10-K 1 f10k_022718p.htm FORM 10-K

 

 

 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

(Mark one)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

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: 001-09383

WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION

(Exact name of the registrant as specified in its charter)

 

CALIFORNIA 94-2156203
(State or Other Jurisdiction (I.R.S. Employer
of Incorporation or Organization) Identification Number)

 

1108 FIFTH AVENUE, SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA 94901

(Address of principal executive offices) (zip code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (707) 863-6000

 

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

 

Title of class: Name of each exchange on which registered:

Common Stock, no par value

 

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

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 if whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (section 232.405 of this chapter during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files.) YES ☒ NO ☐

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to item 405 of Regulation S-K (section 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the 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 ☐ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
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 Exchange Act). YES ☐ NO ☒

 

The aggregate market value of the Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2017 as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, was $1,081,997,447.44 . Shares of Common Stock held by each executive officer and director and by each person who owns 10% or more of the outstanding Common Stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

 

Number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of common stock, as of the close of business on February 13, 2018 26,567,573 Shares

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement relating to registrant’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, to be held on April 26, 2018, are incorporated by reference in Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III to the extent described therein.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

  Page
PART I  
Item 1 Business 2
Item 1A Risk Factors 9
Item 1B Unresolved Staff Comments 13
Item 2 Properties 14
Item 3 Legal Proceedings 14
Item 4 Mine Safety Disclosures 14
PART II  
Item 5 Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 14
Item 6 Selected Financial Data 18
Item 7 Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 19
Item 7A Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 45
Item 8 Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 45
Item 9 Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 91
Item 9A Controls and Procedures 91
Item 9B Other Information 91
PART III  
Item 10 Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 92
Item 11 Executive Compensation 92
Item 12 Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 93
Item 13 Certain Relationships, Related Transactions and Director Independence 93
Item 14 Principal Accountant Fees and Services 93
PART IV  
Item 15 Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 93
Signatures 94
Exhibit Index 95

 

 -1- 

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements about Westamerica Bancorporation for which it claims the protection of the safe harbor provisions contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) projections of revenues, expenses, future credit quality and performance, the appropriateness of the allowance for loan losses, loan growth or reduction, mitigation of risk in the Company’s loan and investment securities portfolios, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, the payment or nonpayment of dividends, capital structure and other financial items; (ii) statements of plans, objectives and expectations of the Company or its management or board of directors, including those relating to products or services; (iii) statements of future economic performance; and (iv) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Words such as "believes", "anticipates", "expects", “estimates”, "intends", "targeted", "projected", “forecast”, "continue", "remain", "will", "should", "may" and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.

 

These forward-looking statements are based on Management’s current knowledge and belief and include information concerning the Company’s possible or assumed future financial condition and results of operations. A number of factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s ability to predict or control, could cause future results to differ materially from those contemplated. These factors include but are not limited to (1) the length and severity of difficulties in the global, national and California economies and the effects of government efforts to address those difficulties; (2) liquidity levels in capital markets; (3) fluctuations in asset prices including, but not limited to stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities; (4) the effect of acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses; (5) economic uncertainty created by terrorist threats and attacks on the United States, the actions taken in response, and the uncertain effect of these events on the national and regional economies; (6) changes in the interest rate environment; (7) changes in the regulatory environment; (8) competitive pressure in the banking industry; (9) operational risks including a failure or breach in data processing or security systems or those of third party vendors and other service providers, including as a result of cyber attacks or fraud; (10) volatility of interest rate sensitive loans, deposits and investments; (11) asset/liability management risks and liquidity risks; (12) the effect of natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, fire, flood, drought, and other disasters, on the uninsured value of the Company’s assets and of loan collateral, the financial condition of debtors and issuers of investment securities, the economic conditions affecting the Company’s market place, and commodities and asset values; (13) changes in the securities markets and (14) the outcome of contingencies, such as legal proceedings. However, the reader should not consider the above-mentioned factors to be a complete set of all potential risks or uncertainties.

 

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements in this Report to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date forward looking statements are made, except as may be required by law. See also “Risk Factors” in Item 1A and other risk factors discussed elsewhere in this Report.

 

PART I

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

Westamerica Bancorporation (the “Company”) is a bank holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (“BHCA”). Its legal headquarters are located at 1108 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael, California 94901. Principal administrative offices are located at 4550 Mangels Boulevard, Fairfield, California 94534 and its telephone number is (707) 863-6000. The Company provides a full range of banking services to individual and commercial customers in Northern and Central California through its subsidiary bank, Westamerica Bank (“WAB” or the “Bank”). The principal communities served are located in Northern and Central California, from Mendocino, Lake and Nevada Counties in the north to Kern County in the south. The Company’s strategic focus is on the banking needs of small businesses. In addition, the Bank owns 100% of the capital stock of Community Banker Services Corporation (“CBSC”), a company engaged in providing the Company and its subsidiaries with data processing services and other support functions.

 

The Company was incorporated under the laws of the State of California in 1972 as “Independent Bankshares Corporation” pursuant to a plan of reorganization among three previously unaffiliated Northern California banks. The Company operated as a multi-bank holding company until mid-1983, at which time the then six subsidiary banks were merged into a single bank named Westamerica Bank and the name of the holding company was changed to Westamerica Bancorporation.

 

The Company acquired five banks within its immediate market area during the early to mid 1990’s. In April 1997, the Company acquired ValliCorp Holdings, Inc., parent company of ValliWide Bank, the largest independent bank holding company headquartered in Central California. Under the terms of all of the merger agreements, the Company issued shares of its common stock in exchange for all of the outstanding shares of the acquired institutions. The subsidiary banks acquired were merged with and into WAB. These six  aforementioned business combinations were accounted for as poolings-of-interests.

 

 -2- 

 

During the period 2000 through 2005, the Company acquired three additional banks. These acquisitions were accounted for using the purchase accounting method.

 

On February 6, 2009, Westamerica Bank acquired the banking operations of County Bank (“County”) from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”). On August 20, 2010, Westamerica Bank acquired assets and assumed liabilities of the former Sonoma Valley Bank (“Sonoma”) from the FDIC. The County and Sonoma acquired assets and assumed liabilities were measured at estimated fair values, as required by FASB ASC 805, Business Combinations.

 

At December 31, 2017, the Company had consolidated assets of approximately $5.5 billion, deposits of approximately $4.8 billion and shareholders’ equity of approximately $590 million. The Company and its subsidiaries employed 785 full-time equivalent staff as of December 31, 2017.

 

The Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports as well as beneficial ownership reports on Forms 3, 4 and 5 are available through the SEC’s website (https://www.sec.gov). Such documents as well as the Company’s director, officer and employee Code of Conduct and Ethics are also available free of charge from the Company by request to:

 

Westamerica Bancorporation

Corporate Secretary A-2M

Post Office Box 1200

Suisun City, California 94585-1200

 

Supervision and Regulation

 

The following is not intended to be an exhaustive description of the statutes and regulations applicable to the Company’s or the Bank’s business. The description of statutory and regulatory provisions is qualified in its entirety by reference to the particular statutory or regulatory provisions. Moreover, major new legislation and other regulatory changes affecting the Company, the Bank, and the financial services industry in general have occurred in the last several years and can be expected to occur in the future. The nature, timing and impact of new and amended laws and regulations cannot be accurately predicted.

 

Regulation and Supervision of Bank Holding Companies

 

The Company is a bank holding company subject to the BHCA. The Company reports to, is registered with, and may be examined by, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“FRB”). The FRB also has the authority to examine the Company’s subsidiaries. The Company is a bank holding company within the meaning of Section 3700 of the California Financial Code. As such, the Company and the Bank are subject to examination by, and may be required to file reports with, the Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight (the “Commissioner”).

 

The FRB has significant supervisory and regulatory authority over the Company and its affiliates. The FRB requires the Company to maintain certain levels of capital. See “Capital Standards.” The FRB also has the authority to take enforcement action against any bank holding company that commits any unsafe or unsound practice, or violates certain laws, regulations or conditions imposed in writing by the FRB. Under the BHCA, the Company is required to obtain the prior approval of the FRB before it acquires, merges or consolidates with any bank or bank holding company. Any company seeking to acquire, merge or consolidate with the Company also would be required to obtain the prior approval of the FRB.

 

The Company is generally prohibited under the BHCA from acquiring ownership or control of more than 5% of any class of voting shares of any company that is not a bank or bank holding company and from engaging directly or indirectly in activities other than banking, managing banks, or providing services to affiliates of the holding company. However, a bank holding company, with the approval of the FRB, may engage, or acquire the voting shares of companies engaged, in activities that the FRB has determined to be closely related to banking or managing or controlling banks. A bank holding company must demonstrate that the benefits to the public of the proposed activity will outweigh the possible adverse effects associated with such activity.

 

The FRB generally prohibits a bank holding company from declaring or paying a cash dividend that would impose undue pressure on the capital of subsidiary banks or would be funded only through borrowing or other arrangements which might adversely affect a bank holding company’s financial position. Under the FRB policy, a bank holding company should not continue its existing rate of cash dividends on its common stock unless its net income is sufficient to fully fund each dividend and its prospective rate of earnings retention appears consistent with its capital needs, asset quality and overall financial condition. See the section entitled “Restrictions on Dividends and Other Distributions” for additional restrictions on the ability of the Company and the Bank to pay dividends.

 

 -3- 

 

Transactions between the Company and the Bank are restricted under Regulation W. The regulation codifies prior interpretations of the FRB and its staff under Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act. In general, subject to certain specified exemptions, a bank or its subsidiaries are limited in their ability to engage in “covered transactions” with affiliates: (a) to an amount equal to 10% of the bank’s capital and surplus, in the case of covered transactions with any one affiliate; and (b) to an amount equal to 20% of the bank’s capital and surplus, in the case of covered transactions with all affiliates. The Company is considered to be an affiliate of the Bank. A “covered transaction” includes, among other things, a loan or extension of credit to an affiliate; a purchase of securities issued by an affiliate; a purchase of assets from an affiliate, with some exceptions; and the issuance of a guarantee, acceptance or letter of credit on behalf of an affiliate.

