10-K 1 tv515722_10k.htm FORM 10-K tv515722_10k - none - 25.8291168s
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2018
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: 001-38483
BAYCOM CORP
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
California
37-1849111
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
500 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, California
94596
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (925) 476-1800
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Common Stock, no par value per share
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
(Title of Each Class)
(Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. YES ☐ NO ☒
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. YES ☐ NO ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. YES ☒ NO ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files) YES ☒ NO ☐
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ☒
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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). YES ☐ NO ☒
The aggregate market value of the common stock held by nonaffiliates of the registrant, based on the closing sales price of the registrant’s common stock as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on June 30, 2018, was $269.0 million (10,869,275 shares at $24.75 per share). For purposes of this calculation, common stock held by officers and directors of the registrant was included.
As of March 12, 2019, the registrant had 10,891,564 shares of common stock issued and outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE: None.

BAYCOM CORP
2018 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
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As used throughout this report, the terms “we,” “our,” “us,” “BayCom,” or the “Company” refer to BayCom Corp and its consolidated subsidiary, United Business Bank, which we sometimes refer to as the “Bank,” unless the context otherwise requires.
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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain matters discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to our financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance or business. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical fact, are based on certain assumptions and are generally identified by use of the words “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “forecasts,” “intends,” “plans,” “targets,” “potentially,” “probably,” “projects,” “outlook” or similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “would” and “could.” Forward-looking statements include statements with respect to our beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, expectations, assumptions and statements about, among other things, expectations of the business environment in which we operate, projections of future performance or financial items, perceived opportunities in the market, potential future credit experience, and statements regarding our mission and vision. These forward-looking statements are based upon current management expectations and may, therefore, involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results, performance, or achievements may differ materially from those suggested, expressed, or implied by forward-looking statements as a result of a wide variety or range of factors including, but not limited to:

expected revenues, cost savings, synergies and other benefits from our recent merger with Bethlehem Financial Corporation (“BFC”) or our pending merger with Uniti Financial Corporation (the “Uniti Merger”) might not be realized within the expected time frames or at all and costs or difficulties relating to integration matters, including but not limited to customer and employee retention, might be greater than expected;

the credit risks of lending activities, including changes in the level and trend of loan delinquencies and write-offs and changes in our allowance for loan losses and provision for loan losses;

changes in economic conditions in general and in California, Washington, and New Mexico;

changes in the levels of general interest rates and the relative differences between short and long-term interest rates, loan and deposit interest rates;

our net interest margin and funding sources;

fluctuations in the demand for loans, the number of unsold homes, land and other properties and fluctuations in real estate values in our market areas;

secondary market conditions for loans and our ability to sell loans in the secondary market;

results of examinations of us by regulatory authorities and the possibility that any such regulatory authority may, among other things, limit our business activities, require us to change our business mix, increase our allowance for loan and lease losses, write-down asset values or increase our capital levels, affect our ability to borrow funds or maintain or increase deposits;

risks related to our acquisition strategy, including our ability to identify future suitable acquisition candidates, exposure to potential asset and credit quality risks and unknown or contingent liabilities, the need for capital to finance such transactions, our ability to obtain required regulatory approvals and possible failures in realizing the anticipated benefits from acquisitions;

challenges arising from attempts to expand into new geographic markets, products, or services;

future goodwill impairment due to changes in our business, market conditions, or other factors;

legislative or regulatory changes that adversely affect our business including changes in banking, securities and tax law, and regulatory policies and principles, or the interpretation of regulatory capital or other rules, including changes related to Basel III;

the impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and the implementing regulations;

our ability to attract and retain deposits;

our ability to control operating costs and expenses;
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the use of estimates in determining fair value of certain of our assets and liabilities, which estimates may prove to be incorrect and result in significant changes in valuation;

difficulties in reducing risk associated with the loans and securities on our balance sheet;

staffing fluctuations in response to product demand or the implementation of corporate strategies that affect our work force and potential associated charges;

the effectiveness of our risk management framework;

disruptions, security breaches, or other adverse events, failures or interruptions in, or attacks on, our information technology systems or on the third-party vendors who perform several of our critical processing functions, which could expose us to litigation or reputational harm;

an inability to keep pace with the rate of technological advances;

our ability to retain key members of our senior management team and our ability to attract, motivate and retain qualified personnel;

costs and effects of litigation, including settlements and judgments;

our ability to implement our business strategies and manage our growth;

liquidity issues, including our ability to borrow funds or raise additional capital, if necessary;

the loss of our large loan and deposit relationships;

increased competitive pressures among financial services companies;

changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits;

the availability of resources to address changes in laws, rules, or regulations or to respond to regulatory actions;

adverse changes in the securities markets;

inability of key third-party providers to perform their obligations to us;

statements with respect to our intentions regarding disclosure and other changes resulting from the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (“JOBS Act”);

changes in accounting principles, policies or guidelines and practices, as may be adopted by the financial institution regulatory agencies, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board or the Financial Accounting Standards Board;

other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory, and technological factors affecting our operations, pricing, products and services; and

the other risks detailed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).
In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking statements discussed in this report might not occur, and you should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Moreover, you should treat these statements as speaking only as of the date they are made and based only on information then actually known to us. We do not undertake and specifically disclaim any obligation to revise any forward-looking statements included in this report or the reasons why actual results could differ from those contained in such statements, whether as a result of new information or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements. These risks could cause our actual results for 2019 and beyond to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements by, or on behalf of us and could negatively affect our consolidated financial condition and consolidated results of operations as well as our stock price performance.
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PART I
Item 1. Business
The disclosures set forth in this item are qualified by “Item 1A. Risk Factors” below and the section captioned “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” above and other cautionary statements set forth elsewhere in this report.
Overview
General.   BayCom is a bank holding company headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. BayCom’s wholly owned banking subsidiary, United Business Bank, provides a broad range of financial services to businesses and business owners as well as individuals through its network of 22 full service branches and one loan production office located in California, with a majority of our branches located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Washington and Central New Mexico. The Company’s business activities generally are limited to passive investment activities and oversight of its investment in the Bank. Accordingly, the information set forth in this report, including consolidated financial statements and related data, relate primarily to the Bank.
Our principal objective is to continue to increase shareholder value and generate consistent earnings growth by expanding our commercial banking franchise through both strategic acquisitions and organic growth. We believe our strategy of selectively acquiring and integrating community banks has provided us with economies of scale and improved our overall franchise efficiency. We expect to continue to pursue strategic acquisitions and believe our targeted market areas present us with many and varied acquisition opportunities. We are also focused on continuing to grow organically and believe the markets in which we operate currently provide meaningful opportunities to expand our commercial client base and increase our current market share. We believe our geographic footprint, which includes the San Francisco Bay area and the metropolitan markets of Los Angeles and Seattle and other community markets including Albuquerque, New Mexico, provides us with access to low cost, stable core deposits in community markets that we can use to fund commercial loan growth. We strive to provide an enhanced banking experience for our clients by providing them with a comprehensive suite of sophisticated banking products and services tailored to meet their needs, while delivering the high-quality, relationship-based client service of a community bank.
As of December 31, 2018, we had, on a consolidated basis, total assets of  $1.5 billion, total deposits of $1.3 billion, total loans, including loans held for sale, of  $971.0 million (net of allowances) and total shareholders’ equity of  $200.8 million.
Our History and Growth.   In January 2017, the Company became the holding company for the Bank. The Bank commenced banking operations as Bay Commercial Bank in July 2004 and changed the name to United Business Bank in April 2017, following our acquisition of United Business Bank, FSB in April 2017.
The Bank was founded in March 2004 as California state chartered commercial bank, by a group of Walnut Creek business and community leaders, including George Guarini, who serves as our Chief Executive Officer. The severe economic recession beginning in 2008 and the ongoing consolidation in the banking industry created an opportunity for our management team and board to build an attractive commercial banking franchise and create long-term value for our shareholders by employing an acquisition strategy that focuses on opportunities that grow our product portfolio and expand the business geographically.
Since 2010, we have implemented our vision of becoming a strategic consolidator of community banks and a destination for seasoned bankers and business persons who share our entrepreneurial spirit. While not without risk, we believe there are certain advantages resulting from mergers and acquisitions. These advantages include, among others, the diversification of our loan portfolio with seasoned loans, the expansion of our market areas and an effective method to augment our growth and risk management infrastructure through the retention of local lending personnel and credit administration personnel to manage the client relationships of the banks being acquired.
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We believe we have a successful track record of selectively acquiring, integrating and consolidating community banks. Since 2010, we have completed a series of six acquisitions with aggregate total assets of approximately $1.1 billion and total deposits of approximately $904.1 million. We have sought to integrate the banks we acquire into our existing operational platform and enhance shareholder value through the creation of efficiencies within the combined operations.
In April 2017, we completed our largest acquisition to date when we acquired First ULB Corp (“FULB”), the bank holding company for United Business Bank, FSB, headquartered in Oakland, California. This acquisition increased our deposits by approximately $428.0 million, consisting primarily of lower cost stable core deposits from a strong network of relationships with labor unions. At the time of acquisition, United Business Bank, FSB had total assets of approximately $473.1 million, which significantly increased our total asset size and provided us with nine full-service banking offices in Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose and Glendale, California; and Seattle, Washington and Albuquerque, New Mexico. This acquisition significantly increased our total asset size, expanded our geographic footprint and added low cost, stable deposits associated with a strong network of relationship with labor unions.
In November 2017, we acquired Plaza Bank, with one branch located in Seattle, Washington. At the time of the acquisition, Plaza Bank had total assets of approximately $75.8 million and deposits of $54.2 million.
In November 2018, we acquired Bethlehem Financial Corporation (“BFC”), the bank holding company for MyBank, headquartered in Belin, New Mexico, and paid a total of  $23.5 million in cash for all of the outstanding equity securities of BFC. MyBank operated through five branches serving Central New Mexico. At the time of acquisition, MyBank had approximately $157.8 million in total assets and $135.5 million in deposits.
Our Initial Public Offering.   We completed the underwritten initial public offering (“IPO”) of our common stock on May 8, 2018, where we sold an aggregate of 3,278,900 shares of our common stock at a price to the public of  $22.00 per share. Our common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on May 4, 2018 under the ticker symbol “BCML.”
Recent Developments.   On December 7, 2018, the Company entered into a definitive agreement with Uniti Financial Corporation (“Uniti”), the holding company for Uniti Bank. Pursuant to the merger agreement Uniti will merge with and into the Company, with the Company as the surviving corporation in the merger. Immediately after the merger, Uniti Bank, a California state-chartered bank and wholly owned subsidiary, will merge with and into the Bank, with the Bank as the surviving bank. The transaction was unanimously approved and adopted by the Board of Directors of each company and is expected to be completed in the second calendar quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and approval of Uniti’s shareholders.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, holders of Uniti common stock will receive (i) $2.30 in cash and (ii) 0.07234 shares of Company common stock for each share of Uniti common stock. The aggregate transaction consideration is valued at approximately $63.9 million in aggregate based on the closing price of our common stock of  $23.39 on December 7, 2018. The total value of the transaction consideration will fluctuate until closing based on the value of the Company’s stock price. Upon consummation of the transaction, the shareholders of Uniti will own approximately 9.3% of the Company. At December 31, 2018, Uniti had approximately $345.8 million in total assets, $267.4 million in total loans, $295.9 million in total deposits and $47.7 million in stockholders’ equity.
Our Markets
We target our services to small and medium-sized businesses, professional firms, real estate professionals, nonprofit businesses, labor unions and related nonprofit entities and businesses and individual consumers within California, Seattle, Washington and Central New Mexico. We generally lend in markets where we have a physical presence through our branch offices. We operate primarily in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California Metropolitan Statistical Area (“MSA”) with additional operations in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California MSA, with Northern California responsible for 66.5% and Southern California responsible for 11.3% of our loan portfolio as of December 31, 2018.
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A majority of our branches are located in the San Francisco Bay Area which includes the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma, California. The greater San Francisco Bay Area contains two significant MSAs — the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward MSA and the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSA. With a population of approximately 4.7 million, the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward MSA represents the second most populous area in California and the twelfth largest in the United States. In addition to its current size, the market also demonstrates key characteristics we believe provide the opportunity for additional growth, including projected population growth of 5.9% through 2022 versus the national average of 3.7%, a median household income of  $88,685 versus a national average of  $57,462, and the third highest population density in the nation. The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSA also demonstrates key characteristics that provide us growth opportunities, including a population of approximately 2.0 million, projected population growth of 6.0% through 2022, and a median household income of  $101,689.
We operate two branch offices and one loan production office in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim California MSA. The greater Los Angeles area is one of the most significant business markets in the world and with an estimated gross domestic product of approximately $1 trillion, it would rank as the 16th largest economy in the world. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim California MSA maintains a population of approximately 13.5 million, the most populous area in California and the second largest in the United States. We believe the market’s projected population growth of 4.2% through 2022, its median household income of  $64,343, large concentration of small and medium-sized businesses, and its highest population density in the nation position the area as an attractive market in which to expand operations.
We serve the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade MSA through one branch office. With a population of approximately 2.3 million, the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade MSA includes the city of Sacramento, the state capital of California. The population is projected to grow 5.1% through 2022 and the median household income is approximately $63,727. State and local government make up the largest employers, while transportation, health services, technology, agriculture and mining are important industries for the region.
We serve the Stockton-Lodi MSA in Central California though two branch offices. The market area has a population of approximately 740,596, which is projected to grow 5.4% through 2022, and a median household income of approximately $56,705. The area has a diverse industry mix, including agriculture, e-fulfillment centers, advanced manufacturing, data centers/call centers, and service industries.
We serve the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue MSA, which includes King County (which includes the city of Seattle), through two branch offices. King County has the largest population of any county in the state of Washington, covers approximately 2,100 square miles, and is located on Puget Sound. It had approximately 2.2 million residents, which is projected to grow 7.5% through 2022, and a median household income of approximately $81,089. King County has a diversified economic base with many employers from various industries including shipping and transportation (Port of Seattle, Paccar, Inc. and Expeditors International of Washington, Inc.), retail (Amazon.com, Inc., Starbucks Corp. and Nordstrom, Inc.) aerospace (the Boeing Company) and computer technology (Microsoft Corp.) and biotech industries.
We serve the Albuquerque MSA, in Central New Mexico the most populous city in the state of New Mexico through six branch offices we recently acquired from FULB and BFC. The Albuquerque MSA has a population of approximately 911,171, ranking it as the 60th MSA in the country. The Albuquerque MSA population is projected to grow approximately 1.7% through 2022, and its median household income is approximately $50,192. Top industries in Albuquerque include aerospace and defense (Honeywell), energy technology including solar energy (SCHOTT Solar), and semiconductor and computer chip manufacturing (Intel Corp). In addition, the MyBank acquisition provided five branch offices in the Central New Mexico area.
Lending
We provide a comprehensive suite of financial solutions that competes with large, national competitors, but with the personalized attention and nimbleness of a relationship-focused community bank. We provide our commercial clients with a diverse array of cash management services.
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A general description of the range of commercial banking products and other services we offer follows.
Lending Activities.   We offer a full range of lending products, including commercial and multi-family real estate loans (including owner-occupied and investor real estate loans), commercial and industrial loans (including equipment loans and working capital lines of credit), U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loans, construction and land loans, agriculture-related loans and consumer loans. Our preference is for owner-occupied real estate and commercial and industrial loans. We also offer consumer loans predominantly as an accommodation to our commercial clients, which include installment loans, unsecured and secured personal lines of credit, and overdraft protection. Lending activities originate from the relationships and efforts of our bankers. We are a preferred lender under the SBA loan program.
We may periodically purchase whole loans and loan participation interests or participate in syndicates originating new loans, including shared national credits, primarily during periods of reduced loan demand in our primary market areas and at times to support our Community Reinvestment Act lending activities. Any such purchases or loan participations are made generally consistent with our underwriting standards; however, the loans may be located outside of our normal lending areas. During the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, we purchased $15.0 million and $5.8 million, respectively, of loans and loan participation interests, principally commercial and industrial and multi-family real estate loans.
We are a business-focused community bank, serving small and medium-sized businesses, trade unions and their related businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals located in our markets. We do not target any specific industries or business segments, rather we look to the quality of the client relationship. We attempt to differentiate ourselves by having an attentive and focused approach to our clients and utilizing, to the fullest extent possible, the flexibility that results from being an independently owned and operated bank. We focus on establishing and building strong financial relationships with our clients, using a trusted advisor and relationship approach. We emphasize personalized “relationship banking,” where the relationship is predicated on ongoing client contact, client access to decision makers, and our understanding of the clients’ business, market and competition which allows us to better meet the needs of our clients.
At December 31, 2018, we had net loans, excluding loans held for sale, of  $970.2 million, representing 65.6% of our total assets. For additional information concerning our loan portfolio, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Comparison of Financial Condition at December 31, 2018 and 2017 — Loans”, contained in this report.
Concentrations of Credit Risk.   Most of our lending is conducted with businesses and individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our loan portfolio consists primarily of commercial real estate loans, including multi-family and construction loans, which totaled $749.3 million and constituted 76.8% of total loans as of December 31, 2018. Commercial and industrial loans totaled $121.9 million and constituted 12.5% of total loans as of December 31, 2018. Our commercial real estate loans are generally secured by first liens on real property. The commercial and industrial loans are typically secured by general business assets, accounts receivable inventory and/or the corporate guaranty of the borrower and personal guaranty of its principals. The geographic concentration of our loans subjects our business to the general economic conditions within California, Washington and New Mexico. The risks created by such concentrations have been considered by management in the determination of the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses. Management believes the allowance for loan losses is adequate to cover probable incurred losses in our loan portfolio as of December 31, 2018.
Comprehensive risk management practices and appropriate capital levels are essential elements of a sound commercial real estate lending program. A concentration in commercial real estate adds a dimension of risk that compounds the risk inherent in individual loans. Interagency bank guidance on commercial real estate concentrations describe sound risk management practices which include board and management oversight, portfolio management, management information systems, market analysis, portfolio stress testing and sensitivity analysis, credit underwriting standards and credit risk review functions. Management believes it has implemented these practices in order to monitor the commercial real estate concentrations in our loan portfolio.
Large Credit Relationships.   As of December 31, 2018, the aggregate amount of loans to our 10 and 25 largest borrowers (including related entities) amounted to approximately $151.3 million, or 14.1% of total loans, and $178.5 million, or 18.3% of total loans, respectively. The table below shows our five largest
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borrowing relationships as of December 31, 2018 in descending order. Each of the loans in these borrowing relationships is currently performing in accordance with the loan repayment terms as of December 31, 2018.
Borrower Type
Number of
loans
Loan Type
Total
Commercial
& Industrial
CRE
Owner
Occupied
CRE
Non-Owner
Occupied
Construction
(Dollars in thousands)
Commercial real estate investor
4 $ $ 9,231 $ 14,923 $ $ 24,154
Commercial real estate investor
3 15,256 8,131 23,387
Commercial real estate investor
11 4,450 11,253 5,543 21,246
Commercial real estate investor
5 12,208 12,208
Commercial real estate investor
1 12,087 12,087
Total
24 $ 4,450 $ 20,484 $ 60,017 $ 8,131 $ 93,082
See also “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business — Our high concentration of large loans to certain borrowers may increase our credit risk.”
Loan Underwriting and Approval.   Historically, we believe we have made sound, high quality loans, while recognizing that lending money involves a degree of business risk. Our current loan origination activities are governed by established policies and procedures intended to mitigate the risks inherent to the types of collateral and borrowers financed by us. These policies provide a general framework for our loan origination, monitoring and funding activities, while recognizing that not all risks can be anticipated. Our Board of Directors delegates loan approval authority up to board-approved limits to our Director Loan Committee, which is comprised of members of our Board of Directors. Any loans in excess of that limit require approval of the entire Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors also delegates limited individual lending authority up to $2.0 million to our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Credit Officer, and the Director of Labor Service Division, and up to $500,000 to our Chief Credit Administrator, and, on a further limited basis, to selected credit relationship managers and lending officers in each of our target markets up to $50,000. When the total relationship exceeds an individual’s loan authority, a higher authority is required. The objective of our 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 repayment source and the associated risks, evaluation of collateral, covenants and monitoring requirements, and the risk rating rationale. Our strategy for approving or disapproving loans is to follow our loan policies and underwriting practices, on a consistent basis, which include:

maintaining close relationships among our clients and their designated bankers, 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 our 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 principal economic risk associated with each category of loans that we make is the creditworthiness of the borrower and the value of the underlying collateral, if any. Borrower creditworthiness is affected by general economic conditions and the strength of the relevant business market segment. We assess the lending risks, economic conditions and other relevant
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factors related to the quality of our loan portfolio in order to identify possible credit quality risks. Our 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. Our 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 by our bankers. Our 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 our credit standards are followed. In addition, a third-party loan review is performed to assist in the identification of problem assets and to confirm our internal risk rating of loans. These credit review consultants review a sample of loans periodically and report the results of their findings to the Audit Committee of the Bank’s Board of Directors. Results of loan reviews by consultants as well as examination of the loan portfolio by state and federal regulators are also considered by management and the board in determining the level of the allowance for loan losses. We attempt 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 allowance levels for probable loan losses inherent in the loan portfolio.
Our loan policies generally include other 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 loan to value and other loan terms for each category of loans collateralized by liens on real estate.
In addition, our loan policies provide the following:

guidelines for personal guarantees

an environmental review

loans to employees, executive officers and directors

problem loan identification

maintenance of an adequate allowance for loan losses

other matters relating to lending practices
General economic factors affecting a borrower’s ability to repay include interest, inflation and unemployment rates, as well as other factors affecting a borrower’s clients, suppliers and employees. The well-established financial institutions in our primary markets make proportionately more loans to medium-to-large-sized businesses than we originate. Many of our commercial loans are, or will likely be, made to small-to-medium-sized businesses that may be less able to withstand competitive, economic and financial pressures than larger borrowers.
Lending Limits.   Our lending activities are subject to a variety of lending limits imposed by federal and state law. In general, we are subject to a legal lending limit on loans to a single borrower based on the Bank’s capital level. The dollar amounts of our lending limit increases or decreases as the Bank’s capital increases or decreases. We are able to sell participations in its larger loans to other financial institutions, which allows us to manage the risk involved in these loans and to meet the lending needs of its clients requiring extensions of credit in excess of these limits.
Legal lending limits are calculated in conformance with California law, which prohibits a bank from lending to any one individual or entity or its related interests on an unsecured basis any amount that exceeds 15 percent of the sum of such bank’s shareholders’ equity plus the allowance for loan losses, capital notes and any debentures, plus an additional 10 percent for loans on a secured basis. At December 31, 2018, our authorized legal lending limit for loans to one borrower was $22.9 million for unsecured loans and $38.1 million for specific secured loans. Currently, we maintain an in-house limit of  $8.7 million for unsecured loans and $14.5 million for secured loans. At December 31, 2018, there were no loans to one individual or entity or related interests that exceeded these internal limits. We have strict policies and procedures in place for the establishment of limits with respect to specific products and businesses, and evaluating exceptions to the internal limits for individual relationships.
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Our loan policies provide general guidelines for loan-to-value ratios that restrict the size of loans to a maximum percentage of the value of the collateral securing the loans, which varies by the type of collateral. Our internal loan-to-value limitations follow limits established by applicable law. Exceptions to our policies are allowed only with the prior approval of the Board of Directors and if the borrower exhibits financial strength or sufficient, measurable compensating factors exist after consideration of the loan-to-value ratio, borrower’s financial condition, net worth, credit history, earnings capacity, installment obligations, and current payment history.
Loan Types.   We provide a variety of loans to meet our clients’ needs. The real estate portion of our loan portfolio is comprised of the following: mortgage loans secured typically by commercial and multi-family properties; mortgages and revolving lines of credit secured by equity in residential properties; and construction and land loans. At December 31, 2018, we held $852.0 million in loans secured by real estate, representing 87.3% of total loans receivable, and had undisbursed construction and land commitments of  $17.5 million. The types of our loans are described below:
Commercial Real Estate Loans.   Our commercial real estate loans include loans secured by office buildings, retail facilities, hotels, gas stations, convalescent facilities, industrial use buildings, restaurants and multi-family properties. At December 31, 2018, our commercial real estate loan portfolio totaled $702.0 million, or 71.9% of our total loan portfolio (excluding loans held for sale).
Our commercial real estate loans may be owner occupied or non-owner occupied. As of December 31, 2018, our commercial real estate loans, excluding loans secured by multi-family properties, consisted of $272.7 million of owner occupied commercial real estate loans, or 27.9% of the total loan portfolio, and $312.1 million of non-owner occupied commercial real estate loans, or 32.0% of the total loan portfolio.
Commercial real estate secured loans generally carry higher interest rates and have shorter terms than one-to-four family residential real estate loans. Commercial real estate lending typically involves higher loan principal amounts and the repayment of the loan is dependent, in large part, on sufficient income from the properties securing the loans, to cover operating expenses and debt service. We require our commercial real estate loans to be secured by a property with adequate margins and generally obtain a guarantee from responsible parties. Our commercial real estate loans generally are collateralized by first liens on real estate, have interest rates which may be fixed for three to five years, or adjust annually. Commercial real estate loan terms generally are limited to 15 years or less, although payments may be structured on a longer amortization basis up to 20 years with balloon payments or rate adjustments due at the end of three to seven years. We generally charge an origination fee for our services.
Payments on loans secured by such properties are often dependent on the successful operation (in the case of owner occupied real estate) or management (in the case of non-owner occupied real estate) of the properties. 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. Commercial real estate loans are underwritten primarily using a cash flow analysis and secondarily as loans secured by real estate. In underwriting commercial real estate loans, we seek to minimize 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 also may include credit verification, reviews of appraisals, environmental hazards or reports, the borrower’s liquidity and leverage, management experience of the owners or principals, economic condition, industry trends and any guarantees, including SBA loan guarantees. At December 31, 2018, $48.1 million of our commercial real estate loans had SBA guarantees. We generally require personal guarantees from the principal owners of the property supported by a review by our management of the principal owners’ personal financial statements. We attempt to limit our risk by analyzing the borrowers’ cash flow and collateral value on an ongoing basis and by an annual review of rent rolls and financial statements. The loan-to-value ratio as established by an independent appraisal typically will not exceed 80% at loan origination and is lower in most cases. At December 31, 2018, the average loan size in our commercial real estate portfolio was approximately $973,000 with a weighted average loan-to-value ratio of 57.2%.
Agriculture is a major industry in the Central Valley of California, one of our lending markets. We make agricultural real estate secured loans to borrowers with a strong capital base, sufficient management depth, proven ability to operate through agricultural cycles, reliable cash flows and adequate financial
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reporting. Generally, our agricultural real estate secured loans amortize over periods of 20 years or less and the typical loan-to-value ratio will not exceed 80% at loan origination, although actual loan-to-value ratios are typically lower. Payments on agricultural real estate secured loans depend, to a large degree, on the results of operations of the related farm entity. The repayment is also subject to other economic and weather conditions, as well as market prices for agricultural products, which can be highly volatile. Among the more common risks involved in agricultural lending, are weather conditions, disease, water availability and water distribution rights, which can be mitigated through multi-peril crop insurance. Commodity prices also present a risk, which may be managed by the use of set price contracts. As part of our underwriting, the borrower is required to obtain multi-peril crop insurance. Normally, in making agricultural real estate secured loans, our required beginning and projected operating margins provide for reasonable reserves to offset unexpected yield and price deficiencies. We also consider management succession, life insurance and business continuation plans when evaluating agricultural real estate secured loans. At December 31, 2018, our agricultural real estate secured loans, totaled $16.7 million, or 1.7% of our loan portfolio.
The following table presents a breakdown of our commercial real estate loan portfolio at the dates indicated:
December 31, 2018
December 31, 2017
Amount
% of
Total in
Category
Amount
% of
Total in
Category
(Dollars in thousands)
Retail
$ 92,897 13.2% $ 74,380 11.1%
Multifamily residential
117,181 16.7% 118,128 17.7%
Hotel/motel
92,647 13.2% 95,295 14.2%
Office
103,500 14.7% 99,187 14.8%
Gas station
65,093 9.3% 69,241 10.3%
Convalescent facility
33,181 4.7% 31,419 4.7%
Industrial
76,833 10.9% 60,751 9.1%
Restaurants
29,749 4.2% 21,438 3.2%
Agricultural real estate
16,749 2.4% 17,037 2.5%
Other
74,153 10.7% 82,274 12.4%
Total loans
$ 701,983 100.0% $ 669,150 100.0%
We currently target individual commercial real estate loans between $1.0 million and $5.0 million. As of December 31, 2018, the largest commercial real estate loan had a net outstanding balance of $13.0 million, and was secured by a first deed of trust on a retail strip center located in Sacramento, California. The largest commercial real estate loan secured by multifamily property as of December 31, 2018, was a 12-unit apartment complex with a net outstanding principal balance of  $12.0 million, located in San Francisco, California. Both of these loans were performing according to their respective loan repayment terms as of December 31, 2018.
Construction and Land Loans.   We make loans to finance the construction of residential and non-residential properties. Construction loans include loans for owner occupied single-family homes and commercial projects (such as multi-family housing, industrial, office and retail centers). These loans generally are collateralized by first liens on real estate and typically have a term of less than one year, floating interest rates and commitment fees. Construction loans are typically made to builders/developers that have an established record of successful project completion and loan repayment. We conduct periodic inspections, either directly or through an agent, prior to approval of periodic draws on these loans, based on the percentage of completion. Underwriting guidelines for our construction loans are similar to those described above for our commercial real estate lending. Our construction loans have terms that typically range from six months to two years, depending on factors such as the type and size of the development and the financial strength of the borrower/guarantor. Construction loans are typically structured with an interest-only period during the construction phase. Construction loans are underwritten to either mature, or
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transition to a traditional amortizing loan at the completion of the construction phase. The loan-to-value ratio on our construction loans, as established by independent appraisal, typically will not exceed 80% at loan origination, and is lower in most cases. At December 31, 2018, we had $47.3 million in construction and land loans outstanding, representing 4.8% of the total loan portfolio, with $17.5 million in undisbursed commitments. The average loan size in our construction loan portfolio was approximately $507,000 at December 31, 2018, with a weighted average loan-to-value ratio of 50.7%.
On a more limited basis, we also make land loans to developers, builders and individuals, to finance the commercial development of improved lots or unimproved land. In making land loans, we follow underwriting policies and disbursement and monitoring procedures similar to those for construction loans. The initial term on land loans is typically one to three years with monthly interest-only payments.
Construction and land loans generally involve additional risks attributable to the fact that loan funds are advanced upon the security of a project under construction, and the project is of uncertain value prior to its completion. Because of uncertainties inherent in estimating construction costs, the market value of the completed project and the effects of governmental regulation on real property, it can be difficult to accurately evaluate the total funds required to complete a project and the related loan-to-value ratio. As a result of these uncertainties, construction lending often involves the disbursement of substantial funds, with repayment dependent, in part, on the success of the ultimate project rather than the ability of a borrower or guarantor to repay the loan. If we are forced to foreclose on a project prior to completion, there is no assurance that we will be able to recover the entire unpaid portion of the loan. In addition, we may be required to fund additional amounts to complete a project, and it may be necessary to hold the property for an indeterminate period of time subject to the regulatory limitations imposed by local, state or federal laws. Loans on land under development or held for future construction also pose additional risk because of the lack of income being produced by the property and the potential illiquid nature of the collateral.
One-to-Four Family Residential Loans.   We do not originate owner-occupied one-to-four family residential real estate loans. Our one-to-four family real estate loans were either acquired through our mergers with other financial institutions or by purchases of whole loan pools with servicing retained. Generally, these loans were originated to meet the requirements of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and jumbo loans for sale in the secondary market to investors. Our one-to-four family loans do not allow for interest-only payments, nor negative amortization of principal, and carry allowable prepayment restrictions. At December 31, 2018, our one-to-four family loan portfolio, including home equity loans and lines of credit, totaled $102.7 million or 10.5% of the total loan portfolio.
We do originate a limited amount of home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit generally may have a loan-to-value of up 80% at the time origination when combined with the first mortgage. The majority of these loans are secured by a first or second mortgage on residential property. Home equity lines of credit allow for a 10 year draw period, with a 10 year repayment period, and the interest rate is generally tied to the prime rate as published by the Wall Street Journal and may include a margin. Home equity loans generally have ten year maturities based on a 30 year amortization. We retain a valid lien on the real estate, obtain a title insurance policy that insures that the property is free from encumbrances and require hazard insurance. At December 31, 2018, home equity loans and lines of credit totaled $15.1 million or 1.6% of the total loan portfolio, of which $2.6 million were secured by junior liens. Unfunded commitments on home equity lines of credit at December 31, 2018, totaled $8.6 million.
Commercial and Industrial Loans.   We make commercial and industrial loans, including commercial lines of credit, working capital loans, term loans, equipment financing, acquisition, expansion and development loans, SBA loans, letters of credit and other loan products, primarily in our target markets, which are underwritten on the basis of the borrower’s ability to service the debt from operating income. We take as collateral, a lien on general business assets, including, among other things, real estate, accounts receivable, inventory and equipment, and generally obtain a personal guaranty of the borrower or principal. Our operating lines of credit typically are limited to a percentage of the value of the assets securing the line. Lines of credit and term loans are typically reviewed annually. The terms of our commercial and industrial loans vary by purpose and by type of underlying collateral. We typically make equipment loans for a term
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of five years or less at fixed or adjustable rates, with the loan fully amortized over the term. Loans to support working capital typically have terms not exceeding one year and are usually secured by accounts receivable, inventory and personal guarantees of the principals of the business. The interest rates charged on loans vary with the degree of risk and loan amount and are further subject to competitive pressures, money market rates, the availability of funds and government regulations. For loans secured by accounts receivable and inventory, principal is typically repaid as the assets securing the loan are converted into cash (monitored on a monthly or more frequent basis as determined necessary in the underwriting process), and for loans secured with other types of collateral, principal is typically due at maturity. Terms greater than five years may be appropriate in some circumstances, based upon the useful life of the underlying asset being financed or if some form of credit enhancement, such as an SBA guarantee is obtained. These programs have a further benefit to us in terms of liquidity and potential fee income, since there is an active secondary market which will purchase the guaranteed portion of these loans at a premium. At December 31, 2018, we had commercial and industrial loans of  $121.9 million or 12.5% of the total loan portfolio.
We also make agricultural operating loans, including loans to finance the purchase of machinery, equipment and breeding stock; seasonal crop operating loans used to fund the borrower’s crop production operating expenses; and livestock operating and revolving loans used to purchase livestock for resale and related livestock production expense. Agricultural operating loans are generally originated at an adjustable-or fixed-rate of interest and generally for a term of up to seven years. In the case of agricultural operating loans secured by breeding livestock and/or farm equipment, such loans are originated at fixed rates of interest for a term of up to five years. We typically originate agricultural operating loans on the basis of the borrower’s ability to make repayment from the cash flow of the borrower’s agricultural business. As a result, the availability of funds for the repayment of agricultural operating loans may be substantially dependent on the success of the business itself and the general economic environment. A significant number of agricultural borrowers with these types of loans may qualify for relief under a chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that is designed specifically for the reorganization of financial obligations of family farmers and which provides certain preferential procedures to agricultural borrowers compared to traditional bankruptcy proceedings pursuant to other chapters of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. As of December 31, 2018, we had agricultural operating loans of  $7.2 million or 0.7% of the total loan portfolio.
In general, commercial and industrial loans may involve increased credit risk; therefore, typically yield a higher return. The increased risk in commercial and industrial 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 commercial and industrial loans generally includes moveable property such as equipment and inventory, which may decline in value more rapidly than we anticipate, exposing us to increased credit risk. As a result of these additional complexities, variables and risks, commercial and industrial loans require extensive underwriting and servicing.
Consumer Loans.   We generally make consumer loans as an accommodation to our clients on a case by case basis. These loans represent a small portion of our overall loan portfolio. However, these loans are important in terms of servicing our client’s needs. We make a variety of loans to individuals for personal and household purposes, including secured and unsecured term loans. Consumer loans are underwritten based on the individual borrower’s income, current debt level, past credit history and the value of any available collateral. The terms of consumer loans vary considerably based upon the loan type, nature of collateral and size of the loan. Consumer loans entail greater risk than do residential real estate loans because they may be unsecured or, if secured, the value of the collateral, such as an automobile or boat, may be more difficult to assess and more likely to decrease in value than real estate. In such cases, any repossessed collateral for a defaulted consumer loan may not provide an adequate source of repayment for the outstanding loan balance. The remaining deficiency often will not warrant further substantial collection efforts against the borrower beyond obtaining a deficiency judgment. In addition, consumer loan collections are dependent on the borrower’s continuing financial stability, and thus are more likely to be
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adversely affected by job loss, divorce, illness or personal bankruptcy. Furthermore, the application of various federal and state laws may limit the amount which can be recovered on such loans. As of December 31, 2018, consumer loans totaled approximately $1.8 million or 0.2% of the Company’s total loan portfolio.
For additional information concerning our loan portfolio, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Comparison of Financial Condition at December 31, 2018 and 2017 — Loans”, contained in this report.
Sources of Funds
Deposits.   Our lending and investing activities are primarily funded by deposits. We offer 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 clients. We solicit these accounts from individuals, small to medium sized businesses, trade unions and their related businesses, associations, organizations and government authorities. Our transaction accounts and time certificates are tailored to the principal market area at rates competitive with those offered in the area. We employ client acquisition strategies to generate new account and deposit growth, such as client referral incentives, search engine optimization, targeted direct mail and email campaigns, in addition to conventional marketing initiatives and advertising. While we do not actively solicit wholesale deposits for funding purposes and do not partner with deposit brokers, we do participate in the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (“CDARS”) service via Promontory Interfinancial Network an as option for our clients to place funds. Our goal is to cross-sell our deposit products to our loan clients.
We also offer convenience-related services, including banking by appointment (before or after normal business hours on weekdays and on weekends), online banking services, access to a national automated teller machine network, extended drive-through hours, remote deposit capture, and courier service so that clients’ deposit and other banking needs may be served without the client having to make a trip to the branch. Our full suite of online banking solutions including access to account balances, online transfers, online bill payment and electronic delivery of client statements, mobile banking solutions for iPhone and Android phones, including remote check deposit with mobile bill pay. We offer debit cards with no ATM surcharges or foreign ATM fees for checking clients, plus night depository, direct deposit, cashier’s and travelers checks and letters of credit, as well as treasury management services, wire transfer services and automated clearing house (“ACH”) services.
We have implemented deposit gathering strategies and tactics which have enabled us to attract and retain deposits utilizing technology to deliver high quality commercial depository (treasury management) services (e.g. remote deposit capture lock box, electronic bill payments wire transfers, direct deposits and automatic transfers) in addition to the traditional generation of deposit relationships performed in conjunction with our lending activities. We offer a wide 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, wire transfer initiation, ACH origination and stop payments. Cash management deposit products consist of lockbox, remote deposit capture, positive pay, reverse positive pay, account reconciliation services, zero balance accounts and sweep accounts including loan sweep.
We provide an avenue for large depositors to maintain full insurance coverage by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) for all deposits up to $50.0 million. Under an agreement with Promontory International Financial Network, we participate in the CDARS and the Insured Cash Sweep (ICS) money market product. These are deposit-matching programs which distribute excess balances on deposit with us across other participating banks. In return, those participating financial institutions place their excess client deposits with us in a reciprocal amount. These products are designed to enhance our ability to attract and retain clients and increase deposits by providing additional FDIC insurance for large deposits. We also participate in the ICS One-Way Sell program, which allows us to buy cost effective wholesale funding on customizable terms. At December 31, 2018, we had $32.4 million in reciprocal CDARS and $117.6 million in one-way CDARS and ICS deposits.
