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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
_______________________________ 
FORM 10-K
_______________________________________ 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from ______ to ______


Commission File Number 000-50245
 ________________________________________

HOPE BANCORP, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
_________________________________________
Delaware95-4849715
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

3200 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, California 90010
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)
(213639-1700
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Common Stock, par value $0.001 per shareHOPENASDAQ Global Select Market
(Title of class)(Trading symbol)(Name of exchange on which registered)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None 
_________________________________________________
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
 Yes   No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).     Yes      No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller 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 based upon the closing sale price of the common stock as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, June 30, 2020, as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, was approximately $1,088,002,311.
Number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s common stock as of February 19, 2021: 123,268,585
Documents Incorporated by Reference: The information required in Part III, Items 10 through 14 is incorporated herein by reference to the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year end.




Hope Bancorp, Inc.

Form 10-K
For the Year Ended December 31, 2020

Table of Contents
Page
Forward-Looking Information
PART I
Item 1.Business
Item 1A.Risk Factors
Item 1B.Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2.Properties
Item 3.Legal Proceedings
Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II
Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6.Selected Financial Data
Item 7.Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A.Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk
Item 8.Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9.Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A.Controls and Procedures
Item 9B.Other Information
PART III
Item 10.Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11.Executive Compensation
Item 12.Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13.Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14.Principal Accountant Fees and Services
PART IV
Item 15.Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16.Form 10-K Summary
SIGNATURES
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Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, expectations regarding the business environment in which we operate, projections of future performance, perceived opportunities in the market, and statements regarding our business strategies, objectives and vision. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements preceded by, followed by or that include the words “will,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “forecasts,” “estimates” or similar expressions. With respect to any such forward-looking statements, the Company claims the protection provided for in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve known and unknown risks, trends, uncertainties, and factors that are beyond the Company’s control or ability to predict. The Company’s actual results, performance or achievements may differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our financial position, results of operations, liquidity, and capitalization; liquidity risks; risk of significant non-earning assets, and net credit losses that could occur, particularly in times of weak economic conditions or times of rising interest rates; the failure of or changes to assumptions and estimates underlying the Company’s allowances for credit losses; and regulatory risks associated with current and future regulations. For additional information concerning these and other risk factors, see Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors herein. The Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of events or circumstances after the date of such statements except as required by law.


PART I
Item 1.    BUSINESS
General
Hope Bancorp, Inc. (“Hope Bancorp” on a parent-only basis, and the “Company,” “we” or “our” on a consolidated basis with the Bank of Hope) is a bank holding company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The Company was incorporated in Delaware in the year 2000. We offer commercial and retail banking loan and deposit products through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Bank of Hope, a California state-chartered bank (the “Bank” or “Bank of Hope”). The Bank primarily focuses its business in ethnic communities in California, New Jersey and New York City, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Seattle and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. Our headquarters are located at 3200 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1400, Los Angeles, California 90010, and our telephone number at that address is (213) 639-1700.
Hope Bancorp exists primarily for the purpose of holding the stock of the Bank and other subsidiaries it may acquire or establish. Bank of Hope’s deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”), up to applicable limits.
We file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), which include annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K, as well as proxy and information statements in connection with our stockholders’ meetings. The SEC maintains a website that contains the reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. The address of the website is www.sec.gov. Our website address is www.bankofhope.com. Electronic copies of our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and other information and reports we file with the SEC and amendments to those reports, are available free of charge by visiting the Investor Relations section of our website. These reports are generally posted as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with the SEC. None of the information on or hyperlinked from the Company’s website is incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
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Business Overview
Our principal business activities are conducted through the Bank and primarily consist of earning interest on loans and investment securities that are primarily funded by customer deposits and other borrowings. Operating revenues consist of the difference between interest received and interest paid, gains and losses on the sale of financial assets, and fees earned for financial services provided to our customers. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control, such as general economic conditions, new legislation and the policies of various governmental and regulatory authorities. Although our business may vary with local and national economic conditions, such variations are not generally seasonal in nature.
Through our current network of 58 branches and 11 loan production offices, we offer core business banking products for small and medium-sized businesses and individuals. We accept deposits and originate a variety of loans, including commercial business loans, real estate loans, trade finance loans, Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loans, auto loans, single-family mortgages, warehouse lines of credit, personal loans, and credit cards. We offer cash management services to our business customers, which include remote deposit capture, lock box, and ACH origination services. We offer comprehensive investment and wealth management services to high-net-worth clients. We also offer a mobile banking application for smart devices that extends access to banking services, such as mobile deposits and bill payment for our customers at all times. In an effort to better meet our customers’ needs, our mini-market branches generally offer hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Most of our branches offer 24-hour automated teller machines (“ATMs”). We also offer debit card services to all customers. In addition, most of our branches offer foreign exchanges services, safe deposit boxes, and other customary bank services. Our website at www.bankofhope.com offers internet banking services and applications in both English and Korean.
Lending Activities
Commercial Business Loans
We provide commercial loans to businesses for various purposes such as for working capital, purchasing inventory, debt refinancing, business acquisitions, and other business related financing needs. Commercial loans are typically classified as (1) short-term loans (or lines of credit) or (2) long-term loans (or term loans to businesses). Short-term loans are often used to finance current assets such as inventory and accounts receivable and typically have terms of one year with interest paid monthly on the outstanding balance with the principal balance due at maturity. Long-term loans typically have terms of five to seven years with principal and interest paid monthly. The credit worthiness of our borrowers is determined before a loan is originated and is periodically reviewed to ascertain whether credit quality changes have occurred. Commercial business loans are typically collateralized by the borrower’s business assets and/or real estate. We seek to establish deposit relationships with all of our commercial business loan customers.
Our commercial business loan portfolio includes trade finance loans from our Corporate Banking Center, which generally serves businesses involved in international trade activities. These loans are typically collateralized by business assets and are used to meet the short-term working capital needs (accounts receivable and inventory financing) of our borrowers. Our International Operations Department issues and advises on letters of credit for export and import businesses. Our underwriting procedure for this type of credit is the same as for commercial business loans. Our trade finance services include the issuance and negotiation of letters of credit, as well as the handling of documentary collections. On the export side, we provide advice and negotiation of commercial letters of credit and we transfer and issue back-to-back letters of credit. We also provide importers with trade finance lines of credit, which allows for the issuance of commercial letters of credit and the financing of documents received under such letters of credit, as well as documents received under documentary collections. Exporters are assisted through export lines of credit as well as through immediate financing of clean documents presented under export letters of credit.
We also provide warehouse lines of credit to mortgage loan originators. The lines of credit are used by these originators to fund mortgages which are then pledged to the Bank as collateral until the mortgage loans are sold and the lines of credit are paid down. The typical duration of these lines of credit from the time of funding to pay-down ranges from 10-30 days. Although collateralized by mortgage loans, the structure of warehouse lending agreements results in the commercial business loan treatment for these types of loans.
We provide commercial equipment lease financing through a relationship with a third-party leasing company. Equipment leasing loans are generally capital leases with maturities up to five years. In addition, we have a portfolio of syndicated loans in which we are one in a group of lenders that collectively provide credit to worthy borrowers.

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Real Estate Loans
Real estate loans are extended for the purchase and refinance of real estate and are generally secured by first deeds of trust. The maturities on the majority of such loans are generally five to seven years with a 25-year principal amortization schedule and a balloon payment due at maturity. We offer both fixed and floating rate real estate loans. It is our general policy to restrict real estate loan amounts to 75% of the appraised value of the property at the date of origination.
We originate loans to finance construction projects including one-to-four family residences, multifamily residences, senior housing, and commercial projects. Residential construction loans are due upon the sale of the completed project and are generally collateralized by first liens on the real estate and have floating interest rates. Construction loans are considered to have higher risks than other loans due to the ultimate repayment being sensitive to interest rate changes, governmental regulation of real property, and the availability of long-term financing. Economic conditions may also impact our ability to recover our investment in construction loans. Adverse economic conditions may negatively impact the real estate market, which could affect the borrowers’ ability to complete and sell the project. Additionally, the fair value of the underlying collateral may fluctuate as market conditions change. As construction loans make up only a small percentage of the total loan portfolio, these loans are not further broken down into classes.
Small Business Administration Loans
We extend loans partially guaranteed by the SBA. We primarily extend SBA loans known as SBA 7(a) loans and SBA 504 loans. SBA 7(a) loans are typically extended for working capital needs, purchase of inventory, purchase of machinery and equipment, debt refinance, business acquisitions, start-up financing, or to purchase or construct owner-occupied commercial property. SBA 7(a) loans are typically term loans with maturities up to 10 years for loans not secured by real estate and up to 25 years for real estate secured loans. SBA loans are fully amortizing with monthly payments of principal and interest. SBA 7(a) loans are typically floating rate loans that are secured by business assets and/or real estate. Depending on the loan amount, each loan is typically guaranteed 75% to 85% by the SBA, with a maximum gross loan amount to any one small business borrower of $5.0 million and a maximum SBA guaranteed amount of $3.8 million.
We are generally able to sell the guaranteed portion of the SBA 7(a) loans in the secondary market at a premium, while earning servicing fee income on the sold portion over the remaining life of the loan. In addition to the interest yield earned on the unguaranteed portion of the SBA 7(a) loans that are not sold, we can recognize income from gains on sales and from loan servicing on the SBA 7(a) loans that are sold. Although we have historically sold the guaranteed portion of SBA 7(a) loans that we originated, during the fourth quarter of 2018 we made the decision to retain these loans due to the decline in premiums offered in the secondary market. Therefore, we have been retaining these loans and earn interest income on the guaranteed portion of SBA loans as well the unguaranteed portions.
SBA 504 loans are typically extended for the purpose of purchasing owner-occupied commercial real estate or long-term capital equipment. SBA 504 loans are typically extended for up to 20 years or the life of the asset being financed. SBA 504 loans are financed as a participation loan between the Bank and the SBA through a Certified Development Company (“CDC”). Generally, the loans are structured to give the Bank a 50% first deed of trust (“TD”), the CDC a 40% second TD, and the remaining 10% is funded by the borrower. Interest rates for first TD Bank loans are subject to normal bank commercial rates and terms, and the second TD CDC loans are fixed for the life of the loans based on certain indices.
In 2020, the government established the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act to assist companies to continue paying workers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently we have begun originating a second round of PPP loans starting the first quarter of 2021.
All of our SBA loans are originated through our SBA Loan Departments and certain loan production offices. The SBA Loan Departments are staffed by loan officers who provide assistance to qualified businesses. The Bank has been designated as an SBA Preferred Lender, which is the highest designation awarded by the SBA. This designation generally facilitates a more efficient marketing and approval process for SBA loans. We have attained SBA Preferred Lender status nationwide.
Consumer Loans
Our consumer loans consist of single-family mortgages, home equity, auto loans, credit card loans, and personal loans, with a majority of our consumer loan portfolio currently consisting of single-family mortgages secured by a first deed of trust on single family residences under a variety of loan products including fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages with either 30-year or 15-year terms. Adjustable rate mortgage loans are also offered with flexible initial and periodic adjustments ranging from five to seven years.
5



