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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark one)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                   to                  
Commission file number 001-38621
PCB Bancorp
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
California20-8856755
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(IRS Employer Identification No.)
3701 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 900, Los Angeles, California 90010
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(213) 210-2000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, No Par Value
PCB
Nasdaq Global Select Market
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ¨ No x
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer¨Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer¨Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company
¨
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued it audit report.
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.) Yes No
As of June 30, 2023, the aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was approximately $160.2 million. For purposes of the foregoing calculation only, in addition to affiliated companies, all directors and officers of the Registrant have been deemed affiliates.
As of February 29, 2024, the registrant had outstanding 14,263,140 shares of common stock.
Documents Incorporated by Reference: The information required in Part III, Items 10 through 14 are incorporated herein by reference to the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the 2024 annual meeting of shareholders which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year end.



PCB Bancorp and Subsidiary
Annual Report on Form 10-K
December 31, 2023
Table of Contents
Page
Part I
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 1C.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
Part II
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
Item 9C.
Part III
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
Part IV
Item 15.
Item 16.

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Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements which reflect current views of PCB Bancorp (collectively, with its consolidated subsidiary, the “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our”) with respect to, among other things, future events and our financial performance. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “might,” “should,” “could,” “predict,” “potential,” “believe,” “expect,” “continue,” “will,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “projection,” “goal,” “target,” “outlook,” “aim,” “would,” and “annualized” or the negative version of those words or other comparable words or phrases of a future or forward-looking nature. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about our business and industry, management’s beliefs and certain assumptions made by management, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond our control. Accordingly, we caution you that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, assumptions, estimates and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date made, actual results may prove to be materially different from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
A number of important factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements, including those factors identified in “Risk Factors” or “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” or the following:
business and economic conditions, particularly those affecting the financial services industry and our primary market areas and arising from recent inflationary pressures and governmental and societal responses thereto;
our ability to successfully manage our credit risk and the sufficiency of our allowance for credit loss;
factors that can impact the performance of our loan portfolio, including real estate values and liquidity in our primary market areas, the financial health of our commercial borrowers and the success of construction projects that we finance;
governmental monetary and fiscal policies, and changes in market interest rates;
the current inflationary environment and government and regulatory responses thereto;
adverse developments at other banks, including bank failures, that impact general sentiment regarding the stability and liquidity of banks and may affect our customers’ behavior and our stock price;
the significant portion of our loan portfolio that is comprised of real estate loans;
our ability to attract and retain Korean-American customers;
our ability to identify and address cyber-security risks, fraud and systems errors;
our ability to effectively execute our strategic plan and manage our growth;
changes in our senior management team and our ability to attract, motivate and retain qualified personnel;
cyber-attacks, ransomware attacks, computer viruses or other malware that may breach the security of our websites or other systems to obtain unauthorized access to confidential information, destroy data, disable or degrade service, or sabotage our systems;
liquidity issues, including fluctuations in the fair value and liquidity of the securities we hold and our ability to raise additional capital, if necessary;
costs and obligations associated with operating as a public company;
effects of competition from a wide variety of local, regional, national and other providers of financial, investment and insurance services;
the effects of severe weather, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, health epidemics or pandemics (or expectations about them) and other external events on our business;
the impact of any claims or legal actions to which we may be subject, including any effect on our reputation; and
changes in federal tax laws or policies.
The foregoing factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read together with the other cautionary statements and the risks described under “Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors” included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and our other documents filed with the United States (“U.S.”) Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Because of these risks and other uncertainties, our actual future results, performance or achievement, or industry results, may be materially different from the results indicated by the forward looking statements in this report. In addition, our past results of operations are not necessarily indicative of our future results. You should not rely on any forward looking statements, which represent our beliefs, assumptions and estimates only as of the dates on which they were made, as predictions of future events. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is initially made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
3


Part I
Item 1. Business
General
PCB Bancorp is a California corporation incorporated in 2007 as a registered bank holding company subject to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (“BHCA”), to serve as the holding company for PCB Bank (the “Bank”), which was founded in 2003. The Company has no material operations other than those of the Bank.
The Bank is a California state-chartered commercial bank. The Bank’s deposit accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) up to the maximum amount currently allowable under federal law.
The Bank is a single operating segment that operates 11 full-service branches in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California, three full-service branches on the East Coast (Bayside, New York; and Englewood Cliffs and Palisade Park, New Jersey), two full-service branches in Texas (Carrollton and Dallas), and seven loan production offices (“LPOs”) located in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California; Annandale, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; Aurora, Colorado; Bellevue, Washington; and Carrollton, Texas. The Bank offers a broad range of loans, deposits, and other products and services predominantly to small and middle market businesses and individuals.
The principal executive office of the Company is located at 3701 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 900, Los Angeles, California 90010, and its telephone number is (213) 210-2000.
The reports, proxy statements and other information that the Company files with the SEC, as well as news releases, are available free of charge through the Company’s website at www.mypcbbank.com. This information can be found under the “Investor Relations” link on the website. Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed and furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act are available as soon as reasonably practicable after they have been filed or furnished to the SEC. Reference to the Company’s website address is not intended to incorporate any of the information contained on the Company’s website into this document.
Subsidiary Name Change
On August 25, 2022, the Bank changed its name to “PCB Bank” from “Pacific City Bank.” In addition, the Company introduced a new logo, which was also utilized by the Bank after its name change. In accordance with the name change, the Bank updated its website, branch signage and marketing collateral.
Corporate Name Change
On July 1, 2019, the Company changed its corporate name to “PCB Bancorp” from “Pacific City Financial Corporation” in order to align the corporate name with the trading symbol of its common stock and simplify corporate communications while maintaining its core branding.
Business Overview
Lending Activities
The Company’s core lending strategy is, through the Bank, to build and maintain a diversified loan portfolio based on the type of customers (e.g., businesses versus individuals), loan products (e.g., commercial real estate (“CRE”) loans, commercial and industrial (“C&I”) loans, and consumer loans), geographical locations, and different industries in which its business customers are engaged (e.g., manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, hospitality, etc.).
The Company focuses its lending activities on loans that are originated from within its primary lending areas and seeks to be the premier provider of lending products and services in those market areas. The Company also strives to meet the credit needs of the communities that it serves. Lending activities originate through expansion of existing relationships as well as by marketing efforts with an emphasis on providing banking solutions tailored to meet customers’ needs while maintaining the underwriting standards.
Legal Lending Limits
With certain exceptions, the Bank is permitted under the applicable laws to make unsecured loans to single borrowers (including certain related persons and entities) in aggregate amounts of up to 15% of the sum of total capital, allowance for credit losses (“ACL”) on loans, and certain capital notes and debentures issued by the Bank. As of December 31, 2023, the Bank’s lending limit was approximately $55.4 million per borrower for unsecured loans. In addition to unsecured loans, the Bank is permitted to make collateral-secured loans in an additional amount of up to 10% (for combined total of 25%) for a total of approximately $92.3 million to one borrower as of December 31, 2023.

4


For lending limit purposes, a secured loan is defined as a loan secured by collateral having a current fair value of at least 100% of the amount of the loan or extension of credit at all times and satisfying certain other requirements. As of December 31, 2023, the largest aggregate carrying value of loans that the Bank had outstanding to any one borrower and related entities was $45.9 million, which were performing at that date.
Risk Governance
The Company maintains a conservative credit culture with strict underwriting standards. As the Company has grown, it has invested in and developed a credit culture designed to support future growth and expansion efforts while maintaining outstanding asset quality. The Company’s credit departments have robust internal controls and lending policies with conservative underwriting standards. Loans are monitored on an ongoing basis in accordance with covenants and conditions that are commensurate with each loan’s size and complexity. The Company conducts comprehensively scoped internal loan reviews at least semi-annually using an independent loan review specialist to validate the appropriateness of risk ratings of loans by management. The Company’s loan monitoring processes are designed to identify both the inherent and emerging risks in a timely manner so that appropriate risk ratings are assigned and, if necessary, work-out/collection activities are commenced early to minimize any potential losses.
Loan Underwriting and Approval. Historically, the Company believes that it has made sound, high quality loans while recognizing that lending money involves a degree of business risk. The Company has loan policies designed to assist in managing this business risk. These policies provide a general framework for loan origination, monitoring and funding activities, while recognizing that not all risks can be anticipated or eliminated.
The Company’s Board of Directors delegates loan authority up to board-approved limits collectively to its Directors’ Loan Committee, which is comprised of members of the Board of Directors and executive management. The Board of Directors also delegates limited lending authority to the Bank’s internal management loan committee, which is comprised of members of the Bank’s senior management team and Chief Executive Officer. The objective of the approval process is to provide a disciplined, collaborative approach to larger credits while maintaining responsiveness to client needs.
Loan decisions are documented as to the borrower’s business, purpose of the loan, evaluation of the repayment source and the associated risks, evaluation of collateral, covenants and monitoring requirements, and the risk rating rationale. The Company’s strategy for approving or disapproving loans is to follow conservative loan policies and consistent underwriting practices which include:
maintaining close relationships among the Company’s customers and their designated banker to ensure ongoing credit monitoring and loan servicing;
granting credit on a sound basis with full knowledge of the purpose and source of repayment for such credit ensuring that primary and secondary sources of repayment are adequate in relation to the amount of the loan;
developing and maintaining targeted levels of diversification for the loan portfolio as a whole and for loans within each category; and
ensuring that each loan is properly documented and that any insurance coverage requirements are satisfied.
Managing credit risk is an enterprise-wide process. The Company’s strategy for credit risk management includes well-defined, centralized credit policies, uniform underwriting criteria, and ongoing risk monitoring and review processes for all credit exposures. The processes emphasize early-stage review of loans, regular credit evaluations and management reviews of loans, which supplement the ongoing and proactive credit monitoring and loan servicing provided. The Company attempts to identify potential problem loans early in an effort to seek aggressive resolution of these situations before the loans become a loss, record any necessary charge-offs promptly and maintain adequate levels of ACL on loans and off-balance sheet credit exposures. The Bank’s Chief Credit Officer provides company-wide credit oversight and periodically reviews all credit risk portfolios to ensure that the risk identification processes are functioning properly and that the Company’s credit standards are followed. In addition, third-party loan reviews are performed at least on a semi-annual basis to validate the internal risk rating of loans.
The Company’s loan policies generally include additional underwriting guidelines for loans collateralized by real estate. These underwriting standards are designed to determine the maximum loan amount that a borrower has the capacity to repay based upon the type of collateral securing the loan and the borrower’s income. Such loan policies include maximum amortization schedules and loan terms for each category of loans collateralized by liens on real estate. In addition, the loan policies provide guidelines for: personal guarantees; an environmental review; loans to employees, executive officers and directors; problem loan identification; maintenance of an adequate allowance for credit losses and other matters relating to lending practices.

5


Loan Category
The Company’s loan portfolio consists primarily of three major categories: CRE loans, C&I and consumer loans. Within these three broad categories, the loan portfolio is further segmented as follows:
CRE Loans:
Commercial property loans – loans secured by non-owner occupied real properties.
Business property loans – loans secured by owner-occupied real properties.
Multifamily loans – loans secured by multi-tenant (5 or more units) residential real properties.
Construction loans
C&I Loans – C&I loans include commercial term loans and commercial lines of credit.
Consumer Loans:
Residential mortgage loans – loans secured by single family resident (“SFR”) real properties.
Other consumer loans – Other consumer loans primarily include automobile loans, as well as unsecured lines of credit and term loans to high net worth individuals.
The following table presents the composition of the Company’s loans held-for-investment as of the date indicated:
December 31, 2023
($ in thousands)AmountPercentage to Total
Commercial real estate:
Commercial property
$855,270 36.8 %
Business property558,772 24.0 %
Multifamily132,500 5.7 %
Construction
24,843 1.1 %
Total commercial real estate1,571,385 67.6 %
Commercial and industrial342,002 14.7 %
Consumer:
Residential mortgage389,420 16.8 %
Other consumer20,645 0.9 %
Total consumer410,065 17.7 %
Loans held-for-investment
$2,323,452 100.0 %
The following table presents the composition of the Company’s loans held-for-sale as of the date indicated:
December 31, 2023
($ in thousands)AmountPercentage to Total
Commercial real estate:
Business property$2,802 54.4 %
Total commercial real estate2,802 54.4 %
Commercial and industrial2,353 45.6 %
Loans held-for-investment
$5,155 100.0 %
6


CRE Loans. CRE loans consist of loans secured by commercial real estate properties (e.g., retail shopping centers, industrial/manufacturing properties, multifamily residential properties, office buildings, multi-tenant residential real properties etc.) and construction loans. A majority of CRE lending activities originate from businesses within the Company’s primary lending areas.
For CRE loans, other than loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and construction loans, the maturities are generally up to seven years with payments determined on the basis of principal amortization schedules of up to 25 years with a balloon payment due at maturity. CRE SBA loans are typically fully amortized with terms up to 25 years. Terms for construction loans vary depending on the complexity and size of the project. Construction loans have a term of 18 months on average.
Satisfactory repayments of CRE loans, other than construction loans, are often dependent on the successful operation of the underlying businesses (in the case of owner occupied) or management of the properties (in the case of non-owner occupied). Accordingly, repayment of these loans may be subject to adverse conditions in the real estate market or the economy to a greater extent than other types of loans. In underwriting CRE loans, the Company seeks to minimize these risks in a variety of ways, including giving careful consideration to the property’s age, condition, operating history, future operating projections, current and projected market rental rates, vacancy rates, location and physical condition. The underwriting analysis may also include credit verification, reviews of appraisals, environmental hazard reports, the borrower’s liquidity and leverage, management experience of the owners or principals, economic conditions and industry trends. Also, tertiary sources of repayment in the form of personal guarantees from responsible parties are generally required on CRE loans. The Company believes that its management team has extensive knowledge of the market areas where the Company operates and takes a conservative approach to CRE lending. The Company focuses on what it believes to be high quality credits with low loan-to-value (“LTV”) ratio income-producing properties with strong cash flow characteristics and strong collateral profiles. The Company requires its loan secured by CRE to be secured by what it believes to be well-managed properties with adequate margins.
Construction loans are comprised of residential construction and commercial construction. Interest reserves are generally established on construction loans. These loans are typically prime rate-based and have maturities of less than 18 months. The policy maximum LTV for construction loans is 70% and for land development loans is 50%.
C&I Loans: C&I loans includes commercial term loans and commercial lines of credit. Commercial term loans are typically extended to finance business acquisitions, permanent working capital needs, and/or equipment purchases. Commercial term loans guaranteed by SBA are provided to small businesses to finance permanent working capital needs and/or equipment purchases. Commercial lines of credit are generally provided to finance short-term working capital needs and warehouse lending credit facilities. Warehouse lending is a line of credit given to a loan originator, the funds from which are used to finance a mortgage that a borrower uses to purchase SFR property or refinance an existing mortgage.
Commercial term loans (usually five to seven years) normally provide for monthly payments of both principal and interest. C&I SBA loans usually have a longer maturity (seven to ten years). Commercial lines of credit (generally payable within one year) typically provide for periodic interest payments, with principal payable at maturity. These C&I loans are reviewed on a periodic basis with the review frequencies commensurate with the size and complexity of the loans. Most C&I loans are collateralized by perfected security interests on business assets.
In general, C&I loans may involve increased credit risk and, therefore, typically yield a higher return. The increased risk in C&I loans derives from the expectation that such loans generally are serviced principally from the operations of the business, and those operations may not be successful.
Any interruption or discontinuance of operating cash flows from the business, which may be influenced by events not under the control of the borrower such as economic events and changes in governmental regulations, could materially affect the ability of the borrower to repay the loan. In addition, the collateral securing C&I loans generally includes moveable properties such as equipment and inventory, which may decline in value more rapidly than anticipated exposing us to increased credit risks. As a result of these additional complexities, variables and risks, C&I loans require extensive underwriting and servicing.