Additionally, we offer escrow services on commercial transactions and facilitate tax-deferred commercial exchanges through the Bank’s division, BES. This affords us a low cost core deposit base. These
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deposits fluctuate as the sellers of the real estate have up to nine months to invest in replacement real estate to defer the income tax on the property sold. Deposits related to BES totaled $25.2 million at December 31, 2018.
We also from time to time, bid for and accept deposits from public entities in our markets.
For additional information concerning our deposits, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Comparison of Financial Condition at December 31, 2018 and 2017 — Deposits” contained in this report.
Borrowings.   Although deposits are our primary source of funds, we may from time to time utilize borrowings as a cost-effective source of funds when they can be invested at a positive interest rate spread, for additional capacity to fund loan demand, or to meet our asset/liability management goals. We are a member of and may obtain advances from the FHLB of San Francisco, which is part of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. The eleven regional Federal Home Loan Banks provide a central credit facility for their member institutions. These advances are provided upon the security of certain mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities. These advances may be made pursuant to several different credit programs, each of which has its own interest rate, range of maturities and call features. In addition to FHLB advances, we may also utilize Fed Funds purchased from correspondent banks as a source of short-term funding. At December 31, 2018, we had the ability to borrow up to $369.4 million from the FHLB and $55.0 million available under our Fed Funds lines, none of which was outstanding.
At December 31, 2018, we had $8.2 million aggregate principal (net of mark-to-market adjustments) of junior subordinated debentures issued in connection with the sale of trust preferred securities by two statutory business trusts assumed in our acquisitions of BFC and FULB.
For additional information concerning our borrowings, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Comparison of Financial Condition at December 31, 2018 and 2017 — Borrowings” contained in this report.
Investments
In addition to loans, we make other investments that conform to our investment policy as set by our Board of Directors. The primary objectives of our investment policy are to provide a source of liquidity, to provide an appropriate return on funds invested, to manage interest rate risk, to meet pledging requirements and to meet regulatory capital requirements. As of December 31, 2018, our investment portfolio totaled $99.8 million, with an average yield of 2.9% and an estimated duration of approximately 3.4 years.
We employ professional investment advisory firms to assist in the management of our investment portfolio to enhance our yield and facilitate use of modeling and administration. While our investments are made by our Chief Financial Officer, our Bank’s Board of Directors and Asset/Liability Management Committee remain responsible for the regular review of our investment activities, the review and approval of our investment policy and ensuring compliance with our investment policy.
Our investment policy outlines investment type limitations, security mix parameters, authorization guidelines and risk management guidelines. The policy authorizes us to invest in a variety of investment securities, subject to various limitations. Our current investment portfolio consists of obligations of the U.S. Treasury and other U.S. government agencies or sponsored entities, including mortgage-backed securities, collateralized mortgage obligations and municipal securities.
For additional information concerning our investments, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Comparison of Financial Condition at December 31, 2018 and 2017 — Securities” contained in this report.
Supervision and Regulation
BayCom and United Business Bank are subject to significant regulation by federal and state laws and regulations, and the policies of applicable federal and state banking agencies. The following discussion of particular statutes and regulations affecting BayCom and United Business Bank is only a brief summary and does not purport to be complete. This discussion is qualified in its entirety by reference to such statutes and regulations. No assurance can be given that such statutes or regulations will not change in the future.
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2018 Reforms
In May 2018 the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (the “Economic Growth Act”), was enacted to modify or remove certain financial reform rules and regulations, including some of those implemented under the Dodd-Frank Act. While the Economic Growth Act maintains most of the regulatory structure established by the Dodd-Frank Act, it amends certain aspects of the regulatory framework for small depository institutions with assets of less than $10 billion and for large banks with assets of more than $50 billion.
The Economic Growth Act, among other matters, expands the definition of qualified mortgages which may be held by a financial institution and simplifies the regulatory capital rules for depository institutions and their holding companies with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion by instructing the federal banking regulators to establish a single “Community Bank Leverage Ratio” of between 8 and 10 percent. Any qualifying depository institution or its holding company that exceeds the “community bank leverage ratio” will be considered to have met generally applicable leverage and risk-based regulatory capital requirements and any qualifying depository institution that exceeds the new ratio will be considered to be “well capitalized” under the prompt corrective action rules.
The Economic Growth Act also expands the category of holding companies that may rely on the “Small Bank Holding Company and Savings and Loan Holding Company Policy Statement” by raising the maximum amount of assets a qualifying holding company may have from $1.0 billion to $3.0 billion. A major effect of this change is to exclude such holding companies from the minimum capital requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act. In addition, the Economic Growth Act includes regulatory relief for community banks regarding regulatory examination cycles, call reports, the Volcker Rule (proprietary trading prohibitions), mortgage disclosures and risk weights for certain high-risk commercial real estate loans.
It is difficult at this time to predict when or how any new standards under the Economic Growth Act will ultimately be applied to us or what specific impact the Economic Growth Act and the yet to be written implementing rules and regulations will have.
United Business Bank
General.   As a state-chartered, federally insured commercial bank, the Bank is subject to extensive regulation and must comply with various statutory and regulatory requirements, including prescribed minimum capital standards. As a California chartered bank, the Bank is subject to supervision, periodic examination, and regulation by the California Department of Business Oversight, Division of Financial Institutions (“DBO”) and by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve,”) as its primary federal regulator. The Bank’s relationship with depositors and borrowers also is regulated to a great extent by both federal and state law, especially in such matters as the ownership of deposit accounts and the form and content of mortgage and other loan documents.
Federal and state banking laws and regulations govern all areas of the operation of the Bank, including reserves, loans, investments, deposits, capital, issuance of securities, payment of dividends and establishment of branches. Bank regulatory agencies also have the general authority to limit the dividends paid by insured banks and bank holding companies if such payments should be deemed to constitute an unsafe and unsound practice and in other circumstances. The Federal Reserve as the primary federal regulator of the Company and the Bank, and the DBO have the authority to impose penalties, initiate civil and administrative actions and take other steps intended to prevent banks from engaging in unsafe or unsound practices.
The laws and regulations affecting banks and bank holding companies changed significantly in connection with the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other changes, the Dodd-Frank Act established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), as an independent bureau of the Federal Reserve. The CFPB assumed responsibility for the implementation of the federal financial consumer protection and fair lending laws and regulations and has authority to impose new requirements. Any change in applicable laws, regulations, or regulatory policies may have a material effect on our business, operations, and prospects. We cannot predict the nature or the extent of the effects on our business and earnings that any fiscal or monetary policies or new federal or state legislation may have in the future.
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State Regulation and Supervision.   As a California-chartered commercial bank with branches in the States of California, New Mexico and Washington, the Bank is subject not only to the applicable provisions of California law and regulations, but is also subject to applicable New Mexico and Washington law and regulations. These state laws and regulations govern the Bank’s ability to take deposits and pay interest thereon, make loans on or invest in residential and other real estate, make consumer loans, invest in securities, offer various banking services to its clients and establish branch offices.
Deposit Insurance.   The Deposit Insurance Fund of the FDIC insures deposit accounts of the Bank up to $250,000 per separately insured depositor. As insurer, the FDIC imposes deposit insurance premiums and is authorized to conduct examinations of, and to require reporting by, FDIC-insured institutions.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires the FDIC’s deposit insurance assessments be based on assets instead of deposits. The FDIC’s regulation specifies that the assessment base for a bank is equal to its total average consolidated assets less average tangible capital. During 2018 and currently, assessment rates range from 3 to 30 basis points for all institutions, subject to adjustments for unsecured debt issued by the institution, unsecured debt issued by other FDIC-insured institutions, and brokered deposits held by the institution. As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC imposed a surcharge on institutions with assets of  $10 billion or more commencing on July 1, 2016 and ending when the reserve ratio reaches 1.35%, which the FDIC has announced occurred on September 30, 2018. When the reserve ratio reaches 1.38%, smaller institutions will receive credits for the portions of their regular assessments that contributed to growth in the reserve ratio between 1.15% and 1.35%. Subject to certain limitations, the credits will apply to reduce regular assessments until exhausted.
Under the current rules, when the reserve ratio for the prior assessment period is equal to or greater than 2.0% and less than 2.5%, assessment rates will range from two basis points to 28 basis points, and when the reserve ratio for the prior assessment period is greater than 2.5%, assessment rates will range from one basis point to 25 basis points (in each case subject to adjustments as described above for current rates). No institution may pay a dividend if it is in default on its FDIC’s deposit insurance assessment.
The FDIC also may prohibit any insured institution from engaging in any activity determined by regulation or order to pose a serious risk to the Deposit Insurance Fund.
The FDIC may terminate the deposit insurance of any insured depository institution if it determines, after a hearing, that the institution has engaged or is engaging in unsafe or unsound practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue operations, or has violated any applicable law, regulation, order or any condition imposed by an agreement with the FDIC. It also may suspend deposit insurance temporarily during the hearing process for the permanent termination of insurance if the institution has no tangible capital. If insurance of accounts is terminated, the accounts at the institution at the time of the termination, less subsequent withdrawals, shall continue to be insured for a period of six months to two years, as determined by the FDIC. Management is not aware of any existing circumstances which would result in termination of the deposit insurance of the Bank.
Standards for Safety and Soundness.   The federal banking regulatory agencies have prescribed, by regulation, guidelines for all insured depository institutions relating to internal controls, information systems and internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate risk exposure, asset growth, asset quality, earnings, and compensation, fees and benefits. The guidelines set forth the safety and soundness standards that the federal banking agencies use to identify and address problems at insured depository institutions. Each insured depository institution must implement a comprehensive written information security program that includes administrative, technical, and physical safeguards appropriate to the institution’s size and complexity and the nature and scope of its activities. The information security program must be designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of client information, protect against any unanticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of such information, protect against unauthorized access to or use of such information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to any client, and ensure the proper disposal of client and consumer information. Each insured depository institution must also develop and implement a risk-based response program to address incidents of unauthorized access to client information in client information systems. If the FDIC determines that an institution fails to meet any of these guidelines, it may require an institution to submit to the FDIC an acceptable plan to achieve compliance.
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Capital Requirements.   Federally insured financial institutions, such as the Bank, are required to maintain a minimum level of regulatory capital. As discussed above, the Economic Growth Act raised the maximum amount of consolidated assets a qualifying holding company may have to $3.0 billion under the Federal Reserve’s “Small Bank Holding Company and Savings and Loan Holding Company Policy Statement” pursuant to which the Company is generally not subject to the Federal Reserve’s capital regulations, which are generally the same as the capital regulations applicable to the Bank. The Federal Reserve made this change effective August 30, 2019. The Federal Reserve expects the holding company’s subsidiary banks to be well capitalized under the prompt corrective action regulations, discussed below. If the Company were subject to regulatory guidelines for bank holding companies with $3.0 billion or more in assets at December 31, 2018, the Company would have exceeded all regulatory requirements.
The capital regulations adopted by the Federal Reserve effective January 1, 2015 (with some changes transitioned into full effectiveness over several years) establish minimum required ratios for common equity Tier 1 (“CET1”) capital, Tier 1 capital, and total capital and the leverage ratio; risk-weightings of certain assets and other items for purposes of the risk-based capital ratios, a required capital conservation buffer over the required capital ratios; and define what qualifies as capital for purposes of meeting the capital requirements. These regulations implement the regulatory capital reforms required by the Dodd-Frank Act and the “Basel III” requirements.
Under the capital regulations, the minimum capital ratios are: (1) a CET1 capital ratio of 4.5% of risk-weighted assets; (2) a Tier 1 capital ratio of 6.0% of risk-weighted assets; (3) a total risk-based capital ratio of 8.0% of risk-weighted assets; and (4) a leverage ratio (the ratio of Tier 1 capital to average total consolidated assets) of 4.0%. CET1 generally consists of common stock, retained earnings, accumulated other comprehensive income (“AOCI”) unless an institution elects to exclude AOCI from regulatory capital, and certain minority interests (all of which are subject to applicable regulatory adjustments and deductions). Tier 1 capital generally consists of CET1 and noncumulative perpetual preferred stock. Tier 2 capital generally consists of other preferred stock and subordinated debt which meet certain conditions, plus an amount of the allowance for loan and lease losses up to 1.25% of assets. Total capital is the sum of Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital.
There have been a number of changes in what constitutes regulatory capital compared to the rules in effect prior to January 1, 2015, some of which are subject to transition periods. These changes include the phasing-out of certain instruments as qualifying capital and eliminate or significantly reduce the use of hybrid capital instruments, especially trust preferred securities, as regulatory capital. Trust preferred securities issued by a company, with total consolidated assets of less than $15 billion before May 19, 2010 and treated as regulatory capital are grandfathered, but any such securities issued later are not eligible as regulatory capital under the new regulations. If an institution grows above $15 billion as a result of an acquisition, the trust preferred securities are excluded from Tier 1 capital and instead included in Tier 2 capital. Mortgage servicing assets and deferred tax assets over designated percentages of CET1 are deducted from capital. In addition, Tier 1 capital includes AOCI, which includes all unrealized gains and losses on available for sale debt and equity securities. However, because of our asset size, we were eligible to elect, and did elect, to permanently opt out of the inclusion of unrealized gains and losses on available for sale debt and equity securities in our capital calculations.
For purposes of determining risk-based capital, assets and certain off-balance sheet items are risk-weighted from 0% to 1,250%, depending on the risk characteristics of the asset or item. The current regulations changed certain risk-weightings compared to the earlier capital rules, including a 150% risk weight (up from 100%) for certain high volatility commercial real estate acquisition, development and construction loans, and for non-residential mortgage loans that are 90 days past due or otherwise in nonaccrual status; a 20% (up from 0%) credit conversion factor for the unused portion of a commitment with an original maturity of one year or less that is not unconditionally cancellable; and a 250% risk weight (up from 100%) for mortgage servicing and deferred tax assets that are not deducted from capital.
In addition to the minimum CET1, Tier 1, leverage ratio and total capital ratios, the capital regulations require a capital conservation buffer consisting of additional CET1 capital greater than 2.5% of risk-weighted assets above the required minimum risk-based capital levels in order to avoid limitations on
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paying dividends, repurchasing shares, and paying discretionary bonuses. The new capital conservation buffer requirement was phased in beginning on January 1, 2016 when a buffer greater than 0.625% of risk-weighted assets was required, which amount increased each year by 0.625% to an amount greater than 2.5% on January 1, 2019.
To be considered “well capitalized,” a bank holding company must have, on a consolidated basis, a total risk-based capital ratio of 10.0% or greater and a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 6.0% or greater and must not be subject to an individual order, directive or agreement under which the Federal Reserve requires it to maintain a specific capital level. To be considered “well capitalized,” a depository institution must have a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 8.0%, a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 10.0%, a CET1 capital ratio of at least 6.5% and a leverage ratio of at least 5.0% and not be subject to an individualized order, directive or agreement under which its primary federal banking regulator requires it to maintain a specific capital level.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has adopted a new accounting standard for U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“U.S. GAAP”) referred to as Current Expected Credit Loss (“CECL”) that requires FDIC-insured institutions and their holding companies (banking organizations) to recognize credit losses expected over the life of certain financial assets. CECL covers a broader range of assets than the current method of recognizing credit losses and generally results in earlier recognition of credit losses. Upon adoption of CECL, a banking organization must record a one-time adjustment to its credit loss allowances as of the beginning of the fiscal year of adoption equal to the difference, if any, between the amount of credit loss allowances under the current methodology and the amount required under CECL. For a banking organization, implementation of CECL is generally likely to reduce retained earnings, and to affect other items, in a manner that reduces its regulatory capital.
The federal banking regulators (Federal Reserve, OCC and FDIC) have adopted a rule that gives a banking organization the option to phase in over a three-year period the day-one adverse effects of CECL on its regulatory capital.
Prompt Corrective Action.   Federal statutes establish a supervisory framework for FDIC-insured institutions based on five capital categories: well capitalized, adequately capitalized, undercapitalized, significantly undercapitalized and critically undercapitalized. An institution’s category depends upon where its capital levels are in relation to relevant capital measures. The well-capitalized category is described above. An institution that is not well capitalized is subject to certain restrictions on brokered deposits, including restrictions on the rates it can offer on its deposits generally. To be considered adequately capitalized, an institution must have the minimum capital ratios described above. Any institution which is neither well capitalized nor adequately capitalized is considered undercapitalized.
Undercapitalized institutions are subject to certain prompt corrective action requirements, regulatory controls and restrictions which become more extensive as an institution becomes more severely undercapitalized. Failure by the Bank to comply with applicable capital requirements would, if not remedied, result in progressively more severe restrictions on its activities and lead to enforcement actions, including, but not limited to, the issuance of a capital directive to ensure the maintenance of required capital levels and, ultimately, the appointment of the FDIC as receiver or conservator. Banking regulators will take prompt corrective action with respect to depository institutions that do not meet minimum capital requirements. Additionally, approval of any regulatory application filed for their review may be dependent on compliance with capital requirements.
As of December 31, 2018, the Bank met the requirements to be “well capitalized” at the fully phased-in capital conservation buffer requirement. For additional information, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources” and Note 17 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Schedules” contained in this report.
Commercial Real Estate Lending Concentrations.   The federal banking agencies have issued guidance on sound risk management practices for concentrations in commercial real estate lending. The particular focus is on exposure to commercial real estate loans that are dependent on the cash flow from the real estate held as collateral and that are likely to be sensitive to conditions in the commercial real estate market (as
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opposed to real estate collateral held as a secondary source of repayment or as an abundance of caution). The purpose of the guidance is not to limit a bank’s commercial real estate lending but to guide banks in developing risk management practices and capital levels commensurate with the level and nature of real estate concentrations. The guidance directs the federal bank regulatory agencies to focus their supervisory resources on institutions that may have significant commercial real estate loan concentration risk. A bank that has experienced rapid growth in commercial real estate lending, has notable exposure to a specific type of commercial real estate loan, or is approaching or exceeding the following supervisory criteria may be identified for further supervisory analysis with respect to commercial real estate concentration risk:

Total reported loans for construction, land development and other land represent 100% or more of the bank’s total regulatory capital; or

Total commercial real estate loans (as defined in the guidance) represent 300% or more of the bank’s total regulatory capital or the outstanding balance of the bank’s commercial real estate loan portfolio has increased 50% or more during the prior 36 months.
The guidance provides that the strength of an institution’s lending and risk management practices with respect to such concentrations will be taken into account in supervisory guidance on evaluation of capital adequacy. As of December 31, 2018, the Bank’s aggregate recorded loan balances for construction, land development and land loans were 19.7% of total regulatory capital. In addition, at December 31, 2018, the Bank’s commercial real estate loans as calculated in accordance with regulatory guidance were 315.1% of total regulatory capital. The Bank believes that the guidelines are applicable to it, as it has a relatively high concentration in commercial real estate loans. The Bank and its Board of Directors have discussed the guidelines and believe that the Bank’s underwriting policies, management information systems, independent credit administration process, and monitoring of real estate loan concentrations are sufficient to address the guidelines.
Activities and Investments of Insured State-Chartered Financial Institutions.   California-chartered banks have powers generally comparable to those of national banks. Federal law generally limits the activities and equity investments of FDIC insured, state-chartered banks to those that are permissible for national banks. An insured state bank is not prohibited from, among other things, (1) acquiring or retaining a majority interest in a subsidiary, (2) investing as a limited partner in a partnership the sole purpose of which is direct or indirect investment in the acquisition, rehabilitation or new construction of a qualified housing project, provided that such limited partnership investments may not exceed 2% of the bank’s total assets, (3) acquiring up to 10% of the voting stock of a company that solely provides or re-insures directors’, trustees’ and officers’ liability insurance coverage or bankers’ blanket bond group insurance coverage for insured depository institutions, and (4) acquiring or retaining the voting shares of a depository institution if certain requirements are met.
Environmental Issues Associated With Real Estate Lending.   The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) is a federal statute that generally imposes strict liability on all prior and present “owners and operators” of sites containing hazardous waste. However, Congress acted to protect secured creditors by providing that the term “owner and operator” excludes a person whose ownership is limited to protecting its security interest in the site. Since the enactment of the CERCLA, this “secured creditor exemption” has been the subject of judicial interpretations which have left open the possibility that lenders could be liable for cleanup costs on contaminated property that they hold as collateral for a loan. To the extent that legal uncertainty exists in this area, all creditors, including the Bank, that have made loans secured by properties with potential hazardous waste contamination (such as petroleum contamination) could be subject to liability for cleanup costs, which costs often substantially exceed the value of the collateral property.
Federal Reserve System.   The Bank is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank (“FRB”) of San Francisco. As a member of the FRB, the Bank is required to own stock in the FRB of San Francisco based on a specified ratio relative to our capital. FRB stock is carried at cost and may be sold back to the FRB at its par value. The FRB requires that all depository institutions maintain reserves on transaction accounts or non-personal time deposits. These reserves may be in the form of cash or noninterest bearing deposits with the regional Federal Reserve Bank. Interest bearing checking accounts and other types of accounts that
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permit payments or transfers to third parties fall within the definition of transaction accounts and are subject to Regulation D reserve requirements, as are any non-personal time deposits at a bank. At December 31, 2018, the Bank’s deposits with the FRB and vault cash exceeded its reserve requirements.
Affiliate Transactions.   The Company and the Bank are separate and distinct legal entities. The Company is an affiliate of the Bank and any non-bank subsidiary of the Company is an affiliate of the Bank. Federal laws strictly limit the ability of banks to engage in certain transactions with their affiliates. Transactions deemed to be a “covered transaction” under Section 23A of the Federal Reserve Act between a bank and an affiliate are limited to 10% of the bank’s capital and surplus and, with respect to all affiliates, to an aggregate of 20% of the bank’s capital and surplus. Further, covered transactions that are loans and extensions of credit generally are required to be secured by eligible collateral in specified amounts. Federal law also requires that covered transactions and certain other transactions listed in Section 23B of the Federal Reserve Act between a bank and its affiliates be on terms as favorable to the bank as transactions with non-affiliates.
Community Reinvestment Act.   The Bank is subject to the provisions of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (“CRA”), which requires the appropriate federal bank regulatory agency to assess a bank’s performance under the CRA in meeting the credit needs of the community serviced by the bank, including low and moderate income neighborhoods. The regulatory agency’s assessment of the bank’s record is made available to the public. Further, a bank’s CRA performance rating must be considered in connection with a bank’s application to, among other things, to establish a new branch office that will accept deposits, relocate an existing office or merge or consolidate with, or acquire the assets or assume the liabilities of, a federally regulated financial institution. The Bank received a “satisfactory” rating during its most recently completed CRA examination.
Dividends.   Dividends from the Bank constitute the major source of funds available for dividends which may be paid to the Company’s shareholders. The amount of dividends payable by the Bank to the Company depend upon the Bank’s earnings and capital position, and is limited by federal and state laws, regulations and policies, including the capital conservation buffer requirement. According to California law, neither a bank nor any majority-owned subsidiary of a bank may make a distribution to its shareholders in an amount which exceeds the lesser of  (i) the bank’s retained earnings or (ii) the bank’s net income for its last three fiscal years, less the amount of any distributions made by the bank or by any majority-owned subsidiary of the bank during such period. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a bank may, with the prior approval of the DBO, make a distribution to the shareholders of the bank in an amount not exceeding the greatest of: (i) the bank’s retained earnings; (ii) the net income of the bank for its last fiscal year; or (iii) the net income of the bank for its current fiscal year. Dividends payable by the Bank can be limited or prohibited if the Bank does not meet the capital conservation buffer requirement. Federal law further provides that no insured depository institution may make any capital distribution (which includes a cash dividend) if, after making the distribution, the institution would be “undercapitalized,” as defined in the prompt corrective action regulations. In addition, under federal law, a Federal Reserve member bank, such as the Bank, may not declare or pay a dividend if the total of all dividends declared during the calendar year, including a proposed dividend, exceeds the sum of the Bank’s net income during the calendar year and the retained net income of the prior two calendar years, unless the dividend has been approved by the Federal Reserve. Moreover, the federal bank regulatory agencies also have the general authority to limit the dividends paid by insured banks if such payments should be deemed to constitute an unsafe and unsound practice and failure to meet the capital conservation buffer requirement will result in restrictions on dividends.
Privacy Standards.   The Bank is subject to federal regulations implementing the privacy protection provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. These regulations require the Bank to disclose its privacy policy, including informing consumers of their information sharing practices and informing consumers of their rights to opt out of certain practices.
Anti-Money Laundering and Client Identification.   The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (“USA Patriot Act”) and the Bank Secrecy Act require financial institutions to develop programs to prevent financial institutions from being used for money laundering and terrorist activities. If such activities are detected,
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financial institutions are obligated to file suspicious activity reports with the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. These rules require financial institutions to establish procedures for identifying and verifying the identity of clients seeking to open new financial accounts, and, effective in 2018, the beneficial owners of accounts. Bank regulators are directed to consider an institution’s effectiveness in combating money laundering when ruling on applications under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (the “BHCA”) and the Bank Merger Act. We believe that the Bank’s policies and procedures comply with the requirements of the USA Patriot Act and the Bank Secrecy Act.
Other Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations.   The Dodd-Frank Act established the CFPB and empowered it to exercise broad regulatory, supervisory and enforcement authority with respect to both new and existing consumer financial protection laws. Banks are subject to consumer protection regulations issued by the CFPB, but as a financial institution with assets of less than $10 billion, the Bank is generally subject to supervision and enforcement by the Federal Reserve and the DBO with respect to our compliance with consumer financial protection laws and CFPB regulations.
The Bank is subject to a broad array of federal and state consumer protection laws and regulations that govern almost every aspect of its business relationships with consumers. While the list set forth below is not exhaustive, these include the Truth-in-Lending Act, Truth in Savings Act, Electronic Fund Transfers Act, Expedited Funds Availability Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Housing Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Right to Financial Privacy Act, Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, Fair Credit Billing Act, Homeowners Protection Act, Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, laws governing flood insurance, laws governing consumer protections in connection with the sale of insurance, federal and state laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive business practices, and various regulations that implement some or all of the foregoing. These laws and regulations mandate certain disclosure requirements and regulate the manner in which financial institutions must deal with clients when taking deposits, making loans, collecting loans, and providing other services. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations can subject the Bank to various penalties, including but not limited to, enforcement actions, injunctions, fines, civil liability, criminal penalties, punitive damages, and the loss of certain contractual rights.
BayCom Corp
General.   The Company, as sole shareholder of the Bank, is a bank holding company registered with the Federal Reserve. Bank holding companies are subject to comprehensive regulation by the Federal Reserve under the under the BHCA, and the regulations of the Federal Reserve. We are required to file quarterly reports with the Federal Reserve and to provide additional information as the Federal Reserve may require. The Federal Reserve may examine us or any of our subsidiaries, and charge us for the cost of the examination. The Federal Reserve also has extensive enforcement authority over bank holding companies, including, among other things, the ability to assess civil money penalties, to issue cease and desist or removal orders and to require that a holding company divest subsidiaries (including its bank subsidiaries). In general, enforcement actions may be initiated for violations of law and regulations and unsafe or unsound practices. The Company is also be required to file certain reports with, and otherwise comply with the rules and regulations of the SEC.
The Bank Holding Company Act.   Under the BHCA, we are supervised by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve has a long-standing policy that a bank holding company is required to serve as a source of financial and managerial strength to its subsidiary banks and may not conduct its operations in an unsafe or unsound manner. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act provides that a bank holding company must serve as a source of strength to its subsidiary banks by having the ability to provide financial assistance to its subsidiary banks during periods of financial distress. A bank holding company’s failure to meet its obligation to serve as a source of strength to its subsidiary banks will generally be considered by the Federal Reserve to be an unsafe and unsound banking practice or a violation of the Federal Reserve’s regulations, or both. No regulations have yet been proposed by the Federal Reserve to implement the source of strength provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Company and any subsidiaries that it may control are considered “affiliates” of the Bank within the meaning of the Federal Reserve Act, and transactions between the Bank and affiliates are subject to numerous restrictions. With some exceptions, the Company and its subsidiaries are prohibited from tying the provision of various services, such as extensions of credit, to other services offered by the Company or by its affiliates.
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Acquisitions.   An acquisition of the Company or the Bank, an acquisition of control of either, or an acquisition by either of another bank holding company or depository institution or control of such a company or institution is generally subject to prior approval by applicable federal and state banking regulators, as are certain acquisitions by the Company or the Bank of other types of entities, as discussed below. “Control” is defined in various ways for this purpose, including but not limited to control of 10% of outstanding voting stock of an entity. Acquisitions by the Bank of branches are also subject to similar prior approval requirements.
The BHCA prohibits a bank holding company, with certain exceptions, from acquiring ownership or control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any company that is not a bank or bank holding company, and from engaging in activities other than those of banking, managing or controlling banks, or providing services for its subsidiaries. Under the BHCA, the Federal Reserve may approve the ownership of shares by a bank holding company in any company, the activities of which the Federal Reserve has determined to be so closely related to the business of banking or managing or controlling banks as to be a proper incident thereto. These activities include: operating a savings institution, mortgage company, finance company, credit card company or factoring company; performing certain data processing operations; providing certain investment and financial advice; underwriting and acting as an insurance agent for certain types of credit-related insurance; leasing property on a full-payout, non-operating basis; selling money orders, travelers’ checks and U.S. Savings Bonds; real estate and personal property appraising; providing tax planning and preparation services; and, subject to certain limitations, providing securities brokerage services for clients.
Federal Securities Laws.   The Company’s common stock is registered with the SEC under Section 12(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We are subject to information, proxy solicitation, insider trading restrictions and other requirements under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).
The Dodd-Frank Act.   The Dodd-Frank-Act imposed new restrictions and an expanded framework of regulatory oversight for depository institutions and their holding companies, and capital requirements that are discussed above under the section entitled “Capital Requirements.”
In addition, among other changes, the Dodd-Frank Act requires public companies to (i) provide their shareholders with a non-binding vote (a) at least once every three years on the compensation paid to executive officers and (b) at least once every six years on whether they should have a “say on pay” vote every one, two or three years; (ii) have a separate, non-binding shareholder vote regarding golden parachutes for named executive officers when a shareholder vote takes place on mergers, acquisitions, dispositions or other transactions that would trigger the parachute payments; (iii) provide disclosure in annual proxy materials concerning the relationship between the executive compensation paid and the financial performance of the issuer; and (iv) disclose the ratio of the Chief Executive Officer’s annual total compensation to the median annual total compensation of all other employees. The company as an “emerging growth company,” unlike other public companies that are not emerging growth companies under the JOBS Act, will not be required to comply with the foregoing disclosure requirements for as long as it maintains its emerging growth company status. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of   (i) the end of the fiscal year during which we have total annual gross revenues of   $1.07 billion or more, (ii) the end of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering, (iii) the date on which we have, during the previous three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt and (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” under the Exchange Act.
The regulations to implement the provisions of Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act, commonly referred to as the Volcker Rule, contain prohibitions and restrictions on the ability of financial institutions holding companies and their affiliates to engage in proprietary trading and to hold certain interests in, or to have certain relationships with, various types of investment funds, including hedge funds and private equity funds. The Company is continuously reviewing its investment portfolio to determine if changes in its investment strategies are in compliance with the various provisions of the Volcker Rule regulations.
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For certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, implementing regulations have not been promulgated, so the full impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on the company cannot be determined at this time. For information on the Economic Growth Act, which amended the Dodd-Frank Act, see “2018 Reforms” above.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.   As a public company that files periodic reports with the SEC, under the Exchange Act, BayCom is subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“Sarbanes-Oxley Act”), which addresses, among other issues, corporate governance, auditing and accounting, executive compensation and enhanced and timely disclosure of corporate information. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act represents significant federal involvement in matters traditionally left to state regulatory systems, such as the regulation of the accounting profession, and to state corporate law, such as the relationship between a board of directors and management and between a board of directors and its committees. Our policies and procedures are designed to comply with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Interstate Banking and Branching.   The Federal Reserve must approve an application of a bank holding company to acquire control of, or acquire all or substantially all of the assets of, a bank located in a state other than the holding company’s home state, without regard to whether the transaction is prohibited by the laws of any state. The Federal Reserve may not approve the acquisition of a bank that has not been in existence for the minimum time period (not exceeding five years) specified by the statutory law of the host state. Nor may the Federal Reserve approve an application if the applicant (and its depository institution affiliates) controls or would control more than 10% of the insured deposits in the United States or 30% or more of the deposits in the target bank’s home state or in any state in which the target bank maintains a branch. Federal law does not affect the authority of states to limit the percentage of total insured deposits in the state which may be held or controlled by a bank holding company to the extent such limitation does not discriminate against out-of-state banks or bank holding companies. Individual states may also waive the 30% state-wide concentration limit contained in the federal law.
The federal banking agencies are generally authorized to approve interstate merger transactions without regard to whether the transaction is prohibited by the law of any state. Interstate acquisitions of branches are permitted only if the law of the state in which the branch is located permits such acquisitions. Interstate mergers and branch acquisitions are subject to the nationwide and statewide insured deposit concentration amounts described above. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the federal banking agencies may generally approve interstate de novo branching.
Dividends.   The Federal Reserve has issued a policy statement on the payment of cash dividends by bank holding companies, which expresses its view that although there are no specific regulations restricting dividend payments by bank holding companies other than state corporate laws. A bank holding company must maintain an adequate capital position and generally should not pay cash dividends unless the company’s net income for the past year is sufficient to fully fund the cash dividends and that the prospective rate of earnings appears consistent with the company’s capital needs, asset quality, and overall financial condition. The Federal Reserve policy statement also indicates that it would be inappropriate for a company experiencing serious financial problems to borrow funds to pay dividends. As described above under “Capital Requirements,” the capital conversion buffer requirement can also restrict the Company’s ability to pay dividends.
Stock Repurchases.   Except for certain “well-capitalized” and highly rated bank holding companies, a bank holding company is required to give the Federal Reserve prior written notice of any purchase or redemption of its outstanding equity securities if the gross consideration for the purchase or redemption, when combined with the net consideration paid for all such purchases or redemptions during the preceding twelve months, is equal to 10% or more of its consolidated net worth. The Federal Reserve may disapprove such a purchase or redemption if it determines that the proposal would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice, violate any law or regulation, Federal Reserve order, any condition imposed by or written agreement with, the Federal Reserve.
Competition
The financial services industry is highly competitive as we compete for loans, deposits and client relationships in our market. We compete for loans, deposits, and financial services in all of our principal markets. We compete directly with other bank and nonbank institutions, including credit unions, located
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within our markets, internet-based banks, and “FinTech” companies that rely on technology to provide financial services, out of market banks, and bank holding companies that advertise in or otherwise serve our markets, along with money market and mutual funds, brokerage houses, mortgage companies, and insurance companies or other commercial entities that offer financial services products. Competition involves efforts to retain current clients, make new loans and obtain new deposits, increase the scope and sophistication of services offered and offer competitive interest rates paid on deposits and charged on loans.
In commercial banking, we face competition to underwrite loans to sound, stable businesses and real estate projects at competitive price levels that make sense for our business and risk profile. Our major competitors include larger national, regional and local financial institutions and other providers of financial services, including finance companies, mutual funds, insurance companies, that may have the ability to make loans on larger projects than we can or provide a larger mix of product offerings. We also compete with smaller local financial institutions that may have aggressive pricing and unique terms on various types of loans and, increasingly, FinTech companies that offer their products exclusively through web-based portals.
In retail banking, we primarily compete for deposits with national and local banks and credit unions that have visible retail presence and personnel in our market areas. The primary factors driving competition for deposits are client service, interest rates, fees charged, branch location and hours of operation and the range of products offered. We compete for deposits by advertising, offering competitive interest rates and seeking to provide a higher level of personal service.
Many of our competitors enjoy competitive advantages, including greater financial resources, a wider geographic presence, more accessible branch office locations, the ability to offer additional services, more favorable pricing alternatives, and lower origination and operating costs. Some of our competitors have been in business for a long time and have an established client base and name recognition. We believe that our competitive pricing, personalized service, and community involvement enable us to effectively compete in the communities in which we operate.
Legal Proceedings
We operate in a highly regulated environment. From time to time we are a party to various litigation matters incidental to the conduct of our business. We are not presently party to any legal proceedings where we believe the resolution would have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, liquidity, results of operation, cash flows or capital levels.
Nevertheless, given the nature, scope and complexity of the extensive legal and regulatory landscape applicable to our business (including laws and regulations governing consumer protection, fair lending, fair labor, privacy, information security and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws), we, like all banking organizations, are subject to heightened legal and regulatory compliance and litigation risk.
Employees
As of December 31, 2018, we had approximately 214 full-time equivalent employees. None of our employees are represented by any collective bargaining unit or is a party to a collective bargaining agreement.
Corporate Information
Our principal executive offices are located at 500 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 200, Walnut Creek, California 94596. Our telephone number is (925) 476-1800.
We maintain a website with the address www.unitedbusinessbank.com. The information contained on our website is not included as a part of, or incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Other than an investor’s own internet access charges, we make available, free of charge, through our website our Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to these reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we have electronically filed such material with, or furnished such material to, the SEC. The Securities and Exchange Commission maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at (http://www.sec.gov).
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Item 1A. Risk Factors
An investment in our common stock is subject to risks inherent in our business. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all of the other information included in this report. The risks described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that are currently deemed to be immaterial may also materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, capital levels, cash flows, liquidity, results of operations and prospects. The market price of our common stock could decline significantly due to any identified or other risks, and some or all of your investment value could diminish. The risks discussed below include forward-looking statements, and our actual results may differ substantially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. This report is qualified in its entirety by these risk factors.
Risks Related to Our Business
Our business may be adversely affected by downturns in the national economy and the regional economies in which we operate.
Our operations are significantly affected by national and regional economic conditions. Weakness in the national economy or the economies of the markets in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and prospects. We provide banking and financial services primarily to businesses and individuals in the states of California, Washington, and New Mexico. All of our branches and most of our deposit clients are located in these three states. Further, as a result of a high concentration of our client base in the San Francisco Bay area, the deterioration of businesses in this market, or one or more businesses with a large employee base in this market, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Weakness in the global economy has adversely affected many businesses operating in our markets that are dependent upon international trade and it is not known how changes in tariffs being imposed on international trade may also affect these businesses. In addition, adverse weather conditions as well as decreases in market prices for agricultural products grown in our primary markets can adversely affect agricultural businesses in our markets.
Deteriorations in economic conditions in the market areas we serve, in particular the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Washington, and Central New Mexico and the agricultural region of the California Central Valley, could result in the following consequences, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations:

demand for our products and services may decline;

loan delinquencies, problem assets and foreclosures may increase;

collateral for loans, especially real estate, may decline in value, in turn reducing clients’ borrowing power, reducing the value of assets and collateral associated with existing loans;

the net worth and liquidity of loan guarantors may decline, impairing their ability to honor commitments to us; and

the amount of our low-cost or non-interest-bearing deposits may decrease.
We rely heavily on our management team and could be adversely affected by the unexpected loss of key officers and relationship managers.
We are led by an experienced management team with substantial experience in the markets that we serve and the financial products that we offer. The members of our executive management team, have many years of experience working for financial institutions and have significant merger and acquisition experience in the financial services industry. Our operating strategy focuses on providing products and services through long-term relationship managers. Our ability to retain and grow our loans, deposits and fee income depends upon the business generation capabilities, reputation, relationship management skills and acquisition experience of our relationship managers and other employees. In addition, an important part of our future growth strategy includes growing our business through strategic acquisitions. Accordingly, our success depends in large part on the performance of our key personnel, as well as on our ability to attract,
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motivate and retain highly qualified loan officers, senior and middle management with specific skill sets. Competition for employees is intense and the process of locating key personnel with the combination of skills and attributes required to execute our operating and growth strategies may be lengthy. We may not be successful in retaining our key employees and the unexpected loss of services of one or more of our key personnel, including successful bankers employed by banks that we acquire, could have a material adverse effect on our business because of their skills, knowledge of our market and financial products, years of industry experience, long-term client relationships and the difficulty of promptly finding qualified replacement personnel. If the services of any of our key personnel should become unavailable for any reason, we may not be able to identify and hire qualified persons on terms acceptable to us, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business and profitability may be harmed if we are unable to identify and acquire other financial institution or manage our growth.
A substantial part of our historical growth has been a result of acquisitions of other financial institutions. We intend to continue our strategy of evaluating and selectively acquiring other financial institutions that serve clients or markets we find desirable. The market for acquisitions remains highly competitive and we may be unable to find satisfactory acquisition candidates in the future that fit our acquisition strategy and standards. Many of our competitors possess greater financial, human, technical and other resources than us. Our ability to compete will depend on our available financial resources to fund acquisitions, including the amount of cash and cash equivalents and the liquidity and market price of our common stock. In addition, increased competition may also drive up the price that we will be required to pay for acquisitions. Acquisition prices may fluctuate with market conditions. We have experienced times during which acquisitions could not be made in specific markets at acceptable prices and expect that we will experience this condition in the future. If we are able to identify attractive acquisition opportunities, we must generally satisfy a number of conditions prior to completing any such transaction, including certain bank regulatory approvals, which can be burdensome, time-consuming and unpredictable. An important component of our growth strategy may not be realized if we are unable to find suitable acquisition targets. Additionally, any future acquisition may not produce the revenue, earnings or synergies that we anticipated.
Further, acquisitions typically involve the payment of a premium over book and market values and, therefore, some dilution of our tangible book value and net income per common share may occur in connection with any future acquisition. The carrying amount of any goodwill that we currently maintain or may acquire may be subject to impairment in future periods.
If we continue to grow, we will face risks arising from our increased size. If we grow too quickly and are unable to control costs and maintain asset quality, such growth, whether organic or through select acquisitions, could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. If we do not manage such growth effectively, we may be unable to realize the benefit from the investments in technology, infrastructure and personnel that we have made to support our expansion. In addition, we may incur higher costs and realize less revenue growth than we expect, which would reduce our earnings and diminish our future prospects, and we may not be able to continue to implement our business strategy and successfully conduct our operations. Risks associated with failing to maintain effective financial and operational controls as we grow, such as maintaining appropriate loan underwriting procedures, information technology systems, determining adequate allowances for loan losses and complying with regulatory accounting requirements, including increased loan losses, reduced earnings and potential regulatory penalties and restrictions on growth, all could have a negative effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our strategy of pursuing acquisitions exposes us to financial, execution, compliance and operational risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
We anticipate that much of our future growth will be dependent on our ability to successfully implement our acquisition growth strategy. Our pursuit of acquisitions may disrupt our business, and any equity that we issue as merger consideration may have the effect of diluting the value of your investment. In addition, we may fail to realize some or all of the anticipated benefits of completed acquisitions.
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Our acquisition activities strategy involves a number of significant risks, including the following:

incurring time and expense associated with identifying, evaluating and negotiating potential acquisitions which could divert management’s attention from the operation of our existing business;

using inaccurate estimates and judgments to evaluate credit, operations, management, and market risks with respect to the target company or the assets and liabilities that we seek to acquire;

exposure to potential asset quality and credit quality;

higher than expected deposit attrition;

potential exposure to unknown or contingent liabilities of banks and businesses we acquire, including, without limitation, liabilities for regulatory and compliance issues;

inability to realize the expected revenue increases, cost savings, increases in geographic or product presence, and other projected benefits of the acquisition;

incurring time and expense required to integrate the operations and personnel of the combined businesses;

inconsistencies in standards, procedures, and policies that would adversely affect our ability to maintain relationships with clients and employees;

experiencing higher operating expenses relative to operating income from the new operations;

creating an adverse short-term effect on our results of operations;

significant problems relating to the conversion of the financial and client data of the entity;

integration of acquired clients into our financial and client product systems;

borrowing funds to finance acquisitions or pursuing other forms of financing, such as issuing voting and/or non-voting common stock or convertible preferred stock, which may have high dividend rights or may be highly dilutive to our existing shareholders, may increase our leverage and diminish our liquidity; and