Investing Activities
The main objective of our investment strategy is to provide a source of on-balance sheet liquidity while providing a means to manage our interest rate risk, and to generate an adequate level of interest income without taking undue risks. Subject to various restrictions, our investment policy permits investment in various types of securities, certificates of deposit (“CDs”), and federal funds sold. Our investments include equity investments and an available for sale investment portfolio which consists of government sponsored agency bonds, mortgage-backed securities, collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”), corporate securities, and municipal securities. For a detailed breakdown of our investments, see Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Financial Condition – Investment Security Portfolio.”
Our securities are classified for accounting purposes as equity investment or investment available for sale. We do not maintain held to maturity or trading investment portfolios. Securities purchased to meet investment-related objectives, such as liquidity management or interest rate risk and which may be sold as necessary to implement management strategies, are designated as available for sale at the time of purchase.
Deposit Activities
We attract both short-term and long-term deposits from the general public by offering a wide range of deposit products and services. Through our branch network, we provide our banking customers with personal and business checking accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts, time deposit accounts, individual retirement accounts, 24-hour ATMs, internet banking and bill-pay, remote deposit capture, lock boxes, and ACH origination services. In addition to our retail and business deposits, we obtain both secured and unsecured wholesale deposits including public deposits such as State of California Treasurer’s time deposits, brokered money market and time deposits, and deposits gathered from outside of the Bank’s normal market area through deposit listing services and our online banking platform.
FDIC-insured deposits are our primary source of funds. As part of our asset-liability management, we analyze our retail and wholesale deposit maturities and interest rates to monitor and manage our cost of funds, to the extent feasible in the context of changing market conditions, as well as to promote stability in our supply of funds. For additional information on deposits, see Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Financial Condition – Deposits.”
Borrowing Activities
When we have more funds than required for our reserve requirements or short-term liquidity needs, we may sell federal funds to other financial institutions. Conversely, when we have less funds than required, we may borrow funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (the “FHLB”), the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (“the Federal Reserve Bank”), or from our correspondent banking relationships. In addition, we may borrow from the FHLB on a longer term basis to provide funding for certain loan or investment securities strategies, as well as asset-liability management strategies.
The FHLB functions in a reserve credit capacity for qualifying financial institutions. As a member, we are required to own capital stock in the FHLB and may apply for advances from the FHLB on an unsecured basis or by utilizing qualifying loans and certain securities as collateral. The FHLB offers a full range of borrowing programs on its advances, with terms ranging from one day to thirty years, at competitive market rates. A prepayment penalty is usually imposed for early repayment of these advances. Information concerning FHLB advances and other borrowings is included in Note 9 of “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.”
We may also borrow from the Federal Reserve Bank. The maximum amount that we may borrow from the Federal Reserve Bank’s discount window is up to 99% of the outstanding principal balance of the qualifying loans and the fair value of the securities that we pledge.
Long-Term Debt
At December 31, 2020, we had nine wholly-owned subsidiary grantor trusts (“Trusts”) that have issued $126.0 million of pooled trust preferred securities (“Trust Preferred Securities”). The Trust Preferred Securities accrue and pay distributions periodically at specified annual rates as provided in the related indentures for the securities. The Trusts used the net proceeds from the offering of the Trust Preferred Securities to purchase a like amount of subordinated debentures of Hope Bancorp (the “Debentures”). The Debentures are the sole assets of the trusts. Our obligations under the Debentures and related documents, taken together, constitute a full and unconditional guarantee by us of the obligations of the trusts. The Trust Preferred Securities are mandatorily redeemable upon the maturity of the Debentures (which have maturity dates ranging from 2033 to 2037), or upon earlier redemption as provided in the indentures. We have the right to redeem the Debentures in whole (but not in part) on a quarterly basis at a specified redemption price. We also have the right to defer interest on the Debentures for up to five years.
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In 2018, we issued $217.5 million aggregate principal amount of 2.00% convertible senior notes maturing on May 15, 2038 in a private offering to investors. Holders of the convertible notes can convert to shares of our common stock at a specified conversion rate at any time on or after February 15, 2023. Prior to February 15, 2023, the convertible notes cannot be converted unless under certain specified scenarios. The convertible notes can be settled in entirely cash, stock, or a combination of stock and cash at our option. We have the right to call the convertible notes on or after May 20, 2023 and holder of the notes can put the note on certain dates on or after May 15, 2023. The convertible notes were issued as part of our plan to repurchase shares of our common stock.
Market Area and Competition
We currently have 58 banking offices in areas having high concentrations of Korean-Americans, of which 32 are located in the Los Angeles, Orange County, Oakland and Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County) areas of California, 10 are located in the New York City metropolitan area and New Jersey, five are in the Chicago metropolitan area, four are in the Seattle metropolitan area, four are in Texas, two are in Virginia, and one is in Alabama. We also have 11 loan production offices located in Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Portland, Fremont, and Southern California and a representative office in Seoul, South Korea. The banking and financial services industry generally, and in our market areas specifically, is highly competitive. The increasingly competitive environment is a result primarily of strong competition among the banks servicing the Korean-American community, changes in regulations, changes in technology and product delivery systems, and consolidation among financial services companies. In addition, federal legislation may have the effect of further increasing the pace of consolidation within the financial services industry. See “Supervision and Regulation.”
We compete for loans, deposits, and customers with other commercial banks, savings and loan associations, securities and brokerage companies, mortgage companies, insurance companies, marketplace finance platforms, money market funds, credit unions, and other non-bank financial service providers. Many of these competitors are much larger in total assets and capitalization, have greater access to capital markets, are more widely recognized, have broader geographic scope, and offer a broader range of financial services than we do.
Economic Conditions, Government Policies and Legislation
Our profitability, like that of most depository institutions, depends, among other things, on interest rate differentials. In general, the difference between the interest expense on interest bearing liabilities, such as deposits, borrowings, and debt, and the interest income on our interest earning assets, such as loans we extend to our customers and securities held in our investment portfolio, as well as the level of noninterest bearing deposits, has a significant impact on our profitability. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control, such as the economy, inflation, unemployment, consumer spending, and political changes and events. The impact that future changes in domestic and foreign economic and political conditions might have on our performance cannot be predicted.
Our business is also influenced by the monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government and the policies of regulatory agencies, particularly the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “FRB”). The FRB implements national monetary policies (with objectives such as curbing inflation or preventing recession) through its open-market operations in U.S. government securities, by adjusting the required level of reserves for depository institutions subject to its reserve requirements, and by varying the targeted federal funds and discount rates applicable to borrowings by depository institutions. The actions of the FRB in these areas influence the growth of bank loans, investments, and deposits and also affect interest rates earned on interest earning assets and paid on interest bearing liabilities. The nature and impact on Hope Bancorp, and the Bank, of future changes in monetary and fiscal policies cannot be predicted.
From time to time, legislation and regulations are enacted or adopted which have the effect of increasing the cost of doing business, limiting, or expanding permissible activities, or affecting the competitive balance between banks and other financial services providers. Proposals to change the laws and regulations governing the operations and taxation of banks, bank holding companies, financial holding companies, and other financial institutions and financial services providers are frequently made in the U.S. Congress, in state legislatures, and by various regulatory agencies. These proposals may result in changes in banking statutes and regulations and our operating environment in substantial and unpredictable ways. If enacted, such legislation could increase the cost of doing business, limit permissible activities, or affect the competitive balance among banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other financial institutions. We cannot predict whether any of this potential legislation will be enacted, and if enacted, the effect that it, or any implementing regulations, would have on our financial condition or results of operations. See “Supervision and Regulation.”
7



Supervision and Regulation
General
Hope Bancorp and the Bank are subject to extensive regulation and supervision under state and federal banking laws. This regulatory framework covers substantially all of the business activities of Hope Bancorp and the Bank. In the exercise of their regulatory and supervisory authority, the bank regulatory agencies have emphasized capital planning and stress testing, liquidity management, enterprise risk management, corporate governance, anti-money laundering compliance, information technology adequacy, cybersecurity preparedness, vendor management, and fair lending and other consumer compliance obligations. The federal and state regulatory systems are intended primarily for the protection of depositors, customers, the FDIC deposit insurance fund (the “DIF”) and the banking system as a whole, rather than for the protection of our stockholders or other investors.
The following summarizes certain laws and regulations that apply to Hope Bancorp and the Bank. These descriptions of statutes and regulations and their possible effects do not purport to be complete descriptions of all of the provisions of those statutes and regulations and their possible effects on us, nor do they purport to identify every statute and regulation that may apply to us.
Bank Holding Company Regulation
Hope Bancorp is a registered bank holding company. As a bank holding company under the Bank Holding Company Act, Hope Bancorp is subject to regulation, supervision and regular examination by the FRB and is required to file periodic reports of its operations with the FRB and other such reports as the FRB may require.
Bank holding companies are required to maintain certain levels of capital (See “Capital Adequacy Requirements”) and must serve as a source of financial and managerial strength to subsidiary banks and commit resources as necessary to support each subsidiary bank. FRB regulations and polices limit the dividends a bank holding company may pay to its stockholders and the amount of its shares that it may repurchase. (See “Dividends and Stock Repurchases”.) FRB rules and policies also regulate provisions of certain bank holding company debt and the FRB may impose interest ceilings and reserve requirements on such debt and require prior approval to purchase or redeem debt securities in certain situations.
The FRB may require a bank holding company to terminate an activity or terminate control of or liquidate or divest certain subsidiaries, affiliates or investments if the FRB believes the activity or the control of the subsidiary or affiliate constitutes a significant risk to the financial safety, soundness or stability of any bank subsidiary. Under certain circumstances, the FRB could, for example, prohibit Hope Bancorp from paying dividends or repurchasing is common stock on the basis that doing would be an unsafe or unsound banking practice.
The activities in which a bank holding company may engage are limited to those activities determined by the FRB to be so closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto. Bank holding companies that elect and retain “financial holding company” status pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (the “GLBA”) may also engage in broader securities, insurance, merchant banking and other activities that are determined to be “financial in nature” or are incidental or complementary to activities that are financial in nature. To elect and retain financial holding company status, a bank holding company and all depository institution subsidiaries of a bank holding company must be considered well capitalized and meet certain other requirements. Hope Bancorp has not elected financial holding company status and neither Hope Bancorp nor the Bank has engaged in any activities determined by the FRB to be financial in nature or incidental or complementary to activities that are financial in nature.
A bank holding company must seek approval from the FRB prior to acquiring all or substantially all of the assets of any bank or bank holding company or the ownership or control of voting shares of any bank or bank holding company if, after giving effect to such acquisition, it would own or control, directly or indirectly, more than 5 percent of a bank. Under the Bank Merger Act, the prior approval of the FDIC is required for the Bank to merge with another bank or purchase all or substantially all of the assets or assume any of the deposits of another FDIC-insured depository institution. Federal banking regulators review competition, management, financial, compliance and other factors when considering applications for these approvals. Similar California or other state banking agency approvals may also be required.
The Company is also a bank holding company within the meaning of Section 3700 of the California Financial Code. Therefore, the Company and its subsidiaries are subject to examination by, and may be required to file reports with, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (the “DFPI”). DFPI approvals are also required for bank mergers and acquisitions.
8



Bank Regulation
The Bank is a California state-chartered bank whose deposit accounts are insured by the FDIC, up to applicable limits. As such, the Bank is subject to regulation, supervision and regular examination by the DFPI and the FDIC. In addition, while the Bank is not a member of the FRB, the Bank is subject to certain regulations of the FRB.
Federal and state laws and regulations applicable to banks regulate, among other things, the scope of their business, their investments, their reserves against deposits, lending activities, servicing and foreclosing on loans, borrowings, capital requirements, certain check-clearing activities, dividends, branching, and mergers and acquisitions. California banks are also subject to statutes and regulations including FRB Regulation O and Federal Reserve Act Sections 23A and 23B and Regulation W, which restrict or limit loans or extensions of credit to “insiders”, including officers, directors, and principal stockholders, and loans or extension of credit by banks to affiliates or purchases of assets from affiliates, including parent bank holding companies, except pursuant to certain exceptions and only on terms and conditions at least as favorable to those prevailing for comparable transactions with unaffiliated parties. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Action (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) expanded definitions and restrictions on transactions with affiliates and insiders under Sections 23A and 23B and also lending limits for derivative transactions, repurchase agreements, and securities lending and borrowing transactions.
Under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“FDI Act”) and the California Financial Code, California state chartered commercial banks may generally engage in any activity permissible for national banks. Therefore, the Bank 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 by subsidiaries of bank holding companies. Further, California state chartered banks may conduct certain financial activities permitted under GLBA in a “financial subsidiary” to the same extent as a national bank, provided the bank is and remains well-capitalized, well-managed and in satisfactory compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (the “CRA”). The Bank currently conducts no non-banking or financial activities through subsidiaries.
Capital Adequacy Requirements
Hope Bancorp and the Bank are subject to similar regulatory capital requirements administered by its primary federal supervisory banking agencies. Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), the federal banking agencies have adopted capital rules based on the Basel III Accord (the “Basel III Capital Rules”). The Basel III Capital Rules became effective on January 1, 2015. The Basel III Capital Rules are risk-based, meaning that the levels of capital required vary based on the perceived degree of risk associated with a banking organization’s balance sheet assets, such as loans and investment securities, and those recorded as off-balance sheet items, such as commitments, letters of credit, and recourse arrangements. The risk classifications and, therefore, the required capital amounts may be subject to qualitative judgments by regulators about components, risk-weighting, and other factors.
The Basel III Capital Rules (i) introduce a new capital measure called “common equity Tier 1 and a related regulatory capital ratio of common equity Tier 1 to risk‑weighted assets, (ii) specify that Tier 1 capital consists of common equity Tier 1 and “additional Tier 1 capital” instruments meeting certain requirements, (iii) mandate that most deductions and adjustments to regulatory capital measures be made to common equity Tier 1 and not to the other components of capital, and (iv) expand the scope of the deductions from and adjustments to capital compared to prior capital rules. The Basel III Capital Rules differ from earlier capital rules by excluding from Tier 1 capital trust preferred securities (subject to certain grandfathering exceptions for organizations like Hope Bancorp, which had less than $15 billion in assets as of December 31, 2009), mortgage servicing rights and certain deferred tax assets and to include unrealized gains and losses on available for sale debt and equity securities (unless the organization opts out of including such unrealized gains and losses).
Under the Basel III Capital Rules, the minimum capital ratios applicable to Hope Bancorp and the Bank are as follows:
4.5% common equity Tier 1 to risk‑weighted assets;
6.0% Tier 1 capital (that is, common equity Tier 1 plus additional Tier 1 capital) to risk‑weighted assets;
8.0% total capital (that is, Tier 1 capital plus Tier 2 capital) to risk‑weighted assets; and
4.0% Tier 1 capital to average consolidated assets as reported on regulatory financial statements (known as the “leverage ratio”). (To be considered well-capitalized under the Prompt Corrective Action framework, the Bank must maintain a minimum Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 5%.)
The Basel III Capital Rules include an additional “capital conservation buffer” of 2.5% of risk-weighted assets above the regulatory minimum capital ratios. If Hope Bancorp and the Bank do not maintain capital sufficient to satisfy the capital conservation buffer, we would face restrictions in our ability to pay dividends, repurchase shares, and pay discretionary bonuses.
9



