SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended:
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
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Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
Aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates, computed by reference to the price at which the common stock was last sold on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2020, was approximately $
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
The Registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement pertaining to the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed or to be filed not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year pursuant to Regulation 14A, is incorporated herein by reference into Part III.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA AND FORECASTS
Market and industry data and other statistical information and forecasts used throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Annual Report”) are based on independent industry publications, government publications and reports by market research firms or other published independent sources. We have not sought or obtained the approval or endorsement of the use of this third party information. Some data also is based on our good faith estimates, which are derived from our review of internal surveys, as well as independent sources. Forecasts are particularly likely to be inaccurate, especially over long periods of time.
Unless the context otherwise indicates, all references in this Annual Report to the “Company,” “we,” “us,” “our” or “ours” or similar words are to Hilltop Holdings Inc. and its direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries, references to “Hilltop” refer solely to Hilltop Holdings Inc., references to “PCC” refer to PlainsCapital Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop), references to “Securities Holdings” refer to Hilltop Securities Holdings LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop), references to “Hilltop Securities” refer to Hilltop Securities Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Securities Holdings), references to “Momentum Independent Network” refer to Momentum Independent Network Inc., formerly Hilltop Securities Independent Network Inc., (a wholly owned subsidiary of Securities Holdings), Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are collectively referred to as the “Hilltop Broker-Dealers,” references to the “Bank” refer to PlainsCapital Bank (a wholly owned subsidiary of PCC), references to “FNB” refer to First National Bank, references to “SWS” refer to the former SWS Group, Inc., references to “PrimeLending” refer to PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank) and its subsidiaries as a whole, references to “NLC” refer to National Lloyds Corporation (formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop) and its wholly owned subsidiaries.
This Annual Report includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included in this Annual Report that address results or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future, and statements that are preceded by, followed by or include, words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “goal,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “probable,” “projects,” “seeks,” “should,” “target,” “view” or “would” or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases, including such things as our business strategy, our financial condition, our revenue, our liquidity and sources of funding, market trends, operations and business, taxes, the impact of natural disasters or public health emergencies, such as the current global outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”), information technology expenses, capital levels, mortgage servicing rights (“MSR”) assets, use of proceeds from offerings, stock repurchases, dividend payments, expectations concerning mortgage loan origination volume, servicer advances and interest rate compression, expected levels of refinancing as a percentage of total loan origination volume, projected losses on mortgage loans originated, total expenses, the effects of government regulation applicable to our operations, the appropriateness of, and changes in, our allowance for credit losses and provision for (reversal of) credit losses, including as a result of the “current expected credit losses” (CECL) model, expected future benchmarks rates, anticipated investment yields, our expectations regarding accretion of discount on loans in future periods, the collectability of loans, cybersecurity incidents and the outcome of litigation are forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance taking into account all information currently available to us. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations are subject to risks and uncertainties and can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. If an event occurs, our business, business plan, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations may vary materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ include, among others:
|●||the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of governmental authorities to the pandemic, which have caused and are causing significant harm to the global economy and our business;|
|●||the credit risks of lending activities, including our ability to estimate credit losses and increases to the allowance for credit losses as a result of the implementation of CECL, as well as the effects of changes in the level of, and trends in, loan delinquencies and write-offs;|
|●||effectiveness of our data security controls in the face of cyber attacks;|
|●||changes in general economic, market and business conditions in areas or markets where we compete, including changes in the price of crude oil;|
|●||risks associated with our concentration in real estate related loans;|
|●||changes in the interest rate environment and transitions away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”);|
|●||the effects of our indebtedness on our ability to manage our business successfully, including the restrictions imposed by the indenture governing our indebtedness;|
|●||changes in state and federal laws, regulations or policies affecting one or more of our business segments, including changes in regulatory fees, deposit insurance premiums, capital requirements and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”);|
|●||cost and availability of capital;|
|●||changes in key management;|
|●||competition in our banking, broker-dealer, and mortgage origination segments from other banks and financial institutions as well as investment banking and financial advisory firms, mortgage bankers, asset-based non-bank lenders and government agencies;|
|●||legal and regulatory proceedings;|
|●||risks associated with merger and acquisition integration; and|
|●||our ability to use excess capital in an effective manner.|
For a more detailed discussion of these and other factors that may affect our business and that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, see Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” herein. We caution that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive, and new factors may emerge, or changes to the foregoing factors may occur, that could impact our business. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements concerning our business attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements above. We do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, relating to the matters discussed in this Annual Report except to the extent required by federal securities laws.
Item 1. Business.
Hilltop Holdings Inc. is a diversified, Texas-based financial holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “Bank Holding Company Act”). Our primary line of business is to provide business and consumer banking services from offices located throughout Texas through the Bank. We also provide an array of financial products and services through our broker-dealer and mortgage origination segments. We endeavor to build and maintain a strong financial services company through organic growth as well as acquisitions, which we may make using available capital, excess liquidity and, if necessary or appropriate, additional equity or debt financing sources. The following includes additional details regarding the financial products and services provided by each of our two primary business units.
PCC. PCC is a financial holding company that provides, through its subsidiaries, traditional banking and wealth, investment and treasury management services primarily in Texas and residential mortgage loans throughout the United States.
Securities Holdings. Securities Holdings is a holding company that provides, through its subsidiaries, investment banking and other related financial services, including municipal advisory, sales, trading and underwriting of taxable and tax-exempt fixed income securities, clearing, securities lending, structured finance and retail brokerage services throughout the United States.
At December 31, 2020, on a consolidated basis, we had total assets of $16.9 billion, total deposits of $11.2 billion, total loans, including loans held for sale, of $10.3 billion and stockholders’ equity of $2.4 billion.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “HTH.”
Our principal office is located at 6565 Hillcrest Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75205, and our telephone number at that location is (214) 855-2177. Our internet address is www.hilltop-holdings.com. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available on our website at http://ir.hilltop-holdings.com/ under the tab “Investor Relations - SEC Filings” as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such reports with, or furnish them to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The references to our website in this Annual Report are inactive textual references only. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report.
Under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”), our business units are comprised of three reportable business segments organized primarily by the core products offered to the segments’ respective customers: banking, broker-dealer, and mortgage origination. These segments reflect the manner in which operations are managed and the criteria used by our chief operating decision maker, our President and Chief Executive Officer, to evaluate segment performance, develop strategy and allocate resources.
The following graphic reflects our current business segment.
On June 30, 2020, we completed the sale of all of the outstanding capital stock of NLC, which comprised the operations of the former insurance segment. As a result, insurance segment results and its assets and liabilities have been presented as discontinued operations in our consolidated financial statements, and we no longer have an insurance segment. Following the sale of NLC, our business units are comprised of three reportable business segments organized primarily by the core products offered to the segments’ respective customers: banking, broker-dealer and mortgage origination.
Corporate includes certain activities not allocated to specific business segments. These activities include holding company financing and investing activities, merchant banking investment opportunities, and management and administrative services to support the overall operations of the Company. Hilltop’s merchant banking investment activities include the identification of attractive opportunities for capital deployment in companies engaged in non-financial activities through its merchant bank subsidiary, Hilltop Opportunity Partners LLC.
For more financial information about each of our business segments, see Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” herein. See also Note 30 in the notes to our consolidated financial statements included under Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
The banking segment includes the operations of the Bank, which, at December 31, 2020, had $13.3 billion in assets and total deposits of $11.4 billion. The primary sources of our deposits are residents and businesses located in Texas. At December 31, 2020, the Bank employed approximately 1,100 people.
The table below sets forth a distribution of the banking segment’s loans, classified by portfolio segment. The banking segment’s loan portfolio includes $3.3 billion in warehouse lines of credit extended to PrimeLending, of which $2.5 billion was drawn at December 31, 2020. Amounts advanced against the warehouse line of credit are included in the table below, but are eliminated from net loans on our consolidated balance sheets.
% of Total
Held for Investment
Commercial real estate:
Commercial and industrial (1)
Mortgage warehouse lending
Construction and land development
1-4 family residential
PrimeLending warehouse lines of credit
Total loans held for investment
|(1)||Included loans totaling $486.7 million at December 31, 2020 funded through the Paycheck Protection Program.|
Our lending policies seek to establish an asset portfolio that will provide a return on stockholders’ equity sufficient to maintain capital to assets ratios that meet or exceed established regulations. In support of that goal, we have designed our underwriting standards to determine:
|●||that our borrowers possess sound ethics and competently manage their affairs;|
|●||that we know the source of the funds the borrower will use to repay the loan;|
|●||that the purpose of the loan makes economic sense; and|
|●||that we identify relevant risks of the loan and determine that the risks are acceptable.|
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act were passed in March and April 2020, which are intended to provide emergency relief to several groups and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the Bank implemented several actions to better support our impacted banking clients and allow for loan modifications such as principal and/or interest payment deferrals, participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) as a Small Business Administration (“SBA”) preferred lender and personal banking assistance including waived fees, increased daily spending limits and suspension of residential foreclosure activities. The COVID-19 payment deferment programs allow for a deferral of principal and/or interest payments with such deferred principal payments due and payable on the maturity date of the existing loan.
We implement our underwriting standards according to the facts and circumstances of each particular loan request, as discussed below.
Business Banking. Our business banking customers primarily consist of agribusiness, energy, healthcare, institutions of higher education, real estate (including construction and land development) and wholesale/retail trade companies. We provide these customers with extensive banking services, such as online banking, business check cards and other add-on services as determined on a customer-by-customer basis. Our treasury management services, which are designed to reduce the time, burden and expense of collecting, transferring, disbursing and reporting cash, are also available to our business customers. We offer our business banking customers term loans, lines of credit, equipment loans and leases, letters of credit, agricultural loans, commercial real estate loans and other loan products, including PPP loans.
Commercial and industrial loans are primarily made within Texas and are underwritten on the basis of the borrower’s ability to service the debt from cash flow from an operating business. In general, commercial and industrial loans involve more credit risk than residential and commercial real estate loans and, therefore, usually yield a higher return. The increased risk in commercial and industrial loans results primarily from the type of collateral securing these loans, which typically includes accounts receivable, equipment and inventory. Additionally, increased risk arises from the expectation that commercial and industrial loans generally will be serviced principally from operating cash flow of the business, and such cash flows are dependent upon successful business operations. Historical trends have shown these types of loans to have higher delinquencies than mortgage loans. As a result of the additional risk and complexity associated with commercial and industrial loans, such loans require more thorough underwriting and servicing than loans to individuals. To manage these risks, our policy is to attempt to secure commercial and industrial loans with both the assets of the borrowing business and other additional collateral and guarantees that may be available. In addition, depending on the size of the credit, we actively monitor the financial condition of the borrower by analyzing the borrower’s financial statements and assessing certain financial measures, including cash flow, collateral value and other appropriate credit factors. We also have processes in place to analyze and evaluate on a regular basis our exposure to industries, products, market changes and economic trends.
The Bank offers term financing on commercial real estate that includes retail, office, multi-family, industrial and warehouse properties. Commercial mortgage lending can involve high principal loan amounts, and the repayment of these loans is dependent, in large part, on a borrower’s ongoing business operations or on income generated from the properties that are leased to third parties. Accordingly, we apply the measures described above for commercial and industrial loans to our commercial real estate lending, with increased emphasis on analysis of collateral values. As a general practice, the Bank requires its commercial mortgage loans to (i) be secured with first lien positions on the underlying property, (ii) maintain adequate equity margins, (iii) be serviced by businesses operated by an established management team and (iv) be guaranteed by the principals of the borrower. The Bank seeks lending opportunities where cash flow from the collateral provides adequate debt service coverage and/or the guarantor’s net worth is comprised of assets other than the project being financed.
The Bank’s mortgage warehouse lending activities consist of asset-based lending in which the Bank provides short-term, revolving lines of credit to independent mortgage bankers (“IMBs”). IMBs are generally small businesses, with mortgage loan origination and servicing as their sole or primary business. IMBs use the funds from their lines of credit to provide home loans to prospective and existing homeowners. When the IMBs subsequently sell the loans to institutional investors in the secondary market—typically within 30 days of closing the transaction—the proceeds from the sale are used to pay down and therefore replenish their lines of credit.
The Bank also offers construction financing for (i) commercial, retail, office, industrial, warehouse and multi-family developments, (ii) residential developments and (iii) single family residential properties. Construction loans involve additional risks because loan funds are advanced upon the security of a project under construction, and the project is of uncertain value prior to its completion. If the Bank is forced to foreclose on a project prior to completion, it may not be able to recover the entire unpaid portion of the loan. Additionally, the Bank may be required to fund additional amounts to complete a project and may have to hold the property for an indeterminate period of time. Because of uncertainties inherent in estimating construction costs, the market value of the completed project and the effects of governmental regulation on real property, it can be difficult to accurately evaluate the total funds required to complete a project and the related loan-to-value ratio. As a result of these uncertainties, construction lending often involves the disbursement of substantial funds with repayment dependent, in part, on the success of the ultimate project rather than the ability of a borrower or guarantor to repay the loan. The Bank generally requires that the subject property of a construction loan for commercial real estate be pre-leased because cash flows from the completed project provide the most reliable source of repayment for the loan. Loans to finance these projects are generally secured by first liens on the underlying real property. The Bank conducts periodic completion inspections, either directly or through an agent, prior to approval of periodic draws on these loans.
In addition to the real estate lending activities described above, a portion of the Bank’s real estate portfolio consists of one-to-four family residential mortgage loans typically collateralized by owner occupied properties. These residential mortgage loans are generally secured by a first lien on the underlying property and have maturities up to 30 years. These loans are shown in the loans held for investment table above as “1-4 family residential.”
Personal Banking. The Bank offers a broad range of personal banking products and services for individuals. Similar to its business banking operations, the Bank also provides its personal banking customers with a variety of add-on features such as check cards, safe deposit boxes, online banking, bill pay, overdraft privilege services and access to automated teller machine (ATM) facilities throughout the United States. The Bank offers a variety of deposit accounts to its personal banking customers including savings, checking, interest-bearing checking, money market and certificates of deposit.
The Bank loans to individuals for personal, family and household purposes, including lines of credit, home improvement loans, home equity loans, and loans for purchasing and carrying securities.
Private Banking and Investment Management. The Bank’s private banking team personally assists high net worth individuals and their families with their banking needs, including depository, credit, asset management, and trust and estate services. The Bank offers trust and asset management services in order to assist these customers in managing, and ultimately transferring, their wealth.
The Bank’s services provide personal trust, investment management and employee benefit plan administration services, including estate planning, management and administration, investment portfolio management, employee benefit accounts and individual retirement accounts.
The “Hilltop Broker-Dealers” include the operations of Hilltop Securities, a clearing broker-dealer subsidiary registered with the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and a member of the NYSE, Momentum Independent Network, an introducing broker-dealer subsidiary that is also registered with the SEC and FINRA, and Hilltop Securities Asset Management, LLC. Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are both registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) as non-guaranteed introducing brokers and as members of the National Futures Association (“NFA”). Additionally, Hilltop Securities Asset Management, LLC, Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are investment advisers registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. At December 31, 2020, Hilltop Securities had consolidated assets of $3.2 billion and net capital of $291.2 million, which was
$284.2 million in excess of its minimum net capital requirement of $7.0 million. At December 31, 2020, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers employed approximately 750 people and maintained 51 locations in 19 states.
Our broker-dealer segment has four primary lines of business: (i) public finance services, (ii) structured finance, (iii) fixed income services, and (iv) wealth management, which includes retail, clearing services and securities lending. These lines of business and the respective services provided reflect the current manner in which the broker-dealer segment’s operations are managed.
Public Finance Services. The public finance services line of business assists public entities nationwide, including cities, counties, school districts, utility districts, tax increment zones, special districts, state agencies and other governmental entities, in originating, syndicating and distributing securities of municipalities and political subdivisions. In addition, the public finance services line of business provides specialized advisory and investment banking services for airports, convention centers, healthcare institutions, institutions of higher education, housing, industrial development agencies, toll road authorities, and public power and utility providers.
Additionally, through its arbitrage rebate, treasury management and government investment pools management departments, the public finance services line of business provides state and local governments with advice and guidance with respect to arbitrage rebate compliance, portfolio management and local government investment pool administration.
Structured Finance. The structured finance line of business provides advisory services and centralized product expertise for derivatives and commodities. In addition, this business line participates in programs in which it issues forward purchase commitments of mortgage-backed securities to certain non-profit housing clients and sells U.S. Agency to-be-announced (“TBA”) mortgage-backed securities.
Fixed Income Services. The fixed income services line of business specializes in sales, trading and underwriting of U.S. government and government agency bonds, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, mortgage-backed, asset-backed and commercial mortgage-backed securities and structured products to support sales and other client activities. In addition, the fixed income services line of business provides asset and liability management advisory services to community banks.
Wealth Management. The wealth management line of business is comprised of our retail, clearing services and securities lending groups.
Retail. The retail group acts as a securities broker for retail investors in the purchase and sale of securities, options, commodities and futures contracts that are traded on various exchanges or in the over-the-counter market through our employee-registered representatives or independent contractor arrangements. We extend margin credit on a secured basis to our retail customers in order to facilitate securities transactions. Through Southwest Insurance Agency, Inc. and Southwest Financial Insurance Agency, Inc., we hold insurance licenses to facilitate the sale of insurance and annuity products by Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network advisors to retail clients. We retain no underwriting risk related to these insurance and annuity products. In addition, through our investment management team, the retail group provides a number of advisory programs that offer advisors a wide array of products and services for their advisory businesses. In most cases, we charge commissions to our clients in accordance with an established commission schedule, subject to certain discounts based upon the client’s level of business, the trade size and other relevant factors. The Momentum Independent Network advisors may also contract directly with third party carriers to sell specified insurance products to their customers. The commissions received from these third party carriers are paid directly to the advisor. Hilltop Securities is also a fully disclosed client of two of the largest futures commission merchants in the United States. At December 31, 2020, we employed 117 registered representatives in 18 retail brokerage offices and had contracts with 189 independent retail representatives for the administration of their securities business.
Clearing Services. The clearing services group offers fully disclosed clearing services to FINRA- and SEC-registered member firms for trade execution and clearance as well as back office services such as record keeping, trade reporting, accounting, general back-office support, securities and margin lending, reorganization assistance and custody of securities. At December 31, 2020, we provided services to 129 financial organizations, including correspondent firms, correspondent broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, discount and full-service brokerage firms, and institutional firms.
Securities Lending. The securities lending group performs activities that include borrowing and lending securities for other broker-dealers, lending institutions, and internal clearing and retail operations. These activities involve borrowing
securities to cover short sales and to complete transactions in which clients have failed to deliver securities by the required settlement date, and lending securities to other broker-dealers for similar purposes.
Our mortgage origination segment operates through a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank, PrimeLending, which is a residential mortgage banker licensed to originate and close loans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. PrimeLending primarily originates its mortgage loans through a retail channel, with limited lending through its affiliated business arrangements (“ABAs”). During 2020, funded loan volume through ABAs was approximately 7% of the mortgage origination segment’s total loan volume. At December 31, 2020, our mortgage origination segment operated from over 290 locations in 45 states, originating 18.6%, 10.9% and 6.1%, respectively, of its mortgage loans (by dollar volume) from its Texas, California and Florida locations. The mortgage lending business is subject to variables that can impact loan origination volume, including seasonal and interest rate fluctuations. Historically, the mortgage origination segment has experienced increased loan origination volume from purchases of homes during the spring and summer, when more people tend to move and buy or sell homes. An increase in mortgage interest rates tends to result in decreased loan origination volume from refinancings, while a decrease in mortgage interest rates tends to result in increased loan origination volume from refinancings. Changes in interest rates have historically had a lesser impact on home purchases volume than on refinancing volume.