7


Consumer Loans. Consumer loans includes residential mortgage loans and other consumer loans. Residential mortgage loans are typically collateralized by primary residential properties located in the Company’s market areas to enable borrowers to purchase or refinance existing homes. Other consumer loans portfolio consists of automobile loans, unsecured lines of credit and term loans to high net worth individuals.
The Company offers adjustable-rate mortgage (“ARM”) loans with the interest rate fixed for the first five or seven years followed by rate adjustments every six months with terms up to 30 years. The relative amount of ARM loans that can be originated at any time is largely determined by the demand for each in a competitive environment and the effect each has on interest rate risk. Loans collateralized by residential property generally are originated in amounts of no more than 70% of appraised value.
In connection with such loans, the Company retains a valid lien on the real estate, obtains a title insurance policy that insures that the property is free from encumbrances, and requires hazard insurance. Loan fees on these products, interest rates and other provisions of residential mortgage loans are determined by the Company on the basis of its own pricing criteria and competitive market conditions. Interest rates and payments on ARM loans generally are adjusted every six months based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) 30-day average. The spreads are fixed and thus the interest rate on these loans change in parallel with any changes in the applicable selected rates. While residential mortgage loans are normally originated with up to 30-year terms, such loans typically remain outstanding for substantially shorter periods because borrowers often prepay their loans in full upon sale of the property pledged as security or upon refinancing the original loan. In addition, all residential mortgage loans contain due-on-sale clauses providing that the Bank may declare the unpaid amount due and payable upon the sale of the property securing the loan. As of December 31, 2023 and 2022, approximately 86.2% and 90.8%, respectively, of residential mortgage loans were ARM loans
Other consumer loans are underwritten primarily based on the individual borrower’s income, current debt level, and past credit history. Auto loans have relatively higher LTV ratios on average and carry higher interest rates to offset for the inherently higher default risks associated with other consumer loans.
SBA Loans (Reported as either CRE or C&I Loans). The Bank offers SBA loans for qualifying businesses for amounts up to $5.0 million. The Bank primarily extends SBA loans known as SBA 7(a) loans and SBA 504 loans. SBA 7(a) loans are typically extended for working capital needs, purchase of inventory, purchases of machinery and equipment, debt refinance, business acquisitions, start-up financing or the purchase or construction of owner-occupied commercial property.
SBA 7(a) loans are typically term loans with maturities up to 10 years for C&I SBA loans and up to 25 years for CRE SBA loans. SBA loans are fully amortizing with monthly payments of principal and interest. SBA 7(a) loans are typically floating rate loans that are secured by business assets and/or real estate. Depending on the loan amount, each loan is typically guaranteed 75% to 85% by the SBA, with a maximum gross loan amount to any one small business borrower of $5.0 million and a maximum SBA guaranteed amount of $3.75 million.
The Bank is generally able to sell the guaranteed portion of the SBA 7(a) loans in the secondary market at a premium. In addition to the interest yield earned on the unguaranteed portion of the SBA 7(a) loans that are not sold, the Bank recognizes income from gains on sales and from loan servicing on the SBA 7(a) loans that are sold.
SBA 504 loans are typically extended for the purpose of purchasing owner-occupied CRE or long-term capital equipment. SBA 504 loans are typically extended for up to 20 years or the life of the asset being financed. SBA 504 loans are financed as a participation loan between the Bank and the SBA through a Certified Development Company (“CDC”). Generally, the loans are structured to give the Bank a 50% first deed of trust (“T/D”), the CDC a 40% second T/D, and the remaining 10% is funded by the borrower. Interest rates for the first T/D loans are subject to normal bank commercial rates and terms and the second T/D CDC loans are fixed for the life of the loans based on certain indices.
All of SBA loan underwriting is centralized and processed through the Company’s Los Angeles headquarters SBA Loan Department. The SBA Loan Department is staffed by loan officers who provide assistance to qualified businesses. The Bank has been designated as an SBA Preferred Lender, which is the highest designation awarded by the SBA. This designation generally facilitates a more efficient marketing and approval process for SBA loans. The Bank has attained SBA Preferred Lender status nationwide. SBA loans are originated through the branch staff, lending officers, LPO managers, marketing officers, and brokers.
As of December 31, 2023, CRE SBA and C&I SBA loans totaled $130.7 million (including loans held-for-sale of $2.8 million) and $20.1 million (including loans held-for-sale of $2.4 million), respectively.

8


Loan Participations. When the extension of a new loan causes the aggregate exposure to a borrowing relationship to exceed or approach the Bank’s legal lending limits, management on a selective basis sells/participates out a portion(s) of the loan(s) in order to remain within an acceptable range below the Bank’s lending limits. As the lead lender in the participation, the Bank retains the servicing rights and the participating lender(s) are prohibited from any direct contact with the borrowers under the terms of the loan participation agreements. Loan participations are also utilized under certain circumstances to reduce and mitigate credit concentrations risks. Loan participations are generally made with local peer group banks.
The Company does not participate in syndicated loans (loans made by a group of lenders who share or participate in a specific loan) with a larger regional financial institution as the lead lender.
For additional information on loans, see Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Investment Activities
The Company manages its investment securities portfolio and cash to maintain adequate liquidity and to ensure the safety and preservation of invested principal, with a secondary focus on yield and returns. Specific goals for the investment portfolio are as follows:
provide a ready source of balance sheet liquidity, ensuring adequate availability of funds to meet fluctuations in loan demand, deposit balances and other changes in balance sheet volumes and composition;
serve as a tool to manage asset-quality diversification of assets; and
provide a vehicle to help manage interest rate risk profile pursuant to established policies and maximize overall return.
The investment securities portfolio is comprised primarily of SBA loan pools securities, mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations backed by U.S. government agency and U.S government sponsored enterprise (“GSE”), and tax-exempt municipal securities.
The Company’s Board of Directors is responsible for the oversight of investment activities and has delegated the responsibility to the Asset Liability Committee of the Board of Directors (“Board ALCO”). Investment policy is reviewed and approved annually by Board ALCO and ratified by the Board of Directors. Board ALCO establishes risk limits and policy for conducting investment activities and approves investment strategies and meets quarterly to review investment reports and monitor investment activities. The Company also formed a management Asset Liability Committee (“Management ALCO,” together with Board ALCO, “ALCOs”), which is comprised of its senior management team and Chief Executive Officer, to proactively monitor investment activities. ALCOs are responsible for ensuring compliance and implementation of investment policy guidelines. Investment activities are actively monitored on an ongoing basis to identify any material changes in the securities and also evaluated for impairment at least quarterly.
Limits for investment transactions are based on total transaction amount and require approval if they exceed designated thresholds. Investment transactions up to $10 million require the approval of two chief officers. Investment transactions between $10 million and $20 million require Management ALCO approval and investment transactions that exceed $20 million require Board ALCO approval.
For additional information, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

9


Deposits Activities
The Company offers customers traditional retail deposit products through its branch network and the ability to access their accounts through online and mobile banking platforms. The Company offers a variety of deposit accounts with a wide range of interest rates and terms including demand, savings, money market and time deposits with the goal of attracting a wide variety of customers, including small to medium-sized businesses. Core deposits, defined as all deposits except for time deposits exceeding $250,000 and internet or brokered deposits, are the primary and most valuable low-cost funding source for the lending business, and represented 62.6% of total deposits as of December 31, 2023.
The Company strives to retain an attractive deposit mix from both large and small customers as well as a broad market reach. As of December 31, 2023, the Company’s top 10 customers, excluding wholesale deposits, accounted for 8.7% of total deposits. The Company believes the competitive pricing and products, convenient branch locations, and quality personal customer service enable the Company to attract and retain deposits. The Company employs conventional marketing initiatives and advertising and in addition leverages its community and board relationships to generate new accounts. The Company offers deposit products to its loan customers by encouraging, depending on the circumstances and the type of relationship, them to maintain deposit accounts as a condition of granting loans. To enhance the relationships with customers and to identify and meet their particular needs, each customer is assigned a relationship officer, including SBA loan borrowers.
Interest rates, maturity terms, service fees and withdrawal penalties are established on a periodic basis. Deposit rates and terms are based primarily on current operating strategies, rates offered by other Korean-American focused banks, general market interest rates, liquidity requirements, and the Company’s deposit growth goals. Wholesale deposits are also utilized to supplement core retail deposits for funding purposes, including brokered accounts and California State Treasurer’s time deposits. As of December 31, 2023, wholesale deposits totaled $363.7 million, or 15.5% of total deposits.
As of December 31, 2023, total deposits were $2.35 billion, and the average cost of deposits was 2.87% for the year ended December 31, 2023. For additional information, see Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Borrowings Activities
Although deposits are the Company’s primary source of funds, the Company may also borrow funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (“FHLB”), the Federal Reserve Bank’s Discount Window (“Federal Reserve Discount Window”), or its correspondent banking relationships. In addition, the Company may borrow from FHLB on a longer term basis to provide funding for certain loan or investment securities strategies, as well as asset-liability management strategies.
FHLB functions as a reserve credit capacity for qualifying financial institutions. As a member, the Company is required to own capital stock in FHLB and may apply for advances from FHLB by utilizing qualifying loans and securities as collateral. FHLB offers a full range of borrowing programs with terms ranging from one day to 30 years, at competitive rates. A prepayment penalty is usually imposed for early repayment of these advances. As of December 31, 2023, the Company had outstanding term FHLB advances of $39.0 million and maintained additional borrowing capacity of $603.0 million. For additional information, see Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Other Products and Services
The Company offers banking products and services that are competitively priced with a focus on convenience and accessibility. A full suite of online banking solutions is available, which includes access to account balances, online transfers, online bill payment and electronic delivery of customer statements, mobile banking solutions, including remote check deposit and mobile bill pay. The Company also offers automated teller machines (“ATMs”) and banking by telephone, mail, personal appointment, debit cards, direct deposit, cashier’s checks, as well as treasury management, wire transfer and automated clearing house (“ACH”) services.
The Company offers a full array of commercial treasury management services designed to be competitive with banks of all sizes. Treasury management services include balance reporting (including current day and previous day activity), transfers between accounts, purchase rewards, finance works, wire transfer initiation, ACH origination and stop payments. Cash management deposit products consist of remote deposit capture, courier deposit services, positive pay, zero balance accounts and sweep accounts.
The Company evaluates its services on an ongoing basis, and will add or remove services based upon the perceived needs and financial requirements of customers, competitive factors and its financial and other capabilities. Future services may also be significantly influenced by improvements and developments in technology and evolving state and federal laws and regulations.

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Market Area and Competition
The Company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and operates 11 full-service branches in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California, three full-service branches on the East Coast (Bayside, New York; and Englewood Cliffs and Palisade Park, New Jersey), two full-service branches in Texas (Carrollton and Dallas), and seven LPOs located in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California; Annandale, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; Aurora, Colorado; Bellevue, Washington; and Carrollton, Texas.
The Company operates in highly competitive market areas. The Company faces strong competition among the banks servicing the Korean-American community, as well as other commercial banks, savings and loan associations, securities and brokerage companies, mortgage companies, insurance companies, marketplace finance platforms, money market funds, credit unions, and other alternative investments. Competition is based on a number of factors including, among others, customer service, quality and range of products and services offered, reputation, interest rates on loans and deposits, lending limits and customer convenience. While the Company believes it is well positioned within this highly competitive industry, the industry could become even more competitive as a result of legislative, regulatory, economic, and technological changes, as well as continued consolidation within the industry.
Human Capital
As of December 31, 2023, the Company had a total of 268 full-time employees and 3 part-time employees. The Company’s employees are not represented by any collective bargaining group. Management considers its employee relations to be satisfactory. It is through our employees, and their ties to the local community, that we are able to dutifully support the communities we serve. Working within, and giving back to, the local community is the hallmark of a true community bank.
The Company has long been committed to comprehensive and competitive compensation and benefits programs as the Company recognizes that it operates in intensely competitive environments for talent. Retention of skilled and highly trained employees is critical to the Company’s strategy of being a trusted resource to its communities and strengthening relationships with its clients through employees. Community banking is often considered a relationship banking model rather than a purely transactional banking model. The Company’s employees are critical to the Company’s ability to develop and grow relationships with its clients. Furthering the Company’s philosophy to attract and retain a pool of talented and motivated employees who will continue to advance the purpose and contribute to the Company’s overall success, compensation and benefits programs include: equity-based compensation plan, health/dental/vision insurances, life insurance, 401(K) plan, benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act, workers’ compensation, paid time off, holiday pay, training/education, leave for bereavement, wedding and jury duty.
The Company invests in its employees’ future by sponsoring and prioritizing continued education throughout its employee ranks. The Company encourages its employees to participate in educational activities, which improve or maintain their skills in their current position, as well as to enhance future opportunities at the Company. The Company's employees are notified periodically of available internal course offerings. Employees may also choose to take external extension courses for a maximum of two courses per quarter or semester. All employees are able to participate in regular educational seminars run by outside parties, including but not limited to the American Bankers Association and Bankers Compliance Group.
In order to develop a workforce that aligns with the Company’s corporate values, it regularly sponsors local community events so that its employees can better integrate themselves in communities. The Company believes that employees’ well-being and personal and professional development is fostered by outreach to the communities it serves. The Company’s employees’ desire for active community involvement enables the Company to sponsor a number of local community events and initiatives, including hosting annual PCB scholarship that provides financial assistance to local low-to-moderate income community, conducting financial literacy training to seniors in affordable housing facilities, and participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance annually to assist the community in free tax preparation.

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Supervision and Regulation
General
Depository institutions, their holding companies and their affiliates are extensively regulated under U.S. federal and state law. As a result, the growth and earnings performance of the Company and its subsidiaries may be affected not only by management decisions and general economic conditions, but also by the requirements of federal and state statutes and by the regulations and policies of various bank regulatory agencies, including the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (“CDFPI”), the Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve”), the FDIC, and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“CFPB”). Furthermore, tax laws administered by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and state taxing authorities, accounting rules developed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), securities laws administered by the SEC and state securities authorities, Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) laws enforced by the U.S. Treasury, and mortgage related rules, including with respect to loan securitization and servicing by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), and agencies such as the U.S. SBA, Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), have an impact on the Company’s business. The effect of these statutes, regulations, regulatory policies and rules are significant to the financial condition and results of operations of the Company and its subsidiary, and the nature and extent of future legislative, regulatory or other changes affecting financial institutions are impossible to predict with any certainty.
Federal and state banking laws impose a comprehensive system of supervision, regulation and enforcement on the operations of financial institutions, their holding companies and affiliates intended primarily for the protection of the FDIC-insured deposits and depositors of banks, rather than their shareholders. These federal and state laws, and the related regulations of the bank regulatory agencies, affect, among other things, the scope of business, the kinds and amounts of investments banks may make, reserve requirements, capital levels relative to operations, the nature and amount of collateral for loans, the establishment of branches, the ability to merge, consolidate and acquire, dealings with insiders and affiliates and the payment of dividends.
This supervisory and regulatory framework subjects banks and bank holding companies to regular examination by their respective regulatory agencies, which results in examination reports and ratings that, while not publicly available, can affect the conduct and growth of their businesses. These examinations consider not only compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but also capital levels, asset quality and risk, management ability and performance, earnings, liquidity, and various other factors. The regulatory agencies generally have broad discretion to impose restrictions and limitations on the operations of a regulated entity where the agencies determine, among other things, that such operations are unsafe or unsound, fail to comply with applicable law or are otherwise inconsistent with laws and regulations or with the supervisory policies of these agencies.
The following is a summary of the supervisory and regulatory framework applicable to the Company and its subsidiary, the Bank. It does not describe all of the statutes, regulations and regulatory policies that apply, nor does it restate all of the requirements of those that are described. The descriptions are qualified in their entirety by reference to the particular statutory and regulatory provision.
Regulatory Capital Requirements
The federal banking agencies have risk-based capital adequacy guidelines intended to provide a measure of capital adequacy that reflects the degree of risk associated with a banking organization’s operations, both for transactions reported on the balance sheet as assets and for transactions, such as letters of credit and recourse arrangements, that are recorded as off-balance sheet items. In 2013, the federal banking agencies issued final rules (the “Basel III Capital Rules”) establishing a new comprehensive capital framework for U.S. banking organizations.
Generally, the Basel III Capital Rules apply to both banks and their holding companies, on a consolidated basis. However, under the Federal Reserve’s Small Bank Holding and Savings and Loan Holding Company Policy Statement (the “Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement”), qualifying bank holding companies with total consolidated assets of less than $3 billion, such as the Company, are exempt from the Basel III Capital Rules’ consolidated capital requirements. When the Company reaches the $3 billion asset level, the Company will be subject to the Basel III Capital Rules independent of the Bank.
The Basel III Capital Rules establish minimum risk-based capital requirements (Tier 1 capital, common equity Tier 1 capital (“CET1”) and total capital) and leverage capital requirements, as well as guidelines that define components of the calculation of capital and the level of risk associated with various types of assets. The CET1 capital ratio is the ratio of the institution’s common equity Tier 1 capital to its total risk-weighted assets. The Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio is the ratio of the institution’s Tier 1 capital to its total risk-weighted assets. The total risk-based capital ratio is the ratio of the institution’s total capital (Tier 1 capital plus other qualifying capital, which is generally “Tier 2 capital”) to its total risk-weighted assets. The Tier 1 leverage ratio is the ratio of the institution’s Tier 1 capital to its average total consolidated assets.