 

Federal regulations governing bank holding companies and change in bank control (Regulation Y) provide for a streamlined and expedited review process for bank acquisition proposals submitted by well-run bank holding companies. These provisions of Regulation Y are subject to numerous qualifications, limitations and restrictions. In order for a bank holding company to qualify as “well-run,” both it and the insured depository institutions which it controls must meet the “well capitalized” and “well managed” criteria set forth in Regulation Y.

 

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (the “GLBA”), or the Financial Services Act of 1999, repealed provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act, which had prohibited commercial banks and securities firms from affiliating with each other and engaging in each other’s businesses. Thus, many of the barriers prohibiting affiliations between commercial banks and securities firms have been eliminated.

 

The BHCA was also amended by the GLBA to allow new “financial holding companies” (“FHCs”) to offer banking, insurance, securities and other financial products to consumers. Specifically, the GLBA amended section 4 of the BHCA in order to provide for a framework for the engagement in new financial activities. A bank holding company (“BHC”) may elect to become an FHC if all its subsidiary depository institutions are well capitalized and well managed. If these requirements are met, a BHC may file a certification to that effect with the FRB and declare that it elects to become an FHC. After the certification and declaration is filed, the FHC may engage either de novo or through an acquisition in any activity that has been determined by the FRB to be financial in nature or incidental to such financial activity. BHCs may engage in financial activities without prior notice to the FRB if those activities qualify under the list of permissible activities in section 4(k) of the BHCA. However, notice must be given to the FRB within 30 days after an FHC has commenced one or more of the financial activities. The Company has not elected to become an FHC.

 

Regulation and Supervision of Banks

 

The Bank is a California state-chartered Federal Reserve member bank and its deposits are insured by the FDIC. The Bank is subject to regulation, supervision and regular examination by the California Department of Business Oversight (“DBO”), and the FRB. The regulations of these agencies affect most aspects of the Bank’s business and prescribe permissible types of loans and investments, the amount of required reserves, requirements for branch offices, the permissible scope of its activities and various other requirements.

 

In addition to federal banking law, the Bank is also subject to applicable provisions of California law. Under California law, the Bank is subject to various restrictions on, and requirements regarding, its operations and administration including the maintenance of branch offices and automated teller machines, capital requirements, deposits and borrowings, shareholder rights and duties, and investment and lending activities.

 

In addition, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act (“FDICIA”) imposes limitations on the activities and equity investments of state chartered, federally insured banks. FDICIA also prohibits a state bank from making an investment or engaging in any activity as a principal that is not permissible for a national bank, unless the Bank is adequately capitalized and the FDIC approves the investment or activity after determining that such investment or activity does not pose a significant risk to the deposit insurance fund.

 

 -4- 

 

On July 21, 2010, financial regulatory reform legislation entitled the "Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" (the "Dodd-Frank Act") was signed into law. The Dodd-Frank Act implemented far-reaching changes across the financial regulatory landscape, including provisions that, among other things:

 

Centralized responsibility for consumer financial protection by creating a new agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, responsible for implementing, examining and (as to banks with $10 billion or more in assets) enforcing compliance with federal consumer financial laws.
Restricted the preemption of state law by federal law and disallowed subsidiaries and affiliates of national banks from availing themselves of such preemption.
Applied the same leverage and risk-based capital requirements that would apply to insured depository institutions to most bank holding companies.
Required bank regulatory agencies to seek to make their capital requirements for banks countercyclical so that capital requirements increase in times of economic expansion and decrease in times of economic contraction.
Changed the assessment base for federal deposit insurance from the amount of insured deposits to consolidated assets less tangible capital, eliminated the ceiling on the size of the Deposit Insurance Fund ("DIF") and increased the floor of the size of the DIF.
Imposed comprehensive regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives market, which would include certain provisions that would effectively prohibit insured depository institutions from conducting certain derivatives businesses in the institution itself.
Required large, publicly traded bank holding companies to create a risk committee responsible for the oversight of enterprise risk management.
Implemented corporate governance revisions, including with regard to executive compensation and proxy access by shareholders, that would apply to all public companies, not just financial institutions.
Made permanent the $250 thousand limit for federal deposit insurance.
Repealed the federal prohibitions on the payment of interest on demand deposits, thereby permitting depository institutions to pay interest on business transaction and other accounts.
Amended the Electronic Fund Transfer Act ("EFTA") to, among other things, give the FRB the authority to establish rules regarding interchange fees charged for electronic debit transactions by payment card issuers having assets over $10 billion and to enforce a new statutory requirement that such fees be reasonable and proportional to the actual cost of a transaction to the issuer. While the Company’s assets are currently less than $10 billion, interchange fees charged by larger institutions may dictate the level of fees smaller institutions will be able to charge to remain competitive.

 

Provisions in the legislation that affect the payment of interest on demand deposits and interchange fees may increase the costs associated with deposits as well as place limitations on certain revenues those deposits may generate.

 

Capital Standards

 

The federal banking agencies have risk-based capital adequacy guidelines intended to provide a measure of capital adequacy that reflects the degree of risk associated with a banking organization’s operations for both transactions resulting in assets being recognized on the balance sheet as assets, and the extension of credit facilities such as letters of credit and recourse arrangements, which are recorded as off balance sheet items. Under these guidelines, nominal dollar amounts of assets and credit equivalent amounts of off balance sheet items are multiplied by one of several risk adjustment percentages, which range from 0% for assets with low credit risk, such as certain U.S. government securities, to 1250% for assets with relatively higher credit risk, such as certain securitizations. A banking organization’s risk-based capital ratios are obtained by dividing its qualifying capital by its total risk-adjusted assets and off balance sheet items.

 

The federal banking agencies take into consideration concentrations of credit risk and risks from nontraditional activities, as well as an institution’s ability to manage those risks, when determining the adequacy of an institution’s capital. This evaluation is made as a part of the institution’s regular safety and soundness examination. The federal banking agencies also consider interest rate risk (related to the interest rate sensitivity of an institution’s assets and liabilities, and its off balance sheet financial instruments) in the evaluation of a bank’s capital adequacy.

 

As of December 31, 2017, the Company’s and the Bank’s respective ratios exceeded applicable regulatory requirements. See Note 9 to the consolidated financial statements for capital ratios of the Company and the Bank, compared to minimum capital requirements and for the Bank the standards for well capitalized depository institutions.

 

On July 2, 2013, the Federal Reserve Board approved a final rule that implements changes to the regulatory capital framework for all banking organizations over a transitional period 2015 through 2018.

 

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See the sections entitled “Capital Resources and Capital to Risk-Adjusted Assets” in Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for additional information.

 

Prompt Corrective Action and Other Enforcement Mechanisms

 

FDICIA requires each federal banking agency to take prompt corrective action to resolve the problems of insured depository institutions, including but not limited to those that fall below one or more prescribed minimum capital ratios.

 

An institution that, based upon its capital levels, is classified as “well capitalized,” “adequately capitalized” or “undercapitalized” may be treated as though it were in the next lower capital category if the appropriate federal banking agency, after notice and opportunity for hearing, determines that an unsafe or unsound condition or an unsafe or unsound practice warrants such treatment. At each successive lower capital category, an insured depository institution is subject to more restrictions. In addition to measures taken under the prompt corrective action provisions, commercial banking organizations may be subject to potential enforcement actions by the federal banking agencies for unsafe or unsound practices in conducting their businesses or for violations of any law, rule, regulation or any condition imposed in writing by the agency or any written agreement with the agency.

 

Safety and Soundness Standards

 

FDICIA has implemented certain specific restrictions on transactions and required federal banking regulators to adopt overall safety and soundness standards for depository institutions related to internal control, loan underwriting and documentation, and asset growth. Among other things, FDICIA limits the interest rates paid on deposits by undercapitalized institutions, restricts the use of brokered deposits, limits the aggregate extensions of credit by a depository institution to an executive officer, director, principal shareholder or related interest, and reduces deposit insurance coverage for deposits offered by undercapitalized institutions for deposits by certain employee benefits accounts. The federal banking agencies may require an institution to submit an acceptable compliance plan as well as have the flexibility to pursue other more appropriate or effective courses of action given the specific circumstances and severity of an institution’s noncompliance with one or more standards.

 

Federal banking agencies require banks to maintain adequate valuation allowances for potential credit losses. The Company has an internal staff that continually reviews loan quality and reports to the Board of Directors. This analysis includes a detailed review of the classification and categorization of problem loans, assessment of the overall quality and collectability of the loan portfolio, consideration of loan loss experience, trends in problem loans, concentration of credit risk, and current economic conditions, particularly in the Bank’s market areas. Based on this analysis, Management, with the review and approval of the Board, determines the adequate level of allowance required. The allowance is allocated to different segments of the loan portfolio, but the entire allowance is available for the loan portfolio in its entirety.

 

Restrictions on Dividends and Other Distributions

 

The Company’s ability to pay dividends to its shareholders is subject to the restrictions set forth in the California General Corporation Law (“CGCL”). The CGCL provides that a corporation may make a distribution to its shareholders if (i) the corporation’s retained earnings equal or exceed the amount of the proposed distribution plus unpaid accrued dividends (if any) on securities with a dividend preference, or (ii) immediately after the dividend, the corporation’s total assets equal or exceed total liabilities plus unpaid accrued dividends (if any) on securities with a dividend preference.

 

The power of the board of directors of an insured depository institution to declare a cash dividend or other distribution with respect to capital is subject to statutory and regulatory restrictions which limit the amount available for such distribution depending upon the earnings, financial condition and cash needs of the institution, as well as general business conditions. FDICIA prohibits insured depository institutions from paying management fees to any controlling persons or, with certain limited exceptions, making capital distributions, including dividends, if, after such transaction, the institution would be undercapitalized.

 

In addition to the restrictions imposed under federal law, banks chartered under California law generally may only pay cash dividends to the extent such payments do not exceed the lesser of retained earnings of the bank or the bank’s net income for its last three fiscal years (less any distributions to shareholders during this period). In the event a bank desires to pay cash dividends in excess of such amount, the bank may pay a cash dividend with the prior approval of the Commissioner in an amount not exceeding the greatest of the bank’s retained earnings, the bank’s net income for its last fiscal year or the bank’s net income for its current fiscal year.

