayments on loans we have made and make;
changes in the level of nonperforming assets and charge offs and other credit quality measures, and their impact on the adequacy of our allowance for credit losses and our provision for credit losses;
volatility in credit and equity markets and its effect on the global economy;
our ability to effectively compete with other banks and financial services companies and the effects of competition in the financial services industry on our business;
our ability to achieve loan growth and attract deposits in our market area;
risks associated with concentrations in real estate related loans;
the relative strength or weakness of the commercial and real estate markets where our borrowers are located, including related asset and market prices;
credit related impairment charges to our securities portfolio;

3

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increased capital requirements for our continual growth or as imposed by banking regulators, which may require us to raise capital at a time when capital is not available on favorable terms or at all;
regulatory limits on Heritage Bank of Commerce’s ability to pay dividends to the Heritage Commerce Corp (the “Company”);
changes in our capital management policies, including those regarding business combinations, dividends, and share repurchases;
operational issues stemming from, and/or capital spending necessitated by, the potential need to adapt to industry changes in information technology systems, on which we are highly dependent;
our inability to attract, recruit, and retain qualified officers and other personnel could harm our ability to implement our strategic plan, impair our relationships with customers and adversely affect our business, results of operations and growth prospects;
possible adjustment of the valuation of our deferred tax assets;
our ability to keep pace with technological changes, including our ability to identify and address cyber-security risks such as data security breaches, “denial of service” attacks, “hacking” and identity theft;
inability of our framework to manage risks associated with our business, including operational risk and credit risk;
risks of loss of funding of Small Business Administration (“SBA”) or SBA loan programs, or changes in those programs;
compliance with applicable laws and governmental and regulatory requirements, including the Dodd-Frank Act and others relating to banking, consumer protection, securities, accounting and tax matters;
effect of changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the regulatory agencies, as well as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and other accounting standard setters;
the expense and uncertain resolution of litigation matters whether occurring in the ordinary course of business or otherwise;
availability of and competition for acquisition opportunities;
risks resulting from domestic terrorism;
risks resulting from social unrest and protests;
risks of natural disasters (including earthquakes and flooding) and other events beyond our control;
our participation as a lender in the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) and similar programs and its effect on our liquidity, financial results, businesses and customers, including the ability of customers to comply with requirements and otherwise perform with respect to loans obtained under such programs;
our success in managing the risks involved in the foregoing factors.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should consider any forward looking statements in light of this explanation, and we caution you about relying on forward-looking statements.

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PART I

ITEM 1 — BUSINESS

General

Heritage Commerce Corp, a California corporation organized in 1997, is a bank holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended. We provide a wide range of banking services through Heritage Bank of Commerce, our wholly-owned subsidiary. Heritage Bank of Commerce is a California state-chartered bank headquartered in San Jose, California and has been conducting business since 1994.

Heritage Bank of Commerce is a multi-community independent bank that offers a full range of commercial banking services to small and medium-sized businesses and their owners, managers and employees. We operate through 17 full service branch offices located entirely in the general San Francisco Bay Area of California in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. Our market includes the headquarters of a number of technology based companies in the region commonly known as “Silicon Valley.”

Our lending activities are diversified and include commercial, real estate, construction and land development, consumer and Small Business Administration (“SBA”) guaranteed loans. We generally lend in markets where we have a physical presence through our branch offices. We attract deposits throughout our market area with a customer-oriented product mix, competitive pricing, and convenient locations. We offer a wide range of deposit products for business banking and retail markets. We offer a multitude of other products and services to complement our lending and deposit services. In addition, Bay View Funding provides factoring financing throughout the United States.

As a bank holding company, Heritage Commerce Corp is subject to the supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”). We are required to file with the Federal Reserve reports and other information regarding our business operations and the business operations of our subsidiaries. As a California chartered bank, Heritage Bank of Commerce is subject to primary supervision, periodic examination, and regulation by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, and by the Federal Reserve, as its primary federal regulator.

Our principal executive office is located at 224 Airport Parkway, San Jose, California 95110, telephone number: (408) 947-6900.

At December 31, 2021, we had consolidated assets of $5.50 billion, deposits of $4.76 billion and shareholders’ equity of $598.0 million.

When we use “we”, “us”, “our” or the “Company”, we mean the Company on a consolidated basis with Heritage Bank of Commerce. When we refer to “HCC” or the “holding company”, we are referring to Heritage Commerce Corp on a standalone basis. When we use “HBC”, we mean Heritage Bank of Commerce on a standalone basis.

The Internet address of the Company’s website is “http://www.heritagecommercecorp.com,” and the Bank’s website is “http://www.heritagebankofcommerce.com.” The Company makes available free of charge through the Company’s website, the Company’s annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to these reports. The Company makes these reports available on its website on the same day they appear on the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) website.

Presidio Bank Merger

The Company completed its merger of its wholly-owned bank subsidiary HBC with Presidio Bank (“Presidio”) effective October 11, 2019. The merger, which was first announced on May 16, 2019, was concluded following receipt of approval from both the Company’s and Presidio shareholders and all required regulatory approvals. Presidio’s results of operations have been included in the Company’s results of operations beginning October 12, 2019.

Presidio was a full-service California state-chartered commercial bank headquartered in San Francisco with branches in Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Mateo, San Rafael, and Walnut Creek, California.  

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Heritage Bank of Commerce

HBC is a California state-chartered bank headquartered in San Jose, California. It was incorporated in November 1993 and opened for business in June 1994. HBC operates through seventeen full service branch offices. The locations of HBC’s current offices and the administrative office of CSNK Working Capital Finance Corp. d/b/a Bay View Funding (“Bay View Funding”) are:

San Jose:

Administrative Office
Main Branch
224 Airport Parkway

Suite 100
San Jose, CA 95110

Los Altos:

Branch Office
419 South San Antonio Road
Los Altos, CA 94022

Danville:

    

Branch Office
387 Diablo Road
Danville, CA 94526

Los Gatos:

    

Branch Office
15575 Los Gatos Boulevard
Suite B
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Fremont:

Branch Office
3137 Stevenson Boulevard
Fremont, CA 94538

Morgan Hill:

    

Branch Office
18625 Sutter Boulevard
Suite 100
Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Gilroy:

Branch Office
7598 Monterey Street
Suite 110
Gilroy, CA 95020

Oakland:*

Branch Office
1111 Broadway
Suite 1650
Oakland, CA 94607

Hollister:

Branch Office
351 Tres Pinos Road
Suite 102A
Hollister, CA 95023

Palo Alto:

Branch Office
325 Lytton Avenue
Suite 100
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Livermore

Branch Office
1987 First Street
Livermore, CA 94550

Pleasanton:

Branch Office
300 Main Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566

*The estimated commencement date is July 1, 2022.

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Redwood City:

Branch Office
2400 Broadway
Suite 100
Redwood City, CA 94063

Sunnyvale:

Branch Office
333 W. El Camino Real
Suite 150
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

San Francisco:

Branch Office
120 Kearny Street
Suite 2300
San Francisco, CA 94108

Walnut Creek:

    

Branch Office
1990 N. California Boulevard
Suite 100
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

San Mateo:

Branch Office
400 S. El Camino Real
Suite 150
San Mateo, CA 94402

Bay View Funding:

Administrative Office
224 Airport Parkway
Suite 200
San Jose, CA 95110

San Rafael:

Branch Office
999 5th Avenue
Suite 100
San Rafael, CA 94901

Lending Activities

We offer a diversified mix of business loans encompassing the following loan products: (i) commercial and industrial loans; (ii) commercial real estate loans; (iii) construction loans; and (iv) SBA loans. We also offer home equity lines of credit (“HELOCS”), to accommodate the needs of business owners and individual clients, as well as consumer loans (both secured and unsecured). In the event creditworthy loan customers’ borrowing needs exceed our legal lending limit, we have the ability to sell participations in those loans to other banks. We encourage relationship banking, obtaining a substantial portion of each borrower’s banking business, including deposit accounts.

As of December 31, 2021, the percentage of our total loans for each of the principal areas in which we directed our lending activities were as follows: (i) commercial and industrial loans 22% (including SBA loans, PPP loans, asset-based lending, and factored receivables); (ii) commercial real estate loans 48%; (iii) land and construction loans 5%; (iv) residential mortgage loans 13%; and (v) consumer and other loans (including home equity and multifamily loans) 12%. While no specific industry concentration is considered significant, our lending operations are located in market areas dependent on technology and real estate industries and their supporting companies.

Commercial and Industrial Loans.  Our commercial loan portfolio is comprised of operating secured and unsecured loans advanced for working capital, equipment purchases and other business purposes. Generally short-term loans have maturities ranging from thirty days to one year, and “term loans” have maturities ranging from one to five years. Short-term business loans are generally intended to finance current transactions and typically provide for periodic principal payments, with interest payable monthly. Term loans generally provide for floating or fixed interest rates, with monthly payments of both principal and interest. Repayment of secured and unsecured commercial loans depends substantially on the borrower’s underlying business, financial condition and cash flows, as well as the sufficiency of the collateral. Compared to real estate, the collateral may be more difficult to monitor, evaluate and sell. It may also depreciate more rapidly than real estate. Such risks can be significantly affected by economic conditions. In addition, the Company had $88.7 million of PPP loans at December 31, 2021.

Our factored receivables portfolio is originated by Bay View Funding. Factored receivables are receivables that have been acquired from the originating company and typically have not been subject to previous collection efforts. These receivables are acquired from a variety of companies, including but not limited to service providers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, apparel companies, advertisers, and temporary staffing companies. The average life of the factored receivables is 37 days.

HBC’s commercial loans, except for the asset-based lending and the factored receivables at Bay View Funding, are primarily originated from locally-oriented commercial activities in communities where HBC has a physical presence through its branch offices.

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Commercial Real Estate Loans.  The commercial real estate (“CRE”) loan portfolio is comprised of loans secured by commercial real estate. Commercial real estate loans comprise two segments differentiated by owner occupied commercial real estate and non-owner commercial real estate.  Owner occupied commercial real estate loans are secured by commercial properties that are at least 50% occupied by the borrower or borrower affiliate. Non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans are secured by commercial properties that are less than 50% occupied by the borrower or borrower affiliate. Commercial real estate loans may be adversely affected by conditions in the real estate markets or in the general economy.  These loans are generally advanced based on the borrower’s cash flow, and the underlying collateral provides a secondary source of payment. HBC generally restricts real estate term loans to no more than 75% of the property’s appraised value or the purchase price of the property, depending on the type of property and its utilization. HBC offers both fixed and floating rate loans. Maturities on such loans are generally restricted to between five and ten years (with amortization ranging from fifteen to twenty-five years and a balloon payment due at maturity); however, SBA and certain real estate loans that can be sold in the secondary market may be advanced for longer maturities. CRE loans typically involve large balances to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers. Since payments on these loans are often dependent on the successful operation or management of the properties, as well as the business and financial condition of the borrower, repayment of such loans may be subject to adverse conditions in the real estate market, adverse economic conditions or changes in applicable government regulations. If the cash flow from the project decreases, or if leases are not obtained or renewed, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan may be impaired.

Construction Loans.  We make commercial construction loans for rental properties, commercial buildings and homes built by developers on speculative, undeveloped property. We also make construction loans for homes and commercial buildings built by owner occupants. The terms of commercial construction loans are made in accordance with our loan policy. Advances on construction loans are made in accordance with a schedule reflecting the cost of construction, but are generally limited to a 70% loan-to-value ratio, as completed. Repayment of construction loans on non-residential properties is normally expected from the property’s eventual rental income, income from the borrower’s operating entity or the sale of the subject property. In the case of income-producing property, repayment is usually expected from permanent financing upon completion of construction. At times we provide the permanent mortgage financing on our construction loans on income-producing property. Construction loans are interest-only loans during the construction period, which typically do not exceed 18 months. If HBC provides permanent financing the short-term loan converts to permanent, amortizing financing following the completion of construction. Generally, before making a commitment to fund a construction loan, we require an appraisal of the property by a state-certified or state-licensed appraiser. We review and inspect properties before disbursement of funds during the term of the construction loan. The repayment of construction loans is dependent upon the successful and timely completion of the construction of the subject property, as well as the sale of the property to third parties or the availability of permanent financing upon completion of all improvements. Construction loans expose us to the risk that improvements will not be completed on time, and in accordance with specifications and projected costs. Construction delays, the financial impairment of the builder, interest rate increases or economic downturn may further impair the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. In addition, the borrower may not be able to obtain permanent financing or ultimate sale or rental of the property may not occur as anticipated. HBC utilizes underwriting guidelines to assess the likelihood of repayment from sources such as sale of the property or permanent mortgage financing prior to making the construction loan.

SBA Loans. SBA loans are made through programs designed by the federal government to assist the small business community in obtaining financing from financial institutions that are given government guarantees as an incentive to make the loans. HBC has been designated as an SBA Preferred Lender. Our SBA loans fall into three categories: loans originated under the SBA’s 7a Program (“7a Loans”); loans originated under the SBA’s 504 Program (“504 Loans”); and SBA “Express” Loans. SBA 7a Loans are commercial business loans generally made for the purpose of purchasing real estate to be occupied by the business owner, providing working capital, and/or purchasing equipment or inventory. SBA 504 Loans are collateralized by commercial real estate and are generally made to business owners for the purpose of purchasing or improving real estate for their use and for equipment used in their business. The SBA “Express” Loans or lines of credit are for businesses that want to improve cash flow, refinance debt, or fund improvements, equipment, or real estate. It features an abbreviated SBA application process and accelerated approval times, plus it can offer longer terms and lower down payment requirements than conventional loans.

SBA lending is subject to federal legislation that can affect the availability and funding of the program. From time to time, this dependence on legislative funding causes limitations and uncertainties with regard to the continued funding of such programs, which could potentially have an adverse financial impact on our business.

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Home Equity Loans.  Our home equity line portfolio is comprised of home equity lines of credit to customers in our markets. Home equity lines of credit are underwritten in a manner such that they result in credit risk that is substantially similar to that of residential mortgage loans. Nevertheless, home equity lines of credit have greater credit risk than residential mortgage loans because they are often secured by mortgages that are subordinated to the existing first mortgage on the property, which we do not hold, and they are not covered by private mortgage insurance coverage.

Multifamily Loans.  Multifamily loans are loans on residential properties with five or more units. These loans rely primarily on the cash flows of the properties securing the loan for repayment and secondarily on the value of the properties securing the loan.  The cash flows of these borrowers can fluctuate along with the values of the underlying property depending on general economic conditions.

Residential Mortgage Loans. From time to time the Company has purchased single family residential mortgage loans. Residential mortgage loans outstanding at December 31, 2021 totaled $416.7 million. During the year ended December 31, 2021, the Company purchased single family residential mortgage loans totaling $405.8 million, tied to homes all located in California, with average principal balances of approximately $853,000, and a weighted average yield of approximately 3.14% (net of servicing fees). HBC does not originate first trust deed home mortgage loans or home improvement loans, other than HELOCS.

Consumer and Other Loans.  The consumer loan portfolio is composed of miscellaneous consumer loans including loans for financing automobiles, various consumer goods and other personal purposes. Consumer loans are generally secured. Repossessed collateral for a defaulted consumer loan may not provide an adequate source of repayment for the outstanding loan, and the remaining deficiency may not warrant further substantial collection efforts against the borrower. In addition, consumer loan collections are dependent on the borrower’s continued financial stability, which can be adversely affected by job loss, divorce, illness or personal bankruptcy. Furthermore, the application of various federal and state laws, including federal and state bankruptcy and insolvency laws, may limit the amount which can be recovered on such loans.

Deposit Products

As a full-service commercial bank, we focus deposit generation on relationship accounts, encompassing non-interest bearing demand, interest bearing demand, and money market accounts. In order to facilitate the generation of non-interest bearing demand deposits, we require, depending on the circumstances and the type of relationship, our borrowers to maintain deposit balances with us as a typical condition of granting loans. We also offer certificates of deposit and savings accounts. We offer a “remote deposit capture” product that allows deposits to be made via computer at the customer’s business location. We also offer customers “e-statements” that allows customers to receive statements electronically, which is more convenient and secure than receiving paper statements.

For customers requiring full Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insurance on certificates of deposit in excess of $250,000, we offer the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (“CDARS”) program, which allows HBC to place the certificates of deposit with other participating banks to maximize the customers’ FDIC insurance. HBC also receives reciprocal deposits from other participating financial institutions.

Electronic Banking

While personalized, service-oriented banking is the cornerstone of our business plan, we use technology and the Internet as a secondary means for servicing customers, to compete with larger banks and to provide a convenient platform for customers to review and transact business. We offer sophisticated electronic or “internet banking” opportunities that permit commercial customers to conduct much of their banking business remotely from their home or business. However, our customers will always have the opportunity to personally discuss specific banking needs with knowledgeable bank officers and staff who are directly accessible in the branches and offices as well as by telephone and email.

HBC offers multiple electronic banking options to its customers. It does not allow the origination of deposit accounts through online banking. All of HBC’s electronic banking services allow customers to review transactions and statements, review images of paid items, transfer funds between accounts at HBC, place stop orders, pay bills and export to various business and personal software applications. HBC online commercial banking also allows customers to initiate domestic wire transfers and ACH transactions, with the added security and functionality of assigning discrete access and

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levels of security to different employees of the client and division of functions to allow separation of duties, such as input and release.

We also offer our internet banking customers an additional third party product designed to assist in mitigating fraud risk to both the customer and the Bank in internet banking and other internet activities conducted by the customer, at no cost to the customer.

Other Banking Services

We offer a multitude of other products and services to complement our lending and deposit services. These include cashier’s checks, bank by mail, night depositories, safe deposit boxes, direct deposit, automated payroll services, electronic funds transfers, online bill pay, homeowner association services, and other customary banking services. HBC currently operates ATMs at six different locations. In addition, we have established a convenient customer service group accessible by toll free telephone to answer questions and promote a high level of customer service. HBC does not have a trust department. In addition to the traditional financial services offered, HBC offers remote deposit capture, automated clearing house origination, electronic data interchange and check imaging. HBC continues to investigate products and services that it believes addresses the growing needs of its customers and to analyze other markets for potential expansion opportunities.

Investments

Our investment policy is established by the Board of Directors. The general investment strategies are developed and authorized by our Strategic Initiatives, Finance and Investment Committee of the Board of Directors. The investment policy is reviewed annually by the Finance and Investment Committee, and any changes to the policy are subject to approval by the full Board of Directors. The overall objectives of the investment policy are to maintain a portfolio of high quality investments to maximize interest income over the long term and to minimize risk, to provide collateral for borrowings, and to provide additional earnings when loan production is low. The policy dictates that investment decisions take into consideration the safety of principal, liquidity requirements and interest rate risk management. All securities transactions are reported to the Board of Directors’ Finance and Investment Committee on a monthly basis.

Sources of Funds

Deposits traditionally have been our primary source of funds for our investment and lending activities. We also are able to borrow from the Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) of San Francisco and the Federal Reserve Bank (“FRB”) of San Francisco to supplement cash flow needs. Our additional sources of funds are scheduled loan payments, maturing investments, loan repayments, income on other earning assets, and the proceeds of loan sales and securities sales.

Interest rates, maturity terms, service fees and withdrawal penalties are established on a periodic basis. Deposit rates and terms are based primarily on current operating strategies and market interest rates, liquidity requirements and our deposit growth goals.

On May 26, 2017, the Company completed an underwritten public offering of $40,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes (“Subordinated Debt”) due June 1, 2027. The Subordinated Debt initially bears a fixed interest rate of 5.25% per year. Commencing on June 1, 2022, the interest rate on the Subordinated Debt resets quarterly to the three-month London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) plus a spread of 336.5 basis points, payable quarterly in arrears.  Interest on the Subordinated Debt is payable semi-annually on June 1st and December 1st of each year through June 1, 2022 and quarterly thereafter on March 1st, June 1st, September 1st and December 1st of each year through the maturity date or early redemption date.  The Company, at its option, may redeem the Subordinated Debt, in whole or in part, on any interest payment date on or after June 1, 2022 without a premium. It is anticipated that the LIBOR index for new contracts will cease by December 31, 2021. However the LIBOR index will continue to be published through June 30, 2023, and it is anticipated that the Subordinated Debt will remain under this LIBOR index until June 30, 2023. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has established the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as its recommended alternative to LIBOR, but until the alternative rate is instituted, the SOFR fallback rate is not definitive. We have created a sub-committee of our Asset Liability Management Committee to address LIBOR transition and phase-out issues. The Company continues to implement its transition plan toward the cessation of LIBOR and the modification of its loans and other financial instruments with attributes that are either directly or indirectly influenced by LIBOR. The Company expects to utilize the LIBOR transition relief allowed under Accounting Standards Update No. 2020-04, and

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does not expect such an adoption to have a material impact on its accounting and disclosures. The Company will continue to assess the impact as the reference rate transition occurs over the next two years.

Correspondent Banks

Correspondent bank deposit accounts are maintained to enable the Company to transact types of activity that it would otherwise be unable to perform or would not be cost effective due to the size of the Company or volume of activity. The Company has utilized several correspondent banks to process a variety of transactions.