PrimeLending handles loan processing, underwriting and closings in-house. Mortgage loans originated by PrimeLending are funded through warehouse lines of credit maintained with the Bank. PrimeLending sells substantially all mortgage loans it originates to various investors in the secondary market, historically with the majority servicing released. During 2020, 2019, and 2018, the mortgage origination segment originated approximately $193 million, $149 million, and $97 million, respectively, in loans on behalf of the banking segment, representing up to 1% of PrimeLending’s total loan origination volume during each year. We expect loan volume originated on behalf of the banking segment to increase during 2021 based on approved authority for up to 5% of the mortgage origination segment’s total loan volume. PrimeLending’s determination of whether to retain or release servicing on mortgage loans it sells is impacted by, among other things, changes in mortgage interest rates, and refinancing and market activity. PrimeLending may, from time to time, manage its related mortgage servicing rights (“MSR”) assets through different strategies, including varying the percentage of mortgage loans sold servicing released and opportunistically selling MSR assets. As mortgage loans are sold in the secondary market, PrimeLending pays down its warehouse lines of credit with the Bank. Loans sold are subject to certain standard indemnification provisions with investors, including the repurchase of loans sold and the repayment of sales proceeds to investors under certain conditions.
Our mortgage lending underwriting strategy, driven in large measure by secondary market investor standards, seeks primarily to originate conforming loans. Our underwriting practices include:
|●||granting loans on a sound and collectible basis;|
|●||obtaining a balance between maximum yield and minimum risk;|
|●||ensuring that primary and secondary sources of repayment are adequate in relation to the amount of the loan; and|
|●||ensuring that each loan is properly documented and, if appropriate, adequately insured.|
PrimeLending also acts as a primary servicer for loans originated prior to sale, loans sold to the banking segment and loans sold with servicing retained.
PrimeLending had a staff of approximately 2,700 people, including approximately 1,225 mortgage loan officers, as of December 31, 2020 that produced $23.0 billion in closed mortgage loan volume during 2020, 58.4% of which related to home purchases volume. PrimeLending offers a variety of loan products catering to the specific needs of borrowers seeking purchase or refinancing options, including 30-year and 15-year fixed rate conventional mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages, jumbo loans, and Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), Veterans Affairs (“VA”), and United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) loans. Mortgage loans originated by PrimeLending are secured by a first lien on the underlying property. PrimeLending does not currently originate subprime loans (which it defines to be conventional and government loans that (i) are ineligible for sale to the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC”) or Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”), or (ii) do not comply with approved investor-specific underwriting guidelines).
Geographic Dispersion of our Businesses
The Bank provides traditional banking and wealth, investment and treasury management services. The Bank has a presence in the large metropolitan markets in Texas and conducts substantially all of its banking operations in Texas.
Our broker-dealer services are provided through Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network, which conduct business nationwide, with 45% of the broker-dealer segment’s net revenues during 2020 generated through locations in Texas, California and Oklahoma.
PrimeLending provides residential mortgage origination products and services from over 290 locations in 45 states. During 2020, an aggregate of 61% of PrimeLending’s origination volume was concentrated in ten states, with 36% concentrated in Texas, California and Florida, collectively. Other than these ten states, none of the states in which PrimeLending operated during 2020 represented more than 3% of PrimeLending’s origination volume.
Employees and Human Capital Resources
At December 31, 2020 we employed approximately 4,900 full-time employees and less than 50 part-time employees. Our employees are not represented by any collective bargaining group. Management believes that we have good relations with our employees.
We encourage and support the growth and development of our employees and, wherever possible, seek to fill positions by promotion and transfer from within the organization. Continual learning and career development are advanced through annual performance and development conversations with employees, internally developed training programs, customized corporate training engagements and seminars, conferences, and other training events employees are encouraged to attend in connection with their job duties.
Our human capital objectives include attracting, training, motivating, rewarding and retaining our employees. The safety, health and wellness of our employees is a top priority. The COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique challenge with regard to maintaining employee safety while continuing successful operations. Through teamwork and the adaptability of our management and staff, we were able to transition during the peak of the pandemic, over a short period of time, to a rotational work schedule allowing employees to effectively work from remote locations and ensure a safely-distanced working environment for employees performing customer-facing activities, at branches and operations centers. All employees are asked not to come to work when they experience signs or symptoms of a possible COVID-19 illness and have been provided paid time off to cover compensation during such absences. On an ongoing basis, we further promote the health and wellness of our employees by strongly encouraging work-life balance, offering flexible work schedules, and keeping the employee portion of health care premiums to a minimum.
Employee retention helps us operate efficiently and achieve one of our business objectives, which is being a high-level service provider. We believe our commitment to our core values (integrity, collaboration, adaptability, respect and excellence) as well as actively prioritizing concern for our employees’ well-being, supporting our employees’ career goals, offering competitive wages and providing valuable fringe benefits aids in the retention of our top-performing employees. At December 31, 2020, approximately 25% of our current staff had been with us for ten years or more.
We face significant competition in the business segments in which we operate and the geographic markets we serve. Many of our competitors have substantially greater financial resources, lending limits and branch networks than we do, and offer a broader range of products and services.
Our banking segment primarily competes with national, regional and community banks within the various markets where the Bank operates. The Bank also faces competition from many other types of financial institutions, including savings and loan associations, credit unions, finance companies, pension trusts, mutual funds, insurance companies, brokerage and investment banking firms, asset-based non-bank lenders, government agencies and certain other non-financial institutions. The ability to attract and retain skilled lending professionals is critical to our banking business. Competition for deposits and in providing lending products and services to consumers and businesses in our market area is intense and pricing is important. Other factors encountered in competing for deposits are convenient office locations, interest rates and fee structures of products offered. Direct competition for deposits also comes from other commercial bank and thrift
institutions, money market mutual funds and corporate and government securities that may offer more attractive rates than insured depository institutions are willing to pay. Competition for loans is based on factors such as interest rates, loan origination fees and the range of services offered by the provider. We seek to distinguish ourselves from our competitors through our commitment to personalized customer service and responsiveness to customer needs while providing a range of competitive loan and deposit products and other services.
Within our broker-dealer segment, we face significant competition based on a number of factors, including price, perceived expertise, quality of advice, reputation, range of services and products, technology, innovation and local presence. Competition for recruiting and retaining securities traders, investment bankers, and other financial advisors is intense. Our broker-dealer business competes directly with numerous other financial advisory and investment banking firms, broker-dealers and banks, including large national and major regional firms and smaller niche companies, some of whom are not broker-dealers and, therefore, are not subject to the broker-dealer regulatory framework. Further, our broker-dealer segment competes with discount brokerage firms that do not offer equivalent services but offer discounted prices and certain free services. We seek to distinguish ourselves from our competitors through our commitment to personalized customer service and responsiveness to customer needs while providing a range of investment banking, advisory and other related financial brokerage services.
Our competitors in the mortgage origination business include large financial institutions as well as independent mortgage banking companies, commercial banks, savings banks and savings and loan associations. Our mortgage origination segment competes on a number of factors including customer service, quality and range of products and services offered, price, reputation, interest rates, closing process and duration, and loan origination fees. The ability to attract and retain skilled mortgage origination professionals is critical to our mortgage origination business. We seek to distinguish ourselves from our competitors through our commitment to personalized customer service and responsiveness to customer needs while providing a range of competitive mortgage loan products and services.
Overall, competition among providers of financial products and services continues to increase as technological advances have lowered the barriers to entry for financial technology companies, with consumers having the opportunity to select from a growing variety of traditional and nontraditional alternatives, including online checking, savings and brokerage accounts, online lending, online insurance underwriters, crowdfunding, digital wallets, and money transfer services. The ability of non-banking financial institutions to provide services previously limited to commercial banks has intensified competition. Because non-banking financial institutions are not subject to many of the same regulatory restrictions as banks and bank holding companies, they can often operate with greater flexibility and lower cost structures.
Government Supervision and Regulation
We are subject to extensive regulation under federal and state laws. The regulatory framework is intended primarily for the protection of customers and clients, and not for the protection of our stockholders or creditors. In many cases, the applicable regulatory authorities have broad enforcement power over bank holding companies, banks and their subsidiaries, including the power to impose substantial fines and other penalties for violations of laws and regulations. The following discussion describes the material elements of the regulatory framework that applies to us and our subsidiaries. References in this Annual Report to applicable statutes and regulations are brief summaries thereof, do not purport to be complete, and are qualified in their entirety by reference to such statutes and regulations.
The Dodd-Frank Act, which significantly altered the regulation of financial institutions and the financial services industry, established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and requires the CFPB and other federal agencies to implement many provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Several aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act have affected our business, including, without limitation, capital requirements, mortgage regulation, restrictions on proprietary trading in securities, restrictions on investments in hedge funds and private equity funds (the “Volcker Rule”), executive compensation restrictions, potential federal oversight of the insurance industry and disclosure and reporting requirements.
Recent Regulatory Developments. New regulations and statutes are regularly proposed and/or adopted that contain wide-ranging proposals for altering the structures, regulations and competitive relationships of financial institutions operating and doing business in the United States. Changes in leadership at various federal banking agencies, including the Federal Reserve, can also change the policy direction of these agencies. Certain of these recent proposals and changes are described below.
The CARES Act, which became law on March 27, 2020, provided over $2 trillion to combat COVID-19 and stimulate the economy. The law had several provisions relevant to financial institutions, including the following:
|●||Institutions are allowed to not characterize loan modifications related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a troubled debt restructuring and are allowed to suspend the corresponding impairment determinations for accounting purposes.|
|●||The Community Bank Leverage Ratio was temporarily reduced to eight percent (8%). This provision terminated on December 31, 2020.|
|●||A borrower of a federally backed mortgage loan (VA, FHA, USDA, FHLMC and FNMA) experiencing financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic may request forbearance from paying such mortgage by submitting a request to the borrower’s servicer affirming such borrower’s financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency. Such a forbearance will be granted for up to 180 days, which can be extended for an additional 180-day period upon the request of the borrower. During that time, no fees, penalties or interest beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated as if the borrower made all contractual payments on time and in full under the mortgage contract will accrue on the borrower’s account.|
|●||A borrower of a multi-family federally backed mortgage loan that is current as of February 1, 2020, may submit a request for forbearance to the borrower’s servicer affirming that the borrower is experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency. A forbearance will be granted for up to 30 days, which can be extended for up to two additional 30-day periods upon the request of the borrower. During that time of the forbearance, the multi-family borrower cannot evict or initiate the eviction of a tenant or charge any late fees, penalties or other charges to a tenant for late payment of rent. Additionally, a multi-family borrower that receives a forbearance may not require a tenant to vacate a dwelling unit before a date that is 30 days after the date on which the borrower provides the tenant notice to vacate and may not issue a notice to vacate until after the expiration of the forbearance.|
The CARES Act provided approximately $350 billion to fund loans to eligible small businesses through the SBA’s 7(a) loan guaranty program. These loans were 100% federally guaranteed (principal and interest) through December 31, 2020. An eligible business could apply for a PPP loan up to 2.5 times its average monthly “payroll costs” limited to a loan amount of $10.0 million. The proceeds of the loan could be used for payroll (excluding individual employee compensation over $100,000 per year), mortgage, interest, rent, insurance, utilities and other qualifying expenses. PPP loans have: (a) an interest rate of 1.0%; (b) a two-year loan term to maturity; and (c) principal and interest payments deferred for six months from the date of disbursement. The SBA guaranteed 100% of the PPP loans made to eligible borrowers. The entire principal amount of the borrower’s PPP loan, including any accrued interest, is eligible to be reduced by the loan forgiveness amount under the PPP so long as employee and compensation levels of the business are maintained and 75% of the loan proceeds are used for payroll expenses, with the remaining 25% of the loan proceeds used for other qualifying expenses.
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (the “PPFA”) enacted on June 5, 2020 modified the PPP. The PPFA increased the amount of time that borrowers have to use PPP loan proceeds and apply for loan forgiveness and made other changes to make the PPP more favorable to borrowers.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (“Appropriations PPP Amendments”) is a pandemic relief portion of the much larger Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which was signed by the President on December 27, 2020. The Appropriations PPP Amendments, among other things, reauthorize and modify the PPP by appropriating more than $284 billion to the PPP so businesses can apply for forgivable loans for the first time; permit businesses that had previously received a PPP loan to apply for a second PPP loan subject to generally more restrictive eligibility criteria and reducing the maximum amount of proceeds available; enable debtors-in-possession or trustees of bankruptcy estates to apply for a PPP loan; appropriate funds for a $600 stimulus check for most Americans with an adjusted gross income lower than $75,000; extend federal unemployment benefits until March 31, 2021; extend the eviction moratorium for tenants with annual incomes of less than $99,000 until January 31, 2021; as well as other appropriations to address the pandemic. See “Risk Factors —As a participating lender in the PPP, the Company and the Bank are subject to additional risks of litigation from the Bank’s clients, or other parties regarding our originating, processing, or servicing of loans under the PPP, and risks that the SBA may not fund some or all PPP loan guaranties.”
The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (the “AML Act”) was enacted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 when the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted by more than a two-thirds majority to override a Presidential veto effective on January 1, 2021. The AML Act is the most significant revision to the anti-money laundering laws since the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism of 2001, as amended (the “USA PATRIOT Act”). The AML Act clarifies and streamlines the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970, as amended, (the “Bank Secrecy Act”) and anti-money laundering (“AML”) obligations in the following ways: requires U.S. entities and entities doing business in the United States to report into a national registry maintained by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) certain beneficial ownership information, subject to exceptions; modernizes the statutory definition of “financial institution” to include (i) entities that provide services involving “value that substitutes for currency,” which includes stored value and virtual currencies and (ii) any person engaged in the trade of antiquities, including an advisor, consultant or any other person who deals in the sale of antiquities; enhances penalties for Bank Secrecy Act and AML violations, including claw back of bonuses; increases AML whistleblower awards and expands whistleblower protections; requires the Secretary of the Treasury to establish and update every four years National AML Priorities, which are incorporated into the Bank Secrecy Act compliance programs at financial institutions subject to the Bank Secrecy Act; permits collaborative arrangements between financial institutions to participate in common activity or pool resources related to AML or Bank Secrecy Act compliance; provides for an annual review of Bank Secrecy Act regulations by the Secretary of the Treasury that is reported to Congress; and requires the Secretary of the Treasury to review the dollar thresholds and reporting requirements relating to currency transaction reports and suspicious activity; among other amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act.
On May 24, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (“EGRRCPA”), which included amendments to the Dodd-Frank Act and other statutes that provide the federal banking agencies with the ability to tailor various provisions of the banking laws and eased the regulatory burden imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act with respect to company-run stress testing, resolutions plans, the Volcker Rule, high volatility commercial real estate exposures, and real estate appraisals.
In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) announced that it intends to cease compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) after 2021. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”) has proposed that the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) is the rate that represents best practice as the alternative to LIBOR for use in derivatives and other financial contracts that are currently indexed to LIBOR. Additionally, the accounting standards setter, Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) recently issued optional guidance that would help ease the potential effects of reference rate reform on financial reporting. The guidance would offer optional expedients and exceptions for applying GAAP to contracts, hedging relationships, or other transactions affected by reference rate reform. Additionally, the FASB issued specific accounting guidance which permits the use of the Overnight Index Swap rate based on the SOFR to be designated as a benchmark interest rate for hedge accounting purposes. ARRC has proposed a paced market transition plan to SOFR from LIBOR, and organizations are currently working on industry-wide and company-specific transition plans as it relates to derivatives and cash markets exposed to LIBOR.
We cannot predict whether or in what form any proposed regulation or statute will be adopted or the extent to which our business may be affected by any new regulation or statute.
Hilltop is a legal entity separate and distinct from PCC and its other subsidiaries. On November 30, 2012, concurrent with the consummation of the acquisition of PlainsCapital Corporation (the “PlainsCapital Merger”), Hilltop became a financial holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act, as amended by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act”). Accordingly, it is subject to supervision, regulation and examination by the Federal Reserve Board. The Dodd-Frank Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Bank Holding Company Act and other federal laws subject financial and bank holding companies to particular restrictions on the types of activities in which they may engage and to a range of supervisory requirements and activities, including regulatory enforcement actions for violations of laws and regulations.
Changes of Control. Federal and state laws impose additional notice, approval and ongoing regulatory requirements on any investor that seeks to acquire direct or indirect “control” of a regulated holding company, such as Hilltop. These laws
include the Bank Holding Company Act and the Change in Bank Control Act. Among other things, these laws require regulatory filings by an investor that seeks to acquire direct or indirect “control” of a regulated holding company. The determination whether an investor “controls” a regulated holding company is based on all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the investment. As a general matter, an investor is deemed to control a depository institution or other company if the investor owns or controls 25% or more of any class of voting stock, and in certain other circumstances, an investor may be presumed to control a depository institution or other company if the investor owns or controls less than 25% or more of any class of voting stock. Furthermore, these laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent change of control transactions, including those that some or all of our stockholders might consider to be desirable.
Regulatory Restrictions on Dividends; Source of Strength. It is the policy of the Federal Reserve Board that bank holding companies should pay cash 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. The policy provides that bank holding companies should not maintain a level of cash dividends that undermines the bank holding company’s ability to serve as a source of strength to its banking subsidiaries. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the regulatory agencies to issue regulations requiring that all bank and savings and loan holding companies serve as a source of financial and managerial strength to their subsidiary depository institutions by providing capital, liquidity and other support in times of financial stress; however, no such proposed regulations have yet been published.
Under Federal Reserve Board policy, a bank holding company is expected to act as a source of financial strength to each of its banking subsidiaries and commit resources to their support. Such support may be required at times when, absent this Federal Reserve Board policy, a holding company may not be inclined to provide it. As discussed herein, a bank holding company, in certain circumstances and subject to certain limitations, could be required to guarantee the capital plan of an undercapitalized banking subsidiary.
Scope of Permissible Activities. Under the Bank Holding Company Act, Hilltop and PCC generally may not acquire a direct or indirect interest in, or control of more than 5% of, the voting shares of any company that is not a bank or bank holding company. Additionally, the Bank Holding Company Act may prohibit Hilltop from engaging in activities other than those of banking, managing or controlling banks or furnishing services to, or performing services for, its subsidiaries, except that it may engage in, directly or indirectly, certain activities that the Federal Reserve Board has determined to be closely related to banking or managing and controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto. In approving acquisitions or the addition of activities, the Federal Reserve Board considers, among other things, whether the acquisition or the additional activities can reasonably be expected to produce benefits to the public, such as greater convenience, increased competition, or gains in efficiency, that outweigh such possible adverse effects as undue concentration of resources, decreased or unfair competition, conflicts of interest or unsound banking practices.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, effective March 11, 2000, eliminated the barriers to affiliations among banks, securities firms, insurance companies and other financial service providers and permits bank holding companies to become financial holding companies and thereby affiliate with securities firms and insurance companies and engage in other activities that are financial in nature. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act defines “financial in nature” to include: securities underwriting; dealing and market making; sponsoring mutual funds and investment companies; insurance underwriting and agency; merchant banking activities; and activities that the Federal Reserve Board has determined to be closely related to banking. Prior to enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, regulatory approval was not required for a financial holding company to acquire a company, other than a bank or savings association, engaged in activities that were financial in nature or incidental to activities that were financial in nature, as determined by the Federal Reserve Board.
Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a bank holding company may become a financial holding company by filing a declaration with the Federal Reserve Board if each of its subsidiary banks is “well capitalized” under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act prompt corrective action provisions, is “well managed,” and has at least a “satisfactory” rating under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (the “CRA”). The Dodd-Frank Act underscores the criteria for becoming a financial holding company by amending the Bank Holding Company Act to require that bank holding companies be “well capitalized” and “well managed” in order to become financial holding companies. Hilltop became a financial holding company on December 1, 2012.
Safe and Sound Banking Practices. Bank holding companies are not permitted to engage in unsafe and unsound banking practices. The Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation Y, for example, generally requires a holding company to give the
Federal Reserve Board prior notice of any redemption or repurchase of its equity securities, if the consideration to be paid, together with the consideration paid for any repurchases or redemptions in the preceding year, is equal to 10% or more of the company’s consolidated net worth. In addition, bank holding companies are required to consult with the Federal Reserve Board prior to making any redemption or repurchase, even within the foregoing parameters. The Federal Reserve Board may oppose the transaction if it believes that the transaction would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice or would violate any law or regulation. Depending upon the circumstances, the Federal Reserve Board could take the position that paying a dividend would constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice.