 

The federal banking agencies also have the authority to prohibit a depository institution or its holding company from engaging in business practices which are considered to be unsafe or unsound, possibly including payment of dividends or other payments under certain circumstances even if such payments are not expressly prohibited by statute. The Federal reserve Board has issued guidance indicating its expectations that a bank holding company will inform and consult with Federal Reserve supervisory staff sufficiently in advance of (i) declaring and paying a dividend that could raise safety and soundness concerns (e.g., declaring and paying a dividend that exceeds earnings for the period for which the dividend is being paid); (ii) redeeming or repurchasing regulatory capital instruments when the bank holding company is experiencing financial weaknesses; or (iii) redeeming or repurchasing common stock or perpetual preferred stock that would result in a net reduction as of the end of the quarter in the amount of such equity instruments outstanding compared with the beginning of the quarter in which the redemption or repurchase occurred.

 

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Premiums for Deposit Insurance

 

Substantially all of the deposits of the Bank are insured up to applicable limits by the DIF of the FDIC and are subject to deposit insurance assessments to maintain the DIF. The FDIC utilizes a risk-based assessment system that imposes insurance premiums based upon a risk matrix that takes into account a bank's capital level, asset quality and supervisory rating ("CAMELS rating").

 

In July 2010, Congress in the Dodd-Frank Act increased the minimum for the DIF reserve ratio, the ratio of the amount in the fund to insured deposits, from 1.15% to 1.35% and required that the ratio reach that level by September 30, 2020. Further, the Dodd-Frank Act made banks with $10 billion or more in assets responsible for the increase from 1.15% to 1.35%, among other provisions.

 

In October 2010, the FDIC adopted a new DIF restoration plan to ensure the DIF reaching 1.35% by September 30, 2020. In assessing its progress in restoring the reserves, at least semi-annually, the FDIC updates its loss and income projections for the fund and, if needed, increases or decreases assessment rates, following notice-and-comment rulemaking, if required.

 

In February 2011, the FDIC adopted a final rule effective April 1, 2011 to:

 

(1)Redefine the deposit insurance assessment base from total domestic deposits to average total assets minus average tangible equity as required by the Dodd-Frank Act;
(2)Change the deposit insurance assessment rates (which sets forth progressively lower assessment rate schedules that will take effect when the reserve ratio exceeds 1.15%, 2%, and 2.5%) ;
(3)Implement the Dodd-Frank Act DIF dividend provisions; and
(4)Revise the risk-based assessment system for all “large” and “highly complex” insured depository institutions. “Large” depository institutions are defined generally as having more than $10 billion in assets and "highly complex" institutions have over $50 billion in assets and are fully owned by a parent with over $500 billion in assets. The Bank is neither a “large” nor “highly complex” institution.

 

In March, 2016, the FDIC issued a final rule to increase the DIF reserve ratio to the statutory minimum level of 1.35%, effective July 1, 2016, if the reserve ratio reached 1.15% before that date.

 

In August, 2016, the FDIC announced the DIF reserve ratio surpassed the 1.15% reserve ratio target, triggering three major changes:

(1)The decline in the range of initial assessment rates for all banks from 5-35 basis points to 3-30 basis points;
(2)The assessment of a quarterly surcharge on large banks equal to an annual rate of 4.5 basis points in addition to regular assessments; and
(3)A revised method to calculate risk-based assessment rates for established small banks (under $1 billion in assets) pursuant to an FDIC final rule issued April, 2016.

 

The Company cannot provide any assurance as to the effect of any future changes in its deposit insurance premium rates.

 

Community Reinvestment Act and Fair Lending Developments

 

The Bank is subject to certain fair lending requirements and reporting obligations involving home mortgage lending operations and Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) activities. The CRA generally requires the federal banking agencies to evaluate the record of financial institutions in meeting the credit needs of their local communities, including low and moderate income neighborhoods. In addition to substantive penalties and corrective measures that may be required for a violation of certain fair lending laws, the federal banking agencies may take compliance with such laws and CRA into account when regulating and supervising other activities including merger applications.

 

 -7- 

 

Financial Privacy Legislation and Customer Information Security

 

The GLBA, in addition to the previously described changes in permissible nonbanking activities permitted to banks, BHCs and FHCs, also required the federal banking agencies, among other federal regulatory agencies, to adopt regulations governing the privacy of consumer financial information. The Bank is subject to the FRB’s regulations in this area. The federal bank regulatory agencies have established standards for safeguarding nonpublic personal information about customers that implement provisions of the GLBA (the “Guidelines”). Among other things, the Guidelines require each financial institution, under the supervision and ongoing oversight of its Board of Directors or an appropriate committee thereof, to develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive written information security program designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer information, to protect against any anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of such information, and to protect against unauthorized access to or use of such information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to any customer.

 

U.S.A. PATRIOT Act

 

Title III of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (“USA Patriot Act”) is the International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act of 2001. It includes numerous provisions for fighting international money laundering and blocking terrorist access to the U.S. financial system. The goal of Title III is to prevent the U.S. financial system and the U.S. clearing mechanisms from being used by parties suspected of terrorism, terrorist financing and money laundering. The provisions of Title III of the USA Patriot Act which affect the Bank are generally set forth as amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act. These provisions relate principally to U.S. banking organizations’ relationships with foreign banks and with persons who are resident outside the United States. The USA Patriot Act does not impose any filing or reporting obligations for banking organizations, but does require certain additional due diligence and recordkeeping practices.

 

Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

 

The stated goals of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“Sarbanes-Oxley”) are to increase corporate responsibility, to provide for enhanced penalties for accounting and auditing improprieties at publicly traded companies and to protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures pursuant to the securities laws. Sarbanes-Oxley generally applies to all companies, both U.S. and non-U.S., that file or are required to file periodic reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).

 

Sarbanes-Oxley includes very specific additional disclosure requirements and corporate governance rules, required the SEC and securities exchanges to adopt extensive additional disclosure, corporate governance and other related rules and mandates further studies of certain issues. Sarbanes-Oxley 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 and public company shareholders. Sarbanes-Oxley addresses, among other matters: (i) independent audit committees for reporting companies whose securities are listed on national exchanges or automated quotation systems (the “Exchanges”) and expanded duties and responsibilities for audit committees; (ii) certification of financial statements by the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer; (iii) the forfeiture of bonuses or other incentive-based compensation and profits from the sale of an issuer’s securities by directors and senior officers in the twelve month period following initial publication of any financial statements that later require restatement; (iv) a prohibition on insider trading during pension plan blackout periods; (v) disclosure of off-balance sheet transactions; (vi) a prohibition on personal loans to directors and officers under most circumstances with exceptions for certain normal course transactions by regulated financial institutions; (vii) expedited electronic filing requirements related to trading by insiders in an issuer’s securities on Form 4; (viii) disclosure of a code of ethics and filing a Form 8-K for a change or waiver of such code; (ix) accelerated filing of periodic reports; (x) the formation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) to regulate public accounting firms and the audit of public companies that are subject to the securities laws; (xi) auditor independence; (xii) internal control evaluation and reporting; and (xiii) various increased criminal penalties for violations of securities laws.

 

Programs To Mitigate Identity Theft

 

In November 2007, federal banking agencies together with the National Credit Union Administration and Federal Trade Commission adopted regulations under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 to require financial institutions and other creditors to develop and implement a written identity theft prevention program to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with certain new and existing accounts. Covered accounts generally include consumer accounts and other accounts that present a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft. Each institution’s program must include policies and procedures designed to: (i) identify indicators, or “red flags,” of possible risk of identity theft; (ii) detect the occurrence of red flags; (iii) respond appropriately to red flags that are detected; and (iv) ensure that the program is updated periodically as appropriate to address changing circumstances. The regulations include guidelines that each institution must consider and, to the extent appropriate, include in its program.

 

 -8- 

 

Pending Legislation

 

Changes to state laws and regulations (including changes in interpretation or enforcement) can affect the operating environment of BHCs and their subsidiaries in substantial and unpredictable ways. From time to time, various legislative and regulatory proposals are introduced. These proposals, if codified, may change banking statutes and regulations and the Company’s operating environment in substantial and unpredictable ways. If codified, these proposals could increase or decrease the cost of doing business, limit or expand permissible activities or affect the competitive balance among banks, savings associations, credit unions and other financial institutions. The Company cannot accurately predict whether those changes in laws and regulations will occur, and, if those changes occur, the ultimate effect they would have upon our financial condition or results of operations. It is likely, however, that the current level of enforcement and compliance-related activities of federal and state authorities will continue and potentially increase.

 

Competition

 

In the past, the Bank’s principal competitors for deposits and loans have been major banks and smaller community banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions. To a lesser extent, competition was also provided by thrift and loans, mortgage brokerage companies and insurance companies. Other institutions, such as brokerage houses, mutual fund companies, credit card companies, and certain retail establishments have offered investment vehicles that also compete with banks for deposit business. Federal legislation in recent years has encouraged competition between different types of financial institutions and fostered new entrants into the financial services market.

 

Legislative changes, as well as technological and economic factors, can be expected to have an ongoing impact on competitive conditions within the financial services industry. While the future impact of regulatory and legislative changes cannot be predicted with certainty, the business of banking will remain highly competitive.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Readers and prospective investors in the Company’s securities should carefully consider the following risk factors as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this Report.

 

The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing the Company. Additional risks and uncertainties that Management is not aware of or focused on or that Management currently deems immaterial may also impair the Company’s business operations. This Report is qualified in its entirety by these risk factors.

 

If any of the following risks actually occur, the Company’s financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. If this were to happen, the value of the company’s securities could decline significantly, and investors could lose all or part of their investment in the Company’s common stock.

 

Market and Interest Rate Risk

 

Changes in interest rates could reduce income and cash flow.

 

The discussion in this Report under “Item 7 Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Asset, Liability and Market Risk Management” and “- Liquidity and Funding” and “Item 7A Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” is incorporated by reference in this paragraph. The Company’s income and cash flow depend to a great extent on the difference between the interest earned on loans and investment securities and the interest paid on deposits and other borrowings, and the Company’s success in competing for loans and deposits. The Company cannot control or prevent changes in the level of interest rates which fluctuate in response to general economic conditions, the policies of various governmental and regulatory agencies, in particular, the Federal Open Market Committee of the FRB, and pricing practices of the Company’s competitors. Changes in monetary policy, including changes in interest rates, will influence the origination of loans, the purchase of investments, the generation of deposits and other borrowings, and the rates received on loans and investment securities and paid on deposits and other liabilities.