Including the capital conservation buffer of 2.5%, the minimum ratios for a banking organization are as follows: (i) a common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 7.0%, (ii) a Tier 1 capital ratio of 8.5% and (iii) a total capital ratio of 10.5%. Management believes that as of December 31, 2020, Hope Bancorp and the Bank met all requirements under the Basel III Capital Rules applicable to them on a fully phased-in basis, including the capital conservation buffer. At December 31, 2020, the ratios of each of Hope Bancorp and the Bank exceeded the minimum percentage requirements to generally be deemed “well-capitalized” for bank regulatory purposes and satisfied the capital conservation buffer requirement. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
While the Basel III Capital Rules set higher regulatory capital standards for Hope Bancorp and the Bank, bank regulators may also continue their past policies of expecting banks to maintain additional capital beyond the new minimum requirements. The implementation of the Basel III Capital Rules or more stringent requirements to maintain higher levels of capital or to maintain higher levels of liquid assets could adversely impact the Company’s net income and return on equity, restrict the ability to pay dividends or executive bonuses and require the raising of additional capital.
The Bank is also subject to capital adequacy requirements under the California Financial Code.
See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
Increased Supervision and Regulation for Bank Holding Companies with Consolidated Assets of More than $10 Billion
As a banking organization with consolidated assets exceeding $10 billion, the Company is subject to heightened supervision and regulation imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act, such as the following:
We are subject to periodic examination by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) with respect to compliance with federal consumer laws. Although we were previously subject to regulations issued by the CFPB, the Bank’s primary federal regulatory, the FDIC, previously had responsibility for our consumer compliance examinations. See “Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.”
We are subject to the maximum permissible interchange fee for swipe transactions, equal to no more than 21 cents plus 5 basis points of the transaction value for many types of debit interchange transactions.
We calculate our FDIC deposit assessment base using a performance score and a loss-severity score system described below in “Deposit Insurance.”
We are subject to the “Volcker Rule,” which generally restricts us from engaging in activities that are considered proprietary trading and from sponsoring or investing in certain entities, including hedge or private equity funds that are considered covered funds. While Hope Bancorp and the Bank had no investment positions or relationships at December 31, 2020 that were subject to the Volcker Rule, we may be subject to the compliance and recording keeping provisions of this rule.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires banking organizations with consolidated assets exceeding $10 billion to establish board-level risk committees and to perform annual stress tests. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act enacted in 2018 raises the asset thresholds for these requirements to $50 billion and $100 billion, respectively.
Many aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act continue to be subject to rule-making or proposed change, making it difficult to anticipate the overall financial impact on the Company, its customers or the financial industry in general. Provisions in the legislation that affect deposit insurance assessments, payment of interest on demand deposits and interchange fees could increase the costs associated with deposits as well as place limitations on certain revenues those deposits may generate.
Prompt Corrective Action
The FDI Act requires the federal bank regulatory agencies to take “prompt corrective action” with respect to a depository institution that does not meet certain capital adequacy standards, including requiring the prompt submission of an acceptable capital restoration plan. Depending on the bank’s capital ratios, the agencies’ regulations define five categories in which an insured depository institution will be placed: well-capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized, and critically undercapitalized. At each successive lower capital category, an insured bank is subject to more restrictions, including restrictions on the bank’s activities, operational practices or the ability to pay dividends or executive bonuses.
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The prompt corrective action standards conform with the Basel III Capital Rules. In order to be generally considered well-capitalized for bank regulatory purposes, the Bank is required maintain the following minimum capital ratios: a common equity Tier 1 ratio of 6.5%, a Tier 1 ratio of 8%, a total capital ratio of 10% and a leverage ratio of 5%. A bank meeting the minimum capital ratios required to be considered well-capitalized, adequately capitalized, or undercapitalized may, however, may be treated as though it were in the next lower capital category if the appropriate federal banking agency, after notice and opportunity for hearing, determines that an unsafe or unsound condition or practice warrants such treatment.
The federal banking agencies also may require banks and bank holding companies subject to enforcement actions to maintain capital ratios in excess of the minimum ratios otherwise generally required to be deemed well capitalized for bank regulatory purposes, in which case institutions may no longer be deemed to be well capitalized and may therefore be subject to certain restrictions such as on taking brokered deposits.
Consumer Compliance Laws
The Bank must comply with numerous federal and state consumer protection statutes and implementing regulations, including, but not limited to, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the National Flood Insurance Act, the California Homeowner Bill of Rights and various federal and state privacy protection laws, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and CAN-SPAM Act. The Bank and Hope Bancorp are also subject to federal and state laws prohibiting unfair or fraudulent business practices, untrue or misleading advertising and unfair competition.
These laws and regulations mandate certain disclosure and reporting requirements and regulate the manner in which financial institutions must deal with customers when taking deposits, making loans, servicing, collecting and foreclosure of loans, and providing other services. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations can subject the Bank to various penalties, including but not limited to enforcement actions, injunctions, fines or criminal penalties, punitive damages to consumers, and the loss of certain contractual rights.
Community Reinvestment Act
The Bank is subject to the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”), which requires federal banking regulators to evaluate the record of a financial institution in meeting the credit needs of its local communities, including low and moderate income neighborhoods. The federal banking agencies consider a financial institution’s compliance with the CRA into account when considering regulatory applications for mergers and other expansionary activities. The Bank received a “Satisfactory” rating in the most recent public disclosure of CRA performance evaluation released by the FDIC in 2018, which states that the Bank’s CRA performance under the Lending, Investment, and Service Tests supports the overall rating.
USA PATRIOT Act and Anti-Money Laundering Laws
Under the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, financial institutions are subject to prohibitions against specified financial transactions and account relationships, as well as enhanced due diligence standards that are intended to prevent and detect the use of the United States financial system for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The act requires financial institutions, including banks, to establish anti-money laundering programs, including employee training and independent audit requirements, meet minimum standards specified by the act, follow minimum standards for customer identification and maintenance of customer identification records, and regularly compare customer lists against lists of suspected terrorists, terrorist organizations and money launderers.
The Bank Secrecy Act (the “BSA”) establishes requirements for recordkeeping and reporting by banks and other financial institutions that are intended to help identify the source, volume and movement of currency and other monetary instruments into and out of the United States in order to help detect and prevent money laundering connected with drug trafficking, terrorism and other criminal activities. Under the BSA and related regulations, banking institutions must file suspicious activity reports and maintain programs designed to assure and monitor compliance with certain recordkeeping and reporting requirements regarding currency transactions. The programs must include systems and internal controls to assure ongoing compliance, provide for independent testing of such systems and compliance and provide appropriate personnel training.
The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (“AMLA”), which amends the BSA, was enacted in January 2021. The AMLA is intended to be a comprehensive reform and modernization to U.S. bank secrecy and anti-money laundering laws. Among other things, it codifies a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering compliance for financial institutions; requires the development of standards for evaluating technology and internal processes for BSA compliance; expands enforcement- and investigation-related authority, including increasing available sanctions for certain BSA violations and instituting whistleblower incentives and protections.
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Loans to One Borrower  
Under California law, the Bank’s ability to make aggregate secured and unsecured loans to borrower is limited to 25% and 15%, respectively, of the Bank’s unimpaired capital and surplus. The Bank has established internal loan limits that are lower than the legal lending limits for a California bank.
Deposit Insurance
The FDIC is an independent federal agency that insures deposits, up to prescribed statutory limits, of federally insured banks and savings institutions, and safeguards the safety and soundness of the depository institutions. The FDIC insures our customer deposits through the DIF up to prescribed limits, currently $250 thousand per customer. The FDIC may terminate a depository institution’s deposit insurance upon a finding that the institution’s financial condition is unsafe or unsound, or that the institution has engaged in unsafe or unsound practices that pose a risk to the DIF or that may prejudice the interest of the bank’s depositors. The termination of the Bank’s deposit insurance would result in the revocation of the Bank’s charter by the DFPI.
We are generally unable to control the amount of assessments that we pay for FDIC insurance, which can be affected by the cost of bank failures to the FDIC, among other factors. The Dodd-Frank Act revised the FDIC’s DIF management authority by setting requirements for the Designated Reserve Ratio (the DIF balance divided by estimated insured deposits) and redefining the assessment base which is used to calculate banks’ quarterly assessments. The amount of FDIC assessments paid by each DIF member institution is based on its asset size and its relative risk of default as measured by regulatory capital ratios and other supervisory factors.
Any future changes in FDIC insurance assessments may have a material and adverse effect on our earnings and could have a material adverse effect on the value of, or market for, our common stock.
Safety and Soundness Standards; Regulatory Enforcement Authority
The federal and California bank regulatory agencies have extensive discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities and examination policies, including policies with respect to the classification of assets and the establishment of appropriate loan loss reserves for regulatory purposes. The federal bank regulatory agencies have adopted guidelines to assist in identifying and addressing potential safety and soundness concerns before an institution’s capital becomes impaired. The guidelines establish operational and managerial standards generally relating to: (1) internal controls, information systems, and internal audit systems; (2) loan documentation; (3) credit underwriting; (4) interest-rate exposure; (5) asset growth and asset quality; and (6) compensation, fees, and benefits. Further, the regulatory agencies have adopted safety and soundness guidelines for asset quality and for evaluating and monitoring earnings to ensure that earnings are sufficient for the maintenance of adequate capital and reserves.
If the FRB, the FDIC or the DFPI should determine that the financial condition, capital resources, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity, or other aspects of the Company’s or the Bank’s operations are unsatisfactory or that the Company or the Bank or management is violating or has violated any law or regulation, these agencies have the authority to:
Require affirmative action to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice;
Direct an increase in capital and the maintenance of higher specific minimum capital ratios, which could preclude the Hope Bancorp or the Bank from being deemed well capitalized which, in the case of the Bank, would restrict its ability to accept certain brokered deposits, for example;
Restrict Hope Bancorp’s or the Bank’s growth geographically, by products and services, or by mergers and acquisitions;
Enter into or issue informal or formal enforcement actions, including required board resolutions, memoranda of understanding, written agreements and consent or cease and desist orders or prompt corrective action orders to take corrective action and cease unsafe and unsound practices;
Assess civil money penalties;
Require prior approval of senior executive officer or director changes; remove officers and directors and assess civil monetary penalties; and
Terminate FDIC insurance, revoke the charter and/or take possession of and close and liquidate the Bank or appoint the FDIC as receiver.
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Dividends and Stock Repurchases
Hope Bancorp’s ability to pay dividends or repurchase shares of its common stock is subject to restrictions set forth in the Delaware General Corporation Law. The Delaware General Corporation Law provides that a Delaware corporation may pay dividends or repurchase its shares either (i) out of the corporation’s surplus (as defined by Delaware law), or (ii) if there is no surplus, out of the corporation’s net profits for the fiscal year in which the dividend is declared and/or the preceding fiscal year. It is the FRB’s policy, however, that bank holding companies should 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. FRB policy requires that a banking holding company must notify the FRB if its repurchase or redemption of shares would cause a net reduction in the amount of such capital instrument outstanding at the beginning of the quarter in which the redemption or repurchase occurs. It is also the FRB’s policy that bank holding companies should not maintain dividend levels or repurchase shares in amounts that would undermine their ability to be a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries. The FRB also discourages dividend payment ratios that are at maximum allowable levels unless both asset quality and capital are very strong. In addition, if Hope Bancorp does not maintain an adequate capital conservation buffer under the Basel III Capital Rules, its ability to pay dividends to or repurchase shares from stockholders may be restricted.
The Bank is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from Hope Bancorp. Hope Bancorp depends the Bank’s payment of dividends as primary source of cash for use in Hope Bancorp’s operations, Hope Bancorp’s payment of dividends to stockholders and Hope Bancorp’s stock repurchases. The Bank’s ability to pay dividends to Hope Bancorp is subject to provisions of the California Financial Code that limit the amount available for cash dividends to the lesser of a bank’s retained earnings or net income for its last three fiscal years (less any distributions to stockholders made during such period). Where the above test is not met, cash dividends may still be paid, with the prior approval of the DFPI, in an amount not exceeding the greatest of (1) retained earnings of the bank; (2) the net income of the bank for its last fiscal year; or (3) the net income of the bank for its current fiscal year. The Bank’s ability to pay cash dividends to Hope Bancorp will also depend upon management’s assessment of future capital requirements, contractual restrictions, and other factors. If the Bank does not maintain an adequate capital conservation buffer under the Basel III Capital Rules, the Bank may face restrictions on its ability to pay dividends to Hope Bancorp.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Dodd-Frank Act created the CFPB as an independent entity within the FRB with broad rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement authority over consumer financial products and services, including deposit products, residential mortgages, home-equity loans and credit cards. The CFPB’s functions include investigating consumer complaints, conducting market research, rulemaking, supervising and examining bank consumer transactions, and enforcing rules related to consumer financial products and services. CFPB regulations and guidance apply to all financial institutions and banks with $10 billion or more in assets are subject to examination by the CFPB. Banks with less than $10 billion in assets continue to be examined for compliance by their primary federal banking agency. The Bank is subject to examination by the CFPB. The CFPB has the authority to bring formal and informal enforcement actions against the Bank similar to those that may be brought by the federal banking regulators discussed above.
In 2014, the CFPB adopted revisions to Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, and apply to consumer mortgages. The revisions mandate specific underwriting criteria for home loans in order for creditors to make a reasonable, good faith determination of a consumer’s ability to repay and establish certain protections from liability under the requirements for “qualified mortgages” that meet certain specific standards. As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB also promulgated TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rules which became effective in 2015 and require new mortgage disclosures.
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Human Capital Resources
The Company’s goal is to attract, develop, retain and plan for succession of key talent and executives to achieve the Company’s strategic objectives.
The Company respects, values, and invites diversity in our team members, customers, suppliers, marketplace, and community. We seek to recognize the unique contribution each individual brings to our company, and we are fully committed to supporting a rich culture of diversity as a cornerstone to our success. We provide professional development opportunities to team members and seeks to improve retention, development, and job satisfaction of team members from diverse groups by providing career skills training, mentoring, and tuition fee reimburse to support job related higher education.1
We offer a comprehensive benefits program to our employees and design our compensation programs to attract, retain and motivate employees, as well as to align with Company performance.
As of December 31, 2020, we had 1,408 full-time equivalent employees compared to 1,441 full-time equivalent employees at December 31, 2019. None of our employees are represented by a union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Management believes that its relations with its employees are good.
We are committed and focused on the health and safety of our team members, customers, and communities. The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges to maintain team member and customer safety while continuing to be open for business. Accordingly, as part of the Pandemic Response Plan, a Pandemic Response Team and a Business Continuity Program Team were formed which closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, identifying issues and developing responses to reduce risks related to COVID-19 to our customers, employees, and communities. The teams manage our pandemic response, including providing access to recent safety standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other agencies as well as our workplace guidelines for non-customer and customer environments. In addition, current information is shared through regular emails and other digital communications with our team members and customers facing financial hardships due to COVID-19. Additional actions included adjusting our banking center hours, lobby usage, and encouraging team members to work remotely where possible during the pandemic. We continue to monitor our footprint for areas where there is a resurgence or regression of COVID-19 and adjust our banking center availability accordingly.
Our employees actively share their talents in their communities through volunteer activities in education, economic development, human and health services, and Community Reinvestment. Our employees are committed to be good neighbors that foster growth for our customers and communities. As a community based bank, we are committed to being model corporate citizens and through our communities through various forms of investments, contributions, and volunteer work.
Some of the highlights we have taken to be a socially responsible company are:
One out of two of the Bank’s branches are located in low-to-moderate income areas;
Our employees had nearly 450 hours of CRA-reportable volunteer hours in 2020;
We funded approximately $3.08 billion of loan in 2020;
We had approximately $500.0 million of CRA-reportable small business lending in 2020;
We had approximately $10.0 million of donations and sponsorships over the last 10 years; and
We contributed approximately $2.2 million to the Hope Scholarship Foundation since its establishment in 2001.