The Federal Reserve Board has broad authority to prohibit activities of bank holding companies and their nonbanking subsidiaries that represent unsafe and unsound banking practices or that constitute violations of laws or regulations, and can assess civil money penalties for certain activities conducted on a knowing or reckless basis, if those activities caused a substantial loss to a depository institution. The penalties can be as high as $2.01 million for each day the activity continues. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act authorizes the Federal Reserve Board to require reports from and examine bank holding companies and their subsidiaries, and to regulate functionally regulated subsidiaries of bank holding companies.
Anti-tying Restrictions. Subject to various exceptions, bank holding companies and their affiliates are generally prohibited from tying the provision of certain services, such as extensions of credit, to certain other services offered by a bank holding company or its affiliates.
Capital Adequacy Requirements and BASEL III. Hilltop and PlainsCapital, which includes the Bank and PrimeLending, are subject to capital adequacy requirements under the comprehensive capital framework for U.S. banking organizations known as “Basel III”. Basel III, which reformed the existing frameworks under which U.S. banking organizations historically operated, became effective January 1, 2015 and was fully phased in as of January 1, 2019. Basel III was developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and adopted by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”).
The federal banking agencies’ risk-based capital and leverage ratios are minimum supervisory ratios generally applicable to banking organizations that meet certain specified criteria, assuming that they have the highest regulatory rating. Banking organizations not meeting these criteria are expected to operate with capital positions well above the minimum ratios. The federal bank regulatory agencies may set capital requirements for a particular banking organization that are higher than the minimum ratios when circumstances warrant. Federal Reserve Board guidelines also provide that banking organizations experiencing internal growth or making acquisitions will be expected to maintain strong capital positions substantially above the minimum supervisory levels, without significant reliance on intangible assets.
Final rules published by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the OCC implemented the Basel III regulatory capital reforms and changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other things, Basel III increased minimum capital requirements, introduced a new minimum leverage ratio and implemented a capital conservation buffer. The regulatory agencies carefully considered the potential impacts on all banking organizations, including community and regional banking organizations such as Hilltop and PlainsCapital, and sought to minimize the potential burden of these changes where consistent with applicable law and the agencies’ goals of establishing a robust and comprehensive capital framework. Under the guidelines in effect beginning January 1, 2015, a risk weight factor of 0% to 1250% is assigned to each category of assets based generally on the perceived credit risk of the asset class. The risk weights are then multiplied by the corresponding asset balances to determine a “risk-weighted” asset base.
Under Basel III, total capital consists of two tiers of capital, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 capital consists of common equity Tier 1 capital and additional Tier 1 capital. Below is a list of certain significant components that comprise the tiers of capital for Hilltop and PlainsCapital under Basel III.
Common equity Tier 1 capital:
|●||includes common stockholders’ equity (such as qualifying common stock and any related surplus, undivided profits, disclosed capital reserves that represent a segregation of undivided profits and foreign currency translation adjustments, excluding changes in other comprehensive income (loss) and treasury stock);|
|●||includes certain minority interests in the equity capital accounts of consolidated subsidiaries; and|
|●||excludes goodwill and various intangible assets.|
Additional Tier 1 capital:
|●||includes certain qualifying minority interests not included in common equity Tier 1 capital;|
|●||includes certain preferred stock and related surplus;|
|●||includes certain subordinated debt; and|
|●||excludes 50% of the insurance underwriting deduction.|
Tier 2 capital:
|●||includes allowance for credit losses, up to a maximum of 1.25% of risk-weighted assets;|
|●||includes minority interests not included in Tier 1 capital; and|
|●||excludes 50% of the insurance underwriting deduction.|
The following table summarizes the Basel III requirements fully phased-in as of the period beginning January 1, 2019.
Minimum common equity Tier 1 capital ratio
Common equity Tier 1 capital conservation buffer
Minimum common equity Tier 1 capital ratio plus capital conservation buffer
Minimum Tier 1 capital ratio
Minimum Tier 1 capital ratio plus capital conservation buffer
Minimum total capital ratio
Minimum total capital ratio plus capital conservation buffer
In order to avoid limitations on capital distributions, including dividend payments, stock repurchases and certain discretionary bonus payments to executive officers, Basel III also implemented a capital conservation buffer, which requires a banking organization to hold a buffer above its minimum risk-based capital requirements. This buffer helps to ensure that banking organizations conserve capital when it is most needed, allowing them to better weather periods of economic stress. The buffer is measured relative to risk-weighted assets.
The rules also prohibit a banking organization from making distributions or discretionary bonus payments during any quarter if its eligible retained income is negative in that quarter and its capital conservation buffer ratio was less than 2.5% at the beginning of the quarter. A banking organization with a buffer greater than 2.5% would not be subject to limits on capital distributions or discretionary bonus payments; however, a banking organization with a buffer of less than 2.5% would be subject to increasingly stringent limitations as the buffer approaches zero. The eligible retained income of a banking organization is defined as its net income for the four calendar quarters preceding the current calendar quarter, based on the organization’s quarterly regulatory reports, net of any distributions and associated tax effects not already reflected in net income. When the rules were fully phased-in in 2019, the minimum capital requirements plus the capital conservation buffer should have exceeded the prompt corrective action well-capitalized thresholds.
Hilltop and PlainsCapital began transitioning to the Basel III final rules on January 1, 2015. The capital conservation buffer and certain deductions from common equity Tier 1 capital were fully phased in as of January 1, 2019. During 2020, our eligible retained income was positive and our capital conservation buffer was greater than 2.5%, and therefore, we were not subject to limits on capital distributions or discretionary bonus payments. We anticipate similar results during 2021.
At December 31, 2020, Hilltop had a total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 22.34%, Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 19.57% and a common equity Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 18.97%. Hilltop’s actual capital amounts and ratios in accordance with Basel III exceeded the regulatory capital requirements including conservation buffer in effect at the end of the period.
At December 31, 2020, PlainsCapital had a total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 15.27%, Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 14.40% and a common equity Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of 14.40%. Accordingly, PlainsCapital’s actual capital amounts and ratios in accordance with Basel III resulted in it being considered “well-capitalized” and exceeded the regulatory capital requirements including conservation buffer in effect at the end of the period.
Phase-in of Current Expected Credit Losses Accounting Standard. In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued an update to the accounting standards for credit losses that included the Current Expected Credit Losses (“CECL”) methodology, which replaces the existing incurred loss methodology for certain financial assets. CECL became effective January 1, 2020. In December 2018, the federal bank regulatory agencies approved a final rule modifying their regulatory capital rules and providing an option to phase-in, over a period of three years, the day-one regulatory capital effects resulting from the implementation of CECL. The final rule also revises the agencies’ other rules to reflect the update to the accounting standards. We originally elected to not exercise the option for phase-in. In March 2020, in connection with the economic uncertainties associated with the effects of COVID-19, the agencies’ issued an additional transition option that permitted banking institutions to mitigate the estimated cumulative regulatory capital effects from CECL over a five-year transitionary period. We elected to exercise this option for phase-in.
Volcker Rule. Provisions of the Volcker Rule and the final rules implementing the Volcker Rule restrict certain activities provided by the Company, including proprietary trading and sponsoring or investing in “covered funds,” which include many venture capital, private equity and hedge funds. For purposes of the Volcker Rule, purchases or sales of financial instruments such as securities, derivatives, contracts of sale of commodities for future delivery or options on the foregoing for the purpose of short-term gain are deemed to be proprietary trading (with financial instruments held for less than 60 days presumed to be for proprietary trading unless an alternative purpose can be demonstrated), unless certain exemptions apply. Exempted activities include, among others, the following: (i) underwriting; (ii) market making; (iii) risk mitigating hedging; (iv) trading in certain government securities; (v) employee compensation plans and (vi) transactions entered into on behalf of and for the account of clients as agent, broker, custodian, or in a trustee or fiduciary capacity. On July 22, 2019, the federal banking agencies, among other agencies, published a final rule implementing provisions of EGRRCPA that exclude community banks with $10.0 billion or less in total consolidated assets and total trading assets and liabilities of 5% or less of total consolidated assets from the restrictions of the Volcker Rule. At this time, the Bank does not qualify for this regulatory exclusion.
On November 14, 2019, the federal banking agencies, among other agencies, published a separate final rule to provide greater clarity and certainty about the activities prohibited by the Volcker Rule and to improve supervision and implementation of the Volcker Rule based on the agencies’ experience implementing these provisions since 2013. Compliance with the final rule began January 1, 2021, however, banking entities may voluntarily comply with the final rule in whole or in part prior to the compliance date, subject to the agencies’ completion of necessary technological changes.
In July 2020, the federal banking agencies published a final rule to streamline and improve the covered funds provisions of the Volcker Rule by making the following changes: permitting the activities of qualifying foreign excluded funds; revising the exclusions from the definition of “covered fund” for foreign public funds, loan securitizations, public welfare investments and small business investment companies; creating new exclusions from the definition of “covered fund” for credit funds, qualifying venture capital funds, family wealth management vehicles, and customer facilitation vehicles; permitting certain transactions that could otherwise be prohibited under affiliate transaction restrictions unique to the Volcker Rule; modifying the definition of “ownership interest”; and providing that certain investments made in parallel with a covered fund, as well as certain restricted profit interests held by an employee or director, need not be included in a banking entity’s calculation of its ownership interest in the covered fund.
While management continues to assess compliance with the Volcker Rule, we have reviewed our processes and procedures in regard to proprietary trading and covered funds activities and we believe we are currently complying with the provisions of the Volcker Rule. However, it remains uncertain how the scope of applicable restrictions and exceptions will be interpreted and administered by the relevant regulators. Absent further regulatory guidance, we are required to make certain assumptions as to the degree to which our activities, processes and procedures in these areas comply with the requirements of the Volcker Rule. If these assumptions are not accurate or if our implementation of compliance processes and procedures is not consistent with regulatory expectations, we may be required to make certain changes to our business activities, processes or procedures, which could further increase our compliance and regulatory risks and costs.
Acquisitions by Bank Holding Companies. The Bank Holding Company Act requires every bank holding company to obtain the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board before it may acquire all or substantially all of the assets of any bank, or ownership or control of any voting shares of any bank, if after such acquisition it would own or control, directly or indirectly, more than 5% of the voting shares of such bank. In approving bank acquisitions by bank holding companies, the Federal Reserve Board is required to consider, among other things, the financial and managerial resources and future
prospects of the bank holding company and the banks concerned, the convenience and needs of the communities to be served, and various competitive factors. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Federal Reserve Board to consider “the risk to the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system” when evaluating acquisitions of banks and nonbanks under the Bank Holding Company Act. With respect to interstate acquisitions, the Dodd-Frank Act amends the Bank Holding Company Act by raising the standard by which interstate bank acquisitions are permitted from a standard that the acquiring bank holding company be “adequately capitalized” and “adequately managed” to the higher standard of being “well capitalized” and “well managed”.
Control Acquisitions. The Change in Bank Control Act prohibits a person or group of persons from acquiring “control” of a bank holding company unless the Federal Reserve Board has been notified and has not objected to the transaction. As a general matter, an investor is deemed to control a depository institution or other company if the investor owns or controls 25% or more of any class of voting stock, and in certain other circumstances, an investor may be presumed to control a depository institution or other company if the investor owns or controls less than 25% or more of any class of voting stock.
The Bank is subject to various requirements and restrictions under the laws of the United States, and to regulation, supervision and regular examination by the Texas Department of Banking. The Bank, as a state member bank, is also subject to regulation and examination by the Federal Reserve Board. The Bank became subject to the regulations issued by the CFPB on July 21, 2011, although the Federal Reserve Board continued to examine the Bank for compliance with federal consumer protection laws. If the Bank’s total assets are over $10.0 billion (as measured on four consecutive quarterly call reports of the Bank and any institutions it acquires), the Bank will become subject to the CFPB’s supervisory and enforcement authority with respect to federal consumer financial laws beginning in the following quarter. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank’s total assets were $13.3 billion. Along with continued Federal Reserve consumer supervisory and enforcement, the Bank became subject to CFPB supervisory and enforcement authority, starting in the second quarter of 2020.
The Bank is also an insured depository institution and, therefore, subject to regulation by the FDIC, although the Federal Reserve Board is the Bank’s primary federal regulator. The Federal Reserve Board, the Texas Department of Banking, the CFPB and the FDIC have the power to enforce compliance with applicable banking statutes and regulations. Such requirements and restrictions include requirements to maintain reserves against deposits, restrictions on the nature and amount of loans that may be made and the interest that may be charged thereon and restrictions relating to investments and other activities of the Bank. In July 2010, the FDIC voted to revise its agreement with the primary federal regulators to enhance the FDIC’s existing backup authorities over insured depository institutions that the FDIC does not directly supervise. As a result, the Bank may be subject to increased supervision by the FDIC.
Restrictions on Transactions with Affiliates. Transactions between the Bank and its nonbanking affiliates, including Hilltop and PCC, are subject to Section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act. In general, Section 23A imposes limits on the amount of such transactions, and also requires certain levels of collateral for loans to affiliated parties. It also limits the amount of advances to third parties that are collateralized by the securities or obligations of Hilltop or its subsidiaries. Among other changes, the Dodd-Frank Act expands the definition of “covered transactions” and clarifies the amount of time that the collateral requirements must be satisfied for covered transactions, and amends the definition of “affiliate” in Section 23A to include “any investment fund with respect to which a member bank or an affiliate thereof is an investment adviser.”
Affiliate transactions are also subject to Section 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, which generally requires that certain transactions between the Bank and its affiliates be on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable to the Bank, as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with or involving other nonaffiliated persons. The Federal Reserve has also issued Regulation W, which codifies prior regulations under Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and interpretive guidance with respect to affiliate transactions.
Loans to Insiders. The restrictions on loans to directors, executive officers, principal stockholders and their related interests (collectively referred to herein as “insiders”) contained in the Federal Reserve Act and Regulation O apply to all insured institutions and their subsidiaries and holding companies. These restrictions include conditions that must be met before insider loans can be made, limits on loans to an individual insider and an aggregate limitation on all loans to insiders and their related interests. These loans cannot exceed the institution’s total unimpaired capital and surplus, and
the Federal Reserve Board may determine that a lesser amount is appropriate. Insiders are subject to enforcement actions for knowingly accepting loans in violation of applicable restrictions. The Dodd-Frank Act amends the statutes placing limitations on loans to insiders by including credit exposures to the person arising from a derivatives transaction, repurchase agreement, reverse repurchase agreement, securities lending transaction, or securities borrowing transaction between the member bank and the person within the definition of an extension of credit.
Restrictions on Distribution of Subsidiary Bank Dividends and Assets. Dividends paid by the Bank have provided a substantial part of PCC’s operating funds and for the foreseeable future it is anticipated that dividends paid by the Bank to PCC will continue to be PCC’s and Hilltop’s principal source of operating funds. Capital adequacy requirements serve to limit the amount of dividends that may be paid by the Bank. Pursuant to the Texas Finance Code, a Texas banking association may not pay a dividend that would reduce its outstanding capital and surplus unless it obtains the prior approval of the Texas Banking Commissioner. Additionally, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve Board have the authority to prohibit Texas state banks from paying a dividend when they determine the dividend would be an unsafe or unsound banking practice. As a member of the Federal Reserve System, the Bank must also comply with the dividend restrictions with which a national bank would be required to comply. Those provisions are generally similar to those imposed by the state of Texas. Among other things, the federal restrictions require that if losses have at any time been sustained by a bank equal to or exceeding its undivided profits then on hand, no dividend may be paid.
In the event of a liquidation or other resolution of an insured depository institution, the claims of depositors and other general or subordinated creditors are entitled to a priority of payment over the claims of holders of any obligation of the institution to its stockholders, including any depository institution holding company (such as PCC and Hilltop) or any stockholder or creditor thereof.
Branching. The establishment of a bank branch must be approved by the Texas Department of Banking and the Federal Reserve Board, which consider a number of factors, including financial history, capital adequacy, earnings prospects, character of management, needs of the community and consistency with corporate powers. The regulators will also consider the applicant’s CRA record. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, de novo interstate branching by banks is permitted if, under the laws of the state where the branch is to be located, a state bank chartered in that state would be permitted to establish a branch.
Prompt Corrective Action. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (“FDICIA”) establishes a system of prompt corrective action to resolve the problems of undercapitalized financial institutions. Under this system, the federal banking regulators have established five capital categories (“well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized” and “critically undercapitalized”) in which all institutions are placed. Federal banking regulators are required to take various mandatory supervisory actions and are authorized to take other discretionary actions with respect to institutions in the three undercapitalized categories. The severity of the action depends upon the capital category in which the institution is placed. Generally, subject to a narrow exception, the banking regulator must appoint a receiver or conservator for an institution that is critically undercapitalized. The federal banking agencies have specified by regulation the relevant capital level for each category.
An institution that is categorized as “undercapitalized”, “significantly undercapitalized” or “critically undercapitalized” is required to submit an acceptable capital restoration plan to its appropriate federal banking agency. A bank holding company must guarantee that a subsidiary depository institution meets its capital restoration plan, subject to various limitations. The controlling holding company’s obligation to fund a capital restoration plan is limited to the lesser of 5% of an undercapitalized subsidiary’s assets at the time it became undercapitalized or the amount required to meet regulatory capital requirements. An undercapitalized institution is also generally prohibited from increasing its average total assets, making acquisitions, establishing any branches or engaging in any new line of business, except under an accepted capital restoration plan or with FDIC approval. The regulations also establish procedures for downgrading an institution to a lower capital category based on supervisory factors other than capital. PlainsCapital was classified as “well capitalized” at December 31, 2020.
Pursuant to FDICIA, an “undercapitalized” bank is prohibited from increasing its assets, engaging in a new line of business, acquiring any interest in any company or insured depository institution, or opening or acquiring a new branch office, except under certain circumstances, including the acceptance by the federal banking regulators of a capital restoration plan for the Bank.
FDIC Insurance Assessments. The FDIC has adopted a risk-based assessment system for insured depository institutions that takes into account the risks attributable to different categories and concentrations of assets and liabilities. The system assigns an institution to one of three capital categories: (1) “well capitalized;” (2) “adequately capitalized;” or (3) “undercapitalized.” These three categories are substantially similar to the prompt corrective action categories described above, with the “undercapitalized” category including institutions that are undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized and critically undercapitalized for prompt corrective action purposes. The FDIC also assigns an institution to one of three supervisory subgroups based on a supervisory evaluation that the institution’s primary federal regulator provides to the FDIC and information that the FDIC determines to be relevant to the institution’s financial condition and the risk posed to the deposit insurance funds. The FDIC may terminate its insurance of deposits if it finds that the institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC.
The FDIC is required to maintain a designated reserve ratio of the deposit insurance fund (“DIF”) to insured deposits in the United States. The Dodd-Frank Act required the FDIC to assess insured depository institutions to achieve a DIF ratio of at least 1.35% by September 30, 2020. On November 28, 2018, the FDIC announced that the DIF reserve ratio exceeded the statutorily required minimum reserve ratio of 1.35%, ahead of the September 30, 2020 deadline. FDIC regulations provide for two changes to deposit insurance assessments upon reaching the minimum ratio: (1) surcharges on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $10.0 billion or more (large banks) will cease; and (2) small banks will receive assessment credits for the portion of their assessments that contributed to the growth in the reserve ratio from between 1.15% and 1.35%, to be applied when the reserve ratio is at or above 1.38%. Pursuant to its authority in the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC on December 20, 2010, published a final rule establishing a higher long-term target DIF ratio of greater than 2%. Deposit insurance assessment rates are subject to change by the FDIC and will be impacted by the overall economy and the stability of the banking industry as a whole. The FDIC will notify the Bank concerning any assessment credits and the assessment rate that we will be charged for the assessment period. As a result of the new regulations, we expect to incur lower annual deposit insurance assessments, which could have a positive impact on our financial condition and results of operations. Accruals for DIF assessments were $1.8 million during 2020.
The Dodd-Frank Act permanently increased the standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000. The FDIC insurance coverage limit applies per depositor, per insured depository institution for each account ownership category.
Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA requires, in connection with examinations of financial institutions, that federal banking regulators (in the Bank’s case, the Federal Reserve Board) evaluate the record of each financial institution in meeting the credit needs of its local community, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods. These facts are also considered in evaluating mergers, acquisitions and applications to open a branch or facility. Failure to adequately meet these criteria could impose additional requirements and limitations on the Bank. Additionally, the Bank must publicly disclose the terms of various CRA-related agreements.