Competition

The banking and financial services business in California generally, and in the Company’s market areas specifically, is highly competitive. The industry continues to consolidate and unregulated competitors have entered banking markets with products targeted at highly profitable customer segments. Many larger unregulated competitors are able to compete across geographic boundaries, and provide customers with meaningful alternatives to most significant banking services and products. These consolidation trends are likely to continue. The increasingly competitive environment is a result primarily of changes in regulation, changes in technology and product delivery systems, and the consolidation among financial service providers.

With respect to commercial bank competitors, the business is dominated by a relatively small number of major banks that operate a large number of offices within our geographic footprint. For the combined Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara county region, the seven counties within which the Company operates, the top three institutions are all multi-billion dollar entities with an aggregate of 400 offices that control a combined 59.49% of deposit market share based on June 30, 2021 FDIC market share data. HBC ranks eighteenth with 0.52% share of total deposits based on June 30, 2021 market share data. Larger institutions have, among other advantages, the ability to finance wide-ranging advertising campaigns and to allocate their resources to regions of highest yield and demand. Larger banks are seeking to expand lending to small businesses, which are traditionally community bank customers. They can also offer certain services that we do not offer directly, but may offer indirectly through correspondent institutions. By virtue of their greater total capitalization, these banks also have substantially higher lending limits than we do. For customers whose needs exceed our legal lending limit, we arrange for the sale, or “participation,” of some of the balances to financial institutions that are not within our geographic footprint.

In addition to other large regional banks and local community banks, our competitors include savings institutions, securities and brokerage companies, asset management groups, mortgage banking companies, credit unions, finance and insurance companies, internet-based companies, and money market funds. In recent years, we have also witnessed increased competition from specialized companies that offer wholesale finance, credit card, and other consumer finance services, as well as services that circumvent the banking system by facilitating payments via the internet, wireless devices, prepaid cards, or other means. Technological innovations have lowered traditional barriers of entry and enabled many of these companies to compete in financial services markets. Such innovation has, for example, made it possible for non-depository institutions to offer customers automated transfer payment services that previously were considered traditional banking products. In addition, many customers now expect a choice of delivery channels, including telephone and smart phones, mail, personal computer, ATMs, self-service branches, and/or in-store branches.

Strong competition for deposits and loans among financial institutions and non-banks alike affects interest rates and other terms on which financial products are offered to customers. Mergers between financial institutions have placed additional pressure on other banks within the industry to remain competitive by streamlining operations, reducing expenses, and increasing revenues. Competition has also intensified due to Federal and state interstate banking laws enacted in the mid-1990’s, which permit banking organizations to expand into other states. The relatively large and expanding California market has been particularly attractive to out of state institutions. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 has made it possible for full affiliations to occur between banks and securities firms, insurance companies, and other financial companies, and has also intensified competitive conditions.

In order to compete with the other financial service providers, the Company principally relies upon community-oriented, personalized service, local promotional activities, personal relationships established by officers, directors, and employees with its customers, and specialized services tailored to meet its customers’ needs. Our “preferred lender” status with the Small Business Administration allows us to approve SBA loans faster than many of our competitors. In those instances where the Company is unable to accommodate a customer’s needs, the Company seeks to arrange for

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such loans on a participation basis with other financial institutions or to have those services provided in whole or in part by its correspondent banks. See Item 1 — “Business — Correspondent Banks.”

Human Capital

We strive to hire, develop and promote a workforce that shares our mission and values and cultivates a culture of team work, diversity and inclusion that will meet the expectations of our customers, markets and communities. To foster these goals and to attract and retain quality employees we aim to ensure an inclusive, safe and healthy workplace, and to provide our employees with competitive and comprehensive compensation, professional development opportunities and robust health and welfare programs.

Employee Profile

We seek employees from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences for positions through-out our Company with the skills and experience necessary for the success of our business banking model.  We employed 317 full time and 12 part time employees as of December 31, 2021.  We had 326 full time equivalent employees at December 31, 2021, and 331 at December 31, 2020, and 357 at December 31, 2019. The average tenure of all employees, including employees that joined through acquisitions, is nine years.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We strive toward having an engaged, satisfied and diverse team of employees, knowing we are better together with our combined wisdom, intellect and uniqueness where everyone is respected and valued. With a commitment to equity, inclusion and workplace diversity, we focus on understanding, accepting, and valuing the differences between people. To accomplish this, we have established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council composed of diverse leaders from the Company charged with review and implementation of our policies, procedures, training and behavior for diversity, equity and inclusion.  We show our commitment to equal employment opportunity through, among other things, a robust affirmative action plan which includes annual compensation analyses and ongoing reviews of our selection and hiring practices alongside a continued focus on building and maintaining a diverse workforce.  We have engaged an independent consulting firm to survey our staff to better understand our employees’ perspective on our approach to diversity so that we may develop and implement plans in any areas where we may have a shortfall.  

Compensation

Our compensation philosophy is driven by our objective to attract and retain the premier talent needed to lead our Company in an extremely competitive environment and to solidly align interests of our employees with those of our shareholders.  Employee compensation is aligned with our overall business strategy, and is structured to drive growth, profitability and long-term value for shareholders. Our compensation philosophy encompasses a broad program that includes competitive base salaries, annual bonus opportunities, Company matched 401(k) Plan contributions and equity awards.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our employees is paramount and the Company’s success is fundamentally connected with the well-being of our team members. Full time employees are offered partially subsidized health and medical insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, and bereavement leave, standard maternity and medical leave and subsidized health club memberships.  

We are and have been taking proactive steps to protect employees during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have been able to simultaneously operate effectively to service our customers and maintain the safety of our employees within the workplace. We identified high risk groups, limited travel, implemented enhanced sanitary procedures, required masks, enforced social distancing, expanded remote working capabilities and access, and have implemented specific procedures for handling any COVID-19 exposure in the workplace in accordance with local health department directives.

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Employee Development and Opportunity

Employee development is a critical focus to ensure each person has long term success and opportunities within the Bank. We have standard review processes that include employee feedback, performance assessment and development goals for each position. Learning paths created for specific positions are designed to encourage an employee’s advancement. Additionally, we provide education reimbursement and assist employees on a case by case basis with education costs, education and development programs relevant to their contribution and success at the Bank.  These resources provide employees with support to develop management and skills needed to achieve their career goals and become leaders within our Company. Our policy is to first look to internal candidates to fill open positions.

Supervision and Regulation

General

Financial institutions, their holding companies and their affiliates are extensively regulated under U.S. federal and state law. As a result, the growth and earnings performance of the Company and its subsidiaries may be affected not only by management decisions and general economic conditions, but also by the requirements of federal and state statutes and by the regulations and policies of various bank regulatory agencies, including the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (“DFPI”), the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). Furthermore, tax laws administered by the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities, accounting rules developed by the FASB, securities laws administered by the SEC and state securities authorities, anti-money laundering laws enforced by the Treasury have an impact on our business. The effect of these statutes, regulations, regulatory policies and rules are significant to the financial condition and results of operations of the Company and its subsidiaries, including HBC, and the nature and extent of future legislative, regulatory or other changes affecting financial institutions are impossible to predict with any certainty.

Federal and state banking laws impose a comprehensive system of supervision, regulation and enforcement on the operations of financial institutions, their holding companies and affiliates intended primarily for the protection of the FDIC-insured deposits and depositors of banks, rather than their shareholders. These federal and state laws, and the related regulations of the bank regulatory agencies, affect, among other things, the scope of business, the kinds and amounts of investments banks and bank holding companies may make, their reserve requirements, capital levels relative to operations, the nature and amount of collateral for loans, the establishment of branches, the ability to merge, consolidate and acquire, dealings with insiders and affiliates and the payment of dividends.

This supervisory and regulatory framework subjects banks and bank holding companies to regular examination by their respective regulatory agencies, which results in examination reports and ratings that, while not publicly available, can affect the conduct and growth of their businesses. These examinations consider not only compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but also capital levels, asset quality and risk, management ability and performance, earnings, liquidity, and various other factors. The regulatory agencies generally have broad discretion to impose restrictions and limitations on the operations of a regulated entity where the agencies determine, among other things, that such operations are unsafe or unsound, fail to comply with applicable law or are otherwise inconsistent with laws and regulations or with the supervisory policies of these agencies.

The following is a summary of the material elements of the supervisory and regulatory framework applicable to the Company and its subsidiaries, including HBC. It does not describe all of the statutes, regulations and regulatory policies that apply, nor does it restate all of the requirements of those that are described. The descriptions are qualified in their entirety by reference to the particular statutory and regulatory provision.

Financial Regulatory Reform

Legislation and regulations enacted and implemented since 2008 in response to the U.S. economic downturn and financial industry instability continue to impact most institutions in the banking sector. Most of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”), which was enacted in 2010, are now effective and have been fully implemented, but a few are still subject to rulemaking. Many provisions of Dodd-Frank have affected our operations and expenses, including but not limited to changes in FDIC assessments, the permitted payment of interest on demand deposits, and enhanced compliance requirements. Some of the Dodd-Frank rules and regulations will apply directly only to institutions much larger than ours, but could indirectly impact smaller banks, either due to competitive

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influences or because certain practices required for larger institutions may subsequently become expected “best practices” for smaller institutions. We could see continued attention and resources devoted by the Company to ensure compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements engendered by Dodd-Frank.

Regulatory Capital Requirements

The Company and HBC are subject to a comprehensive capital framework (the “Capital Rules”) adopted by Federal banking regulators (including the Federal Reserve and the FDIC).  The Capital Rules implement the Basel III framework for strengthening the regulation, supervision and risk management of banks, as well as certain provisions of Dodd-Frank.  The Capital Rules generally recognize three components, or tiers, of capital: common equity Tier 1 capital, additional Tier 1 capital and Tier 2 capital. Common equity Tier 1 capital generally consists of retained earnings and common stock instruments (subject to certain adjustments), as well as accumulated other comprehensive income (“AOCI”) except to the extent that the Company and HBC exercise a one-time irrevocable option to exclude certain components of AOCI. Both the Company and HBC made this election in 2015. Additional Tier 1 capital generally includes non-cumulative preferred stock and related surplus subject to certain adjustments and limitations. Tier 2 capital generally includes certain capital instruments (such as subordinated debt) and portions of the amounts of the allowance for credit losses, subject to certain requirements and deductions. The term “Tier 1 capital” means common equity Tier 1 capital plus additional Tier 1 capital, and the term “total capital” means Tier 1 capital plus Tier 2 capital.

The Capital Rules generally measure an institution’s capital using four capital measures or ratios. The common equity Tier 1 capital ratio is the ratio of the institution’s common equity Tier 1 capital to its total risk-weighted assets. The Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio is the ratio of the institution’s Tier 1 capital to its total risk-weighted assets. The total risk-based capital ratio is the ratio of the institution’s total capital to its total risk-weighted assets. The Tier 1 leverage ratio is the ratio of the institution’s Tier 1 capital to its average total consolidated assets. To determine risk-weighted assets, assets of an institution are generally placed into a risk category as prescribed by the regulations and given a percentage weight based on the relative risk of that category. An asset’s risk-weighted value will generally be its percentage weight multiplied by the asset’s value as determined under generally accepted accounting principles. In addition, certain off-balance-sheet items are converted to balance-sheet credit equivalent amounts, and each amount is then assigned to one of the risk categories. An institution’s federal regulator may require the institution to hold more capital than would otherwise be required under the Capital Rules if the regulator determines that the institution’s capital requirements under the Capital Rules are not commensurate with the institution’s credit, market, operational or other risks.

To be adequately capitalized, both the Company and HBC are required to have a common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of at least 4.5% or more, a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 4.0% or more, a Tier 1 risk-based ratio of 6.0% or more and a total risk-based ratio of 8.0% or more. In addition to the preceding requirements, both the Company and HBC are required to maintain a “conservation buffer” consisting of common equity Tier 1 capital, which is at least 2.5% above each of the required minimum levels. An institution that does not meet the conservation buffer will be subject to restrictions on certain activities including payment of dividends, stock repurchases and discretionary bonuses to executive officers.

The Capital Rules set forth the manner in which certain capital elements are determined, including but not limited to, requiring certain deductions related to mortgage servicing rights and deferred tax assets. The Rules permit holding companies with less than $15 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2009 (which includes the Company) to continue to include trust preferred securities issued prior to May 19, 2010 in Tier 1 capital, generally up to 25% of other Tier 1 capital.

The Capital Rules also prescribe the methods for calculating certain risk-based assets and risk-based ratios. Higher or more sensitive risk weights are assigned to various categories of assets, among which are credit facilities that finance the acquisition, development or construction of real property, certain exposures or credits that are 90 days past due or are nonaccrual, foreign exposures, certain corporate exposures, securitization exposures, equity exposures and in certain cases mortgage servicing rights and deferred tax assets.

Heritage Commerce Corp

General. As a bank holding company, HCC is subject to regulation, supervision and periodic examination by the Federal Reserve under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”). HCC is required to file with the Federal Reserve periodic reports of its operations and such additional information as the Federal Reserve may require. In accordance with Federal Reserve laws and regulations, HCC is required to act as a source of financial strength to HBC and to commit resources to support HBC in circumstances where HCC might not otherwise do so.

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HCC is also a bank holding company within the meaning of Section 1280 of the California Financial Code. Consequently, HCC is subject to examination by, and may be required to file reports with, the DFPI.

SEC and NASDAQ.  HCC’s stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (under the trading symbol “HTBK”), and HCC is subject to rules and regulations of The NASDAQ Stock Market, including those related to corporate governance. HCC is also subject to the periodic reporting requirements of Section 13 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), which requires HCC to file annual, quarterly and other current reports with the SEC. HCC is subject to additional regulations including, but not limited to, the proxy and tender offer rules promulgated by the SEC under Sections 13 and 14 of the Exchange Act, the reporting requirements of directors, executive officers and principal shareholders regarding transactions in HCC’s common stock and short swing profits rules promulgated by the SEC under Section 16 of the Exchange Act, and certain additional reporting requirements by principal shareholders of HCC promulgated by the SEC under Section 13 of the Exchange Act.

The Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002.  HCC is subject to the accounting oversight and corporate governance requirements of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, as amended (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”).  These include, among others: (i) required executive certification of financial presentations; (ii) increased requirements for board audit committees and their members; (iii) enhanced disclosure of controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting; (iv) enhanced controls over and reporting of insider trading; and (v) increased penalties for financial crimes and forfeiture of executive bonuses in certain circumstances.

Permitted Activities. The BHCA generally prohibits HCC from acquiring direct or indirect ownership or control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any company that is not a bank and from engaging in any business other than that of banking, managing and controlling banks or furnishing services to banks and their subsidiaries. This general prohibition is subject to a number of exceptions. The principal exception allows bank holding companies to engage in, and to own shares of companies engaged in, certain businesses found by the Federal Reserve prior to November 11, 1999 to be “so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident thereto.” This authority would permit HCC to engage in a variety of banking-related businesses, including the ownership and operation of a savings association, or any entity engaged in consumer finance, equipment leasing, the operation of a computer service bureau (including software development) and mortgage banking and brokerage. The BHCA generally does not place territorial restrictions on the domestic activities of nonbank subsidiaries of bank holding companies.  The Federal Reserve has the power to order any bank holding company or its subsidiaries to terminate any activity or to terminate its ownership or control of any subsidiary when the Federal Reserve has reasonable grounds to believe that continuing such activity, ownership or control constitutes a serious risk to the financial soundness, safety or stability of any bank subsidiary of the bank holding company.

Bank holding companies that meet certain qualifications and elect to be treated as financial holding companies may engage in, and affiliate with financial companies engaging in, a broader range of activities than would otherwise be permitted for a bank holding company, including activities that the Federal Reserve deems to be financial in nature or incidental or complementary to activities that are financial in nature. “Financial in nature” activities include securities underwriting, dealing and market making; sponsoring mutual funds and investment companies; insurance underwriting and sales; merchant banking; and other activities that the Federal Reserve, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines to be financial in nature or incidental to such financial activity. “Complementary activities” are activities that the Federal Reserve determines upon application to be complementary to a financial activity and that do not pose a safety and soundness risk. HCC has not elected to be a financial holding company, and we have not engaged in any activities determined by the Federal Reserve to be financial in nature or incidental or complementary to activities that are financial in nature.

Capital Requirements. Bank holding companies are required to maintain capital in accordance with Federal Reserve capital adequacy requirements, as affected by Dodd-Frank and Basel III. For a discussion of capital requirements, see “Regulatory Capital Requirements” above.

Source of Strength Doctrine. Federal Reserve policy historically required bank holding companies to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to their subsidiary banks. Dodd-Frank codified this policy as a statutory requirement. HCC is required to act as a source of strength to HBC and to commit capital and financial resources to support HBC, including at times when HCC may not be in a financial position to do so. HCC must stand ready to use its available resources to provide adequate capital to HBC during periods of financial stress or adversity. HCC must also maintain the financial flexibility and capital raising capacity to obtain additional resources for assisting HBC. HCC’s failure to meet its source of strength obligations may constitute an unsafe and unsound practice, a violation of the Federal Reserve’s

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regulations, or both. The source of strength doctrine most directly affects bank holding companies whose subsidiary bank fails to maintain adequate capital levels. In such situation, the subsidiary bank will be required by the bank’s federal regulator to take “prompt corrective action.” Any capital loans by a bank holding company to its subsidiary bank are subordinate in right of payment to deposits and to certain other indebtedness of the bank holding company. In the event of a bank holding company’s bankruptcy, its commitment to a federal bank regulatory agency to maintain the capital of its subsidiary bank will be assumed by the bankruptcy trustee and entitled to priority of payment.

Dividend Payments, Stock Redemptions and Repurchases. HCC’s ability to pay dividends to its shareholders is affected by both general corporate law considerations and the policies of the Federal Reserve applicable to bank holding companies.  As a general matter, the Federal Reserve has indicated that the board of directors of a bank holding company should eliminate, defer or significantly reduce dividends to shareholders if: (i) the bank holding company’s net income available to shareholders for the past four quarters, net of dividends previously paid during that period, is not sufficient to fully fund the dividends; (ii) the prospective rate of earnings retention is inconsistent with the bank holding company’s capital needs and overall current and prospective financial condition; or (iii) the bank holding company will not meet, or is in danger of not meeting, its minimum regulatory capital adequacy ratios. Failure to adhere to these policies could cause the Federal Reserve to prohibit or limit the payment of dividends by the banking organization because doing so would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice in light of the financial condition of the banking organization. In addition, under the Capital Rules, institutions that seek to pay dividends must maintain 2.5% in common equity Tier 1 capital attributable to the capital conservation buffer. See “Supervision and Regulation—Regulatory Capital Requirements” above.

Subject to exceptions for well-capitalized and well-managed bank holding companies, Federal Reserve regulations also require approval of bank holding company purchases and redemptions of its securities if the gross consideration paid exceeds 10 percent of consolidated net worth for any 12-month period. In addition, under Federal Reserve policies, bank holding companies must consult with and inform the Federal Reserve in advance of (i) redeeming or repurchasing capital instruments when experiencing financial weakness and (ii) redeeming or repurchasing common stock and perpetual preferred stock if the result will be a net reduction in the amount of such capital instruments outstanding for the quarter in which the reduction occurs.

As a California corporation, HCC is subject to the limitations of California law, which allows a corporation to distribute cash or property to shareholders, including a dividend or repurchase or redemption of shares, if the corporation meets either a “retained earnings” test or a “balance sheet” test. Under the “retained earnings” test, HCC may make a distribution from retained earnings to the extent that its retained earnings exceed the sum of (i) the amount of the distribution plus (ii) the amount, if any, of dividends in arrears on shares with preferential dividend rights. HCC may also make a distribution under the “balance sheet” test if, immediately after the distribution, the value of its assets equals or exceeds the sum of (i) its total liabilities plus (ii) the liquidation preference of any shares which have a preference upon dissolution over the rights of shareholders receiving the distribution. Indebtedness is not considered a liability if the terms of such indebtedness provide that payment of principal and interest thereon are to be made only if, and to the extent that, a distribution to shareholders could be made under the balance sheet test. In addition, HCC may not make distributions if it is, or as a result of the distribution would be, likely to be unable to meet its liabilities (except those whose payment is otherwise adequately provided for) as they mature. A California corporation may specify in its articles of incorporation that distributions under the retained earnings test or balance sheet test can be made without regard to the preferential rights amount. HCC’s articles of incorporation do not address distributions under either the retained earnings test or the balance sheet test.

Acquisitions, Activities and Change in Control. The BHCA generally requires the prior approval by the Federal Reserve for any merger involving a bank holding company, any bank holding company’s acquisition of more than 5% of a class of voting securities of an unaffiliated bank or bank holding company, or acquisition of all or substantially all of the assets of a bank or bank holding company. In reviewing applications seeking approval of merger and acquisition transactions, the Federal Reserve considers, among other things, the competitive effect and public benefits of the transactions, the capital position and managerial resources of the combined organization, the risks to the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system, the convenience and needs of the communities to be served, including the applicant’s performance record under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, as amended (the “CRA”), compliance with fair housing and other consumer protection laws, and the effectiveness in combating money laundering activities. In addition, failure to implement or maintain adequate compliance programs could cause bank regulators not to approve an acquisition where regulatory approval is required or to prohibit an acquisition even if approval is not required.