1 See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Pandemic Response Plan.”
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Item 1A.RISK FACTORS
In the course of conducting our business operations, we are exposed to a variety of risks, some of which are inherent in the financial services industry and others of which are more specific to our own business. The following discussion addresses the most significant risks that could affect our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, and capital position. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also affect our business. If any of these known or unknown risks or uncertainties actually occurs, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely effected. In that event, the market price for our common stock would likely decline.
Risks Related to our Business
Economic conditions in the markets in which we operate may adversely affect our loan portfolio and reduce the demand for our services. We focus our business primarily in Korean-American communities in California, the greater New York City, Chicago, Houston and Dallas, and Seattle metropolitan areas, New Jersey, Virginia, and Alabama. Adverse economic conditions in our market areas could potentially have a material adverse impact on the quality of our business. A renewed economic slowdown in the markets in which we operate currently and in the future may have any or all of the following consequences, any of which may reduce our net income and adversely affect our financial condition:
loan delinquencies may increase;
problem assets and foreclosures may increase;
the level and duration of deposits may decline;
demand for our products and services may decline; and
collateral for loans may decline in value below the principal amount owed by the borrower.
We are subject to increasing credit risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which could adversely impact our profitability. Our business depends on our ability to successfully measure and manage credit risk. As a lender, we are exposed to the risk that the principal of, or interest on, a loan will not be paid timely or at all or that the value of any collateral supporting a loan will be insufficient to cover our outstanding exposure. In addition, we are exposed to risks with respect to the risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions and risks inherent in dealing with individual loans and borrowers. As the overall economic climate in the U.S., generally, and in our market areas specifically, experiences material disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our borrowers may experience difficulties in repaying their loans and governmental actions may provide payment relief to borrowers affected by COVID-19 and preclude our ability to initiate foreclosure proceedings in certain circumstances and, as a result, the collateral we hold may decrease in value or become illiquid, and the level of our nonperforming loans, charge-offs, and delinquencies could rise and require significant additional provisions for credit losses.
Through the pandemic we have worked to support our borrowers to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on them and on our loan portfolio, including through loan modifications that defer payments for those who experienced a hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although government legislation and regulatory guidance provides that such loan modifications are exempt from the reporting of TDRs and loan delinquencies, we cannot predict whether such loan modifications may ultimately have an adverse impact on our profitability in future periods.
The demand for our products and services has been and likely will continue to be significantly adversely impacted due to COVID-19, which would continue to materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, the pandemic could result in the recognition of amplified credit losses in our loan portfolios and increases in our allowance for credit losses, particularly as more and more businesses are closed. Similarly, because of changing economic and market conditions, we may be required to recognize impairments on goodwill or impairment on other financial instruments we hold.
Inability to successfully manage the increased credit risk caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We have a high level of loans secured by real estate collateral. A downturn in the real estate market may seriously impair our loan portfolio. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 65% of our loan portfolio consisted of loans secured by various types of commercial real estate (exclude 1-4 family residential loans). A slowdown in the economy is often accompanied by declines in the value of real estate. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in renewed deterioration in the real estate market generally and in commercial real estate values in particular. Such developments may result in additional loan charge-offs and provisions for credit losses, which may have a material and adverse effect on our net income and capital levels.
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Our commercial loan and commercial real estate loan portfolios expose us to risks that may be greater than the risks related to our other loans. Our loan portfolio includes commercial loans and commercial real estate loans, which are secured by hotels and motels, shopping/retail centers, service station and car wash, industrial and warehouse properties, and other types of commercial properties. Commercial and commercial real estate loans carry more risk as compared to other types of lending, because they typically involve larger loan balances often concentrated with a single borrower or groups of related borrowers.
Accordingly, charge-offs on commercial and commercial real estate loans may be larger on a per loan basis than those incurred with our residential or consumer loan portfolios. In addition, these loans expose a lender to greater credit risk than loans secured by residential real estate. The payment experience on commercial real estate loans that are secured by income producing properties are typically dependent on the successful operation of the related real estate project and thus, may subject us to adverse conditions in the real estate market or to the general economy. The collateral securing these loans typically cannot be liquidated as easily as residential real estate. If we foreclose on these loans, our holding period for the collateral typically is longer than residential properties because there are fewer potential purchasers of the collateral.
Unexpected deterioration in the credit quality of our commercial or commercial real estate loan portfolios would require us to increase our provision for credit losses, which would reduce our profitability and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries were hit hard with the hospitality sector being one of the hardest hit. Hotel/motel loans make up a large percentage of our loan portfolio at approximately 12% at December 31, 2020. As a result, our estimated allowance for credit losses experienced large increases in 2020 to reflect the current and projected impact of COVID-19 pandemic on our loan portfolio.
In addition, with respect to commercial real estate loans, federal and state banking regulators are examining commercial real estate lending activity with heightened scrutiny and may require banks with higher levels of commercial real estate loans to implement more stringent 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. Because a significant portion of our loan portfolio is comprised of commercial real estate loans, the banking regulators may require us to maintain higher levels of capital than we would otherwise be expected to maintain, which could limit our ability to leverage our capital and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our allowance for credit losses may not cover our actual loan losses. If our actual credit losses exceed the amount we have allocated for estimated current expected credit losses, our business will be adversely affected. We attempt to limit the risk that borrowers will fail to repay loans by carefully underwriting our loans, but losses nevertheless occur in the ordinary course of business operations. We create allowances for estimated credit losses through provisions that are recorded as reductions in income in our accounting records. We base these allowances on estimates of the following:
historical experience with our loans;
evaluation of current economic conditions and other factors;
reviews of the quality, mix and size of the overall loan portfolio;
reviews of delinquencies; and
the quality of the collateral underlying our loans.
If our allowance estimates are inadequate, we may incur losses, our financial condition may be materially and adversely affected and we may be required to try and raise additional capital to enhance our capital position. In addition, various regulatory agencies, as an integral part of their examination process, periodically review the adequacy of our allowance. These agencies may require us to establish additional allowances based on their judgment of the information available at the time of their examinations. No assurance can be given that we will not sustain loan losses in excess of present or future levels of the allowance for credit losses or that regulatory agencies will not require us to increase our allowance thereby impacting our profitability.
An increase in nonperforming assets would reduce our income and increase our expenses. If the level of nonperforming assets increases in the future, it may adversely affect our operating results and financial condition. Nonperforming assets are mainly loans on which the borrowers are not making their required payments. Nonperforming assets also include loans that have been restructured to permit the borrower to make payments and real estate that has been acquired through foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure of unpaid loans. To the extent that assets are nonperforming, we have less earning assets generating interest income and an increase in credit related expenses, including provisions for credit losses.
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Increases in the level of our problem assets, occurrence of operating losses or a failure to comply with requirements of the agencies which regulate us may result in regulatory actions against us which may materially and adversely affect our business and the market price of our common stock. The DFPI, the FDIC, and the FRB each have authority to take actions to require that we comply with applicable regulatory capital requirements, cease engaging in what they perceive to be unsafe or unsound practices or make other changes in our business. Among others, the corrective measures that such regulatory authorities may take include requiring us to enter into informal or formal agreements regarding our operations, the issuance of cease and desist orders to refrain from engaging in unsafe and unsound practices, removal of officers and directors and the assessment of civil monetary penalties. See “Item 1. Business – Supervision and Regulation” for a further description of such regulatory powers.
Our use of appraisals in deciding whether to make loans secured by real property does not ensure that the value of the real property collateral will be sufficient to repay our loans. In considering whether to make a loan secured by real property, we 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 made and requires the exercise of a considerable degree of judgment. If the appraisal does not accurately reflect the amount that may be obtained upon sale or foreclosure of the property, whether due to a decline in property value after the date of the original appraisal or defective preparation of the appraisal, we may not realize an amount equal to the indebtedness secured by the property and as a result, we may suffer losses.
Changes in interest rates affect our profitability. The interest rate risk inherent in our lending, investing, and deposit taking activities is a significant market risk to us and our business. We derive our income mainly from the difference or “spread” between the interest earned on loans, securities and other interest earning assets, and interest paid on deposits, borrowings and other interest bearing liabilities. In general, the wider the spread, the more net interest income we earn. When market rates of interest change, the interest we receive on our assets and the interest we pay on our liabilities will fluctuate. This can cause decreases in our spread and can greatly affect our income. In addition, interest rate fluctuations can affect how much money we may be able to lend. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in minimizing the potentially adverse effects of changes in interest rates.
We face risks associated with the replacement of LIBOR. The London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, is scheduled to be phased out at the end of 2021. LIBOR serves as the benchmark rate worldwide for many financial assets, such as loans, bonds and other securities. While a working group comprised of the Federal Reserve and other market participants have proposed an alternative, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”), there is no consensus on what rate or rates may become accepted alternatives to LIBOR. The market transition away from LIBOR to an alternative reference rate, such as SOFR, is complex and could have a range of adverse effects on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The transition could, for example:
Adversely affect the interest rates we pay or receive on, the revenue and expenses associated with or the value of our LIBOR-based assets and liabilities, which include our subordinated debentures, certain variable rate loans and certain other securities and financial arrangements;
Adversely affect the interest rates paid or received on, the revenue and expenses associated with or the value of other securities or financial arrangements, given LIBOR’s role in determining market interest rates globally;
Prompt inquiries or other actions from banking regulators regarding our preparation and readiness for the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate; and
Result in disputes, litigation or other actions with counterparties, including disputes regarding the interpretation and enforceability of fallback language in LIBOR-based contracts and securities.
The manner and impact of the transition from LIBOR to an alternative reference rate and the effect of these developments on our funding costs, loan and investment and trading securities portfolios, asset-liability management, and business, is uncertain. Accordingly, it is not currently possible for us to determine whether, or to what extent, any such changes would affect us. However, the discontinuation of existing benchmark rates could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, prospects and customers.
If we lose key employees, our business may suffer. There is intense competition for experienced and highly qualified personnel in the Korean-American banking industry and the banking industry more broadly. Our future success depends on the continued employment of existing senior management personnel. If we lose key employees temporarily or permanently, it may hurt our business. We may be particularly hurt if our key employees, including any of our executive officers, became employed by our competitors in the Korean-American banking industry.
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We are exposed to the risks of natural disasters. A significant portion of our operations is concentrated in Southern California, which is an earthquake and fire prone region. A major earthquake or fire may result in material loss to us. A significant percentage of our loans are and will be secured by real estate. Many of our borrowers may suffer uninsured property damage, experience interruption of their businesses or lose their jobs after an earthquake or fire. Those borrowers might not be able to repay their loans, and the collateral for such loans may decline significantly in value. Unlike a bank with operations that are more geographically diversified, we are vulnerable to greater losses if an earthquake, fire, flood, mudslide or other natural catastrophe occurs in Southern California.
We may experience adverse effects from acquisitions. We have acquired other banking companies and bank offices in the past, and will consider additional acquisitions as opportunities arise. If we do not adequately address the financial and operational risks associated with acquisitions of other companies, we may incur material unexpected costs and disruption of our business. Future acquisitions may increase the degree of such risks.
Risks involved in acquisitions of other companies include:
the risk of failure to adequately evaluate the asset quality of the acquired company;
difficulty in assimilating the operations, technology and personnel of the acquired company;
diversion of management’s attention from other important business activities;
difficulty in maintaining good relations with the loan and deposit customers of the acquired company;
inability to maintain uniform and effective operating standards, controls, procedures and policies;
potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities or the incurrence of debt and contingent liabilities; and
amortization of expenses related to acquired intangible assets that have finite lives.
Liquidity risks may impair our ability to fund operations and jeopardize our financial condition. Liquidity is essential to our business. An inability to raise funds through deposits, borrowings, the sale of loans, and other sources may have a material adverse effect on our liquidity. Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance our activities may be impaired by factors that affect us specifically or the financial services industry in general. Factors that may detrimentally impact our access to liquidity sources include a decrease in the level of our business activity due to a market downturn or adverse regulatory action against us. Our ability to acquire deposits or borrow may also be impaired by factors that are not specific to us, such as a disruption of the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the banking industry or the general financial services industry as a whole.
The occurrence of fraudulent activity, breaches or failures of our information security controls or cybersecurity-related incidents could have a material adverse effect on our business. As a financial institution, we are susceptible to fraudulent activity, information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents that may be committed against us or our clients, which may result in financial losses or increased costs to us or our clients, disclosure or misuse of our information or our client information, misappropriation of assets, privacy breaches against our clients, 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. Information security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents may include fraudulent or unauthorized access to systems used by us or our clients, denial or degradation of service attacks, and malware, or other cyber-attacks. In recent periods, there continues to be a rise in electronic fraudulent activity, security breaches, and cyber-attacks within the financial services industry, especially in the commercial banking sector due to cyber criminals targeting commercial bank accounts. Consistent with industry trends, we have also experienced an increase in attempted electronic fraudulent activity, security breaches and cybersecurity-related incidents in recent periods. Moreover, in recent periods, several large corporations, including financial institutions and retail companies, have suffered major data breaches, in some cases exposing not only confidential and proprietary corporate information, but also sensitive financial and other personal information of their customers and employees and subjecting them to potential fraudulent activity. Some of our clients may have been affected by these breaches, which increase their risks of identity theft, credit card fraud and other fraudulent activity that could involve their accounts with us.
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Information pertaining to us and our clients is maintained, and transactions are executed, on the networks and systems of us, our clients and certain of our third party partners, such as our online banking or reporting systems. The secure maintenance and transmission of confidential information, as well as execution of transactions over these systems, are essential to protect us and our clients against fraud and security breaches and to maintain our clients’ confidence. Breaches of information security also may occur, and in infrequent cases have occurred, through intentional or unintentional acts by those having access to our systems or our clients’ or counterparties’ confidential information, including employees. In addition, increases in criminal activity, levels and sophistication, advances in computer capabilities, new discoveries, vulnerabilities in third-party technologies (including browsers and operating systems) or other developments could result in a compromise or breach of the technology, processes and controls that we use to prevent fraudulent transactions and to protect data about us, our clients and underlying transactions, as well as the technology used by our clients to access our systems. Although we have developed, and continue to invest in, systems and processes that are designed to detect and prevent security breaches and cyber-attacks and periodically test our security, our inability to anticipate, or failure to adequately mitigate, breaches of security could result in: losses to us or our clients; our loss of business and/or clients; damage to our reputation; the incurrence of additional expenses; disruption to our business; our inability to grow our online services or other businesses; additional regulatory scrutiny or penalties; or our exposure to civil litigation and possible financial liability - any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
More generally, publicized information concerning security and cyber-related problems could inhibit the use or growth of electronic or web-based applications or solutions as a means of conducting commercial transactions. Such publicity may also cause damage to our reputation as a financial institution. As a result, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We are subject to operational risks relating to our technology and information systems. The continued efficacy of our technology and information systems, related operational infrastructure and relationships with third party vendors in our ongoing operations is integral to our performance. Failure of any of these resources, including but not limited to operational or systems failures, interruptions of client service operations and ineffectiveness of or interruption in third party data processing or other vendor support, may cause material disruptions in our business, impairment of customer relations and exposure to liability for our customers, as well as action by bank regulatory authorities.
Our business reputation is important and any damage to it may have a material adverse effect on our business. Our reputation is very important for our business, as we rely on our relationships with our current, former, and potential clients and stockholders in the communities we serve. Any damage to our reputation, whether arising from regulatory, supervisory or enforcement actions, matters affecting our financial reporting or compliance with SEC and exchange listing requirements, negative publicity, our conduct of our business or otherwise may have a material adverse effect on our business.
As we expand outside our California markets, we may encounter additional risks that may adversely affect us. Currently, the majority of our offices are located in California, but we also have offices in the New York City, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Seattle metropolitan areas, New Jersey, Virginia, and Alabama. Over time, we may seek to establish offices to serve Korean-American and other ethnic communities in other parts of the United States as well. In the course of these expansion activities, we may encounter significant risks, including unfamiliarity with the characteristics and business dynamics of new markets, increased marketing and administrative expenses and operational difficulties arising from our efforts to attract business in new markets, manage operations in noncontiguous geographic markets, comply with local laws and regulations and effectively and consistently manage our non-California personnel and business. If we are unable to manage these risks, our operations may be materially and adversely affected.
Adverse conditions in South Korea or globally may adversely affect our business. A substantial number of our customers have economic and cultural ties to South Korea and, as a result, we are likely to feel the effects of adverse economic and political conditions there. If economic or political conditions in South Korea deteriorate, we may, among other things, be exposed to economic and transfer risk, and may experience an outflow of deposits by our customers with connections to South Korea. Transfer risk may result when an entity is unable to obtain the foreign exchange needed to meet its obligations or to provide liquidity. This may materially and adversely impact the recoverability of investments in or loans made to such entities. Adverse economic conditions in South Korea may also negatively impact asset values and the profitability and liquidity of our customers who operate in this region. In addition, a general overall decline in global economic conditions may materially and adversely affect our profitability and overall results of operations.