The Bank received a “satisfactory” CRA rating in connection with its most recent CRA performance evaluation. A CRA rating of less than “satisfactory” adversely affects a bank’s ability to establish new branches and impairs a bank’s ability to commence new activities that are “financial in nature” or acquire companies engaged in these activities. See “Risk Factors — We are subject to extensive supervision and regulation that could restrict our activities and impose financial requirements or limitations on the conduct of our business and limit our ability to generate income.”
Privacy. Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, financial institutions are required to disclose their policies for collecting and protecting confidential information. Customers generally may prevent financial institutions from sharing nonpublic personal financial information with nonaffiliated third parties except under narrow circumstances, such as the processing of transactions requested by the consumer or when the financial institution is jointly sponsoring a product or service with a nonaffiliated third party. Additionally, financial institutions generally may not disclose consumer account numbers to any nonaffiliated third party for use in telemarketing, direct mail marketing or other marketing to consumers. The Bank and all of its subsidiaries have established policies and procedures to comply with the privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
Federal Laws Applicable to Credit Transactions. The loan operations of the Bank are also subject to federal laws and implementing regulations applicable to credit transactions, such as the Truth-In-Lending Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1978, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Service Members Civil Relief Act, the Dodd-Frank Act and rules and regulations of the various federal
agencies charged with the responsibility of implementing these federal laws. Interest and other charges collected or contracted for by the Bank are subject to state usury laws and federal laws concerning interest rates.
Federal Laws Applicable to Deposit Operations. The deposit operations of the Bank are subject to the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Truth in Savings Act and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E issued by the Federal Reserve Board and the CFPB to implement that act. The Dodd-Frank Act amends the Electronic Funds Transfer Act to, among other things, give the Federal Reserve Board the authority to establish rules regarding interchange fees charged for electronic debit transactions by payment card issuers having assets over $10 billion and to enforce a new statutory requirement that such fees be reasonable and proportional to the actual cost of a transaction to the issuer.
Capital Requirements. The Federal Reserve Board and the Texas Department of Banking monitor the capital adequacy of PlainsCapital by using a combination of risk-based guidelines and leverage ratios. The agencies consider PlainsCapital’s capital levels when taking action on various types of applications and when conducting supervisory activities related to the safety and soundness of individual banks and the banking system.
On January 1, 2019, PlainsCapital fully transitioned to the final rules that substantially amended the regulatory risk-based capital rules to implement the Basel III regulatory capital reforms. For additional discussion of Basel III, see the section entitled “Government Supervision and Regulation — Corporate — Capital Adequacy Requirements and Basel III” earlier in this Item 1. At December 31, 2020, PlainsCapital’s ratio of total risk-based capital to risk-weighted assets was 15.27%, PlainsCapital’s ratio of Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets was 14.40%, PlainsCapital’s common equity Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets ratio was 14.40%, and PlainsCapital’s ratio of Tier 1 capital to average total assets was 10.44%.
On December 13, 2019, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the OCC published a final rule modifying the treatment of high volatility commercial real estate (“HVCRE”) exposures as required by EGRRCPA. The final rule clarifies certain defined terms in the HVCRE exposure definition in a manner generally consistent with the call report instructions as well as the treatment of credit facilities that finance one- to four-family residential properties and the development of land. The final rule became effective on April 1, 2020.
The FDIC Improvement Act. FDICIA made a number of reforms addressing the safety and soundness of the deposit insurance system, supervision of domestic and foreign depository institutions, and improvement of accounting standards. This statute also limited deposit insurance coverage, implemented changes in consumer protection laws and provided for least-cost resolution and prompt regulatory action with regard to troubled institutions.
FDICIA requires every bank with total assets in excess of $500 million to have an annual independent audit made of the Bank’s financial statements by a certified public accountant to verify that the financial statements of the Bank are presented in accordance with GAAP and comply with such other disclosure requirements as prescribed by the FDIC.
Brokered Deposits. Under FDICIA, banks may be restricted in their ability to accept brokered deposits, depending on their capital classification. “Well capitalized” banks are permitted to accept brokered deposits, but banks that are not “well capitalized” are not permitted to accept such deposits. The FDIC may, on a case-by-case basis, permit banks that are “adequately capitalized” to accept brokered deposits if the FDIC determines that acceptance of such deposits would not constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice with respect to such bank. Pursuant to a provision in EGRRCPA, the FDIC published a final rule on February 4, 2019 excepting a capped amount of reciprocal deposits from being considered as brokered deposits for certain insured depository institutions. On December 15, 2020, the FDIC also approved a final rule modernizing the FDIC’s overall brokered deposit regulations, reflecting technological changes and innovations across the banking industry. The final rule clarifies when a person meets the deposit broker definition in a way that provides clear rules by which banks and third parties can evaluate whether particular activities cause deposits to be considered brokered. The final rule also identifies a number of bright line categories called “designated exceptions” for business arrangements that automatically satisfy the primary purpose exception, establishes a transparent application process for entities that seek a “primary purpose exception” and modernizes the definition and calculation of the “National Rate Cap”. At December 31, 2020, PlainsCapital was “well capitalized” and therefore not subject to any limitations with respect to its brokered deposits.
Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act. The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act gives “substitute checks,” such as a digital image of a check and copies made from that image, the same legal standing as the original paper check.
Federal Home Loan Bank System. The Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) system, of which the Bank is a member, consists of regional FHLBs governed and regulated by the Federal Housing Finance Board. The FHLBs serve as reserve or credit facilities for member institutions within their assigned regions. The reserves are funded primarily from proceeds derived from the sale of consolidated obligations of the FHLB system. The FHLBs make loans (i.e., advances) to members in accordance with policies and procedures established by the FHLB and the boards of directors of each regional FHLB.
As a system member, according to currently existing policies and procedures, the Bank is entitled to borrow from the FHLB of its respective region and is required to own a certain amount of capital stock in the FHLB. The Bank is in compliance with the stock ownership rules with respect to such advances, commitments and letters of credit and home mortgage loans and similar obligations. All loans, advances and other extensions of credit made by the FHLB to the Bank are secured by a portion of the respective mortgage loan portfolio, certain other investments and the capital stock of the FHLB held by the Bank.
Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). The FAST Act, signed by President Obama on December 4, 2015, provides for funding highways and infrastructure in the United States. Part of the funding for this law comes from a reduction of the dividends paid by the Federal Reserve to its stockholders with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion, effective January 1, 2016. On that date, the annual dividend on paid-in capital stock for stockholders with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion shall be the lesser of: (i) the rate equal to the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the last auction held prior to the payment of such dividend and (ii) 6 percent. The Federal Reserve Board published a final rule implementing these requirements on November 23, 2016. On December 12, 2019, the Federal Reserve published its annual adjustment to the consolidated asset threshold, increasing it to $10.715 billion in assets through December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2020, the Bank’s total assets were $13.3 billion.
Anti-terrorism and Money Laundering Legislation. The Bank is subject to the USA PATRIOT Act, the Bank Secrecy Act and rules and regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. These statutes and related rules and regulations impose requirements and limitations on specific financial transactions and account relationships intended to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing. The Bank has established a customer identification program pursuant to Section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act and the Bank Secrecy Act, including obtaining beneficial ownership information on new legal entity customers and otherwise has implemented policies and procedures intended to comply with the foregoing rules until such time as FinCEN publishes regulations implementing the Corporate Transparency Act, which is part of the AML Act. As discussed above under “Recent Regulatory Developments,” the AML Act imposes the reporting requirements of beneficial ownership of certain business entities on those entities and not on covered financial institutions, among other amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act.
Incentive Compensation Guidance. On June 21, 2010, the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the FDIC jointly issued comprehensive final guidance on incentive compensation policies (the “Incentive Compensation Guidance”) intended to ensure that the incentive compensation policies of banking organizations do not undermine the safety and soundness of such organizations by encouraging excessive risk-taking. The Incentive Compensation Guidance sets expectations for banking organizations concerning their incentive compensation arrangements and related risk-management, control and governance processes. The Incentive Compensation Guidance, which covers all employees that have the ability to materially affect the risk profile of an organization, either individually or as part of a group, is based upon three primary principles: (i) balanced risk-taking incentives, (ii) compatibility with effective controls and risk management, and (iii) strong corporate governance. Any deficiencies in compensation practices that are identified may be incorporated into the organization’s supervisory ratings, which can affect its ability to make acquisitions or perform other actions. In addition, under the Incentive Compensation Guidance, a banking organization’s federal regulator may initiate enforcement action if the organization’s incentive compensation arrangements pose a risk to the safety and soundness of the organization.
The Hilltop Broker-Dealers are broker-dealers registered with the SEC, FINRA, all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Hilltop Securities is also registered in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Much of the regulation of broker-dealers, however, has been delegated to self-regulatory organizations, principally FINRA, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and national securities exchanges. These self-regulatory organizations adopt rules (which are subject to approval by the SEC) for governing its members and the industry. Broker-dealers are also subject to federal securities laws and SEC rules, as well as the laws and rules of the states in which a broker-dealer conducts business. The Hilltop Broker-Dealers are members of, and are primarily subject to regulation, supervision and regular examination by FINRA.
The regulations to which broker-dealers are subject cover all aspects of the securities business, including, but not limited to, sales and trade practices, net capital requirements, record keeping and reporting procedures, relationships and conflicts with customers, the handling of cash and margin accounts, experience and training requirements for certain employees, the conduct of investment banking and research activities and the conduct of registered persons, directors, officers and employees. Broker-dealers are also subject to the privacy and anti-money laundering laws and regulations discussed herein. Additional legislation, changes in rules promulgated by the SEC, securities exchanges, self-regulatory organizations or states or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules often directly affect the method of operation and profitability of broker-dealers. The SEC, securities exchanges, self-regulatory organizations and states may conduct administrative and enforcement proceedings that can result in censure, fine, profit disgorgement, monetary penalties, suspension, revocation of registration or expulsion of broker-dealers, their registered persons, officers or employees. The principal purpose of regulation and discipline of broker-dealers is the protection of customers and the securities markets rather than protection of creditors and stockholders of broker-dealers.
Limitation on Businesses. The businesses that the Hilltop Broker-Dealers may conduct are limited by its agreements with, and its oversight by, FINRA, other regulatory authorities and federal and state law. Participation in new business lines, including trading of new products or participation on new exchanges or in new countries often requires governmental and/or exchange approvals, which may take significant time and resources. In addition, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers are operating subsidiaries of Hilltop, which means their activities are further limited by those that are permissible for financial holding companies and subsidiaries of financial holding companies, and as a result, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers and Hilltop may be prevented from entering new businesses that may be profitable in a timely manner, if at all.
Net Capital Requirements. The SEC, FINRA and various other regulatory authorities have stringent rules and regulations with respect to the maintenance of specific levels of net capital by regulated entities. Rule 15c3-1 of the Exchange Act (the “Net Capital Rule”) requires that a broker-dealer maintain minimum net capital. Generally, a broker-dealer’s net capital is net worth plus qualified subordinated debt less deductions for non-allowable (or non-liquid) assets and other adjustments and operational charges. At December 31, 2020, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers were in compliance with applicable net capital requirements.
The SEC, CFTC, FINRA and other regulatory organizations impose rules that require notification when net capital falls below certain predefined thresholds. These rules also dictate the ratio of debt-to-equity in the regulatory capital composition of a broker-dealer, and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under certain circumstances. If a broker-dealer fails to maintain the required net capital, it may be subject to censure, fine, monetary penalties and other regulatory sanctions, including suspension, revocation of registration or expulsion by the SEC or applicable regulatory authorities, and suspension, revocation or expulsion by these regulators could ultimately lead to the broker-dealer’s liquidation. Additionally, the Net Capital Rule and certain FINRA rules impose requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and requiring prior notice to, and approval from, the SEC and FINRA for certain capital withdrawals.
Compliance with the net capital requirements may limit our operations, requiring the intensive use of capital. Such rules require that a certain percentage of our assets be maintained in relatively liquid form and therefore act to restrict our ability to withdraw capital from our broker-dealer entities, which in turn may limit our ability to pay dividends, repay debt or redeem or purchase shares of our outstanding common stock. Any change in such rules or the imposition of new rules affecting the scope, coverage, calculation or amount of capital requirements, or a significant operating loss or any unusually large charge against capital, could adversely affect our ability to pay dividends, repay debt, meet our debt covenant requirements or to expand or maintain our operations. In addition, such rules may require us to make substantial capital contributions into one or more of the Hilltop Broker-Dealers in order for such subsidiaries to comply with such rules, either in the form of cash or subordinated loans made in accordance with the requirements of all applicable net capital rules.
Customer Protection Rule. The Hilltop Broker-Dealers that hold customers’ funds and securities are subject to the SEC’s customer protection rule (Rule 15c3-3 under the Exchange Act), which generally provides that such broker-dealers maintain physical possession or control of all fully-paid securities and excess margin securities carried for the account of customers and maintain certain reserves of cash or qualified securities.
Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). The Hilltop Broker-Dealers are subject to the Securities Investor Protection Act and belong to SIPC, whose primary function is to provide financial protection for the customers of failing
brokerage firms. SIPC provides protection for customers up to $500,000, of which a maximum of $250,000 may be in cash.
Anti-Money Laundering. The Hilltop Broker-Dealers must also comply with the USA PATRIOT Act and other rules and regulations discussed herein, including FINRA requirements, designed to fight international money laundering and to block terrorist access to the U.S. financial system. We are required to have systems and procedures to ensure compliance with such laws and regulations.
CFTC Oversight. Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are registered as introducing brokers with the CFTC and NFA. The CFTC also has net capital regulations (CFTC Rule 1.17) that must be satisfied. Our futures business is also regulated by the NFA, a registered futures association. Violation of the rules of the CFTC, the NFA or the commodity exchanges could result in remedial actions including fines, registration restrictions or terminations, trading prohibitions or revocations of commodity exchange memberships.
Investment Advisory Activity. Hilltop Securities Asset Management, LLC, Hilltop Securities and Momentum Independent Network are registered with, and subject to oversight and inspection by, the SEC as investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The investment advisory business of our subsidiaries is subject to significant federal regulation, including with respect to wrap fee programs, the management of client accounts, the safeguarding of client assets, client fees and disclosures, transactions among affiliates and recordkeeping and reporting procedures. Legislation and changes in regulations promulgated by the SEC or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and regulations often directly affect the method of operation and profitability of investment advisers. The SEC may conduct administrative and enforcement proceedings that can result in censure, fine, suspension, revocation of registration or expulsion of the investment advisory business of our subsidiaries, our officers or employees.
Volcker Rule. Provisions of the Volcker Rule and the final rules implementing the Volcker Rule also restrict certain activities provided by the Hilltop Broker-Dealers, including proprietary trading and sponsoring or investing in “covered funds.”
Regulation Best Interest (“Regulation BI”) and Form CRS Relationship Summary (“Form CRS”). Beginning June 2020, the “best interest” standard requires a broker-dealer to make recommendations of securities transactions to a retail customer without putting its financial interests ahead of the interests of a retail customer. The SEC Form CRS requires registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) and broker-dealers to deliver to retail investors a succinct, plain English summary about the relationship and services provided by the firm and the required standard of conduct associated with the relationship and services. Regulation BI heightens the standard of care for broker-dealers when making investment recommendations and imposes disclosure and policy and procedural obligations that could impact the compensation our wealth management line of business and its representatives receive for selling certain types of products, particularly those that offer different compensation across different share classes (such as mutual funds and variable annuities). In addition, Regulation BI prohibits a broker-dealer and its associated persons from using the term “adviser” or “advisor” if the broker-dealer is not an RIA or the associated person is not a supervised person of an RIA.
Changing Regulatory Environment. The regulatory environment in which the Hilltop Broker-Dealers operate is subject to frequent change. Our business, financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected as a result of new or revised legislation or regulations imposed by the U.S. Congress, the SEC, FINRA or other U.S. and state governmental and regulatory authorities. The business, financial condition and operating results of the Hilltop Broker-Dealers also may be adversely affected by changes in the interpretation and enforcement of existing laws and rules by these governmental and regulatory authorities. In the current era of heightened regulation of financial institutions, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers can expect to incur increasing compliance costs, along with the industry as a whole.
PrimeLending and the Bank are subject to the rules and regulations of the CFPB, FHA, VA, FNMA, FHLMC and GNMA with respect to originating, processing, selling and servicing mortgage loans and the issuance and sale of mortgage-backed securities. Those rules and regulations, among other things, prohibit discrimination and establish underwriting guidelines which include provisions for inspections and appraisals, require credit reports on prospective borrowers and fix maximum loan amounts, and, with respect to VA loans, fix maximum interest rates. Mortgage origination activities are subject to, among others, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Housing Act, Federal Truth-in-Lending Act, Secure and Fair Enforcement of Mortgage Licensing Act, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder which, among other things, prohibit
discrimination and require the disclosure of certain basic information to borrowers concerning credit terms and settlement costs. PrimeLending and the Bank are also subject to regulation by the Texas Department of Banking with respect to, among other things, the establishment of maximum origination fees on certain types of mortgage loan products. PrimeLending and the Bank are also subject to the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act established the CFPB and provides mortgage reform provisions regarding a customer’s ability to repay, restrictions on variable-rate lending, loan officers’ compensation, risk retention, and new disclosure requirements. The Dodd-Frank Act also clarifies that applicable state laws, rules and regulations related to the origination, processing, selling and servicing of mortgage loans continue to apply to PrimeLending.
The final rules concerning mortgage origination and servicing address the following topics:
Ability to Repay. This final rule requires that for residential mortgages, creditors must make a reasonable and good faith determination based on verified and documented information that the consumer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms. The final rule also establishes a presumption of compliance with the ability to repay determination for a certain category of mortgages called “qualified mortgages” meeting a series of detailed requirements. The final rule also provides a rebuttable presumption for higher-priced mortgage loans. On December 29, 2020, the CFPB published a final rule creating a new category of “qualified mortgage,” called a seasoned qualified mortgage, for first lien, fixed rate covered loans that meet certain performance requirements, are held in portfolio by the originating creditor or first purchaser for a 36-month period, comply with general restrictions on product features and points and fees, and meet certain underwriting requirements.
High-Cost Mortgage. This final rule strengthens consumer protections for high-cost mortgages (generally bans balloon payments and prepayment penalties, subject to exceptions and bans or limits certain fees and practices) and requires consumers to receive information about homeownership counseling prior to taking out a high-cost mortgage.
Appraisals for High-Risk Mortgages. The final rule permits a creditor to extend a higher-priced (subprime) mortgage loan (“HPML”) only if the following conditions are met (subject to exceptions): (i) the creditor obtains a written appraisal; (ii) the appraisal is performed by a certified or licensed appraiser; and (iii) the appraiser conducts a physical property visit of the interior of the property. The rule also requires that during the application process, the applicant receives a notice regarding the appraisal process and their right to receive a free copy of the appraisal.
Copies of Appraisals. This final rule requires a creditor to provide a free copy of appraisal or valuation reports prepared in connection with any closed-end loan secured by a first lien on a dwelling. The final rule requires notice to applicants of the right to receive copies of any appraisal or valuation reports and creditors must send copies of the reports whether or not the loan transaction is consummated. Creditors must provide the copies of the appraisal or evaluation reports for free, however, the creditors may charge reasonable fees for the cost of the appraisal or valuation unless applicable law provides otherwise.
Escrow Requirements. This final rule requires a minimum duration of five years for an escrow account on certain higher-priced mortgage loans, subject to certain exemptions for loans made by certain creditors that operate predominantly in rural or underserved areas, as long as certain other criteria are met.
Servicing. Two final rules, the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, protect consumers from detrimental actions by mortgage servicers and to provide consumers with better tools and information when dealing with mortgage servicers. The final rules include a number of exemptions and other adjustments for small servicers, defined as servicers that service 5,000 or fewer mortgage loans and service only mortgage loans that they or an affiliate originated or own.
Mortgage Loan Originator Compensation. This final rule revises and clarifies existing regulations and commentary on loan originator compensation. The rule also prohibits, among other things: (i) certain arbitration agreements; (ii) financing certain credit insurance in connection with a mortgage loan; (iii) compensation based on a term of a transaction or a proxy for a term of a transaction; and (iv) dual compensation from a consumer and another person in connection with the transaction. The final rule also imposes a duty on individual loan officers, mortgage brokers and creditors to be “qualified” and, when applicable, registered or licensed to the extent required under applicable State and Federal law.