risks of impairment to goodwill which would require a charge to earnings.
Any of the foregoing could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operation.
In addition, we face additional risks in acquisitions to the extent we acquire new lines of business or new products, or enter new geographic areas, in which we have little or no current experience, especially if we lose key employees of the acquired operations. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in overcoming these risks or any other problems encountered in connection with acquisitions. Our inability to overcome risks associated with acquisitions could have an adverse effect on our ability to successfully implement our acquisition growth strategy and grow our business and profitability.
Our ability to grow our loan portfolio may be limited by, among other things, economic conditions, competition within our market areas, the timing of loan repayments and seasonality, which may adversely affect our operating results.
Our ability to continue to improve our operating results is dependent upon, among other things, growing our loan portfolio. Competition for loans within our market areas is significant. We compete with large regional and national financial institutions, who are sometimes able to offer more attractive interest rates and other financial terms, as well as other community based banks who seek to offer a similar level of service as us. This competition can make loan growth challenging, particularly if we are unwilling to price loans at levels that would cause an unacceptable compression of our net interest margin, or if we are unwilling to structure a loan in a manner that we believe results in an unacceptable level of risk to us. Moreover, loan growth throughout the year can fluctuate due in part to seasonality of the businesses of our borrowers and potential borrowers and the timing of loan repayments, particularly our borrowers with
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significant relationships with us. To the extent that we are unable to grow our loan portfolio, we may be unable to successfully implement our growth strategy, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The required accounting treatment of loans acquired through acquisitions, including purchase credit impaired loans, could result in higher net interest margins and interest income in current periods and lower net interest margins and interest income in future periods.
Under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, we are required to record loans acquired through acquisitions, including purchase credit impaired loans, at fair value. Estimating the fair value of such loans requires management to make estimates based on available information and facts and circumstances on the acquisition date. Actual performance could differ from management’s initial estimates. If these loans outperform our original fair value estimates, the difference between our original estimate and the actual performance of the loan (the “discount”) is accreted into net interest income. Thus, our net interest margins may initially increase due to the discount accretion. We expect the yields on our loans to decline as our acquired loan portfolio pays down or matures and the discount decreases, and we expect downward pressure on our interest income to the extent that the runoff on our acquired loan portfolio is not replaced with comparable high-yielding loans. This could result in higher net interest margins and interest income in current periods, and lower net interest margins and lower interest income in future periods. For example, the total loan yield for the year ended December 31, 2018 was 5.42%, which included 10 basis points from excess accretion related to purchase credit impaired loans. As a result, if we are unable to replace loans in our existing portfolio with comparable or higher yielding loans, our results of operations may be adversely affected. Our business, financial condition and results of operations may also be materially and adversely affected if we choose to pursue riskier higher yielding loans that fail to perform.
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, 2018, approximately 87.3% of our loan 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. Real estate values are affected by various factors, including changes in general or regional economic conditions, governmental rules or policies, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires and mudslides. Deterioration in the real estate markets where collateral for a mortgage loan is located could negatively affect the borrower’s ability to repay the loan and the value of the collateral securing the loan. 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.
Many of our loans are to commercial borrowers, which have a higher degree of risk than other types of loans.
At December 31, 2018, we had $871.1 million of commercial loans, consisting of  $749.3 million of commercial real estate and construction and land loans, representing 76.8% of our total loan portfolio, and $121.9 million of commercial and industrial loans, representing 12.5% of our total loan portfolio and for which real estate is not the primary source of collateral. The $749.3 million of commercial real estate loans includes $117.2 million of multifamily loans and $47.3 million of commercial construction and land loans. Of the remaining $584.8 million of commercial real estate loans at December 31, 2018, $312.1 million, or 32.0% of our total loan portfolio, consisted of loans secured by non owner occupied commercial real estate properties.
Commercial loans typically involve higher principal amounts than other types of loans, and some of our commercial borrowers have more than one loan outstanding with us. Consequently, an adverse development with respect to one loan or one credit relationship can expose us to a significantly greater risk of loss compared to an adverse development with respect to a one to four family residential mortgage loan. Because payments on such loans are often dependent on the cash flow of the commercial venture and the
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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 in one of our markets or in occupancy rates where a property is located. Repayments of loans secured by non owner occupied properties depend primarily on the tenant’s continuing ability to pay rent to the property owner, who is our borrower, or, if the property owner is unable to find a tenant, the property owner’s ability to repay the loan without the benefit of a rental income stream. Accordingly, a downturn in the real estate market or a challenging business and economic environment may increase our risk related to commercial loans. In addition, many of our commercial real estate loans are not fully amortizing and require large balloon payments upon maturity. Such balloon payments may require the borrower to either sell or refinance the underlying property in order to make the payment, which may increase the risk of default or non payment. Our commercial and industrial loans are primarily made based on the identified cash flow of the borrower and secondarily on the collateral underlying the loans. The borrowers’ cash flow may prove to be unpredictable, and collateral securing these loans may fluctuate in value. Most often, this collateral consists of accounts receivable, inventory and equipment. Significant adverse changes in our borrowers’ industries and businesses could cause rapid declines in values and collectability of those business assets, which could result in inadequate collateral coverage for our commercial and industrial loans and expose us to future losses. In the case of loans secured by accounts receivable, the availability of funds for the repayment of these loans may be substantially dependent on the ability of the borrower to collect amounts due from its clients. Inventory and equipment may depreciate over time, be difficult to appraise, be illiquid and fluctuate in value based on the success of the business. If the cash flow from business operations is reduced, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan may be impaired. An increase in specific reserves and charge offs related to our commercial and industrial loan portfolio could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.
The foregoing risks are enhanced as a result of the limited geographic scope of our principal markets. Most of the real estate securing our loans is located in our California markets. Because the value of this collateral depends upon local real estate market conditions and is affected by, among other things, neighborhood characteristics, real estate tax rates, the cost of operating the properties, and local governmental regulation, adverse changes in any of these factors in our markets could cause a decline in the value of the collateral securing a significant portion of our loan portfolio. Further, the concentration of real estate collateral in California limits our ability to diversify the risk of such occurrences.
The level of our commercial real estate loan portfolio may subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have promulgated joint guidance on sound risk management practices for financial institutions with concentrations in commercial real estate lending. Under this guidance, a financial institution that, like us, is actively involved in commercial real estate lending, should perform a risk assessment to identify concentrations. A financial institution may have a concentration in commercial real estate lending if, among other factors (i) total reported loans for construction, land development and other land represent 100% or more of total capital, or (ii) total reported commercial real estate loans (as defined in the guidance) represent 300% or more of total capital. The particular focus of the guidance is on exposure to commercial real estate loans that are dependent on the cash flow from the real estate held as collateral and that are likely to be at greater risk to conditions in the commercial real estate market (as opposed to real estate collateral held as a secondary source of repayment or as an abundance of caution). The purpose of the guidance is to guide banks in developing risk management practices and capital levels commensurate with the level and nature of real estate concentrations. The guidance states that management should employ heightened risk management practices including board and management oversight and strategic planning, development of underwriting standards, risk assessment and monitoring through market analysis and stress testing. We have concluded that we have a concentration in commercial real estate lending under the foregoing standards because our balance in commercial real estate loans at December 31, 2018 represents more than 300% of total capital. Owner occupied commercial real estate totaled 136.25% of total capital, while non-owner occupied commercial real estate totals an additional 312.2% of total capital. While we believe we
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have implemented policies and procedures with respect to our commercial real estate loan portfolio consistent with this guidance, bank regulators could require us to implement additional policies and procedures consistent with their interpretation of the guidance that may result in additional costs to us.
Our high concentration of large loans to certain borrowers may increase our credit risk.
Our growth over the last several years has been partially attributable to our ability to originate and retain large loans. We have established an informal, internal limit on loans to one borrower, principal or guarantor. Our limit is based on “total exposure” which represents the aggregate exposure of economically related borrowers for approval purposes. However, we may, under certain circumstances, consider going above this internal limit in situations where management’s understanding of the industry and the credit quality of the borrower are commensurate with the increased size of the loan. Many of these loans have been made to a small number of borrowers, resulting in a high concentration of large loans to certain borrowers. As of December 31, 2018, our 10 largest borrowing relationships accounted for approximately $151.3 million or 14.1% of our total loan portfolio, including undisbursed commitments to these borrowers. Along with other risks inherent in these loans, such as the deterioration of the underlying businesses or property securing these loans, this high concentration of borrowers presents a risk to our lending operations. If any one of these borrowers becomes unable to repay its loan obligations as a result of economic or market conditions, or personal circumstances, such as divorce or death, our non-accruing loans and our provision for loan losses could increase significantly, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Several of our large depositors have relationships with each other, which creates a higher risk that one client’s withdrawal of its deposit could lead to a loss of other deposits from clients within the relationship, which, in turn, could force us to fund our business through more expensive and less stable sources.
As of December 31, 2018, our ten largest non-brokered depositors accounted for $148.6 million in deposits, or approximately 11.5% of our total deposits. Several of our large depositors are affiliated locals of labor unions or have business, family, or other relationships with each other, which creates a risk that any one client’s withdrawal of its deposit could lead to a loss of other deposits from clients within the relationship. See “Deposits from labor unions and their related businesses are one important source of funds for us and a reduced level of such deposits may hurt our profits” risk factor below.
Withdrawals of deposits by any one of our largest depositors, or by one of our related client groups, could force us to rely on borrowings and other sources of funding for our business operations and withdrawal demands, adversely affecting our net interest margin and results of operations. Additionally, withdrawal of deposits may force us to potentially rely on other more expensive and less stable funding sources. Consequently, the occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Any expansion into new markets or new lines of business might not be successful.
As part of our ongoing strategic plan, we may consider expansion into new geographic markets. Such expansion might take the form of the establishment of de novo branches or the acquisition of existing banks or branches. There are considerable costs associated with opening new branches, and they generally do not generate sufficient revenues to offset costs until they have been in operation for some time. Additionally, we may consider expansion into new lines of business through the acquisition of third parties or organic growth and development. There are substantial risks associated with such efforts, including risks that (i) revenues from such activities might not be sufficient to offset the development, compliance, and other implementation costs, (ii) competing products and services and shifting market preferences might affect the profitability of such activities, and (iii) our internal controls might be inadequate to manage the risks associated with new activities. Furthermore, it is possible that our unfamiliarity with new markets or lines of business might adversely affect the success of such actions. External factors, such as compliance with regulations, competitive alternatives and shifting market preferences, may also affect the ultimate implementation of a new line of business or offerings of new products, product enhancements or services. If any such expansions into new geographic or product markets are not successful, there could be an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
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Our small to medium-sized business and entrepreneurial clients may have fewer financial resources than larger entities to weather adverse business developments, which may impair a borrower’s ability to repay a loan, and such impairment could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
We focus our business development and marketing strategy primarily to serve the banking and financial services needs of small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs. These small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs may have fewer financial resources in terms of capital or borrowing capacity than larger entities. If general economic conditions negatively impact our markets, and small to medium sized businesses are adversely affected, our financial condition and results of operations may be negatively affected.
Our allowance for loan losses may prove to be insufficient to absorb potential losses in our loan portfolio.
We maintain our allowance for loan losses at a level that management considers adequate to absorb probable incurred loan losses based on an analysis of our portfolio and market environment. The allowance contains provisions for probable losses that have been identified relating to specific borrowing relationships, as well as probable incurred losses inherent in the loan portfolio and credit undertakings that are not specifically identified. The amount of the allowance is determined by our management through periodic reviews and consideration of a variety of factors, including an analysis of the loan portfolio, historical loss experience and an evaluation of current economic conditions in our market areas.
The determination of the appropriate level of the allowance for loan losses inherently involves a high degree of subjectivity and requires us to make significant estimates of current credit risks and future trends, all of which may undergo material changes. Deterioration in economic conditions affecting borrowers, new information regarding existing loans, identification of additional problem loans and other conditions within our markets, which may be beyond our control, may cause a required increase in the allowance for loan losses. Management also recognizes that significant new loan growth, new loan products and the refinancing of existing loans can result in portfolios comprised of unseasoned loans that may not perform in a historical or projected manner and will increase the risk that our allowance may be insufficient to absorb losses without significant additional provisions.
Although management believes that the allowance for loan losses is adequate to absorb losses on any existing loans that may become uncollectible, we may be required to take additional provisions for loan losses in the future to further supplement the allowance for loan losses, either due to management’s discretion or because banking regulators require us to do so. Bank regulatory agencies will periodically review our allowance for loan losses and the value attributed to nonaccrual loans, and may require an increase in the provision for possible loan losses or the recognition of further loan charge-offs, based on judgments different than those of management. If charge-offs in future periods exceed the allowance for loan losses, we may need additional provisions to replenish the allowance for loan losses. Any increases in the allowance for loan losses will result in a decrease in net income and most likely capital, and may have a material negative effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
The acquisition method of accounting requires that acquired loans are initially recorded at fair value at the time of acquisition, and therefore no corresponding allowance for loan losses is recorded for these loans at acquisition because credit quality, among other elements, was considered in the determination of fair value. To the extent that our estimates of fair value are too high, we will incur impairment losses associated with the acquired loans.
We expect that implementation of a new accounting standard could require us to increase our allowance for loan losses and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) has adopted a new accounting standard, referred to as Current Expected Credit Loss (“CECL”), which will require financial institutions to determine periodic estimates of lifetime expected credit losses on loans and recognize the expected credit losses as allowances for credit losses. This will change the current method of providing allowances for credit losses that are probable, which may require us to increase our allowance for loan losses, and may greatly increase the types of data we would need to collect and review to determine the appropriate level of the allowance for credit losses. As an emerging growth company, this standard will be effective for us for
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fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021 and for interim reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2021. We are evaluating the impact the CECL accounting model will have on our accounting and expect to recognize a one time cumulative effect adjustment to the allowance for loan losses as of the beginning of the first reporting period in which the new standard is effective. We cannot yet determine the magnitude of any such one time cumulative adjustment or of the overall impact of the new standard on our financial condition or results of operations. The federal banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, have adopted a rule that gives a banking organization the option to phase in, over a three year period, the day one adverse effects of CECL on its regulatory capital. Any increases in the allowance for loan losses will result in a decrease in net income and possibly capital, and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our profitability is vulnerable to interest rate fluctuations.
As with most financial institutions, our results of operations depend substantially on our net interest income, which is the difference between the interest income we earn on our interest-earning assets, such as loans and securities, and the interest expense we pay on our interest-bearing liabilities, such as deposits and borrowings. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control, including general economic conditions and policies of various governmental and regulatory agencies, in particular, the Federal Reserve. In an attempt to help the overall economy, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates low through its targeted Fed Funds rate for a number of years. The Federal Reserve has steadily increased the federal funds rate over the last three fiscal years to a range of 2.25% to 2.50% in December 2018 and indicated likelihood for further increases, subject to economic conditions. As the Federal Reserve increases the Fed Funds rate, overall interest rates will likely rise, which may negatively impact housing refinancing activity, new home purchases and the U.S. economic recovery.
We principally manage interest rate risk by managing volume and mix of our earning assets and funding liabilities. Changes in monetary policy, including changes in interest rates, could influence not only the interest we receive on loans and investments and the amount of interest we pay on deposits and borrowings, but could also affect (i) our ability to originate and/or sell loans and obtain deposits, (ii) the fair value of our financial assets and liabilities, which could negatively impact shareholders’ equity, and our ability to realize gains from the sale of such assets, (iii) our ability to obtain and retain deposits in competition with other available investment alternatives, (iv) the ability of our borrowers to repay adjustable or variable rate loans, and (v) the average duration of our investment securities portfolio and other interest earning assets. In a changing interest rate environment, we may not be able to manage this risk effectively. If we are unable to manage interest rate risk effectively, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially affected.
A sustained increase in market interest rates could adversely affect our earnings. A significant portion of our loans have fixed interest rates and longer terms than our deposits and borrowings. As a result of the relatively low interest rate environment, an increasing percentage of our deposits have been comprised of certificates of deposit and other deposits yielding no or a relatively low interest rate, having a shorter duration than our assets. At December 31, 2018, we had $150.5 million in certificates of deposit that mature within one year and $1.0 billion in noninterest bearing checking, NOW checking, savings and money market accounts. We would incur a higher cost of funds to retain these deposits in a rising interest rate environment. Our net interest income could be adversely affected if the rates we pay on deposits and borrowings increase more rapidly than the rates we earn on loans and other investments.
Changes in interest rates also affect the value of our interest earning assets and in particular our securities portfolio. Generally, the fair value of fixed rate securities fluctuates inversely with changes in interest rates. Unrealized gains and losses on securities available for sale are reported as a separate component of equity, net of tax. Decreases in the fair value of securities available for sale resulting from increases in interest rates could have an adverse effect on shareholders’ equity.
Although management believes it has implemented effective asset and liability management strategies to reduce the potential effects of changes in interest rates on our results of operations, any substantial, unexpected or prolonged change in market interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Also, our interest rate risk modeling techniques and assumptions likely may not fully predict or capture the impact of actual interest rate changes on our
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balance sheet or projected operating results. For further discussion of how changes in interest rates could impact us, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Interest Rate Sensitivity and Market Risk,” of this Form 10-K for a discussion of interest rate risk modeling and the inherent risks in modeling assumptions.
Uncertainty relating to the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) calculation process and potential phasing out of LIBOR may adversely affect our results of operations.
On July 27, 2017, the Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit rates for the calibration of LIBOR to the administrator of LIBOR after 2021. The announcement indicates that the continuation of LIBOR on the current basis cannot and will not be guaranteed after 2021. It is impossible to predict whether and to what extent banks will continue to provide LIBOR submissions to the administrator of LIBOR or whether any additional reforms to LIBOR may be enacted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. At this time, no consensus exists as to what rate or rates may become acceptable alternatives to LIBOR and it is impossible to predict the effect of any such alternatives on the value of LIBOR-based securities, variable rate loans, subordinated debentures, or other securities or financial arrangements, given LIBOR’s role in determining market interest rates globally. Uncertainty as to the nature of alternative reference rates and as to potential changes or other reforms to LIBOR may adversely affect LIBOR rates and the value of LIBOR-based loans, and to a lesser extent, securities in our portfolio. It may impact the availability and cost of hedging instruments and borrowings, including the rates we pay on our subordinated debentures and trust preferred securities. If LIBOR rates are no longer available, and we are required to implement substitute indices for the calculation of interest rates under our loan agreements with our borrowers or our existing borrowings, we may incur significant expenses in effecting the transition. It may also be subject to disputes or litigation with customers and creditors over the appropriateness or comparability to LIBOR of the substitute indices, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
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.
Construction and land development loans totaled $47.3 million, or 4.8%, of our total loan portfolio as of December 31, 2018, of which $34.6 million were commercial real estate construction loans and $12.7 million were residential real estate construction loans. These loans involve additional risks because funds are advanced upon the security of the project, which is of uncertain value prior to its completion, and costs may exceed realizable values in declining real estate markets. Because of the uncertainties inherent in estimating construction costs and the realizable market value of the completed project and the effects of governmental regulation of real property, it is relatively difficult to accurately evaluate the total funds required to complete a project and the related loan-to-value ratio. Higher than anticipated building costs may cause actual results to vary significantly from those estimated. For these reasons, this type of lending also typically involves higher loan principal amounts and may be concentrated with a small number of builders. A downturn in the commercial real estate market could increase delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures, and significantly impair the value of our collateral and our ability to sell the collateral upon foreclosure. Some of the builders we deal with have more than one loan outstanding with us. Consequently, an adverse development with respect to one loan or one credit relationship can expose us to a significantly greater risk of loss. In addition, during the term of some of our construction loans, no payment from the borrower is required since the accumulated interest is added to the principal of the loan through an interest reserve. As a result, construction loans often involve the disbursement of substantial funds with repayment dependent, in part, on the success of the ultimate project and the ability of the borrower to sell or lease the property, rather than the ability of the borrower or guarantor to repay principal and interest. If our appraisal of the value of the completed project proves to be overstated, or market values or rental rates decline, we may have inadequate security for the repayment of the loan upon completion of construction of the project. In addition, construction loans involve additional cost as a result of the need to actively monitor the building process, including cost comparisons and on-site inspections.
Properties under construction are often difficult to sell and typically must be completed in order to be successfully sold, which complicates the process of working with our problem construction loans. If we are
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forced to foreclose on a project prior to or at completion due to a default, we may not be able to recover all of the unpaid balance of, and accrued interest on, the loan as well as related foreclosure and holding costs. In addition, we may be required to fund additional amounts to complete the project and may have to hold the property for an unspecified period of time while we attempt to dispose of it. Further, in the case of speculative construction loans, there is the added risk associated with the borrower obtaining a take-out commitment for a permanent loan. Loans on land under development or held for future construction also pose additional risk because of the lack of income production by the property and the potential illiquid nature of the collateral.