 

 -9- 

 

Changes in capital market conditions could reduce asset valuations.

 

Capital market conditions, including liquidity, investor confidence, bond issuer credit worthiness, perceived counter-party risk, the supply of and demand for financial instruments, the financial strength of market participants, and other factors can materially impact the value of the Company’s assets. An impairment in the value of the Company’s assets could result in asset write-downs, reducing the Company’s asset values, earnings, and equity.

 

The value of securities in the Company’s investment securities portfolio may be negatively affected by disruptions in securities markets

 

The market for some of the investment securities held in the Company’s portfolio can be extremely volatile. Volatile market conditions may detrimentally affect the value of these securities, such as through reduced valuations due to the perception of heightened credit and liquidity risks. There can be no assurance that the declines in market value will not result in other than temporary impairments of these assets, which would lead to loss recognition that could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s net income and capital levels.

 

The weakness of other financial institutions could adversely affect the Company.

 

Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty, or other relationships. The Company routinely executes transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, and other institutional clients. Many of these transactions expose the Company to credit risk in the event of default of the Company’s counterparty or client. In addition, the Company’s credit risk may be increased when the collateral the Company holds cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the secured obligation. There is no assurance that any such losses would not materially and adversely affect the Company’s results of operations or earnings.

 

Shares of Company common stock eligible for future sale or grant of stock options could have a dilutive effect on the market for Company common stock and could adversely affect the market price.

 

The Articles of Incorporation of the Company authorize the issuance of 150 million shares of common stock (and two additional classes of 1 million shares each, denominated “Class B Common Stock” and “Preferred Stock”, respectively) of which approximately 26.4 million shares of common stock were outstanding at December 31, 2017. Pursuant to its stock option plans, at December 31, 2017, the Company had outstanding options for 1.0 million shares of common stock, of which 469 thousand were currently exercisable. As of December 31, 2017, 930 thousand shares of Company common stock remained available for grants under the Company’s stock option plans. Sales of substantial amounts of Company common stock in the public market could adversely affect the market price of its common stock.

 

The Company’s payment of dividends on common stock could be eliminated or reduced.

 

Holders of the Company’s common stock are entitled to receive dividends only when, as and if declared by the Company’s Board of Directors. Although the Company has historically paid cash dividends on the Company’s common stock, the Company is not required to do so and the Company’s Board of Directors could reduce or eliminate the Company’s common stock dividend in the future.

 

The Company could repurchase shares of its common stock at price levels considered excessive.

 

The Company repurchases and retires its common stock in accordance with Board of Directors-approved share repurchase programs. At December 31, 2017, approximately 1.8 million shares remained available to repurchase under such plans. The Company has been active in repurchasing and retiring shares of its common stock when alternative uses of excess capital, such as acquisitions, have been limited. The Company could repurchase shares of its common stock at price levels considered excessive, thereby spending more cash on such repurchases as deemed reasonable and effectively retiring fewer shares than would be retired if repurchases were effected at lower prices.

 

Risks Related to the Nature and Geographical Location of the Company’s Business

 

The Company invests in loans that contain inherent credit risks that may cause the Company to incur losses.

 

The Company can provide no assurance that the credit quality of the loan portfolio will not deteriorate in the future and that such deterioration will not adversely affect the Company.

 

 -10- 

 

The Company’s operations are concentrated geographically in California, and poor economic conditions may cause the Company to incur losses.

 

Substantially all of the Company’s business is located in California. A portion of the loan portfolio of the Company is dependent on real estate. At December 31, 2017, real estate served as the principal source of collateral with respect to approximately 53% of the Company’s loan portfolio. The Company’s financial condition and operating results will be subject to changes in economic conditions in California. The California economy was severely affected by the recessionary period of 2008 to 2009. Much of the California real estate market experienced a decline in values of varying degrees. This decline had an adverse impact on the business of some of the Company’s borrowers and on the value of the collateral for many of the Company’s loans. Generally, the counties surrounding and near San Francisco Bay have recovered more soundly from the recent recession than counties in the California “Central Valley,” from Sacramento in the north to Bakersfield in the south. Approximately 22% of the Company’s loans are to borrowers in the California “Central Valley.” Economic conditions in California’s diverse geographic markets can be vastly different and are subject to various uncertainties, including the condition of the construction and real estate sectors, the effect of drought on the agricultural sector and its infrastructure, and the California state government’s budgetary and fiscal condition. The Company can provide no assurance that conditions in any sector or geographic market of the California economy will not deteriorate in the future and that such deterioration will not adversely affect the Company.

 

The markets in which the Company operates are subject to the risk of earthquakes, fire storms and other natural disasters.

 

All of the properties of the Company are located in California. Also, most of the real and personal properties which currently secure a majority of the Company’s loans are located in California. Further, the Company invests in securities issued by companies and municipalities operating throughout the United States, and in mortgage-backed securities collateralized by real property located throughout the United States. California and other regions of the United States are prone to earthquakes, brush and forest fires, flooding, drought and other natural disasters. In addition to possibly sustaining uninsured damage to its own properties, if there is a major earthquake, flood, drought, fire or other natural disaster, the Company faces the risk that many of its debtors may experience uninsured property losses, or sustained business or employment interruption and/or loss which may materially impair their ability to meet the terms of their debt obligations. A major earthquake, flood, prolonged drought, fire or other natural disaster in California or other regions of the United States could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

Adverse changes in general business or economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

 

A sustained or continuing weakness or weakening in business and economic conditions generally or specifically in the principal markets in which the Company does business could have one or more of the following adverse impacts on the Company’s business:

 

·a decrease in the demand for loans and other products and services offered by the Company;
·an increase or decrease in the usage of unfunded credit commitments;
·an increase or decrease in the amount of deposits;
·a decrease in non-depository funding available to the Company;
·an impairment of certain intangible assets, including goodwill;
·an increase in the number of clients and counterparties who become delinquent, file for protection under bankruptcy laws or default on their loans or other obligations to the Company, which could result in a higher level of nonperforming assets, net charge-offs, provision for loan losses, reduced interest revenue and cash flows, and valuation adjustments on assets;
·an impairment in the value of investment securities;
·an impairment in the value of life insurance policies owned by the Company;
·an impairment in the value of real estate owned by the Company.

 

The 2008 - 2009 financial crisis led to the failure or merger of a number of financial institutions. Financial institution failures can result in further losses as a consequence of defaults on securities issued by them and defaults under contracts entered into with such entities as counterparties. The failure of institutions with FDIC insured deposits can cause the DIF reserve ratio to decline, resulting in increased deposit insurance assessments on surviving FDIC insured institutions. Weak economic conditions can significantly weaken the strength and liquidity of financial institutions.

 

 -11- 

 

The Company’s financial performance generally, and in particular the ability of borrowers to pay interest on and repay principal of outstanding loans and the value of collateral securing those loans, are highly dependent upon the business environment in the markets where the Company operates, in the State of California and in the United States as a whole. A favorable business environment is generally characterized by, among other factors, economic growth, healthy labor markets, efficient capital markets, low inflation, high business and investor confidence, and strong business earnings. Unfavorable or uncertain economic and market conditions can be caused by: declines in economic growth, high rates of unemployment, deflation, declines in business activity or consumer, investor or business confidence; limitations on the availability of or increases in the cost of credit and capital; increases in inflation; natural disasters; or a combination of these or other factors.

 

Such business conditions could adversely affect the credit quality of the Company’s loans, the demand for loans, loan volumes and related revenue, securities valuations, amounts of deposits, availability of funding, results of operations and financial condition.

 

Regulatory Risks

 

Restrictions on dividends and other distributions could limit amounts payable to the Company.

 

As a holding company, a substantial portion of the Company’s cash flow typically comes from dividends paid by the Bank. Various statutory provisions restrict the amount of dividends the Company’s subsidiaries can pay to the Company without regulatory approval. The Bank obtained regulatory approval for dividends paid to the Company in 2017. A reduction in subsidiary dividends paid to the Company could limit the capacity of the Company to pay dividends. In addition, if any of the Company’s subsidiaries were to liquidate, that subsidiary’s creditors will be entitled to receive distributions from the assets of that subsidiary to satisfy their claims against it before the Company, as a holder of an equity interest in the subsidiary, will be entitled to receive any of the assets of the subsidiary.

 

Adverse effects of changes in banking or other laws and regulations or governmental fiscal or monetary policies could adversely affect the Company.

 

The Company is subject to significant federal and state regulation and supervision, which is primarily for the benefit and protection of the Company’s customers and not for the benefit of investors. In the past, the Company’s business has been materially affected by these regulations.

 

Laws, regulations or policies, including accounting standards and interpretations currently affecting the Company and the Company’s subsidiaries, may change at any time. Regulatory authorities may also change their interpretation of these statutes and regulations. Therefore, the Company’s business may be adversely affected by any future changes in laws, regulations, policies or interpretations or regulatory approaches to compliance and enforcement including future acts of terrorism, major U.S. corporate bankruptcies and reports of accounting irregularities at U.S. public companies.

 

Additionally, the Company’s business is affected significantly by the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government and its agencies. The Company is particularly affected by the policies of the FRB, which regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States of America. Among the instruments of monetary policy available to the FRB are (a) conducting open market operations in U.S. government securities, (b) changing the discount rates of borrowings by depository institutions, (c) changing interest rates paid on balances financial institutions deposit with the FRB, and (d) imposing or changing reserve requirements against certain borrowings by banks and their affiliates. These methods are used in varying degrees and combinations to directly affect the availability of bank loans and deposits, as well as the interest rates charged on loans and paid on deposits. The policies of the FRB may have a material effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition. Under long- standing policy of the FRB, a BHC is expected to act as a source of financial strength for its subsidiary banks. As a result of that policy, the Company may be required to commit financial and other resources to its subsidiary bank in circumstances where the Company might not otherwise do so.