Risk Retention. This final rule requires that at least one sponsor of each securitization retains at least 5% of the credit risk of the assets collateralizing asset-backed securities. Sponsors are prohibited from hedging or transferring this credit risk,
and the rule applies in both public and private transactions. Securitizations backed by “qualified residential mortgages” or “servicing assets” are exempt from the rule, and the definition of “qualified residential mortgages” is subject to review of the joint regulators every five years.
CARES Act. As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, which among other things, established the ability of a borrower of a federally backed mortgage loan (VA, FHA, USDA, FHLMC and FNMA) experiencing financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic to request forbearance from paying their mortgage by submitting a request to the borrower’s servicer affirming such borrower’s financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency. Such a forbearance will be granted for up to 180 days, which can be extended for an additional 180-day period upon the request of the borrower. During that time, no fees, penalties or interest beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated as if the borrower made all contractual payments on time and in full under the mortgage contract will accrue on the borrower’s account.
Any additional regulatory requirements affecting our mortgage origination operations will result in increased compliance costs and may impact revenue.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
The following discussion sets forth what management currently believes could be the material regulatory, market and economic, liquidity, legal and business and operational risks and uncertainties that could impact our business, results of operations and financial condition. Other risks and uncertainties, including those not currently known to us, could also negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition. Thus, the following should not be considered a complete discussion of all of the risks and uncertainties we may face, and the order of their respective significance may change. Below is a summary of our risk factors with a more detailed discussion following.
|●||The outbreak of COVID-19 has adversely affected, and will likely continue to adversely affect, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.|
|●||Our allowances for credit losses for loans and debt securities may prove inadequate or we may be negatively affected by credit risk exposures. Also, future additions to our allowance for credit losses will reduce our future earnings.|
|●||As a participating lender in the PPP, the Company and the Bank are subject to additional risks of litigation from the Bank’s clients, or other parties regarding our originating, processing, or servicing of loans under the PPP, and risks that the SBA may not fund some or all PPP loan guaranties.|
|●||Our business is subject to interest rate risk, and fluctuations in interest rates may adversely affect our earnings, capital levels and overall results.|
|●||Our operational systems and networks have been, and will continue to be, subject to an increasing risk of continually evolving cybersecurity or other technological risks, which could result in a loss of customer business, financial liability, regulatory penalties, damage to our reputation or the disclosure of confidential information.|
|●||The financial services industry is characterized by rapid technological change, and if we fail to keep pace, our business may suffer.|
|●||We are heavily reliant on technology, and a failure to effectively implement new technological solutions or enhancements to existing systems or platforms could adversely affect our business operations and the financial results of our operations.|
|●||Our geographic concentration may magnify the adverse effects and consequences of any regional or local economic downturn.|
|●||An adverse change in real estate market values may result in losses in our banking segment and otherwise adversely affect our profitability.|
|●||Changes in the method of determining LIBOR, or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate, may adversely affect interest income or expense.|
|●||Our mortgage origination is subject to fluctuations based upon seasonal and other factors and, as a result, our results of operations for any given quarter may not be indicative of the results that may be achieved for the full fiscal year.|
|●||Our risk management processes may not fully identify and mitigate exposure to the various risks that we face, including interest rate, credit, liquidity and market risk.|
|●||Our hedging strategies may not be successful in mitigating our exposure to interest rate risk.|
|●||Our bank lending, margin lending, stock lending, securities trading and execution and mortgage purchase businesses are all subject to credit risk.|
|●||We depend on our computer and communications systems and an interruption in service would negatively affect our business.|
|●||We are heavily dependent on dividends from our subsidiaries.|
|●||Our indebtedness may affect our ability to operate our business, and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We may incur additional indebtedness, including secured indebtedness.|
|●||We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness, including the Senior Notes, and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness that may not be successful.|
|●||A reduction in our credit rating could adversely affect us or the holders of our securities.|
|●||The indenture governing the Senior Notes contains, and any instruments governing future indebtedness would likely contain, restrictions that limit our flexibility in operating our business.|
|●||We are subject to extensive supervision and regulation that could restrict our activities and impose financial requirements or limitations on the conduct of our business and limit our ability to generate income.|
|●||We may be subject to more stringent capital requirements in the future.|
|●||Our broker-dealer business is subject to various risks associated with the securities industry.|
|●||Market fluctuations could adversely impact our broker-dealer business.|
|●||Our investment advisory business may be affected if our investment products perform poorly.|
|●||Our existing correspondents may choose to perform their own clearing services or move their clearing business to one of our competitors or exit the business.|
|●||Several of our broker-dealer segment’s product lines rely on favorable tax treatment and changes in federal tax law could impact the attractiveness of these products to our customers.|
|●||Our mortgage origination segment is subject to investment risk on loans that it originates.|
|●||The CFPB has issued “ability-to-repay” and “qualified mortgage” rules that may have a negative impact on our loan origination process and foreclosure proceedings, which could adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.|
|●||Changes in interest rates may change the value of our mortgage servicing rights portfolio, which may increase the volatility of our earnings.|
|●||If we fail to develop, implement and maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting in future periods may be adversely affected.|
|●||We ultimately may write-off goodwill and other intangible assets resulting from business combinations.|
|●||The accuracy of our financial statements and related disclosures could be affected if we are exposed to actual conditions different from the judgments, assumptions or estimates used in our critical accounting policies.|
|●||We are dependent on our management team, and the loss of our senior executive officers or other key employees could impair our relationship with customers and adversely affect our business and financial results.|
|●||We are subject to losses due to fraudulent and negligent acts.|
|●||Negative publicity regarding us, or financial institutions in general, could damage our reputation and adversely impact our business and results of operations.|
|●||We are subject to legal claims and litigation, including potential securities law liabilities, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.|
Risks Related to our Business
The outbreak of COVID-19 has adversely affected, and will likely continue to adversely affect, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the global economy and our business, and we believe that it is likely to continue to do so. Since the beginning of January 2020, the outbreak has caused significant volatility and disruption in the financial markets both globally and in the United States. If COVID-19, or another highly infectious or contagious disease, continues to spread or the response to contain it is unsuccessful, we could experience material adverse effects on our business, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations. The extent of such effects depends on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including the geographic spread of the virus, the overall severity of the disease, the duration of the outbreak, the measures that have to be taken, or future measures, by various governmental authorities in response to the outbreak (such as quarantines, shelter-in-place orders and travel restrictions) and the possible further impacts on the global economy.
We are generally exposed to the credit risk that third parties that owe us money, securities or other assets will fail to meet their obligations to us due to numerous causes, and this risk may be exacerbated by the macroeconomic effects of COVID-19. We lend to businesses and individuals, including through offering commercial and industrial loans, commercial and residential mortgage loans and other loans generally collateralized by assets. We also incur credit risk through our investments. Our credit risk and credit losses may increase to the extent our loans or investments are to borrowers or issuers who as a group may be uniquely or disproportionately affected by declining economic or market conditions as a result of COVID-19, such as those operating in the travel, lodging, retail, entertainment and energy industries. During 2020, the significant build in the allowance for credit losses at the Bank was primarily due to the market disruption and related economic uncertainties caused by COVID-19. We may incur further unexpected losses, and the deterioration of an individually large exposure due to COVID-19 could lead to additional credit loss provisions and/or charges-offs, or credit impairment of our investments, and subsequently have a material impact on our net income, regulatory capital and liquidity.
The continuation of the adverse economic conditions caused by the pandemic can be expected to have a significant adverse effect on our businesses and results of operations, including:
|●||further increases in the allowance for credit losses and possible recognition of credit losses, especially if businesses remain closed or substantially limited in their operating capacity, the unemployment rate remains high, consumer and business confidence remains declined, consumer trends continue to change and clients and customers draw on their lines of credit or seek additional loans to help finance their businesses;|
|●||possible constraints on liquidity and capital, whether due to increases in risk-weighted assets related to supporting client activities or to regulatory actions; and|
|●||the possibility that significant portions of our workforce are unable to work effectively, including because of illness, quarantines, sheltering-in-place arrangements, government actions or other restrictions related to the pandemic.|
We also could experience a material reduction in trading volume and lower securities prices in times of market volatility, which would result in lower brokerage revenues, including losses on firm inventory. The fair values of certain of our investments could also be negatively impacted, resulting in unrealized or realized losses on such investments.
Moreover, certain actions taken by U.S. or other governmental authorities, including the Federal Reserve, that are intended to ameliorate the macroeconomic effects of COVID-19 may cause additional harm to our business. Decreases in short-term interest rates, such as those announced by the Federal Reserve late in our 2019 fiscal year and during the first fiscal quarter of 2020, have had, and we expect that they will continue to have, a negative impact on our results of operations, as we have certain assets and liabilities that are sensitive to changes in interest rates.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affects our businesses, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our regulatory capital and liquidity ratios, will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including the scope and duration of the pandemic and actions taken by governmental authorities and other third parties in response to the pandemic. To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business, results of operations and financial condition, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described herein.
Our allowances for credit losses for loans and debt securities may prove inadequate or we may be negatively affected by credit risk exposures. Also, future additions to our allowance for credit losses will reduce our future earnings.
As a lender, we are exposed to the risk that we could sustain losses because our borrowers may not repay their loans in accordance with the terms of their loans. We maintain allowances for credit losses for loans and debt securities to provide for defaults and nonperformance, which represent an estimate of expected losses over the remaining contractual lives of the loan and debt security portfolios. This estimate is the result of our continuing evaluation of specific credit risks and loss experience, current loan and debt security portfolio quality, present economic, political and regulatory conditions, industry concentrations, reasonable and supportable forecasts for future conditions and other factors that may indicate losses. The determination of the appropriate levels of the allowances for loan and debt security credit losses inherently involves a high degree of subjectivity and judgment and requires us to make estimates of current credit risks and future trends, all of which may undergo material changes. Generally, our nonperforming loans and other real estate owned (“OREO”) reflect operating difficulties of individual borrowers and weaknesses in the economies of the markets we serve.
Under the acquisition method of accounting requirements, we were required to estimate the fair value of the loan portfolios acquired in each of the PlainsCapital Merger, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) -assisted transaction (the “FNB Transaction”) whereby the Bank acquired certain assets and assumed certain liabilities of FNB, the acquisition of SWS Group, Inc. in a stock and cash transaction (the “SWS Merger”) and the acquisition of The Bank of River Oaks (“BORO”) in an all-cash transaction (“BORO Acquisition”, and collectively with the PlainsCapital Merger, FNB Transaction and the SWS Merger, the “Bank Transactions”) as of the applicable acquisition date and write down the recorded value of each such acquired portfolio to the applicable estimate. For most loans, this process was accomplished by computing the net present value of estimated cash flows to be received from borrowers of such loans. The allowance for credit losses that had been maintained by PCC, FNB, SWS or BORO, as applicable, prior to their respective transactions, was eliminated in this accounting process.
The estimates of fair value as of the consummation of each of the Bank Transactions were based on economic conditions at such time and on Bank management’s projections concerning both future economic conditions and the ability of the borrowers to continue to repay their loans. If management’s assumptions and projections prove to be incorrect, however, the estimate of fair value may be higher than the actual fair value and we may suffer losses in excess of those estimated. Further, the allowance for credit losses established for new loans may prove to be inadequate to cover actual losses, especially if economic conditions worsen.
While Bank management will endeavor to estimate the allowance to cover anticipated losses over the lives of our loan and debt security portfolios, no underwriting and credit monitoring policies and procedures that we could adopt to address credit risk could provide complete assurance that we will not incur unexpected losses. These losses could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, federal regulators periodically evaluate the adequacy of our allowance for credit losses and may require us to increase our provision for credit losses or recognize further loan charge-offs based on judgments different from those of Bank management. Any such increase in our provision for (reversal of) credit losses or additional loan charge-offs could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
As a participating lender in the PPP, the Company and the Bank are subject to additional risks of litigation from the Bank’s clients, or other parties regarding our originating, processing, or servicing of loans under the PPP, and risks that the SBA may not fund some or all PPP loan guaranties.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act, which included a $349 billion loan program administered through the SBA referred to as the PPP. The Appropriations PPP Amendments, signed by the President on December 27, 2020, among other things, reauthorize and modify the PPP by appropriating more than $284 billion to the PPP.
Under the PPP, small businesses and other entities and individuals can apply for loans from existing SBA lenders and other approved regulated lenders that enroll in the program, subject to numerous limitations and eligibility criteria. The Bank is participating as a lender in the PPP. The PPP opened on April 3, 2020; however, because of the short timeframe between the passing of the CARES Act and the opening of the PPP, there is some ambiguity in the laws, rules and guidance regarding the operation of the PPP which exposes the Company to risks relating to noncompliance with the PPP. For instance, several larger banks have been subject to litigation regarding the process and procedures that such banks used in processing applications for the PPP. The Company and the Bank may be exposed to the risk of litigation, from
both clients and non-clients that solicited the Bank for PPP loans, regarding our process and procedures used to process applications for the PPP. Any financial liability, litigation costs or reputational damage caused by PPP-related litigation could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, the Bank may be exposed to credit risk on PPP loans if a determination is made by the SBA that there is a deficiency in the manner in which loans were originated, funded, or serviced by the Bank, such as an issue with the eligibility of a borrower to receive a PPP loan or the calculation of the maximum PPP loans to which a borrower is entitled, which may or may not be related to the ambiguity in the laws, rules and guidance regarding the operation of the PPP. If a deficiency is identified, the SBA may deny its liability under the guaranty, reduce the amount of the guaranty, or, if it has already paid under the guaranty, seek recovery of any loss related to the deficiency from the Company.
In addition, the Company’s participation in the PPP as a lender may adversely affect the Company’s revenue and results of operations depending on the timing and amount of forgiveness, if any, to which borrowers are entitled.
Our business is subject to interest rate risk, and fluctuations in interest rates may adversely affect our earnings, capital levels and overall results.
The majority of our assets are monetary in nature and, as a result, we are subject to significant risk from changes in interest rates. Between December 2016 and December 2018, the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve Board raised its target range for short-term interest rates by 200 basis points, and between August 2019 and March 2020, it decreased interest rates by 200 basis points. Changes in interest rates may impact our net interest income in our banking segment as well as the valuation of our assets and liabilities in each of our segments. Earnings in our banking segment are significantly dependent on our net interest income, which is the difference between interest income on interest-earning assets, such as loans and securities, and interest expense on interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits and borrowings. We expect to periodically experience “gaps” in the interest rate sensitivities of our banking segment’s assets and liabilities, meaning that either our interest-bearing liabilities will be more sensitive to changes in market interest rates than our interest-earning assets, or vice versa. In either event, if market interest rates should move contrary to our position, this “gap” may work against us, and our results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected. Asymmetrical changes in interest rates, such as if short-term rates increase or decrease at a faster rate than long-term rates, can affect the slope of the yield curve. A flatter or inverted yield curve, which occurred at various times throughout 2019, as measured by the difference between 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yields and 3-month yields, could adversely impact the net interest income of our banking segment as the spread between interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities becomes compressed. As a result, a flattening or an inversion of the yield curve is likely to have a negative impact on our net interest income and our net interest margin over time.
An increase in the absolute level of interest rates may also, among other things, adversely affect the demand for loans and our ability to originate loans. In particular, if mortgage interest rates increase, the demand for residential mortgage loans and the refinancing of residential mortgage loans will likely decrease, which will have an adverse effect on our income generated from mortgage origination activities. Conversely, a decrease in the absolute level of interest rates, among other things, may lead to prepayments in our loan and mortgage-backed securities portfolios as well as increased competition for deposits. Accordingly, changes in the general level of market interest rates may adversely affect our net yield on interest-earning assets, loan origination volume and our overall results.
Our broker-dealer segment holds securities, principally fixed-income bonds, to support sales, underwriting and other customer activities. If interest rates increase, the value of debt securities held in the broker-dealer segment’s inventory would decrease. Rapid or significant changes in interest rates could adversely affect the segment’s bond sales, trading and underwriting activities. Further, the profitability of our margin and stock lending businesses depends to a great extent on the difference between interest income earned on loans and investments of customer cash balances and the interest expense paid on customer cash balances and borrowings.
In addition, we hold securities that may be sold in response to changes in market interest rates, changes in securities’ prepayment risk, increases in loan demand, general liquidity needs and other similar factors. Such securities are classified as available for sale and are carried at estimated fair value, which may fluctuate with changes in market interest rates. The effects of an increase in market interest rates may result in a decrease in the value of our available for sale investment portfolio.
Market interest rates are affected by many factors outside of our control, including inflation, recession, unemployment, money supply, international disorder and instability in domestic and foreign financial markets. We may not be able to accurately predict the likelihood, nature and magnitude of such changes or how and to what extent such changes may affect our business. We also may not be able to adequately prepare for, or compensate for, the consequences of such changes. Any failure to predict and prepare for changes in interest rates, or adjust for the consequences of these changes, may adversely affect our earnings and capital levels and overall results of operations and financial condition.
Our business and results of operations may be adversely affected by unpredictable economic, market and business conditions.
Our business and results of operations are affected by general economic, market and business conditions. The credit quality of our loan portfolio necessarily reflects, among other things, the general economic conditions in the areas in which we conduct our business. Our continued financial success depends to a degree on factors beyond our control, including:
|●||national and local economic conditions, such as the level and volatility of short-term and long-term interest rates, inflation, home prices, unemployment and under-employment levels, energy prices, bankruptcies, household income and consumer spending;|
|●||the availability and cost of capital and credit;|
|●||incidence of customer fraud; and|
|●||federal, state and local laws affecting these matters.|
The deterioration of any of these conditions, as we have experienced with past economic downturns, could adversely affect our consumer and commercial businesses and securities portfolios, our level of loan charge-offs and provision for credit losses, the carrying value of our deferred tax assets, the investment portfolio of our insurance segment, our capital levels and liquidity, our securities underwriting business and our results of operations.
Several factors could pose risks to the financial services industry, including trade wars, restrictions and tariffs; slowing growth in emerging economies; geopolitical matters, including international political unrest, disturbances and conflicts; acts of war and terrorism; pandemics; changes in interest rates; regulatory uncertainty; continued infrastructure deterioration and low oil prices. In addition, the current environment of heightened scrutiny of financial institutions has resulted in increased public awareness of and sensitivity to banking fees and practices. Each of these factors may adversely affect our fees and costs.
Over the last several years, there have been several instances where there has been uncertainty regarding the ability of Congress and the President collectively to reach agreement on federal budgetary and spending matters. A period of failure to reach agreement on these matters, particularly if accompanied by an actual or threatened government shutdown, may have an adverse impact on the U.S. economy. Additionally, a prolonged government shutdown may inhibit our ability to evaluate borrower creditworthiness and originate and sell certain government-backed loans.
Our operational systems and networks have been, and will continue to be, subject to an increasing risk of continually evolving cybersecurity or other technological risks, which could result in a loss of customer business, financial liability, regulatory penalties, damage to our reputation or the disclosure of confidential information.
We rely heavily on communications and information systems to conduct our business and maintain the security of confidential information and complex transactions, which subjects us to an increasing risk of cyber incidents from these activities due to a combination of new technologies and the increasing use of the Internet to conduct financial transactions, as well as a potential failure, interruption or breach in the security of these systems, including those that could result from attacks or planned changes, upgrades and maintenance of these systems. Such cyber incidents could result in failures or disruptions in our customer relationship management, securities trading, general ledger, deposits, computer systems, electronic underwriting servicing or loan origination systems; or unauthorized disclosure of confidential and non-public information maintained within our systems. We also utilize relationships with third parties to aid in a significant portion of our information systems, communications, data management and transaction processing. These third parties with which we do business may also be sources of cybersecurity or other technological risks, including operational errors, system interruptions or breaches, unauthorized disclosure of confidential information and misuse of intellectual property. If our third-party service providers encounter any of these issues, we could be exposed to disruption of service, reputation damages, and litigation risk, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
The recent occurrence of cybersecurity incidents across a range of industries has resulted in increased legislative and regulatory scrutiny over cybersecurity and calls for additional data privacy laws and regulations at both the state and federal levels. For example, in 2018, the State of California adopted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which imposes requirements on companies operating in California and provides consumers with a private right of action if covered companies suffer a data breach related to their failure to implement reasonable security measures. These laws and regulations could result in increased operating expenses or increase our exposure to the risk of litigation.