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Subject to certain conditions (including deposit concentration limits established by the BHCA and Dodd-Frank), the Federal Reserve may allow a bank holding company to acquire banks located in any state of the United States. In approving interstate acquisitions, the Federal Reserve is required to give effect to applicable state law limitations on the aggregate amount of deposits that may be held by the acquiring bank holding company and its insured depository institution affiliates in the state in which the target bank is located (provided that those limits do not discriminate against out-of-state depository institutions or their holding companies) and state laws that require that the target bank have been in existence for a minimum period of time (not to exceed five years) before being acquired by an out-of-state bank holding company. Furthermore, in accordance with Dodd-Frank, bank holding companies must be well-capitalized and well-managed in order to complete interstate mergers or acquisitions. For a discussion of the capital requirements, see “—Regulatory Capital Requirements” above.

Federal law also prohibits any person or company from acquiring control of an FDIC-insured depository institution or its holding company without prior notice to the appropriate federal bank regulator.  On January 30, 2020, the Federal Reserve finalized regulations revising the rules for determining control of a banking organization under the BHCA and adopted a tiered framework of presumptions where the level of voting share ownership is assessed in combination with relationship-based factors to determine whether control exists. “Control” is conclusively presumed to exist upon the acquisition of 25% or more of the outstanding voting securities of a bank or bank holding company, but may arise under certain circumstances between 5% and 24.99% ownership.

Under the California Financial Code, any proposed acquisition of control of HBC must be approved by the Commissioner of the DFPI. The California Financial Code defines “control” as the power, directly or indirectly, to direct HBC’s management or policies or to vote 25% or more of any class of HBC’s outstanding voting securities. Additionally, a rebuttable presumption of control arises when any person (including a company) seeks to acquire, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of any class of HBC’s outstanding voting securities.

Heritage Bank of Commerce

General.  HBC is a California state-chartered commercial bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System and whose deposits are insured by the FDIC. HBC is subject to regulation, supervision, and regular examination by the DFPI and the Federal Reserve as HBC’s primary federal regulator. The regulations of these agencies govern most aspects of a bank’s business.  

Pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (the “FDIA”), and the California Financial Code, California state chartered commercial banks may generally engage in any activity permissible for national banks. Therefore, HBC may form subsidiaries to engage in the many so called “closely related to banking” or “nonbanking” activities commonly conducted by national banks in operating subsidiaries or subsidiaries of bank holding companies. Further, California banks may conduct certain “financial” activities in a subsidiary to the same extent as a national bank may, provided the bank is and remains “well capitalized,” “well managed” and in satisfactory compliance with the CRA.

HBC is a member of the FHLB of San Francisco. Among other benefits, each FHLB serves as a reserve or central bank for its members within its assigned region and makes available loans or advances to its members. Each FHLB is financed primarily from the sale of consolidated obligations of the FHLB system. As an FHLB member, HBC is required to own a certain amount of capital stock in the FHLB. As of December 31, 2021, HBC was in compliance with the FHLB’s stock ownership requirement. FHLB stock is carried at cost and classified as a restricted security. Both cash and stock dividends are reported as income.

HBC is a member of the FRB of San Francisco. As a member of the FRB, the Bank is required to own stock in the FRB of San Francisco based on a specified ratio relative to our capital. FRB stock is carried at cost and may be sold back to the FRB at its carrying value. Both cash and stock dividends received are reported as income.

Depositor Preference.  In the event of the “liquidation or other resolution” of an insured depository institution, the claims of depositors of the institution, including the claims of the FDIC as subrogee of insured depositors, and certain claims for administrative expenses of the FDIC as a receiver, will have priority over other general unsecured claims against the institution. If an insured depository institution fails, insured and uninsured depositors along with the FDIC, will have priority in payment ahead of unsecured, non deposit creditors including the parent bank holding company with respect to any extensions of credit they have made to such insured depository institution.

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Brokered Deposit Restrictions.  Well capitalized institutions are not subject to limitations on brokered deposits, while an adequately capitalized institution is able to accept, renew or roll over brokered deposits only with a waiver from the FDIC and subject to certain restrictions on the yield paid on such deposits. Undercapitalized institutions are generally not permitted to accept, renew, or roll over brokered deposits. As of December 31, 2021, HBC was eligible to accept brokered deposits without limitations.

Loans to One Borrower.  With certain limited exceptions, the maximum amount that a California bank may lend to any borrower at any one time (including the obligations to the bank of certain related entities of the borrower) may not exceed 25% (and unsecured loans may not exceed 15%) of the bank’s shareholders’ equity, allowance for loan loss, and any capital notes and debentures of the bank.

Tie in Arrangements. Federal law prohibits a bank holding company and any subsidiary banks from engaging in certain tie in arrangements in connection with the extension of credit. For example, HBC may not extend credit, lease or sell property, furnish any services, fix or vary the consideration for any of the foregoing on the condition that: (i) the customer must obtain or provide some additional credit, property or services from or to HBC other than a loan, discount, deposit or trust services; (ii) the customer must obtain or provide some additional credit, property or service from or to HCC or HBC; or (iii) the customer must not obtain some other credit, property or services from competitors, except reasonable requirements to assure soundness of credit extended.

Deposit Insurance. HBC is a member of the Deposit Insurance Fund (“DIF”) administered by the FDIC, which insures customer deposit accounts. The amount of federal deposit insurance coverage is $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category at each depository institution. The $250,000 amount is subject to periodic adjustments. In order to maintain the DIF, member institutions are assessed insurance premiums based on an insured institution’s average consolidated total assets less its average tangible equity capital.

Each institution is provided an assessment rate, which is generally based on the risk that the institution presents to the DIF. Institutions with less than $10 billion in assets generally have an assessment rate that can range from 1.5 to 30 basis points. However, the FDIC has flexibility to adopt assessment rates without additional rule-making provided that the total base assessment rate increase or decrease does not exceed 2 basis points. In addition, in June 2020, the FDIC adopted a rule to mitigate the effect on deposit insurance assessments resulting from a bank’s participation in certain programs adopted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In the future, if the reserve ratio reaches certain levels, these assessment rates will generally be lowered.

Supervisory Assessments. California-chartered banks are required to pay supervisory assessments to the DFPI to fund its operations. The amount of the assessment paid by a California bank to the DFPI is calculated on the basis of the institution’s total assets, including consolidated subsidiaries, as reported to the DFPI. During the year ended December 31, 2021, HBC paid supervisory assessments to the DFPI totaling $299,000.

Capital Requirements. Banks are generally required to maintain capital levels in excess of other businesses. For a discussion of capital requirements, see “—Regulatory Capital Requirements” above.

Prompt Corrective Action Regulations. The FDIA establishes a framework for regulation of insured depository institutions by federal banking regulators.  As part of that framework, federal banking regulators are required to take “prompt corrective action” with respect to any FDIC-insured depository institutions that do not meet certain capital adequacy standards. Supervisory actions under the “prompt corrective action” rules generally depend upon an institution’s classification within five capital categories, under which a bank is classified as:

“well capitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of 10.0% or more, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 8.0% or more, a common equity Tier 1 risk-based ratio of 6.5% or more, and a leverage capital ratio of 5.0% or more, and is not subject to any written agreement, order or capital directive to meet and maintain a specific capital level for any capital measure;
“adequately capitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio of 8.0% or more, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 6.0% or more, a common equity Tier 1 risk-based ratio of 4.5% or more, and a leverage capital ratio of 4.0% or more;

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“undercapitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio less than 8.0%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio less than 6.0%, a common equity risk-based ratio less than 4.5% or a leverage capital ratio less than 4.0%;
“significantly undercapitalized” if it has a total risk-based capital ratio less than 6.0%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio less than 4.0%, a common equity risk-based ratio less than 3.0% or a leverage capital ratio less than 3.0%; or
“critically undercapitalized” if it has a ratio of tangible equity to total assets that is equal to or less than 2.0%.

A bank that, based upon its capital levels, is classified as “well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized” or “undercapitalized” may be treated as though it were in the next lower capital category if the appropriate federal banking agency, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, determines that an unsafe or unsound condition, or an unsafe or unsound practice, warrants such treatment.

An institution that fails to remain well-capitalized becomes subject to a series of restrictions that increase in severity as its capital condition weakens.  At each successive lower capital category, an insured bank is subject to increasingly severe supervisory actions. These actions include, but are not limited to, restrictions on asset growth, interest rates paid on deposits, branching, allowable transactions with affiliates, ability to pay bonuses and raises to senior executives and pursuing new lines of business. Additionally, all “undercapitalized” banks are required to implement capital restoration plans to restore capital to at least the “adequately capitalized” level, and the FDIC is generally required to close “critically undercapitalized” banks within a 90-day period. HBC meets the definition of a “well capitalized” institution.

Dividend Payments. The primary source of funds for HCC is dividends from HBC. Under the California Financial Code, HBC is permitted to pay a dividend in the following circumstances: (i) without the consent of either the DFPI or HBC’s shareholders, in an amount not exceeding the lesser of (a) the retained earnings of HBC; or (b) the net income of HBC for its last three fiscal years, less the amount of any distributions made during the prior period; (ii) with the prior approval of the DFPI, in an amount not exceeding the greatest of: (a) the retained earnings of HBC; (b) the net income of HBC for its last fiscal year; or (c) the net income for HBC for its current fiscal year; and (iii) with the prior approval of the DFPI and HBC’s shareholders (i.e., HCC) in connection with a reduction of its contributed capital.

The payment of dividends by any financial institution is affected by the requirement to maintain adequate capital pursuant to applicable capital adequacy guidelines and regulations, and a financial institution generally is prohibited from paying any dividends if, following payment thereof, the institution would be undercapitalized. In addition, in order to pay a dividend, the Capital Rules generally require that a financial institution must maintain over a 2.5% in common equity tier 1 capital attributable to the Capital Conservation Buffer. See “—Regulatory Capital Requirements” above. As described above, HBC exceeded its minimum capital requirements under applicable regulatory guidelines as of December 31, 2021.

Transactions with Affiliates. Transactions between depository institutions and their affiliates, including transactions between HBC and HCC, are governed by Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and the Federal Reserve’s Regulation W. Generally, Section 23A limits the extent to which a depository institution and its subsidiaries may engage in “covered transactions” with any one affiliate to an amount equal to 10% of the depository institution’s capital stock and surplus.  It further limits transactions with all affiliates in the aggregate to an amount equal to 20% of the depository institution’s capital stock and surplus. Section 23A also establishes specific collateral requirements for loans or extensions of credit to, or guarantees, acceptances or letters of credit issued on behalf of, an affiliate. Section 23B requires that covered transactions and a broad list of other specified transactions be on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable to the depository institution and its subsidiaries, as those for similar transactions with non-affiliates.

Loans to Directors, Executive Officers and Principal Shareholders. The authority of HBC to extend credit to its directors, executive officers and principal shareholders, including their immediate family members and corporations and other entities that they control, is subject to substantial restrictions and requirements under the Federal Reserve’s Regulation O, as well as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. These laws and regulations impose limits on the amount of loans HBC may make to directors and other insiders. A violation of these restrictions may result in the assessment of substantial civil monetary penalties on the affected bank or any officer, director, employee, agent or other person participating in the conduct of the affairs of that bank, the imposition of a cease and desist order, and other regulatory sanctions.

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Standards for Safety and Soundness. The federal banking regulatory agencies adopted regulations that set forth guidelines for all insured depository institutions prescribing safety and soundness standards. These guidelines establish general standards for internal controls, information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate risk exposure, asset growth, asset quality, earnings standards, compensation, fees and benefits. In general, the guidelines require appropriate systems and practices to identify and manage the risks and exposures specified in the guidelines before capital becomes impaired. The guidelines prohibit excessive compensation as an unsafe and unsound practice and describe compensation as excessive when the amounts paid are unreasonable or disproportionate to the services performed by an executive officer, employee, director, or principal shareholder.

Each insured depository institution must implement a comprehensive written information security program that includes administrative, technical and physical safeguards appropriate to the institution’s size and complexity and the nature and scope of its activities. The information security program also must be designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer information, protect against any unanticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of such information, protect against unauthorized access to or use of such information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to any customer and ensure the proper disposal of customer and consumer information. Each insured depository institution must also develop and implement a risk-based response program to address incidents of unauthorized access to customer information in customer information systems. If the FDIC determines that HBC fails to meet any standard prescribed by the guidelines, it may be required to submit an acceptable plan to achieve compliance with the standard.

Risk Management.  Bank regulatory agencies have increasingly emphasized the importance of sound risk management processes and strong internal controls when evaluating the activities of the financial institutions they supervise. Properly managing risks has been identified as critical to the conduct of safe and sound banking activities and has become even more important as new technologies, product innovation, and the size and speed of financial transactions have changed the nature of banking markets. The agencies have identified a spectrum of risks facing a banking institution including, but not limited to, credit, market, liquidity, operational, legal, and reputational risk. In particular, recent regulatory pronouncements have focused on operational risk, which arises from the potential that inadequate information systems, operational problems, breaches in internal controls, fraud, or unforeseen catastrophes will result in unexpected losses. New products and services, third-party risk management and cybersecurity are critical sources of operational risk that financial institutions are expected to address in the current environment. HBC is expected to have active board and senior management oversight; adequate policies, procedures, and limits; adequate risk measurement, monitoring, and management information systems; and comprehensive internal controls.

Branching Authority. California banks, such as HBC, may, under California law, establish a banking office so long as the bank’s board of directors approves the banking office and the DFPI is notified of the establishment of the banking office. Deposit-taking banking offices must be approved by the FDIC, which considers a number of factors, including financial history, capital adequacy, earnings prospects, character of management, needs of the community and consistency with corporate power. Dodd-Frank permits insured state banks to engage in de novo interstate branching if the laws of the state where the new banking office is to be established would permit the establishment of the banking office if it were chartered by such state. Finally, we may also establish banking offices in other states by merging with banks or by purchasing banking offices of other banks in other states, subject to certain regulatory restrictions.

Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA is intended to encourage insured depository institutions, while operating safely and soundly, to help meet the credit needs of their communities. The CRA specifically directs the federal bank regulatory agencies, in examining insured depository institutions, to assess their record of helping to meet the credit needs of their entire community, including low and moderate income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound banking practices. The CRA further requires the agencies to take a financial institution’s record of meeting its community credit needs into account when evaluating applications for, among other things, domestic branches, consummating mergers or acquisitions or holding company formations.

The federal banking agencies have adopted regulations which measure a bank’s compliance with its CRA obligations on a performance based evaluation system. The current system bases CRA ratings on an institution’s actual lending service and investment performance rather than the extent to which the institution conducts needs assessments, documents community outreach or complies with other procedural requirements. The ratings range from “outstanding” to a low of “substantial noncompliance.” HBC had a CRA rating of “satisfactory” as of its most recent regulatory examination. The federal banking agencies have expressed support for modernizing the CRA regulatory framework, partly to address changes that have occurred due to the rise in digital banking.  It is unclear at this time whether and to what

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extent any changes to the CRA requirements will be made.  

Anti-Money Laundering and Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulation. We are subject to federal laws aiming to counter money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as transactions with persons, companies and foreign governments sanctioned by the United States. These laws include the PATRIOT Act, the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), and the Anti-Money Laundering Act (“AMLA”), among others.  The PATRIOT Act is designed to deny terrorists and criminals the ability to obtain access to the U.S. financial system and has significant implications for depository institutions, brokers, dealers and other businesses involved in the transfer of money. The PATRIOT Act mandates financial services companies to have policies and procedures with respect to 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. Regulatory authorities routinely examine financial institutions for compliance with these obligations, and failure of a financial institution to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, or to comply with all of the relevant laws or regulations, could have serious legal and reputational consequences for the institution, including causing applicable bank regulatory authorities not to approve merger or acquisition transactions when regulatory approval is required or to prohibit such transactions even if approval is not required. Regulatory authorities have imposed cease and desist orders and civil money penalties against institutions found to be violating these obligations.

Enacted in January 2021, AMLA was intended to be a comprehensive reform and modernization to U.S. bank secrecy and anti-money laundering laws. Among other things, it codified a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering compliance for financial institutions.  AMLA requires financial institutions to develop standards for evaluating technology and internal processes for BSA compliance, expands enforcement-related and investigation-related authority, institutes BSA whistleblower initiatives and protections, and increases sanctions for certain BSA violations. HBC has established policies and procedures that it believes comply with these requirements.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries and regimes under authority of various laws, including designated foreign countries, nationals and others. OFAC publishes lists of specially designated targets and countries. Financial institutions are responsible for, among other things, blocking accounts of and transactions with such targets and countries, prohibiting unlicensed trade and financial transactions with them and reporting blocked transactions after their occurrence. Banking regulators examine banks for compliance with the economic sanctions regulations administered by OFAC.  Failure of a financial institution to maintain and implement adequate OFAC programs, or to comply with all of the relevant laws or regulations, could have serious legal and reputational consequences for the institution.

Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate. Concentration risk exists when financial institutions deploy too many assets to any one industry or segment. Concentration stemming from commercial real estate is one area of regulatory concern. Regulatory guidance provides supervisory criteria, including the following numerical indicators, to assist bank examiners in identifying banks with potentially significant commercial real estate loan concentrations that may warrant greater supervisory scrutiny: (i) commercial real estate loans exceeding 300% of capital and increasing 50% or more in the preceding three years; or (ii) construction and land development loans exceeding 100% of capital. The guidance does not limit banks’ levels of commercial real estate lending activities, but rather guides institutions in developing risk management practices and levels of capital that are commensurate with the level and nature of their commercial real estate concentrations. As of December 31, 2021, using regulatory definitions in the CRE Concentration Guidance, our CRE loans represented 286% of HBC total risk-based capital, as compared to 245% as of December 31, 2020. If the regulatory agencies become concerned about our CRE loan concentrations, it could limit our ability to grow by restricting approvals for the establishment or acquisition of branches, or approvals of mergers or other acquisition opportunities.

Consumer Financial Services. We are subject to a number of federal and state consumer protection laws that extensively govern our relationship with our customers. These laws include, among others, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Truth in Savings Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, the Expedited Funds Availability Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Service Members Civil Relief Act, the Military Lending Act, and these laws’ respective state law counterparts, as well as state usury laws and laws regarding unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices (“UDAAP”). These and other federal laws, among other things, require disclosures of the cost of credit and terms of deposit accounts, provide substantive consumer rights, prohibit discrimination in credit transactions, regulate the use of credit report information, provide financial privacy protections, prohibit UDAAP

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practices, restrict our ability to raise interest rates and subject us to substantial regulatory oversight. Many states and local jurisdictions have consumer protection laws analogous to those listed above.

HBC is subject to a variety of provisions related to consumer mortgage including: (i) a requirement that lenders make a determination that at the time a residential mortgage loan is consummated the consumer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan and related costs; (ii) a ban on loan originator compensation based on the interest rate or other terms of the loan (other than the amount of the principal); (iii) a ban on prepayment penalties for certain types of loans; (iv) bans on arbitration provisions in mortgage loans; and (v) requirements for enhanced disclosures in connection with the making of a loan. The Bank is also subject mortgage loan application data collection and reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

Violations of applicable consumer protection laws can result in significant potential liability from litigation brought by customers, including actual and statutory damages, restitution and attorneys’ fees. Federal bank regulators, state attorneys general, and state and local consumer protection agencies may also seek to enforce consumer protection requirements and obtain these and other remedies, including regulatory sanctions, customer rescission rights, and civil money penalties. Non-compliance with consumer protection requirements may also result in our failure to obtain any required bank regulatory approval for merger or acquisition transactions we may wish to pursue or prohibition from engaging in such transactions even if approval is not required.

The consumer protection provisions of Dodd-Frank and the examination, supervision and enforcement of those laws and implementing regulations by the CFPB have created a more intense and complex environment for consumer finance regulation. The CFPB has significant authority to implement and enforce federal consumer protection laws and new requirements for financial services products provided for in Dodd-Frank, as well as the authority to identify and prohibit unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices. The CFPB rulemaking and enforcement activities could also result in increased costs related to regulatory oversight, supervision and examination, additional remediation efforts and possible penalties. The CFPB has examination and enforcement authority over financial institutions with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets. Banks with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets, like HBC, will continue to be examined by their applicable bank regulators.

Under the newly adopted California Consumer Financial Protection Law (the “CCFPL”) that went into effect on January 1, 2021, the DFPI is given broad jurisdiction and sweeping new authorities that closely resemble those of the CFPB.  The DFPI stated that it intends to exercise its powers to protect consumers from unlawful, unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices in connection with consumer financial products or services.  The DFPI also as a matter of state law can now enforce Dodd-Frank’s UDAAP provisions against any person offering or providing consumer financial products in the state of California.  While financial institutions licensed under federal or another state law, such as banks, are excluded from the scope of the CCFPL, financial institutions in California are likely to be faced with a powerful state financial services regulatory regime with expansive enforcement authority and it is unclear how the DFPI and its broad enforcement activities will affect us going forward.

Financial Privacy. The federal bank regulatory agencies have adopted rules that limit the ability of banks and other financial institutions to disclose non-public information about consumers to non-affiliated third parties. These limitations require disclosure of privacy policies to consumers and, in some circumstances, allow consumers to prevent disclosure of certain personal information to a non-affiliated third party. These regulations affect how consumer information is transmitted through financial services companies and conveyed to outside vendors. In addition, consumers may also prevent disclosure of certain information among affiliated companies that is assembled or used to determine eligibility for a product or service, such as that shown on consumer credit reports and asset and income information from applications. Consumers also have the option to direct banks and other financial institutions not to share information about transactions and experiences with affiliated companies for the purpose of marketing products or services.