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Legal and Regulatory Risks
Governmental regulation and regulatory actions against us may further impair our operations or restrict our growth. We are subject to significant governmental supervision and regulation. These regulations affect our lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy and growth, among other things. Congress and federal regulatory agencies continually review banking laws, regulations and policies for possible changes. Statutes and regulations affecting our business may be changed at any time and the interpretation of these statutes and regulations by examining authorities may also change. In addition, regulations may be adopted which increase our deposit insurance premiums and enact special assessments which could increase expenses associated with running our business and adversely affect our earnings.
There can be no assurance that such statutes and regulations, any changes thereto or to their interpretation will not adversely affect our business. In particular, these statutes and regulations, and any changes thereto, could subject us to additional costs (including legal and compliance costs), limit the types of financial services and products we may offer and/or increase the ability of non-banks to offer competing financial services and products, among other things. In addition to governmental supervision and regulation, we are subject to changes in other federal and state laws, including changes in tax laws, which could materially affect us and the banking industry generally. We are subject to the rules, regulations of, and examination by the FRB, the FDIC and the DFPI, and the CFPB. In addition, we are subject to the rules and regulation of the Nasdaq Stock Market and the SEC and are subject to enforcement actions and other punitive actions by these agencies. If we fail to comply with federal and state regulations, the regulators may limit our activities or growth, impose fines on us or in the case of our bank regulators, ultimately require our bank to cease its operations. Bank regulations can hinder our ability to compete with financial services companies that are not regulated in the same manner or are less regulated. Federal and state bank regulatory agencies regulate many aspects of our operations. These areas include:
the capital that must be maintained;
the kinds of activities that can be engaged in;
the kinds and amounts of investments that can be made;
the locations of offices;
insurance of deposits and the premiums that we must pay for this insurance;
procedures and policies we must adopt;
conditions and restrictions on our executive compensation; and
how much cash we must set aside as reserves for deposits.
In addition, bank regulatory authorities have the authority to bring enforcement actions against banks and bank holding companies, including the Bank and Hope Bancorp, for unsafe or unsound practices in the conduct of their businesses or for violations of any law, rule or regulation, any condition imposed in writing by the appropriate bank regulatory agency or any written agreement with the authority. Enforcement actions against us could include a federal conservatorship or receivership for the bank, the issuance of additional orders that could be judicially enforced, the imposition of civil monetary penalties, the issuance of directives to enter into a strategic transaction, whether by merger or otherwise, with a third party, the termination of insurance of deposits, the issuance of removal and prohibition orders against institution-affiliated parties, and the enforcement of such actions through injunctions or restraining orders. In addition, as we have grown beyond $10 billion in assets, we are subject to enhanced CFPB examination as well as required to perform more comprehensive stress-testing on our business and operations.
We face a risk of noncompliance and enforcement action with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations. The BSA, the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and file suspicious activity and currency transaction reports as appropriate. The federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and has recently engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts with the individual federal banking regulators, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Internal Revenue Service. We are also subject to increased scrutiny of compliance with the rules enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. 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. Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us. Any of these results could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
20