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The Basel III Capital Rules provide for a number of deductions from and adjustments to CET1. These include, for example, the requirement that (i) mortgage servicing rights, (ii) deferred tax assets arising from temporary differences that could not be realized through net operating loss carrybacks, and (iii) significant investments in non-consolidated financial entities be deducted from CET1 to the extent that any one such category exceeds 10% of CET1 or all such items, in the aggregate, exceed 15% of CET1.
Under the Basel III Capital Rules, the effects of certain accumulated other comprehensive income or loss items are not excluded for the purposes of determining regulatory capital ratios; however, non-advanced approaches banking organizations (i.e., banking organizations with less than $250 billion in total consolidated assets or with less than $10 billion of on-balance sheet foreign exposures), including the Company and the Bank, may make a one-time permanent election to exclude these items. The Company and the Bank made this election in 2015 order to avoid significant variations in the level of capital depending upon the impact of interest rate fluctuations on the fair value of its available-for-sale investment securities portfolio.
The Basel III Capital Rules prescribe risk weights for different assets classes, generally ranging from 0% for U.S. Government and agency securities, to 600% for certain equity exposures, depending on the nature of the assets. An asset’s risk-weighted value will generally be its percentage weight multiplied by the asset’s value as determined under GAAP. Some of aspects of the Basel III Capital Rules risk weighting standards that are relevant to the Company and the Bank include:
assigning exposures secured by single-family residential properties to either a 50% risk weight for first-lien mortgages that meet prudent underwriting standards or a 100% risk weight category for all other mortgages;
providing for a 20% credit conversion factor for the unused portion of a commitment with an original maturity of one year or less that is not unconditionally cancellable (set at 0% under the Basel I risk-based capital rules);
assigning a 150% risk weight to all exposures that are nonaccrual or 90 days or more past due (set at 100% under the Basel I risk-based capital rules), except for those secured by single-family residential properties, which will be assigned a 100% risk weight, consistent with the Basel I risk-based capital rules;
applying a 150% risk weight instead of a 100% risk weight for certain high volatility CRE acquisition, development and construction loans; and
applying a 250% risk weight to the portion of mortgage servicing rights and deferred tax assets arising from temporary differences that could not be realized through net operating loss carrybacks that are not deducted from CET1 capital (set at 100% under the Basel I risk-based capital rules).
In addition to the minimum risk-based capital and leverage requirements, in order to avoid restrictions on their ability to pay dividends, to repurchase shares and to pay certain discretionary bonus payments to executive officers, depository institutions must maintain an additional “capital conservation buffer” consisting of CET1 in an amount equal to 2.5% of risk-weighted assets.
As fully phased-in on January 1, 2019,The Basel III Capital Rules subject banks to the following risk-based capital requirements:
a minimum ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 4.5%, plus a 2.5% capital conservation buffer, or 7%;
a minimum ratio of Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 6.0%, plus the 2.5% capital conservation buffer, or 8.5%;
a minimum ratio of total capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.0%, plus the 2.5% capital conservation buffer, or 10.5%; and
a minimum leverage ratio of 4%, calculated as the ratio of Tier 1 capital to balance sheet exposures plus certain off-balance sheet exposure.
As of December 31, 2023, the Bank’s capital ratios exceeded the required minimums under the Basel III Capital Rules, including the capital conservation buffer.
In 2019, the federal bank regulators issued a rule establishing a “community bank leverage ratio” (the ratio of a bank’s Tier 1 capital to average total consolidated assets) that qualifying institutions with less than $10 billion in assets may elect to use in lieu of the generally applicable leverage and risk-based capital requirements under Basel III. A qualifying banking organization that elects to use the new ratio is considered to have met all applicable federal regulatory capital and leverage requirements, including the minimum capital levels required to be considered “well capitalized, ” if it maintains community bank leverage ratio capital exceeding 9%. The Bank has chosen not to opt into the community bank leverage ratio.
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Prompt Corrective Action
The Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended (the “FDIA”), requires federal banking agencies to take prompt corrective action in response to depository institutions that do not meet minimum capital requirements. The FDIA specifies five capital tiers: “well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized,” “undercapitalized,” “significantly undercapitalized,” and “critically undercapitalized.” A depository institution’s capital tier depends upon how its capital levels compare with various relevant capital measures and certain other factors, as established by regulation. Under the prompt correction action provisions of the FDIA, an insured depository institution generally will be classified in the following categories based on the capital measures indicated:
PCA categoryTotal Risk-Based Capital RatioTier 1 Risk-Based Capital RatioCET 1 Risk-Based Capital Ratio
Tier 1 Leverage Ratio
Well capitalized
10.0%8.0%6.5%5.0%
Adequately capitalized
8.0%6.0%4.5%4.0%
Undercapitalized
< 8.0%< 6.0%< 4.5%< 4.0%
Significantly undercapitalized
< 6.0%< 4.0%< 3.0%< 3.0%
Critically undercapitalized
Tangible Equity / Total Assets ≤ 2.0%
An institution may be downgraded to, or deemed to be in, a capital category that is lower than indicated by its capital ratios, if it is determined to be in an unsafe or unsound condition or if it receives an unsatisfactory examination rating with respect to certain matters. A bank’s capital category is determined solely for the purpose of applying prompt corrective action regulations and an institution’s capital category may not accurately represent the institution’s overall financial condition or prospects for other purposes.
The FDIA generally prohibits a depository institution from making any capital distributions (including payment of a dividend) or paying any management fee to its parent holding company, if the depository institution would thereafter be “undercapitalized.” “Undercapitalized” institutions are subject to growth limitations and are required to submit capital restoration plans. If a depository institution fails to submit an acceptable plan, it is treated as if it is “significantly undercapitalized.” “Significantly undercapitalized” depository institutions may be subject to a number of requirements and restrictions, including orders to sell sufficient voting stock to become “adequately capitalized,” requirements to reduce total assets, and cessation of receipt of deposits from correspondent banks. “Critically undercapitalized” institutions are subject to the appointment of a receiver or conservator. The capital classification of a bank holding company and a bank affects the frequency of regulatory examinations, the bank holding company’s and the bank’s ability to engage in certain activities and the deposit insurance premium paid by the bank. As of December 31, 2023, the Bank’s capital ratios exceeded the minimum required to be “well-capitalized” for purposes of the prompt corrective action regulations.
The Company
General
The Company, as the sole shareholder of the Bank, is a registered bank holding company under the BHCA. As a registered bank holding company, the Company is subject to regulation by the Federal Reserve. Under the BHCA, the Company is subject to periodic examination by the Federal Reserve. The Company is required to file with the Federal Reserve periodic reports of the Company’s operations and such additional information regarding the Company and the Bank as the Federal Reserve may require.
The Company is also a bank holding company within the meaning of Section 1280 of the California Financial Code. Consequently, the Company is subject to examination by, and may be required to file reports with, the CDFPI.
Activities and Acquisitions
Under the BHCA, the activities of bank holding companies are generally limited to the business of banking, managing or controlling banks, and other activities that the Federal Reserve has determined to be so closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto. Bank holding companies that qualify and register as “financial holding companies” are also able to engage in certain additional financial activities, such as merchant banking and securities and insurance underwriting, subject to limitations set forth in federal law. The Company has not elected to become a financial holding company.
As a bank holding company, the Company must obtain prior approval of the Federal Reserve before taking any action that causes a bank to become a controlled subsidiary of the bank holding company, acquiring direct or indirect ownership of 5% of the outstanding shares of any class of voting securities of another bank or bank holding company, acquiring all or substantially all the assets of a bank or merging or consolidating with another bank holding company.
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In reviewing applications seeking approval of merger and acquisition transactions, the Federal Reserve considers, among other things, the competitive effect and public benefits of the transactions, the capital position and managerial resources of the combined organization, the risks to the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system, the applicant’s performance record under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (“CRA”), the applicant’s compliance with fair housing and other consumer protection laws and the effectiveness of all organizations involved in combating money laundering activities. In addition, failure to implement or maintain adequate compliance programs could cause bank regulators not to approve an acquisition where regulatory approval is required or to prohibit an acquisition even if approval is not required.
Change in Control
Federal law prohibits any person or company from acquiring “control” of an FDIC-insured depository institution or its holding company without prior notice to the appropriate federal bank regulator. “Control” is conclusively presumed to exist upon the acquisition of 25% or more of the outstanding voting securities of a bank or bank holding company, but may arise under certain circumstances between 5% and 24.99% ownership.
Under the California Financial Code, any proposed acquisition of “control” of the Bank by any person (including a company) must be approved by the Commissioner of the CDFPI. The California Financial Code defines “control” as the power, directly or indirectly, to direct the Bank’s management or policies or to vote 25% or more of any class of the Bank’s outstanding voting securities. Additionally, a rebuttable presumption of control arises when any person (including a company) seeks to acquire, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of any class of the Bank’s outstanding voting securities.
Source of Strength Doctrine
The Dodd-Frank Act codified the Federal Reserve’s long-standing policy that bank holding companies must act as a source of financial and managerial strength to their subsidiary banks. Under this requirement, the Company is expected to commit resources to support the Bank, including at times when the Company may not be in a financial position to provide it. The Company must also maintain the financial flexibility and capital raising capacity to obtain additional resources for assisting the Bank. The Company’s failure to meet its source of strength obligations may constitute an unsafe and unsound practice or a violation of law.
Dividend Payments, Stock Redemptions and Stock Repurchases
The Company’s ability to pay dividends to its shareholders or repurchase shares may be affected by both general corporate law considerations and the policies of the Federal Reserve applicable to bank holding companies. As a California corporation, the Company is subject to the limitations of California law, which allows a corporation to distribute cash or property to shareholders, including a dividend or repurchase or redemption of shares, if the corporation meets either a retained earnings test or a “balance sheet” test. Under the retained earnings test, the Company may make a distribution from retained earnings to the extent that its retained earnings exceed the sum of (a) the amount of the distribution plus (b) the amount, if any, of dividends in arrears on shares with preferential dividend rights. The Company may also make a distribution if, immediately after the distribution, the value of its assets equals or exceeds the sum of (a) its total liabilities plus (b) the liquidation preference of any shares which have a preference upon dissolution over the rights of shareholders receiving the distribution. Indebtedness is not considered a liability if the terms of such indebtedness provide that payment of principal and interest thereon are to be made only if, and to the extent that, a distribution to shareholders could be made under the balance sheet test.
As a general matter, the Federal Reserve has indicated that the board of directors of a bank holding company should eliminate, defer or significantly reduce dividends to shareholders and shares repurchases if: (i) the bank holding company’s net income available to shareholders for the past four quarters, net of dividends previously paid during that period, is not sufficient to fully fund the dividends; (ii) the prospective rate of earnings retention is inconsistent with the bank holding company’s capital needs and overall current and prospective financial condition; or (iii) the bank holding company will not meet, or is in danger of not meeting, its minimum regulatory capital adequacy ratios. If the Company’s fails to adhere to these policies, the Federal Reserve could find that the Company is operating in an unsafe and unsound manner.
In addition, under the Basel III Capital Rules, institutions must maintain a capital conservation buffer of 2.5% in CET1 in order to avoid restrictions on their ability to pay dividends or repurchase shares. See “Supervision and Regulation - Regulatory Capital Requirements” above.
Subject to exceptions for well-capitalized and well-managed holding companies, the Federal Reserve regulations also require approval of holding company purchases and redemptions of its securities if the gross consideration paid exceeds 10% of consolidated net worth for any 12-month period. In addition, the Federal Reserve policy requires that bank holding companies consult with and inform the Federal Reserve in advance of (i) redeeming or repurchasing capital instruments when experiencing financial weakness and (ii) redeeming or repurchasing common stock and perpetual preferred stock if the result will be a net reduction in the amount of such capital instruments outstanding for the quarter in which the reduction occurs.
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The Bank
General
The Bank is a California-chartered bank. The deposit accounts of the Bank are insured by the FDIC to the maximum extent provided under federal law and FDIC regulations. As a California-chartered that is not a member of the Federal Reserve, the Bank is subject to examination, supervision, and regulation by the CDFPI, the chartering authority for California banks, and by the FDIC.
The Bank is required to seek approval from the CDFPI and FDIC prior to engaging in certain expansionary transactions, such as establishing new branches or merger with other depository institutions. In reviewing applications seeking approval of merger and acquisition transactions, the CDFPI and FDIC will generally consider the same factors as those described above with respect to Federal Reserve applications for merger and acquisition transactions.
Brokered Deposit Restrictions
Well capitalized institutions are not subject to limitations on brokered deposits, while adequately capitalized institutions are able to accept, renew or roll over brokered deposits only with a waiver from the FDIC and subject to certain restrictions on the yield paid on such deposits. Undercapitalized institutions are generally not permitted to accept, renew, or roll over brokered deposits. As of December 31, 2023, the Bank was eligible to accept brokered deposits without a waiver from FDIC.
Loans to One Borrower
With certain limited exceptions, the maximum amount that a California bank may lend to any borrower at any one time (including the obligations to the bank of certain related entities of the borrower) may not exceed 25% (and unsecured loans may not exceed 15%) of the bank’s shareholders’ equity, allowance for credit loss on loans, and any capital notes and debentures of the bank.
Tie in Arrangements
Federal law prohibits a bank holding company and any subsidiary banks from engaging in certain tie in arrangements in connection with the extension of credit. For example, the Bank may not extend credit, lease or sell property, or furnish any service, or fix or vary the consideration for any of the foregoing on the condition that (i) the customer must obtain or provide some additional credit, property or service from or to the Bank other than a loan, discount, deposit or trust service, (ii) the customer must obtain or provide some additional credit, property or service from or to the Company, or (iii) the customer must not obtain some other credit, property or service from competitors, except reasonable requirements to assure soundness of credit extended.
Deposit Insurance
The Bank’s deposits are insured by the Deposit Insurance Fund of the FDIC up to the maximum amount permitted by law. As an FDIC-insured institution, the Bank is required to pay deposit insurance premium assessments to the FDIC. The FDIC assesses a quarterly deposit insurance premium on each insured institution based on the assets levels and risk characteristics of the institution. The FDIC may impose special assessments in emergency situations or based on the adequacy of the reserves of the Deposit Insurance Fund. As a result, the Bank’s FDIC deposit insurance premiums could increase. During the year ended December 31, 2023, the Bank paid $1.1 million in aggregate FDIC deposit insurance premiums.
The FDIC may terminate insurance of deposits of any insured institution if the FDIC finds that the insured institution has engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, rule, order or condition imposed by the FDIC or any other regulatory agency.
Supervisory Assessments
California-chartered banks are required to pay supervisory assessments to the CDFPI to fund its operations. The amount of the assessment paid by a California bank to the CDFPI is calculated on the basis of the institution’s total assets in California, including consolidated subsidiaries, as reported to the CDFPI. During the year ended December 31, 2023, the Bank paid supervisory assessments to the CDFPI totaling $216 thousand.
Dividend Payments
The primary source of funds for the Company is dividends from the Bank. Under the California Financial Code, the Bank is permitted to pay a dividend in the following circumstances: (i) without the consent of either the CDFPI or the Bank’s shareholders, in an amount not exceeding the lesser of (a) the retained earnings of the Bank; or (b) the net income of the Bank for its last three fiscal years, less the amount of any distributions made during the prior period; (ii) with the prior approval of the CDFPI, in an amount not exceeding the greatest of: (a) the retained earnings of the Bank; (b) the net income of the Bank for its last fiscal year; or (c) the net income for the Bank for its current fiscal year; and (iii) with the prior approval of the CDFPI and the Bank’s shareholders (i.e., the Company) in connection with a reduction of its contributed capital.
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The payment of dividends by any financial institution is affected by the requirement to maintain adequate capital pursuant to applicable capital adequacy guidelines and regulations, and a financial institution generally is prohibited from paying any dividends if, following payment thereof, the institution would be undercapitalized. In addition, under the Basel III Rule, institutions must maintain a capital conservation buffer of 2.5% in CET1 attributable to avoid restrictions on dividend payments. See “Supervision and Regulation - Regulatory Capital Requirements” above. As described above, the Bank exceeded its minimum capital requirements under applicable regulatory guidelines as of December 31, 2023.
Transactions with Affiliates
Transactions between depository institutions and their affiliates, including transactions between the Bank and the Company, are governed by Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act and the Federal Reserve’s Regulation W promulgated thereunder. Generally, Section 23A limits the extent to which a depository institution and its subsidiaries may engage in “covered transactions” with any one affiliate to an amount equal to 10% of the depository institution’s capital stock and surplus, and contains an aggregate limit on all such transactions with all affiliates of an amount equal to 20% of the depository institution’s capital stock and surplus. Section 23A also establishes specific collateral requirements for loans or extensions of credit to, or guarantees, acceptances or letters of credit issued on behalf of, an affiliate. Section 23B requires that covered transactions and a broad list of other specified transactions be on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable to the depository institution and its subsidiaries, as those for similar transactions with non-affiliates.
Loans to Directors, Executive Officers and Principal Shareholders
The authority of the Bank to extend credit to its directors, executive officers and principal shareholders, including their immediate family members and corporations and other entities that they control, is subject to substantial restrictions and requirements under the Federal Reserve’s Regulation O, as well as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. These laws and regulations impose limits on the amount of loans the Bank may make to directors and other insiders and require, among other things, that: (i) the loans must be made on substantially the same terms, including interest rates and collateral, as prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with persons not affiliated with the Company or the Bank; (ii) the Bank follow credit underwriting procedures at least as stringent as those applicable to comparable transactions with persons who are not affiliated with the Company or the Bank; and (iii) the loans not involve a greater-than-normal risk of non-payment or include other features not favorable to the Bank. A violation of these restrictions may result in the assessment of substantial civil monetary penalties on the affected bank or any officer, director, employee, agent or other person participating in the conduct of the affairs of that bank, the imposition of a cease and desist order, and other regulatory sanctions.
Safety and Soundness Standards/Risk Management
The federal banking agencies have adopted guidelines that establish operational and managerial standards to promote the safety and soundness of federally insured depository institutions. The guidelines set forth standards for internal controls, information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, compensation, fees and benefits, asset quality and earnings.
During the past decade, the bank regulatory agencies have increasingly emphasized the importance of sound risk management processes and strong internal controls when evaluating the activities of the financial institutions they supervise. Properly managing risks has been identified as critical to the conduct of safe and sound banking activities and has become even more important as new technologies, product innovation, and the size and speed of financial transactions have changed the nature of banking markets. The agencies have identified a spectrum of risks facing a banking institution including, but not limited to, credit, market, liquidity, operational, legal, and reputational risk. In particular, recent regulatory pronouncements have focused on operational risk, which arises from the potential that inadequate information systems, operational problems, breaches in internal controls, fraud, or unforeseen catastrophes will result in unexpected losses. New products and services, third-party risk management and cyber-security are critical sources of operational risk that financial institutions are expected to address in the current environment. The Bank is expected to have active board and senior management oversight; adequate policies, procedures, and limits; adequate risk measurement, monitoring, and management information systems; and comprehensive internal controls.
On November 23, 2021, the federal banking agencies issued a final rule requiring banking organizations that experience a computer-security incident to notify its primary Federal regulator of the occurrence of an event that rises to the level of a “notification incident” as soon as possible and no later than 36 hours after the banking organization has determined that a notification incident has occurred.
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Community Reinvestment Act Requirements
The CRA is intended to encourage banks to help meet the credit needs of their entire communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations. The regulators examine banks and assign each bank a public CRA rating. The CRA then requires bank regulators to take into account the bank’s record in meeting the needs of its community when considering certain applications by a bank, including applications to establish a banking center or to conduct certain mergers or acquisitions. The Federal Reserve is required to consider the CRA records of a bank holding company’s controlled banks when considering an application by the bank holding company to acquire a bank or to merge with another bank holding company. When the Bank seeks regulatory approval to engage in certain expansionary transactions, such as new branches or merger and acquisitions, the FDIC will consider the CRA record of the target institution and the Bank. An unsatisfactory CRA record could substantially delay approval or result in denial of an application. The Bank received a “satisfactory” rating on its most recent CRA performance evaluation, dated July 6, 2021.
On May 5, 2022, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the OCC issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking to strengthen and modernize the CRA regulatory framework. The proposal clarifies the activities and investments that qualify for credit under the CRA and would establish an evaluation framework tailored for differences in bank size and business models.
Anti-Money Laundering and Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulation
The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “Patriot Act”), is designed to deny terrorists and criminals the ability to obtain access to the U.S. financial system and has significant implications for depository institutions, brokers, dealers and other businesses involved in the transfer of money. The Patriot Act mandates financial services companies to have policies and procedures with respect to measures designed to address any or all of the following matters: (i) customer identification programs; (ii) money laundering; (iii) terrorist financing; (iv) identifying and reporting suspicious activities and currency transactions; (v) currency crimes; and (vi) cooperation between financial institutions and law enforcement authorities. Regulatory authorities routinely examine financial institutions for compliance with these obligations, and failure of a financial institution to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, or to comply with all of the relevant laws or regulations, could have serious legal and reputational consequences for the institution, including causing applicable bank regulatory authorities not to approve merger or acquisition transactions when regulatory approval is required or to prohibit such transactions even if approval is not required. Regulatory authorities have imposed cease and desist orders and civil money penalties against institutions found to be violating these obligations.
U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries and regimes under authority of various laws, including designated foreign countries, nationals and others. OFAC publishes lists of specially designated targets and countries. Financial Institutions are responsible for, among other things, blocking accounts of and transactions with such targets and countries, prohibiting unlicensed trade and financial transactions with them and reporting blocked transactions after their occurrence. Banking regulators examine banks for compliance with the economic sanctions regulations administered by OFAC and failure of a financial institution to maintain and implement adequate OFAC programs, or to comply with all of the relevant laws or regulations, could have serious legal and reputational consequences for the institution.
Concentrations in Commercial Real Estate
Concentration risk exists when financial institutions deploy too many assets to any one industry or segment. Concentration stemming from CRE is one area of regulatory concern. The CRE Concentration Guidance provides supervisory criteria, including the following numerical indicators, to assist bank examiners in identifying banks with potentially significant CRE loan concentrations that may warrant greater supervisory scrutiny: (i) CRE loans exceeding 300% of capital and increasing 50% or more in the preceding three years; or (ii) construction and land development loans exceeding 100% of capital. The CRE Concentration Guidance does not limit banks’ levels of CRE lending activities, but rather guides institutions in developing risk management practices and levels of capital that are commensurate with the level and nature of their CRE concentrations.
As of December 31, 2023, using regulatory definitions in the CRE Concentration Guidance, the Bank’s CRE loans represented 280.7% of total risk-based capital, as compared to 253.9%, 269.8% and 256.1% as of December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The Bank is actively working to manage its CRE concentration and the management has discussed the CRE Concentration Guidance with the FDIC and believes that the Bank’s underwriting policies, management information systems, independent credit administration process, and monitoring of real estate loan concentrations are currently sufficient to address the CRE Concentration Guidance.