The CFPB is expected to embark on rulemaking about consumer control over their financial data.  California is also actively enacting legislation relating to data privacy and data protection, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which went into effect on January 1, 2020.  The CCPA granted California consumers robust data privacy rights and control over their personal information, including the right to know, the right to delete, and the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information. The CCPA was recently further expanded by the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”), which provides additional privacy rights to California residents and creates a new agency tasked with

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implementing regulations and conducting investigations and enforcement actions. The CPRA is set to become effective on January 1, 2023.

Cybersecurity. The federal bank regulatory agencies have issued multiple statements regarding cybersecurity. This guidance requires financial institutions to design multiple layers of security controls to establish lines of defense and ensure that their risk management processes address the risk posed by compromised customer credentials and include security measures to authenticate customers accessing internet-based services of the financial institution. The management of a financial institution is expected to maintain sufficient business continuity planning processes to ensure the rapid recovery, resumption and maintenance of operations in the event of a cyber-attack. A financial institution is also expected to develop appropriate processes to enable recovery of data and business operations and address rebuilding network capabilities and restoring data if the institution or its critical service providers fall victim to a cyber-attack. If we fail to observe the regulatory guidance, we could be subject to various regulatory sanctions, including financial penalties.

State regulators have also been increasingly active in implementing privacy and cybersecurity standards and regulations. Recently, several states, notably including California where we conduct substantially all our banking business, have adopted laws and/or regulations requiring certain financial institutions to implement cybersecurity programs and providing detailed requirements with respect to these programs, including data encryption requirements. Many such states (including California) have also recently implemented or modified their data breach notification and data privacy requirements. We expect this trend of state-level activity in those areas to continue, and we continue to monitor relevant legislative and regulatory developments in California where nearly all our customers are located.

Enforcement Powers of Federal and State Banking Agencies. The federal bank regulatory agencies have broad enforcement powers, including the power to terminate deposit insurance, impose substantial fines and other civil and criminal penalties, and appoint a conservator or receiver for financial institutions. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us and our officers and directors to administrative sanctions and potentially substantial civil money penalties. The DFPI also has broad enforcement powers over us, including the power to impose orders, remove officers and directors, impose fines and appoint supervisors and conservators.

Further Legislative and Regulatory Initiatives.  Federal and state legislators as well as regulatory agencies may introduce or enact new laws or rules, or amend existing laws and rules, which may affect the regulation of financial institutions and their holding companies.  In addition, some of the financial laws and regulations aiming to ease regulatory and compliance burden on financial institutions that were adopted during the last presidential administration could be repealed or eliminated going forward.  The impact of any future legislative or regulatory changes cannot be predicted, but they could affect the Company and HBC’s business and operations.

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ITEM 1A — RISK FACTORS

Our business, financial condition and results of operations are subject to various risks, including those discussed below. The risks discussed below are those that we believe are the most significant risks, although additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently deem less significant may also adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, perhaps materially.

Summary of Risk Factors

Risks Related to Our Business

Unfavorable general business, economic and market conditions
Adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
Participation in SBA Paycheck Protection Program
Geographic concentration in Northern California
Monetary policies and regulations
Fluctuations in interest rates
Losses on our securities portfolio, particularly from increases in interest rates
Liquidity risks
Competition for customer deposits
Failure to successfully manage credit risks
Phasing out of LIBOR

Risks Related to Our Loans

Negative changes in the economy affecting real estate values and liquidity
Risks involved with construction and land development loans
Increased regulatory scrutiny by regulators of commercial real estate concentrations
Unreliability of loan appraisals used in real property loan decisions
Commercial loans are more sensitive to the borrower’s successful operations or property development
Small and medium business loans are subject to greater risks from adverse business developments
Underwriting criteria and practices may not prevent poor loan performance

Risks Related of our SBA Loan Program

Dependence on U.S. federal government SBA loan program
Recognition of gains on sale of loans and servicing asset valuations reflect certain assumptions we use
Credit risks from non-guaranteed portion of SBA loans we retain and do not sell
Credit risks from SBA loans we sell as a result of repurchase obligations

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Risks Related to Credit Quality

Managing credit risk
Non-performing assets require management time to resolve and can affect our financial results
The allowance for loans losses may be insufficient to absorb potential losses in our loan portfolio
Real estate market volatility may have an adverse effect on disposition of other real estate owned
Exposure to environmental liabilities on foreclosed real estate collateral

Risks Related to our Growth Strategy

General risks associated with acquisitions, including availability of suitable targets and integration risks
Dilution affect resulting from the issuance of common stock consideration for acquisitions
Impairment of the goodwill recorded for an acquisition
Incorrect estimate of fair value for assets acquired in an acquisitions
Managing our branch growth strategy
Managing risks of adding newlines of business and new products

Risks Related to Our Capital

More stringent capital requirements
Raising new capital in conditions beyond our control

Risks Related to Management

Our success depends on the skills and retention of our management
Competition for skilled and experienced management level senior level employees

Risks Related to Our Reputation and Operations

Failure to maintain a favorable reputation with our customers and communities
Failure of our risk management framework
Interruptions, cyber-attacks and other security breaches
Difficulties of our third-party providers
Employee misconduct
Inaccurate information provided to us by customers or counterparties
Environmental, social and governance practices

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Risks from Competition

Competition from financial service companies and other companies that offer commercial banking services
Competitive need to implement new technology and related operational challenges

Other Business Risks

Costs and effects of litigation, investigations or similar matters
The soundness of other financial institutions
Severe weather, natural disasters (including fire and earthquakes, pandemics, acts of war, terrorism, and social unrest)
Climate change

Finance and Accounting Risks

Reliance on estimates and risk management processes and analytical and forecasting models
Changes in accounting standards
Failure maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting
Realization of our deferred tax assets

Legislative and Regulatory Risks

Extensive government regulation that could limit or restrict our activities
Legislative and regulatory actions now or in the future increase our costs, and impact our business
Federal and state regulatory exams
Noncompliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations
Consumer protection laws and regulations
Failure to comply with privacy, data protection and information security legal requirements

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

Investment in common stock is not an insured deposit
Volatile trading price of our common stock
Limited trading volume
Changes in dividend policy
Limitations on director liability for monetary damages for failure to exercise their fiduciary duty
Potential dilution from issuance of additional equity securities
Issuance of preferred stock which may have rights and preferences over our common stock
Failure to satisfy our obligations under our subordinated notes would preclude the payment of dividends
Our charter documents and California law may have an anti-takeover effect limiting changes of control

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Risks Relating to Our Business

Our Business could be adversely affected by unfavorable economic and market conditions.

Our business and operations are sensitive to general business and economic conditions in the United States, generally, and particularly the state of California and our market area. Unfavorable or uncertain economic and market conditions could lead to credit quality concerns related to borrower repayment ability and collateral protection as well as reduced demand for the products and services we offer. These economic conditions can arise suddenly, as did the conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the full impact of such conditions can be difficult to predict. In addition, geopolitical and domestic political developments, such as existing and potential trade wars and other events beyond our control, can increase levels of political and economic unpredictability globally and increase the volatility of financial markets.

Concerns about the performance of international economies, especially in Europe and emerging markets, and economic conditions in Asia, can impact the economy and financial markets here in the United States. If the national, regional and local economies experience worsening economic conditions, including declining growth and high levels of unemployment, our growth and profitability could be constrained. Weak economic conditions are characterized by, among other indicators, deflation, inflation, elevated levels of unemployment, fluctuations in debt and equity capital markets, increased delinquencies on mortgage, commercial and consumer loans, residential and commercial real estate price declines, and lower home sales and commercial activity. Various market conditions may also negatively affect our operating results. Real estate market conditions directly affect performance of our loans secured by real estate. Debt markets affect the availability of credit, which affects the rates and terms at which we offer loans and leases. Stock market downturns affect businesses’ ability to raise capital and invest in business expansion. Stock market downturns often signal broader economic deterioration and/or a downward trend in business earnings, which adversely affects businesses’ ability to service their debts.

There can be no assurance that economic conditions will continue to improve, and these conditions could worsen. Economic pressure on consumers and uncertainty regarding continuing economic improvement may result in changes in consumer and business spending, borrowing and saving habits. Such conditions could have a material adverse effect on the credit quality of our loans or our business, financial condition and results and operations.

An economic recession or a downturn in various markets could have one or more of the following adverse effects on our business:

a decrease in the demand for our loan or other products and services offered by us;
a decrease in our deposit balances due to an overall reduction in customer accounts;
a decrease in the value of our investment securities and loans;
an increase in the level of nonperforming and classified loans;
an increase in the provision for credit losses and loan and lease charge-offs;
a decrease in net interest income derived from our lending and deposit gathering activities;
a decrease in the Company’s stock price;
an increase in our operating expenses associated with attending to the effects of the above-listed circumstances; and/or
a decrease in real estate values or a general decrease in capital available to finance real estate transactions, which could have a negative impact on borrowers’ ability to pay off their loans as they mature.

Risks relating to the impact of COVID-19 could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created economic and financial disruptions that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, liquidity, capital, and results of operations. Even as efforts to contain the pandemic, including

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vaccinations, have made progress and some restrictions have relaxed, new variants of the virus are causing additional outbreaks. The impact of the Delta variant, or other variants that may emerge, cannot be predicted at this time, and could depend on numerous factors, including the availability of vaccines in different parts of the world, vaccination rates among the population, the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against the Delta variant and other variants, and the response by governmental bodies to reinstate restrictive measures.

As the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related adverse local and national economic consequences,     we could be subject to any of the following risks, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations:

demand for our products and services may decline, making it difficult to grow assets and income;
our allowance for credit losses on loans may have to be increased if borrowers experience financial difficulties beyond forbearance periods, which will adversely affect our net income;
the net worth and liquidity of loan guarantors may decline, impairing their ability to honor commitments to us;
a prolonged weakness in economic conditions resulting in a reduction of future projected earnings could result in our recording a valuation allowance against our current outstanding deferred tax assets;
the goodwill we recorded in connection with business acquisitions could become impaired and require charges to earnings; and
cybersecurity, information security and operational risks could result from work-from-home arrangements, and the unavailability of critical services provided by third party vendors.

Furthermore, if the U.S. economy experiences a recession as a result of the pandemic, our business could be materially and adversely affected. To the extent the pandemic adversely affects our business, financial condition, or results of operations, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this report. The extent of such impact will depend on the outcome of certain developments, including but not limited to, the duration and spread of the pandemic as well as its continuing impact on our customers, vendors and employees, all of which are uncertain.

As a participating lender in the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), we are subject to risks that the SBA may not fund some or all PPP loan guaranties and additional risks of litigation from our customers or other parties regarding our processing of loans for the PPP.

Federal and state governments have enacted laws intending to stimulate the economy in light of the business and market disruptions related to COVID-19, including the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program. We participated as a lender in both rounds of the PPP. We understand that PPP loans are fully guaranteed by the SBA and believe the majority of these loans will be forgiven. However, there can be no assurance that the borrowers will use or have used the funds appropriately or will have satisfied the staffing or payment requirements to qualify for forgiveness in whole or in part. Any portion of the loan that is not forgiven must be repaid by the borrower. In the event of a loss resulting from a default on a PPP loan and a determination by the SBA that there was a deficiency in the manner in which the PPP loan was originated, funded or serviced by the Bank, which may or may not be related to an ambiguity in the laws, rules or guidance regarding operation of the PPP, the SBA may deny its liability under the guaranty, reduce the amount of the guaranty, or, if we have already been paid under the guaranty, seek recovery from us of any loss related to the deficiency. Several other large banks have been subject to litigation regarding the process and procedures that such banks used in processing applications for the PPP. We may be exposed to the risk of litigation, from both customers and non-customers that approached the Bank regarding PPP loans and our PPP process. If any such litigation is filed against us and is not resolved in a manner favorable to us, it may result in significant financial liability or adversely affect our reputation. In addition, litigation can be costly, regardless of outcome. Any financial liability, litigation costs or reputational damage caused by PPP related litigation could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Our profitability is dependent upon the geographic concentration of the markets in which we operate.

We operate primarily in in the general San Francisco Bay Area of California in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara and, as a result, our business, financial condition and results of operations are subject to the demand for our products in those areas and is also subject to changes in the economic conditions in those areas. Our success depends upon the business activity, population, income levels, deposits and real estate activity in these markets. Although our customers' business and financial interests may extend well beyond these market areas, adverse economic conditions that affect these market areas could reduce our growth rate, affect the ability of our customers to repay their loans to us and generally affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our lending operations are located in market areas dependent on technology and real estate industries and their supporting companies. Thus, our borrowers could be adversely impacted by a downturn in these sectors of the economy that could reduce the demand for loans and adversely impact the borrowers' ability to repay their loans, which would, in turn, increase our nonperforming assets. Because of our geographic concentration, we are less able than regional or national financial institutions to diversify demand for our products or our credit risks across multiple markets.

Monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition to being affected by general economic conditions, our earnings and growth are affected by the policies of the Federal Reserve. An important function of the Federal Reserve is to regulate the money supply and credit conditions. Among the instruments used by the Federal Reserve to implement these objectives are open market purchases and sales of U.S. government securities, adjustments of the discount rate and changes in banks’ reserve requirements against bank deposits. These instruments are used in varying combinations to influence overall economic growth and the distribution of credit, bank loans, investments and deposits. Their use also affects interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits. The monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve have had a significant effect on the operating results of commercial banks in the past and are expected to continue to do so in the future.

Fluctuations in interest rates may reduce net interest income and otherwise negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The majority of our banking assets are monetary in nature and subject to risk from changes in interest rates. Like most financial institutions, our earnings are significantly dependent on our net interest income, the principal component of our earnings, which is the difference between interest earned by us from our interest-earning assets, such as loans and investment securities, and interest paid by us on our interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits and borrowings. We expect that we will periodically experience “gaps” in the interest rate sensitivities of our assets and liabilities, meaning that either our interest-bearing liabilities will be more sensitive to changes in market interest rates than our interest-earning assets, or vice versa. In either event, if market interest rates should move contrary to our position, this “gap” will negatively impact our earnings. Many factors impact interest rates, including governmental monetary policies, inflation, recession, changes in unemployment, the money supply, and international disorder and instability in domestic and foreign financial markets.

Interest rate increases often result in larger payment requirements for our borrowers, which increase the potential for default. At the same time, the marketability of the property securing a loan may be adversely affected by any reduced demand resulting from higher interest rates. In a declining interest rate environment, there may be an increase in prepayments on loans as borrowers refinance their loans at lower rates.

Changes in interest rates also can affect the value of loans, securities and other assets. An increase in interest rates that adversely affects the ability of borrowers to pay the principal or interest on loans may lead to an increase in nonperforming assets and a reduction of income recognized, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.

Any substantial or unexpected change in, or prolonged change in market interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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We could recognize losses on securities held in our securities portfolio, particularly if interest rates increase or economic and market conditions deteriorate.

As of December 31, 2021, the fair value of our securities portfolio was approximately $759.9 million. Factors beyond our control can significantly influence the fair value of securities in our portfolio and can cause potential adverse changes to the fair value of these securities. For example, fixed-rate securities acquired by us are generally subject to decreases in market value when interest rates rise. Additional factors include, but are not limited to, rating agency downgrades of the securities or our own analysis of the value of the security, defaults by the issuer or individual mortgagors with respect to the underlying securities, and continued instability in the credit markets. Any of the foregoing factors could cause credit-related impairment in future periods and result in realized losses. The process for determining whether impairment is credit related usually requires difficult, subjective judgments about the future financial performance of the issuer and any collateral underlying the security in order to assess the probability of receiving all contractual principal and interest payments on the security. Because of changing economic and market conditions affecting interest rates, the financial condition of issuers of the securities and the performance of the underlying collateral, we may recognize realized and/or unrealized losses in future periods, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Liquidity risks could affect operations and jeopardize our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Liquidity is essential to our business. An inability to raise funds through deposits, borrowings, the sale of loans and/or investment securities and from other sources could have a substantial negative effect on our liquidity. Our most important source of funds consists of our customer deposits. Such deposit balances can decrease when customers perceive alternative investments, such as the stock market, as providing a better risk/return tradeoff. If customers move money out of bank deposits and into other investments, we could lose a relatively low cost source of funds, thereby increasing our funding costs.

Additional liquidity is provided by our ability to borrow from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. We also may borrow from third-party lenders from time to time. Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance or capitalize our activities on terms that are acceptable to us could be impaired by factors that affect us directly or the financial services industry or economy in general, such as disruptions in the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry.

Any decline in available funding could adversely impact our ability to continue to implement our strategic plan, including our ability to originate loans, invest in securities, meet our expenses, or to fulfill obligations such as repaying our borrowings or meeting deposit withdrawal demands, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity, business, financial condition and results of operations.

Competition among U.S. banks for customer deposits is intense, may increase the cost of retaining current deposits or procuring new deposits, and may otherwise negatively affect our ability to grow our deposit base.

Competition among U.S. banks for customer deposits is intense, may increase the cost of retaining current deposits or procuring new deposits, and may otherwise negatively affect our ability to grow our deposit base. Maintaining and attracting new deposits is integral to our business and a major decline in deposits or failure to attract deposits in the future, including any such decline or failure related to an increase in interest rates paid by our competitors on interest-bearing accounts, could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Interest-bearing accounts earn interest at rates established by management based on competitive market factors. The demand for the deposit products we offer may also be reduced due to a variety of factors, such as demographic patterns, changes in customer preferences, reductions in consumers’ disposable income, regulatory actions that decrease customer access to particular products, or the availability of competing products.

Uncertainty relating to LIBOR calculation process and potential phasing out of LIBOR may adversely affect us.

The Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, which regulates LIBOR, will not guarantee the continuation of LIBOR on the current basis after 2021. Regulators, industry groups, and certain committees (e.g., the Alternative Reference Rates Committee) have, among other things, published recommended fallback language for LIBOR-linked financial instruments, identified recommended alternatives for certain LIBOR rates. The Federal Reserve selected a new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities ("SOFR") to replace LIBOR.

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SOFR differs in its methodology from LIBOR in that it is a secured funding rate and calculated on a backward looking basis, and because the SOFR rate is new, the correlation with funding costs of financial institutions is uncertain. Whether or not SOFR attains market acceptance as a LIBOR replacement tool remains in question. Uncertainty as to the nature of alternative reference rates and as to potential changes or other reforms to LIBOR may adversely affect LIBOR rates and the value of LIBOR-based loans, and to a lesser extent, securities in our portfolio, and may impact the availability and cost of hedging instruments and borrowings, including the rates we pay on our subordinated debentures. In addition, there is a risk that we may not complete our full transition to alternative indices or reference rates by the time LIBOR is no longer available. Once LIBOR rates are no longer available, we may be subject to disputes or litigation with customers and creditors over the appropriateness or comparability to LIBOR of the substitute indices, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Loans

Because a significant portion of our loan portfolio is comprised of real estate loans, negative changes in the economy affecting real estate values and liquidity could impair the value of collateral securing our real estate loans and result in loan and other losses.

Real estate lending (including commercial, land development and construction, home equity, multifamily, and residential mortgage loans) is a large portion of our loan portfolio. At December 31, 2021, approximately $2.391 billion, or 77% of our loan portfolio, was comprised of loans with real estate as a primary or secondary component of collateral. Included in CRE loans were owner occupied loans of $595.9 million, or 19% of total loans. The real estate securing our loan portfolio is concentrated in California.

As a result, adverse developments affecting real estate values in our market areas could increase the credit risk associated with our real estate loan portfolio. The market value of real estate can fluctuate significantly in a short period of time as a result of market conditions in the geographic area in which the real estate is located. Real estate values and real estate markets are generally affected by changes in national, regional or local economic conditions, the rate of unemployment, fluctuations in interest rates and the availability of loans to potential purchasers, changes in tax laws and other governmental statutes, regulations and policies and acts of nature, such as earthquakes and other natural disasters. Adverse changes affecting real estate values and the liquidity of real estate in one or more of our markets could increase the credit risk associated with our loan portfolio, significantly impair the value of property pledged as collateral on loans and affect our ability to sell the collateral upon foreclosure without a loss or additional losses, which would adversely affect profitability. Such declines and losses would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Our construction and land development loans are based upon estimates of costs and value associated with the complete project.  These estimates may be inaccurate and we may be exposed to more losses on these projects than on other loans.

At December 31, 2021, land and construction loans, (including land acquisition and development loans) totaled $147.9 million or 5% of our portfolio. Of these loans, 7% were comprised of owner occupied and 93% non-owner occupied construction and land loans. These loans involve additional risks because funds are advanced upon the security of the project, which is of uncertain value prior to its completion, and costs may exceed realizable values in declining real estate markets. Because of the uncertainties inherent in estimating construction costs and the realizable market value of the completed project and the effects of governmental regulation of real property, it is relatively difficult to evaluate accurately the total funds required to complete a project and the related loan-to-value ratio. As a result, construction loans often involve the disbursement of substantial funds with repayment dependent, in part, on the success of the ultimate project and the ability of the borrower to sell or lease the property, rather than the ability of the borrower or guarantor to repay principal and interest. If our appraisal of the value of the completed project proves to be overstated or market values or rental rates decline, we may have inadequate security for the repayment of the loan upon completion of project construction. If we are forced to foreclose on a project prior to or at completion due to a default, we may not be able to recover all of the unpaid balance of, and accrued interest on, the loan as well as related foreclosure and holding costs. In addition, we may be required to fund additional amounts to complete the project and may have to hold the property for an unspecified period of time while we attempt to dispose of it.