At December 31, 2018, all construction loans were performing in accordance to their repayment terms. Any material increase in our nonperforming construction loans could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operation.
Our business may be adversely affected by credit risk associated with residential property.
At December 31, 2018, $87.6 million, or 9.0% of our total loan portfolio, was secured by first liens on one to four family residential loans. In addition, at December 31, 2018, our home equity loans and lines of credit totaled $15.1 million. A portion of our one to four family residential real estate loan portfolio consists of jumbo loans that do not conform to secondary market mortgage requirements, and therefore are not immediately sellable to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, because such loans exceed the maximum balance allowable for sale (generally $424,100 – $625,500 for single family homes in our markets, depending on the area). Jumbo one to four family residential loans may expose us to increased risk because of their larger balances and because they cannot be immediately sold to government sponsored enterprises.
In addition, one to four family residential loans are generally sensitive to regional and local economic conditions that significantly impact the ability of borrowers to meet their loan payment obligations, making loss levels difficult to predict. A decline in residential real estate values resulting from a downturn in the housing market in our market areas may reduce the value of the real estate collateral securing these types of loans and increase our risk of loss if borrowers’ default on their loans. Recessionary conditions or declines in the volume of real estate sales and/or the sales prices coupled with elevated unemployment rates may result in higher than expected loan delinquencies or problem assets, and a decline in demand for our products and services. These potential negative events may cause us to incur losses and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may be adversely affected by recent changes in U.S. tax laws.
Changes in tax laws contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”), which was enacted in December 2017, include a number of provisions that will have an impact on the banking industry, borrowers and the market for single family residential real estate. Changes include (i) a lower limit on the deductibility of mortgage interest on single family residential mortgage loans, (ii) limitations on interest deductions for home equity loans, (iii) a limitation on the deductibility of business interest expense and (iv) a limitation on the deductibility of property taxes and state and local income taxes. The recent changes in the tax laws may have an adverse effect on the market for, and valuation of, residential properties, and on the demand for such loans in the future, and could make it harder for borrowers to make their loan payments. If home ownership becomes less attractive, demand for mortgage loans could decrease. The value of the properties securing loans in our loan portfolio may be adversely impacted as a result of the changing economics of home ownership, which could require an increase in our provision for loan losses, which would reduce our profitability and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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.
At December 31, 2018, nonperforming loans were $3.1 million, or 0.3% of the total loan portfolio, and nonperforming assets were $3.9 million, or 0.3% of total assets. In addition to the nonperforming loans, there were $750,000 in loans classified as performing TDRs at December 31, 2018. Nonperforming assets adversely affect our earnings in various ways. We do not record interest income on nonaccrual loans or foreclosed assets, thereby adversely affecting our income and increasing our loan administration costs.
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Upon foreclosure or similar proceedings, we record the repossessed asset at the estimated fair value, less costs to sell, which may result in a write down or loss. If we experience increases in nonperforming loans and nonperforming assets, our losses and troubled assets could increase significantly, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations, as 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. A significant increase in the level of nonperforming assets from current levels would also increase our risk profile and may impact the capital levels our regulators believe are appropriate in light of the increased risk profile. While we reduce problem assets through collection efforts, asset sales, workouts and restructurings, decreases in the value of the underlying collateral, or in these borrowers’ performance or financial condition, whether or not due to economic and market conditions beyond our control, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, the resolution of nonperforming assets requires significant commitments of time from management and our directors, which can be detrimental to the performance of their other responsibilities.
The success of our SBA lending program is dependent upon the continued availability of SBA loan programs, our status as a preferred lender under the SBA loan programs and our ability to comply with applicable SBA lending requirements.
As an SBA Preferred Lender, we enable our clients to obtain SBA loans without being subject to the potentially lengthy SBA approval process necessary for lenders that are not SBA Preferred Lenders. The SBA periodically reviews the lending operations of participating lenders to assess, among other things, whether the lender exhibits prudent risk management. When weaknesses are identified, the SBA may request corrective actions or impose other restrictions, including revocation of the lender’s Preferred Lender status. If we lose our status as a Preferred Lender, we may lose our ability to compete effectively with other SBA Preferred Lenders, and as a result we would experience a material adverse effect to our financial results. Any changes to the SBA program, including changes to the level of guaranty provided by the federal government on SBA loans or changes to the level of funds appropriated by the federal government to the various SBA programs, may also have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Historically, we have sold the guaranteed portion of our SBA 7(a) loans in the secondary market. These sales have resulted in gains or premiums on the sale of the loans and have created a stream of future servicing income. There can be no assurance that we will be able to continue originating these loans, that a secondary market will exist or that we will continue to realize premiums upon the sale of the guaranteed portion of these loans. When we sell the guaranteed portion of our SBA 7(a) loans, we incur credit risk on the retained, non-guaranteed portion of the loans.
In order for a borrower to be eligible to receive an SBA loan, the lender must establish that the borrower would not be able to secure a bank loan without the credit enhancements provided by a guaranty under the SBA program. Accordingly, the SBA loans in our portfolio generally have weaker credit characteristics than the rest of our portfolio, and may be at greater risk of default in the event of deterioration in economic conditions or the borrower’s financial condition. In the event of a loss resulting from default and a determination by the SBA that there is a deficiency in the manner in which the loan was originated, funded or serviced by us, the SBA may require us to repurchase the previously sold portion of the loan, deny its liability under the guaranty, reduce the amount of the guaranty, or, if it has already paid under the guaranty, seek recovery of the principal loss related to the deficiency from us. Management has estimated losses inherent in the outstanding guaranteed portion of SBA loans and recorded a recourse reserve at a level determined to be appropriate. Significant increases to the recourse reserve may materially decrease our net income, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Deposits from labor unions and their related businesses are one important source of funds for us and a reduced level of such deposits may hurt our profits.
Deposits from labor unions and their related businesses are an important source of funds for our lending and investment activities. At December 31, 2018, $464.2 million, or 36.9%, of our total deposits were comprised of deposits from labor unions, representing ten different local unions with an average deposit balance per local union of approximately $6.0 million. At December 31, 2018, two labor unions had
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aggregate deposits of  $10.0 million or more, totaling $34.1 million, or 2.6% of our total deposits, with the largest union relationship totaling $21.7 million or 1.6% of total deposits. Given our use of these high average balance deposits as a source of funds, the inability to retain these funds could have an adverse effect on our liquidity. In addition, these deposits are primarily demand deposit accounts or short term deposits and therefore may be more sensitive to changes in interest rates. If we are forced to pay higher rates on these deposits to retain the funds, or if we are unable to retain the funds and are forced to turn to borrowing and other funding sources for our lending and investment activities, the interest expense associated with such borrowings may be higher than the rates we are paying on these deposits, which could adversely affect our net margin and net income. We may also be forced, as a result of any material withdrawal of deposits, to rely more heavily on other, potentially more expensive and less stable funding sources. Consequently, the occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Liquidity risk could impair our ability to fund operations and jeopardize our financial condition, growth and prospects.
Liquidity is essential to our business. We rely on a number of different sources in order to meet our potential liquidity demands. Our primary sources of liquidity are increases in deposit accounts, cash flows from loan payments and our securities portfolio. Borrowings also provide us with a source of funds to meet liquidity demands. An inability to raise funds through deposits, borrowings, the sale of loans and other sources could have a substantial negative effect on our liquidity. Our access to funding sources in amounts adequate to finance our activities or on terms which are acceptable to us could be impaired by factors that affect us specifically, or the financial services industry or economy in general. Factors that could detrimentally impact our access to liquidity sources include a decrease in the level of our business activity as a result of a downturn in the markets in which our loans are concentrated, negative operating results, or adverse regulatory action against us. Our ability to borrow could also be impaired by factors that are not specific to us, such as a disruption in the financial markets or negative views and expectations about the prospects for the financial services industry or deterioration in credit markets. Any decline in available funding in amounts adequate to finance our activities or on terms which are acceptable could adversely impact our ability to originate loans, invest in securities, meet our expenses, or fulfill obligations such as repaying our borrowings or meeting deposit withdrawal demands, any of which could, in turn, have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity” of this Form 10-K.
Our liquidity is dependent on dividends from the Bank.
The Company is a legal entity separate and distinct from the Bank. A substantial portion of our cash flow, including cash flow to pay principal and interest on any debt we may incur, comes from dividends the Company receives from the Bank. Various federal and state laws and regulations limit the amount of dividends that the Bank may pay to the Company. Because our ability to receive dividends or loans from the Bank is restricted, our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders may also be restricted. As of December 31, 2018, the Bank had the capacity to pay the Company a dividend of up to $26.2 million without the need to obtain prior regulatory approval. Also, the Company’s right to participate in a distribution of assets upon a subsidiary’s liquidation or reorganization is subject to the prior claims of the subsidiary’s creditors. In the event the Bank is unable to pay dividends to us, we may not be able to service any debt we may incur, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
Our growth or future losses may require us to raise additional capital in the future, but that capital may not be available when it is needed, or the cost of that capital may be very high.
We are required by federal regulatory authorities to maintain adequate levels of capital to support our operations. At some point, we may need to raise additional capital or issue additional debt to support our growth or replenish future losses. Our ability to raise additional capital or issue additional debt depends on conditions in the capital markets, economic conditions and a number of other factors, including investor perceptions regarding the banking industry, market conditions and governmental activities, and on our financial condition and performance. Such borrowings or additional capital, if sought, may not be available to us or, if available, may not be on favorable terms.
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Accordingly, we cannot make assurances that we will be able to raise additional capital or issue additional debt if needed on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. If we cannot raise additional capital or issue additional debt when needed, our ability to further expand our operations could be materially impaired and our financial condition and liquidity could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, any additional capital we obtain may result in the dilution of the interests of existing holders of our common stock. Further, if we are unable to raise additional capital when required by our bank regulators, we may be subject to adverse regulatory action.
The financial services industry is highly competitive. Strong competition within our market area may limit our growth and profitability.
We face pricing competition for loans and deposits. We also face competition with respect to customer convenience, product lines, accessibility of service and service capabilities. We compete with numerous commercial banks, savings institutions, mortgage brokerage firms, credit unions, finance companies, mutual funds, insurance companies, and brokerage and investment banking firms operating locally and elsewhere and, more recently, with FinTech companies that rely on technology to provide financial services. The significant competition in attracting and retaining deposits and making loans as well as in providing other financial services throughout our market area may impact future earnings and growth. Our success depends, in part, on the ability to adapt products and services to evolving industry standards. There is increasing pressure to provide products and services at lower prices, which can reduce net interest income and noninterest income from fee based products and services. New technology driven products and services are often introduced and adopted, including innovative ways that customers can make payments, access products and manage accounts. We could be required to make substantial capital expenditures to modify or adapt existing products and services or develop new products and services. We may not be successful in introducing new products and services or those new products may not achieve market acceptance. We could lose business, be forced to price products and services on less advantageous terms to retain or attract clients, or be subject to cost increases if we do not effectively develop and implement new technology. In addition, advances in technology such as telephone, text, and online banking; e-commerce; and self service automatic teller machines and other equipment, as well as changing customer preferences to access our products and services through digital channels, could decrease the value of our branch network and other assets. We may close or sell certain branches and restructure or reduce our remaining branches and work force. These actions could lead to losses on assets, expense to reconfigure stores and loss of customers in certain markets. As a result, our business, financial condition or results of operations may be adversely affected.
As a community bank, our ability to maintain our reputation is critical to the success of our business, and the failure to do so may materially adversely affect our performance.
We are a community bank, and our reputation is one of the most valuable components of our business. As such, we strive to conduct our business in a manner that enhances our reputation. This is done, in part, by recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees who share our core values of being an integral part of the communities we serve, delivering superior service to our clients, and caring about our clients and associates. If our reputation is negatively affected, by the actions of our employees or otherwise, our business and, therefore, our operating results may be materially adversely affected. Further, negative public opinion can expose us to litigation and regulatory action as we seek to implement our growth strategy.
Agricultural lending and volatility in commodity prices may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
At December 31, 2018, agricultural loans, including agricultural real estate and operating loans, were $23.9 million, or 1.8% of our total loan portfolio. Agricultural lending involves a greater degree of risk and typically involves higher principal amounts than other types of loans. Repayment is dependent upon the successful operation of the business, which is greatly dependent on many things outside the control of either us or the borrowers. These factors include adverse weather conditions that prevent the planting of a crops or limit crop yields (such as hail, drought, fires and floods), loss of livestock due to disease or other factors, declines in market prices for agricultural products (both domestically and internationally) and the impact of government regulations (including tariffs, changes in price supports, subsidies and environmental regulations). Volatility in commodity prices could adversely impact the ability of borrowers in these
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industries to perform under the terms of their borrowing arrangements with us, and as a result, a severe and prolonged decline in commodity prices may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. It is also difficult to project future commodity prices as they are dependent upon many different factors beyond our control. In addition, many farms are dependent on a limited number of key individuals whose injury or death may significantly affect the successful operation of the farm. Consequently, agricultural loans may involve a greater degree of risk than other types of loans, particularly in the case of loans that are unsecured or secured by rapidly depreciating assets such as farm equipment (some of which is highly specialized with a limited or no market for resale), or assets such as livestock or crops. In such cases, any repossessed collateral for a defaulted agricultural operating loan my not provide an adequate source of repayment of the outstanding loan balance as a result of the greater likelihood of damage, loss or depreciation or because the assessed value of the collateral exceeds the eventual realization value.
Another factor that could have a major impact on the agricultural industry involves water availability and distribution rights. If the amount of water available to agriculture becomes increasingly scarce due to drought and/or diversion to other uses, farmers may not be able to continue to produce agricultural products at a reasonable profit, which has the potential to force many out of business. Such conditions have affected and may continue to adversely affect our borrowers and, by extension, our business, and if general agricultural conditions decline our level of nonperforming assets could increase.
Adverse weather or manmade events could negatively affect our markets or disrupt our operations.
A significant portion of our business is generated in our California and Washington markets, which have been, and may continue to be, susceptible to natural disasters, such as flooding, mudslides, brush fires, earthquakes, droughts and other natural disasters and adverse weather. These natural disasters could negatively impact regional economic conditions, cause a decline in the value or destruction of mortgaged properties and increase the risk of delinquencies, foreclosures, or loss on loans originated by us, damage our banking facilities and offices, and negatively impact our growth strategy. Such weather events could disrupt operations, result in damage to properties, and negatively affect the local economies in the markets where we operate. We cannot predict whether or to what extent damage that may be caused by future weather or manmade events will affect our operations or the economies in our current or future market areas, but such events could negatively impact economic conditions in these regions and result in a decline in local loan demand and loan originations, a decline in the value or destruction of properties securing our loans, and an increase in delinquencies, foreclosures, or loan losses as uninsured property losses, interruptions of our clients’ operations or sustained job interruption or loss may materially impair the ability of borrowers to repay their loans. Our business or results of operations may be adversely affected by these and other negative effects of natural or manmade disasters. Further, severe weather, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, and other external events could adversely affect us in a number of ways, including an increase in delinquencies, bankruptcies, or defaults that could result in a higher level of non-performing assets, net charge-offs, and provision for loan losses. A natural disaster or other catastrophic event could, therefore, result in decreased revenue and loan losses that have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We face risks related to our operational, technological and organizational infrastructure.
Our ability to grow and compete is dependent on our ability to build or acquire the necessary operational and technological infrastructure and to manage the cost of that infrastructure as we expand. Operational risk can manifest itself in many ways, such as errors related to failed or inadequate processes, faulty or disabled computer systems, fraud by employees, or outside persons and exposure to external events. As discussed below, we are dependent on our operational infrastructure to help manage these risks. In addition, we are heavily dependent on the strength and capability of our technology systems which we use both to interface with our clients and to manage our internal financial and other systems. Our ability to develop and deliver new products that meet the needs of our existing clients and attract new ones depends on the functionality of our technology systems. Additionally, our ability to run our business in compliance with applicable laws and regulations is dependent on these infrastructures.
The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. Our future success will depend in part upon our ability to address the needs of our clients by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy client
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demands for convenience as well as to provide secure electronic environments and create additional efficiencies in our operations as we continue to grow and expand our market area. We continuously monitor our operational and technological capabilities and make modifications and improvements when we believe it will be cost effective to do so. In some instances, we may build and maintain these capabilities ourselves. In connection with implementing new operational and technology enhancements or products in the future, we may experience certain operational challenges (e.g. human error, system error, incompatibility, etc.) 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 operational and technological infrastructure. As a result, they may be able to offer additional or more convenient products compared to those that we will be able to provide, which would put us at a competitive disadvantage. Accordingly, we may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing such products and services to our clients, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, the implementation of technological changes and upgrades to maintain current systems and integrate new ones may also cause service interruptions, transaction processing errors and system conversion delays and may cause us to fail to comply with applicable laws. We expect that new technologies and business processes applicable to the banking industry will continue to emerge, and these new technologies and business processes may be better than those we currently use. Because the pace of technological change is high and our industry is intensely competitive, we may not be able to sustain our investment in new technology as critical systems and applications become obsolete or as better ones become available. A failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry and failure to avoid interruptions, errors and delays could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
The occurrence of fraudulent activity, breaches or failures of our information security controls or cybersecurity-related incidents could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As a bank, we are susceptible to fraudulent activity, information security breaches and cybersecurity related incidents that may be committed against us or our clients, which may result in financial losses or increased costs to us or our clients, disclosure or misuse of our information or our client information, misappropriation of assets, privacy breaches against our clients, litigation or damage to our reputation. Such fraudulent activity may take many forms, including check fraud, electronic fraud, wire fraud, phishing, social engineering and other dishonest acts. Information security breaches and cybersecurity related incidents may include fraudulent or unauthorized access to systems used by us or our clients, denial or degradation of service attacks, and malware or other cyber attacks. There continues to be a rise in electronic fraudulent activity, security breaches and cyber attacks within the financial services industry, especially in the commercial banking sector due to cyber criminals targeting commercial bank accounts. Consistent with industry trends, we have also experienced an increase in attempted electronic fraudulent activity, security breaches and cybersecurity related incidents in recent periods. Moreover, in recent periods, several large corporations, including financial institutions and retail companies, have suffered major data breaches, in some cases exposing not only confidential and proprietary corporate information, but also sensitive financial and other personal information of their clients and employees and subjecting them to potential fraudulent activity. We are not aware that we have experienced any material misappropriation, loss or other unauthorized disclosure of confidential or personally identifiable information as a result of a cyber security breach or other act, however, some of our clients may have been affected by these breaches, which could increase their risks of identity theft, credit card fraud and other fraudulent activity that could involve their accounts with us.
The secure maintenance and transmission of confidential information, as well as execution of transactions over the networks and systems maintained by us, our clients and third party vendors, such as our online banking or reporting systems, are essential to protect us and our clients against fraud and security breaches and to maintain the confidence of our clients. Breaches of information security also may occur through intentional or unintentional acts by those having access to our systems or our clients’ or counterparties’ confidential information, including employees. Furthermore, our cardholders use their debit
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and credit cards to make purchases from third parties or through third party processing services. As such, we are subject to risk from data breaches of such third party’s information systems or their payment processors. Such a data security breach could compromise our account information. We may suffer losses associated with reimbursing our clients for such fraudulent transactions on clients’ card accounts, as well as for other costs related to data security breaches, such as replacing cards associated with compromised card accounts.
In addition, increases in criminal activity levels and sophistication, advances in computer capabilities, new discoveries, and vulnerabilities in third party technologies (including browsers and operating systems) or other developments could result in a compromise or breach of the technology, processes and controls that we use to prevent fraudulent transactions and to protect data about us, our clients and underlying transactions. Although we have developed and continue to invest in systems and processes that are designed to detect and prevent security breaches and cyber attacks and periodically test our security, a breach of our systems could result in losses to us or our clients, our loss of business and/or clients, damage to our reputation, the incurrence of additional expenses, disruption to our business, our inability to grow our online services or other businesses, additional regulatory scrutiny or penalties, or our exposure to civil litigation and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We depend on information technology and telecommunications systems of third parties, and any systems failures, interruptions or data breaches involving these systems could adversely affect our operations and financial condition.
We rely heavily on third party service providers for much of our communications, information, operating and financial control systems technology, including client relationship management, internet banking, website, general ledger, deposit, loan servicing and wire origination systems. Any failure or interruption or breach in security of these systems could result in failures or interruptions in our client relationship management, internet banking, website, general ledger, deposit, loan servicing and/or wire origination systems.