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Consumer Financial Services
Banks and other financial institutions are subject to numerous laws and regulations intended to protect consumers in their transactions with banks. These laws include, among others, laws regarding unfair and deceptive acts and practices and usury laws, as well as the following consumer protection statutes: Truth in Lending Act, Truth in Savings Act, Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Expedited Funds Availability Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, Fair Housing Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Right to Financial Privacy Act, Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Military Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
Many states and local jurisdictions have consumer protection laws analogous, and in addition, to those listed above. These federal, state and local laws regulate the manner in which financial institutions deal with customers when taking deposits, making loans or conducting other types of transactions. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could give rise to regulatory sanctions, customer rescission rights, action by state and local attorneys general and civil or criminal liability. Failure to comply with consumer protection requirements may also result in the Bank’s failure to obtain any required bank regulatory approval for merger or acquisition transactions the Bank may wish to pursue or its prohibition from engaging in such transactions even if approval is not required.
The CFPB has significant authority to implement and enforce federal consumer protection laws as well as the authority to identify and prohibit unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices.
The review of products and practices to prevent such acts and practices is a continuing focus of the CFPB, and of banking regulators more broadly. The ultimate impact of this heightened scrutiny is uncertain but could result in changes to pricing, practices, products and procedures. It could also result in increased costs related to regulatory oversight, supervision and examination, additional remediation efforts and possible penalties.
The CFPB is authorized to issue rules for both bank and non-bank companies that offer consumer financial products and services, subject to consultation with the prudential banking regulators. In general, however, banks with assets of $10 billion or less, such as the Bank, will continue to be examined for consumer compliance by their primary bank regulator.
On June 9, 2022, the CDFPI’s proposed commercial financing disclosure regulations were approved, which became effective on December 9, 2022. The regulations require commercial financing providers to disclose certain information to assist small businesses in making more informed decisions, including the amount of funding the small business will receive, the Annual Percentage Rate calculated for the transaction, the term, details related to prepayment policies and an average monthly cost.
Mortgage and Mortgage-Related Products
The Dodd-Frank Act significantly expanded the regulation of mortgage lending and augmented federal law combating predatory lending practices. Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB has adopted numerous rules addressing mortgage and mortgage-related products, their underwriting, origination, disclosure requirements, servicing and sales.
These reforms include amendments to the Truth In Lending Act establishing underwriting standards that lenders must conduct before making a residential mortgage loan, including verifying a borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage loan. Borrowers may assert violations of certain provisions of the Truth in Lending Act as a defense to foreclosure proceedings. Prepayment penalties are prohibited for certain mortgage transactions and creditors are prohibited from financing insurance policies in connection with a residential mortgage loan or home equity line of credit. Mortgage lenders are required to make additional disclosures prior to the extension of credit, in each billing statement and for negative amortization loans and hybrid adjustable rate mortgages. Additionally, mortgage originators are prohibited from receiving compensation based on the terms of residential mortgage loans, other that the loan amount.
The Dodd-Frank Act generally requires lenders or securitizers to retain an economic interest in the credit risk relating to loans that the lender sells, and other asset-backed securities that the securitizer issues, if the loans do not comply with the ability-to-repay standards described above. The risk retention requirement generally is 5%, but could be increased or decreased by regulation. The CFPB’s mortgage rules have not had a significant impact on the Bank’s operations, except for higher compliance costs.
Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB has implemented certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act relating to mortgage servicing through rulemaking. The servicing rules require servicers to meet certain benchmarks for loan servicing and customer service in general. The rules provide for an exemption from most of these requirements for “small servicers,” which are defined as loan servicers that service 5,000 or fewer mortgage loans and service only mortgage loans that they or an affiliate originated or own.

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Enforcement Powers of Federal and State Banking Agencies
The federal bank regulatory agencies have broad enforcement powers. If as federal banking agency determines that the financial condition, capital resources, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity, or other aspects of depository institution’s or its bank holding company’s operations are unsatisfactory or that it or its management was in violation of any law or regulation, the agency would have the authority to take a number of different remedial actions as it deems appropriate under the circumstances. These actions include the power to enjoin any “unsafe or unsound” banking practices; to require that affirmative action be taken to correct any conditions resulting from any violation of law or unsafe or unsound practice; to issue an administrative order that can be judicially enforced; to require that it increase its capital; to restrict its growth; to assess civil monetary penalties against it or its officers or directors; to remove officers and directors of the bank; and if the federal banking agency concludes that such conditions at the bank holding company or the bank cannot be corrected or there is an imminent risk of loss to depositors, to terminate a bank’s deposit insurance, which in the case of a California state chartered bank would result in revocation of its charter and require it to cease its banking operations. The CDFPI has similarly broad enforcement powers over the Bank, including the power to impose orders, remove officers and directors, impose fines and appoint supervisors and conservators.
Financial Privacy
The federal bank regulatory agencies have adopted rules that limit the ability of banks and other financial institutions to disclose non-public information about consumers to non-affiliated third-parties. These limitations require disclosure of privacy policies to consumers and, in some circumstances, allow consumers to prevent disclosure of certain personal information to a non-affiliated third-party. These regulations affect how consumer information is transmitted through financial services companies and conveyed to outside vendors. In addition, consumers may also prevent disclosure of certain information among affiliated companies that is assembled or used to determine eligibility for a product or service, such as that shown on consumer credit reports and asset and income information from applications. Consumers also have the option to direct banks and other financial institutions not to share information about transactions and experiences with affiliated companies for the purpose of marketing products or services.
Monetary Policy
The monetary policy of the Federal Reserve has a significant effect on the operating results of financial or bank holding companies and their subsidiaries. Among the tools available to the Federal Reserve to affect the money supply are open market transactions in U.S. government securities, changes in the discount rate on member bank borrowings and changes in reserve requirements against member bank deposits. These means are used in varying combinations to influence overall growth and distribution of bank loans, investments and deposits, and their use may affect interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits. The actions of the Federal Reserve in these areas influence the growth of bank loans, investments, and deposits and also affect interest rates earned on interest earning assets and paid on interest bearing liabilities. The nature and impact on the Company, and the Bank, of future changes in monetary and fiscal policies cannot be predicted.
The Volcker Rule
The Volcker Rule generally prohibits banking entities, such as the Bank, the Company and their affiliates and subsidiaries, from engaging in short-term proprietary trading of financial instruments and from owning, sponsoring or having certain relationships with hedge funds or private equity funds (collectively, “covered funds”). The regulations implementing the Volcker Rule provide exemptions for certain activities, including market making, underwriting, hedging, trading in certain government obligations and organizing and offering a covered fund, among others. Although the Volcker Rule has significant implications for many large financial institutions, it does not currently have a material effect on the operations of the Company or the Bank. The Company and the Bank may, however, incur costs if they are required to adopt additional policies and systems to ensure compliance with certain provisions of the Volcker Rule in the future.
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Item 1A. Risk Factors
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Before you decide to invest, you should carefully consider the risks described below, together with all other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Any of the following risks, as well as risks that we do not know or currently deem immaterial, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. As a result, the trading price of our common stock could decline and you could experience a partial or complete loss of your investment. Further, to the extent that any of the information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K constitutes forward-looking statements, the risk factors below also are cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf. See “Forward-Looking Statements” immediately preceding Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Risks Related to our Business
Our business depends on our ability to successfully manage credit risk.
The operation of our business requires us to manage credit risk. As a lender, we are exposed to the risk that our borrowers will be unable to repay their loans according to their terms, and that the collateral securing repayment of their loans, if any, may not be sufficient to ensure repayment. In addition, there are risks inherent in making any loan, including risks with respect to the period of time over which the loan may be repaid, risks relating to proper loan underwriting, risks resulting from changes in economic and industry conditions and risks inherent in dealing with individual borrowers.
In order to successfully manage credit risk, we must, among other things, maintain disciplined and prudent underwriting standards and ensure that our bankers follow those standards. The weakening of these standards for any reason, such as an attempt to attract higher yielding loans, a lack of discipline or diligence by our employees in underwriting and monitoring loans, the inability of our employees to adequately adapt policies and procedures to changes in economic or any other conditions affecting borrowers and the quality of our loan portfolio, may result in loan defaults, foreclosures and additional charge-offs and may necessitate that we significantly increase our ACL, each of which could adversely affect our net income. As a result, our inability to successfully manage credit risk could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and/or results of operations.
An important feature of our credit risk management system is our use of an internal credit risk rating and control system through which we identify, measure, monitor and mitigate existing and emerging credit risk of our borrowers. As this process involves detailed analysis of the borrower or credit risk, taking into account both quantitative and qualitative factors, it is subject to human error. In exercising their judgment, our employees may not always be able to assign an accurate credit rating to a borrower or credit risk, which may result in our exposure to higher credit risks than indicated by our risk rating and control system. The credit risk rating and control system may not identify credit risk in our loan portfolio and we may fail to manage credit risk effectively.
Fluctuations in interest rates may reduce net interest income and otherwise negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Shifts in short-term interest rates may reduce net interest income, which is the principal component of our earnings. Net interest income is the difference between the amounts received by us on our interest-earning assets and the interest paid by us on our interest-bearing liabilities. When interest rates rise, the rate of interest we earn on our assets, such as loans, typically rises more quickly than the rate of interest that we pay on our interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits, which may cause our profits to increase. However, when deposit competition is strong, the rate of increase in our deposit costs may exceed the rate of increase in the yields on our loans, placing pressure on our net interest margins. When interest rates decrease, the rate of interest we earn on our assets, such as loans, typically declines more quickly than the rate of interest that we pay on our interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits, which may cause our profits to decrease.
The impact on earnings is more adverse when the slope of the yield curve flattens or inverts, that is, when short-term interest rates increase more than long-term interest rates or when long-term interest rates decrease more than short-term interest rates. Many factors impact interest rates, including governmental monetary policies, inflation, recession, changes in unemployment, the money supply and international disorder and instability in domestic and foreign financial markets.
Interest rate increases often result in larger payment requirements for our borrowers, which increases the potential for default. At the same time, the marketability of the underlying property may be adversely affected by any reduced demand resulting from higher interest rates. In a declining interest rate environment, there may be an increase in prepayments on loans as borrowers refinance their mortgages and other indebtedness at lower rates. For the year ended December 31, 2023, total loans were 86.3% of our average interest-earning assets. Our net interest income exhibited a positive 3.6% sensitivity to rising interest rates and a negative 4.3% sensitivity to declining interest rates in a twelve-month 100 basis point parallel shock at December 31, 2023.
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Changes in interest rates also can affect the value of loans, securities and other assets. An increase in interest rates that adversely affects the ability of borrowers to pay the principal or interest on loans may lead to an increase in nonperforming assets (“NPAs”) and a reduction of income recognized, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows. Further, when we place a loan on nonaccrual status, we reverse any accrued but unpaid interest receivable, which decreases interest income. Subsequently, we continue to have a cost to fund the loan, which is reflected as interest expense, without any interest income to offset the associated funding expense. Thus, an increase in the amount of NPAs would have an adverse impact on net interest income.
Rising interest rates will result in a decline in value of the fixed-rate debt securities we hold in our investment securities portfolio. The unrealized losses resulting from holding these securities would be recognized in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) and reduce total shareholders’ equity. Unrealized losses do not negatively impact our regulatory capital ratios; however, tangible common equity and the associated ratios would be reduced. If debt securities in an unrealized loss position are sold, such losses become realized and will reduce our regulatory capital ratios. If short-term interest rates decline, and assuming longer term interest rates fall faster, we could experience net interest margin compression as our interest-earning assets would continue to reprice downward while our interest-bearing liability rates could fail to decline in tandem. This would have a material adverse effect on our net interest income and our results of operations.
Liquidity risks could affect operations and jeopardize our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Liquidity is essential to our business. An inability to raise funds through deposits, borrowings, the sale of loans and/or investment securities, and from other sources could have a substantial negative effect on our liquidity. Our most important source of funds consists of our customer deposits, a significant portion of which are time deposits. Such deposit balances can decrease when customers perceive they can earn higher interest on their interest-bearing deposits elsewhere, or alternative investments, such as the stock market, provide a better risk/return tradeoff. If customers move money to other financial institutions, or out of bank deposits and into other investments, we could lose a relatively low cost source of funds, which would require us to seek wholesale funding alternatives in order to continue to grow, thereby increasing our funding costs and reducing our net interest income and net income.
Other primary sources of funds consist of cash from operations, investment maturities and sales and proceeds from the issuance and sale of our equity and debt securities to investors. Additional liquidity is provided by the ability to borrow from the Federal Reserve Discount Window and the FHLB. We also may borrow from third-party lenders from time to time. Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance or capitalize our activities or on terms that are acceptable to us could be impaired by factors that affect us directly or the financial services industry or economy in general, such as disruptions in the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry. Any decline in available funding could adversely impact our ability to continue to implement our strategic plan, including originate loans, invest in securities, meet our expenses, pay dividends to our shareholders or to fulfill obligations such as repaying our borrowings or meeting deposit withdrawal demands, any of which could have a material adverse impact on our liquidity, business, financial condition and results of operations.
As a result of increases in interest rates over the past two years, the market values of previously issued government, agency and other debt securities have declined significantly, resulting in unrealized losses in our securities portfolio. While we do not expect or intend to sell these securities, if we were required to sell these securities to meet liquidity needs, we may incur significant losses, which could impair our capital and financial condition and adversely affect our results of operations. Further, while we have taken actions to maximize our sources of liquidity, there is no guarantee that such sources will be available or sufficient in the event of sudden liquidity needs.
We face a risk of noncompliance and enforcement action with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations.
The BSA, the Patriot Act and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain an effective AML program and to file reports such as suspicious activity reports and currency transaction reports. We are required to comply with these and other AML requirements. The federal banking agencies and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network are authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and have recently engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts against banks and other financial services providers with the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS. We are also subject to increased scrutiny of compliance with the rules enforced by the OFAC. If our policies, procedures and systems are deemed deficient, we would be subject to liabilities, including fines and regulatory actions, which may include restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and the necessity to obtain regulatory approvals to proceed acquisition and certain aspects of our business plan.
Failures to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us. Any of these results could reduce the Company’s ability to receive any necessary regulatory approvals for acquisitions or new branch openings. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
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Adverse developments affecting the banking industry could have a material effect on our operations and/or stock price.
During 2023, the high-profile failures of several depository institutions negatively impacted customer confidence in the safety and soundness of some regional and community banks. As a result, we face that risk that customers may prefer to maintain deposits with larger financial institutions or invest in fixed income securities instead of deposits with the Bank, either of which could materially adversely impact our liquidity, cost of funding, capital, and results of operations. In response to the failures of other depository institutions, we may face increased regulation and supervisory oversight, higher capital or liquidity requirements or a heightened risk of regulatory enforcement activities, any of which could have a material impact on our business. Further, our costs of deposit insurance may increase as a result of these bank failures and the resulting losses to the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund. In addition, concerns about the banking industry’s operating environment and the public trading prices of bank holding companies are often correlated, particularly during times of financial stress, which could adversely impact the trading price of our common stock.
A decline in general business and economic conditions and any regulatory responses to such conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and growth prospects.
Our business and operations are sensitive to general business and economic conditions in the U.S., generally, and particularly the state of California and the Los Angeles/Orange County region, as well as the greater New York City/New Jersey metropolitan area and Dallas, Texas, where our branch offices are located. Unfavorable or uncertain economic and market conditions in these areas could lead to credit quality concerns related to repayment ability and collateral protection as well as reduced demand for the products and services we offer. The impact of the Biden administration’s policy changes regarding international trade, tariffs, renewable energy, immigration, domestic taxation, among other actions and policies of the current administration, may have on economic and market conditions is uncertain.
In addition, concerns about the performance of international economies, especially in Europe and emerging markets, and economic conditions in Asia can impact the economy and financial markets here in the U.S. If the national, regional and local economies experience worsening economic conditions, including high levels of unemployment, our growth and profitability could be constrained. Weak economic conditions are characterized by, among other indicators, deflation, elevated levels of unemployment, fluctuations in debt and equity capital markets, increased delinquencies on mortgage, commercial and consumer loans, residential and CRE price declines, lower home sales and commercial activity and fluctuations in the commercial Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) financing sector. All of these factors are generally detrimental to our business.
System failure or breaches of our network security could subject us to increased operating costs as well as litigation and other liabilities.
The computer systems and network infrastructure we use could be vulnerable to hardware and cyber-security issues. Our operations are dependent upon our ability to protect our computer equipment against damage from fire, power loss, telecommunications failure or a similar catastrophic event. We could also experience a breach by intentional or negligent conduct on the part of employees or other internal or external sources, including our third-party vendors. Any damage or failure that causes an interruption in our operations could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, our operations are dependent upon our ability to protect the computer systems and network infrastructure utilized by us, including our internet banking activities, against damage from physical break-ins, cyber-security breaches and other disruptive problems caused by the internet or other users. Such computer break-ins and other disruptions would jeopardize the security of information stored in and transmitted through our computer systems and network infrastructure, which may result in significant liability, damage our reputation and inhibit the use of our internet banking services by current and potential customers.
We rely heavily on communications, information systems (both internal and provided by third-parties) and the internet to conduct our business. Our business is dependent on our ability to process and monitor large numbers of daily transactions in compliance with legal, regulatory and internal standards and specifications. In addition, a significant portion of our operations relies heavily on the secure processing, storage and transmission of personal and confidential information, such as the personal information of our customers and clients. In recent periods, several governmental agencies and large corporations, including financial service organizations and retail companies, have suffered major data breaches, in some cases exposing not only their confidential and proprietary corporate information, but also sensitive financial and other personal information of their customers/clients or customers/clients and their employees or other third-parties, subjecting those agencies and corporations to potential fraudulent activity and exposing their customers/clients, customers/clients and their employees or other third-parties to identity theft and fraudulent activity in their credit card and banking accounts. Therefore, security breaches and cyber-attacks can cause significant increases in operating costs, including the costs of compensating clients and customers for any resulting losses they may incur and the costs and capital expenditures required to correct the deficiencies in and strengthen the security of data processing and storage systems. These risks may increase in the future as we continue to increase mobile payments and other internet-based product offerings and expand our internal usage of web-based products and applications.
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Other potential attacks have attempted to obtain unauthorized access to confidential information, steal money, or manipulate or destroy data, often through the introduction of computer viruses or malware, cyber-attacks and other means. Other threats of this type may include fraudulent or unauthorized access to data processing or data storage systems used by us or by our customers, electronic identity theft, “phishing,” account takeover, and malware or other cyber-attacks. To date, none of these types of attacks have had a material effect on our business or operations. Such security attacks can originate from a wide variety of sources, including persons who are involved with organized crime or who may be linked to terrorist organizations or hostile foreign governments. Those same parties may also attempt to fraudulently induce employees, customers or other users of our systems to disclose sensitive information in order to gain access to our data or that of our customers or clients. We are also subject to the risk that our employees may intercept and transmit unauthorized confidential or proprietary information. An interception, misuse or mishandling of personal, confidential or proprietary information being sent to or received from a customer or third-party could result in legal liabilities, remediation costs, regulatory actions and reputational harm.
As cyber-threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities or incidents. We maintain a system of internal controls and insurance coverage to mitigate against such operational risks, including data processing system failures and errors and customer or employee fraud. If our internal controls fail to prevent or detect an occurrence, or if any resulting loss is not insured or exceeds applicable insurance limits, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Furthermore, the public perception that a cyber-attack on our systems has been successful, whether or not this perception is correct, may damage our reputation with customers and third-parties with whom we do business.
We have a continuing need for technological change, and we may not have the resources to effectively implement new technology or we may experience operational challenges when implementing new technology.
The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. In addition to allowing us to better serve customers, the effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to reduce costs. Our future success will depend in part upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands for convenience as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations as we continue to grow and expand our market area.
We may experience operational challenges as we implement these new technology enhancements, or seek to implement them across all of our offices and business units, which could result in us not fully realizing the anticipated benefits from such new technology or require us to incur significant costs to remedy any such challenges in a timely manner. Many of our larger competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. As a result, they may be able to offer additional and/or superior products to those that we will not be able to offer, which would put us at a competitive disadvantage. Accordingly, a risk exists that we will not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing such products and services to our customers.
Our business depends on our ability to attract and retain Korean-American immigrants as clients.
A significant portion of our business is based on successfully attracting and retaining Asian-American immigrants generally, and first and second generation Korean-American immigrants specifically, as clients for our commercial loans and consumer loans and deposits. We may be limited in our ability to attract Asian-American clients to the extent the U.S. adopts restrictive domestic immigration laws.
Adverse conditions in Asia and elsewhere could adversely affect our business.
Because our business focuses on Korean-American individuals and businesses as customers, we are likely to feel the effects of adverse economic and political conditions in Asia, including the effects of rising inflation or slowing growth and volatility in the real estate and stock markets in South Korea and other regions. The U.S. and global economic policies, military tensions and unfavorable global economic conditions may adversely impact the Asian economies. In addition, pandemics and other public health crises or concerns over the possibility of such crises could create economic and financial disruptions in the region, such as recent health pandemics in China, South Korea as well as other regions. A significant deterioration of economic conditions in Asia could expose us to, among other things, economic and transfer risk, and we could experience an outflow of deposits by those of our customers with connections to Asia. Transfer risk may result when an entity is unable to obtain the foreign exchange needed to meet its obligations or to provide liquidity.
This may adversely impact the recoverability of investments with, or loans made to, such entities. Adverse economic conditions in Asia, and in South Korea in particular, may also negatively impact asset values and the profitability and liquidity of our customers who operate in this region.