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Increased scrutiny by regulators of commercial real estate concentrations could restrict our activities and impose financial requirements or limits on the conduct of our business.

Banking regulators are giving commercial real estate lending greater scrutiny, and may require banks with higher levels of commercial real estate loans to implement improved underwriting, internal controls, risk management policies and portfolio stress testing, as well as possibly higher levels of allowances for losses and capital levels as a result of commercial real estate lending growth and exposures. Therefore, we could be required to raise additional capital or restrict our future growth as a result of our higher level of commercial real estate loans.

Our use of appraisals in deciding whether to make a loan on or secured by real property does not ensure the value of the real property collateral.

In considering whether to make a loan secured by real property we generally require an appraisal of the property. However, an appraisal is only an estimate of the value of the property at the time the appraisal is conducted, and an error in fact or judgment could adversely affect the reliability of an appraisal. In addition, events occurring after the initial appraisal may cause the value of the real estate to decrease. As a result of any of these factors the value of collateral securing a loan may be less than estimated, and if a default occurs we may not recover the outstanding balance of the loan.

Many of our loans are to commercial borrowers, which may have a higher degree of risk than other types of borrowers.

At December 31, 2021, commercial loans totaled $682.8 million or 22% of our loan portfolio (including SBA loans, PPP loans, asset-based lending, and factored receivables). Commercial loans often involve risks that are different from other types of lending. Unlike residential property loans, which generally are made on the basis of the borrowers’ ability to make repayment from their employment and other income and which are secured by real property whose value tends to be more easily ascertainable, commercial loans typically are made on the basis of the borrowers’ ability to make repayment from the cash flow of the commercial venture. Our commercial loans are primarily made based on the identified cash flow of the borrower and secondarily on the collateral underlying the loans. Most often, this collateral consists of accounts receivable, inventory and equipment. Inventory and equipment may depreciate over time, may be difficult to appraise and may fluctuate in value based on the success of the business. If the cash flow from business operations is reduced, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan may be impaired. Due to the larger average size of each commercial loan, as well as collateral that is generally less readily-marketable, losses incurred on a small number of commercial loans could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The small and medium-sized businesses that we lend to may have fewer resources to weather adverse business developments, which may impair a borrower’s ability to repay a loan, and such impairment could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We target our business development and marketing strategy primarily to serve the banking and financial services needs of small to medium-sized businesses. These businesses generally have fewer financial resources in terms of capital or borrowing capacity than larger entities, frequently have smaller market shares than their competition, may be more vulnerable to economic downturns, often need substantial additional capital to expand or compete and may experience substantial volatility in operating results, any of which may impair a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. In addition, the success of a small and medium-sized business often depends on the management talents and efforts of one or two people or a small group of people, and the death, disability or resignation of one or more of these people could have a material adverse impact on the business and its ability to repay its loan. Negative general economic conditions in our markets where we operate that adversely affect our medium-sized business borrowers may impair the borrower’s ability to repay a loan and such impairment could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.

We may suffer losses in our loan portfolio despite our underwriting practices.

We mitigate the risks inherent in our loan portfolio by adhering to sound and proven underwriting practices, managed by experienced and knowledgeable credit professionals. These practices include analysis of a borrower’s prior credit history, financial statements, tax returns, and cash flow projections, valuations of collateral based on reports of independent appraisers and verifications of liquid assets. Nonetheless, we may incur losses on loans that meet our underwriting criteria, and these losses may exceed the amounts set aside as reserves in our allowance for loan loss.

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Risks Related to our SBA Loan Program

Small Business Administration lending is an important part of our business.  Our SBA lending program is dependent upon the U.S. federal government, and we face specific risks associated with originating SBA loans.

At December 31, 2021, SBA loans totaled $42.4 million, which are included in the commercial loan portfolio, and SBA loans held-for-sale totaled $2.4 million. In addition, the Company had $88.7 million of SBA PPP loans at December 31, 2021.  Our SBA lending program is dependent upon the U.S. federal government. As an approved participant in the SBA Preferred Lender’s Program (an “SBA Preferred Lender”), we enable our clients to obtain SBA loans without being subject to the potentially lengthy SBA approval process necessary for lenders that are not SBA Preferred Lenders. The SBA periodically reviews the lending operations of participating lenders to assess, among other things, whether the lender exhibits prudent risk management. When weaknesses are identified, the SBA may request corrective actions or impose enforcement actions, including revocation of the lender’s SBA Preferred Lender status. If we lose our status as an SBA Preferred Lender, we may lose some or all of our customers to lenders who are SBA Preferred Lenders, and as a result we could experience a material adverse effect to our financial results. Any changes to the SBA program, including but not limited to changes to the level of guarantee provided by the federal government on SBA loans, changes to program specific rules impacting volume eligibility under the guaranty program, as well as changes to the program amounts authorized by Congress may also have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, any default by the U.S. government on its obligations or any prolonged government shutdown could, among other things, impede our ability to originate SBA loans or sell such loans in the secondary market, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program is the SBA’s primary program for helping start-up and existing small businesses, with financing guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes. Generally, we sell the guaranteed portion of our SBA 7(a) loans in the secondary market. These sales result in premium income for us at the time of sale and create a stream of future servicing income, as we retain the servicing rights to these loans. For the reasons described above, we may not be able to continue originating these loans or sell them in the secondary market. Furthermore, even if we are able to continue to originate and sell SBA 7(a) loans in the secondary market, we might not continue to realize premiums upon the sale of the guaranteed portion of these loans or the premiums may decline due to economic and competitive factors. When we originate SBA loans, we incur credit risk on the non-guaranteed portion of the loans, and if a customer defaults on a loan, we share any loss and recovery related to the loan pro-rata with the SBA. If the SBA establishes that a loss on an SBA guaranteed loan is attributable to significant technical deficiencies in the manner in which the loan was originated, funded or serviced by us, the SBA may seek recovery of the principal loss related to the deficiency from us. Generally, we do not maintain reserves or loss allowances for such potential claims and any such claims could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The laws, regulations and standard operating procedures that are applicable to SBA loan products may change in the future. We cannot predict the effects of these changes on our business and profitability. Because government regulation greatly affects the business and financial results of all commercial banks and bank holding companies and especially our organization, changes in the laws, regulations and procedures applicable to SBA loans could adversely affect our ability to operate profitably.

The recognition of gains on the sale of loans and servicing asset valuations reflect certain assumptions.

We expect that gains on the sale of U.S. government guaranteed loans will contribute to noninterest income. The gains on such sales recognized for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $1.7 million. The determination of these gains is based on assumptions regarding the value of unguaranteed loans retained, servicing rights retained and deferred fees and costs, and net premiums paid by purchasers of the guaranteed portions of U.S. government guaranteed loans. The value of retained unguaranteed loans and servicing rights are determined based on market derived factors such as prepayment rates, current market conditions and recent loan sales. Deferred fees and costs are determined using internal analysis of the cost to originate loans. Significant errors in assumptions used to compute gains on sale of loans or servicing asset valuations could result in material revenue misstatements, which may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations The non-guaranteed portion of SBA loans that we retain on our balance sheet as well as the guaranteed portion of SBA loans that we sell could expose us to various credit and default risks.

We originated $50.3 million of SBA loans for the year ended December 31, 2021. We sold $16.3 million of the guaranteed portion of our SBA loans for the year ended December 31, 2021. We generally retain the non-guaranteed

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portions of the SBA loans that we originate. Consequently, as of December 31, 2021, we held $44.8 million of SBA loans (including loans held-for-sale) on our balance sheet, $26.7 million of which consisted of the non-guaranteed portion of SBA loans, and $18.1 million of which consisted of the guaranteed portion of SBA loans.  At December 31, 2021, $2.4 million, or 5.3%, consisted of the guaranteed portion of SBA loans which we intend to sell in 2022. The non-guaranteed portion of SBA loans have a higher degree of credit risk and risk of loss as compared to the guaranteed portion of such loans and make up a substantial majority of our remaining SBA loans.

When we sell the guaranteed portion of SBA loans in the ordinary course of business, we are required to make certain representations and warranties to the purchaser about the SBA loans and the manner in which they were originated. Under these agreements, we may be required to repurchase the guaranteed portion of the SBA loan if we have breached any of these representations or warranties, in which case we may record a loss. In addition, if repurchase and indemnity demands increase on loans that we sell from our portfolios, our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. Further, we generally retain the non-guaranteed portions of the SBA loans that we originate and sell, and to the extent the borrowers of such loans experience financial difficulties, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.

Risks Related to our Credit Quality

Our business depends on our ability to successfully manage credit risk.

The operation of our business requires us to manage credit risk. As a lender, we are exposed to the risk that our borrowers will be unable to repay their loans according to their terms, and that the collateral securing repayment of their loans, if any, may not be sufficient to ensure repayment. In addition, there are risks inherent in making any loan, including risks with respect to the period of time over which the loan may be repaid, risks relating to proper loan underwriting, risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions and risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers. In order to successfully manage credit risk, we must, among other things, maintain disciplined and prudent underwriting standards and ensure that our bankers follow those standards. The weakening of these standards for any reason, a lack of discipline or diligence by our employees in underwriting and monitoring loans, the inability of our employees to adequately adapt policies and procedures to changes in economic or any other conditions affecting borrowers and the quality of our loan portfolio, may result in loan defaults, foreclosures and additional charge-offs and may necessitate that we significantly increase our allowance for credit losses on loans, each of which could adversely affect our net income. As a result, our inability to successfully manage credit risk could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

An important feature of our credit risk management system is our use of an internal credit risk rating and control system through which we identify, measure, monitor and mitigate existing and emerging credit risk of our customers. As this process involves detailed analysis of the customer or credit risk, taking into account both quantitative and qualitative factors, it is subject to human error. In exercising their judgment, our employees may not always be able to assign an accurate credit rating to a customer or credit risk, which may result in our exposure to higher credit risks than indicated by our risk rating and control system. Although our management seeks to address possible credit risk proactively, it is possible that the credit risk rating and control system will not identify credit risk in our loan portfolio and that we may fail to manage credit risk effectively.

Nonperforming assets adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition, and take significant time to resolve.

As of December 31, 2021, our nonperforming loans (which consist of nonaccrual loans, loans past due 90 days or more and still accruing interest and loans modified under troubled debt restructurings) totaled $3.7 million, or 0.12% of our loan portfolio, and our nonperforming assets (which include nonperforming loans plus other real estate owned) totaled $3.7 million, or 0.07% of total assets.

Our nonperforming assets adversely affect our net income in various ways. We do not record interest income on nonaccrual loans or other real estate owned, thereby adversely affecting our net interest income, net income and returns on assets and equity, and our loan administration costs increase, which together with reduced interest income adversely affects our efficiency ratio. Further, when we place a loan on nonaccrual status, we reverse any accrued but unpaid interest receivable, which decreases interest income. Subsequently, we continue to have a cost to fund the loan, which is reflected as interest expense, without any interest income to offset the associated funding expense. When we take collateral in

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foreclosure and similar proceedings, we are required to mark the collateral to its then-fair market value, which may result in a loss. These nonperforming loans and other real estate owned also increase our risk profile and the level of capital our regulators believe is appropriate for us to maintain in light of such risks. The resolution of nonperforming assets requires significant time commitments from management and can be detrimental to the performance of their other responsibilities. If we experience increases in nonperforming loans and nonperforming assets, our net interest income may be negatively impacted and our loan administration costs could increase, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our allowance for credit losses on loans may prove to be insufficient to absorb potential losses in our loan portfolio.

We maintain an allowance for credit losses on loans to provide for loan defaults and non-performance. This allowance, expressed as a percentage of loans, was 1.40%, at December 31, 2021. Allowance for credit losses on loans is funded from a provision for credit losses on loans, which is a charge to our income statement. The Company had a negative provision for credit losses on loans of $3.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 The allowance for credit losses on loans reflects our estimate of the current expected credit losses in our loan portfolio at the relevant balance sheet date. Our allowance for credit losses on loans is based on our prior experience, as well as an evaluation of the known risks in the current portfolio, composition and growth of the loan portfolio and economic forecasts for correlated economic factors. The determination of an appropriate level of credit allowance losses on loans is an inherently difficult and subjective process, requiring complex judgments, and is based on numerous analytical assumptions. The amount of future losses is susceptible to changes in economic and other conditions, including changes in interest rates, changes in economic forecasts, changes in the financial condition of borrowers, and deteriorating values of collateral that may be beyond our control, and these losses may exceed current estimates.

Although management believes that the allowance for credit losses on loans is adequate to absorb losses on any existing loans that may become uncollectible, we may be required to take additional provisions for credit losses on loans in the future to further supplement the allowance for credit losses on loans, either due to management’s decision to do so or because our banking regulators require us to do so. Our bank regulatory agencies will periodically review our allowance for credit losses on loans and the value attributed to nonaccrual loans or to real estate acquired through foreclosure and may require us to adjust our determination of the value for these items. If our allowance for credit losses on loans is inaccurate, for any of the reasons discussed above (or other reasons), and is inadequate to cover the loan losses that we actually experience, the resulting losses could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Real estate market volatility and future changes in our disposition strategies could result in net proceeds that differ significantly from our other real estate owned fair value appraisals.

As of December 31, 2021 we had no other real estate owned (“OREO”) on our financial statements, but in the ordinary course of our business we expect to hold some level of OREO from time to time. OREO typically consists of properties that we obtain through foreclosure or through an in-substance foreclosure in satisfaction of an outstanding loan. OREO properties are valued on our books at the lesser of the recorded investment in the loan for which the property previously served as collateral or the property’s “fair value,” which represents the estimated sales price of the property on the date acquired less estimated selling costs. Generally, in determining “fair value,” an orderly disposition of the property is assumed, unless a different disposition strategy is expected. Significant judgment is required in estimating the fair value of OREO property, and the period of time within which such estimates can be considered current is significantly shortened during periods of market volatility.

In response to market conditions and other economic factors, we may utilize alternative sale strategies other than orderly disposition as part of our OREO disposition strategy, such as immediate liquidation sales. In this event, as a result of the significant judgments required in estimating fair value and the variables involved in different methods of disposition, the net proceeds realized from such sales transactions could differ significantly from the appraisals, comparable sales and other estimates used to determine the fair value of our OREO properties.

We could be exposed to risk of environmental liabilities with respect to properties to which we take title.

In the course of our business, we may foreclose and take title to real estate, and could be subject to environmental liabilities with respect to these properties. We may be held liable to a governmental entity or to third-parties for property damage, personal injury, investigation and clean-up costs incurred by these parties in connection with environmental

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contamination, or may be required to investigate or clean up hazardous or toxic substances, or chemical releases at a property. The costs associated with investigation or remediation activities could be substantial. In addition, if we are the owner or former owner of a contaminated site, we may be subject to common law claims by third-parties based on damages and costs resulting from environmental contamination emanating from the property. Significant environmental liabilities could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Risks Related to Growth Strategy

There are risks related to acquisitions.

We plan to continue to grow our business organically. However, from time to time, we may consider opportunistic strategic acquisitions that we believe support our long-term business strategy. We face significant competition from numerous other financial services institutions, many of which will have greater financial resources than we do, when considering acquisition opportunities. Accordingly, attractive acquisition opportunities may not be available to us. We may not be successful in identifying or completing any future acquisitions. Acquisitions of financial institutions involve operational risks and uncertainties and acquired companies may have unforeseen liabilities, exposure to asset quality problems, key employee and customer retention problems and other problems that could negatively affect our organization.

If we complete any future acquisitions, we may not be able to successfully integrate the operations, management, products and services of the entities that we acquire and eliminate redundancies. The integration process could result in the loss of key employees or disruption of the combined entity’s ongoing business or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures, and policies that adversely affect our ability to maintain relationships with customers and employees or achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction. The integration process may also require significant time and attention from our management that they would otherwise direct at servicing existing business and developing new business. We may not be able to realize any projected cost savings, synergies or other benefits associated with any such acquisition we complete. We cannot determine all potential events, facts and circumstances that could result in loss and our investigation or mitigation efforts may be insufficient to protect against any such loss.

In addition, we must generally satisfy a number of meaningful conditions prior to completing any acquisition, including, in certain cases, federal and state bank regulatory approval. Bank regulators consider a number of factors when determining whether to approve a proposed transaction, including the effect of the transaction on financial stability and the ratings and compliance history of all institutions involved, including the CRA, examination results and anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance records of all institutions involved. The process for obtaining required regulatory approvals has become substantially more difficult, which could affect our future business. We may fail to pursue, evaluate or complete strategic and competitively significant business opportunities as a result of our inability, or our perceived inability, to obtain any required regulatory approvals in a timely manner or at all.

Issuing additional shares of our common stock to acquire other banks and bank holding companies may result in dilution for existing shareholders and may adversely affect the market price of our stock.

In connection with our growth strategy, we have issued, and may issue in the future, shares of our common stock to acquire additional banks or bank holding companies that may complement our organizational structure. Resales of substantial amounts of common stock in the public market and the potential of such sales could adversely affect the prevailing market price of our common stock and impair our ability to raise additional capital through the sale of equity securities. We sometimes must pay an acquisition premium above the fair market value of acquired assets for the acquisition of banks or bank holding companies. Paying this acquisition premium, in addition to the dilutive effect of issuing additional shares, may also adversely affect the prevailing market price of our common stock.

If the goodwill that we recorded in connection with a business acquisition becomes impaired, it could require charges to earnings, which would have a negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

Goodwill represents the amount by which the cost of an acquisition exceeded the fair value of net assets we acquired in connection with the purchase. We review goodwill for impairment at least annually, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the asset might be impaired. We determine impairment by comparing the implied fair value of the reporting unit goodwill with the carrying amount of that goodwill. Estimates of fair value are determined based on a complex model using cash flows, the fair value of our Company as determined by our stock price, and company comparisons. If management’s estimates of future cash flows are inaccurate,

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fair value determined could be inaccurate and impairment may not be recognized in a timely manner. If the carrying amount of the reporting unit goodwill exceeds the implied fair value of that goodwill, an impairment loss is recognized in an amount equal to that excess. Any such adjustments are reflected in our results of operations in the periods in which they become known. There can be no assurance that our future evaluations of goodwill will not result in findings of impairment and related write-downs, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our decisions regarding the fair value of assets acquired could be different than initially estimated, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In business combinations, we acquire significant portfolios of loans that are marked to their estimated fair value. There is no assurance that the acquired loans will not suffer deterioration in value. The fluctuations in national, regional and local economic conditions, including those related to local residential, commercial real estate and construction markets, may increase the level of charge offs in the loan portfolio that we acquire and correspondingly reduce our net income. These fluctuations are not predictable, cannot be controlled and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We must effectively manage our branch growth strategy.

We seek to expand our franchise safely and consistently. A successful growth strategy requires us to manage multiple aspects of our business simultaneously, such as following adequate loan underwriting standards, balancing loan and deposit growth without increasing interest rate risk or compressing our net interest margin, maintaining sufficient capital, maintaining proper system and controls, and recruiting, training and retaining qualified professionals. We also may experience a lag in profitability associated with new branch openings. As part of our general growth strategy we may expand into additional communities or attempt to strengthen our position in our current markets by opening new offices, subject to any regulatory constraints on our ability to open new offices. To the extent that we are able to open additional offices, we are likely to experience the effects of higher operating expenses relative to operating income from the new operations for a period of time which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

New lines of business or new products and services may subject us to additional risks.

From time to time, we may implement or may acquire new lines of business or offer new products and services within existing lines of business. There are substantial risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts, particularly in instances where the markets are not fully developed. In developing and marketing new lines of business and new products and services we may invest significant time and resources. We may not achieve target timetables for the introduction and development of new lines of business and new products or services and price and profitability targets may not prove feasible. External factors, such as regulatory compliance obligations, competitive alternatives, and shifting market preferences, may also impact the successful implementation of a new line of business or a new product or service. Furthermore, any new line of business and/or new product or service could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of our system of internal controls. Failure to successfully manage these risks in the development and implementation of new lines of business or new products or services could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Capital

We may be subject to more stringent capital requirements in the future.

We are subject to current and changing regulatory requirements specifying minimum amounts and types of capital that we must maintain.  The failure to meet applicable regulatory capital requirements could result in one or more of our regulators placing limitations or conditions on our activities, including our growth initiatives, or restricting the commencement of new activities, and could affect customer and investor confidence, our costs of funds and FDIC insurance costs, our ability to pay dividends on our common stock, our ability to make acquisitions, and  could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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We may need to raise additional capital in the future, and if we fail to maintain sufficient capital, whether due to losses, an inability to raise additional capital or otherwise, our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations, as well as our ability to maintain regulatory compliance, would be adversely affected.

We face significant capital and other regulatory requirements as a financial institution. We may need to raise additional capital in the future to provide us with sufficient capital resources and liquidity to meet our commitments and business needs, which could include the possibility of financing acquisitions.  Our ability to raise additional capital depends on conditions in the capital markets, economic conditions and a number of other factors, including investor perceptions regarding the banking industry, market conditions and governmental activities, and on our financial condition and performance. Any occurrence that may limit our access to the capital markets may adversely affect our capital costs and our ability to raise capital. Moreover, if we need to raise capital in the future, we may have to do so when many other financial institutions are also seeking to raise capital and would have to compete with those institutions for investors. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will be able to raise additional capital if needed or on terms acceptable to us.