SBA lending is an important part of our business. Our SBA lending program is dependent upon the federal government, and we face specific risks associated with originating SBA loans. Our SBA lending program is dependent upon the federal government. As an SBA Preferred Lender, we enable our clients to obtain SBA loans without being subject to the potentially lengthy SBA approval process required 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 Preferred Lender status. If we lose our status as a 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 changes to the level of guarantee provided by the federal government on SBA loans, may also have a material adverse effect on our business.
We historically sold the guaranteed portion of our SBA 7(a) loans in the secondary market, but during the end of 2018, we made the decision to retain most of the SBA 7(a) loans that we originate due to the low premiums being offered in the secondary market. These sales of SBA 7(a) loans have historically resulted in both premium income for us at the time of sale, and created a stream of future servicing income. We may not be able to continue originating these loans or return to selling them in the secondary market. Furthermore, even if we are able to continue originating and return to selling 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. When we sell the guaranteed portion of our SBA 7(a) loans, we incur credit risk on the non-guaranteed portion of the loans, and if a customer defaults on the non-guaranteed portion of 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, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
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.
Environmental laws may force us to pay for environmental problems. The cost of cleaning up or paying damages and penalties associated with environmental problems may increase our operating expenses. When a borrower defaults on a loan secured by real property, we often purchase the property in foreclosure or accept a deed to the property surrendered by the borrower. We may also take over the management of commercial properties whose owners have defaulted on loans. We also lease premises where our branches and other facilities are located, all where environmental problems may exist. Although we have lending, foreclosure and facilities guidelines that are intended to exclude properties with an unreasonable risk of contamination, hazardous substances may exist on some of the properties that we own, lease, manage or occupy. We may face the risk that environmental laws may force us to clean up the properties at our expense. The cost of cleaning up a property may exceed the value of the property. We may also be liable for pollution generated by a borrower’s operations if we take a role in managing those operations after a default. We may find it difficult or impossible to sell contaminated properties.
Changes in accounting standards may affect how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. Our accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. From time to time, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and SEC change the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. These changes and their impacts on us can be hard to predict and may result in unexpected and materially adverse impacts on our reported financial condition and results of operations.
Financial and Market Risks
We may reduce or discontinue the payment of dividends on common stock. Our stockholders are only entitled to receive such dividends as our Board may declare out of funds legally available for such payments. Although we have historically declared cash dividends on our common stock, we are not required to do so and may reduce or eliminate our common stock dividend in the future. Our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders is subject to the restrictions set forth in Delaware law, by the FRB, and by certain covenants contained in our subordinated debentures. Notification to the FRB is also required prior to our declaring and paying a cash dividend to our stockholders during any period in which our quarterly and/or cumulative twelve-month net earnings are insufficient to fund the dividend amount, among other requirements. We may not pay a dividend if the FRB objects or until such time as we receive approval from the FRB or we no longer need to provide notice under applicable regulations. In addition, we may be restricted by applicable law or regulation or actions taken by our regulators, now or in the future, from paying dividends to our stockholders. We cannot provide assurance that we will continue paying dividends on our common stock at current levels or at all. A reduction or discontinuance of dividends on our common stock could have a material adverse effect on our business, including the market price of our common stock.
21



The conditional conversion features of the convertible notes issued by the Company, if met, may adversely affect our financial condition and operating results. In the event the conditional conversion features of the convertible notes issued by the Company are met, holders of convertible notes will be entitled to convert the notes at any time during specified periods at their option. If one or more holders elect to convert their notes, unless we elect to satisfy our conversion obligation by delivering solely shares of our common stock (other than paying cash in lieu of delivering any fractional share), we would be required to settle a portion or all of our conversion obligation through the payment of cash, which could adversely affect our liquidity.
We may not have the capital resources necessary to settle conversions of the convertible notes in cash or to repurchase the convertible notes if holders of the convertible note exercise their repurchase rights or upon a fundamental change, and our future debt may contain limitations on our ability to pay cash upon conversion or repurchase of the convertible notes. Holders of the convertible notes will have the right to require us to repurchase all or a portion of their convertible notes on certain specified dates or upon the occurrence of a fundamental change at a repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the convertible notes to be repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid special interest, if any. We may not have enough available cash or be able to obtain financing at the time we are required to repurchase convertible notes surrendered or pay cash with respect to the convertible notes being converted if we elect not to issue shares, which could harm our reputation and affect the trading price of our common stock.
The value of our securities in our investment portfolio may decline in the future. The fair value of our investment securities may be adversely affected by market conditions, including changes in interest rates, implied credit spreads, and the occurrence of any events adversely affecting the issuer of particular securities in our investments portfolio or any given market segment or industry in which we are invested. We analyze our securities available for sale on a quarterly basis to determine if there is a requirement to recognize current expected credit losses. The process for determining current expected credit losses usually requires complex, subjective judgments about the future financial performance of the issuer in order to assess the probability of receiving all contractual principal and interest payments sufficient to recover our amortized cost of the security. Because of changing economic and market conditions affecting issuers, we may be required to recognize credit losses in future periods, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud. Effective internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports, effectively prevent fraud and to operate successfully as a public company. If we cannot provide reliable financial reports or prevent fraud, our reputation and business would be harmed. In addition, failure in our internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures could cause us to fail to meet the continued listing requirements of the Nasdaq Global Select Market and, as a result, adversely impact the liquidity and trading price of our securities.
Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and applicable federal and state law may limit the ability of another party to acquire us, which could cause our stock price to decline. Various provisions of our charter documents could delay or prevent a third-party from acquiring us, even if doing so might be beneficial to our stockholders. These include, among other things, advance notice requirements to submit stockholder proposals at stockholder meetings and the authorization to issue “blank check” preferred stock by action of the Board of Directors acting alone, thus without obtaining stockholder approval. In addition, applicable provisions of federal and state banking law require regulatory approval in connection with certain acquisitions of our common stock and supermajority voting provisions in connection with certain transactions. In particular, both federal and state law limit the acquisition of ownership of, generally, 10% or more of our common stock without providing prior notice to the regulatory agencies and obtaining prior regulatory approval or non-objection or being able to rely on an exemption from such requirement. Collectively, these provisions of our charter documents and applicable federal and state law may prevent a merger or acquisition that would be attractive to stockholders and could limit the price investors would be willing to pay in the future for our common stock.
Our common stock is not insured and you could lose the value of your entire investment. An investment in our common stock is not a deposit and is not insured against loss by any government agency.

22



General Risk Factors
Our common stock is equity and therefore is subordinate to indebtedness and preferred stock. Our common stock constitutes equity interests and does not constitute indebtedness. As such, common stock will rank junior to all current and future indebtedness and other non-equity claims on us with respect to assets available to satisfy claims against us, including in the event of our liquidation. We may, and the Bank and our other subsidiaries may also, incur additional indebtedness from time to time and may increase our aggregate level of outstanding indebtedness. Additionally, holders of common stock are subject to the prior dividend and liquidation rights of any holders of our preferred stock that may be outstanding from time to time. The Board of Directors is authorized to cause us to issue additional classes or series of preferred stock without any action on the part of our stockholders. If we issue preferred shares in the future that have a preference over our common stock with respect to the payment of dividends or upon liquidation, or if we issue preferred shares with voting rights that dilute the voting power of the common stock, then the rights of holders of our common stock or the market price of our common stock could be materially adversely affected.
Our stock price may be volatile, which may result in substantial losses for our stockholders. The market price of our common stock may be subject to fluctuations in response to a number of factors, including:
issuing new equity securities;
the amount of our common stock outstanding and the trading volume of our stock;
actual or anticipated changes in our future financial performance;
changes in financial performance estimates by us or by securities analysts;
competitive developments, including announcements by us or our competitors of new products or services or acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments;
the operating and stock performance of our competitors;
changes in interest rates;
changes in key personnel;
changes in economic conditions that affect the Bank’s performance; and
changes in legislation or regulations that affect the Bank.
We may raise additional capital, which could have a dilutive effect on the existing holders of our common stock and adversely affect the market price of our common stock. We periodically evaluate opportunities to access capital markets, taking into account our financial condition, regulatory capital ratios, business strategies, anticipated asset growth and other relevant considerations. It is possible that future acquisitions, organic growth or changes in regulatory capital requirements could require us to increase the amount or change the composition of our current capital, including our common equity. For all of these reasons and others, and always subject to market conditions, we may issue additional shares of common stock or other capital securities in public or private transactions.
The issuance of additional common stock, debt, or securities convertible into or exchangeable for our common stock or that represent the right to receive common stock, or the exercise of such securities, could be substantially dilutive to holders of our common stock. Holders of our common stock have no preemptive or other rights that would entitle them to purchase their pro rata share of any offering of shares of any class or series and, therefore, such sales or offerings could result in dilution of the ownership interests of our stockholders.

23



Item 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
Item 2.PROPERTIES
Our principal executive offices are located at 3200 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1400, Los Angeles, California 90010. As of December 31, 2020, we operated full-service branches at 51 leased and seven owned facilities, and we operated loan production offices at 11 leased facilities. Expiration dates of our leases range from 2021 to 2030. We believe our present facilities are suitable and adequate for our current operating needs.
Item 3.LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
In the normal course of business, we are involved in various legal claims. We have reviewed all legal claims against us with counsel and have taken into consideration the views of such counsel as to the potential outcome of the claims. Loss contingencies for all legal claims totaled approximately $1.3 million at December 31, 2020. It is reasonably possible we may incur losses in addition to the amounts we have accrued. However, at this time, we are unable to estimate the range of additional losses that are reasonably possible because of a number of factors, including the fact that certain of these litigation matters are still in their early stages and involve claims for which, at this point, we believe have little to no merit. Management has considered these and other possible loss contingencies and does not expect the amounts to be material to any of the consolidated financial statements.
Item 4.MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.
24



Part II
Item 5.MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “HOPE.”
The closing price for our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on February 19, 2021 was $12.45 per share. As of February 19, 2021, there were 1,151 stockholders of record of our common stock.