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Severe Weather, Natural Disasters or Other Climate Change Related Matters Could Significantly Impact Our Business.
Our primary market is located in an earthquake-prone zone in California, which is also subject to other weather or disasters, such as severe rainstorms, wildfire or flood, as well as health epidemics or pandemics (or expectations about them). These events could interrupt our business operations unexpectedly. Climate-related physical changes and hazards could also pose credit risks for us. For example, our borrowers may have collateral properties located in coastal areas at risk to rise in sea level. The properties pledged as collateral on our loan portfolio could also be damaged by tsunamis, floods, earthquakes or wildfires and thereby the recoverability of loans could be impaired. A number of factors can affect credit losses, including the extent of damage to the collateral, the extent of damage not covered by insurance, the extent to which unemployment and other economic conditions caused by the natural disaster adversely affect the ability of borrowers to repay their loans, and the cost of collection and foreclosure to us. Lastly, there could be increased insurance premiums and deductibles, or a decrease in the availability of coverage, due to severe weather-related losses. The ultimate impact on our business of a natural disaster, whether or not caused by climate change, is difficult to predict.
As we expand our business outside of California markets, we will encounter risks that could adversely affect us.
We primarily operate in California markets with a concentration of Korean-American individuals and businesses as customers. We also currently have branch operations in New York, New Jersey and Texas, and LPO operations in various states, and would evaluate additional branch expansion opportunities in other Korean-American populated markets. In the course of this expansion, we will encounter significant risks and uncertainties that could have a material adverse effect on our operations. These risks and uncertainties include increased expenses and operational difficulties arising from, among other things, our need to hire adequate staffing, attract sufficient business in new markets, to manage operations in non-contiguous market areas, to comply with all of the various local laws and regulations, and to anticipate events or differences in markets in which we have no current experience.
We have a limited service area. This lack of geographic and ethnic diversification increases our risk profile.
Our operations are conducted through 16 branches located principally in Los Angeles and Orange Counties of Southern California and to a lesser extent in Texas and the New York/New Jersey region. As a result of these geographic concentrations, our results depend largely upon economic and business conditions in these areas. Any significant deterioration in economic and business conditions in our service areas could have a material adverse impact on the quality of our loan portfolio and the demand for our products and services, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. We have attempted to diversify some of our loan business through LPOs in five other states; however, this diversification strategy may not be effective to reduce our geographic and ethnic concentrations.
Risks Related to Our Loans
Because a significant portion of our loan portfolio is comprised of real estate loans, negative changes in the economy affecting real estate values and liquidity could impair the value of collateral securing our real estate loans and result in loan and other losses.
At December 31, 2023, approximately 84.4% of our loans held-for-investment portfolio was comprised of loans with real estate as a primary or secondary component of collateral. As a result, adverse developments affecting real estate values in our market areas could increase the credit risk associated with our real estate loan portfolio. The market value of real estate can fluctuate significantly in a short period of time as a result of market conditions in the geographic area in which the real estate is located. Real estate values and real estate markets are generally affected by changes in national, regional or local economic conditions, the rate of unemployment, fluctuations in interest rates and the availability of loans to potential purchasers, changes in tax laws and other governmental statutes, regulations and policies and acts of nature, such as earthquakes and natural disasters. Adverse changes affecting real estate values and the liquidity of real estate in one or more of our markets could increase the credit risk associated with our loan portfolio, significantly impair the value of property pledged as collateral on loans and affect our ability to sell the collateral upon foreclosure without a loss or additional losses, which could result in losses that would adversely affect profitability.
Such declines and losses would have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and growth prospects. In addition, if hazardous or toxic substances are found on properties pledged as collateral, the value of the real estate could be impaired. If we foreclose on and take title to such properties, we may be liable for remediation costs, as well as for personal injury and property damage. Environmental laws may require us to incur substantial expenses to address unknown liabilities and may materially reduce the affected property’s value or limit our ability to use or sell the affected property.

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The recognition of gains on the sale of loans and servicing asset valuations reflect certain assumptions.
We expect that gains on the sale of U.S. government guaranteed loans, primarily 7(a) loans, will comprise a significant component of our revenue. The gains on such sales recognized for the year ended December 31, 2023 was $3.6 million. The determination of these gains is based on assumptions regarding the value of unguaranteed loans retained, servicing rights retained, and net premiums paid by purchasers of the guaranteed portions of U.S. government guaranteed loans. The value of retained unguaranteed loans and servicing rights are determined based on market derived factors such as prepayment rates and current market conditions. Significant errors in assumptions used to compute gains on sale of these loans or servicing asset valuations could result in material revenue misstatements, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and profitability.
If we breach any of the representations or warranties we make to a purchaser of our mortgage loans, we may be liable to the purchaser for certain costs and damages.
When we sell or securitize mortgage loans in the ordinary course of business, we are required to make certain representations and warranties to the purchaser about the mortgage loans and the manner in which they were originated. Under these agreements, we may be required to repurchase mortgage loans if we have breached any of these representations or warranties, in which case we may record a loss. In addition, if repurchase and indemnity demands increase on loans that we sell from our portfolios, our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
The non-guaranteed portion of SBA loans that we retain on our balance sheet as well as the guaranteed portion of SBA loans that we sell could expose us to various credit and default risks.
We originated $83.0 million and $141.1 million, respectively, of SBA loans (total commitment basis) during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022. During the same time periods, we sold $82.3 million and $122.9 million, respectively, of the guaranteed portion of our SBA loans. As of December 31, 2023, we held $150.8 million of SBA loans on our balance sheet, $141.1 million of which consisted of the non-guaranteed portion of SBA loans and $9.6 million or 6.4% consisted of the guaranteed portion of SBA loans. The non-guaranteed portion of SBA loans have a higher degree of risk of loss as compared to the guaranteed portion of such loans, and these non-guaranteed loans make up a substantial majority of our remaining SBA loans. When we sell the guaranteed portion of SBA loans in the ordinary course of business, we are required to make certain representations and warranties to the purchaser about the SBA loan and the manner in which they were originated.
Under these agreements, we may be required to repurchase the guaranteed portion of the SBA loan if we have breached any of these representations or warranties, in which case we may record a loss. In addition, if repurchase and indemnity demands increase on loans that we sell from our portfolios, our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. Further, we generally retain the non-guaranteed portions of the SBA loans that we originate and sell, and to the extent the borrowers of such loans experience financial difficulties, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
Many of our loans are to commercial borrowers, which have a higher degree of risk than other types of loans.
At December 31, 2023 we had $1.91 billion of commercial loans, consisting of $1.57 billion of CRE loans and $342.0 million of C&I loans, for which real estate is not the primary source of collateral. Commercial loans represented 82.4% of our total loan portfolio at December 31, 2023. Commercial loans are often larger and involve greater risks than other types of lending. Because payments on such loans are often dependent on the successful operation or development of the property or business involved, repayment of such loans is often more sensitive than other types of loans to adverse conditions in the real estate market or the general business climate and economy.
Our high concentration in commercial real estate could cause our regulators to restrict our ability to grow and could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
CRE lending continues to be a significant focus of federal and state bank regulators with multiple guidelines issued in an attempt by regulators to manage CRE lending risk across the banking system. These various guidelines and pronouncements were issued in response to the agencies’ concerns that rising CRE concentrations might expose institutions to unanticipated earnings and capital volatility in the event of adverse changes in the CRE market. For example, bank regulators have issued guidance which refer to as the CRE Concentration Guidance that identifies certain CRE concentration levels that, if exceeded, will expose an institution to additional supervisory analysis with regard to the institution’s CRE concentration risk.

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The CRE Concentration Guidance is designed to promote appropriate levels of capital and sound loan and risk management practices for institutions with a concentration of CRE loans. In general, the CRE Concentration Guidance establishes the following supervisory criteria as preliminary indications of possible CRE concentration risk: (i) the institution’s total construction, land development and other land loans represent 100% or more of total risk-based capital; or (ii) total CRE loans as defined in the regulatory guidelines represent 300% or more of total risk-based capital, and the institution’s CRE loan portfolio has increased by 50% or more during the prior 36-month period. Pursuant to the CRE Concentration Guidelines, loans secured by owner-occupied CRE are not included for purposes of CRE Concentration calculation. As of December 31, 2023, using regulatory definitions in the CRE Concentration Guidance, our CRE loans represented 280.7% of our total risk-based capital, as compared to 253.9%, 269.8% and 256.1% as of December 31, 2022, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The FDIC may become concerned about our CRE loan concentrations, and they may inhibit our organic growth by restricting our ability to execute on our strategic plan.
Our residential mortgage loan product consists primarily of non-qualified residential mortgage loans which may be considered riskier and less liquid than qualified residential mortgage loans.
As of December 31, 2023, our residential mortgage loan portfolio amounted to $389.4 million or 16.8% of our total loans held-for-investment portfolio. As of such date, all of our residential mortgage loans consisted of non-qualified residential mortgage loans. Non-qualified loans are residential loans that do not comply with certain standards set by the Dodd-Frank Act and its related regulations. These non-qualified residential mortgage loans are considered to have a higher degree of risk and are less liquid than qualified mortgage loans. We offer two residential mortgage products: a lower LTV, alternative document non-qualified residential mortgage loan, and a qualified residential mortgage loan.
We originated non-qualified residential mortgage loans of $63.4 million and $177.1 million, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022. We originated qualified residential mortgage loans of $0 and $400 thousand, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022. As of December 31, 2023, our non-qualified residential mortgage loans had a weighted average LTV of 65.3% and a weighted average Fair Isaac Corporation (“FICO”) score of 761.
Our non-qualified residential mortgage loans are designed to assist Asian-Americans who have recently immigrated to the U.S. or are self-employed business owners and as such are willing to provide higher down payment amounts and pay higher interest rates and fees in return for documentation requirements more accommodative for self-employed borrowers. Non-qualified residential mortgage loans are considered less liquid than qualified residential mortgage loans because such loans cannot be securitized and can only be sold directly to other financial institutions. Such non-qualified residential mortgage loans may be considered riskier than qualified mortgage loans. Despite the original intention to hold to maturity for our non-qualified residential mortgage loans at the time of origination, we may sell these loans in the secondary market if opportunity arises. However, these loans also present pricing risk as rates change, and our sale premiums cannot be guaranteed. Further, the criteria for our loans to be purchased by other investors may change from time to time, which could limit our ability to sell these loans in the secondary market. Mortgage production, including refinancing activity, historically declines in rising interest rate environments. While we have been experiencing historically low interest rates over the last five years, this low interest rate environment likely will not continue indefinitely. Consequently, when interest rates increase further, our mortgage production may not continue at current levels.
Curtailment of government guaranteed loan programs could affect a segment of our business.
A significant segment of our business consists of originating and periodically selling the U.S. government guaranteed loans, in particular those guaranteed by the SBA. Presently, the SBA guarantees 75% to 85% of the principal amount of each qualifying SBA loan originated under the SBA’s 7(a) loan program. The U.S. government may not maintain the SBA 7(a) loan program, and even if it does, such guaranteed portion may not remain at its current level. In addition, from time to time, the government agencies that guarantee these loans reach their internal limits and cease to guarantee future loans. In addition, these agencies may change their rules for qualifying loans or Congress may adopt legislation that would have the effect of discontinuing or changing the loan guarantee programs. Therefore, if these changes occur, the volume of loans to small business and industrial borrowers of the types that now qualify for government guaranteed loans could decline. Also, the profitability of the sale of the guaranteed portion of these loans could decline as a result of market displacements due to increases in interest rates, and premiums realized on the sale of the guaranteed portions could decline from current levels.
As the funding and sale of the guaranteed portion of SBA 7(a) loans is a major portion of our business and a significant portion of our noninterest income, any significant changes to the funding for the SBA 7(a) loan program may have an unfavorable impact on our prospects, future performance and results of operations. The gain on sale of SBA loans was $3.6 million and $8.0 million, respectively, or 33.4% and 55.1%, respectively, of the total noninterest income, for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022.