Risks Related to our Management

We are highly dependent on our management team, and the loss of our senior executive officers or other key employees could harm our ability to implement our strategic plan, impair our relationships with customers and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our success depends, in large degree, on the skills of our management team and our ability to retain, recruit and motivate key officers and employees. Our senior management team has significant industry experience, and their knowledge and relationships would be difficult to replace. Leadership changes will occur from time to time, and we cannot predict whether significant resignations will occur or whether we will be able to recruit additional qualified personnel. Competition for senior executives and skilled personnel in the financial services and banking industry is intense, which means the cost of hiring, paying incentives and retaining skilled personnel may continue to increase. We need to continue to attract and retain key personnel and to recruit qualified individuals to succeed existing key personnel to ensure the continued growth and successful operation of our business. In addition, as a provider of relationship-based commercial banking services, we must attract and retain qualified banking personnel to continue to grow our business, and competition for such personnel can be intense. Our ability to effectively compete for senior executives and other qualified personnel by offering competitive compensation and benefit arrangements may increase our potential costs and may be restricted by applicable banking laws and regulations. The loss of the services of any senior executive or other key personnel, or the inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel in the future, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Reputation and Operations

Our ability to maintain our reputation is critical to the success of our business, and the failure to do so may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are a community bank, and our reputation is one of the most valuable components of our business. Threats to our reputation can come from many sources, including adverse sentiment about financial institutions generally, unethical practices, employee misconduct, failure to deliver minimum standards of service or quality, compliance deficiencies, and questionable or fraudulent activities of our customers. Negative publicity regarding our business, employees, or customers, with or without merit, may result in the loss of customers, investors and employees, costly litigation, a decline in revenues and increased governmental regulation and have a material adverse effect on business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our risk management framework may not be effective in mitigating risks and/or losses to us.

Our risk management framework is comprised of various processes, systems and strategies, and is designed to manage the types of risk to which we are subject, including, among others, credit, market, liquidity, interest rate and compliance. Our risk management framework may not be effective under all circumstances and may not adequately mitigate any risk or loss to us. If our risk management framework is not effective, we could suffer unexpected losses and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. We may also be subject to potentially adverse regulatory consequences.

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Interruptions, cyber-attacks or other security breaches could have a material adverse effect on our business.

In the normal course of business, we directly or through third parties collect, store, share, process and retain sensitive and confidential information regarding our customers. We devote significant resources and management focus to ensuring the integrity of our systems, against damage from fires or other natural disasters; power or telecommunications failures; acts of terrorism or wars or other catastrophic events; breaches, physical break-ins or errors resulting in interruptions and unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, through information security and business continuity programs. Notwithstanding, our facilities and systems, and those of third party service providers, are vulnerable to interruptions, external or internal security breaches, acts of vandalism, computer viruses, misplaced or lost data, programming or human errors, force majeure events, or other similar events. We outsource certain aspects of our data processing and other operational functions to certain third-party providers. If our third-party providers encounter difficulties including those resulting from breach, breakdowns or other disruptions in communication services, cyber-attacks and security breaches or if we otherwise have difficulty in our ability to deliver products and services to our customers and otherwise conduct business operations and could have a material adverse effect on  our business, financial condition and results of operations.

As a bank, we are susceptible to fraudulent activity that may be committed against us or our customers, which may result in financial losses or increased costs to us or our customers, disclosure or misuse of our information or our customer's information, misappropriation of assets, privacy breaches against our customers, litigation or damage to our reputation. Such fraudulent activity may take many forms, including check fraud, electronic fraud, wire fraud, phishing, social engineering and other dishonest acts. Reported incidents of fraud and other financial crimes have increased through the U.S. We have also experienced losses due to apparent fraud and other financial crimes. Increased use of the Internet and telecommunications technologies (including mobile devices) to conduct financial and other business transactions and operations, coupled with the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, perpetrators of fraud, hackers, terrorists and others increases our security risks. In addition to cyber-attacks or other security breaches involving the theft of sensitive and confidential information, hackers continue to engage in attacks against large financial institutions. These attacks include denial of service attacks designed to disrupt external customer facing services, and ransomware attacks designed to deny organizations access to key internal resources or systems. While we have policies and procedures designed to prevent such losses, there can be no assurance that such losses will not occur. We are not able to anticipate or implement effective preventive measures against all security breaches of these types, especially because the techniques used change frequently and because attacks can originate from a wide variety of sources. We employ detection and response mechanisms designed to contain and mitigate security incidents, but early detection may be thwarted by sophisticated attacks and malware designed to avoid detection. Further, our cardholders use their debit and credit cards to make purchases from third parties or through third party processing services. As such, we are subject to risk from data breaches of such third party's information systems or their payment processors. The payment methods that we offer also subject us to potential fraud and theft by criminals, who are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, seeking to obtain unauthorized access to or exploit weaknesses that may exist in the payment systems where we may be liable for losses. Breaches of information security also may occur through intentional or unintentional acts by those having access to our systems or our customers' or counterparties' confidential information, including employees.

The access by unauthorized persons to, or the improper disclosure by us of, confidential information regarding our customers or our own proprietary information, software, methodologies and business secrets, failures or disruptions in our communications, information and technology systems, or our failure to adequately address them, could negatively affect our customer relationship management, general ledger, deposit, loan or other systems. We cannot assure that such breaches, failures or interruptions will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be adequately addressed by us or the third parties on which we rely. Our insurance may not fully cover all types of losses. The occurrence of any failures or interruptions of our communications, information and technology 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, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. We could be required to provide notices of security breaches. Such failures could result in increased regulatory scrutiny, legal liability, a loss of confidence in the security of our systems, our payment cards, products and services, and negative effects on our brand which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Our operations could be interrupted by our third-party service providers experiencing difficulty in providing their services, terminating their services or failing to comply with banking regulations.

We depend to a significant extent on relationships with third party service providers. Specifically, we utilize third party core banking services and receive credit card and debit card services, branch capture services, Internet banking services and services complementary to our banking products from various third party service providers. These types of third party relationships are subject to increasingly demanding regulatory requirements where we must maintain and continue to enhance our due diligence and ongoing monitoring and control over our third party vendors. We may be required to renegotiate our agreements to meet these enhanced requirements, which could increase our costs. If our service providers experience difficulties or terminate their services and we are unable to replace them, our operations could be interrupted. It may be difficult for us to timely replace some of our service providers, which may be at a higher cost due to the unique services they provide. A third party provider may fail to provide the services we require, or meet contractual requirements, comply with applicable laws and regulations, or suffer a cyber-attack or other security breach. We expect that our regulators will hold us responsible for deficiencies of our third party relationships which could result in enforcement actions, including civil money penalties or other administrative or judicial penalties or fines, or customer remediation, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Employee misconduct could expose us to significant legal liability and reputational harm.

We are vulnerable to reputational harm because we operate in an industry in which integrity and the confidence of our customers are of critical importance. Our employees could engage in fraudulent, illegal, wrongful or suspicious activities, and/or activities resulting in consumer harm that adversely affects our customers and/or our business. The precautions we take to detect and prevent such misconduct may not always be effective and regulatory sanctions and/or penalties, serious harm to our reputation, financial condition, customer relationships and ability to attract new customers. In addition, improper use or disclosure of confidential information by our employees, even if inadvertent, could result in serious harm to our reputation, financial condition and current and future business relationships. If our internal controls against operational risks fail to prevent or detect an occurrence of such employee error or misconduct, or if any resulting loss is not insured or exceeds applicable insurance limits, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We depend on the accuracy and completeness of information provided by customers and counterparties and any misrepresented information could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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. Some of the information regarding customers provided to us is also used in our proprietary credit decision making and scoring models, which we use to determine whether to do business with customers and the risk profiles of such customers which are subsequently utilized by counterparties who lend us capital to fund our operations. We may also rely on representations of customers and counterparties as to the accuracy and completeness of that information. In deciding whether to extend credit, we may rely upon our customers’ representations that their financial statements conform to GAAP and present fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of the customer. We also may rely on customer representations and certifications, or other audit or accountants’ reports, with respect to the business and financial condition of our customers. Our financial condition, results of operations, financial reporting and reputation could be negatively affected if those representations are misleading, false, inaccurate or fraudulent and we rely on that materially misleading, false, inaccurate or fraudulent information.

Increasing scrutiny and evolving expectations from customers, regulators, investors, and other stakeholders with respect to our environmental, social and governance practices may impose additional costs on us or expose us to new or additional risks.

Companies are facing increasing scrutiny from customers, regulators, investors, and other stakeholders related to their environmental, social and governance ("ESG") practices and disclosure. Investor advocacy groups, investment funds and influential investors are also increasingly focused on these practices, especially as they relate to the environment, health and safety, diversity, labor conditions and human rights. Increased ESG-related compliance costs for us as well as among our suppliers, vendors and various other parties within our supply chain could result in increases to our overall operational costs. Failure to adapt to or comply with regulatory requirements or investor or stakeholder expectations and standards could negatively impact our reputation, ability to do business with certain partners, access to capital, and our

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stock price. New government regulations could also result in new or more stringent forms of ESG oversight and expanding mandatory and voluntary reporting, diligence, and disclosure.

Risks from Competition

We face strong competition from financial services companies and other companies that offer commercial banking services, which could harm our business.

We face substantial competition in all phases of our operations from a variety of different competitors. Our competitors, including larger commercial banks, community banks, savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, credit unions, consumer finance companies, insurance companies, securities dealers, brokers, mortgage bankers, investment advisors, money market mutual funds and other financial institutions, compete with lending and deposit gathering services offered by us. Many of these competing institutions have much greater financial and marketing resources than we have. Due to their size, many competitors can achieve larger economies of scale and may offer a broader range of products and services than we can. If we are unable to offer competitive products and services, our business may be negatively affected. Some of the financial services organizations with which we compete are not subject to the same degree of regulation as is imposed on bank holding companies and federally insured financial institutions or are not subject to increased supervisory oversight arising from regulatory examinations. As a result, these non-bank competitors have certain advantages over us in accessing funding and in providing various services.

We anticipate intense competition will continue for the coming year due to the recent consolidation of many financial institutions and more changes in legislature, regulation and technology. Further, we expect loan demand to continue to be challenging due to the uncertain economic climate and the intensifying competition for creditworthy borrowers, both of which could lead to loan rate concession pressure and could impact our ability to generate profitable loans. We expect we may see tighter competition in the industry as banks seek to take market share in the most profitable customer segments, particularly the small business segment and the mass affluent segment, which offers a rich source of deposits as well as more profitable and less risky customer relationships. Further, with the rebound of the equity markets our deposit customers may perceive alternative investment opportunities as providing superior expected returns. Efforts and initiatives we undertake to retain and increase deposits, including deposit pricing, can increase our costs. When our customers move money into higher yielding deposits or in favor of alternative investments, we can lose a relatively inexpensive source of funds, thus increasing our funding costs.

New technology and other changes are allowing parties to effectuate financial transactions that previously required the involvement of banks. For example, consumers can maintain funds in brokerage accounts or mutual funds that would have historically been held as bank deposits. Consumers can also complete transactions such as paying bills and transferring funds directly without the assistance of banks. The process of eliminating banks as intermediaries, known as “disintermediation,” could result in the loss of fee income, as well as the loss of customer deposits and the related income generated from those deposits. The loss of these revenue streams and access to lower cost deposits as a source of funds could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Increased competition in our markets may result in reduced loans, deposits, and fee income, as well as reduced net interest margin and profitability.  If we are unable to attract and retain banking customers and expand our loan and deposit growth, then we may be unable to continue to grow our business which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We have a continuing competitive need for technological change, and we may not have the resources to effectively implement new technology or we may experience operational challenges when implementing new technology.

The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change with frequent introductions of new, technology-driven products and services. The effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to better serve customers and to reduce costs. Our future success depends, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands, as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations. Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements than we do. As a result, they may be able to offer additional or superior products to those that we will be able to offer, which would put us at a competitive disadvantage.  We may not be able to effectively implement new, technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to our customers. In addition, the implementation of technological changes and upgrades to maintain current systems and

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integrate new ones may also cause service interruptions, transaction processing errors and system conversion delays and may cause us to fail to comply with applicable laws. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry and avoid interruptions, errors and delays could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We expect that new technologies and business processes applicable to the consumer credit industry will continue to emerge, and these new technologies and business processes may be better than those we currently use. Because the pace of technological change is high and our industry is intensely competitive, we may not be able to sustain our investment in new technology as critical systems and applications become obsolete or as better ones become available. A failure to maintain current technology and business processes could cause disruptions in our operations or cause our products and services to be less competitive, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Other Risks Related to Our Business

The costs and effects of litigation, investigations or similar matters, or adverse facts and developments related thereto, could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are and will continue to be involved from time to time in a variety of litigation, investigations or similar matters arising out of our business. It is inherently difficult to assess the outcome of these matters, and we may not prevail in any proceedings or litigation. Any claims and lawsuits, and the disposition of such claims and lawsuits, whether through settlement, or litigation, could be time-consuming and expensive to resolve, divert management attention from executing our business plan, and lead to attempts on the part of other parties to pursue similar claims.  Any claims asserted against us, regardless of merit or eventual outcome may harm our reputation. Any adverse determination related to pending or other litigation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our ability to access markets for funding and acquire and retain customers could be adversely affected by the deterioration of other financial institutions or the financial service industry’s reputation.

Our ability to engage in routine funding transactions could be adversely affected by the actions and commercial soundness of other financial institutions. Financial services companies are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty and other relationships. We have exposure to different industries and counterparties, and through transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks and other institutional clients. As a result, defaults by, or even rumors or questions about, one or more financial services companies, or the financial services industry generally, have led to market-wide liquidity problems and could lead to losses or defaults by us or by other institutions. These losses or defaults could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Severe weather, natural disasters, pandemics, acts of war or terrorism, social unrest and other external events could significantly impact our business.

Severe weather, natural disasters (including fires, earthquakes, and floods), wide spread disease or pandemics (such as COVID-19), acts of war or terrorism, social unrest and other adverse external events could have a significant impact on our ability to conduct business. Such events could affect the stability of our deposit base, impair the ability of borrowers to repay outstanding loans, impair the value of collateral securing loans, cause significant property damage, result in loss of revenue and/or cause us to incur additional expenses. The majority of our branches are located in the San Jose and San Francisco, California areas, which in the past have experienced both severe earthquakes and wildfires. We do not carry earthquake insurance on our properties. Earthquakes, wildfires or other natural disasters could severely disrupt our operations. In addition, our customers and loan collateral may be severely impacted by such events, resulting in losses. Operations in our market could be disrupted by both the evacuation of large portions of the population as well as damage to and/or lack of access to our banking and operation facilities. Although management has established disaster recovery policies and procedures, the occurrence of any such events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Climate change could have a material negative impact on the Company and our customers.

The Company’s business, as well as the operations and activities of our clients, could be negatively impacted by

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climate change. Climate change presents both immediate and long-term risks to the Company and its clients, and these risks are expected to increase over time. Climate change presents multi-faceted risks, including: operational risk from the physical effects of climate events on the Company and its clients’ facilities and other assets; credit risk from borrowers with significant exposure to climate risk; transition risks associated with the transition to a less carbon-dependent economy; and reputational risk from stakeholder concerns about our practices related to climate change, the Company’s carbon footprint, and the Company’s business relationships with clients who operate in carbon-intensive industries.

Federal and state banking regulators and supervisory authorities, investors, and other stakeholders have increasingly viewed financial institutions as important in helping to address the risks related to climate change both directly and with respect to their clients, which may result in financial institutions coming under increased pressure regarding the disclosure and management of their climate risks and related lending and investment activities. Given that climate change could impose systemic risks upon the financial sector, either via disruptions in economic activity resulting from the physical impacts of climate change or changes in policies as the economy transitions to a less carbon-intensive environment, the Company may face regulatory risk of increasing focus on the Company’s resilience to climate-related risks, including in the context of stress testing for various climate stress scenarios. Ongoing legislative or regulatory uncertainties and changes regarding climate risk management and practices may result in higher regulatory, compliance, credit, and reputational risks and costs.

With the increased importance and focus on climate change, we are making efforts to enhance our governance of climate change-related risks and integrate climate considerations into our risk governance framework. Nonetheless, the risks associated with climate change are rapidly changing and evolving in an escalating fashion, making them difficult to assess due to limited data and other uncertainties. We could experience increased expenses resulting from strategic planning, litigation, and technology and market changes, and reputational harm as a result of negative public sentiment, regulatory scrutiny, and reduced investor and stakeholder confidence due to our response to climate change and our climate change strategy, which, in turn, could have a material negative impact on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Finance and Accounting Risks

Accounting estimates and risk management processes rely on analytical models that may prove inaccurate resulting in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The processes we use to estimate probable incurred loan losses and to measure the fair value of financial instruments, as well as the processes used to estimate the effects of changing interest rates and other market measures on our financial condition and results of operations, depends upon the use of analytical models. These models reflect assumptions that may not be accurate, particularly in times of market stress or other unforeseen circumstances. Even if these assumptions are adequate, the models using those assumptions may prove to be inadequate or inaccurate because of other flaws in their design or their implementation. If the models we use for interest rate risk and asset-liability management are inadequate, we may incur increased or unexpected losses upon changes in market interest rates or other market measures. If the models we use for determining our probable loan losses are inadequate, the allowance for credit losses on loans may not be sufficient to support future charge-offs. If the models we use to measure the fair value of financial instruments are inadequate, the fair value of such financial instruments may fluctuate unexpectedly or may not accurately reflect what we could realize upon sale or settlement of such financial instruments. Any such failure in our analytical models could result in losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Changes in accounting standards could materially impact our financial statements.

From time to time, the FASB or the SEC, may change the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. Such changes may result in us being subject to new or changing accounting and reporting standards. In addition, the bodies that interpret the accounting standards (such as banking regulators or outside auditors) may change their interpretations or positions on how these standards should be applied. These changes may be beyond our control, can be hard to predict and can materially impact how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, we could be required to apply a new or revised standard retrospectively, or apply an existing standard differently, also retrospectively, in each case resulting in our needing to revise or restate prior

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period financial statements. Restating or revising our financial statements may result in reputational harm or may have other adverse effects on us.

Failure to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting could have a material adverse effect on our business and stock price.

We are required to comply with the SEC’s rules implementing Sections 302 and 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which will require management to certify financial and other information in our quarterly and annual reports and provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of controls over financial reporting. In particular, we are required to certify our compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires us to furnish annually a report by management on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and our independent registered public accounting firm is required to report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting.

If we identify any material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting or are unable to comply with the requirements of Section 404 in a timely manner or assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an opinion as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, investors, counterparties and customers may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial statements and reports; our liquidity, access to capital markets and perceptions of our creditworthiness could be adversely affected; and the market price of our common stock could decline. In addition, we could become subject to investigations by the stock exchange on which our securities are listed, the SEC, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the DFPI or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources. These events could have a material adverse effect on our business and stock price.

We have significant deferred tax assets and cannot assure that it will be fully realized.

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are the expected future tax amounts for the temporary differences between the carrying amounts and tax basis of assets and liabilities computed using enacted tax rates. We regularly assess available positive and negative evidence to determine whether it is more likely than not that our net deferred tax assets will be realized. Realization of a deferred tax asset requires us to apply significant judgment and is inherently speculative because it requires estimates that cannot be made with certainty. At December 31, 2021, we had a net deferred tax asset of $28.8 million. If we were to determine at some point in the future that we will not achieve sufficient future taxable income to realize our net deferred tax asset, we would be required, under generally accepted accounting principles, to establish a full or partial valuation allowance which would require us to incur a charge to income for the period in which the determination was made.

Risks Related to Legislative and Regulatory Developments

We are subject to extensive government regulation that could limit or restrict our activities, which in turn may adversely impact our ability to increase our assets and earnings.

We operate in a highly regulated environment and are subject to supervision and regulation by a number of governmental regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (“DFPI”) and the FDIC. Regulations adopted by these agencies, which are generally intended to provide protection for depositors and customers rather than for the benefit of shareholders, govern a comprehensive range of matters relating to ownership and control of our shares, our acquisition of other companies and businesses, permissible activities for us to engage in, maintenance of adequate capital levels, and other aspects of our operations. These bank regulators possess broad authority to prevent or remedy unsafe or unsound practices or violations of law. The laws and regulations applicable to the banking industry could change at any time and we cannot predict the effects of these changes on our business, profitability or growth strategy. Increased regulation could increase our cost of compliance and adversely affect profitability. Moreover, certain of these regulations contain significant punitive sanctions for violations, including monetary penalties and limitations on a bank’s ability to implement components of its business plan, such as expansion through mergers and acquisitions or the opening of new branch offices. In addition, changes in regulatory requirements can significantly affect the services that we provide as well as the costs associated with compliance efforts. Furthermore, government policy and regulation, particularly as implemented through the Federal Reserve System, significantly affect credit conditions. Negative developments in the financial industry and the impact of new legislation and regulation in response to those developments could negatively impact our business operations and adversely impact our financial performance.  In

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addition, adverse publicity and damage to our reputation arising from the failure or perceived failure to comply with legal, regulatory or contractual requirements could affect our ability to attract and retain customers.