 

Following the most recent recession, the FRB has been providing vast amounts of liquidity into the banking system. The FRB has been purchasing large quantities of U.S. government securities, including agency-backed mortgage securities, increasing the demand for such securities thereby reducing interest rates. The FRB began reducing these asset purchase activities in the fourth quarter 2013 and the Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC”) has been increasing the target range for the federal funds rate. On December 13, 2017, the FOMC raised the target range for the federal funds rate to 1¼ to 1½ percent, which could reduce liquidity in the markets and cause interest rates to rise, thereby increasing funding costs to the Bank, reducing the availability of funds to the Bank to finance its existing operations, and causing fixed-rate investment securities and loans to decline in value.

 

Federal and state governments could pass legislation detrimental to the Company’s performance.

 

As an example, the Company could experience higher credit losses because of federal or state legislation or regulatory action that reduces the amount the Bank's borrowers are otherwise contractually required to pay under existing loan contracts. Also, the Company could experience higher credit losses because of federal or state legislation or regulatory action that limits or delays the Bank's ability to foreclose on property or other collateral or makes foreclosure less economically feasible. Federal, state and local governments could pass tax legislation causing the Company to pay higher levels of taxes.

 

 -12- 

 

The FDIC insures deposits at insured financial institutions up to certain limits. The FDIC charges insured financial institutions premiums to maintain the Deposit Insurance Fund. The FDIC may increase premium assessments to maintain adequate funding of the Deposit Insurance Fund.

 

The behavior of depositors in regard to the level of FDIC insurance could cause our existing customers to reduce the amount of deposits held at the Bank, and could cause new customers to open deposit accounts at the Bank. The level and composition of the Bank's deposit portfolio directly impacts the Bank's funding cost and net interest margin.

 

Systems, Accounting and Internal Control Risks

 

The accuracy of the Company’s judgments and estimates about financial and accounting matters will impact operating results and financial condition.

 

The discussion under “Item 7 Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Critical Accounting Policies” in this Report and the information referred to in that discussion is incorporated by reference in this paragraph. The Company makes certain estimates and judgments in preparing its financial statements. The quality and accuracy of those estimates and judgments will have an impact on the Company’s operating results and financial condition.

 

The Company’s information systems may experience an interruption or breach in security.

 

The Company relies heavily on communications and information systems, including those of third party vendors and other service providers, to conduct its business. Any failure, interruption or breach in security of these systems could result in failures or disruptions in the Company’s data processing, accounting, customer relationship management and other systems. Communication and information systems failures can result from a variety of risks including, but not limited to, events that are wholly or partially out of the Company’s control, such as telecommunication line integrity, weather, terrorist acts, natural disasters, accidental disasters, unauthorized breaches of security systems, energy delivery systems, cyber attacks, and other events. Although the Company devotes significant resources to maintain and regularly upgrade its systems and processes that are designed to protect the security of the Company’s computer systems, software, networks and other technology assets and the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information belonging to the Company and its customers, there is no assurance that any such failures, interruptions or security breaches will not occur or, if they do occur, that they will be adequately corrected by the Company or its vendors. The occurrence of any such failures, interruptions or security breaches could damage the Company’s reputation, result in a loss of customer business, subject the Company to additional regulatory scrutiny, or expose the Company to litigation and possible financial liability, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

 

The Company’s controls and procedures may fail or be circumvented.

 

Management regularly reviews and updates the Company’s internal control over financial reporting, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies and procedures. The Company maintains controls and procedures to mitigate against risks such as processing system failures and errors, and customer or employee fraud, and maintains insurance coverage for certain of these risks. Any system of controls and procedures, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Events could occur which are not prevented or detected by the Company’s internal controls or are not insured against or are in excess of the Company’s insurance limits or insurance underwriters’ financial capacity. Any failure or circumvention of the Company’s controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to controls and procedures could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None

 

 -13- 

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

Branch Offices and Facilities

 

Westamerica Bank is engaged in the banking business through 82   branch offices in 21 counties in Northern and Central California. WAB believes all of its offices are constructed and equipped to meet prescribed security requirements.

 

The Company owns 29 banking office locations and one centralized administrative service center facility and leases 58 facilities.  Most of the leases contain renewal options and provisions for rental increases, principally for changes in the cost of living index, and for changes in other operating costs such as property taxes and maintenance.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries is a party to any material pending legal proceeding, nor is their property the subject of any material pending legal proceeding, other than ordinary routine legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of the Company’s business. None of these proceedings is expected to have a material adverse impact upon the Company’s business, financial position or results of operations.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not applicable

 

 

PART II

 

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

 

The Company’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market (“NASDAQ”) under the symbol “WABC”. The following table shows the high and the low sales prices for the common stock, for each quarter, as reported by NASDAQ:

 

   High  Low
2017:          
First quarter   $64.07   $54.12 
Second quarter    57.78    51.31 
Third quarter    59.54    49.54 
Fourth quarter    63.03    53.96 
2016:          
First quarter   $49.63   $40.72 
Second quarter    51.53    45.86 
Third quarter    50.96    46.61 
Fourth quarter    65.34    48.20 

 

As of January 31, 2018, there were approximately 5,700 shareholders of record of the Company’s common stock.

 

The Company has paid cash dividends on its common stock in every quarter since its formation in 1972. See Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 20 to the consolidated financial statements for recent quarterly dividend information. It is currently the intention of the Board of Directors of the Company to continue payment of cash dividends on a quarterly basis. There is no assurance, however, that any dividends will be paid since they are dependent upon earnings, cash balances, financial condition and capital requirements of the Company and its subsidiaries as well as policies of the FRB pursuant to the BHCA. See Item 1, “Business - Supervision and Regulation.”

 

The notes to the consolidated financial statements included in this Report contain additional information regarding the Company’s capital levels, capital structure, regulations affecting subsidiary bank dividends paid to the Company, the Company’s earnings, financial condition and cash flows, and cash dividends declared and paid on common stock.

 

 -14- 

 

Stock performance

 

The following chart compares the cumulative return on the Company’s stock during the ten years ended December 31, 2017 with the cumulative return on the S&P 500 composite stock index and NASDAQ’S Bank Index. The comparison assumes $100 invested in each on December 31, 2007 and reinvestment of all dividends.

 

 

   December 31,
   2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012
Westamerica Bancorporation (WABC)   $100.00   $117.83   $131.29   $135.08   $110.22   $110.48 
S&P 500 (SPX)    100.00    63.01    79.69    91.71    93.62    108.59 
NASDAQ Bank Index (CBNK)    100.00    78.47    65.69    75.00    67.12    79.69 

 

   December 31,
   2013  2014  2015  2016  2017
Westamerica Bancorporation (WABC)   $151.16   $135.34   $129.56   $179.56   $169.70 
S&P 500 (SPX)    143.73    163.36    162.32    181.53    216.54 
NASDAQ Bank Index (CBNK)    112.92    118.46    126.39    174.06    179.77 

 

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 -15- 

 

The following chart compares the cumulative return on the Company’s stock during the five years ended December 31, 2017 with the cumulative return on the S&P 500 composite stock index and NASDAQ’S Bank Index. The comparison assumes $100 invested in each on December 31, 2012 and reinvestment of all dividends.

 

  

   December 31,
   2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017
Westamerica Bancorporation (WABC)   $100.00   $136.83   $122.50   $117.28   $162.54   $153.61 
S&P 500 (SPX)    100.00    132.36    150.43    149.48    167.16    199.41 
NASDAQ Bank Index (CBNK)    100.00    141.69    148.65    158.61    218.42    225.59 

 

ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

The table below sets forth the information with respect to purchases made by or on behalf of Westamerica Bancorporation or any “affiliated purchaser” (as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), of common stock during the quarter ended December 31, 2017 (in thousands, except per share data).

 

   2017
Period  (a) Total Number of shares Purchased  (b) Average Price Paid per Share  (c) Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs  (d) Maximum Number of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
   (In thousands, except exercise price)
October 1 through October 31   -   $-    -    1,750 
November 1 through November 30   -    -    -    1,750 
December 1 through December 31   -    -    -    1,750 
Total   -   $-    -    1,750 

 

The Company repurchases shares of its common stock in the open market to optimize the Company’s use of equity capital and enhance shareholder value and with the intention of lessening the dilutive impact of issuing new shares under stock option plans, and other ongoing requirements.

 

 -16- 

 

No shares were repurchased during the period from October 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. A program approved by the Board of Directors on July 27, 2017 authorizes the purchase of up to 1,750 thousand shares of the Company’s common stock from time to time prior to September 1, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

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 -17- 

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

The following financial information for the five years ended December 31, 2017 has been derived from the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements. This information should be read in conjunction with those statements, notes and other information included elsewhere herein.

 

WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

 

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015  2014  2013
   (In thousands, except per share data and ratios)
Interest and loan fee income  $133,836   $134,051   $136,529   $140,209   $154,396 
Interest expense   1,900    2,116    2,424    3,444    4,671 
Net interest and loan fee income   131,936    131,935    134,105    136,765    149,725 
(Reversal of) provision for loan losses   (1,900)   (3,200)   -    2,800    8,000 
Noninterest income:                         
Securities gains   7,955    -    -    -    - 
Other noninterest income   48,673    46,574    47,867    51,787    57,011 
Total noninterest income   56,628    46,574    47,867    51,787    57,011 
Noninterest expense   103,292    101,752    105,300    106,799    112,614 
Income before income taxes   87,172    79,957    76,672    78,953    86,122 
Income tax provision   37,147    21,104    17,919    18,307    18,945 
Net income  $50,025   $58,853   $58,753   $60,646   $67,177 
                          
Average common shares outstanding   26,291    25,612    25,555    26,099    26,826 
Average diluted common shares outstanding   26,419    25,678    25,577    26,160    26,877 
Common shares outstanding at December 31,   26,425    25,907    25,528    25,745    26,510 
                          
Per common share:                         
Basic earnings  $1.90   $2.30   $2.30   $2.32   $2.50 
Diluted earnings   1.89    2.29    2.30    2.32    2.50 
Book value at December 31,   22.34    21.67    20.85    20.45    20.48 
                          
Financial ratios:                         
Return on assets   0.92%   1.12%   1.16%   1.22%   1.38%
Return on common equity   8.39%   10.85%   11.32%   11.57%   12.48%
Net interest margin (FTE)(1)   3.12%   3.24%   3.36%   3.70%   4.08%
Net loan losses to average loans   0.08%   0.04%   0.11%   0.17%   0.33%
Efficiency ratio(2)   51.45%   53.09%   53.69%   52.24%   50.11%
Equity to assets   10.71%   10.46%   10.30%   10.46%   11.20%
                          
Period end balances:                         
Assets  $5,513,046   $5,366,083   $5,168,875   $5,035,724   $4,847,055 
Loans   1,287,982    1,352,711    1,533,396    1,700,290    1,827,744 
Allowance for loan losses   23,009    25,954    29,771    31,485    31,693 
Investment securities   3,352,371    3,237,070    2,886,291    2,639,439    2,211,680 
Deposits   4,827,613    4,704,741    4,540,659    4,349,191    4,163,781 
Identifiable intangible assets and goodwill   125,523    128,600    132,104    135,960    140,230 
Short-term borrowed funds   58,471    59,078    53,028    89,784    62,668 
Federal Home Loan Bank advances   -    -    -    20,015    20,577 
Term repurchase agreement   -    -    -    -    10,000 
Shareholders' equity   590,239    561,367    532,205    526,603    542,934 
                          
Capital ratios at period end:                         
Total risk based capital   16.17%   15.95%   13.39%   14.54%   16.18%
Tangible equity to tangible assets   8.63%   8.26%   7.94%   7.97%   8.56%
                          
Dividends paid per common share  $1.57   $1.56   $1.53   $1.52   $1.49 
Common dividend payout ratio   83%   68%   67%   66%   60%

 

(1)Yields on securities and certain loans have been adjusted upward to a "fully taxable equivalent" ("FTE") basis in order to reflect the effect of income which is exempt from federal income taxation at the current statutory tax rate.