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The small- and medium-sized businesses that we lend to may have fewer resources to weather adverse business developments, which may impair a borrower’s ability to repay a loan, and such impairment could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We target our business development and marketing strategy primarily to serve the banking and financial services needs of small- to medium-sized businesses. These businesses generally have fewer financial resources in terms of capital or borrowing capacity than larger entities, frequently have smaller market shares than their competitors, may be more vulnerable to economic downturns, often need substantial additional capital to expand or compete and may experience substantial volatility in operating results, any of which may impair a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. In addition, the success of a small and medium-sized business often depends on the management talents and efforts of one or two people or a small group of people, and the death, disability or resignation of one or more of these people could have a material adverse impact on the business and its ability to repay its loan. If general economic conditions negatively impact the markets in which we operate and small to medium-sized businesses are adversely affected or our borrowers are otherwise affected by adverse business developments, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Real estate construction loans are based upon estimates of costs and values associated with the complete project. These estimates may be inaccurate, and we may be exposed to significant losses on loans for these projects.
Real estate construction loans, including land development loans, comprised approximately 1.1% of our total loans held-for-investment portfolio as of December 31, 2023, and such lending involves additional risks because funds are advanced upon the security of the project, which is of uncertain value prior to its completion, and costs may exceed realizable values in declining real estate markets. Because of the uncertainties inherent in estimating construction costs and the realizable market value of the completed project and the effects of governmental regulation of real property, it is relatively difficult to evaluate accurately the total funds required to complete a project and the related LTV ratio.
The risks inherent in construction lending may affect adversely our results of operations. Such risks include, among other things, the possibility that contractors may fail to complete, or complete on a timely basis, construction of the relevant properties; substantial cost overruns in excess of original estimates and financing; market deterioration during construction; and lack of permanent take-out financing. Loans secured by such properties also involve additional risks because they have no operating history. In these loans, loan funds are advanced upon the security of the project under construction (which is of uncertain value prior to completion of construction) and the estimated operating cash flow to be generated by the completed project. Such properties may not be sold or leased so as to generate the cash flow anticipated by the borrower. A general decline in real estate sales and prices across the U.S. or locally in the relevant real estate market, a decline in demand for residential property, economic weakness, high rates of unemployment and reduced availability of mortgage credit are some of the factors that can adversely affect the borrowers’ ability to repay their obligations to us and the value of our security interest in collateral, and thereby adversely affect our results of operations and financial results.
Nonperforming assets take significant time to resolve and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition, and could result in further losses in the future.
As of December 31, 2023, our nonperforming loans (“NPLs”) held-for-investment totaled $3.9 million, or 0.17% of our loans held-for-investment portfolio. Our NPAs, which include NPLs and other real estate owned (“OREO”), totaled $6.5 million, or 0.23% of total assets. A loan is placed on nonaccrual status if: (i) it is maintained on a cash basis because of deterioration in the financial condition of the borrower, (ii) payment in full of principal or interest is not expected, or (iii) principal or interest has been in default for a period of 90 days or more, unless the loan is both well secured and in the process of collection. In addition, we had $1.4 million in accruing loans that were 30-89 days past due as of December 31, 2023.
Our NPAs adversely affect our net income in various ways. We do not record interest income on nonaccrual loans or OREO, which adversely affects our net income and returns on assets and equity, increases our loan administration costs and adversely affects our efficiency ratio. When we take collateral in foreclosure and similar proceedings, we are required to mark the collateral to its then-fair market value, which may result in a loss. These NPLs and OREO also increase our risk profile and the level of capital our regulators believe is appropriate for us to maintain in light of such risks. The resolution of NPAs requires significant time commitments from management and can be detrimental to the performance of their other responsibilities. If we experience increases in NPLs and NPAs, our net interest income may be negatively impacted and our loan administration costs could increase, each of which could have an adverse effect on our net income and related ratios, such as return on assets and equity.

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Real estate market volatility and future changes in our disposition strategies could result in net proceeds that differ significantly from our other real estate owned fair value appraisals.
As of December 31, 2023, we had OREO of $2.6 million on our books. OREO typically consists of properties that we obtain through foreclosure or through an in-substance foreclosure in satisfaction of an outstanding loan. The Company initially records OREO at fair value at the time of foreclosure. Thereafter, OREO is recorded at the lower of cost or fair value based on their subsequent changes in fair value. The fair value of OREO is generally based on recent real estate appraisals adjusted for estimated selling costs. Generally, in determining fair value, an orderly disposition of the property is assumed, unless a different disposition strategy is expected. Significant judgment is required in estimating the fair value of OREO property, and the period of time within which such estimates can be considered current is significantly shortened during periods of market volatility.
In response to market conditions and other economic factors, we may utilize alternative sale strategies other than orderly disposition as part of our OREO disposition strategy, such as immediate liquidation sales. In this event, as a result of the significant judgments required in estimating fair value and the variables involved in different methods of disposition, the net proceeds realized from such sales transactions could differ significantly from the appraisals, comparable sales and other estimates used to determine the fair value of our OREO properties.
We could be exposed to risk of environmental liabilities with respect to properties to which we take title.
In the course of our business, we may foreclose and take title to real estate, and could be subject to environmental liabilities with respect to these properties. We may be held liable to a governmental entity or to third-parties for property damage, personal injury, investigation and clean-up costs incurred by these parties in connection with environmental contamination, or may be required to investigate or clean up hazardous or toxic substances, or chemical releases at a property. The costs associated with investigation or remediation activities could be substantial. In addition, if we are the owner or former owner of a contaminated site, we may be subject to common law claims by third-parties based on damages and costs resulting from environmental contamination emanating from the property. If we become subject to significant environmental liabilities, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows may be materially and adversely affected.
Risks Related to Our Deposits
Competition among U.S. banks for customer deposits is intense and may increase the cost of retaining current deposits or procuring new deposits.
Any changes we make to the rates offered on our deposit products to remain competitive with other financial institutions may adversely affect our profitability and liquidity. Interest-bearing deposit accounts earn interest at rates established by management based on competitive market factors. Our cost of deposits increased from 0.62% for the year ended December 31, 2022, to 2.87% for the year ended December 31, 2023. The demand for the deposit products we offer may also be reduced due to a variety of factors, such as demographic patterns, changes in customer preferences, reductions in consumers’ disposable income, regulatory actions that decrease customer access to particular products, or the availability of competing products.
A large percentage of our deposits is attributable to a relatively small number of customers, which could adversely affect our liquidity, financial condition and results of operations.
Our ten largest depositor relationships, excluding wholesale deposits, accounted for approximately 8.7% of our deposits at December 31, 2023. Our largest depositor relationship accounted for approximately 1.4% of our deposits at December 31, 2023. The Bank maintained brokered deposits of $303.7 million and $87.0 million, respectively, and deposits from California State Treasurer of $60.0 million and $60.0 million, respectively, at December 31, 2023 and 2022. Federal banking law and regulation place restrictions on depository institutions regarding brokered deposits. Due to the short-term nature of the deposit balances maintained by our large depositors, the deposit balances they maintain with us may fluctuate. The loss of one or more of our ten largest customers, or a significant decline in the deposit balances due to ordinary course fluctuations related to these customers’ businesses, would be likely to adversely affect our liquidity and require us to raise deposit interest rates to attract new deposits, purchase federal funds or borrow funds on a short term basis to replace such deposits. Depending on the interest rate environment and competitive factors, low cost deposits may need to be replaced with higher cost funding, resulting in a decrease in net interest income and net income.

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Risks Related to Our Management
We are highly dependent on key personnel and the loss of one or more of those key personnel may materially and adversely affect our ability to execute on our strategic plan, existing and prospective customer relationships, growth prospects, and results of operations.
Competition for qualified employees and personnel in the banking industry is intense and there are a limited number of qualified persons with knowledge of and experience in the community banking industry generally, and in community banking focused on Korean-Americans specifically. The process of recruiting personnel with the combination of skills and attributes required to carry out our strategies can often be lengthy. Our success depends to a significant degree upon our ability to attract and retain qualified management, loan and deposit origination, administrative, marketing and technical personnel and upon the continued contributions of our management and personnel. In addition, our continued success will be highly dependent on retaining the current executive management team, which includes, but is not limited to, executive and senior management, finance, lending, credit administration, and other professionals at the Company and the Bank level who work directly with the management team to implement the strategic direction of the Company’s and the Bank’s Boards of Directors. We believe this management team, comprised principally of long-time employees who have worked in the banking industry for a number of years, is integral to implementing our business strategy. The loss of the services of any one of them could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Allowance for Credit Losses and Other Accounting Estimates
Accounting estimates and risk management processes rely on analytical models that may prove inaccurate resulting in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The processes we use to estimate current expected credit losses and to measure the fair value of financial instruments, as well as the processes used to estimate the effects of changing interest rates and other market measures on our financial condition and results of operations, depend upon the use of analytical models. These models reflect assumptions that may not be accurate, particularly in times of market stress or other unforeseen circumstances. Even if these assumptions are adequate, the models using those assumptions may prove to be inadequate or inaccurate because of other flaws in their design or their implementation. If the models we use for interest rate risk and asset-liability management are inadequate, we may incur increased or unexpected losses upon changes in market interest rates or other market measures. If the models we use for determining our current expected loan losses are inadequate, the ACL may not be sufficient to support future charge-offs. If the models we use to measure the fair value of financial instruments are inadequate, the fair value of such financial instruments may fluctuate unexpectedly or may not accurately reflect what we could realize upon sale or settlement of such financial instruments. Any such failure in our analytical models could result in losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our allowance for credit losses may not be adequate to cover actual losses in our loan portfolio.
A significant source of risk arises from the possibility that losses could be sustained because borrowers, guarantors and related parties may fail to perform in accordance with the terms of their loans and leases. The underwriting and credit monitoring policies and procedures that the Bank has adopted to address this risk may not prevent unexpected losses and such losses could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. These unexpected losses may arise from a wide variety of specific or systemic factors, many of which are beyond our ability to predict, influence or control.
Like all financial institutions, the Bank maintains an ACL to provide for loan defaults and non-performance. ACL on loans, expressed as a percentage of loans held-for-investment, was 1.19%, 1.22% and 1.29%, respectively, at December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021. ACL is funded from a provision (reversal) for credit losses, which is a charge to our income statement. Our provision (reversal) for credit losses, was $(132) thousand, $3.6 million and $(4.6) million, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021.
The determination of an appropriate level of allowance for credit losses is an inherently difficult process and is based on numerous assumptions. The amount of future losses is susceptible to changes in economic, operating and other conditions, including changes in interest rates that may be beyond our control, and these losses may exceed current estimates. For these reasons, our allowance for credit losses may not be adequate to cover actual loan losses, and future provision for credit losses could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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Risks Related to Our Growth Strategy
We may not be able to continue growing our business, particularly if we cannot increase loans and deposits through organic growth because of constrained capital resources or other reasons.
We have grown our consolidated assets from $1.75 billion as of December 31, 2019 to $2.79 billion as of December 31, 2023, and our deposits from $1.48 billion as of December 31, 2019 to $2.35 billion as of December 31, 2023. We intend to continue to grow our business through organic loan and deposit growth, and we anticipate that much of our future growth will be dependent on our ability to successfully implement our organic growth strategy, which may include establishing additional branches or LPOs in new or existing markets. A risk exists, however, that we will not be able to gain regulatory approval or identify suitable locations and management teams to execute this strategy. Further, our ability to grow organically loan and deposits is dependent on the financial health of our target demographic of Korean-Americans, which is in turn based on the financial health not only of their relevant geographic locations in the U.S. but also more broadly on the economic health of Korea. A decline in economic and business conditions in our market areas or in Korea could have a material impact on our loan portfolio or the demand for our products or services, which in turn may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Operations in our LPOs have positively affected our results of operations, and sustaining these operations and growing loans may be more difficult than we expect, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
We maintain seven LPOs that primarily originate SBA loans. During the year ended December 31, 2023, these LPOs accounted for approximately 11.4% of new loans originated by the Bank. Sustaining the expansion of loan production through use of these out of state LPOs depends on a number of factors, including the continued strength of the markets in which our offices are located and identifying, hiring and retaining critical personnel. The strength of these markets could be weakened by anticipated increases in interest rates and any economic downturn. Moreover, competition for successful business developers and relationship managers in the SBA loan industry is fierce, and we may not be able to attract and retain the personnel we need to profitably operate our LPOs. Unsuccessful operation of our out of state LPOs could negatively impact our financial condition and results of operation.
Risks Related to Our Capital
We are subject to stringent capital requirements.
We are subject to capital adequacy and liquidity rules and other regulatory requirements specifying minimum amounts and types of capital that must be maintained. From time to time, banking regulators implement changes to these regulatory capital adequacy and liquidity guidelines.
The failure to meet applicable regulatory capital requirements could result in one or more of our regulators placing limitations or conditions on our activities, including our growth initiatives, or restricting the commencement of new activities, and could affect customer and investor confidence, our costs of funds and FDIC insurance costs, our ability to pay dividends on our common stock, our ability to make acquisitions, and our business, results of operations and financial conditions, generally.
We may need to raise additional capital in the future, and if we fail to maintain sufficient capital, whether due to losses, an inability to raise additional capital or otherwise, our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations, as well as our ability to maintain regulatory compliance, would be adversely affected.
We face significant capital and other regulatory requirements as a financial institution. We will likely need to raise additional capital in the future to provide us with sufficient capital resources and liquidity to meet our commitments and business needs. In addition, the Company, on a consolidated basis, and the Bank, on a stand-alone basis, must meet certain regulatory capital requirements and maintain sufficient liquidity. Importantly, regulatory capital requirements could increase from current levels, which could require us to raise additional capital or contract our operations. Our ability to raise additional capital depends on conditions in the capital markets, economic conditions and a number of other factors, including investor perceptions regarding the banking industry, market conditions and governmental activities, and significantly on our financial condition and performance. Accordingly, we may not be able to raise additional capital if needed or, if we can raise capital, we may not be able to do so on terms acceptable to us. If we fail to maintain capital to meet regulatory requirements or if we fail to raise capital for operations when needed or opportune, our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations would be materially and adversely affected.

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The Company relies on dividends from the Bank to pay cash dividends, repurchase shares and fund its operating expenses.
The Company is a separate legal entity from its subsidiary, the Bank. The Company receives substantially all of its revenue from the Bank in the form of dividends, which is the Company’s principal source of funds to pay cash dividends to the Company's shareholders, repurchase shares and cover operational expenses of the holding company. Various federal and state laws and regulations limit the amount of dividends that the Bank may pay to Company. In the event that the Bank is unable to pay dividends to Company, Company may not be able to pay dividends to its shareholders and pay interest on the subordinated debentures. As a result, it could have an adverse effect on Company's stock price and investment value.
Under federal law, the Bank’s payment of capital distributions to the Company may be limited or prohibited if, for example, the Bank does not maintain adequate levels of capital based on regulatory guidelines or by actions taken by our regulators. In addition, as a California bank, the Bank is subject to state law restrictions on the payment of dividends.
Legislative and Regulatory Risks
We are subject to extensive government regulation that could limit or restrict our activities, which in turn may adversely impact our ability to increase our assets and earnings.
We operate in a highly regulated environment and are subject to supervision and regulation by a number of governmental regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, the CDFPI and the FDIC. Regulations adopted by these agencies, which are generally intended to provide protection for depositors and customers rather than for the benefit of shareholders, govern a comprehensive range of matters relating to ownership and control of our shares, our acquisition of other companies and businesses, permissible activities for us to engage in, maintenance of adequate capital levels, and other aspects of our operations. These bank regulators possess broad authority to prevent or remedy unsafe or unsound practices or violations of law. The laws and regulations applicable to the banking industry could change at any time and we cannot predict the effects of these changes on our business, profitability or growth strategy. Increased regulation could increase our cost of compliance and adversely affect profitability.
The Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the CDFPI periodically examine our business, including our compliance with laws and regulations. If, as a result of an examination, a banking agency were to determine that our financial condition, capital resources, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity or other aspects of any of our operations had become unsatisfactory, or that we were in violation of any law or regulation, they may take a number of different remedial actions as they deem appropriate.
Moreover, certain of these regulations contain significant punitive sanctions for violations, including monetary penalties and limitations on a bank’s ability to implement components of its business plan, such as expansion through mergers and acquisitions or the opening of new branch offices. In addition, changes in regulatory requirements may add costs associated with compliance efforts. Furthermore, government policy and regulation, particularly as implemented through the Federal Reserve, significantly affect credit conditions. Negative developments in the financial industry and the impact of new legislation and regulation in response to those developments could negatively impact our business operations and adversely impact our financial performance.
We are subject to numerous laws designed to protect consumers, including the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws, and failure to comply with these laws could lead to a wide variety of sanctions.
The CRA, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act and other fair lending laws and regulations prohibit discriminatory lending practices by financial institutions. The U.S. Department of Justice, federal banking agencies and other federal agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and regulations. A challenge to an institution’s compliance with fair lending laws and regulations could result in a wide variety of sanctions, including damages and civil money penalties, injunctive relief, restrictions on mergers and acquisitions activity, restrictions on expansion and restrictions on entering new business lines. Private parties may also challenge an institution’s performance under fair lending laws in private class action litigation. Such actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. In addition, federal, state and local laws have been adopted that are intended to eliminate certain lending practices considered “predatory.” These laws prohibit practices such as steering borrowers away from more affordable products, selling unnecessary insurance to borrowers, repeatedly refinancing loans and making loans without a reasonable expectation that the borrowers will be able to repay the loans irrespective of the value of the underlying property. It is our policy not to make predatory loans, but these laws create the potential for liability with respect to our lending and loan investment activities. They increase our cost of doing business and, ultimately, may prevent us from making certain loans and cause us to reduce the average percentage rate or the points and fees on loans that we do make.