Legislative and regulatory actions taken now or in the future may impact our business, governance structure, financial condition or results of operations. Proposed legislative and regulatory actions, including changes to financial regulation and the corporate tax law, may not occur on the timeframe that is expected, or at all, which could result in additional uncertainty for our business.

New proposals for legislation continue to be introduced in the U.S. Congress that could substantially increase regulation of the financial services industry, impose restrictions on the operations and general ability of firms within the industry to conduct business consistent with historical practices, including in the areas of compensation, interest rates, financial product offerings and disclosures, and have an effect on bankruptcy proceedings with respect to consumer residential real estate mortgages, among other things. Federal and state regulatory agencies also frequently adopt changes to their regulations or change the manner in which existing regulations are applied.  Presently, in addition to refining existing regulations implemented after the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the banking regulators are also focusing their attention on certain policy areas, such as climate risk, digital currencies, and technological innovation. This new focus may require us to invest significant management attention and resources to evaluate and make any changes required by the legislation and accompanying rules.  

Certain aspects of current or proposed regulatory or legislative changes, including to laws applicable to the financial industry, if enacted or adopted, may impact the profitability of our business activities, require more oversight or change certain of our business practices, including the ability to offer new products, obtain financing, attract deposits, make loans and achieve satisfactory interest spreads, and could expose us to additional costs, including increased compliance costs. These changes also may require us to invest significant management attention and resources to make any necessary changes to operations to comply and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any proposed legislative or regulatory changes, including those that could benefit our business, financial condition and results of operations, may not occur on the timeframe that is proposed, or at all, which could result in additional uncertainty for our business.

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

The Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the DFPI periodically examine our business, including our compliance with laws and regulations. If, as a result of an examination, a banking agency were to determine that our financial condition, capital resources, 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, they may take a number of different remedial actions as they deem 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 money penalties, to fine or 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 an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We face a risk of noncompliance and enforcement action with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations.

The Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot Act and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and to file reports such as suspicious activity reports and currency transaction reports. We are required to comply with these and other anti-money laundering requirements. The federal banking agencies and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network are authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and have recently engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts against banks and other financial services providers with 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

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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.

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 non-discriminatory lending and other requirements on financial institutions. The U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies, including the FDIC and the CFPB, are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. A successful challenge to an institution’s performance under the Community Reinvestment Act, fair lending and other compliance laws and regulations could result in a wide variety of sanctions, including the required payment of damages and civil money penalties, injunctive relief, imposition of restrictions on mergers and acquisitions activity and restrictions on expansion. Private parties may also have the ability to challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in private class action litigation. The costs of defending, and any adverse outcome from, any such challenge could damage our reputation or could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Regulations relating to privacy, information security and data protection could increase our costs, affect or limit how we collect and use personal information.

We are subject to various privacy, information security and data protection laws, including requirements concerning security breach notification, and we could be negatively impacted by these laws. For example, our business is subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 which, among other things: (i) imposes certain limitations on our ability to share nonpublic personal information about our customers with nonaffiliated third parties; (ii) requires that we provide certain disclosures to customers about our information collection, sharing and security practices and afford customers the right to “opt out” of any information sharing by us with nonaffiliated third parties (with certain exceptions); and (iii) requires that we develop, implement and maintain a written comprehensive information security program containing safeguards appropriate based on our size and complexity, the nature and scope of our activities, and the sensitivity of customer information we process, as well as plans for responding to data security breaches. Various state and federal banking regulators and states have also enacted data security breach notification requirements with varying levels of individual, consumer, regulatory or law enforcement notification in certain circumstances in the event of a security breach. Moreover, legislators and regulators in the United States are increasingly adopting or revising privacy, information security and data protection laws that potentially could have a significant impact on our current and planned privacy, data protection and information security-related practices, our collection, use, sharing, retention and safeguarding of consumer or employee information.

Compliance with current or future privacy, data protection and information security laws (including those regarding security breach notification) affecting customer or employee data to which we are subject could result in higher compliance and technology costs and could restrict our ability to provide certain products and services, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our failure to comply with privacy, data protection and information security laws could result in potentially significant regulatory or governmental investigations or actions, litigation, fines, sanctions and damage to our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

An investment in our common stock is not an insured deposit.

An investment in our common stock is not a bank deposit and, therefore, is not insured against loss by the FDIC, any other deposit insurance fund or by any other public or private entity. Investment in our common stock is inherently risky for the reasons described herein, and is subject to the same market forces that affect the price of common stock in any company. As a result, if you acquire our common stock, you could lose some or all of your investment.

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The price of our common stock may fluctuate significantly, and this may make it difficult for you to resell shares of common stock owned by you at times or at prices you find attractive.

The stock market and, in particular, the market for financial institution stocks, has experienced significant volatility. In some cases, the markets have produced downward pressure on stock prices for certain issuers without regard to those issuers’ underlying financial strength. As a result, the trading volume in our common stock may fluctuate more than usual and cause significant price variations to occur.

The trading price of the shares of our common stock will depend on many factors, which may change from time to time and which may be beyond our control, including, without limitation, our financial condition, performance, creditworthiness and prospects, future sales or offerings of our equity or equity related securities, and other factors identified above under “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” contained in this report. These broad market fluctuations have adversely affected and may continue to adversely affect the market price of our common stock some of which are out of our control. Among the factors that could affect our stock price are:

changes in business and economic condition;
actual or anticipated quarterly fluctuations in our operating results and financial condition;
actual occurrence of one or more of the risk factors outlined above;
recommendations by securities analysts or failure to meet, securities analysts’ estimates of our financial and operating performance, or lack of research reports by industry analysts or ceasing of coverage;
speculation in the press or investment community generally or relating to our reputation, our operations, our market area, our competitors or the financial services industry in general;
strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions, restructurings, dispositions or financings;
actions by institutional investors;
fluctuations in the stock price and operating results of our competitors;
future sales of our equity, equity related or debt securities;
proposed or adopted regulatory changes or developments;
anticipated or pending investigations, proceedings, or litigation that involve or affect us;
the level and extent to which we do or are allowed to pay dividends;
trading activities in our common stock, including short selling;
deletion from well-known index or indices;
domestic and international economic factors unrelated to our performance; and
general market conditions and, in particular, developments related to market conditions for the financial services industry.

The trading volume in our common stock is less than that of other larger financial services companies.

Although our common stock is listed for trading on the Nasdaq, its trading volume is less than that of other, larger financial services companies, and investors are not assured that a liquid market will exist at any given time for our common stock. A public trading market having the desired characteristics of depth, liquidity and orderliness depends on the presence

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in the marketplace at any given time of willing buyers and sellers of our common stock. This presence depends on the individual decisions of investors and general economic and market conditions over which we have no control. Given the lower trading volume of our common stock, significant sales of our common stock, or the expectation of these sales, could cause our stock price to fall.

Our dividend policy may change without notice, and our future ability to pay dividends is subject to restrictions.

Historically, our board of directors has declared quarterly dividends on our common stock. However, we have no obligation to continue doing so and may change our dividend policy at any time without notice to holders of our common stock. Holders of our common stock are only entitled to receive such cash dividends as our board of directors, in its discretion, may declare out of funds legally available for such payments. Furthermore, consistent with our strategic plans, growth initiatives, capital availability, projected liquidity needs, and other factors, we have made, and will continue to make, capital management decisions and policies that could adversely impact the amount of dividends paid to holders of our common stock.

HCC is a separate and distinct legal entity from HBC. We receive substantially all of our revenue from dividends paid to us by HBC, which we use as the principal source of funds to pay our expenses and to pay dividends to our shareholders, if any. Various federal and/or state laws and regulations limit the amount of dividends that HBC may pay us. If the HBC does not receive regulatory approval or does not maintain a level of capital sufficient to permit it to make dividend payments to us while maintaining adequate capital levels, our ability to pay our expenses and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely impacted.

As a bank holding company, we are subject to regulation by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve has indicated that bank holding companies should carefully review their dividend policy in relation to the organization’s overall asset quality, current and prospective earnings and level, composition and quality of capital. The guidance provides that we inform and consult with the Federal Reserve prior to declaring and paying a dividend that exceeds earnings for the period for which the dividend is being paid or that could result in an adverse change to our capital structure, including interest on our debt obligations. If required payments on our debt obligations are not made or are deferred, or dividends on any preferred stock we may issue are not paid, we will be prohibited from paying dividends on our common stock.

The Capital Rules also introduced a new capital conservation buffer on top of the minimum risk-based capital ratios. Failure to maintain a capital conservation buffer above certain levels will result in restrictions on the Company’s ability to make dividend payments, redemptions or other capital distributions. These requirements, and any other new regulations or capital distribution constraints, could adversely affect the ability of the Company to pay dividends to HCC and, in turn, affect our ability to pay dividends on our common stock.

We have limited the circumstances in which our directors will be liable for monetary damages.

We have included in our articles of incorporation a provision to eliminate the liability of directors for monetary damages to the maximum extent permitted by California law. The effect of this provision will be to reduce the situations in which we or our shareholders will be able to seek monetary damages from our directors.

Our bylaws also have a provision providing for indemnification of our directors and executive officers and advancement of litigation expenses to the fullest extent permitted or required by California law, including circumstances in which indemnification is otherwise discretionary. Also, we have entered into agreements with our officers and directors in which we similarly agreed to provide indemnification that is otherwise discretionary. Such indemnification may be available for liabilities arising in connection with future offerings.

Future equity issuances could result in dilution, which could cause our common stock price to decline.

We are generally not restricted from issuing additional shares of our common stock, up to the 100 million shares of voting common stock and 10 million shares of preferred stock authorized in our articles of incorporation (subject to Nasdaq shareholder approval rules), which in each case could be increased by a vote of a majority of our shares. We may issue additional shares of our common stock in the future pursuant to current or future equity compensation plans, upon conversions of preferred stock or debt, upon exercise of warrants or in connection with future acquisitions or financings. If we choose to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock for any reason, the issuance would have a dilutive

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effect on the holders of our common stock and could have a material negative effect on the market price of our common stock.

We may issue shares of preferred stock in the future, which could make it difficult for another company to acquire us or could otherwise adversely affect holders of our common stock, which could depress the price of our common stock.

Although there are currently no shares of our preferred stock issued and outstanding, our articles of incorporation authorize us to issue up to 10 million shares of one or more series of preferred stock. The board also has the power, without shareholder approval (subject to Nasdaq shareholder approval rules), to set the terms of any series of preferred stock that may be issued, including voting rights, dividend rights, preferences over our common stock with respect to dividends or in the event of a dissolution, liquidation or winding up and other terms. In the event that we issue preferred stock in the future that has preference over our common stock with respect to payment of dividends or upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, or if we issue preferred stock with voting rights that dilute the voting power of our common stock, the rights of the holders of our common stock or the market price of our common stock could be adversely affected. In addition, the ability of our board of directors to issue shares of preferred stock without any action on the part of our shareholders may impede a takeover of us and prevent a transaction perceived to be favorable to our shareholders.

The holders of our debt obligations will have priority over our common stock with respect to payment in the event of liquidation, dissolution or winding up and with respect to the payment of interest and dividends.

The holders of our debt obligations will have priority over our common stock with respect to payment in the event of liquidation, dissolution or winding up and with respect to the payment of interest and dividends.

In any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, our common stock would rank below all claims of the holders of outstanding debt issued by the Company. As of December 31, 2021, we had $40.0 million principal amount of subordinated notes outstanding due June 1, 2027. In such event, holders of our common stock would not be entitled to receive any payment or other distribution of assets upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company until after all of the Company’s obligations to the debt holders were satisfied and holders of the subordinated debt had received any payment or distribution due to them. In addition, we are required to pay interest on the subordinated notes and if we are in default in the payment of interest we would not be able to pay any dividends on our common stock.

Provisions in our charter documents and California law may have an anti-takeover effect, and there are substantial regulatory limitations on changes of control of bank holding companies.

Our articles of incorporation and bylaws contain a number of provisions relating to corporate governance and rights of shareholders that might discourage future takeover attempts. As a result, shareholders who might desire to participate in such transactions may not have an opportunity to do so. In addition, these provisions will also render the removal of our board of directors or management more difficult. Such provisions include a requirement that shareholder approval for any action proposed by the Company must be obtained at a shareholders meeting and may not be obtained by written consent.  Our bylaws provide that shareholders seeking to make nominations of candidates for election as directors, or to bring other business before an annual meeting of the shareholders, must provide timely notice of their intent in writing and follow specific procedural steps in order for nominees or shareholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting.

Provisions of our charter documents and the California General Corporation Law, or the CGCL, could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so would be perceived to be beneficial by our shareholders. Furthermore, with certain limited exceptions, federal regulations prohibit a person or company or a group of persons deemed to be “acting in concert” from, directly or indirectly, acquiring more than 10% (5% if the acquirer is a bank holding company) of any class of our voting stock or obtaining the ability to control in any manner the election of a majority of our directors or otherwise direct the management or policies of our company without prior notice or application to and the approval of the Federal Reserve. Under the California Financial Code, no person may, directly or indirectly, acquire control of a California state bank or its holding company unless the DFPI has approved such acquisition of control. A person would be deemed to have acquired control of HBC if such person, directly or indirectly, has the power (i) to vote 25% or more of the voting power of HBC or (ii) to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of HBC. For purposes of this law, a person who directly or indirectly owns or controls 10% or more of our outstanding common stock would be presumed to control HBC. Accordingly, prospective investors need to be aware of and comply with these requirements, if applicable, in connection with any purchase of shares of our common stock. Moreover, the combination

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of these provisions effectively inhibits certain mergers or other business combinations, which, in turn, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

ITEM 1B — UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2 — PROPERTIES

The main and executive offices of Heritage Commerce Corp and Heritage Bank of Commerce are located at 224 Airport Parkway in San Jose, California 95110, with branch offices located at 15575 Los Gatos Boulevard in Los Gatos, California 95032, at 3137 Stevenson Boulevard in Fremont, California 94538, at 387 Diablo Road in Danville, California 94526, at 300 Main Street in Pleasanton, California 94566, at 1990 N. California Boulevard in Walnut Creek, California 94596, at 1987 First Street in Livermore, California 94550, at 18625 Sutter Boulevard in Morgan Hill, California 95037, at 7598 Monterey Street in Gilroy, California 95020, at 351 Tres Pinos Road in Hollister, California 95023, at 419 S. San Antonio Road in Los Altos, California 94022, at 333 W. El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, California 94087, at 325 Lytton Avenue in Palo Alto, California 94301, at 400 S. El Camino Real in San Mateo, California, 94402, at 2400 Broadway in Redwood City, California 94063, at 120 Kearny Street in San Francisco, California 94108, at 999 5th Avenue in San Rafael, California 94901 and at 1111 Broadway in Oakland, California 94607. Bay View Funding’s administrative offices are located at 224 Airport Parkway, San Jose, California 95110.

Main Offices

The main office of HBC, the San Jose branch office of HBC and the Bay View Funding administrative office are located at 224 Airport Parkway in San Jose, consisting of approximately 54,910 square feet in a six-story Class-A type office building, which are subject to a direct lease dated June 27, 2019, which expires on July 31, 2030. The current monthly rent is $209,714, subject to 3% annual increases.

Branch Offices

In June of 2007, as part of the acquisition of Diablo Valley Bank, the Company took ownership of an 8,285 square foot one-story commercial office building, including the land, located at 387 Diablo Road in Danville, California.

In February 2020, the Company renewed its lease for approximately 3,172 square feet in a one-story multi-tenant multi-use building located at 3137 Stevenson Boulevard in Fremont, California. The monthly rent payment is $10,432, subject to annual increases of 3% until the lease expires on February 29, 2024. The Company has reserved the right to extend the term of the lease for one additional period of three years.

In July of 2017, the Company extended its lease for approximately 5,213 square feet on the first floor in a two-story multi-tenant office building located at 419 S. San Antonio Road in Los Altos, California. The current monthly rent payment is $31,037, subject to annual increases of 3% until the lease expires on April 30, 2023.

In March of 2018, the Company extended its lease for approximately 3,022 square feet on the first floor of a three-story multi-tenant office building located at 333 West El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, California. The current monthly rent payment is $18,255, subject to annual increases of 3% until the lease expires on May 31, 2023.

In May of 2018, as part of the acquisition of United American Bank, the Company assumed a lease for approximately 2,369 square feet on the first floor of a two-story multi-tenant multi-use building located at 2400 Broadway in Redwood City, California. The current monthly rent payment is $14,398 until the lease expires on October 31, 2022. The Company has reserved the right to extend the lease for one additional period of two years.

In November of 2018, the Company extended its lease for approximately 1,920 square feet in a one-story stand-alone building located in an office complex at 15575 Los Gatos Boulevard in Los Gatos, California. The current monthly rent payment is $7,343, subject to annual increases of 3% until the lease expires on November 30, 2023. The Company has reserved the right to extend the term of the lease for one additional period of five years.

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In May of 2019, the Company amended its lease for approximately 4,096 square feet in a one-story stand-alone office building located at 300 Main Street in Pleasanton, California. The current monthly rent payment is $21,722, subject to 3% annual increases until the lease expires on April 30, 2026. The Company has reserved the right to extend the term of the lease for two additional periods of five years.  

In June of 2019, the Company exercised its right to extend the lease term for an additional five years for approximately 3,391 square feet in a two-story multi-tenant commercial center located at 351 Tres Pinos in Hollister, California. The current monthly rent payment is $5,061, subject to 3% annual increases until the lease expires on June 30, 2024.

In August of 2019, the Company renewed a lease for approximately 3,772 square feet on the first and second floors in a two-story multi-tenant multi-use building located at 1987 First Street in Livermore, California. The current monthly rent payment is $9,045, until the lease expires on September 30, 2024. The Company has reserved the right to extend the term of the lease for one additional period of five years.  

In October of 2019, also as part of the acquisition of Presidio Bank, the Company assumed a lease for approximately 4,188 square feet on the first floor in a multi-tenant office building located at 999 5th Avenue in San Rafael, California. The current monthly rent payment is $19,672 until the lease expires on November 30, 2022. The Company has reserved the right to extend the lease for one additional period of five years.

In October of 2019, also as part of the acquisition of Presidio Bank, the Company assumed a lease for approximately 4,154 square feet on the first floor in a multi-tenant office building located at 325 Lytton Avenue in Palo Alto, California. The current monthly rent payment is $39,773, subject to annual increases of 3% until the lease expires January 31, 2025. The Company has reserved the right to extend the lease for one additional period of five years.

In October of 2019, also as part of the acquisition of Presidio Bank, the Company assumed a lease for approximately 7,029 square feet on the first floor in a multi-tenant office building located at 1990 N. California Boulevard in Walnut Creek, California. The current monthly rent payment is $28,889, subject to annual increases of 3% until the lease expires December 31, 2027. The Company has reserved the right to extend the lease for one additional period of five years.

In October of 2019, also as part of the acquisition of Presidio Bank, the Company assumed a lease for approximately 3,063 square feet on the first floor in a multi-tenant office building located at 400 S. Camino Real in San Mateo, California expiring on October 31,2024.  In January 2020, The Company amended the lease expiration date to October 31, 2030 and executed a new lease for an additional space on the tenth floor for approximately 5,023 square feet. The current monthly rent payment for the combined space of approximately 8,086 square feet is $58,202, subject to annual increases of 3% until the lease expires October 31, 2030. The Company has reserved the right to extend the lease for one additional period of five years.

In January of 2021, the Company amended and extended its lease for approximately 6,233 square feet on the twenty third floor in a multi-tenant office building located at 120 Kearny Street in San Francisco, California. The current monthly rent payment is $44,150, subject to annual increases of 3% until the lease expires on March 31, 2026. The Company has reserved the right to extend the term of the lease for one additional period or five years.

In May of 2021, the Company extended its lease for approximately 4,716 square feet in a one-story multi-tenant office building located at 18625 Sutter Boulevard in Morgan Hill, California. The current monthly rent payment is $5,895, subject to annual increases of 2% until the lease expires on October 31, 2026. The Company has reserved the right to extend the term of the lease for one additional period of five years.

In May of 2021, the Company extended its lease for approximately 2,505 square feet on the first floor in a three-story multi-tenant multi-use building located at 7598 Monterey Street in Gilroy, California. The current monthly rent payment is $5,926 until the lease expires on September 30, 2023. The Company has reserved the right to extend the term of the lease for one additional period of 2 years.

In December of 2021, the Company entered into a new lease agreement for approximately 4,099 square feet on the sixteenth floor in a multi-tenant office building located at 1111 Broadway in Oakland, CA. The estimated commencement date of the lease is July 1, 2022. The starting rent will be $23,569, subject to annual increases of 3% until

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the lease expires on June 30, 2029. The Company has reserved the right to extend the term of the lease for one additional period of five years.

Bay View Funding Office

The Bay View Funding administrative office is located at 224 Airport Parkway in San Jose, California, consisting of approximately 7,849 square feet and is subject to a sublease with Heritage Bank of Commerce dated March 6, 2020. The current monthly rent payment is $29,977, which is included in the main office of HBC’s total rent of $209,714, subject to 3% annual increases until the sublease expires July 31, 2030.