Stock Performance Graph
The following graph compares the yearly percentage change in the cumulative total shareholder return (stock price appreciation plus reinvested dividends) on our common stock with (i) the cumulative total return of the NASDAQ Composite Index, (ii) the cumulative total return of the S&P Small Cap 600 Index, (iii) a published index comprised of banks and thrifts selected by SNL Financial LLC, and (iv) the cumulative total return of the S&P 500 Index. The graph assumes an initial investment of $100 and reinvestment of dividends. Points on the graph represent the performance as of the last business day of each of the years indicated. The graph is not indicative of future price performance. The graph does not constitute soliciting material and shall not be deemed filed or incorporated by reference into any filing by Hope Bancorp under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, except to the extent that we may specifically incorporate this graph by reference.

hope-20201231_g1.jpg
ASSUMES $100 INVESTED ON DECEMBER 31, 2015
ASSUMES DIVIDENDS REINVESTED
FISCAL YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2020
 Period Ending
Stock/Index12/31/201512/31/201612/31/201712/31/201812/31/201912/31/2020
Hope Bancorp, Inc.$100.00$130.87$112.02$75.22$98.05$76.36
NASDAQ Composite$100.00$108.87$141.13$137.12$187.44$271.64
S&P 600 Index$100.00$126.56$143.30$131.15$161.03$179.20
SNL Bank and Thrift$100.00$126.25$148.45$123.32$166.67$144.61
S&P 500 Index$100.00$111.96$136.40$130.42$171.49$203.04

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Item 6.SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following table presents selected financial and other data for each of the years in the five-year period ended December 31, 2020. The information below should be read in conjunction with, the more detailed information included elsewhere herein, including our Audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto.
 As of or For The Year Ended December 31,
 20202019201820172016
 (Dollars in thousands, except share and per share data)
Income Statement Data:
Interest income$598,878 $684,786 $650,172 $572,104 $421,934 
Interest expense131,380 218,191 162,245 90,724 58,579 
Net interest income467,498 466,595 487,927 481,380 363,355 
Provision for credit losses95,000 7,300 14,900 17,360 9,000 
Net interest income after provision for credit losses372,498 459,295 473,027 464,020 354,355 
Noninterest income53,432 49,683 60,180 66,415 51,819 
Noninterest expense283,639 282,628 277,726 266,601 214,975 
Income before income tax provision142,291 226,350 255,481 263,834 191,199 
Income tax provision30,776 55,310 65,892 124,389 77,452 
Net income$111,515 $171,040 $189,589 $139,445 $113,747 
Per Common Share Data:
Earnings - basic$0.90 $1.35 $1.44 $1.03 $1.10 
Earnings - diluted$0.90 $1.35 $1.44 $1.03 $1.10 
Book value (period end)$16.66 $16.19 $15.03 $14.23 $13.72 
Cash dividends declared per common share$0.56 $0.56 $0.54 $0.50 $0.45 
Number of common shares outstanding (period end)123,264,864 125,756,543 126,639,912 135,511,891 135,240,079 
Balance Sheet Data—At Period End:
Assets$17,106,664 $15,667,440 $15,305,952 $14,206,717 $13,441,422 
Securities available for sale$2,285,611 $1,715,987 $1,846,265 $1,720,257 $1,556,740 
Loans receivable, net of unearned loan fees and discounts (excludes loans held for sale)$13,563,213 $12,276,007 $12,098,115 $11,102,575 $10,543,332 
Deposits$14,333,912 $12,527,364 $12,155,656 $10,846,609 $10,642,035 
FHLB advances and federal funds purchased$250,000 $625,000 $821,280 $1,227,593 $754,290 
Subordinated debentures$104,178 $103,035 $101,929 $100,853 $99,808 
Convertible notes, net$204,565 $199,458 $194,543 $— $— 
Stockholders’ equity$2,053,745 $2,036,011 $1,903,211 $1,928,255 $1,855,473 
Average Balance Sheet Data:
Assets$16,515,102 $15,214,412 $14,749,166 $13,648,963 $10,342,063 
Securities available for sale$1,899,948 $1,796,412 $1,772,080 $1,679,468 $1,276,068 
Gross loans, including loans held for sale$12,698,523 $11,998,675 $11,547,022 $10,642,349 $8,121,897 
Deposits$13,560,531 $12,066,719 $11,628,177 $10,751,886 $8,232,984 
Stockholders’ equity$2,032,570 $1,981,811 $1,910,224 $1,907,746 $1,342,954 
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 As of or For The Year Ended December 31,
 20202019201820172016
 (Dollars in thousands)
Selected Performance Ratios:
Return on average assets(1)
0.68 %1.12 %1.29 %1.02 %1.10 %
Return on average stockholders’ equity(2)
5.49 %8.63 %9.92 %7.31 %8.47 %
Average stockholders’ equity to average assets12.31 %13.03 %12.95 %13.98 %12.99 %
Dividend payout ratio
(dividends per share/earnings per share)
62.22 %41.54 %37.58 %48.54 %40.86 %
Net interest spread(3)
2.58 %2.65 %3.04 %3.46 %3.49 %
Net interest margin(4)
3.00 %3.27 %3.53 %3.80 %3.75 %
Yield on interest earning assets(5)
3.84 %4.81 %4.71 %4.51 %4.36 %
Cost of interest bearing liabilities(6)
1.26 %2.16 %1.67 %1.05 %0.87 %
Efficiency ratio(7)
54.45 %54.74 %50.67 %48.67 %51.78 %
Regulatory Capital Ratios:
Hope Bancorp:
Common Equity Tier 1
10.94 %11.76 %11.44 %12.30 %12.10 %
Tier 1 Leverage
10.22 %11.22 %10.55 %11.54 %11.49 %
Tier 1 risk-based
11.64 %12.51 %12.21 %13.11 %12.92 %
Total risk-based
12.87 %13.23 %12.94 %13.82 %13.64 %
Bank of Hope:
Common Equity Tier 1
12.90 %13.72 %13.63 %12.95 %12.75 %
Tier 1 Leverage
11.33 %12.29 %11.76 %11.40 %11.33 %
Tier I risk-based
12.90 %13.72 %13.63 %12.95 %12.75 %
Total risk-based
14.14 %14.44 %14.36 %13.66 %13.46 %
Asset Quality Data:
Nonaccrual loans$85,238 $54,785 $53,286 $46,775 $40,074 
Loans 90 days or more past due and still accruing (8)
614 7,547 1,529 407 305 
Accruing restructured loans37,354 35,709 50,410 67,250 48,874 
Total nonperforming loans
123,206 98,041 105,225 114,432 89,253 
Other real estate owned20,121 24,091 7,754 10,787 21,990 
Total nonperforming assets
$143,327 $122,132 $112,979 $125,219 $111,243 
Asset Quality Ratios:
Nonaccrual loans to loans receivable0.63 %0.45 %0.44 %0.42 %0.38 %
Nonperforming loans to loans receivable0.91 %0.80 %0.87 %1.03 %0.85 %
Nonperforming assets to total assets0.84 %0.78 %0.74 %0.83 %0.83 %
Nonperforming assets to loans receivable and
other real estate owned
1.06 %0.99 %0.93 %1.13 %1.05 %
Allowance for credit losses to loans receivable1.52 %0.77 %0.77 %0.76 %0.75 %
Allowance for credit losses to nonaccrual loans242.55 %171.84 %173.70 %180.74 %197.99 %
Allowance for credit losses to nonperforming loans167.80 %96.03 %87.96 %73.88 %88.90 %
Allowance for credit losses to nonperforming assets144.24 %77.08 %81.92 %67.51 %71.32 %
Net charge-offs to average loans receivable0.07 %0.04 %0.06 %0.11 %0.07 %
(1)Net income divided by average assets.
(2)Net income divided by average stockholders’ equity.
(3)Difference between the average yield earned on interest earning assets and the average rate paid on interest bearing liabilities.
(4)Net interest income expressed as a percentage of average interest earning assets.
(5)Interest income divided by average interest earning assets.
(6)Interest expense divided by average interest bearing liabilities.
(7)Noninterest expense divided by the sum of net interest income plus noninterest income.
(8)Excludes acquired credit impaired loans totaling $13.2 million, $14.1 million, $18.1 million, and $19.6 million as of December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016, respectively.
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Item 7.MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read together with our Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying notes presented elsewhere in this Report. This discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of many factors, including those set forth under Item 1A “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Report. Please see the “Forward Looking Information” immediately preceding Part I of this Report.
Overview
We offer a full range of commercial and retail banking loan and deposit products through Bank of Hope. We have 58 banking offices in California, New York/New Jersey, Illinois, Washington, Texas, Virginia, and Alabama. We have 11 loan production offices located in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Fremont, and in Southern California. We offer our banking services through our network of banking offices and loan production offices to our customers who typically are small to medium-sized businesses in our market areas. We accept deposits and originate a variety of loans including commercial business loans, real estate loans, trade finance loans, SBA loans, and consumer loans.
Our principal business involves earning interest on loans and investment securities that are funded primarily by customer deposits, wholesale deposits, and other borrowings. Our operating income and net income are derived primarily from the difference between interest income received from interest earning assets and interest expense paid on interest bearing liabilities and, to a lesser extent, from fees received in connection with servicing loan and deposit accounts and income from the sale of loans. Historically, we sold most of the guaranteed portion of SBA loans we originated on the secondary market, but due to the reduced premiums received from the secondary market for SBA guaranteed sales, we made the decision to retain the loans on our balance sheet. Our major expenses are the interest we pay on deposits and borrowings, provisions for credit losses and general operating expenses, which primarily consist of salaries and employee benefits, occupancy costs, and other operating expenses. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control, such as changes in the national economy and in the related monetary policies of the FRB, inflation, unemployment, consumer spending and political changes and events. We cannot predict the impact that these factors and future changes in domestic and foreign economic and political conditions might have on our performance.
Our results are affected by economic conditions in our markets and to a lesser degree in South Korea. A decline in economic and business conditions in our market areas or in South Korea may have a material adverse impact on the quality of our loan portfolio or the demand for our products and services, which in turn may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a material and adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations and any further impact will depend on future developments that cannot be predicted, including the scope and duration of the pandemic, the economic implications of the same, effectiveness of vaccines being distributed, and the continued actions taken by governmental authorities in response to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially and negatively impacted the United States economy, disrupted global supply chains, considerably lowered equity market valuations, created significant volatility and disruption in financial markets, and materially increased unemployment levels. In addition, the pandemic has resulted in permanent and temporary closures of countless businesses and the institution of social distancing and sheltering in place requirements in most states and communities. Although some states and business have reopened, the last wave of COVID-19 cases resulted in further shutdowns and closures. Although COVID-19 vaccines are currently being distributed, it is unknown how long it will take for the vaccines to have a significant positive impact in reducing COVID-19 cases and how effective the vaccine will be for new emerging strains of the COVID-19 virus. The demand for our products and services has been and likely will continue to be significantly adversely impacted, which would continue to materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, the pandemic could result in the recognition of amplified credit losses in our loan portfolios and increases in our allowance for credit losses, particularly as more and more businesses are closed. Similarly, because of changing economic and market conditions, we may be required to recognize impairments on goodwill or impairment on other financial instruments we hold.
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The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition, as well as our regulatory capital and liquidity ratios, will depend on future developments, that cannot be predicted, including the effectiveness of vaccines, the scope and duration of the pandemic, the economic implications of the same, and actions taken by governmental authorities and other third parties in response to the pandemic.
On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act in response to the global pandemic. The CARES Act provided approximately $2.2 trillion in emergency economic relief funds, expanded SBA lending and provides temporary relief of certain modifications from TDR classification. In December 2020, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 which included another $900 billion in stimulus relief for the COVID-19 pandemic to provide emergency economic relief funds, further expanded SBA lending with additional funds for SBA PPP, and provides an extension for the relief of certain modifications from TDR classification. In 2020, we assisted many of our customers in availing themselves of certain provisions of the CARES Act by providing loan modifications to borrowers consisting of mostly payment deferrals. We also funded $480.1 million in SBA PPP loans in 2020 (see “COVID-19 Related Loan Modifications” in the Financial Conditions section of the MD&A for more information) and with the approval of a second round of PPP funds, we started originating additional PPP loans in the first quarter of 2021.
At December 31, 2020, all of our regulatory capital ratios for Hope Bancorp and the Bank were in excess of the minimum requirements set by our regulators. While we currently believe that we have sufficient excess capital and liquidity to withstand the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, further economic deterioration or an extended recession could adversely impact our capital and liquidity positions.