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Monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition to being affected by general economic conditions, our earnings and growth are affected by the policies of the Federal Reserve. An important function of the Federal Reserve is to regulate the money supply and credit conditions. Among the instruments used by the Federal Reserve to implement these objectives are open market purchases and sales of U.S. government securities, adjustments of the discount rate and changes in banks’ reserve requirements against bank deposits. These instruments are used in varying combinations to influence overall economic growth and the distribution of credit, bank loans, investments and deposits. Their use also affects interest rates charged on loans or paid on deposits.
The monetary policies and regulations of the Federal Reserve have had a significant effect on the operating results of commercial banks in the past and are expected to continue to do so in the future. Importantly, the Federal Reserve recently and aggressively raised its benchmark federal funds rate in an attempt to combat inflation. This has had a direct effect on financial institutions like us. Further increases by the Federal Reserve could impact, among other elements of our business and operations, our net interest margin as deposit costs generally increase alongside general market interest rate increases following Federal Reserve actions, loan demand may suffer as the cost of credit to borrowers increases, and any economic downturn that results from increased interest rates caused by the Federal Reserve’s actions could impact our borrowers’ ability to repay their loans. The effects of such policies upon our business, financial condition and results of operations cannot be predicted precisely, but the effects on our financial condition and results of operations could be severely and negatively impacted.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
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Item 1C. Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Risk Management and Strategy
As a financial institution, the Company’s business depends on the continuous operation of its information and data processing systems and the security of information received from customers, employees and others. The Company has developed and implemented a cybersecurity program intended to protect the reliability of its critical systems and the confidentiality of nonpublic information.
The Company has designed and assess its cybersecurity program based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (“NIST CSF”) and the guidance of banking and other regulatory agencies. The Company’s information security team has primary responsibility for overall cybersecurity risk management program. The Company’s cybersecurity professionals are led by the Information Security Officer, who has over 23 years of experience in the information technology field, including over 3 years of experience focusing solely on the cybersecurity space. The Information Security Officer has Security+ and Network+ certifications and is currently working on obtaining CISSP. The Company’s cybersecurity risk management is integrated as part of its overall risk management program, and the Company’s Chief Risk Officer, Information Security Officer in conjunction with Chief Information Officer work together to develop and maintain the cybersecurity program.
In addition to its own employees, the Company engages third party service providers to provide security products and services as needed, using their expertise to evaluate and enhance its cybersecurity program and to inform employees regarding evolving threats, risks and defensive measures. Generally, these third party service providers are managed by the Information Security Officer and Chief Information Officer.
Features of the cybersecurity risk management program include:
Technology solutions designed to prevent, detect and mitigate cybersecurity incidents.
Review, testing and assessments of the Company’s cybersecurity systems, both internal and using third party service providers with cybersecurity expertise.
Required cybersecurity training for employees to learn about data security, how to identify and mitigate potential cybersecurity risks and how to protect our resources and information.
Specialized security training for members of the risk management, cybersecurity and technology teams that includes information about evolving cybersecurity threats and new risk mitigation and detection technologies.
Processes to assess, identify and manage the material risks from cybersecurity threats include the risks arising from threats associated with third-party service providers, including technology providers and cloud-based platforms.
A cybersecurity incident response plan that includes procedures for responding to cybersecurity incidents and facilitates coordination and communication across multiple parts of the Company.
On-going assessment of the adequacy of the cybersecurity program.
Like many financial institutions, the Company has experienced cyber-based attacks and other attempts to compromise its information systems and expects that it will continue to experience these attacks and attempts in the future. In 2021, the Bank was the target of a ransomware attack in which an external actor illegally accessed and/or acquired certain data on its network. As a result, the Bank was sued in a purported class action lawsuit. The lawsuit is currently in process of settlement, subject to final court approval. See “Item 3. Legal Proceedings,” above. While the Company has not identified other known risks from previous cybersecurity threats that have materially affected or are reasonably likely to materially affect the Company, like all financial institutions, the Company faces ongoing risks from certain cybersecurity threats that, if realized, are reasonably likely to materially affect its business, results of operations, or financial condition. See Item 1A – Risk Factors – “Risk Related to our Business -- System failure or breaches of our network security could subject us to increased operating costs as well as litigation and other liabilities.,” above.
Cybersecurity Governance
The Company’s Board of Directors and its Risk and Compliance Committee are responsible for overseeing the Company’s cybersecurity program and polices. The Company’s management, led by the Chief Risk Officer and Information Security Officer in conjunction with Chief Information Officer, is responsible for designing and implementing the program. The Chief Risk Officer and Information Security Officer regularly report to the Risk and Compliance Committee regarding management’s implementation of the cybersecurity program, cybersecurity risks and threat, assessments of the Company’s cybersecurity systems and the planning and status project to strength the Company’s information security. The Company’s cybersecurity incident response plan requires that management promptly advise of the Risk and Compliance Committee of any material cybersecurity incident. The Chair of the Risk and Compliance Committee regularly reports to the Board on cybersecurity risks and other matters reviewed by the Committee. Board members may attend Risk and Compliance Committee meetings where cybersecurity issues are discussed and have access to the materials for each Risk and Compliance Committee meeting.
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Item 2. Properties
As of December 31, 2023, the Company’s headquarters office is located at 3701 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 900, Los Angeles, California 90010. This office is located in the Wilshire Center/Koreatown District of Los Angeles and houses the Company’s management unit, including compliance and Bank Security Act groups, information technology, SBA lending management, branch management, CRE and C&I lending groups, credit administration and administrative groups. The lease expires in September 2033. The Bank leases all of its LPO and retail branch locations.
The Bank maintains 16 branch locations, with eight in Los Angeles County (three in Koreatown, Rowland Heights, Downtown Fashion District, Cerritos, Torrance and Little Tokyo), three in Orange County (Fullerton, Buena Park and Irvine), three on the East Coast (Bayside, New York; and Englewood Cliffs and Palisades Park, New Jersey), and two in Texas (Carrollton and Dallas) as of December 31, 2023. The Bank also maintains seven LPOs located in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California; Annandale, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; Aurora, Colorado; Bellevue, Washington; and Carrollton, Texas.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
In the normal course of business, the Company is involved in various legal claims. The Company has reviewed all legal claims with counsel and has taken into consideration the views of such counsel as to the potential outcome of the claims in determining the accrued loss contingency. The Company had accrued loss contingencies of $40 thousand for certain legal claims at December 31, 2023. It is reasonably possible the Company may incur losses in addition to the amounts currently accrued. However, at this time, the Company is unable to estimate the range of additional losses that are reasonably possible because of a number of factors, including the fact that certain of these litigation matters are still in their early stages and involve claims for which, at this point, the Company believes have little to no merit. Management has considered these and other possible loss contingencies and does not expect the amounts to be material to the consolidated financial statements.
On August 30, 2021, the Bank identified unusual activity on its network. The Bank responded promptly to disable the activity, investigate its source and monitor the Bank’s network. The Bank subsequently became aware of claims that it had been the target of a ransomware attack. On September 7, 2021, the Bank determined that an external actor had illegally accessed and/or acquired certain data on its network. The Bank worked with third-party forensic investigators to understand the nature and scope of the incident and determine what information may have been accessed and/or acquired and who may have been impacted. The investigation revealed that this incident impacted certain files containing certain Bank customer information. Some of these files contained documents related to loan applications, such as tax returns, Form W-2 information of their employees, and payroll records. The Bank has notified all individuals identified as impacted, consistent with applicable laws. All impacted individuals were offered free Equifax Complete Premier credit monitoring and identify theft protection services. The Bank has notified law enforcement and appropriate authorities of the incident.
On December 16, 2021, Plaintiff Min Woo Bae, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court a complaint based on the incident for damages, injunctive relief, and equitable relief, styled Min Woo Bae v. Pacific City Bank, Case Number 21STCV45922 (“the Matter”). During the three months ended September 30, 2023, the Bank agreed to settle this matter in exchange for $700 thousand to the putative class members, including costs of settlement administration, and attorneys’ fees and costs. The Bank received preliminary court approval of the settlement and notice was provided to members of the proposed class during the three months ended September 30, 2023. However, due to the low claims rate by the members of the proposed class, Plaintiff had requested and the Court had agreed to extend the claims deadline for another 45 days. March 21, 2024 is now the new claims deadline. No new final approval hearing date has been set by the Court.
The Company expects that the full amount of the final settlement will be covered under the Company’s applicable insurance policies.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
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Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The Company’s common stock (symbol: PCB) is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. The approximate number of holders of record of the Company’s common stock as of December 31, 2023 was 236. Certain shares are held in “nominee” or “street” name and accordingly, the number of beneficial owners of such shares is somewhat greater.
Dividend Policy
The Company’s shareholders are entitled to receive dividends only if, when and as declared by the Board of Directors and out of funds legally available therefore. It has been the Company’s policy to pay quarterly dividends to holders of its common stock and the Company currently intends to continue paying quarterly dividends. However, the Board of Directors may change or eliminate the payment of future dividends at its discretion, without notice to the shareholders.
Any future determination to pay dividends to the shareholders will depend on the Company’s results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, banking regulations, payment of dividends on preferred stock, contractual restrictions and any other factors that the Board of Directors may deem relevant. The Company’s profitability and regulatory capital ratios, in addition to other financial conditions, will be key factors in determining the payment of dividends. For additional information, see “Forward-Looking Statements” immediately preceding Part I, and Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Dividend Restrictions
As a bank holding company, the Company’s ability to pay dividends is affected by the policies and enforcement powers of the Federal Reserve. In addition, the Company is dependent upon the payment of dividends by the Bank as the principal source of funds for the Company to pay dividends in the future, if any, and to make other payments. The Bank is also subject to various legal, regulatory and other restrictions on its ability to pay dividends and make other distributions and payments to its holding company, PCB Bancorp. For additional information, see “Supervision and Regulation - The Company - Dividend Payments, Stock Redemptions and Stock Repurchases” included in Item 1 and Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Issuer Purchase of Equity Securities
There were no unregistered sales of equity securities during the year ended December 31, 2023.
The following table presents share repurchase activities during the periods indicated:
($ in thousands, except per share data)Total Number of Shares PurchasedAverage Price Paid Per ShareTotal Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Program
Number of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Program
From October 1, 2023 to October 31, 202359,474 $15.39 59,474 $593,324 
From November 1, 2023 to November 30, 2023600 14.99 600 592,724 
From December 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023— — — 592,724 
Total60,074 $15.39 60,074 
On July 28, 2022, the Company’s Board of Directors approved a repurchase program authorizing the repurchase of up to 5% of the Company’s outstanding common stock, which represented 747,938 shares, through February 1, 2023. On January 26, 2023, the Company announced that it has extended the program expiration from February 1, 2023 to February 1, 2024. The Company completed the repurchase of all shares under this program during the three months ended March 31, 2023. The Company repurchased and retired 747,938 shares of common stock at a weighted-average price of $18.15 per share, totaling $13.6 million under this repurchase program under this program.
On August 2, 2023, the Company’s Board of Directors approved a new repurchase program authorizing the repurchase of up to 5% of the Company’s outstanding common stock, which represented 720,000 shares, through August 2, 2024. The Company repurchased and retired 127,276 shares of common stock at a weighted-average price of $15.58 per share, totaling $2.0 million under this repurchase program through December 31, 2023.
36


Item 6. Reserved
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
You should read the following discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations together with the Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying notes included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of many factors, including those set forth under Item 1A “Risk Factors” and “Forward Looking Statements” immediately preceding Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Critical Accounting Estimates
The Company follows accounting and reporting policies and procedures that conform, in all material respects, to GAAP and to practices generally applicable to the financial services industry, the most significant of which are described in Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The preparation of Consolidated Financial Statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make judgments and accounting estimates that affect the amounts reported for assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses on the Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying notes, and amounts disclosed as contingent assets and liabilities. While the Company bases estimates on historical experience, current information and other factors deemed to be relevant, actual results could differ from those estimates. Accounting estimates are necessary in the application of certain accounting policies and procedures that are particularly susceptible to significant change. Critical accounting policies are defined as those that require the most complex or subjective judgment and are reflective of significant uncertainties, and could potentially result in materially different results under different assumptions and conditions
The following is a summary of the more subjective and complex accounting estimates and principles affecting the financial condition and results reported in financial statements. In each area, the Company has identified the variables that management believes to be the most important in the estimation process. The Company uses the best information available to make the estimations necessary to value the related assets and liabilities in each of these areas.
Allowance for Credit Losses
On January 1, 2023, the Company adopted the provisions of ASC 326, “Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326)” Instruments. The adoption of ASC 326 changes the way the Company estimates the ACL on certain financial assets. The adoption of ASC 326 requires the Company to measure and record current expected credit losses for financial assets within the scope of ASC 326, which the Company currently consist substantially of loans, off-balance sheet credit exposures and securities available-for-sale. Measuring credit losses under the current expected credit losses (“CECL”) framework requires a significant amount of judgment, including the incorporation of reasonable and supportable forecasts about future conditions that may ultimately impact the level of credit losses the Company may recognize. Under the CECL framework, current expected credit losses are recorded on financial assets within the scope of ASC 326 at the time of their origination or acquisition.
Estimating expected credit losses requires management to use relevant forward-looking information, including the use of reasonable and supportable forecasts. The measurement of the ACL is performed by collectively evaluating loans with similar risk characteristics. The Company’s discounted cash flow methodology incorporates a probability of default (“PD”) and loss given default (“LGD”) model, as well as expectations of future economic conditions, using reasonable and supportable forecasts.
The use of reasonable and supportable forecasts requires significant judgment, such as selecting forecast scenarios, as well as determining the appropriate length of the forecast horizon. Management leverages economic projections from a reputable and independent third party to inform and provide its reasonable and supportable economic forecasts. Although no one economic variable can fully demonstrate the sensitivity of the ACL estimate to changes in economic variables used in the ACL model, the Company utilized changes in U.S. unemployment rate and year-over-year change in real gross domestic product (“GDP”) growth rate as its key economic variables. Other internal and external indicators of economic forecasts may also be considered by management when developing the forecast metrics. The Company’s ACL model reverts to long-term average loss rates for purposes of estimating expected cash flows beyond a period deemed reasonable and supportable. The Company forecasts economic conditions and expected credit losses over a one-year time horizon. Beyond the one-year forecast time horizon, the Company’s ACL model reverts to historical long-term average loss rates over one-year period.

37


Within the various economic scenarios considered as of December 31, 2023, the quantitative estimate of the ACL would increase by approximately $7.7 million under sole consideration of the more adverse downside scenario. The quoted sensitivity calculation reflects the sensitivity of the modeled ACL estimate to macroeconomic forecast data, but is absent of qualitative overlays and other qualitative adjustments that are part of the quarterly reserving process and does not necessarily reflect the nature and extent of future changes in the ACL for reasons including increases or decreases in qualitative adjustments, changes in the risk profile and size of the portfolio, changes in the severity of the macroeconomic scenario and the range of scenarios under management consideration.
A portion of the collectively evaluated ACL on loans also includes qualitative adjustments for risk factors not reflected or captured by the quantitative modeled ACL but are relevant in estimating future expected credit losses. Qualitative adjustments may be related to and include, but not limited to factors such as: (i) management’s assessment of economic forecasts used in the model and how those forecasts align with management’s overall evaluation of current and expected economic conditions, (ii) organization-specific risks such as credit concentrations, collateral specific risks, regulatory risks, and external factors that may ultimately impact credit quality, (iii) potential model limitations such as limitations identified through back-testing, and other limitations associated with factors such as underwriting changes, acquisition of new portfolios and changes in portfolio segmentation, and (iv) management’s overall assessment of the adequacy of the ACL, including an assessment of ACL model data inputs.
Although management uses the best information reasonably available to derive estimates and assumptions necessary to measure an appropriate level of the ACL, these estimates and assumptions are subject to change in future periods, which may have a material impact on the level of the ACL and the Company’s results of operations.
As a part of the adoption of ASC 326, the Company reviewed and revised certain loan segments for the Company’s ACL model. Before the adoption of ASC 326, commercial property and SBA property loans were separately presented and represented 63.0% and 6.6% of loans held-for-investment at December 31, 2022, respectively. The Company re-divided these loan segments into commercial property, business property and multifamily loans, as described below, as these new loan segments are determined to share similar characteristics under the Company’s ACL model. In addition, four loan segments before the adoption of ASC 326 (commercial term loans, commercial lines of credit, SBA term loans and SBA PPP loans), which represented 12.2% of loans held-for-investment at December 31, 2022, are combined into a single loan segment, commercial and industrial loans, as these loans are determined to share similar risk characteristics under the Company’s ACL model. However, loan related disclosures for prior periods continue to be presented under the legacy loan segments in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Loan portfolio segments identified by the Company include: commercial real estate (commercial property, business property, multifamily and construction), commercial and industrial, and consumer loans (residential mortgage and other consumer).
Each loan segment bears varying degrees of risk based on, among other things, the type of loan and collateral, and the sensitivity of the borrower or industry to changes in external factors such as economic conditions and interest rate changes. The loan segments are as following:
Commercial Real Estate Loans:
Commercial property loans – Commercial property loans include loans for which the Company holds real property as collateral, but where the borrower does not occupy the underlying property. The primary risks associated with investor property loans include the borrower’s inability to pay, material decreases in the value of the real estate that is being held as collateral, significant increases in interest rates, changes in market rents, and vacancy and conditions of the underlying property, any of which may make the real estate property unprofitable to the borrower. Real estate loans may be more adversely affected by conditions in the real estate markets or in the general economy.
Business property loans – Business property loans include loans for which the Company holds real property as collateral and where the underlying property is occupied by the borrower, such as with a place of business. These loans are primarily underwritten based on the cash flows of the business and secondarily on the real estate. The primary risks associated with business property loans include the borrower’s inability to pay, material decreases in the value of the real estate that is being held as collateral, and significant increases in interest rates, which reduce the cash flows of the underlying business. Real estate loans may be more adversely affected by conditions in the real estate markets or in the general economy.
Multifamily loans: Multifamily loans are secured by multi-tenant (5 or more units) residential real properties. Payments on multifamily loans are dependent on the successful operation or management of the properties, and repayment of these loans may be subject to adverse conditions in the real estate market or the economy.