Although we devote significant resources to maintain and regularly upgrade our systems and networks to safeguard critical business applications, there is no guarantee that these measures or any other measures can provide absolute security. Our computer systems, software and networks may be adversely affected by cyber incidents such as unauthorized access; loss or destruction of data (including confidential client information); account takeovers; unavailability of service; computer viruses or other malicious code; cyber attacks; and other events. In addition, our protective measures may not promptly detect intrusions, and we may experience losses or incur costs or other damage related to intrusions that go undetected or go undetected for significant periods of time, at levels that adversely affect our financial results or reputation. Further, because the methods used to cause cyber attacks change frequently, or in some cases cannot be recognized until launched, we may be unable to implement preventative measures or proactively address these methods until they are discovered. Cyber threats may derive from human error, fraud or malice on the part of employees or third parties, or may result from accidental technological failure. For example, during the second quarter of 2018, we became the victim of a “spear phishing” attack on one of our employees in which we suffered a $4.0 million wire fraud loss and sensitive customer information was stolen. As a result of this attack, we incurred costs to provide identity protections services, including credit monitoring, to customers who may have been impacted and other legal and professional services, and may also incur expenses in the future including legal and professional expenses and claims for damages. Additional challenges are posed by external extremist parties, including foreign state actors, in some circumstances, as a means to promote political ends. If one or more of these events occurs, it could result in the disclosure of confidential client or customer information, damage to our reputation with our clients, customers and the market, customer dissatisfaction, additional costs such as repairing systems or adding new personnel or protection technologies, regulatory penalties, fines, remediation costs, exposure to litigation and other financial losses to both us and our clients and customers. Such events could also cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations. We maintain cyber risk insurance, but this insurance may not be sufficient to cover all of our losses from any future breaches of our systems.
We continue to evaluate our cybersecurity program and will consider incorporating new practices as necessary to meet the expectations of regulatory agencies in light of such cybersecurity guidance and regulatory actions and settlements for cybersecurity-related failures and violations by other industry participants. Such procedures include management-level engagement and corporate governance, risk management and assessment, technical controls, incident response planning, vulnerability testing, vendor management, intrusion detection monitoring, patch management and staff training. Even if we implement these procedures, however, we cannot assure you that we will be fully protected from a cybersecurity incident, the occurrence of which could adversely affect our reputation and financial condition.
The financial services industry is characterized by rapid technological change, and if we fail to keep pace, our business may suffer.
The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. We may not be able to effectively or timely implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to our customers and clients. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry and avoid interruptions, errors and delays could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
We are heavily reliant on technology, and a failure to effectively implement new technological solutions or enhancements to existing systems or platforms could adversely affect our business operations and the financial results of our operations.
Like most financial services companies, we significantly depend on technology to deliver our products and services and to otherwise conduct business. To remain technologically competitive and operationally efficient, we have either begun the significant investment in or have plans to invest in new technological solutions, substantial core system upgrades and other technology enhancements within each of our operating segments and corporate. Many of these solutions and enhancements have a significant duration, include phased implementation schedules, are tied to critical systems, and
require substantial internal and external resources for design and implementation. Such external resources may be relied upon to provide expertise and support to help implement, maintain and/or service certain of our core technology solutions.
Although we take steps to mitigate the risks and uncertainties associated with these solutions and initiatives, we may encounter significant adverse developments in the completion and implementation of these initiatives. These may include significant time delays, cost overruns, loss of key personnel, technological problems, processing failures, distraction of management and other adverse developments. Further, our ability to maintain an adequate control environment may be impacted.
The ultimate effect of any adverse development could damage our reputation, result in a loss of customer business, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny, or expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability, any of which could materially affect us, including our control environment, operating efficiency, and results of operations.
Our geographic concentration may magnify the adverse effects and consequences of any regional or local economic downturn.
We conduct our banking operations primarily in Texas. At December 31, 2020, substantially all of the real estate loans in our loan portfolio were secured by properties located in our four largest markets within Texas, with 40%, 23%, 15% and 5% secured by properties located in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin/San Antonio, Houston/Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley/South Texas markets, respectively. Substantially all of these loans are made to borrowers who live and conduct business in Texas. Accordingly, economic conditions in Texas have a significant impact on the ability of the Bank’s customers to repay loans, the value of the collateral securing loans, our ability to sell the collateral upon any foreclosure, and the stability of the Bank’s deposit funding sources. Further, low crude oil prices may have a more profound effect on the economy of energy-dominant states such as Texas. The Bank has loans extended to businesses that depend on the energy industry including those within the exploration and production, oilfield services, pipeline construction, distribution and transportation sectors. If crude oil prices remain depressed for an extended period or decrease further, the Bank could experience weaker energy loan demand and increased losses within its energy and Texas-related loan portfolios. Moreover, natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017, may also have an adverse impact on local economic conditions.
In addition, mortgage origination fee income is dependent to a significant degree on economic conditions in Texas and California. During 2020, 18.6% and 10.9% of our mortgage loans originated (by dollar volume) were collateralized by properties located in Texas and California, respectively. Also, in our broker-dealer segment, 69% of public finance services net revenues were from entities located in Texas, and 89% of retail brokerage service revenues were generated through locations in Texas, California and Oklahoma. Any regional or local economic downturn that affects Texas or, to a lesser extent, California or Oklahoma, whether caused by recession, inflation, unemployment, changing oil prices, natural disasters or other factors, may affect us and our profitability more significantly and more adversely than our competitors that are less geographically concentrated, and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
An adverse change in real estate market values may result in losses in our banking segment and otherwise adversely affect our profitability.
At December 31, 2020, 38% of the loan portfolio of our banking segment was comprised of loans with commercial or residential real estate as the primary component of collateral. The real estate collateral in each case provides a source of repayment in the event of default by the borrower and may deteriorate in value during the time the credit is extended. A decline in commercial or residential real estate values generally, and in Texas specifically, could impair the value of the collateral underlying a significant portion of the Bank’s loan portfolio and our ability to sell the collateral upon any foreclosure. In the event of a default with respect to any of these loans, the amounts we receive upon sale of the collateral may be insufficient to recover the outstanding principal and interest on the loan. As a result, our results of operations and financial condition may be materially adversely affected by a decrease in real estate market values.
Changes in the method of determining LIBOR, or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate, may adversely affect interest income or expense.
Certain loans we originate bear interest at a floating rate based on LIBOR. We also pay interest on certain notes and are counterparty to derivative agreements that are based on LIBOR.
As previously discussed, in July 2017, the FCA announced that it intends to cease compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. At this time, no consensus exists as to what rate or rates may become acceptable alternatives to LIBOR and it is impossible to predict the effect of any such alternatives on the value of LIBOR-based securities and variable rate loans, debentures, or other securities or financial arrangements, given LIBOR’s role in determining market interest rates globally. The ARRC has proposed that SOFR is the rate that represents best practice as the alternative to LIBOR for use in derivatives and other financial contracts that are currently indexed to LIBOR. ARRC has proposed a paced market transition plan to SOFR from LIBOR, and organizations are currently working on industry-wide and company-specific transition plans as it relates to derivatives and cash markets exposed to LIBOR.
It is unclear whether, or in what form, LIBOR will continue to exist after 2021. Any transition to an alternative benchmark will require careful consideration and implementation so as not to disrupt the stability of financial markets. If LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to take a variety of actions, including negotiating certain of our agreements based on an alternative benchmark that may be established, if any. There is no guarantee that a transition from LIBOR to an alternative benchmark will not result in financial market disruptions, significant changes in benchmark rates or adverse changes in the value of certain of our loans, and our income and expense. In addition, as a result of these actions, we may incur significant expenses in effecting the transition, including, but not limited to, changes to our agreements and our agreements with customers that do not contemplate LIBOR being unavailable, systems and processes, and may be subject to disputes or litigation with customers over the appropriateness or comparability to LIBOR of the substitute indices, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
Our mortgage origination business is subject to fluctuations based upon seasonal and other factors and, as a result, our results of operations for any given quarter may not be indicative of the results that may be achieved for the full fiscal year.
Our mortgage origination business is subject to several variables that can impact loan origination volume, including seasonal and interest rate fluctuations. We typically experience increased loan origination volume from purchases of homes during the second and third calendar quarters, when more people tend to move and buy or sell homes. In addition, an increase in the general level of interest rates may, among other things, adversely affect the demand for mortgage loans and our ability to originate mortgage loans. In particular, if mortgage interest rates increase, the demand for residential mortgage loans and the refinancing of residential mortgage loans will likely decrease, which will have an adverse effect on our mortgage origination activities. Conversely, a decrease in the general level of interest rates, among other things, may lead to increased competition for mortgage loan origination business.
As a result of these variables, our results of operations for any single quarter are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be achieved for a full fiscal year.
Our risk management processes may not fully identify and mitigate exposure to the various risks that we face, including interest rate, credit, liquidity and market risk.
We continue to refine our risk management techniques, strategies and assessment methods on an ongoing basis. However, our risk management techniques and strategies (as well as those available to the market generally) may not be fully effective in mitigating our risk exposure in all economic market environments or against all types of risk. For example, we might fail to identify or anticipate particular risks, or the systems that we use, and that are used within our business segments generally, may not be capable of identifying certain risks. Certain of our strategies for managing risk are based upon observed historical market behavior. We apply statistical and other tools to these observations to quantify our risk exposure. Any failures in our risk management techniques and strategies to accurately identify and quantify our risk exposure could limit our ability to manage risks. In addition, any risk management failures could cause our losses to be significantly greater than the historical measures indicate. Further, our quantified modeling does not take all risks into account. As a result, we also take a qualitative approach in reducing our risk, although our qualitative approach to managing those risks could also prove insufficient, exposing us to material unanticipated losses.
Our hedging strategies may not be successful in mitigating our exposure to interest rate risk.
We use derivative financial instruments, primarily consisting of interest rate swaps, to limit our exposure to interest rate risk within the banking and mortgage origination segments. No hedging strategy can completely protect us, and the derivative financial instruments we elect may not have the effect of reducing our interest rate risk. Poorly designed strategies, improperly executed and documented transactions, inaccurate assumptions or the failure of a counterparty to fulfill its obligations could actually increase our risks and losses. In addition, hedging strategies involve transaction and
other costs. Our hedging strategies and the derivatives that we use may not adequately offset the risks of interest rate volatility and could result in or magnify losses, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our bank lending, margin lending, stock lending, securities trading and execution and mortgage purchase businesses are all subject to credit risk.
We are exposed to credit risk in all areas of our business. The Bank is exposed to the risk that its loan customers may not repay their loans in accordance with their terms, the collateral securing the loans may be insufficient, or its credit loss reserve may be inadequate to fully compensate the Bank for the outstanding balance of the loan plus the costs to dispose of the collateral. Further, our mortgage warehousing activities subject us to credit risk during the period between funding by the Bank and when the mortgage company sells the loan to a secondary investor.
Our broker-dealer business is subject to credit risk if securities prices decline rapidly because the value of our collateral could fall below the amount of the indebtedness it secures. In rapidly appreciating markets, credit risk increases due to short positions. Our securities lending business as well as our securities trading and execution businesses subject us to credit risk if a counterparty fails to perform or if collateral securing its obligations is insufficient. In securities transactions, we are subject to credit risk during the period between the execution of a trade and the settlement by the customer.
Significant failures by our customers, including correspondents, or clients to honor their obligations, or increases in their rates of default, together with insufficient collateral and reserves, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
We depend on our computer and communications systems and an interruption in service would negatively affect our business.
Our businesses rely on electronic data processing and communications systems. The effective use of technology allows us to better serve customers and clients, increases efficiency and reduces costs. Our continued success will depend, in part, upon our ability to successfully maintain, secure and upgrade the capability of our systems, our ability to address the needs of our clients by using technology to provide products and services that satisfy their demands and our ability to retain skilled information technology employees. Significant malfunctions or failures of our computer systems, computer security, software or any other systems in the trading process (e.g., record retention and data processing functions performed by third parties, and third party software, such as Internet browsers) could cause delays in customer trading activity. Such delays could cause substantial losses for customers and could subject us to claims from customers for losses, including litigation claiming fraud or negligence. In addition, if our computer and communications systems fail to operate properly, regulations would restrict our ability to conduct business. Any such failure could prevent us from collecting funds relating to customer and client transactions, which would materially impact our cash flows. Any computer or communications system failure or decrease in computer system performance that causes interruptions in our operations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
We are heavily dependent on dividends from our subsidiaries.
We are a financial holding company engaged in the business of managing, controlling and operating our subsidiaries. Hilltop conducts limited material business other than activities incidental to holding stock in the Bank and Securities Holdings. As a result, we rely substantially on the profitability of, and dividends from, these subsidiaries to pay our operating expenses and to pay interest on our debt obligations. The Bank and Securities Holdings are subject to significant regulatory restrictions limiting their ability to declare and pay dividends to us. Accordingly, if the Bank and Securities Holdings are unable to make cash distributions to us, then we may be unable to satisfy our operating expense obligations or make interest payments on our debt obligations.
Our broker-dealer business is subject to various risks associated with the securities industry.
Our broker-dealer business is subject to uncertainties that are common in the securities industry. These uncertainties include:
|●||intense competition in the securities industry;|
|●||the volatility of domestic and international financial, bond and stock markets;|
|●||extensive governmental regulation;|
|●||substantial fluctuations in the volume and price level of securities.|
As a result of such uncertainties, the revenues and operating results of our broker-dealer segment may vary significantly from quarter to quarter and from year to year. Unfavorable financial or economic conditions could reduce the number and size of transactions in which we provide financial advisory, underwriting and other services. Disruptions in fixed income and equity markets could lead to a decline in the volume of transactions executed for customers and, therefore, to declines in revenues from commissions and clearing services. In addition, the Hilltop Broker-Dealers are operating subsidiaries of Hilltop, which means that their activities are limited to those that are permissible for subsidiaries of a bank holding company.
Market fluctuations could adversely impact our broker-dealer business.
Our broker-dealer segment is subject to risks as a result of fluctuations in the securities markets. Our securities trading, market-making and underwriting activities involve the purchase and sale of securities as a principal, which subjects our capital to significant risks. Market conditions could limit our ability to sell securities purchased or to purchase securities sold in such transactions. If interest rates increase, the value of debt securities we hold in our inventory would decrease. Rapid or significant market fluctuations could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.
In addition, during periods of market disruption, it may be difficult to value certain assets if comparable sales become less frequent or market data becomes less observable. Certain classes of assets or loan collateral that were in active markets with significant observable data may become illiquid due to the current financial environment. In such cases, asset valuations may require more estimation and subjective judgment.
Our investment advisory business may be affected if our investment products perform poorly.
Poor investment returns and declines in client assets in our investment advisory business, due to either general market conditions or underperformance (relative to our competitors or to benchmarks) by investment products, may affect our ability to retain existing assets, prevent clients from transferring their assets out of products or their accounts, or inhibit our ability to attract new clients or additional assets from existing clients. Any such poor performance could adversely affect our investment advisory business and the advisory fees that we earn on client assets.
Our existing correspondents may choose to perform their own clearing services or move their clearing business to one of our competitors or exit the business.
As the operations of our correspondents grow, our correspondents may consider the option of performing clearing functions themselves, in a process referred to as “self-clearing.” The option to convert to self-clearing operations may become more attractive as the transaction volume of a broker-dealer grows. The cost of implementing the necessary infrastructure may eventually be offset by the elimination of per transaction processing fees that would otherwise be paid to a clearing firm. Additionally, performing their own clearing services allows self-clearing broker-dealers to retain their customers’ margin balances, free credit balances and securities for use in margin lending activities. Furthermore, our correspondents may decide to use the clearing services of one of our competitors or exit the business. Any significant loss of correspondents due to self-clearing, moving their clearing business to a competitor or exiting the business could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Several of our broker-dealer segment’s product lines rely on favorable tax treatment and changes in federal tax law could impact the attractiveness of these products to our customers.
We offer a variety of services and products, such as individual retirement accounts and municipal bonds, which rely on favorable federal income tax treatment to be attractive to our customers. Should favorable tax treatment of these products be eliminated or reduced, sales of these products could be materially impacted, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Our mortgage origination segment is subject to investment risk on loans that it originates.
We intend to sell, and not hold for investment, substantially all residential mortgage loans that we originate through PrimeLending. At times, however, we may originate a loan or execute an interest rate lock commitment (“IRLC”) with a customer pursuant to which we agree to originate a mortgage loan on a future date at an agreed-upon interest rate without having identified a purchaser for such loan. An identified purchaser may also decline to purchase a loan for a variety of reasons. In these instances, we will bear interest rate risk on an IRLC until, and unless, we are able to find a buyer for the loan underlying such IRLC and the risk of investment on a loan until, and unless, we are able to find a buyer for such loan. In addition, in the event of a breach of any representation or warranty concerning a loan, an agency, investor or other third party could, among other things, require us to repurchase the full amount of the loan or seek indemnification for losses from us, even if the loan is not in default. Further, if a customer defaults on a mortgage payment shortly after the loan is originated, the purchaser of the loan may have a put right, whereby the purchaser can require us to repurchase the loan at the full amount that it paid. During periods of market downturn, we may choose to hold mortgage loans when the identified purchasers have declined to purchase such loans because we may not obtain an acceptable substitute bid price for such loan. The failure of mortgage loans that we hold on our books to perform adequately could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations. Moreover, if a property securing a mortgage loan on which we own the servicing rights is damaged, including from flooding, we may be responsible for repairs for uninsured damage.
Changes in interest rates may change the value of our mortgage servicing rights portfolio, which may increase the volatility of our earnings.
As a result of our mortgage servicing business, which we may expand in the future, we have a portfolio of MSR assets. A MSR is the right to service a mortgage loan – collect principal, interest and escrow amounts – for a fee. We measure and carry all of our residential MSR assets using the fair value measurement method. Fair value is determined as the present value of estimated future net servicing income, calculated based on a number of variables, including assumptions about the likelihood of prepayment by borrowers.
One of the principal risks associated with MSR assets is that in a declining interest rate environment, they will likely lose a substantial portion of their value as a result of higher than anticipated prepayments. Moreover, if prepayments are greater than expected, the cash we receive over the life of the mortgage loans would be reduced. The mortgage origination segment uses derivative financial instruments, including U.S. Treasury bond futures and options, as a means to mitigate market risk associated with MSR assets. However, no hedging strategy can protect us completely, and hedging strategies may fail because they are improperly designed, improperly executed and documented or based on inaccurate assumptions and, as a result, could actually increase our risks and losses. The increasing size of our MSR portfolio may increase our interest rate risk and correspondingly, the volatility of our earnings, especially if we cannot adequately hedge the interest rate risk relating to our MSR assets.
The CARES Act was enacted as a part of an on-going legislative response to the COVID-19 virus and provides borrowers the ability to request forbearance of residential mortgage loan payments, placing a significant strain on mortgage servicers as they may be required to fund missed or deferred payments related to loans in forbearance. A significant increase in nationwide forbearance requests has resulted in the reduction of third-party mortgage servicers willing to purchase mortgage servicing rights. As a result of this market dynamic, beginning in the second quarter 2020, the Company has increased the amount of retained servicing on mortgage loan sales. Starting in the second quarter of 2020, PrimeLending retained servicing on 89% of total mortgage loans sold. The increased size of our MSR portfolio could result in us carrying significant asset balances. This could result in a reduction in our liquidity and cause a reduction in our capital ratios. The combination of these impacts along with other impacts, could cause us to not have sufficient liquidity or capital.
At December 31, 2020, the mortgage origination segment’s MSR asset had a fair value of $144.2 million. All income related to retained servicing, including changes in the value of the MSR asset, is included in noninterest income. Depending on the interest rate environment, it is possible that the fair value of our MSR asset may be reduced in the future. If such changes in fair value significantly reduce the carrying value of our MSR asset, our financial condition and results of operations would be negatively affected.