(2)The efficiency ratio is defined as noninterest expense divided by total revenue (net interest income on an FTE basis and noninterest income).

 

 -18- 

 

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

 

The following discussion addresses information pertaining to the financial condition and results of operations of Westamerica Bancorporation and subsidiaries (the “Company”) that may not be otherwise apparent from a review of the consolidated financial statements and related footnotes. It should be read in conjunction with those statements and notes found on pages 47 through 88, as well as with the other information presented throughout this Report.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

The Company’s consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and follow general practices within the banking industry. Application of these principles requires the Company to make certain estimates, assumptions, and judgments that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. These estimates, assumptions, and judgments are based on information available as of the date of the financial statements; accordingly, as this information changes, the financial statements could reflect different estimates, assumptions, and judgments. Certain accounting policies inherently have a greater reliance on the use of estimates, assumptions and judgments and as such have a greater possibility of producing results that could be materially different than originally reported. Estimates, assumptions and judgments are necessary when assets and liabilities are required to be recorded at fair value, when a decline in the value of an asset not carried on the financial statements at fair value warrants an impairment writedown or valuation reserve to be established, or when an asset or liability needs to be recorded contingent upon a future event. Carrying assets and liabilities at fair value inherently results in more financial statement volatility. The fair values and the information used to record valuation adjustments for certain assets and liabilities are based either on quoted market prices or are provided by other third-party sources, when available.

 

The most significant accounting policies followed by the Company are presented in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements. These policies, along with the disclosures presented in the other financial statement notes and in this discussion, provide information on how significant assets and liabilities are valued in the financial statements and how those values are determined. Based on the valuation techniques used and the sensitivity of financial statement amounts to the methods, assumptions, and estimates underlying those amounts, Management has identified the allowance for loan losses accounting to be the accounting area requiring the most subjective or complex judgments, and as such could be most subject to revision as new information becomes available. A discussion of the factors affecting accounting for the allowance for loan losses and purchased loans is included in the “Loan Portfolio Credit Risk” discussion below.

 

Net Income

 

The Company reported net income of $50.0 million and diluted earnings per common share (“EPS”) of $1.89 in 2017. The 2017 results include adjustments to net deferred tax asset values triggered by enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 which reduced EPS $0.48, recognition of a loss contingency which reduced EPS $0.12, and securities gains which increased EPS $0.18. The 2017 results compare to net income of $58.9 million or $2.29 EPS for the year ended December 31, 2016 and net income of $58.8 million or $2.30 EPS for the year ended December 31, 2015.

 

The Company’s principal source of revenue is net interest and loan fee income, which represents interest and fees earned on loans and investment securities (“earning assets”) reduced by interest paid on deposits and other borrowings (“interest-bearing liabilities”). Market interest rates declined considerably following the recession of 2008 and 2009. Interest rates remained historically low through 2016 as the Federal Open Market Committee’s (“FOMC”) monetary policy was highly accommodative. During this period, Management avoided originating long-dated, low-yielding loans given the potential impact of such assets on forward earning potential; as a result, loans declined and investment securities increased. The changing composition of the earning assets and low market interest rates has pressured the net interest margin to lower levels. The FOMC’s first post-recession increase in the federal funds rate occurred in December 2015, although longer-term rates declined. The FOMC’s successive post-recession increases in the federal funds rate occurred between December 2016 and December 2017, although longer-term rates have not increased by a similar magnitude. The more recent increase in rates has resulted in competitive loan yields which are more appealing from a profitability perspective, in Management’s opinion.

 

The funding of the Company’s earning assets is primarily customer deposits. The Company’s long-term strategy includes maximizing checking and savings deposits as these types of deposits are lower-cost and less sensitive to changes in interest rates compared to time deposits. The 2017 average volume of checking and savings deposits was 95 percent of average total deposits.

 

 -19- 

 

The Company recognized a reversal of the provision for loan losses of $1.9 million in 2017. Credit quality improved during 2017 with nonperforming assets declining $4 million to $8 million at December 31, 2017. The Company’s net losses in 2017 were 0.08% of average loan balances. These developments were reflected in Management’s evaluation of credit quality, the level of the provision for loan losses, and the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses at December 31, 2017.

 

The Company presents its net interest margin and net interest income on an FTE basis using the current statutory federal tax rate. Management believes the FTE basis is valuable to the reader because the Company’s loan and investment securities portfolios contain a relatively large portion of municipal loans and securities that are federally tax exempt. The Company’s tax exempt loans and securities composition may not be similar to that of other banks. Therefore in order to reflect the impact of the federally tax exempt loans and securities on the net interest margin and net interest income for comparability with other banks, the Company presents its net interest margin and net interest income on an FTE basis.

 

The Company’s significant accounting policies (see Note 1 (“Summary of Significant Accounting Policies”) to Financial Statements in the Company’s 2017 Form 10-K) are fundamental to understanding the Company’s results of operations and financial condition. The Company adopted the FASB ASU 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting effective January 1, 2017. The 2017 results reflect the Company’s prospective adoption of ASU 2016-09; The 2017 income tax provision was $698 thousand lower than would have been under accounting standards prior to the adoption of ASU 2016-09.

 

Components of Net Income

 

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   ($ in thousands, except per share data)
Net interest and loan fee income (FTE)  $144,118   $145,077   $148,258 
Reversal of (provision for) loan losses   1,900    3,200    - 
Noninterest income   56,628    46,574    47,867 
Noninterest expense   (103,292)   (101,752)   (105,300)
Income before income taxes (FTE)   99,354    93,099    90,825 
Income taxes (FTE)   (49,329)   (34,246)   (32,072)
Net income  $50,025   $58,853   $58,753 
                
Net income per average fully-diluted common share  $1.89   $2.29   $2.30 
Net income as a percentage of average shareholders' equity   8.39%   10.85%   11.32%
Net income as a percentage of average total assets   0.92%   1.12%   1.16%

 

Comparing 2017 with 2016, net income decreased $8.8 million. Net interest and loan fee income (FTE) decreased in 2017 compared with 2016 mostly attributable to lower average balances of loans and lower net yield on those loans, partially offset by higher average balances of investments. The Company recorded a $1.9 million reversal of provision for loan losses in 2017 and a $3.2 million reversal of provision for loan losses in 2016, reflecting Management's evaluation of losses inherent in the loan portfolio. Noninterest income increased primarily due to gains on sale of securities of $8.0 million and higher merchant processing services fees, partially offset by lower service charges on deposit accounts. Noninterest expense increased due to a $5.5 million loss contingency and an impairment charge of tax credit investments, partially offset by reductions in professional fees and correspondent service charges. The tax provision (FTE) for 2017 was higher than in 2016 primarily due to a $12.3 million charge to re-measure the Company’s net deferred tax asset triggered by enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The 2017 income tax provision was $698 thousand lower than it would have been under accounting standards prior to the adoption of ASU 2016-09.

 

Comparing 2016 with 2015, net income increased $100 thousand due to a reversal of provision for loan losses and lower noninterest expense, partially offset by lower net interest and fee income (FTE), lower noninterest income and higher income tax provision (FTE). The lower net interest and fee income (FTE) was primarily caused by lower average balances of loans, partially offset by higher average balances of investments and lower average balances of higher-costing time deposits. The Company recorded a reversal of the provision for loan losses of $3.2 million, reflecting Management's evaluation of losses inherent in the loan portfolio. Noninterest income decreased primarily due to reduced levels of service charges on deposit accounts, financial services commissions and other service fees, partially offset by higher debit card fees. Noninterest expense decreased mostly due to lower personnel expense, lower occupancy expense, and lower other operating expense, offset in part by higher legal fees. Income tax provision (FTE) increased in 2016 due to higher pretax income, declining tax preference items and lower tax credits.

 

 -20- 

 

Net Interest and Loan Fee Income (FTE)

 

The Company's primary source of revenue is net interest income, or the difference between interest income earned on loans and investment securities and interest expense paid on interest-bearing deposits and other borrowings.

 

Components of Net Interest and Loan Fee Income (FTE)

 

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   ($ in thousands)
Interest and loan fee income  $133,836   $134,051   $136,529 
Interest expense   (1,900)   (2,116)   (2,424)
FTE adjustment   12,182    13,142    14,153 
Net interest and loan fee income (FTE)  $144,118   $145,077   $148,258 
                
Net interest margin (FTE)   3.12%   3.24%   3.36%

 

Comparing 2017 with 2016, net interest and loan fee income (FTE) decreased $959 thousand mostly due to lower average balances of loans (down $109 million) and lower net yield on those loans (down 0.16%), partially offset by higher average balances of investments (up $255 million).

 

Comparing 2016 with 2015, net interest and loan fee income (FTE) decreased $3.2 million due to lower average balances of loans (down $194 million), partially offset by higher average balances of investments (up $255 million) and lower average balances of higher-costing time deposits (down $62 million).