38


Construction loans: Construction loans are considered to have higher risks due to construction completion and timing risk, and the ultimate repayment being sensitive to interest rate changes, government regulation of real property, and the availability of long-term financing. Additionally, economic conditions may impact the Company’s ability to recover its investment in construction loans, as adverse economic conditions may negatively impact the real estate market, which could affect the borrower’s ability to complete and sell the project. The fair value of the underlying collateral may fluctuate as market conditions change. The primary risks include the borrower’s inability to pay and the inability of the Company to recover its investment due to a decline in the fair value of the underlying collateral.
Commercial and Industrial Loans:
Commercial and industrial loans – The C&I loan category includes commercial term loans and commercial lines of credit. Commercial term loans are typically extended to finance business acquisitions, permanent working capital needs, and/or equipment purchases. Commercial lines of credit are generally provided to finance short-term working capital needs and mortgage warehouse lending credit facilities. Mortgage warehouse lending is a line of credit given to a loan originator, the funds from which are used to finance a mortgage that a borrower uses to purchase single-family residential property or refinance an existing mortgage. The primary risk associated with C&I loans is the difference between expected and actual cash flows of the borrowers. In addition, the recoverability of the Company’s investment in these loans is also dependent on other factors primarily dictated by the type of collateral securing these loans, and occasionally upon other borrower assets and guarantor assets.
Consumer Loans
Residential mortgage loans – The primary risks of residential mortgage loans include the borrower’s inability to pay, material decreases in the value of the real estate that is being held as collateral, and significant increases in interest rates, which may reduce the borrower’s capacity to pay.
Other consumer loans – Other consumer loans primarily include automobile loans, as well as unsecured lines of credit and term loans to high net worth individuals. Automobile loans have relatively higher LTV ratios on average and carry higher interest rates to offset for the inherently higher default risks. Unsecured lines of credit and term consumer loans are underwritten primarily based on the individual borrower’s income, current debt level, and past credit history. Repayment of these loans is dependent on the borrower’s ability to pay, and the fair value of the underlying collateral for automobile loans.
ACL and provision (reversal) for credit losses for reporting periods beginning with January 1, 2023 are presented under ASC 326, while prior period amounts, comparisons and related ratios continue to be presented under legacy ASC 450 and ASC 310 in this Annual Report on Form 10-K .
Please also see Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 1 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional discussion.
39


Non-GAAP Measures
The Company uses certain non-GAAP financial measures to provide meaningful supplemental information regarding the Company’s operational performance and to enhance investors’ overall understanding of such financial performance. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company’s financial performance, financial position or cash flows that exclude (or include) amounts that are included in (or excluded from) the most directly comparable measure calculated, and presented in accordance with GAAP. However, these non-GAAP financial measures are supplemental and are not a substitute for an analysis based on GAAP measures and may not be comparable to non-GAAP financial measures that may be presented by other companies.
The following tables present reconciliation of return on average tangible common equity, tangible common equity per common share and tangible common equity to tangible assets ratios to their most comparable GAAP measures as of the dates or for the periods indicated. These non-GAAP measures are used by management in its analysis of the Company's performance.
Year Ended December 31,
($ in thousands)
2023
202220212020
2019
Average total shareholders' equity$340,508 $306,440 $242,766 $228,553 $221,576 
Less: average preferred stock69,141 42,053 — — — 
Average tangible common equity$271,367 $264,387 $242,766 $228,553 $221,576 
Net income$30,705 $34,987 $40,103 $16,175 $24,108 
Return on average shareholders' equity9.02 %11.42 %16.52 %7.08 %10.88 %
Return on average tangible common equity11.31 %13.23 %16.52 %7.08 %10.88 %
December 31,
($ in thousands, except per share data)
2023
202220212020
2019
Total shareholders' equity$348,872 $335,442 $256,286 $233,788 $226,834 
Less: preferred stock69,141 69,141 — — — 
Tangible common equity$279,731 $266,301 $256,286 $233,788 $226,834 
Outstanding common shares14,260,440 14,625,474 14,865,825 15,385,878 15,707,016 
Book value per common share$24.46 $22.94 $17.24 $15.19 $14.44 
Tangible common equity per common share$19.62 $18.21 $17.24 $15.19 $14.44 
Total assets$2,789,506 $2,420,036 $2,149,735 $1,922,853 $1,746,328 
Total shareholders' equity to total assets12.51 %13.86 %11.92 %12.16 %12.99 %
Tangible common equity to total assets10.03 %11.00 %11.92 %12.16 %12.99 %

40


Five-Year Summary of Selected Financial Data
The following table presents certain selected financial data as of the dates or for the periods indicated:
As of or For the Year Ended December 31,
($ in thousands, except per share data)20232022202120202019
Selected balance sheet data:
Cash and cash equivalents$242,342 $147,031 $203,285 $194,098 $146,228 
Securities available-for-sale143,323 141,863 123,198 120,527 97,566 
Securities held-to-maturity— — — — 20,154 
Loans held-for-sale5,155 22,811 37,026 1,979 1,975 
Loans held-for-investment2,323,452 2,046,063 1,732,205 1,583,578 1,450,831 
ACL on loans (1)
(27,533)(24,942)(22,381)(26,510)(14,380)
Total assets2,789,506 2,420,036 2,149,735 1,922,853 1,746,328 
Total deposits2,351,612 2,045,983 1,867,134 1,594,851 1,479,307 
Shareholders’ equity348,872 335,442 256,286 233,788 226,834 
Selected income statement data:
Interest income$151,177 $101,751 $81,472 $79,761 $92,945 
Interest expense62,673 12,119 4,335 13,572 23,911 
Net interest income88,504 89,632 77,137 66,189 69,034 
Provision (reversal) for credit losses (1)
(132)3,602 (4,596)13,219 4,237 
Noninterest income10,683 14,499 18,434 11,740 11,869 
Noninterest expense56,057 51,126 43,208 41,699 42,315 
Income before income taxes43,262 49,403 56,959 23,011 34,351 
Income tax expense12,557 14,416 16,856 6,836 10,243 
Net income30,705 34,987 40,103 16,175 24,108 
Per share data:
Earnings per common share, basic$2.14 $2.35 $2.66 $1.05 $1.52 
Earnings per common share, diluted2.12 2.31 2.62 1.04 1.49 
Book value per common share (2)
24.46 22.94 17.24 15.19 14.44 
Tangible common equity per common share (8)
19.62 18.21 17.24 15.19 14.44 
Cash dividends declared per common share0.69 0.60 0.44 0.40 0.25 
Outstanding share data:
Number of common shares outstanding14,260,440 14,625,474 14,865,825 15,385,878 15,707,016 
Weighted-average common shares outstanding, basic14,301,691 14,822,018 15,017,637 15,384,231 15,873,383 
Weighted-average common shares outstanding, diluted14,417,938 15,065,175 15,253,820 15,448,892 16,172,282 
Selected performance ratios:
Return on average assets1.20 %1.54 %1.96 %0.84 %1.40 %
Return on average shareholders’ equity9.02 %11.42 %16.52 %7.08 %10.88 %
Return on average tangible common equity (8)
11.31 %13.23 %16.52 %7.08 %10.88 %
Dividend payout ratio (3)
32.24 %25.53 %16.54 %38.10 %16.45 %
Efficiency ratio (4)
56.52 %49.10 %45.21 %53.51 %52.30 %
Yield on average interest-earning assets6.10 %4.63 %4.05 %4.25 %5.53 %
Cost of average interest-bearing liabilities4.05 %1.08 %0.41 %1.15 %2.09 %
Net interest spread2.05 %3.55 %3.64 %3.10 %3.44 %
Net interest margin (5)
3.57 %4.08 %3.83 %3.53 %4.11 %
Total loans to total deposits ratio (6)
99.02 %101.12 %94.76 %99.42 %98.21 %
41


As of or For the Year Ended December 31,
($ in thousands, except per share data)20232022202120202019
Asset quality:
Loans 30 to 89 days past due and still accruing
$1,428 $134 $554 $338 $1,818 
Loans past due 90 days or more and still accruing
— — — — 287 
Nonaccrual loans held-for-investment3,916 3,360 994 3,163 2,537 
NPLs held-for-investment3,916 3,360 994 3,163 2,824 
NPLs held-for-sale— 4,000 — — — 
Total NPLs3,916 7,360 994 3,163 2,824 
NPAs (7)
6,474 7,360 994 4,564 2,824 
Net charge-offs (recoveries)(1,027)1,041 (467)1,089 3,024 
Loans 30 to 89 days past due and still accruing to loans held-for-investment
0.06 %0.01 %0.03 %0.02 %0.13 %
Nonaccrual loans held-for-investment to loans held-for-investment0.17 %0.16 %0.06 %0.20 %0.17 %
Nonaccrual loans held-for-investment to ACL on loans (1)
14.22 %13.47 %4.44 %11.93 %17.64 %
NPLs held-for-investment to loans held-for-investment0.17 %0.16 %0.06 %0.20 %0.19 %
NPLs held-for-investment to ACL on loans (1)
14.22 %13.47 %4.44 %11.93 %19.64 %
NPAs to total assets0.23 %0.30 %0.05 %0.24 %0.16 %
ACL on loans (1) to loans held-for-investment
1.19 %1.22 %1.29 %1.67 %0.99 %
ACL on loans (1) to nonaccrual loans held-for-investment
703.09 %742.32 %2,251.61 %838.13 %566.81 %
ACL on loans (1) to NPLs held-for-investment
703.09 %742.32 %2,251.61 %838.13 %509.21 %
Net charge-offs (recoveries) to average loans held-for-investment(0.05)%0.06 %(0.03)%0.07 %0.22 %
Capital ratios:
Shareholders’ equity to total assets
12.51 %13.86 %11.92 %12.16 %12.99 %
Tangible common equity to total assets (8)
10.03 %11.00 %11.92 %12.16 %12.99 %
Average equity to average assets
13.35 %13.49 %11.86 %11.94 %12.88 %
PCB Bancorp
Common tier 1 capital (to risk-weighted assets)
12.23 %13.29 %14.79 %15.97 %15.87 %
Total capital (to risk-weighted assets)
16.39 %17.83 %16.04 %17.22 %16.90 %
Tier 1 capital (to risk-weighted assets)
15.16 %16.62 %14.79 %15.97 %15.87 %
Tier 1 capital (to average assets)
13.43 %14.33 %12.11 %11.94 %13.23 %
PCB Bank
Common tier 1 capital (to risk-weighted assets)
14.85 %16.30 %14.48 %15.70 %15.68 %
Total capital (to risk-weighted assets)
16.07 %17.52 %15.73 %16.95 %16.71 %
Tier 1 capital (to risk-weighted assets)
14.85 %16.30 %14.48 %15.70 %15.68 %
Tier 1 capital (to average assets)
13.16 %14.05 %11.85 %11.74 %13.06 %
(1)    ACL and provision (reversal) for credit losses for the year ended December 31, 2023 are presented under ASC 326, while prior period comparisons continue to be presented under legacy ASC 450 and ASC 310. Provision (reversal) for credit losses on off-balance sheet credit exposures of $85 thousand, $(24) thousand, $(63) thousand and $162 thousand, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019 were recorded in Other Expense on the Consolidated Income Statement.
(2)    Shareholders' equity divided by common shares outstanding.
(3)    Dividends declared per common share divided by basic earnings per common share.
(4)    Noninterest expenses divided by the sum of net interest income and noninterest income.
(5)    Net interest income divided by average total interest-earning assets.
(6)    Total loans include both loans held-for-sale and loans held-for-investment.
(7)    NPAs include total NPLs (nonaccrual loans plus loans past due 90 days or more and still accruing) and other real estate owned.
(8)    Non-GAAP measure. See "Non-GAAP Measures" for a reconciliation to its most comparable GAAP measure.
42



Executive Summary
Financial Highlights
Net income was $30.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, a decrease of $4.3 million, or 12.2%, from $35.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2022 and a decrease of $9.4 million, or 23.4%, from $40.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2021;
Provision (reversal) for credit losses (1) was $(132) thousand, $3.6 million and $(4.6) million for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Diluted earnings per common share was $2.12, $2.31 and $2.62 for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Net interest margin was 3.57%, 4.08% and 3.83% for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Total assets were $2.79 billion at December 31, 2023, an increase of $369.5 million, or 15.3%, from $2.42 billion at December 31, 2022;
Loans held-for-investment were $2.32 billion at December 31, 2023, an increase of $277.4 million, or 13.6%, from $2.05 billion at December 31, 2022;
Total deposits were $2.35 billion at December 31, 2023, an increase of $305.6 million, or 14.9%, from $2.05 billion at December 31, 2022;
The Company declared and paid cash dividends of $0.69, $0.60, and $0.44 per common share for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively; and
The Company purchased and retired 512,657, 362,557 and 680,269 shares of common stock for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
(1)     Provision (reversal) for credit losses for the year ended December 31, 2023 is presented under ASC 326, while prior period comparisons continue to be presented under legacy ASC 450 and ASC 310. Provision (reversal) for credit losses on off-balance sheet credit exposures of $85 thousand and $(24) thousand, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 was recorded in Other Expense on the Consolidated Income Statement.
The decrease in net income for the year ended December 31, 2023 compared with the year ended December 31, 2022 was primarily due to an increase in noninterest expense, decreases in noninterest income and net interest income, partially offset by reversal for credit losses of $132 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2023 compared with provision for credit losses of $3.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2022.
The decrease in net income for the year ended December 31, 2022 compared with the year ended December 31, 2021 was primarily due to an increase in noninterest expense, a decrease in noninterest income and additional provision for loan losses, partially offset by an increase in net interest income.
The increase in total assets for the year ended December 31, 2023 was primarily due to increases in cash and cash equivalents, loans held-for-investment and operating lease assets. The increase in operating lease assets was primarily due to renewal and expansion of the Company’s headquarters and a new location for relocation of a regional office and branches. The Company plans to relocate and consolidate a regional office and two branches into one location in Orange County, California in 2024.
The Company is committed to making corporate decisions that directly benefit its shareholders, and during the year ended December 31, 2023, increased its dividend per common share by $0.09, or 15.0%, to $0.69 from $0.60 for the year ended December 31, 2022. During the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company also repurchased 512,657 shares of common stock, totaling $8.8 million. Overall, the Company returned 61.0% of its earnings to common shareholders through dividends and common share repurchases during the year ended December 31, 2023.
Result of Operations
Net Interest Income
A principal component of the Company’s earnings is net interest income, which is the difference between the interest and fees earned on loans and investments and the interest paid on deposits and borrowed funds. Net interest income expressed as a percentage of average interest-earning assets is referred to as the net interest margin. The net interest spread is the yield on average interest-earning assets less the cost of average interest-bearing liabilities. Net interest income is affected by changes in the balances of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities and changes in the yields earned on interest-earning assets and the rates paid on interest-bearing liabilities.
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The following table presents interest income, average interest-earning assets, interest expense, average interest-bearing liabilities, and their correspondent yields and costs expressed both in dollars and rates for the periods indicated:
Year Ended December 31,
202320222021
($ in thousands)Average BalanceInterestYield/CostAverage BalanceInterestYield/CostAverage BalanceInterestYield/Cost
Interest-earning assets:
Total loans (1)
$2,137,851 $136,029 6.36 %$1,872,557 $95,054 5.08 %$1,702,073 $79,155 4.65 %
Mortgage-backed securities98,903 3,001 3.03 %89,066 1,826 2.05 %89,693 989 1.10 %
Collateralized mortgage obligation25,466 1,039 4.08 %23,479 545 2.32 %22,633 221 0.98 %
SBA loan pool securities8,166 325 3.98 %10,309 208 2.02 %10,515 189 1.80 %
Municipal securities - tax exempt (2)
3,788 126 3.33 %4,874 140 2.87 %5,755 146 2.54 %
Corporate bonds4,273 188 4.40 %4,810 188 3.91 %1,841 68 3.69 %
Interest-bearing deposits in other financial institutions186,850 9,621 5.15 %184,502 3,212 1.74 %170,814 220 0.13 %
FHLB and other bank stock11,959 848 7.09 %9,703 578 5.96 %8,539 484 5.67 %
Total interest-earning assets2,477,256 151,177 6.10 %2,199,300 101,751 4.63 %2,011,863 81,472 4.05 %
Noninterest-earning assets:
Cash and due from banks
21,565 20,735 19,676 
ACL on loans
(25,495)(22,125)(25,270)
Other assets76,444 73,951 41,187 
Total noninterest-earning assets72,514 72,561 35,593 
Total assets$2,549,770 $2,271,861 $2,047,456 
Interest-bearing liabilities:
Deposits:
NOW and money market accounts$470,750 16,190 3.44 %$504,275 4,970 0.99 %$400,446 1,242 0.31 %
Savings7,499 18 0.24 %14,068 0.06 %12,302 0.05 %
Time deposits1,059,985