Pandemic Response Plan
With the onset of the COVID-19 virus, we activated a Pandemic Response Plan in January 2020, in advance of the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the Pandemic Response Plan, a Pandemic Response Team and a Business Continuity Program Team were formed which closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, identifying issues and developing responses to reduce risks related to COVID-19 to our customers, employees, and communities. As part of our overall efforts to help contain the spread of the virus, we made a number of adjustments in our branch operations:
Nationwide, we reduced the operating hours;
For some of our branches with drive-thru service facilities, we limited in-branch services by appointment only;
We have also temporarily closed a number of branches that are in close proximity to another branch location;
We implemented social distancing procedures limiting the number of customers in a branch at a given time; requiring the use of face masks and hand sanitizers by all customers entering a branch, and added aisle lines to help guide customers in maintaining a minimum of 6 feet of separation;
We limited operations to every other teller station as warranted to maintain the minimum 6-feet distance;
We installed sneeze guards at all teller stations and customer service areas;
We have provided our branch staff with facial masks, as well as face shields; and
We implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols at all of our branches.

We have also implemented a number of changes to our back-office operations including:
Enabling the majority of our employees with remote work capabilities and implementing a remote rotation strategy with the general goal of having approximately 50% of the department staff working onsite and the remainder working remotely;
In-person meetings have been prohibited to the extent possible;
In line with social distancing guidelines, certain employee workstations have been temporarily modified to allow for a minimum separation of approximately six feet between each employee;
Common break areas have been closed; and
We have implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols for our non-branch locations.
The goal of the Pandemic Response Plan is to protect the health of our customers, employees, and communities while continuing to meet the needs of our customers. The Pandemic Response Team and Business Continuity Program Team will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and take additional actions in an effort to ensure the safe continued operations of the Bank.

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Critical Accounting Policies
Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and generally accepted practices within the banking industry. The financial information contained within these statements is, to a significant extent, financial information that is based on approximate measures of the financial effects of transactions and events that have already occurred. All of our significant accounting policies are described in Note 1 of our Consolidated Financial Statements presented elsewhere in this Report and are essential to understanding Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. GAAP requires management to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of our financial statements. Actual results may materially and adversely differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.
The following is a summary of the more subjective and complex accounting estimates and judgements affecting the financial condition and results reported in our financial statements. In each area, we have identified the variables we believe to be the most important in the estimation process. We use the best information available to us to make the estimations necessary to value the related assets and liabilities in each of these areas. Management has reviewed these critical accounting estimates and related disclosures with our Audit Committee.
Business Combinations
Description - Mergers and acquisitions are accounted for in accordance with ASC 805 “Business Combinations” using the acquisition method of accounting. Assets and liabilities acquired and assumed are generally recorded at their fair values as of the date of the transaction. The excess of purchase price over the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed is recorded as goodwill. Critical accounting policies related to acquired loans is discussed in more detail below under “Purchase Credit Deteriorated Loans” (“PCD”).
Subjective Estimates and Judgments - Determining the fair value of assets and liabilities acquired often involves estimates based on internal estimate or third-party valuations using a discounted cash flow analysis or other valuation technique that may include the use of estimates. In addition, the determination of the useful lives over which intangible assets will be amortized is subjective in nature.
Impact if Actual Results Differ From Estimates and Judgments - Changes to estimates and judgments used in business combinations could result in a significant difference in the fair value of assets and liabilities acquired which would impact total goodwill recorded. A change in the useful life of intangible assets could impact amortization amounts which could have an impact on our earnings.
Investment Securities
Description - We evaluate securities in unrealized loss position for impairment related to credit losses on at least a quarterly basis. Based on our evaluation, we do not believe that we had any investment securities available for sale with unrealized losses with credit loss impairment as of December 31, 2020. Investment securities are discussed in more detail under “Financial Condition - Investment Security Portfolio”.
Subjective Estimates and Judgments - Significant judgment is involved in determining when a decline in fair value is credit impaired. Securities in unrealized loss positions are first assessed as to whether we intend to sell, or if it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the security before recovery of its amortized cost basis. If one of the criteria is met, the security’s amortized cost basis is written down to fair value through current earnings. For securities that do not meet these criteria, we evaluate whether the decline in fair value resulted from credit losses or other factors. In evaluating whether a credit loss exists, we set up an initial filter for impairment triggers. Once the quantitative filters have been triggered, the securities are placed on a watch list and an additional assessment is performed to identify whether a credit impairment exists. In making this assessment, management considers the extent to which fair value is less than amortized cost, any changes to the rating of the security by a rating agency, and adverse conditions specifically related to the security and the issuer, among other factors.
Impact if Actual Results Differ From Estimates and Judgments - Changes in management’s assessment of the factors used to determine that an investment security was not credit impaired could lead to additional impairment charges. Additionally, a security that had no apparent risk could be affected by a sudden or acute market condition and necessitate an impairment charge.
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Allowance for Credit Losses
Description - The allowance for credit losses is maintained at a level believed adequate by management to absorb expected lifetime losses in the consolidated loan portfolio. The adequacy of the allowance for credit losses is determined by management based upon an evaluation and review of the credit quality of the loan portfolio, consideration of current and projected economic conditions and variables, and historical loss experience, relevant internal and external factors that affect the collection of a loan, and other pertinent factors. The allowance for credit losses is discussed in more detail under “Financial Condition - Allowance for Credit Losses”.
Subjective Estimates and Judgments - We determine the adequacy of the allowance for credit losses by analyzing and estimating lifetime expected losses in the loan portfolio. The allowance for credit losses requires estimates that are not limited to current and projected economic conditions, the adequacy of and value of underlying collateral on real estate loans, the financial strength of the borrower, qualitative assessments, and other relevant factors. Specifically, the provision for credit losses represents the amount charged against current period earnings to achieve an allowance for credit losses that, in our judgment, is adequate to absorb lifetime expected losses in the loan portfolio.
Impact if Actual Results Differ From Estimates and Judgments - Adverse changes in management’s assessment of the assumptions and factors used to determine the allowance for credit losses could lead to additional provision for credit losses. Actual credit losses could differ materially from management’s estimates if actual losses and conditions differ significantly from the assumptions used. These factors and conditions include general economic conditions within our market, industry trends and concentrations, real estate and other collateral values, interest rates, and the financial conditions of our borrowers. While management believes that it has established adequate allowances for lifetime losses on loans, actual results may prove different and the differences could be significant.
Goodwill
Description - Goodwill is generally determined as the excess of the fair value of the consideration transferred over the fair value of the net assets acquired and liabilities assumed as of the acquisition date. Goodwill and intangible assets acquired in a purchase business combination and determined to have an indefinite useful life are not amortized but tested for impairment at least annually. Goodwill may also be tested for impairment on an interim basis if circumstances change or an event occurs between annual tests that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of the reporting unit below its carrying amount. An impairment loss must be recognized for any excess of carrying value over fair value of the goodwill.
Subjective Estimates and Judgments - Before applying the goodwill impairment test, in accordance with ASC 350 “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other”, we perform a qualitative assessment of whether it is more likely than not that a reporting unit’s fair value is less than its carrying amount. If we conclude that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, we do not perform Step 1 of the impairment analysis. We assess certain qualitative factors to determine whether impairment is likely including: our market capitalization, capital adequacy, continued performance compared to peers, and continued improvement in asset quality trends, among others. This qualitative assessment can be subjective in nature and includes a certain amount of management judgment in determining whether it is more likely than not that a reporting unit’s fair value is less than its carrying amount.
In the event we perform an impairment test, the determination of fair value is based on valuations using management assumptions and estimates including developing cash flow projections, selecting appropriate discount rates, calculation of a terminal growth rate, minimum target capitalization levels, identifying relevant market comparables, incorporating current and projected economic conditions, and selecting an appropriate control premium.
Impact if Actual Results Differ From Estimates and Judgments - Changes in qualitative factors assessed, changes to assumptions used in the impairment test, selection and weighting of the various fair value techniques, and downturns in economic or business conditions, could have a significant adverse impact on the carrying value of goodwill and could result in impairment losses which could have a material impact our financial condition and earnings.

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Income Taxes
Description - We use the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes in which deferred tax assets and liabilities are established for the temporary differences between the financial reporting basis and the tax basis of our asset and liabilities. The realization of the net deferred tax asset generally depends upon future levels of taxable income and the existence of prior years’ taxable income, to which “carry back” refund claims could be made. A valuation allowance is maintained, when necessary, to reduce deferred tax assets that management estimates are more likely than not to be unrealizable based on available evidence at the time the estimate is made. Furthermore, tax positions that could be deemed uncertain are required to be disclosed and reserved for if it is more likely than not that the position would not be sustained upon audit examination. Taxes are discussed in more detail in Note 11 to our Consolidated Financial Statements presented elsewhere in this Report.
Subjective Estimates and Judgments - Significant management judgment is required in determining income tax expense and deferred tax assets and liabilities. Some judgments are subjective and involve estimates and assumptions about matters that are inherently uncertain. In determining the valuation allowance, we use historical and forecasted future operating results. In determining the level of reserve needed for uncertain tax positions, we consider relevant current legislation and court rulings, among other authoritative items, to determine the level of exposure inherent in our tax positions. Management believes that the accounting estimate related to the valuation allowance and uncertain tax positions are a critical accounting estimate because the underlying assumptions can change from period to period.
Impact if Actual Results Differ From Estimates and Judgments - Although management believes that the judgments and estimates used are reasonable, should actual factors and conditions differ materially from those considered by management, the actual realization of the net deferred tax asset and tax positions taken could differ materially from the amounts recorded in the financial statements. If we are not able to realize all or part of our net deferred tax asset in the future or if a tax position is overturned by a taxing authority, an adjustment to the deferred tax asset valuation allowance would be charged to income tax expense in the period such determination was made which could have a material impact on our earnings.
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Results of Operations
Operations Summary
Our most significant source of income is net interest income, which is the difference between our interest income and our interest expense. Generally, interest income is generated from the loans we extend to our customers and from investments, and interest expense is generated from interest bearing deposits our customers have with us and from borrowings or debt that we may have, such as FHLB advances, federal funds purchased, convertible notes, and subordinated debentures. Our ability to generate profitable levels of net interest income is largely dependent on our ability to manage the levels of interest earning assets and interest bearing liabilities, and the rates received or paid on them, as well as our ability to maintain sound asset quality and appropriate levels of capital and liquidity. As mentioned above, interest income and interest expense may fluctuate based on factors beyond our control, such as economic or political conditions and policies.
We attempt to minimize the effect of interest rate fluctuations on net interest margin by monitoring our interest sensitive assets and our interest sensitive liabilities. Net interest income can be affected by a change in the composition of assets and liabilities, such as replacing higher yielding loans with a like amount of lower yielding investment securities. Changes in the level of nonaccrual loans and changes in volume and interest rates can also affect net interest income. Volume changes are caused by differences in the level of interest earning assets and interest bearing liabilities. Interest rate changes result from differences in yields earned on assets and rates paid on liabilities.
The other source of our income is noninterest income, including service charges and fees on deposit accounts, loan servicing fees, fees from trade finance activities, net gains on sale of loans that were held for sale and investment securities available for sale, and other income and fees. Our noninterest income can be reduced by charges from the credit impairment of our investment securities.
In addition to interest expense, our income is also impacted by provisions for loan losses and noninterest expense, primarily salaries and benefits and occupancy expense. The following table presents our condensed consolidated statements of income and the changes year over year.
 Year Ended December 31, 2020Increase
(Decrease)
Year Ended December 31, 2019Increase
(Decrease)
Year Ended December 31, 2018
Amount%Amount%
(Dollars in thousands)
Interest income$598,878 $(85,908)(13)%$684,786 $34,614 %$650,172 
Interest expense131,380 (86,811)(40)%218,191 55,946 34 %162,245 
Net interest income467,498 903 — %466,595 (21,332)(4)%487,927 
Provision for credit losses95,000 87,700 1,201 %7,300 (7,600)(51)%14,900 
Noninterest income53,432 3,749 %49,683 (10,497)(17)%60,180 
Noninterest expense283,639 1,011 — %282,628 4,902 %277,726 
Income before income tax provision142,291 (84,059)(37)%226,350 (29,131)(11)%255,481 
Income tax provision30,776 (24,534)(44)%55,310 (10,582)(16)%65,892 
Net income$111,515 $(59,525)(35)%$171,040 $(18,549)(10)