 

Loan volumes have declined due to payoffs and problem loan workout activities (such as chargeoffs, collateral repossessions and principal payments), particularly with purchased loans, and reduced volumes of loan originations. The Company did not take an aggressive posture relative to loan portfolio growth during the post-recession period of historically low interest rates. Management increased investment securities as loan volumes declined. The average balance of the investment securities portfolio increased from $2.8 billion in 2015 to $3.1 billion in 2016 and $3.3 billion in 2017. The Company has been purchasing shorter-duration investment securities with lower yields than longer-duration securities to increase liquidity. The Company’s high levels of liquidity will provide an opportunity to obtain higher yielding assets as market interest rates rise.

 

Yields on interest-earning assets declined due to historically low interest rates prevailing in the market. The net interest margin (FTE) was 3.12% in 2017, 3.24% in 2016 and 3.36% in 2015. The volume of older-dated higher-yielding loans and securities declined due to principal maturities and paydowns. As the investment securities portfolio grew during the three years ended December 31, 2017, the investment securities portfolio generated an increasing portion of the interest income (FTE). Interest income (FTE) generated from investments represented 47.0% of total interest income (FTE) in 2015, 52.2% in 2016 and 57.0% in 2017. During the three years ended December 31, 2017, the net interest margin (FTE) was affected by low market interest rates and the changing composition of interest-earning assets.

 

The Company has been replacing higher-cost funding sources with low-cost deposits and interest expense has declined to offset some of the decline in interest income. Interest expense has been reduced by lowering rates paid on interest-bearing deposits and borrowings by reducing the volume of higher-cost funding sources. Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) advances were repaid in January 2015. Average balances of time deposits declined $27 million in 2017 compared with 2016 while lower-cost checking and savings deposits grew 4% in the same period. Lower-cost checking and savings deposits accounted for 94.8% of total average deposits in 2017 compared with 94.1% in 2016 and 92.5% in 2015.

 

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 -21- 

 

Summary of Average Balances, Yields/Rates and Interest Differential

 

The following tables present information regarding the consolidated average assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity, the amounts of interest income earned from average interest earning assets and the resulting yields, and the amounts of interest expense incurred on average interest-bearing liabilities and the resulting rates. Average loan balances include nonperforming loans. Interest income includes reversal of previously accrued interest on loans placed on non-accrual status during the period and proceeds from loans on nonaccrual status only to the extent cash payments have been received and applied as interest income and accretion of purchased loan discounts. Yields on tax-exempt securities and loans have been adjusted upward to reflect the effect of income exempt from federal income taxation at the federal statutory tax rate of 35 percent for 2015, 2016 and 2017. Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the federal tax rate will be 21 percent for 2018; as such, the upward adjustment to reflect the effect of income exempt from federal taxation will be lower in 2018.

 

Distribution of Assets, Liabilities & Shareholders’ Equity and Yields, Rates & Interest Margin

 

   For the Year Ended December 31, 2017
      Interest   
   Average  Income/  Yields/
   Balance  Expense  Rates
   ($ in thousands)
Assets               
Investment securities:               
Taxable  $2,498,001   $51,445    2.06%
Tax-exempt (1)   809,136    31,737    3.92%
Total investments (1)   3,307,137    83,182    2.52%
Loans:               
Taxable   1,252,474    59,700    4.77%
Tax-exempt (1)   62,728    3,136    5.00%
Total loans (1)   1,315,202    62,836    4.78%
Total interest-earning assets (1)   4,622,339    146,018    3.16%
Other assets   817,343           
Total assets  $5,439,682           
                
Liabilities and shareholders' equity               
Noninterest-bearing demand  $2,095,522   $-    -%
Savings and interest-bearing transaction   2,380,841    1,123    0.05%
Time less than $100,000   136,324    318    0.23%
Time $100,000 or more   109,563    415    0.38%
Total interest-bearing deposits   2,626,728    1,856    0.07%
Short-term borrowed funds   69,671    44    0.06%
Total interest-bearing liabilities   2,696,399    1,900    0.07%
Other liabilities   51,405           
Shareholders' equity   596,356           
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity  $5,439,682           
Net interest spread (1) (2)             3.09%
Net interest and fee income and interest margin (1) (3)       $144,118    3.12%

 

(1)Amounts calculated on a fully taxable equivalent basis using the current statutory federal tax rate.
(2)Net interest spread represents the average yield earned on interest-earning assets less the average rate incurred on interest-bearing liabilities.
(3)Net interest margin is computed by calculating the difference between interest income and expense, divided by the average balance of interest-earning assets. The net interest margin is greater than the net interest spread due to the benefit of noninterest-bearing demand deposits.

 

 -22- 

 

Distribution of Assets, Liabilities & Shareholders’ Equity and Yields, Rates & Interest Margin

 

   For the Year Ended December 31, 2016
      Interest   
   Average  Income/  Yields/
   Balance  Expense  Rates
   ($ in thousands)
Assets               
Investment securities:               
Taxable  $2,212,234   $42,718    1.93%
Tax-exempt (1)   840,262    34,103    4.06%
Total investments (1)   3,052,496    76,821    2.52%
Loans:               
Taxable   1,356,417    66,842    4.93%
Tax-exempt (1)   67,842    3,530    5.20%
Total loans (1)   1,424,259    70,372    4.94%
Total interest-earning assets (1)   4,476,755    147,193    3.29%
Other assets   769,389           
Total assets  $5,246,144           
                
Liabilities and shareholders' equity               
Noninterest-bearing demand  $2,026,939   $-    -%
Savings and interest-bearing transaction   2,290,640    1,166    0.05%
Time less than $100,000   154,022    402    0.26%
Time $100,000 or more   118,750    509    0.43%
Total interest-bearing deposits   2,563,412    2,077    0.08%
Short-term borrowed funds   61,276    39    0.06%
Total interest-bearing liabilities   2,624,688    2,116    0.08%
Other liabilities   52,216           
Shareholders' equity   542,301           
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity  $5,246,144           
Net interest spread (1) (2)             3.21%
Net interest and fee income and interest margin (1) (3)       $145,077    3.24%

 

(1)Amounts calculated on a fully taxable equivalent basis using the current statutory federal tax rate.
(2)Net interest spread represents the average yield earned on interest-earning assets less the average rate incurred on interest-bearing liabilities.
(3)Net interest margin is computed by calculating the difference between interest income and expense, divided by the average balance of interest-earning assets. The net interest margin is greater than the net interest spread due to the benefit of noninterest-bearing demand deposits.

 

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 -23- 

 

Distribution of Assets, Liabilities & Shareholders’ Equity and Yields, Rates & Interest Margin

 

   For the Year Ended December 31, 2015
      Interest   
   Average  Income/  Yields/
   Balance  Expense  Rates
   ($ in thousands)
Assets               
Investment securities:               
Taxable  $1,947,835   $34,472    1.77%
Tax-exempt (1)   849,618    36,284    4.27%
Total investments (1)   2,797,453    70,756    2.53%
Loans:               
Taxable   1,542,264    75,677    4.91%
Tax-exempt (1)   76,007    4,249    5.59%
Total loans (1)   1,618,271    79,926    4.94%
Total interest-earning assets (1)   4,415,724    150,682    3.41%
Other assets   668,276           
Total assets  $5,084,000           
                
Liabilities and shareholders' equity               
Noninterest-bearing demand  $1,968,817   $-    -%
Savings and interest-bearing transaction   2,134,256    1,112    0.05%
Time less than $100,000   172,836    571    0.33%
Time $100,000 or more   161,710    687    0.42%
Total interest-bearing deposits   2,468,802    2,370    0.10%
Short-term borrowed funds   75,054    53    0.07%
Federal Home Loan Bank advances   494    1    0.20%
Total interest-bearing liabilities   2,544,350    2,424    0.10%
Other liabilities   51,707           
Shareholders' equity   519,126           
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity  $5,084,000           
Net interest spread (1) (2)             3.31%
Net interest and fee income and interest margin (1) (3)       $148,258    3.36%

 

(1)Amounts calculated on a fully taxable equivalent basis using the current statutory federal tax rate.
(2)Net interest spread represents the average yield earned on interest-earning assets less the average rate incurred on interest-bearing liabilities.
(3)Net interest margin is computed by calculating the difference between interest income and expense, divided by the average balance of interest-earning assets. The net interest margin is greater than the net interest spread due to the benefit of noninterest-bearing demand deposits.

 

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 -24- 

 

Summary of Changes in Interest Income and Expense due to Changes in Average Asset & Liability Balances and Yields Earned & Rates Paid

 

The following tables set forth a summary of the changes in interest income and interest expense due to changes in average assets and liability balances (volume) and changes in average interest yields/rates for the periods indicated. Changes not solely attributable to volume or yields/rates have been allocated in proportion to the respective volume and yield/rate components.

 

Summary of Changes in Interest Income and Expense

 

   For the Year Ended December 31, 2017
   Compared with
   For the Year Ended December 31, 2016
   Volume  Yield/Rate  Total
   (In thousands)
Increase (decrease) in interest and loan fee income:               
Investment securities:               
Taxable  $5,518   $3,209   $8,727 
Tax-exempt (1)   (1,263)   (1,103)   (2,366)
Total investments (1)   4,255    2,106    6,361 
Loans:               
Taxable   (5,118)   (2,024)   (7,142)
Tax-exempt (1)   (266)   (128)   (394)
Total loans (1)   (5,384)   (2,152)   (7,536)
Total decrease in interest and loan fee income (1)   (1,129)   (46)   (1,175)
Increase (decrease) in interest expense:               
Deposits:               
Savings and interest-bearing transaction   45    (88)   (43)
Time less than $100,000   (46)   (38)   (84)
Time $100,000 or more   (39)   (55)   (94)
Total interest-bearing deposits   (40)   (181)   (221)
Short-term borrowed funds   5    -    5 
Total decrease in interest expense   (35)   (181)   (216)
(Decrease) increase in net interest and loan fee income (1)  $(1,094)  $135   $(959)

 

(1)Amounts calculated on a fully taxable equivalent basis using the current statutory federal tax rate.