If we fail to develop, implement and maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting in future periods may be adversely affected.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related rules and regulations require that management report annually on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and assess the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures on a quarterly basis. Effective internal controls are necessary for us to provide timely and reliable financial reports and effectively prevent fraud.
Following the identification during the fourth quarter of 2019 of a control deficiency that constituted a material weakness in our internal controls and procedures described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, we initiated remediation measures to address the design and maintenance of effective controls over certain aspects relating to the determination of the qualitative factors considered by management in the allowance for loan losses estimation process, specifically control activities to adequately support the analysis and the impact of such support on the loss measurement. As previously reported, the remediation plan was implemented during the fourth quarter of 2019 and included an enhanced analysis to support the qualitative factors considered in the estimation of the allowance for loan losses as of December 31, 2019. Management believes that such enhanced controls, including new controls implemented as a part of the adoption of CECL on January 1, 2020, have been designed to address the material weakness and were implemented as of March 31, 2020. We consider the material weakness remediated as of December 31, 2020, as the remedial controls have operated for a sufficient period of time and we have concluded, through testing, that these controls are operating effectively. For a more detailed discussion, see Item 9A, “Controls and Procedures” herein.
If we fail to maintain adequate internal controls, our financial statements may not accurately reflect our financial condition. Any material misstatements could require a restatement of our consolidated financial statements, cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations or cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, leading to a decline in the market value of our securities.
We ultimately may write-off goodwill and other intangible assets resulting from business combinations.
As a result of purchase accounting in connection with acquisitions, our consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2020, included goodwill of $267.4 million and other intangible assets, net of accumulated amortization, of $20.4 million. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate whether facts and circumstances indicate any impairment of value of intangible assets. As circumstances change, we may not realize the value of these intangible assets. If we determine that a material impairment has occurred, we will be required to write-off the impaired portion of intangible assets, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations in the period in which the write-off occurs.
The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations and financial performance depends on many factors that are not within our control. If we are unable to successfully manage our business through the challenges and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, our business and operating results could be materially adversely affected.
If the COVID-19 pandemic results in a prolonged adverse impact on our operating results, our goodwill and other intangible assets may be at risk of future impairment.
We have goodwill and intangibles balances recorded in connection with acquisition in our banking and broker-dealer segments, which we periodically review for impairment. These assets are sensitive to any significant changes in related results of operations of the underlying businesses. Specifically, our banking segment has experienced lower-than-forecasted operating results during the year ended December 31, 2020, due to conditions discussed in detail within the discussion of banking segment that follows. However, we cannot predict the effects that any continued adverse conditions from the pandemic may have on the future impairment of these assets.
Based on the results of our annual quantitative analysis as of October 1, 2020, the fair values of each of our reporting units indicated no impairment of goodwill. Any downward revisions to current year actual and future forecasted operating performance, in conjunction with any changes to long-term growth rates or discount rates, may cause the fair value of the respective reporting unit to decline. If the estimated fair value is less than the carrying value, we would be required to recognize an impairment charge for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value; however, the loss recognized would not exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to that reporting unit.
The accuracy of our financial statements and related disclosures could be affected if we are exposed to actual conditions different from the judgments, assumptions or estimates used in our critical accounting policies.
The preparation of financial statements and related disclosure in conformity with GAAP requires us to make judgments, assumptions and estimates that affect the amounts reported in our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Our critical accounting policies, which are included in this Annual Report, describe those significant accounting policies and methods used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements that we consider “critical” because they require judgments, assumptions and estimates that materially impact our consolidated financial statements and related disclosures. As a result, if future events differ significantly from the judgments, assumptions and estimates in our critical accounting policies, such events or assumptions could have a material impact on our audited consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
We are dependent on our management team, and the loss of our senior executive officers or other key employees could impair our relationship with customers and adversely affect our business and financial results.
Our success is dependent, to a large degree, upon the continued service and skills of our existing management team and other key employees with long-term customer relationships. Our business and growth strategies are built primarily upon our ability to retain employees with experience and business relationships within their respective segments. The loss of one or more of these key personnel could have an adverse impact on our business because of their skills, knowledge of the market, years of industry experience and the difficulty of finding qualified replacement personnel. In addition, we currently do not have non-competition agreements with certain members of management and other key employees. If any of these personnel were to leave and compete with us, our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth could suffer.
A decline in the market for municipal advisory services could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Our broker-dealer segment has historically earned a material portion of its revenues from advisory fees paid to it by its clients, in large part upon the successful completion of the client’s transaction. New issuances in the municipal market by cities, counties, school districts, state and other governmental agencies, airports, healthcare institutions, institutions of higher education and other clients that the public finance services line of business serves can be subject to significant fluctuations based on factors such as changes in interest rates, property tax bases, budget pressures on certain issuers caused by uncertain economic times and other factors. A decline in the market for municipal advisory services due to the factors listed above could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
We are subject to losses due to fraudulent and negligent acts.
Our banking and mortgage origination businesses expose us to fraud risk from our loan and deposit customers and the parties they do business with, as well as from our employees, contractors and vendors. We rely heavily upon information supplied by third parties, including the information contained in credit applications, property appraisals, title information, equipment pricing and valuation, and employment and income documentation, in deciding which loans to originate and the terms of those loans. If any of the information upon which we rely is misrepresented, either fraudulently or negligently, and the misrepresentation is not detected prior to funding, the value of the collateral may be significantly lower than expected, the source of repayment may not exist or may be significantly impaired, or we may fund a loan that we would not have funded or on terms we would not have extended. While we have underwriting and operational controls in place to help detect and prevent such fraud, no such controls are effective to detect or prevent all fraud. Whether a misrepresentation is made by the applicant, another third party or one of our own employees, we may bear the risk of loss associated with the misrepresentation. We have experienced losses resulting from fraud in the past, including loan, wire transfer, document and check fraud, and identity theft. We maintain fraud insurance, but this insurance may not be sufficient to cover all of our losses from any fraudulent acts.
Our broker-dealer activities also expose us to fraud risks. When acting as an underwriter, our broker-dealer segment may be liable jointly and severally under federal, state and foreign securities laws for false and misleading statements concerning the securities, or the issuer of the securities, that it underwrites. We are sometimes brought into lawsuits in connection with our correspondent clearing business based on actions of our correspondents. In addition, we may act as a fiduciary in other capacities that could expose us to liability under such laws or under common law fiduciary principles.
Negative publicity regarding us, or financial institutions in general, could damage our reputation and adversely impact our business and results of operations.
Our ability to attract and retain customers and conduct our business could be adversely affected to the extent our reputation is damaged. Reputational risk, or the risk to our business, earnings and capital from negative public opinion regarding our company, or financial institutions in general, is inherent in our business. Adverse perceptions concerning our reputation could lead to difficulties in generating and maintaining accounts as well as in financing them. In particular, such negative perceptions could lead to decreases in the level of deposits that consumer and commercial customers and potential customers choose to maintain with us. Negative public opinion could result from actual or alleged conduct in any number of activities or circumstances, including lending or foreclosure practices; sales practices; corporate governance and potential conflicts of interest; ethical failures or fraud, including alleged deceptive or unfair lending or pricing practices; regulatory compliance; protection of customer information; cyber attacks, whether actual, threatened, or perceived; negative news about us or the financial institutions industry generally; general company performance; or actions taken by government regulators and community organizations in response to such activities or circumstances. Furthermore, our failure to address, or the perception that we have failed to address, these issues appropriately could impact our ability to keep and attract customers and/or employees and could expose us to litigation and/or regulatory action, which could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
We are subject to legal claims and litigation, including potential securities law liabilities, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We face significant legal risks in each of the business segments in which we operate, and the volume of legal claims and amount of damages and penalties claimed in litigation and regulatory proceedings against financial service companies remains high. These risks often are difficult to assess or quantify, and their existence and magnitude often remain unknown for substantial periods of time. Substantial legal liability or significant regulatory action against us or any of our subsidiaries could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or cause significant reputational harm to us, which could seriously harm our business and prospects. Further, regulatory inquiries and subpoenas, other requests for information, or testimony in connection with litigation may require incurrence of significant expenses, including fees for legal representation and fees associated with document production. These costs may be incurred even if we are not a target of the inquiry or a party to the litigation. Any financial liability or reputational damage could have a material adverse effect on our business, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Further, in the normal course of business, our broker-dealer segment has been subject to claims by customers and clients alleging unauthorized trading, churning, mismanagement, suitability of investments, breach of fiduciary duty or other alleged misconduct by our employees or brokers. We are sometimes brought into lawsuits based on allegations concerning our correspondents. As underwriters, we are subject to substantial potential liability for material misstatements and omissions in prospectuses and other communications with respect to underwritten offerings of securities. Prolonged litigation producing significant legal expenses or a substantial settlement or adverse judgment could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Because we may use a substantial portion of our remaining excess capital to make acquisitions or effect a business combination, we may become subject to risks inherent in pursuing and completing any such acquisitions or business combination.
We may make acquisitions or effect business combinations with a substantial portion of our remaining excess capital. We may not, however, be able to identify suitable targets, consummate acquisitions or effect a combination on commercially acceptable terms or, if consummated, successfully integrate personnel and operations.
The success of any acquisition or business combination will depend upon, among other things, the ability of management and our employees to integrate personnel, operations, products and technologies effectively, to attract, retain and motivate key personnel and to retain customers and clients of targets. It is possible that the integration process could result in the loss of key employees, the disruption of ongoing business or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies that adversely affect our ability to maintain relationships with clients, customers, depositors and employees. In addition, the integration of certain operations will require the dedication of significant management resources, which may temporarily distract management’s attention from our day-to-day business. Any inability to realize the full extent, or any, of the anticipated cost savings and financial benefits of any acquisitions we make, as well as any delays encountered in the integration process, could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations, which could adversely
affect our financial condition and cause a decrease in our earnings per share or decrease or delay the expected accretive effect of the acquisitions and contribute to a decrease in the price of our common stock. In addition, any acquisition or business combination we undertake may consume available cash resources, result in potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities and divert management’s attention from other business concerns. Even if we conduct extensive due diligence on a target business that we acquire or with which we merge, our diligence may not surface all material issues that may adversely affect a particular target business, and we may be forced to later write-down or write-off assets, restructure our operations or incur impairment or other charges that could result in our reporting losses. Consequently, we also may need to make further investments to support the acquired or combined company and may have difficulty identifying and acquiring the appropriate resources.
We may enter, through acquisitions or a business combination, into new lines of business or initiate new service offerings subject to the restrictions imposed upon us as a regulated financial holding company. Accordingly, there is no basis for you to evaluate the possible merits or risks of the particular target business with which we may combine or that we may ultimately acquire.
Subject to the restrictions imposed upon us as a regulated financial holding company, we may also use excess capital to make investments in companies engaged in non-financial activities. These investments could decline in value and are likely to be substantially less liquid than exchange-listed securities, if we are able to sell them at all. If we are required to sell these investments quickly, we may receive significantly less value than if we could otherwise have sold them. Losses on these investments could have an adverse impact on our profitability, results of operations and financial condition.
We may be subject to environmental liabilities in connection with the foreclosure on real estate assets securing the loan portfolio of our banking segment.
Hazardous or toxic substances or other environmental hazards may be located on the real estate that secures our loans. If we acquire such properties as a result of foreclosure, or otherwise, we could become subject to various environmental liabilities. For example, we could be held liable for the cost of cleaning up or otherwise addressing contamination at or from these properties. We could also be held liable to a governmental entity or third party for property damage, personal injury or other claims relating to any environmental contamination at or from these properties. In addition, we could be held liable for costs relating to environmental contamination at or from our current or former properties. We may not detect all environmental hazards associated with these properties. If we ever became subject to significant environmental liabilities, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations could be harmed.
Risks Related to Our Indebtedness
Our indebtedness may affect our ability to operate our business, and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We may incur additional indebtedness, including secured indebtedness.
At December 31, 2020, on a consolidated basis, we had total deposits of $11.2 billion and other indebtedness of $1.1 billion, including $150.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 5% senior notes due 2025 (the “Senior Notes”), $50 million aggregate principal amount of 5.75% fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes due 2030 (the “2030 Subordinated Notes”) and $150 million aggregate principal amount of 6.125% fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes due 2035 (the “2035 Subordinated Notes”). Our significant amount of indebtedness could have important consequences, such as:
|●||limiting our ability to obtain additional financing to fund our working capital needs, acquisitions, capital expenditures or other debt service requirements or for other purposes;|
|●||limiting our ability to use operating cash flow in other areas of our business because we must dedicate a substantial portion of these funds to service debt;|
|●||limiting our ability to compete with other companies who are not as highly leveraged, as we may be less capable of responding to adverse economic and industry conditions;|
|●||restricting us from making strategic acquisitions, developing properties or pursuing business opportunities;|
|●||restricting the way in which we conduct our business because of financial and operating covenants in the agreements governing our and certain of our subsidiaries’ existing and future indebtedness, including, in the case of certain indebtedness of subsidiaries, certain covenants that restrict the ability of such subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other distributions to us;|
|●||exposing us to potential events of default (if not cured or waived) under financial and operating covenants contained in our or our subsidiaries’ debt instruments that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results;|
|●||increasing our vulnerability to a downturn in general economic conditions or a decrease in pricing of our products; and|
|●||limiting our ability to react to changing market conditions in our industry and in our customers’ industries.|
In addition to our debt service obligations, our operations require substantial investments on a continuing basis. Our ability to make scheduled debt payments, to refinance our obligations with respect to our indebtedness and to fund capital and non-capital expenditures necessary to maintain the condition of our operating assets and properties, as well as to provide capacity for the growth of our business, depends on our financial and operating performance, which, in turn, is subject to prevailing economic conditions and financial, business, competitive, legal and other factors.
Subject to the restrictions in the indentures governing the Senior Notes, 2030 Subordinated Notes and 2035 Subordinated Notes (collectively, the “Senior and Subordinated Notes”), we may incur significant additional indebtedness, including secured indebtedness. If new debt is added to our current debt levels, the risks described above could increase.
We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness, including the Senior and Subordinated Notes, and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness that may not be successful.
Our ability to satisfy our debt obligations will depend upon, among other things:
|●||our future financial and operating performance, which will be affected by prevailing economic conditions and financial, business, regulatory and other factors, many of which are beyond our control; and|
|●||our future ability to refinance the Senior and Subordinated Notes, which depends on, among other things, our compliance with the covenants in the indentures governing the Senior and Subordinated Notes.|
We cannot assure you that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations, or that we will be able to obtain financing in an amount sufficient to fund our liquidity needs.
If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to service our indebtedness, including the Senior and Subordinated Notes, we may be forced to reduce or delay capital expenditures, sell assets, seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness, including the Senior and Subordinated Notes. These alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations, including our obligations under the Senior and Subordinated Notes. Our ability to restructure or refinance our debt will depend on the condition of the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. Any refinancing of our debt could be at higher interest rates and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. In addition, the terms of existing or future debt agreements may restrict us from adopting some of these alternatives. In the absence of such operating results and resources, we could face substantial liquidity problems and might be required to dispose of material assets or operations, sell equity and/or negotiate with our lenders and other creditors to restructure the applicable debt in order to meet our debt service and other obligations. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions for fair market value or at all. The indentures governing the Senior and Subordinated Notes may restrict, or market or business conditions may limit, our ability to avail ourselves of some or all of these options. Furthermore, any proceeds that we could realize from any such dispositions may not be adequate to meet our debt service obligations then due.
A reduction in our credit rating could adversely affect us or the holders of our securities.
The credit rating agencies rating our indebtedness regularly evaluate the Company, and credit ratings are based on a number of factors, including our financial strength and ability to generate earnings, as well as factors not entirely within our control, including conditions affecting the financial services industry and the economy and changes in rating methodologies. There can be no assurance that we will maintain our current credit rating. A downgrade of our credit rating could adversely affect our access to liquidity and capital, and could significantly increase our cost of funds, trigger additional collateral or funding requirements and decrease the number of investors and counterparties willing to lend to us or purchase our securities. This could affect our growth, profitability and financial condition, including liquidity.
The indentures governing the Senior and Subordinated Notes contain, and any instruments governing future indebtedness would likely contain, restrictions that limit our flexibility in operating our business.
The indentures governing the Senior and Subordinated Notes contain, and any instruments governing future indebtedness would likely contain, a number of covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us, including restrictions on our ability to, among other things:
|●||dispose of, or issue voting stock of, certain subsidiaries; or|
|●||incur or permit to exist any mortgage, pledge, encumbrance or lien or charge on the capital stock of certain subsidiaries.|
Any of these restrictions could limit our ability to plan for or react to market conditions and could otherwise restrict corporate activities. Any failure to comply with these covenants could result in a default under the indentures governing the Senior and Subordinated Notes. Upon a default, holders of the Senior and Subordinated Notes have the ability ultimately to force us into bankruptcy or liquidation, subject to the indentures governing the Senior and Subordinated Notes. In addition, a default under the indentures governing the Senior and Subordinated Notes could trigger a cross default under the agreements governing our existing and future indebtedness. Our operating results may not be sufficient to service our indebtedness or to fund our other expenditures and we may not be able to obtain financing to meet these requirements.
Risks Related to our Industry
The soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect our business.
Our ability to engage in routine funding transactions could be adversely affected by the actions and commercial soundness of other financial institutions. Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty and other relationships. We have exposure to many different counterparties and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, credit unions, investment banks, mutual and hedge funds, and other institutional clients. As a result, defaults by, or even negative speculation about, one or more financial services institutions, or the financial services industry in general, have led to market-wide liquidity problems in the past and could lead to losses or defaults by us or by other institutions. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or client. In addition, our credit risk may be exacerbated when we hold collateral that cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the receivable due to us. Any such losses could be material and could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
We face strong competition from other financial institutions and financial service companies, which may adversely affect our operations and financial condition.
Our banking segment primarily competes with national, regional and community banks within various markets where the Bank operates. The Bank also faces competition from many other types of financial institutions, including savings and loan associations, savings banks, finance companies and credit unions. A number of these banks and other financial institutions have substantially greater resources and lending limits, larger branch systems and a wider array of banking services than we do. We also compete with other providers of financial services, such as money market mutual funds, brokerage and investment banking firms, consumer finance companies, pension trusts and governmental organizations, each of which may offer more favorable financing than we are able to provide. In addition, some of our non-bank competitors are not subject to the same extensive regulations that govern us. The banking business in Texas has remained competitive over the past several years, and we expect the level of competition we face to further increase. Competition for deposits and in providing lending products and services to consumers and businesses in our market area is intense and pricing is important. Other factors encountered in competing for savings deposits are convenient office locations, interest rates and fee structures of products offered. Direct competition for savings deposits also comes from other commercial bank and thrift institutions, money market mutual funds and corporate and government securities that may offer more attractive rates than insured depository institutions are willing to pay. Competition for loans is based on factors such as interest rates, loan origination fees and the range of services offered by the provider. We seek to distinguish ourselves from our competitors through our commitment to personalized customer service and responsiveness to customer needs while providing a range of competitive loan and deposit products and other services. Our profitability depends on our
ability to compete effectively in these markets. This competition may reduce or limit our margins on banking services, reduce our market share and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
The financial advisory and investment banking industries also are intensely competitive industries and will likely remain competitive. Our broker-dealer business competes directly with numerous other financial advisory and investment banking firms, broker-dealers and banks, including large national and major regional firms and smaller niche companies, some of whom are not broker-dealers and, therefore, not subject to the broker-dealer regulatory framework. In addition to competition from firms currently in the industry, there has been increasing competition from others offering financial services, including automated trading and other services based on technological innovations. Our broker-dealer business competes on the basis of a number of factors, including the quality of advice and service, technology, product selection, innovation, reputation, client relationships and price. Increased pressure created by any current or future competitors, or by competitors of our broker-dealer business collectively, could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations. Increased competition may result in reduced revenue and loss of market share. Further, as a strategic response to changes in the competitive environment, our broker-dealer business may from time to time make certain pricing, service or marketing decisions that also could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Our mortgage origination business faces vigorous competition from banks and other financial institutions, including large financial institutions as well as independent mortgage banking companies, commercial banks, savings banks and savings and loan associations. Our mortgage origination segment competes on a number of factors including customer service, quality and range of products and services offered, price, reputation, interest rates, closing process and duration, and loan origination fees. The ability to attract and retain skilled mortgage origination professionals is critical to our mortgage origination business. We seek to distinguish ourselves from our competitors through our commitment to personalized customer service and responsiveness to customer needs while providing a range of competitive mortgage loan products and services.