We cannot assure you that such failures or interruptions will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be adequately addressed by us or the third parties on which we rely. The Company may not be insured against all types of losses as a result of third party failures and insurance coverage may be inadequate to cover all losses resulting from system failures or other disruptions. If any of our third-party service providers experience financial, operational or technological difficulties, or if there is any other disruption in our relationships with them, we may be required to locate alternative sources of such services, and we cannot assure you that we could negotiate terms that are as favorable to us, or could obtain services with similar functionality as found in our existing systems without the need to expend substantial resources, if at all. Any of these circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Additionally, the bank regulatory agencies expect financial institutions to be responsible for all aspects of our vendors’ performance, including aspects which they delegate to third parties. Disruptions or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support our businesses and clients, or cyber attacks or security breaches of the networks, systems or devices that our clients use to access our products and services could result in client attrition, regulatory fines, penalties or intervention, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs, any of which could materially adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.
We are subject to certain operational risks, including, but not limited to, client or employee fraud and data processing system failures and errors.
Employee errors and employee and client misconduct could subject us to financial losses or regulatory sanctions and seriously harm our reputation. Misconduct by our employees could include hiding unauthorized activities from us, improper or unauthorized activities on behalf of our clients or improper use of confidential information. It is not always possible to prevent employee errors and misconduct, and the precautions we take to prevent and detect this activity may not be effective in all cases. Employee errors could also subject us to financial claims for negligence.
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We maintain a system of internal controls and insurance coverage to mitigate against operational risks, including data processing system failures and errors and client 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.
If our enterprise risk management framework is not effective at mitigating risk and loss to us, we could suffer unexpected losses.
Our enterprise risk management framework seeks to achieve an appropriate balance between risk and return, which is critical to optimizing shareholder value. We have established processes and procedures intended to identify, measure, monitor, report, analyze and control the types of risk to which we are subject. These risks include liquidity risk, credit risk, market risk, interest rate risk, operational risk, legal and compliance risk, and reputational risk, among others. We also maintain a compliance program to identify, measure, assess, and report on our adherence to applicable laws, policies and procedures. While we assess and improve these programs on an ongoing basis, there can be no assurance that our risk management or compliance programs, along with other related controls, will effectively mitigate all risk and limit losses in our business. However, as with any risk management framework, there are inherent limitations to our risk management strategies as there may exist, or develop in the future, risks that we have not appropriately anticipated or identified. Any failure or circumvention of our controls, processes and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls, processes and procedures could necessitate changes in those controls, processes and procedures, which may increase our compliance costs, divert management attention from our business or subject us to regulatory actions and increased regulatory scrutiny. If our framework is not effective, we could suffer unexpected losses and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. We could also be subject to potentially adverse regulatory consequences.
Changes in accounting standards could materially impact our financial statements.
From time to time, the FASB or the SEC may change the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. Such changes may result in us being subject to new or changing accounting and reporting standards. In addition, the bodies that interpret the accounting standards (such as banking regulators, outside auditors or management) may change their interpretations or positions on how these standards should be applied. These changes may be beyond our control, can be hard to predict, and can materially impact how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, we could be required to apply a new or revised standard retrospectively, or apply an existing standard differently, also retrospectively, in each case resulting in our needing to revise or restate prior period financial statements.
A change in the tax laws relating to like-kind exchanges could adversely affect our business.
We offer escrow services and facilitate tax-deferred commercial exchanges under Section 1031 of the Code to generate non-interest income and low cost deposits. As of December 31, 2018, deposit balances associated with these operations totaled $25.3 million.
Section 1031 of the Code provides for tax-free exchanges of real property for other real property. Legislation has been proposed on several occasions that would repeal or restrict the application of Section 1031. Any repeal or significant change in the tax rules pertaining to like-kind exchanges could adversely affect results of operations.
Changes in management’s estimates and assumptions may have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements and our financial condition or operating results.
In preparing this annual report as well as other periodic reports we are required to file under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including our consolidated financial statements, our management is and will be required under applicable rules and regulations to make estimates and assumptions as of a specified date. These estimates and assumptions are based on management’s best estimates and experience as of that date and are subject to substantial risk and uncertainty. Materially different results may occur as circumstances change and additional information becomes known. Critical accounting policies requiring
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significant estimates and assumptions by management include our policies related to the allowance for loan losses, securities, purchased credit impaired (“PCI”) loans, business combinations, loan sales and servicing of financial assets, goodwill and income taxes. For more information, see Note 1 — Organization and Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K.
We are an “emerging growth company,” and the reduced regulatory and reporting requirements applicable to emerging growth companies may make our common stock less attractive to investors.
We are an “emerging growth company,” as described in the JOBS Act. For as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may take advantage of reduced regulatory and reporting requirements that are otherwise generally applicable to public companies. These include, without limitation, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced financial reporting requirements, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation, and exemptions from the requirements of holding non-binding advisory votes on executive compensation and golden parachute payments. As a result, our stockholders may not have access to certain information that they may deem important. The JOBS Act also permits an emerging growth company to take advantage of an extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies. This election allows a company to delay the adoption of new or revised accounting standards that have different effective dates for public and private companies until those standards apply to private companies.
We have elected to, and expect to continue to, take advantage of certain of these and other exemptions, including the extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies, for so long as we are an emerging growth company. Our status as an emerging growth company will continue until December 31, 2023, unless before such date (i) our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, (ii) we issue more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt in a three-year period, or (iii) the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates exceeds $700.0 million as of any June 30, in which case we would no longer be an emerging growth company as of the following December 31.
Investors and securities analysts may find it more difficult to evaluate our common stock because we may rely on one or more of these exemptions and, as a result, investors may find our common stock less attractive, which may result in a less active trading market, increased volatility in our stock price and a lack of investor confidence, which may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. In addition, as a result of our election take advantage of the extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with these accounting standards as of the public company effective dates. Because our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with public company effective dates, investors may have difficulty evaluating or comparing our business, financial results or prospects in comparison to other public companies.
Anti-takeover laws and certain agreements and charter provisions may adversely affect share value.
Certain provisions of state and federal law and our articles of incorporation may make it more difficult for someone to acquire control of the Company. Under federal law, subject to certain exemptions, a person, entity, or group must notify the federal banking agencies before acquiring 10% or more of the outstanding voting stock of a bank holding company, including the Company’s shares. Banking agencies review the acquisition to determine if it will result in a change of control. The banking agencies have 60 days to act on the notice, and take into account several factors, including the resources of the acquiror and the antitrust effects of the acquisition. There also are California statutory provisions and provisions in our articles of incorporation that may be used to delay or block a takeover attempt. As a result, these statutory provisions and provisions in our articles of incorporation could result in the Company being less attractive to a potential acquiror.
Risks Related to the Regulation of Our Industry
We operate in a highly regulated environment and may be adversely affected by changes in federal and state laws and regulations that could increase our costs of operations.
The banking industry is extensively regulated. Federal banking regulations are designed primarily to protect the deposit insurance funds and consumers, not to benefit a company’s shareholders. These
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regulations may sometimes impose significant limitations on our operations. The significant federal and state banking regulations that affect us are described in this report under the heading “Item 1. Business-Supervision and Regulation”. These regulations, along with the currently existing tax, accounting, securities, insurance, and monetary laws, regulations, rules, standards, policies, and interpretations control the methods by which financial institutions conduct business, implement strategic initiatives and tax compliance, and govern financial reporting and disclosures. These laws, regulations, rules, standards, policies, and interpretations are constantly evolving and may change significantly over time. Any new regulation or legislation, change in existing regulation or oversight, whether a change in regulatory policy or a change in a regulator’s interpretation of a law or regulation, could have a material impact on our operations, increase our costs of regulatory compliance and of doing business and adversely affect our profitability.
Many of our new activities and expansion plans require regulatory approvals, and failure to obtain them may restrict our growth.
We intend to complement and expand our business by pursuing strategic acquisitions of financial institutions and other complementary businesses. Generally, we must receive state and federal regulatory approval before we can acquire an FDIC-insured depository institution or related business. In determining whether to approve a proposed acquisition, federal banking regulators will consider, among other factors, the effect of the acquisition on competition, our financial condition, our future prospects, and the impact of the proposal on U.S. financial stability. The regulators also review current and projected capital ratios and levels, the competence, experience and integrity of management and its record of compliance with laws and regulations, the convenience and needs of the communities to be served (including the acquiring institution’s record of compliance under the CRA) and the effectiveness of the acquiring institution in combating money laundering activities. Such regulatory approvals may not be granted on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. We may also be required to sell branches as a condition to receiving regulatory approval, which condition may not be acceptable to us or, if acceptable to us, may reduce the benefit of any acquisition.
We face a risk of noncompliance and enforcement action with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering statutes and regulations.
The Bank Secrecy Act, USA Patriot Act and other laws and regulations require financial institutions, among other duties, to institute and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and to file reports such as suspicious activity reports and currency transaction reports. We are required to comply with these and other anti-money laundering requirements. The federal banking agencies and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network are authorized to impose significant civil money penalties for violations of those requirements and have recently engaged in coordinated enforcement efforts against banks and other financial services providers with the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service. We are also subject to increased scrutiny of compliance with the rules enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. If our policies, procedures and systems are deemed deficient, we would be subject to liability, including fines and regulatory actions, which may include restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and the denial of regulatory approvals to proceed with certain aspects of our business plan, including our acquisition plans.
Failure to maintain and implement adequate programs to combat money laundering and terrorist financing could also have serious reputational consequences for us. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
Regulations relating to privacy, information security and data protection could increase our costs, affect or limit how we collect and use personal information and adversely affect our business opportunities.
We are subject to various privacy, information security and data protection laws, including requirements concerning security breach notification, and we could be negatively affected by these laws. For example, our business is subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which, among other things (i) imposes certain limitations on our ability to share nonpublic personal information about our clients with nonaffiliated third parties, (ii) requires that we provide certain disclosures to clients about our information
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collection, sharing and security practices and afford clients the right to “opt out” of any information sharing by us with nonaffiliated third parties (with certain exceptions) and (iii) requires that we develop, implement and maintain a written comprehensive information security program containing appropriate safeguards based on our size and complexity, the nature and scope of our activities and the sensitivity of client information we process, as well as plans for responding to data security breaches. Various state and federal banking regulators and states have also enacted data security breach notification requirements with varying levels of individual, consumer, regulatory or law enforcement notification in certain circumstances in the event of a security breach. Moreover, legislators and regulators in the United States are increasingly adopting or revising privacy, information security and data protection laws that potentially could have a significant impact on our current and planned privacy, data protection and information security related practices, our collection, use, sharing, retention and safeguarding of consumer or employee information and some of our current or planned business activities. This could also increase our costs of compliance and business operations and could reduce income from certain business initiatives. This includes increased privacy related enforcement activity at the federal level, by the Federal Trade Commission and the CFPB, as well as at the state level, such as with regard to mobile applications.
Compliance with current or future privacy, data protection and information security laws (including those regarding security breach notification) affecting client or employee data to which we are subject could result in higher compliance and technology costs and could restrict our ability to provide certain products and services, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. Our failure to comply with privacy, data protection and information security laws could result in potentially significant regulatory or governmental investigations or actions, litigation, fines, sanctions and damage to our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 2. Properties
Our principal executive offices are located at 500 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 200, Walnut Creek, California 94596. Including our principal executive offices, we currently operate a total of 22 full service banking branches consisting of branch offices in Northern and Southern California, Seattle, Washington and Central New Mexico. In addition, we have one loan production office in Los Angeles, California. Many of our branches are equipped with automated teller machines and drive through facilities. We believe all of our facilities are suitable for our operational needs.
The following table summarizes pertinent details of our principal executive offices and branches, as of December 31, 2018.
Office Location
Owned/Leased
San Francisco Bay Area, California
500 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 130, 200, 350 and 390, Walnut Creek, CA
Leased
3895 E. Castro Valley, Suite A, Castro Valley, CA
Leased
700 E. El Camino Real, Suite 110, Mountain View, CA
Leased
960 School Street, Napa, CA
Leased
100 Hegenberger Rd, Oakland, CA
Owned
465 Main Street, Pleasanton, CA
Leased
2300 First Street, Suite 100, Livermore, CA
Leased
2 Harrison Street, Suite 158, San Francisco, CA
Leased
2250 N. First Street, Suite 102, San Jose, CA
Leased
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Office Location
Owned/Leased
Central Valley, California
22 West Yokuts Avenue, Stockton, CA
Leased
4426 E. Waterloo Road, Stockton, CA
Leased
2815 J Street, Sacramento, CA
Leased
Southern California
330 N. Brand Blvd., Suite 120, Glendale, CA
Leased
3750 Kilroy Airway Way, Suite 130, Long Beach, CA
Leased
3530 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1400, Los Angeles, CA
Leased
Washington
14900 Interurban Ave. S., Suite 150, Seattle, WA
Leased
520 Pike Street, Suite 2750, Seattle, WA
Leased
New Mexico
1500 Mercantile Avenue NE, Albuquerque, NM
Owned
6000 Montgomery Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM
Owned
19339 Highway 314, Belen, NM
Owned
2199 Main Street SE, Los Lunas, NM
Owned
307 West Broadway, Mountainair, NM
Owned
394 Rio Communities Blvd, Belen, NM
Owned
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Periodically, there have been various claims and lawsuits involving the Company, such as claims to enforce liens, condemnation proceedings on properties in which the Company holds security interests, claims involving the making and servicing of real property loans and other issues incident to the Company’s business. The Company is not a party to any pending legal proceedings that it believes would have a material adverse effect on the financial condition or operations of the Company.
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
General.   Our common stock, since May 4, 2018, is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “BCML”. Prior to our listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on May 4, 2018, our common stock was traded on the OTCQB, Over the Counter Marketplace, under the symbol “BCML”. At December 31, 2018, we had approximately 1,221 shareholders of record (not including the number of persons or entities holding stock in nominee or street name through various brokerage firms) and 10,869,275 outstanding shares of common stock.
Stock Repurchases.   There were no stock repurchases by the Company for the year ended December 31, 2018.
Equity Compensation Plan Information.   The equity compensation plan information presented under subparagraph (d) in Part III, Item 12 of this report is incorporated herein by reference.
Performance Graph.   Our shares of common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on May 4, 2018. Accordingly, no comparative stock performance information is available for periods ending prior to this date. The performance graph below compares the Company’s cumulative shareholder return on its common stock since the inception of trading on May 4, 2018, to the cumulative total return of the NASDAQ Composite Index and the SNL U.S. Bank NASDAQ Index for the period indicated. The information presented below assumes $100 was invested on May 4, 2018, in the Company’s common stock and in each of the indices and assumes the reinvestment of all dividends. Historical stock price performance is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance. Total return assumes the reinvestment of all dividends and that the value of Common Stock and each index was $100 on May 4, 2018.
[MISSING IMAGE: tv515722_chrt-line.jpg]
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence© 2019
Index Values
5/14/2018
6/30/2018
9/30/2018
12/31/2018
Baycom Corp
100.00 106.68 115.00 99.53
Nasdaq Composite
100.00 101.34 108.57 89.53
SNL U.S. Bank Nasdaq
100.00 96.63 94.06 76.77
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Item 6. Selected Financial Data
The following condensed consolidated statements of financial condition and operations and selected performance ratios, as of and for the five years ended December 31, 2018, have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements. The information below is qualified in its entirety by the detailed information included elsewhere herein and should be read along with “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Item 8. Financial Statement and Supplementary Data” of this report.
At December 31,
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
(In thousands, except for per share data)
Selected Financial Condition Data:
Total assets
$ 1,478,395 $ 1,245,794 $ 675,299 $ 623,304 $ 504,391
Cash and due from banks
327,561 251,596 130,213 111,391 145,281
Investments, available for sale
99,796 40,505 13,918 23,615 17,540
FHLB and FRB stock, at cost
9,243 7,759 3,923 3,846 2,859
Loans receivable, net
970,189 886,864 504,264 460,208 322,908
Total liabilities
1,277,642 1,127,159 597,236 550,923 446,217
Deposits
1,257,768 1,104,305 590,759 543,304 437,941
Borrowings
8,161 11,387 6,000
Total equity
200,753 118,635 78,063 72,381 58,174
For the Years ended December 31,
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Selected Operating Data:
Interest and dividend income
$ 56,860 $ 44,253 $ 29,625 $ 25,715 $ 19,637
Interest expense
4,942 4,312 3,074 2,691 2,310
Net interest income before provision for loan loss
51,918 39,941 26,551 23,024 17,327
Provision for loan loss
1,842 462 598 1,412 1,074
Net interest income after provision for loan
loss
50,076 39,479 25,953 21,612 16,253
Noninterest income
7,082 4,794 1,358 6,902 3,705
Noninterest expense
36,669 30,124 16,963 19,350 13,063
Income before provision for income tax
20,489 14,149 10,348 9,164 6,895
Provision for income tax
5,996 8,889 4,436 1,712 1,717
Net income
$ 14,493 $ 5,260 $ 5,912 $ 7,452 $ 5,178
Per Share Data:
Shares outstanding at end of period
10,869,275 7,496,995 5,472,426 5,493,209 4,875,787
Average diluted shares outstanding
9,692,009 6,520,230 5,449,998 5,466,468 4,740,152
Diluted earnings per share
$ 1.50 $ 0.81 $ 1.09 $ 1.37 $ 1.09
Book value per share
18.47 15.82 14.26 13.18 11.93
Tangible book value per share(1)
16.46 13.81 14.12 12.96 11.76
Dividends paid during period
(1)
We calculate tangible book value per share, a non-GAAP financial measure, by dividing tangible common equity by the number of common shares outstanding. Reconciliations of the GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures are presented below under Non-GAAP Financial Measures.
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At and for the Years Ended December 31,
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
(In thousands, except for per share data)
Selected Financial Ratios and Other Data:
Performance Ratios:
Return on average assets
1.07% 0.51% 0.91% 1.24% 1.13%
Return on average equity
8.28% 5.28% 7.87% 10.36% 10.02%
Yield on earning assets
4.54% 4.59% 4.74% 4.47% 4.55%
Rate paid on average interest bearing
liabilities
0.62% 0.65% 0.73% 0.72% 0.89%
Interest rate spread(1)
3.92% 3.94% 4.01% 3.75% 3.66%
Net interest margin(2)
4.15% 4.14% 4.25% 4.00% 3.95%
Dividend payout ratio
Noninterest expense to average assets
2.78% 2.93% 2.61% 3.21% 2.79%
Average interest earning assets to average
interest bearing liabilities
157.80% 144.87% 149.24% 153.08% 148.15%
Efficiency ratio(3)
62.15% 67.34% 60.78% 64.66% 62.11%
Capital Ratios(4):
Tier 1 leverage ratio – Bank
10.04% 8.92% 10.59% 10.59% 10.67%
Common equity tier 1 – Bank
14.63% 12.43% 13.43% 13.30% 15.78%
Tier 1 capital ratio – Bank
14.63% 12.43% 13.43% 13.30% 15.78%
Total capital ratio – Bank
15.17% 12.94% 14.18% 14.13% 16.50%
Equity to total assets at end of period
13.58% 14.68% 11.56% 11.61% 11.53%
Asset Quality Ratios:
Non-performing assets to total assets(5)
0.27% 0.01% 0.28% 0.05% 0.59%
Non-performing loans to total loans
0.32% 0.02% 0.22% 0.07% 0.26%
Allowance for loan losses to non-performing loans
164.32% 2354.75% 343.18% 1152.69% 84.49%
Allowance for loan losses to total loans
0.53% 0.47% 0.74% 0.83% 0.77%
Classified assets (graded substandard and doubtful)
$ 8,602 $ 7,017 $ 7,602 $ 9,620 $ 3,325
Total accruing loans 30 – 89 days past due
2,707 1,894 625 499 399
Total loans 90 days past due and still
accruing
230 334 96
Other Data:
Number of full service offices
22 19 10 10 7
Number of full-time equivalent employees
214 158 110 103 78
(1)
Interest rate spread is calculated as the average rate earned on interest earning assets minus the average rate paid on interest bearing liabilities.
(2)
Net interest margin is calculated as net interest income divided by total average earning assets.
(3)
Calculated by dividing noninterest expense by the sum of net interest income before provision for loan losses plus noninterest income.
(4)
Regulatory capital ratios are for United Business Bank only.
(5)
Nonperforming assets consists of non accruing loans and other real estate owned.
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Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Tangible book value per share is a non GAAP financial measure generally used by financial analysts and investment bankers to evaluate financial institutions. For tangible book value, the most directly comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP is book value. Tangible common shareholders’ equity is calculated by excluding goodwill and core deposit intangibles from shareholders’ equity. Tangible book value per share is calculated by dividing tangible common shareholders’ equity by the number of common shares outstanding. The Company believes that this measure is consistent with the capital treatment by our bank regulatory agencies, which excludes intangible assets from the calculation of risk-based capital ratios and presents this measure to facilitate comparison of the quality and composition of the Company’s capital over time and in comparison, to its competitors. Non GAAP financial measures have inherent limitations, are not required to be uniformly applied, and are not audited. Further, this non GAAP financial measure of tangible book value per share should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for book value per share or total shareholders’ equity determined in accordance with GAAP and may not be comparable to a similarly titled measure reported by other companies.
The following table reconciles, as of the dates set forth below, total shareholders’ equity to tangible common equity and compares book value per common share to tangible book value per common share (dollars in thousands, except per share data).
Years ended December 31,
Tangible Common Equity
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
(in thousands, except per share data)
Total shareholders’ equity
$ 200,753 $ 118,635 $ 78,063 $ 72,381 $ 58,174
Less:
Core deposit intangibles
(7,205) (4,772) (802) (1,201) (812)
Goodwill
(14,594) (10,365)
Tangible common equity
178,954 103,498 77,261 71,180 57,362
Common shares outstanding
10,869,275 7,496,995 5,472,426 5,493,209 4,875,787
Book value per common share (GAAP)
$ 18.47 $ 15.82 $ 14.26 $ 13.18 $ 11.93
Tangible book value per common share (non GAAP)
$ 16.46 $ 13.81 $ 14.12 $ 12.96 $ 11.76
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis Of Financial Condition and Results Of Operations
This discussion and analysis reviews our consolidated financial statements and other relevant statistical data and is intended to enhance your understanding of our financial condition and results of operations. The information in this section has been derived from the Consolidated Financial Statements and footnotes thereto that appear in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K. The information contained in this section should be read in conjunction with these Consolidated Financial Statements and footnotes and the business and financial information provided in this Form 10-K. Unless otherwise indicated, the financial information presented in this section reflects the consolidated financial condition and results of operations of BayCom Corp and its subsidiary, United Business Bank. Because we conduct all of our material business operations through the Bank, the entire discussion relates to activities primarily conducted by the Bank.
History and Overview
BayCom is a bank holding company headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. The Company’s wholly owned banking subsidiary, United Business Bank, provides a broad range of financial services primarily to businesses and business owners, as well as individuals, through our network of 22 full service branches located in Northern, Central and Southern California, Seattle, Washington and Central New Mexico.
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Since 2010, we have completed a series of six acquisitions with aggregate total assets of approximately $1.1 billion and total deposits of approximately $904.1 million, including three since 2017, and currently have one pending acquisition. We have sought to integrate the banks we acquire into our existing operational platform and enhance shareholder value through the creation of efficiencies within the combined operations. Since 2017, our acquisitions include:

In April 2017, we acquired United Business Bank, FSB, headquartered in Oakland, California, our largest acquisition to date. The United Business Bank acquisition increased our assets by approximately $473.1 million, increased our deposits by approximately $428.0 million, consisting primarily of lower cost stable core deposits from a strong network of relationships with labor unions, and provided us with nine full-service banking offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose and Glendale, California; and Seattle, Washington. Two of the branches we acquired in the United Business Bank, FSB, acquisition were consolidated into other branches, one in January 2017 and one in April 2018.

In November 2017, we acquired Plaza Bank, which had one branch located in Seattle, Washington. At the time of the acquisition, Plaza Bank had total assets of approximately $75.8 million and deposits of $54.2 million.

In November 2018, we acquired BFC, the bank holding company for MyBank, headquartered in Belin, New Mexico. MyBank operated through five branches serving central New Mexico. At the time of acquisition, MyBank had $157.8 million in total assets and $135.5 million in deposits.

On December 7, 2018, we entered into an agreement to acquire Uniti and its wholly owned subsidiary, Uniti Bank. Uniti Bank serves the Los Angeles and Orange County communities in Southern California through three branches. At December 31, 2018, Uniti had approximately $345.8 million in total consolidated assets, $267.4 million in total consolidated loans, $295.9 million in total consolidated deposits and $47.7 million in stockholders’ equity.
We completed our IPO of our common stock on May 8, 2018, where we sold an aggregate of 3,278,900 shares of our common stock at a price to the public of  $22.00 per share. Net proceeds to the Company were approximately $66.8 million. Our common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on May 4, 2018 under the ticker symbol “BCML.”
Our principal objective is to continue to increase shareholder value and generate consistent earnings growth by expanding our commercial banking franchise through both strategic acquisitions and organic growth. We believe our strategy of selectively acquiring and integrating community banks has provided us with economies of scale and improved our overall franchise efficiency. We expect to continue to pursue strategic acquisitions and believe our targeted market areas present us with many and varied acquisition opportunities. We are also focused on continuing to grow organically and believe the markets in which we operate currently provide meaningful opportunities to expand our commercial client base and increase our current market share. We believe our geographic footprint, which includes the San Francisco Bay Area and the metropolitan markets of Los Angeles and Seattle and other community markets including Albuquerque, New Mexico, provides us with access to low cost, stable core deposits in community markets that we can use to fund commercial loan growth. We strive to provide an enhanced banking experience for our clients by providing them with a comprehensive suite of sophisticated banking products and services tailored to meet their needs, while delivering the high-quality, relationship-based client service of a community bank. At December 31, 2018, the Company, on a consolidated basis, had assets of $1.5 billion, deposits of $1.3 billion and shareholders’ equity of $200.8 million.
We continue to focus on growing our commercial loan portfolios through acquisitions as well as organic growth. At December 31, 2018, we had $975.7 million in total loans, excluding loans held for sale. Of this amount $393.8 million, or 40.6%, consisted of loans we acquired (all of which were recorded to their estimated fair values at the time of acquisition), and $581.9 million, or 59.6%, consisted of loans we originated.
The profitability of our operations depends primarily on our net interest income after provision for loan losses, which is the difference between interest earned on interest earning assets and interest paid on interest bearing liabilities less the provision for loan losses. The provision for loan losses is dependent on
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changes in our loan portfolio and management’s assessment of the collectability of our loan portfolio, as well as prevailing economic and market conditions. Our net income is also affected by noninterest income and noninterest expenses. Noninterest income consists of, among other things: (i) service charges on loans and deposits; (ii) gain on sale of loans; and (iii) other noninterest income. Noninterest expense includes, among other things: (i) salaries and related benefits; (ii) occupancy and equipment expense; (iii) data processing; (iv) FDIC and state assessments; (v) outside and professional services; (vi) amortization of intangibles; and (vii) other general and administrative expenses. Noninterest income and noninterest expenses are impacted by the growth of our banking operations and growth in the number of loan and deposit accounts both organically and through strategic acquisitions.
Business Strategy
Our strategy is to continue to make strategic acquisitions of financial institutions within the Western United States, grow organically and preserve our strong asset quality through disciplined lending practices. We seek to achieve these results by focusing on the following:

Strategic Consolidation of Community Banks.   We believe our strategy of selectively acquiring and integrating community banks has provided us with economies of scale and improved our overall franchise efficiency. We expect to continue to pursue strategic acquisitions of financial institutions and believe our target market areas present us with numerous acquisition opportunities as many of these financial institutions will continue to be burdened and challenged by new and more complex banking regulations, resource constraints, competitive limitations, rising technological and other business costs, management succession issues and liquidity concerns. In addition, we believe that the breadth of our operating experience and successful track record of integrating prior acquisitions increases the potential acquisition opportunities available to us.
Despite the significant number of opportunities, we intend to continue to employ a disciplined approach to our acquisition strategy and only seek to identify and partner with financial institutions that possess attractive market share, low-cost deposit funding and compelling noninterest income generating businesses. Our disciplined approach to acquisitions, consolidations and integrations, includes the following: (i) selectively acquiring community banking franchises only at appropriate valuations, after taking into account risks that we perceive with respect to the targeted bank; (ii) completing comprehensive due diligence and developing an appropriate plan to address any legacy credit problems of the targeted institution; (iii) identifying an achievable cost savings estimate; (iv) executing definitive acquisition agreements that we believe provide adequate protections to us; (v) installing our credit procedures, audit and risk management policies and procedures, and compliance standards upon consummation of the acquisition; (vi) collaborating with the target’s management team to execute on synergies and cost saving opportunities related to the acquisition; and (vii) involving a broader management team across multiple departments in order to help ensure the successful integration of all business functions. We believe this approach allows us to realize the benefits of the acquisition and consolidation will lead to organic growth opportunities for us following the integration of businesses we acquire. We also expect to continue to manage our branch network in order to ensure effective coverage for clients while minimizing any geographic overlap and driving corporate efficiency.

Enhance the Performance of the Banks We Acquire.   We strive to successfully integrate the banks we acquire into our existing operational platform and enhance shareholder value through the creation of efficiencies within the combined operations. We seek to realize operating efficiencies from our recently completed acquisitions by utilizing technology to streamline our operations. We continue to centralize the back office functions of our acquired banks, as well as realize cost savings through the use of third party vendors and technology, in order to take advantage of economies of scale as we continue to grow. We intend to focus on initiatives that we believe will provide opportunities to enhance earnings, including the continued rationalization of our retail banking footprint through the evaluation of possible branch consolidations or opportunities to sell branches.
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Focus on Lending Growth in Our Metropolitan Markets While Increasing Deposits in Our Community Markets.   Our banking footprint has given us experience operating in small communities and large cities. We believe that our presence in smaller communities gives us a relatively stable source of low cost core deposits, while our more metropolitan markets represents strong long term growth opportunities to expand our commercial client base and increase our current market share through organic growth. In acquiring United Business Bank, FSB in 2017, we acquired a large deposit base from the local and regional unionized labor community. As of December 31, 2018, our top ten depositors, which included five labor unions and accounted for roughly 11.5% of our deposits. At that date, nearly 31.7% of our deposit base was comprised of noninterest bearing demand deposit accounts, significantly lowering our aggregate cost of funds.

Our team of seasoned bankers represents an important driver of our organic growth by expanding banking relationships with current and potential clients.   We expect to continue to make opportunistic hires of talented and entrepreneurial bankers, to further augment our growth. Our bankers are incentivized to increase the size of their loan and deposit portfolios and generate fee income while maintaining strong credit quality. We also seek to cross sell our various banking products, including our deposit products, to our commercial loan clients, which we believe provides a basis for expanding our banking relationships as well as a stable, low cost deposit base. We believe we have built a scalable platform that will support our growth and will continue to allow us to efficiently and effectively manage our anticipated growth in the future, both organically and through acquisitions. We also intend to implement a new core processing system to further enhance our acquisition ability.

Preserve Our Asset Quality Through Disciplined Lending Practices.   Our approach to credit management uses well defined policies and procedures, disciplined underwriting criteria and ongoing risk management. We believe we are a competitive and effective commercial lender, supplementing ongoing and active loan servicing with early stage credit review provided by our bankers. This approach has allowed us to maintain loan growth with a diversified portfolio of assets. We believe our credit culture supports accountability amongst our bankers, who maintain an ability to expand our client base as well as make sound decisions for our Company. As of December 31, 2018, our ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets was 0.27% and our ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans was 0.32%. In the 15 years since our inception, which timeframe includes the recent recession in the U.S., we have cumulative net charge-offs of $6.9 million. We believe our success in managing asset quality is illustrated by our aggregate net charge-off history.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP. The JOBS Act permits us an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards affecting public companies. We have elected to take advantage of this extended transition period, which means that the financial statements included in this annual report on Form 10-K, as well as any financial statements that we file in the future, will not be subject to all new or revised accounting standards generally applicable to public companies for the transition period for so long as we remain an emerging growth company or until we affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the extended transition period under the JOBS Act.
The financial information contained within these statements is, to a significant extent, financial information that is based on approximate measures of the financial effects of transactions and events that have already occurred. The following represent our critical accounting policies:
Allowance for loan losses.   The allowance for loan losses is evaluated on a regular basis by management. Periodically, we charge current earnings with provisions for estimated probable losses of loans receivable. The provision or adjustment takes into consideration the adequacy of the total allowance for loan losses giving due consideration to specifically identified problem loans, the financial condition of the borrowers, fair value of the underlying collateral, recourse provisions, prevailing economic conditions, and other factors. Additional consideration is given to our historical loan loss experience relative to our loan portfolio concentrations related to industry, collateral and geography. This evaluation is inherently
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subjective and requires estimates that are susceptible to significant change as additional or new information becomes available. In addition, regulatory examiners may require additional allowances based on their judgments of the information regarding problem loans and credit risk available to them at the time of their examinations.
Generally, the allowance for loan loss consists of various components including a component for specifically identified weaknesses as a result of individual loans being impaired, a component for general non-specific weakness related to historical experience, economic conditions and other factors that indicate probable loss in the loan portfolio, and an unallocated component that relates to the inherent imprecision in the use of estimates. Loans determined to be impaired are individually evaluated by management for specific risk of loss.
In situations where, for economic or legal reasons related to a borrower’s financial difficulties, we grant a concession to the borrower that we would not otherwise consider, the related loan is classified as a troubled debt restructuring, or TDR. We measure any loss on the TDR in accordance with the guidance concerning impaired loans set forth above. Additionally, TDRs are generally placed on non-accrual status at the time of restructuring and included in impaired loans. These loans are returned to accrual status after the borrower demonstrates performance with the modified terms for a sustained period of time (generally six months) and has the capacity to continue to perform in accordance with the modified terms of the restructured debt.
Estimated expected cash flows related to purchased credit impaired loans.   Loans purchased with evidence of credit deterioration since origination for which it is probable that all contractually required payments will not be collected are accounted for under ASC 310-30, Loans and Debt Securities Acquired with Deteriorated Credit Quality. In situations where such PCI loans have similar risk characteristics, loans may be aggregated into pools to estimate cash flows. A pool is accounted for as a single asset with a single interest rate, cumulative loss rate and cash flow expectation.
The cash flows expected over the life of the PCI loan or pool are estimated using an internal cash flow model that projects cash flows and calculates the carrying values of the pools, book yields, effective interest income and impairment, if any, based on pool level events. Assumptions as to default rates, loss severity and prepayment speeds are utilized to calculate the expected cash flows.
Expected cash flows at the acquisition date in excess of the fair value of loans are considered to be accretable yield, which is recognized as interest income over the life of the loan or pool using a level yield method if the timing and amounts of the future cash flows of the pool are reasonably estimable. Subsequent to the acquisition date, any increases in cash flow over those expected at purchase date in excess of fair value are recorded as interest income prospectively. Any subsequent decreases in cash flow over those expected at purchase date are recognized by recording an allowance for loan losses. Any disposals of loans, including sales of loans, payments in full or foreclosures result in the removal of the loan from the loan pool at the carrying amount.
Business combinations.   We apply the acquisition method of accounting for business combinations. Under the acquisition method, the acquiring entity in a business combination recognizes all of the identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed at their acquisition date fair values. Management utilizes prevailing valuation techniques appropriate for the asset or liability being measured in determining these fair values. Any excess of the purchase price over amounts allocated to assets acquired, including identifiable intangible assets, and liabilities assumed is recorded as goodwill. Where amounts allocated to assets acquired and liabilities assumed is greater than the purchase price, a bargain purchase gain is recognized. Acquisition related costs are expensed as incurred unless they are directly attributable to the issuance of the Company’s common stock in a business combination.
Loan sales and servicing of financial assets.   Periodically, we sell loans and retain the servicing rights. The gain or loss on sale of loans depends in part on the previous carrying amount of the financial assets involved in the transfer, allocated between the assets sold and the retained interests based on their relative fair value at the date of transfer. All servicing assets and liabilities are initially measured at fair value. In addition, we amortize servicing rights in proportion to and over the period of the estimated net servicing income or loss and assess the rights for impairment.
53

Income taxes.   Deferred income taxes are computed using the asset and liability method, which recognizes a liability or asset representing the tax effects, based on current tax law, of future deductible or taxable amounts attributable to events that have been recognized in the financial statements. A valuation allowance is established to reduce the deferred tax asset to the level at which it is “more likely than not” that the tax asset or benefits will be realized. Realization of tax benefits of deductible temporary differences and operating loss carry forwards depends on having sufficient taxable income of an appropriate character within the carry forward periods.
We recognize that the tax effects from an uncertain tax position can be recognized in the financial statements only if, based on its merits, the position is more likely than not to be sustained on audit by the taxing authorities. Interest and penalties related to uncertain tax positions are recorded as part of income tax expense.
Goodwill.   Our goodwill resulted from our acquisitions of United Business Bank, FSB, Plaza Bank and MyBank. Goodwill is reviewed for impairment annually and more often if an event occurs or circumstances change that might indicate the recorded value of the goodwill is more than its implied value. Such indicators may include, among others: a significant adverse change in legal factors or in the general business climate; significant decline in the Company’s stock price and market capitalization; unanticipated competition; and an adverse action or assessment by a regulator. Any adverse changes in these factors could have a significant impact on the recoverability of goodwill and could have a material impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
The testing for impairment may begin with an assessment of qualitative factors to determine whether the existence of events or circumstances leads to a determination that the fair value of goodwill is less than carrying value. The qualitative assessment includes adverse events or circumstances identified that could negatively affect the reporting unit’s fair value as well as positive and mitigating events. When required, the goodwill impairment test involves a two step process. The first test for goodwill impairment is done by comparing the reporting unit’s aggregate fair value to its carrying value. Absent other indicators of impairment, if the aggregate fair value exceeds the carrying value, goodwill is not considered impaired and no additional analysis is necessary. If the carrying value of the reporting unit were to exceed the aggregate fair value, a second test would be performed to measure the amount of impairment loss, if any. To measure any impairment loss the implied fair value would be determined in the same manner as if the reporting unit were being acquired in a business combination. If the implied fair value of goodwill is less than the recorded goodwill, an impairment charge would be recorded for the difference. For the year ended December 31, 2018, we completed step one of the two step process of the goodwill impairment test. Based on the results of the test, we concluded that the reporting unit’s fair value was greater than its carrying value and there was no impairment of goodwill.
Comparison of Financial Condition at December 31, 2018 and 2017
Total assets.   Total assets increased $232.6 million, or 18.7%, to $1.5 billion at December 31, 2018 from $1.2 billion at December 31, 2017. The increase was primarily due to a $84.3 million, or 9.5%, increase in total loans receivable, net, a $65.1 million, or 130.3%, increase in investment securities and $73.7 million, or 29.5%, increase in cash and cash equivalents. The increase was primarily the result of the BFC acquisition in November 2018, the $66.7 million we receive from our IPO in May 2018, and organic growth.
Cash and cash equivalents.   Cash and cash equivalents increased $73.7 million, or 29.5%, to $323.6 million at December 31, 2018 from $249.9 million at December 31, 2017. The increase was primarily due to cash received from our IPO, the BFC acquisition, and an increase in client deposits. We invest our excess cash in marketable securities until such funds are needed to support loan growth or other operating or strategic initiatives.
Securities.   Our investment policy is established by the Board of Directors and monitored by the board’s risk committee. It is designed primarily to provide and maintain liquidity, generate a favorable return on investments without incurring undue interest rate and credit risk, and complements our lending activities. The policy dictates the criteria for classifying securities as either available for sale or held to maturity. The policy permits investment in various types of liquid assets permissible under applicable
54

regulations, which include U.S. Treasury obligations, U.S. Government agency obligations, some certificates of deposit of insured banks, mortgage backed and mortgage related securities, corporate notes and municipal bonds. Investment in non-investment grade bonds and stripped mortgage-backed securities is not permitted under the policy.
Investment securities, all of which are classified as available-for-sale, increased $59.3 million, or 148.4%, to $99.8 million at December 31, 2018 from $40.5 million at December 31, 2017. The increase was primarily due to the purchases of  $41.4 million of new securities as we started to deploy excess cash and the acquisition of  $56.2 million of securities from BFC, of which, $26.3 million was subsequently sold. These increases were partially offset by $12.1 million of maturities and repayment of securities, in addition to routine amortization of investment premiums and discounts.
The following table sets forth the amortized cost and fair value of available-for-sale securities by type as of the dates indicated. At December 31, 2018, our securities portfolio did not contain securities of any issuer with an aggregate book value in excess of 10% of our equity capital, excluding those issued by the United States Government or its agencies or United States Government Sponsored Enterprises.
At December 31,
2018
2017
2016
Amortized
Cost
Fair
Value
Amortized
Cost
Fair
Value
Amortized
Cost
Fair
Value
(In thousands)
U.S. Treasuries
$ 984 $ 985 $ $ $ 1,008 $ 1,006
U.S. Government Agencies
13,761 13,765 6,984 6,971 5,358 5,377
Municipal securities
19,604 19,503 15,910 16,047 4,003 4,081
Mortgage-backed securities
49,565 49,602 9,621 9,740 1,666 1,684
Collateralized mortgage obligations
4,705 4,717 1,758 1,750 1,732 1,770
SBA securities
4,300 4,241 5,929 5,997
Corporate bonds
7,016 6,983
Total
$ 99,935 $ 99,796 $ 40,202 $ 40,505 $ 13,767 $ 13,918
The following table sets forth certain information regarding contractual maturities and the weighted average yields of our available for sale investment securities as of December 31, 2018. Expected maturities may differ from contractual maturities if borrowers have the right to call or prepay obligations with or without call or prepayment penalties. Yields are calculated on a pre-tax basis.
Amount Due or Repricing Within:
One Year
or Less
Over One
to Five Years
Over Five to
Ten Years
Over
Ten Years
Total
Amortized
Cost
Weighted
Average
Yield
Amortized
Cost
Weighted
Average
Yield
Amortized
Cost
Weighted
Average
Yield
Amortized
Cost
Weighted
Average
Yield
Amortized
Cost
Weighted
Average
Yield
(Dollars in thousands)
U.S. Treasuries
$ 984 2.78% $ $ $ $ 984 2.78%
U.S. Government Agencies
5,236 2.12% 8,525 2.77% 13,761 2.50%
Municipal securities
2,540 1.65% 7,497 2.09% 7,572 2.80% 1,995 3.77% 19,604 2.36%
Mortgage-backed securities
2,047 1.83% 13,606 2.96% 4,388 4.19% 29,524 3.70% 49,565 3.21%
Collateralized mortgage
obligations
869 2.96% 3,836 2.96% 4,705 2.96%
SBA securities
1,836 3.48% 2,464 4.17% 4,300 3.71%
Corporate bonds
3,485 2.68% 3,531 3.08% 7,016 2.90%
Total
$ 14,292 2.21% $ 33,159 2.73% $ 14,665 3.36% $ 37,819 2.73% $ 99,935 2.92%
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Loans, net.   We originate a wide variety of loans with a focus on commercial real estate loans and commercial and industrial loans. Loans receivable, net of allowance for loan losses, increased $83.3 million, or 9.4%, to $970.2 million at December 31, 2018, from $886.9 million at December 31, 2017. The increase in loans receivable was primarily due the $75.4 million of loans acquired in connection with the BFC acquisition. We also sold $37.8 million of the guaranteed portion of U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loans during 2018.
The following table provides information about our loan portfolio by type of loan, with PCI loans presented as a separate balance, at the dates presented.
As of December 31,
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Amount
Percent
of
Total
Amount
Percent
of
Total
Amount
Percent
of
Total
Amount
Percent
of
Total
Amount
Percent
of
Total
(Dollars in thousands)
Commercial and industrial
$ 121,853 12.5% $ 113,778 12.8% $ 70,987 14.0% $ 71,357 15.4% $ 71,248 21.9%
Real estate:
Residential
100,915 10.3% 83,486 9.4% 30,498 6.0% 27,938 6.0% 25,312 7.8%
Multifamily residential
112,958 11.6% 113,759 12.8% 38,235 7.5% 36,778 7.9% 8,233 2.5%
Owner occupied CRE
270,204 27.7% 249,062 27.9% 145,200 28.6% 126,413 27.2% 80,813 24.8%
Nonowner occupied CRE
308,045 31.6% 293,332 32.9% 194,961 38.4% 174,007 37.5% 124,981 38.4%
Construction and land
47,069 4.8% 22,720 2.5% 19,745 3.8% 17,086 3.7% 12,548 3.9%
Total real estate
839,191 86.0% 762,359 85.5% 428,639 84.3% 382,222 82.3% 251,887 77.3%
Consumer
1,847 0.2% 1,096 0.1% 1,317 0.3% 967 0.2% 452 0.1%
PCI loans
12,804 1.3% 14,315 1.6% 7,407 1.4% 9,854 2.1% 2,112 0.6%
Total loans
975,695 100.0% 891,548 100.0% 508,350 100.0% 464,400 100.0% 325,699 100.0%
Deferred loan fees and costs,
net 
(366) (469) (311) (342) (292)
Allowance for loan losses
(5,140) (4,215) (3,775) (3,850) (2,500)
Loans, net
$ 970,189 $ 886,864 $ 504,264 $ 460,208 $ 322,907
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The following table shows at December 31, 2018, the geographic distribution of our loan portfolio in dollar amounts and percentages.
San Francisco Bay
Area(1)
Other California
Total in State of
California
All Other States(2)
Total
Amount
% of
Total in
Category
Amount
% of
Total in
Category
Amount
% of
Total in
Category
Amount
% of
Total in
Category
Amount
% of
Total in
Category
(Dollars in thousands)
Commercial and industrial
$ 52,093 10.0% $ 27,018 13.2% $ 79,111 10.9% $ 42,744 17.0% $ 121,855 12.5%
Real estate:
Residential
$ 59,722 11.5% $ 9,281 4.5% $ 69,003 9.5% $ 33,705 13.4% $ 102,708 10.5%
Multifamily residential
75,632 14.6% 17,872 8.7% 93,504 12.9% 23,678 9.4% 117,181 12.0%
Owner occupied CRE
157,767 30.4% 57,217 28.0% 214,984 29.7% 57,687 22.9% 272,672 27.9%
Nonowner occupied
156,934 30.2% 78,143 38.2% 235,077 32.5% 77,052 30.6% 312,130 32.0%
Construction and land
17,605 3.4% 14,401 7.0% 32,006 4.4% 15,297 6.1% 47,302 4.8%
Total real estate
$ 467,660 $ 176,914 $ 644,574 $ 207,419 $ 851,993
Consumer
21 0.0% 561 0.3% 582 0.1% 1,265 0.5% 1,847 0.2%
Total loans
$ 519,774 $ 204,493 $ 724,267 $ 251,428 $ 975,695
(1)
Includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
(2)
Includes loans located in the states of New Mexico, Washington and other states. At December 31, 2018, loans in New Mexico and Washington totaled $166.8 million and $85.1 million, respectively.
The following table provides information about our loan portfolio segregated by legacy and acquired loans at the dates presented.
As of December 31,
2018
2017
2016
Legacy
Acquired
Total
Legacy
Acquired
Total
Legacy
Acquired
Total
(In thousands)
Commercial and industrial
$ 90,946 $ 30,907 $ 121,853 $ 76,938 $ 37,435 $ 114,373 $ 67,925 $ 3,062 $ 70,987
Real estate:
Residential
24,053 76,862 100,915 19,771 63,715 83,486 24,494 6,004 30,498
Multifamily residential
41,073 71,886 112,958 34,041 79,718 113,759 35,334 2,901 38,235
Owner occupied CRE
170,599 99,605 270,204 150,419 101,293 251,712 112,247 32,953 145,200
Nonowner occupied
CRE
220,471 87,574 308,045 195,670 97,662 293,332 174,499 20,462 194,961
Construction and land
34,188 12,881