For additional information on operating leases and rent expense, refer to Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements following “Item 15 — Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules.”

ITEM 3 — LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

We evaluate all claims and lawsuits with respect to their potential merits, our potential defenses and counterclaims, settlement or litigation potential and the expected effect on us. The outcome of any claims or litigation, regardless of the merits, is inherently uncertain. Any claims and other lawsuits, and the disposition of such claims and lawsuits, whether through settlement or litigation, could be time-consuming and expensive to resolve, divert our attention from executing our business plan, result in efforts to enjoin our activities, and  lead to attempts by third parties to seek similar claims.

For more information regarding legal proceedings, see Note 16 “Commitments and Contingencies” to the consolidated financial statements.

ITEM 4 — MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable.

PART II

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

Market Information

The Company’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “HTBK.”

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The information in the following table for 2021 and 2020 indicates the high and low closing prices for the common stock, based upon information provided by the NASDAQ Global Select Market and cash dividend payment for each quarter presented.

Stock Price

Dividend

 

Quarter

    

High

    

Low

    

Per Share

 

Year ended December 31, 2021:

  

  

  

Fourth quarter

$

12.34

$

10.78

$

0.13

Third quarter

$

11.76

$

10.66

$

0.13

Second quarter

$

12.45

$

10.98

$

0.13

First quarter

$

12.22

$

8.69

$

0.13

Year ended December 31, 2020:

  

  

  

Fourth quarter

$

9.33

$

6.67

$

0.13

Third quarter

$

7.69

$

6.20

$

0.13

Second quarter

$

9.36

$

6.74

$

0.13

First quarter

$

12.80

$

6.45

$

0.13

The closing price of our common stock on February 10, 2022 was $12.08 per share as reported by the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

As of February 10, 2022, there were approximately 846 holders of record of common stock. There are no other classes of common equity outstanding.

Dividend Policy

The amount of future dividends will depend upon our earnings, financial condition, capital requirements and other factors, and will be determined by our Board of Directors on a quarterly basis. It is Federal Reserve policy that bank holding companies generally pay dividends on common stock only out of income available over the past year, and only if prospective earnings retention is consistent with the organization’s expected future needs and financial condition. It is also Federal Reserve policy that bank holding companies not maintain dividend levels that undermine the holding company’s ability to be a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries. Additionally, in consideration of the current financial and economic environment, the Federal Reserve has indicated that bank holding companies should carefully review their dividend policy and has discouraged payment ratios that are at maximum allowable levels unless both asset quality and capital are very strong. Under the federal Prompt Corrective Action regulations, the Federal Reserve or the FDIC may prohibit a bank holding company from paying any dividends if the holding company’s bank subsidiary is classified as undercapitalized.

As a holding company, our ability to pay cash dividends is affected by the ability of our bank subsidiary, HBC, to pay cash dividends. The ability of HBC (and our ability) to pay cash dividends in the future and the amount of any such cash dividends is and could be in the future further influenced by bank regulatory requirements and approvals and capital guidelines.

The decision whether to pay dividends will be made by our board of directors in light of conditions then existing, including factors such as our results of operations, financial condition, business conditions, regulatory capital requirements and covenants under any applicable contractual arrangements, including agreements with regulatory authorities.

For information on the statutory and regulatory limitations on the ability of the Company to pay dividends and on HBC to pay dividends to HCC see “Item 1 — Business — Supervision and Regulation — Heritage Commerce Corp – Dividend Payments, Stock Redemptions, and Repurchases and – Heritage Bank of Commerce – Dividend Payments.

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Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

The following table provides information as of December 31, 2021 regarding equity compensation plans under which equity securities of the Company were authorized for issuance:

Number of securities

remaining available for

Number of securities to

Weighted average

future issuance under

be issued upon exercise of

exercise price of

equity compensation plans

outstanding options,

outstanding options,

(excluding securities

warrants and rights

warrants and rights

reflected in column (a))

 

    

(a)

    

(b)

    

(c)

 

Equity compensation plans approved by

security holders

 

2,584,632

(1)

$

10.00

 

1,947,571

(2)

Equity compensation plans not approved by

security holders

 

N/A

 

N/A

 

N/A

(1)Consists of 189,393 options to acquire shares under the Company’s Amended and Restated 2004 Equity Plan, 1,845,366 options to acquire shares under the Company’s 2013 Equity Incentive Plan, and the aggregate amount of 549,873 stock options assumed from the Presidio stock option and equity incentive plans.
(2)Available under the Company’s 2013 Equity Incentive Plan.

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Performance Graph

The following graph compares the stock performance of the Company from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2021, to the performance of several specific industry indices. The performance of the S&P 500 Index, NASDAQ Stock Index and NASDAQ Bank Stocks were used as comparisons to the Company’s stock performance. Management believes that a performance comparison to these indices provides meaningful information and has therefore included those comparisons in the following graph.

Graphic

The following chart compares the stock performance of the Company from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2021, to the performance of several specific industry indices. The performance of the S&P 500 Index, NASDAQ Stock Index and NASDAQ Bank Stocks were used as comparisons to the Company’s stock performance.

Period Ending

Index

    

12/31/16

    

12/31/17

    

12/31/18

    

12/31/19

12/31/20

    

12/31/21

Heritage Commerce Corp *

100

106

79

89

61

83

S&P 500 *

 

100

119

112

144

168

213

NASDAQ - Total US*

 

100

128

123

167

239

291

NASDAQ Bank Index*

 

100

104

85

103

92

129

*

Source: S&P Global — (434) 977-1600

ITEM 6 — [RESERVED]

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

The following discussion provides information about the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, and capital resources of Heritage Commerce Corp (the “Company” or “HCC”), its wholly-owned subsidiary, Heritage Bank of Commerce (the “Bank” or “HBC”), and HBC’s wholly-owned subsidiary, CSNK Working Capital Finance Corp, a California Corporation, dba Bay View Funding. This information is intended to facilitate the understanding and assessment of significant changes and trends related to our financial condition and the results of operations. This discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes presented elsewhere in this report. Unless we state otherwise or the context indicates otherwise, references to the “Company,” “Heritage,” “we,” “us,” and “our,” in this Report on Form 10-K refer to Heritage Commerce Corp and its subsidiaries.

The Company completed its acquisition of Bay View Funding on November 1, 2014. The Company completed its merger with Focus Business Bank (“Focus”) on August 20, 2015. The Company completed its merger with Tri-Valley Bank (“Tri-Valley”) on April 6, 2018, and the Company completed its merger with United American Bank (“United American”) on May 4, 2018.  The Company completed its merger with Presidio Bank (“Presidio”) on October 11, 2019 (the “Presidio merger date”). These mergers are discussed in more detail below, and in Notes 1, 8, and 9 to the consolidated financial statements.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in accordance with the accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“U.S. GAAP”) requires management to make a number of judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amount of assets, liabilities, income and expense in the financial statements. Various elements of our accounting policies, by their nature, involve the application of highly sensitive and judgmental estimates and assumptions. Some of these policies and estimates relate to matters that are highly complex and contain inherent uncertainties. It is possible that, in some instances, different estimates and assumptions could reasonably have been made and used by management, instead of those we applied, which might have produced different results that could have had a material effect on the financial statements.

Our most significant accounting policies are described in Note 1 — Summary of Significant Accounting Policies in the consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K. Certain of these accounting policies require management to use significant judgment and estimates, which can have a material impact on the carrying value of certain assets and liabilities, and we consider these policies to be our critical accounting estimates. The judgment and assumptions made are based upon historical experience, future forecasts, or other factors that management believes to be reasonable under the circumstances. Because of the nature of the judgment and assumptions, actual results could differ from estimates, which could have a material effect on our financial condition and results of operations. The following accounting policies materially affect our reported earnings and financial condition and require significant judgments and estimates. Management has reviewed these critical accounting estimates and related disclosures with our Board of Directors’ Audit Committee.

Allowance for Credit Losses on Loans (“ACLL”)

As a result of our January 1, 2020, adoption of Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-13, Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, and its related amendments, our methodology for estimating the allowance for credit losses changed significantly from December 31, 2019. The standard replaced the “incurred loss” method with an “expected loss” method known as current expected credit loss (“CECL”). See Note 4 – Loans and Allowance for Credit Losses on Loans to the consolidated financial statements and the “Allowance for Credit Losses on Loans” section for more information on the ACLL.

The allowance for credit losses on loans represents management’s estimate of all expected credit losses over the expected contractual life of the loan portfolio. The ACLL is a valuation amount that is deducted from the amortized cost basis of loans, and is adjusted each period by an expense or credit for credit losses, which is recognized in earnings, and reduced by loan charge-offs, net of recoveries. Determining the appropriateness of the ACLL is complex and requires judgement by management about inherently uncertain factors.

Management utilizes a discounted cash flow methodology to estimate the ACLL. Expected cash flows are

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estimated for each loan and discounted using the contractual terms of the loan, calculated probabilities of default, loss given default, prepayment and curtailment estimates as well as qualitative factors. The probability of default estimates are generated using a regression models used to estimate the likelihood of a loan being charged-off within the life of the loan. The regression model uses combinations of variables to assess historical loss correlations to economic factors and these variables become model forecast inputs for economic factors that are updated in the model each period.  The Bank uses an economic forecast provided by a third-party for these model inputs. These economic factors included variables such as California state gross product, California unemployment rate, California home price index, and a commercial real estate value index. Qualitative factors are also applied by management to reflect increased portfolio risks from such factors as collateral value risk, portfolio growth, or loan grade and performance trends that management has assessed as not being fully captured in the quantitative estimate.

The ACLL represents management’s best estimate of potential loan losses, but significant changes in prevailing economic conditions could result in material changes in the allowance. Generally, an improving economic forecast generates a lower ACLL estimate than a weakening economic forecast. One of the most significant judgments used in estimating the ACLL is the reasonable and supportable macroeconomic forecast for the economic factors used in the model. Changes in the macroeconomic forecast, especially for California state gross product and the California unemployment rate, could significantly impact the calculated estimated credit loss.  The economic forecast utilized for the ACLL model input is inherently uncertain and many external factors could impact these forecasts.  Management reviews the forecast inputs to ensure they are reasonable and supportable, however, changes in local and national economic conditions will impact the allowance level and an increase in the California unemployment rate specifically would have the largest impact on the allowance level. While management utilizes its best judgement and current information available, the adequacy of the ACLL is significantly determined by certain factors outside the Company’s control, such as such as the performance of our loan portfolio, changes in the economic environment including economic uncertainty, changes in interest rates, and any regulatory changes.  Additionally, the level of ACLL may fluctuate based on the balance and mix of the loan portfolio.

Qualitative factors are evaluated each period and applied in instances when management assesses that additional risks not captured in the quantitative estimate should be factored into the overall ACLL estimate.  These risks include loan performance trends, collateral value risk and portfolio growth characteristics.  Changes in the assessment of these qualitative factors could significantly impact the calculated estimated credit loss.  

Other key assumptions in the calculation of the ACLL include the forecast and reversion to mean time periods for the economic factor inputs, and prepayment and curtailment assumptions. The model calculation is less sensitive to these assumptions than to the macroeconomic forecast and the application of qualitative factors.

Executive Summary

This summary is intended to identify the most important matters on which management focuses when it evaluates the financial condition and performance of the Company. When evaluating financial condition and performance management looks at certain key metrics and measures. The Company’s evaluation includes comparisons with peer group financial institutions and its own performance objectives established in the internal planning process.

The primary activity of the Company is commercial banking. The Company’s operations are located in the general San Francisco Bay Area of California in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. The Company’s market includes the cities of Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose and the headquarters of a number of technology based companies in the region known commonly as Silicon Valley. The Company’s customers are primarily closely held businesses and professionals.

Performance Overview

For the year ended December 31, 2021, net income was $47.7 million, or $0.79 per average diluted common share, compared to $35.3 million, or $0.59 per average diluted common share, for the year ended December 31, 2020, and $40.5 million, or $0.84 per average diluted common share for the year ended December 31, 2019. The Company’s annualized return on average tangible assets was 0.96% and annualized return on average tangible equity was 11.86% for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to 0.83% and 9.04%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2020, and 1.25% and 13.09%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2019.

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Earnings for the year ended December 31, 2021 included a pre-tax $4.0 million reserve for litigation expense that was recorded during the second quarter of 2021, partially offset by a pre-tax $3.1 million negative provision for credit losses on loans.  Earnings for the year end December 31, 2020, were impacted by the effect of a $13.2 million pre-tax provision for potential credit losses on loans, incorporating the forecasted effects on economic activity from the Coronavirus pandemic, and $2.6 million of pre-tax merger-related costs related to the merger with Presidio. Earnings for the year ended December 31, 2019 were reduced by pre-tax merger-related costs of $11.1 million related to the merger with Presidio. Pre-tax earnings for the year ended December 31, 2019 were further reduced by an additional $2.0 million of provision for loan losses for certain non-impaired loans acquired at a premium from Presidio.  

Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”)

In response to economic stimulus laws passed by Congress in 2020 and 2021, the Bank funded two rounds of SBA PPP loans. At December 31, 2021, after accounting for loan payoffs and SBA loan forgiveness, Round 1 PPP loans were $1.7 million and Round 2 PPP loans were $87.0 million. In total, the Bank had $88.7 million in outstanding PPP loan balances at December 31, 2021. The following table shows interest income, fee income and deferred origination costs generated by the PPP loans, and the PPP loan outstanding balances and related deferred fees and costs for the periods indicated:

At or For the Quarter Ended:

 

At or For the Year Ended:

    

December 31, 

    

September 30, 

    

December 31, 

 

December 31, 

    

December 31, 

PPP Loans

2021

2021

2020

 

2021

2020

(Dollars in thousands)

Interest income

$

318

$

548

$

787

$

2,481

$

2,185

Fee income, net

2,211

2,508

1,935

9,995

3,877

Total

$

2,529

$

3,056

$

2,722

$

12,476

$

6,062

PPP loans outstanding at period end:

Round 1

$

1,717

$

5,795

$

290,679

$

1,717

$

290,679

Round 2

87,009

158,711

87,009

Total

$

88,726

$

164,506

$

290,679

$

88,726

$

290,679

Deferred fees outstanding at period end

$

(2,342)

$

(4,831)

$

(6,819)

$

(2,342)

$

(6,819)

Deferred costs outstanding at period end

189

461

783

189

783

Total

$

(2,153)

$

(4,370)

$

(6,036)

$

(2,153)

$

(6,036)

Presidio Merger

The Company completed its merger of its wholly-owned bank subsidiary Heritage Bank of Commerce with Presidio effective October 11, 2019 (the “merger date”). Presidio’s results of operations were included in the Company’s results of operations beginning October 12, 2019. The Presidio systems and integration conversion was successfully completed in the first quarter of 2020.  Merger-related costs reduced pre-tax earnings by $2.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $11.1 million for year ended December 31, 2019.

Presidio was a full-service California state-chartered commercial bank headquartered in San Francisco with branches in Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Mateo, San Rafael, and Walnut Creek, California.  

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Factoring Activities - Bay View Funding

    

2021

    

2020

 

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Total factored receivables at period-end

$

53,229

$

47,201

Average factored receivables

for the year ended

$

52,618

$

45,765

Total full time equivalent employees at period-end

 

31

 

31

2021 Highlights

The following are major factors that impacted the Company’s results of operations:

Net interest income, before the provision for credit losses on loans, increased 3% to $146.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to $141.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to higher interest and fees recognized from PPP loans, higher loan prepayment fees, an increase in the accretion of the loan discount into loan interest income from acquired loans, and lower costs of deposits, partially offset by decreases in the prime rate, and decreases in the yield on investment securities and overnight funds. The higher fees recognized into income on PPP loans for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily resulted from the accelerated forgiveness of the PPP loans by the SBA.
The fully tax equivalent (“FTE”) net interest margin contracted 45 basis points to 3.05% for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to 3.50% for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to declines in the average yield on loans, investment securities, and overnight funds, and a shift in the mix of earning asserts toward lower yielding shorter term investments, partially offset by a decline in the cost of interest-bearing liabilities.
The average yield on the total loan portfolio decreased to 5.03% for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to 5.06% for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to a decline in the average yield on core bank loans, increases in the average balances of lower yielding purchased residential mortgages, partially offset by increases in interest and fees on PPP loans, higher loan prepayment fees, and an increase in the accretion of the loan purchase discount into loan interest income from acquired loans.  The higher fees recognized into income on PPP loans for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily resulted from the accelerated fee income recognition resulting from forgiveness of the PPP loans by the SBA.

In aggregate, the original total net purchase discount on loans from the Focus, Tri-Valley, United American, and Presidio loan portfolio was $25.2 million.  In aggregate, the remaining net purchase discount on total loans acquired was $7.3 million at December 31, 2021.
The average cost of deposits was 0.11% for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to 0.17% for the year ended December 31, 2020.
There was a $3.1 million negative provision for credit losses on loans for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to a $13.2 million provision for loan losses for the year ended December 31, 2020.
The higher provision for credit losses on loans for the year ended December 31, 2020 was driven primarily by a significantly deteriorating economic outlook resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic.  Ongoing impacts of the CECL methodology will be dependent upon changes in economic conditions and forecasts, originated and acquired loan portfolio composition, portfolio duration, and other factors.
Noninterest income was $9.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to $9.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to lower service charges and fees on deposit accounts and servicing income during 2021, and a $791,000 gain on disposition of foreclosed assets, a $449,000 gain on warrants, and a $277,000 gain on the sale of securities during 2020.  These decreases were partially offset by

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a higher gain on sales of SBA loans, higher termination fees at Bay View Funding, and a $675,000 gain on proceeds from company owned life insurance during 2021.
Noninterest expense for the year ended December 31, 2021 increased to $93.1 million, compared to $89.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to a $4.0 million reserve for a litigation matter that settled in the second quarter of 2021.
The following table reflects pre-tax merger-related costs resulting from the mergers for the periods indicated:

For the Year Ended

December 31, 

December 31, 

 

December 31, 

2021

2020

 

2019

(Dollars in thousands)

Salaries and employee benefits

$

$

356

$

6,580

Other

27

2,245

4,500

Total merger-related costs

$

27

$

2,601

$

11,080

The efficiency ratio for the year ended December 31, 2021 increased to 59.74%, compared to 58.96% for the year ended December 31, 2020.
Income tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $18.2 million, compared to $13.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2021 was 27.6%, compared to 28.1% for the year ended December 31, 2020.

The following are important factors in understanding our current financial condition and liquidity position:

Cash, interest bearing deposits in other financial institutions and securities available-for-sale, at fair value, increased 3% to $1.408 billion at December 31, 2021, from $1.367 billion at December 31, 2020.
Securities held-to-maturity, at amortized cost, totaled $658.4 million at December 31, 2021, compared to $297.4 million at December 31, 2020.
Loans, excluding loans held-for-sale, increased $468.1 million, or 18%, to $3.087 billion at December 31, 2021, compared to $2.619 billion at December 31, 2020.  
Total loans at December 31, 2021, included $88.7 million of PPP loans, compared to $290.7 million at December 31, 2020.  Total loans at December 31, 2021 included $416.7 million of residential mortgages, compared to $85.1 million at December 31, 2020.  The increase of residential mortgages at December 31, 2021 was primarily due to purchased loan portfolios.  Loans, excluding loans held-for-sale, PPP loans and residential mortgages, increased $334.6 million, or 15%, to $2.584 billion at December 31, 2021, compared to $2.250 billion at December 31, 2020.
Nonperforming assets (“NPAs”) were $3.7 million, or 0.07% of total assets at December 31, 2021, compared to $7.9 million, or 0.17% of total assets at December 31, 2020.
Classified assets were $33.8 million. Or 0.62% of total assets, at December 31, 2021, compared to $34.0 million, or 0.73% of total assets, at December 31, 2020.
Net recoveries totaled $2.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared to net charge-offs of $688,000 for the year ended December 31, 2020.
The ACLL at December 31, 2021, was $43.3 million, or 1.40% of total loans, representing 1,158.11% of nonperforming loans. The ACLL at December 31, 2020, was $44.4 million, or 1.70% of total loans, representing 564.24% of nonperforming loans.  

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Total deposits increased $844.9 million, or 22%, to $4.759 billion at December 31, 2021, compared to $3.914 billion at December 31, 2020.  
Deposits, excluding all time deposits and CDARS deposits, increased $845.9 million, or 23%, to $4.588 billion at December 31, 2021, compared to $3.742 billion at December 31, 2020.
The ratio of noncore funding (which consists of time deposits of $250,000 and over, CDARS deposits, brokered deposits, securities under agreement to repurchase, subordinated debt and short-term borrowings) to total assets was 3.14% at December 31, 2021, compared to 3.61% at December 31, 2020.
The loan to deposit ratio was 64.87% at December 31, 2021, compared to 66.91% at December 31, 2020.
The Company’s consolidated capital ratios exceeded regulatory guidelines and the Bank’s capital ratios exceeded regulatory guidelines for a well-capitalized financial institution under the Basel III regulatory requirements at December 31, 2021.

The loan to deposit ratio was 64.87% at December 31, 2021, compared to 66.91% at December 31, 2020.The Company’s consolidated capital ratios exceeded regulatory guidelines and the Bank’s capital ratios exceeded the regulatory guidelines for a well-capitalized financial institution under the Basel III regulatory requirements at December 31, 2021.