Overall, competition among providers of financial products and services continues to increase as technological advances have lowered the barriers to entry for financial technology companies, with consumers having the opportunity to select from a growing variety of traditional and nontraditional alternatives, including online checking, savings and brokerage accounts, online lending, online insurance underwriters, crowdfunding, digital wallets, and money transfer services. The ability of non-banking financial institutions to provide services previously limited to commercial banks has intensified competition. Because non-banking financial institutions are not subject to many of the same regulatory restrictions as banks and bank holding companies, they can often operate with greater flexibility and lower cost structures. This competition could result in the loss of customer deposits and brokerage accounts and lower mortgage originations which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Acquisitions may be delayed, impeded, or prohibited due to regulatory issues.
Acquisitions by financial institutions are subject to approval by a variety of federal and state regulatory agencies. The process for obtaining these required regulatory approvals has become substantially more difficult in recent years. Regulatory approvals could be delayed, impeded, restrictively conditioned or denied due to existing or new regulatory issues we have, or may have, with regulatory agencies, including, without limitation, issues related to Bank Secrecy Act compliance, Community Reinvestment Act issues, fair lending laws, fair housing laws, consumer protection laws, unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices regulations and other similar laws and regulations. We may fail to pursue, evaluate or complete strategic and competitively significant acquisition opportunities as a result of our inability, or perceived or anticipated inability, to obtain regulatory approvals in a timely manner, under reasonable conditions or at all. Difficulties associated with potential acquisitions that may result from these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Legal and Regulatory Risks
We are subject to extensive supervision and regulation that could restrict our activities and impose financial requirements or limitations on the conduct of our business and limit our ability to generate income.
We are subject to extensive federal and state regulation and supervision, including that of the Federal Reserve Board, the Texas Department of Banking, the FDIC, the CFPB, the SEC and FINRA. Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors’ funds, federal deposit insurance funds and the banking system as a whole, not stockholders or other debt holders Likewise, regulations promulgated by the SEC and FINRA are primarily intended to protect the securities markets and customers of broker-dealer businesses rather than stockholders or other debt holders. Further, because the Bank’s total assets were over $10.0 billion (as measured on four consecutive quarterly call reports of the Bank) as of June 30, 2020, along with the continued Federal Reserve consumer supervisory and enforcement, the Bank became subject to the CFPB’s supervisory and enforcement authority with respect to federal consumer financial laws, beginning in the second quarter of 2020.
These regulations affect our lending practices, capital structure, capital requirements, investment practices, brokerage and investment advisory activities, dividends and growth, among other things. Failure to comply with laws, regulations or policies could result in money damages, civil money penalties or reputational damage, as well as sanctions and supervisory actions by regulatory agencies that could subject us to significant restrictions on or suspensions of our business and our ability to expand through acquisitions or branching. Further, our clearing contracts generally include automatic termination provisions that are triggered in the event we are suspended from any of the national exchanges of which we are a member for failure to comply with the rules or regulations thereof. While we have implemented policies and procedures designed to prevent any such violations of rules and regulations, such violations may occur from time to time, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
The U.S. Congress, state legislatures, and federal and state regulatory agencies frequently revise banking and securities laws, regulations and policies. For example, several aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act have affected our business, including, without limitation, increased capital requirements, increased mortgage regulation, restrictions on proprietary trading in securities, restrictions on investments in hedge funds and private equity funds, executive compensation restrictions, potential federal oversight of the insurance industry and disclosure and reporting requirements. Although the EGRRCPA is intended to ease the regulatory burden imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act with respect to company-run stress testing, resolution plans, the Volcker Rule, high volatility commercial real estate exposures, and real estate appraisals, at this time, it remains difficult to predict the full extent to which the Dodd-Frank Act the EGRRCPA, the CARES Act, the AML Act or the resulting rules and regulations will affect our business. Compliance with new laws and regulations has resulted and likely will continue to result in additional costs, which could be significant and may adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.
The Bank received a “satisfactory” CRA rating in connection with its most recent CRA performance evaluation. A CRA rating of less than “satisfactory” adversely affects a bank’s ability to establish new branches and impairs a bank’s ability to commence new activities that are “financial in nature” or acquire companies engaged in these activities. Other regulatory exam ratings or findings also may adversely impact our ability to branch, commence new activities or make acquisitions.
We cannot predict whether or in what form any other proposed regulations or statutes will be adopted or the extent to which our business may be affected by any new regulation or statute. These changes become less predictable, yet more likely to occur, following the transition of power from one presidential administration to another, especially as in 2021, when it involves a change in political party. Any such changes could subject our business to additional costs, limit the types of financial services and products we may offer and increase the ability of non-banks to offer competing financial services and products, among other things.
We may be subject to more stringent capital requirements in the future.
We are subject to regulatory requirements specifying minimum amounts and types of capital that we must maintain. From time to time, the regulators change these regulatory capital adequacy guidelines. If we fail to meet these minimum capital guidelines and other regulatory requirements, we or our subsidiaries may be restricted in the types of activities we may conduct and we may be prohibited from taking certain capital actions, such as paying dividends and repurchasing or redeeming capital securities.
In particular, under the Basel III capital framework, we are required to satisfy additional, more stringent, capital adequacy standards than we had in the past. Further, because we had less than $15 billion in assets as of December 31, 2009, we have been allowed to include the debentures issued to the PCC Statutory Trusts I, II, III and IV (the “Trusts”), less the common stock of the Trusts, in Tier 1 capital. However, because Hilltop has grown above $15 billion in assets, if we make an acquisition in the future, the debentures issued to the Trusts may be phased out of Tier 1 and into Tier 2 capital. Failure to meet minimum capital requirements could result in certain mandatory and possible additional discretionary actions by regulators that, if undertaken, could have an adverse material effect on our financial condition and results of operations. The application of more stringent capital requirements for Hilltop and PlainsCapital could, among other things, adversely affect our results of operations and growth, require the raising of additional capital, restrict our ability to pay dividends or repurchase shares and result in regulatory actions if we were to be unable to comply with such requirements.
Periodically, the SEC adopts amendments to Rules 15c3-1 and 15c3-3 under the Exchange Act related to our broker-dealer segment. The implementation of any new requirements from these amendments may increase our cost of regulatory compliance.
The CFPB has issued “ability-to-repay” and “qualified mortgage” rules that may have a negative impact on our loan origination process and foreclosure proceedings, which could adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.
The CFPB’s “qualified mortgage” rule requires mortgage lenders to consider consumers’ ability to repay home loans before extending them credit. The rule describes certain minimum requirements for lenders making ability-to-repay determinations, but does not dictate that they follow particular underwriting models. Lenders are presumed to have complied with the ability-to-repay rule if they issue “qualified mortgages,” which are generally defined as mortgage loans prohibiting or limiting certain risky features. Loans that do not meet the ability-to-repay standard can be challenged in court by borrowers who default and the absence of ability-to-repay status can be used against a lender in foreclosure proceedings. Any loans that we make outside of the “qualified mortgage” criteria, including the newly created “seasoned qualified mortgage” criteria could expose us to an increased risk of liability and reduce or delay our ability to foreclose on the underlying property. Any increases in compliance and foreclosure costs caused by the rule could negatively affect our business, operating results and financial condition.
Risks Related to Our Common Stock
We may issue shares of preferred stock or additional shares of common stock to complete an acquisition or effect a combination or under an employee incentive plan after consummation of an acquisition or business combination, which would dilute the interests of our stockholders and likely present other risks.
The issuance of shares of preferred stock or additional shares of common stock:
|●||may significantly dilute the equity interest of our stockholders;|
|●||may subordinate the rights of holders of common stock if preferred stock is issued with rights senior to those afforded our common stock;|
|●||could cause a change in control if a substantial number of shares of common stock are issued, which may affect, among other things, our ability to use our net operating loss carry forwards; and|
|●||may adversely affect prevailing market prices for our common stock.|
Our board of directors, in its sole discretion, may designate and issue one or more series of preferred stock from the authorized and unissued shares of preferred stock. Subject to limitations imposed by law or our articles of incorporation, our board of directors is empowered to determine the designation and number of shares constituting each series of preferred stock, as well as any designations, qualifications, privileges, limitations, restrictions or special or relative rights of additional series. The rights of preferred stockholders may supersede the rights of common stockholders. Preferred stock could be issued with voting and conversion rights that could adversely affect the voting power of the shares of our common stock. The issuance of preferred stock could also result in a series of securities outstanding that would have preferences over the common stock with respect to dividends and in liquidation.
Our common stock price may experience substantial volatility, which may affect your ability to sell our common stock at an advantageous price.
Price volatility of our common stock may affect your ability to sell our common stock at an advantageous price. Market price fluctuations in our common stock may arise due to acquisitions, dispositions or other material public announcements, including those regarding dividends or changes in management, along with a variety of additional factors, including, without limitation, other risks identified in “Forward-looking Statements” and these “Risk Factors.” In addition, the stock markets in general, including the NYSE, have experienced extreme price and trading fluctuations. These fluctuations have resulted in volatility in the market prices of securities that often have been unrelated or disproportionate to changes in operating performance. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
Existing circumstances may result in several of our directors having interests that may conflict with our interests.
A director who has a conflict of interest with respect to an issue presented to our board will have no inherent legal obligation to abstain from voting upon that issue. We do not have provisions in our bylaws or charter that require an interested director to abstain from voting upon an issue, and we do not expect to add provisions in our charter and bylaws to this effect. Although each director has a duty to act in good faith and in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in our best interests, there is a risk that, should interested directors vote upon an issue in which they or one of their affiliates has an interest, their vote may reflect a bias that could be contrary to our best interests. In addition, even if an interested director abstains from voting, the director’s participation in the meeting and discussion of an issue in which he or she has, or companies with which he or she is associated have, an interest could influence the votes of other directors regarding the issue.
Our rights and the rights of our stockholders to take action against our directors and officers are limited.
We are organized under Maryland law, which provides that a director or officer has no liability in that capacity if he or she performs his or her duties in good faith, in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in our best interests and with the care that an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. In addition, our charter eliminates our directors’ and officers’ liability to us and our stockholders for money damages, except for liability resulting from actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or active and deliberate dishonesty established by a final judgment and that is material to the cause of action. Our bylaws require us to indemnify our directors and officers for liability resulting from actions taken by them in those capacities to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law. As a result, our stockholders and we may have more limited rights against our directors and officers than might otherwise exist under common law. In addition, we may be obligated to fund the defense costs incurred by our directors and officers.
Our charter and bylaws contain provisions that could discourage acquisition bids or merger proposals, which may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
Authority to Issue Additional Shares. Under our charter, our board of directors may issue up to an aggregate of ten million shares of preferred stock without stockholder action. The preferred stock may be issued, in one or more series, with the preferences and other terms designated by our board of directors that may delay or prevent a change in control of us, even if the change is in the best interests of stockholders. At December 31, 2020, no shares of preferred stock were outstanding.
Banking Laws. Any change in control of our company is subject to prior regulatory approval under the Bank Holding Company Act or the Change in Bank Control Act, which may delay, discourage or prevent an attempted acquisition or change in control of us.
FINRA. Any change in control (as defined under FINRA rules) of any of the Hilltop Broker-Dealers, including through acquisition, is subject to prior regulatory approval by FINRA which may delay, discourage or prevent an attempted acquisition or other change in control of such broker-dealers.
Restrictions on Calling Special Meeting, Cumulative Voting and Director Removal. Our bylaws include a provision prohibiting holders that do not or have not owned, continuously for at least one year as of the record date of such proposed meeting, capital stock representing at least 15% of the shares entitled to be voted at such proposed meeting, from calling a special meeting of stockholders. Our charter does not provide for the cumulative voting in the election of directors. In addition, our charter provides that our directors may only be removed for cause and then only by an
affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of directors. Any amendment to our charter relating to the removal of directors requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. These provisions of our bylaws and charter may delay, discourage or prevent an attempted acquisition or change in control of us.
There can be no assurance that we will continue to declare cash dividends or repurchase stock.
In October 2016, we announced that our board of directors authorized a dividend program under which we intend to pay quarterly dividends on our common stock, subject to quarterly declarations by our board of directors. During 2020, we declared and paid cash dividends of $0.36 per common share.
In January 2020, the Hilltop board of directors authorized a stock repurchase program through January 2021, pursuant to which the Company was authorized to repurchase, in the aggregate, up to $75.0 million of its outstanding common stock. As previously announced on April 30, 2020, in light of the uncertain outlook for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hilltop’s board of directors suspended its stock repurchase program. During 2020, prior to its suspension, the Company paid $15.2 million to repurchase an aggregate of 720,901 shares of common stock at a weighted average price of $21.13 per share associated with the stock repurchase program. These shares were returned to the pool of authorized but unissued shares of common stock.
On September 23, 2020, the Company announced the commencement of a modified “Dutch auction” tender offer to purchase shares of its common stock for an aggregate cash purchase price of up to $350 million. On November 17, 2020, we completed our tender offer, repurchasing 8,058,947 shares of outstanding common stock at a price of $24.00 per share for a total of $193.4 million excluding fees and expenses. We funded the tender offer with cash on hand.
Based on Hilltop’s ability to maintain strong capital and liquidity to meet the needs of its customers and communities during this exceptional period of economic uncertainty, in January 2021, our board of directors authorized a new stock repurchase program through January 2022, pursuant to which we are authorized to repurchase, in the aggregate, up to $75.0 million of our outstanding common stock, inclusive of repurchases to offset dilution related to grants of stock-based compensation.
Any future declarations, amount and timing of any dividends and/or the amount and timing of such stock repurchases are subject to capital availability and the discretion of our board of directors, which must evaluate, among other things, whether cash dividends and/or stock repurchases are in the best interest of our stockholders and are in compliance with all applicable laws and any agreements containing provisions that limit our ability to declare and pay cash dividends and/or repurchase stock. Our ability to pay dividends and/or repurchase stock will depend upon, among other factors, our cash balances and potential future capital requirements for strategic transactions, including acquisitions, the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends to Hilltop, capital adequacy requirements and other regulatory restrictions on us and our subsidiaries, policies of the Federal Reserve Board, equity and debt service requirements senior to our common stock, earnings, financial condition, the general economic and regulatory climate and other factors beyond our control that our board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, the amount we spend and the number of shares we are able to repurchase under our stock repurchase program may further be affected by a number of other factors, including the stock price and blackout periods in which we are restricted from repurchasing shares. Our dividend payments and/or stock repurchases may change from time to time, and we cannot provide assurance that we will continue to declare dividends and/or repurchase stock in any particular amounts or at all. A reduction in or elimination of our dividend payments, our dividend program and/or stock repurchases could have a negative effect on our stock price.
An investment in our common stock is not an insured deposit.
An investment in our common stock is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC, SIPC or any other government agency. Accordingly, you should be capable of affording the loss of any investment in our common stock.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
During 2018, we made an investment in land and a mixed-use real estate development in the City of University Park, Texas, which has served as headquarters for both Hilltop and the Bank since February 2020. In addition to our principal office, our various business segments conduct business at various locations. We have options to renew leases at most locations that we do not own.
Banking. At December 31, 2020, our banking segment conducted business at 65 locations throughout Texas, including four support facilities. The Bank leases 37 banking locations, including its principal offices, and owns the remaining 28 banking locations.
Broker-Dealer. At December 31, 2020, our broker-dealer segment conducted business from 51 locations in 19 states. Each of these locations is leased by Hilltop Securities.
Mortgage Origination. At December 31, 2020, our mortgage origination segment conducted business from over 290 locations in 45 states. Each of these locations is leased by PrimeLending.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
For a description of material pending legal proceedings, see the discussion set forth under the heading “Legal Matters” in Note 21 to our Consolidated Financial Statements, which is incorporated by reference herein.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Securities, Stockholder and Dividend Information
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HTH”. At February 16, 2021, there were 82,188,513 shares of our common stock outstanding with 372 stockholders of record.
In October 2016, we announced that our board of directors authorized a dividend program under which we pay quarterly dividends on our common stock, subject to quarterly declarations by our board of directors. During 2020, we declared and paid cash dividends of $0.36 per common share. On January 28, 2021, we announced that our board of directors increased our quarterly dividend to $0.12 per common share. Although we expect to continue to pay dividends, we may elect not to pay dividends. Any declarations of dividends, and the amount and timing thereof, will be at the discretion of our board of directors, which must evaluate, among other things, whether cash dividends are in the best interest of our stockholders and are in compliance with all applicable laws and any agreements containing provisions that limit our ability to declare and pay cash dividends. Our ability to pay dividends will depend upon, among other factors, our cash balances and potential future capital requirements for strategic transactions, including acquisitions, equity and debt service requirements senior to our common stock, earnings, financial condition, the general economic and regulatory climate and other factors beyond our control that our board of directors may deem relevant. Our dividend payments may change from time to time, and we cannot provide assurance that we will continue to declare dividends in any particular amounts or at all. A reduction in or elimination of our dividend payments and/or our dividend program could have a negative effect on our stock price. See Item 1A, “Risk Factors — Risks Related to our Common Stock — There can be no assurance that we will continue to declare cash dividends or repurchase stock.”
Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans
The following table sets forth information at December 31, 2020 with respect to compensation plans under which shares of our common stock may be issued. Additional information concerning our stock-based compensation plans is presented in Note 23, Stock-Based Compensation, in the notes to our consolidated financial statements.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
Number of securities
Number of securities
remaining available for
to be issued upon
future issuance under
exercise price of
equity compensation plans
warrants and rights
warrants and rights
reflected in first column)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders*
Represents shares available for future issuance under the Hilltop Holdings Inc. 2020 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2020 Plan”). Shares may become available for awards under the 2020 Plan upon the future forfeiture, expiration, cancellation or settlement in cash of awards outstanding under the Hilltop Holdings Inc. 2012 Equity Incentive Plan.
Issuer Repurchases of Equity Securities
The following table details our repurchases of shares of common stock during the three months ended December 31, 2020.
Total Number of Shares Purchased
Average Price Paid per Share
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs (1)
October 1 - October 31, 2020
November 1 - November 30, 2020
December 1 - December 31, 2020
|(1)||On January 30, 2020, we announced that our board of directors authorized a stock repurchase program under which we could repurchase, in the aggregate, up to $75.0 million of our outstanding common stock through January 2021, which was inclusive of repurchases to offset dilution related to grants of stock-based compensation. As previously announced on April 30, 2020, in light of the uncertain outlook for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hilltop’s board of directors suspended the stock repurchase program. Additionally, on September 23, 2020, we announced the Company would purchase shares of our common stock up to $350 million, through a modified “Dutch auction” tender offer. On November 17, 2020, we completed our tender offer, repurchasing 8,058,947 shares of outstanding common stock at a price of $24.00 per share for a total of $193.4 million excluding fees and expenses. The number of shares eligible for purchase under the tender offer was indeterminable and therefore is not included in this column. In January 2021, our board of directors authorized a new stock repurchase program through January 2022, pursuant to which we are authorized to repurchase, in the aggregate, up to $75.0 million of our outstanding common stock, inclusive of repurchases to offset dilution related to grants of stock-based compensation. With the adoption of the new stock repurchase plan in January 2021, the stock repurchase plan authorized in January 2020 expired.|
Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
Our historical consolidated balance sheet data at December 31, 2020 and 2019 and our consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 have been derived from our historical consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report. The following table shows our selected historical financial data for the periods indicated. You should read our selected historical financial data, together with the notes thereto, in conjunction with the more detailed information contained in our consolidated financial statements and related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in this Annual Report. The insurance segment’s operating results and assets and liabilities that were sold on June 30, 2020 are presented as discontinued operations for all periods presented in the following table. The operations acquired in the BORO Acquisition are included in our operating results beginning August 1, 2018 (dollars in thousands, except per share data and weighted average shares outstanding).
Statement of Operations Data:
Total interest income
Total interest expense
Net interest income
Provision for credit losses
Net interest income after provision for credit losses