 

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 -25- 

 

Summary of Changes in Interest Income and Expense

 

   For the Year Ended December 31, 2016
   Compared with
   For the Year Ended December 31, 2015
   Volume  Yield/Rate  Total
   (In thousands)
Increase (decrease) in interest and loan fee income:               
Investment securities:               
Taxable  $4,679   $3,567   $8,246 
Tax-exempt (1)   (400)   (1,781)   (2,181)
Total investments (1)   4,279    1,786    6,065 
Loans:               
Taxable   (9,119)   284    (8,835)
Tax-exempt (1)   (456)   (263)   (719)
Total loans (1)   (9,575)   21    (9,554)
Total (decrease) increase in interest and loan fee income (1)   (5,296)   1,807    (3,489)
Increase (decrease) in interest expense:               
Deposits:               
Savings and interest-bearing transaction   81    (27)   54 
Time less than $100,000   (62)   (107)   (169)
Time $100,000 or more   (183)   5    (178)
Total interest-bearing deposits   (164)   (129)   (293)
Short-term borrowed funds   (10)   (4)   (14)
Federal Home Loan Bank advances   (1)   -    (1)
Total decrease in interest expense   (175)   (133)   (308)
(Decrease) increase in net interest and loan fee income (1)  $(5,121)  $1,940   $(3,181)

 

(1)Amounts calculated on a fully taxable equivalent basis using the current statutory federal tax rate.

 

Provision for Loan Losses

 

The Company manages credit costs by consistently enforcing conservative underwriting and administration procedures and aggressively pursuing collection efforts with debtors experiencing financial difficulties. The provision for loan losses reflects Management's assessment of credit risk in the loan portfolio during each of the periods presented.

 

The Company recorded a reversal of the provision for loan losses of $1.9 million in 2017 and $3.2 million in 2016. The Company provided no provision for loan losses in 2015. Classified loans declined $10.5 million (which included nonperforming loans of $5.9 million) in 2017. The Company’s net loan losses decreased from $1.7 million in 2015 to $617 thousand in 2016 and $1.0 million in 2017; these developments were reflected in Management’s evaluation of credit quality, the level of the provision for loan losses, and the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses at December 31, 2017. At December 31, 2017, the Company had $7.8 million in residential real estate secured loans which are indemnified from loss by the FDIC up to eighty percent of principal; the indemnification expires February 6, 2019. For further information regarding credit risk, the FDIC loss-sharing agreements, net credit losses and the allowance for loan losses, see the “Loan Portfolio Credit Risk” and “Allowance for Loan Losses” sections of this Report.

 

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 -26- 

 

Noninterest Income

 

Components of Noninterest Income

 

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   (In thousands)
Service charges on deposit accounts  $19,612   $20,854   $22,241 
Merchant processing services   8,426    6,377    6,339 
Securities gains   7,955    -    - 
Debit card fees   6,421    6,290    6,084 
Trust fees   2,875    2,686    2,732 
ATM processing fees   2,610    2,411    2,397 
Other service fees   2,584    2,571    2,689 
Financial services commissions   639    568    695 
Other noninterest income   5,506    4,817    4,690 
Total Noninterest Income  $56,628   $46,574   $47,867 

 

In 2017, noninterest income increased $10.1 million compared with 2016 mainly due to $8.0 million in gains on sale of securities. Merchant processing services fees increased $2.0 million due to successful sales efforts and higher transaction volumes. ATM processing fees and debit card fees increased $199 thousand and $131 thousand, respectively, primarily due to increased transaction volumes. Trust fees increased $189 thousand due to successful sales efforts. Offsetting the increase were service charges on deposits which decreased $1.2 million due to declines in fees charged on overdrawn and insufficient funds accounts (down $1.0 million) and lower fees on analyzed accounts (down $220 thousand).

 

In 2016, noninterest income decreased $1.3 million or 2.7% compared with 2015. Service charges on deposits decreased $1.4 million due to declines in fees charged on overdrawn and insufficient funds accounts (down $1.1 million) and lower fees on analyzed accounts (down $393 thousand). The decrease was partially offset by increased debit card fees of $206 thousand as a result of increased transaction volumes.

 

Noninterest Expense

 

Components of Noninterest Expense

 

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   (In thousands)
Salaries and related benefits  $51,519   $51,507   $52,192 
Occupancy and equipment   19,430    19,017    19,394 
Outsourced data processing services   9,035    8,505    8,441 
Loss contingency   5,542    3    - 
Amortization of identifiable intangibles   3,077    3,504    3,856 
Professional fees   2,161    3,980    2,490 
Courier service   1,732    1,952    2,329 
Impairment of tax credit investments   625    -    - 
Other noninterest expense   10,171    13,284    16,598 
Total Noninterest Expense  $103,292   $101,752   $105,300 

 

In 2017, noninterest expense increased $1.5 million compared with 2016. The 2017 noninterest expense included a $5.5 million loss contingency and a $625 thousand impairment of low income housing limited partnership investments due to enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The loss contingency represents the Company’s estimated refunds to customers of revenue recognized in prior years. Outsourced data processing services expense increased $530 thousand primarily due to additional processing services. Expenses for occupancy and equipment increased $413 thousand due to technology upgrades. Other noninterest expense decreased $3.1 million primarily due to decreases in correspondent bank service charges and insurance premiums. Professional fees decreased $1.8 million due to lower legal fees associated with nonperforming assets. Amortization of intangibles decreased $427 thousand as assets are amortized on a declining balance method.

 

 -27- 

 

In 2016, noninterest expense decreased $3.5 million or 3.4% compared with 2015. Salaries and related benefits decreased $685 thousand primarily due to employee attrition, offset in part by higher expenses for stock based compensation. Occupancy and equipment expense decreased $377 thousand in 2016 compared with 2015 mostly due to branch closures and a lease expiration related to a non-branch building, partially offset by higher depreciation costs for technology. Courier expense decreased $377 thousand primarily due to logistical changes and switching to new vendors. Amortization of identifiable intangibles decreased $352 thousand as assets are amortized on a declining balance method. Other operating expense decreased $3.3 million primarily due to lower expenses for correspondent service charges, insurance premiums, operating losses on limited partnership investments and higher net gains on foreclosed properties. Professional fees increased $1.5 million due to higher legal fees associated with loan administration and collection activities.

 

Provision for Income Tax

 

The income tax provision (FTE) was $49.3 million in 2017 compared with $34.2 million in 2016 and $32.1 million in 2015. The 2017 income tax provision (FTE) included a $12.3 million charge to re-measure the Company’s net deferred tax asset triggered by enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Effective January 1, 2017, the Company adopted ASU 2016-09 which has the potential to create volatility in the book tax provision at the time nonqualified stock options are exercised or expire. During 2017, 509 thousand shares were issued due to the exercise of nonqualified stock options resulting in a tax deduction exceeding related share based compensation by $1.7 million. The 2017 income tax provision was $698 thousand lower than it would have been under accounting standards prior to the adoption of ASU 2016-09. The 2017 effective tax rate (FTE) was 49.6% compared with 36.8% in 2016 and 35.3% in 2015. The effective tax rates without FTE adjustments were 42.6% for 2017, 26.4% for 2016 and 23.4% for 2015. The effective tax rates for 2017 were higher than the effective tax rates for 2016 due to the 2017 $12.3 million charge to re-measure the Company’s net deferred tax asset, higher pre-tax income, and declining tax preference items. The effective tax rates for 2016 were higher than the effective tax rates for 2015 due to higher pre-tax income and declining tax preference items. Interest income earned on municipal securities and loans which are exempt from federal income taxes and the tax credits earned from investments in limited partnerships have each declined in 2017 and 2016.

 

Investment Securities Portfolio

 

The Company maintains an investment securities portfolio consisting of securities issued by U.S. Government sponsored entities, agency and non-agency mortgage backed securities, state and political subdivisions, corporations, and other securities.

 

Management has increased the investment securities portfolio in response to deposit growth and loan volume declines. The carrying value of the Company’s investment securities portfolio was $3.4 billion as of December 31, 2017 and $3.2 billion as of December 31, 2016.

 

Management continually evaluates the Company’s investment securities portfolio in response to established asset/liability management objectives, changing market conditions that could affect profitability, liquidity, and the level of interest rate risk to which the Company is exposed. These evaluations may cause Management to change the level of funds the Company deploys into investment securities and change the composition of the Company’s investment securities portfolio. In 2016 Management reduced securities of U.S. Government sponsored entities to reduce call optionality and increased agency residential MBS to develop more reliable cash flows. In 2017 corporate securities increased in order to improve yields without extending the duration of the bond portfolio.

 

As of December 31, 2017, substantially all of the Company’s investment securities continue to be investment grade rated by one or more major rating agencies. In addition to monitoring credit rating agency evaluations, Management performs its own evaluations regarding the credit worthiness of the issuer or the securitized assets underlying asset-backed securities. The Company’s procedures for evaluating investments in securities are in accordance with guidance issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, “Investing in Securities without Reliance on Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Agencies” (SR 12-15) and other regulatory guidance. There have been no significant differences in our internal analyses compared with the ratings assigned by the third party credit rating agencies.

 

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 -28- 

 

The following table shows the fair value carrying amount of the Company’s investment securities available for sale as of the dates indicated:

 

Available for Sale Portfolio

 

   At December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   (In thousands)
Securities of U.S. Government sponsored entities  $119,319   $138,660   $301,882 
Agency residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS)   767,706    691,499    202,544 
Non-agency residential MBS   154    271    370 
Agency commercial MBS   2,219    -    - 
Securities of U.S. Government entities   1,590    2,025    2,379 
Obligations of states and political subdivisions   185,221    183,411    157,509 
Asset-backed securities   -    695    2,003 
FHLMC(1) and FNMA(2) stock   -    10,869    4,329 
Corporate securities   1,115,498    860,857    896,369 
Other securities   1,800    2,471    2,831 
Total  $2,193,507   $1,890,758   $1,570,216 

 

(1) Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation

(2) Federal National Mortgage Association

 

The following table sets forth the relative maturities and contractual yields of the Company’s available for sale securities (stated at fair value) at December 31, 2017. Yields on state and political subdivision securities have been calculated on a fully taxable equivalent basis using the current federal statutory rate. Mortgage-backed securities are shown separately because they are typically paid in monthly installments over a number of years.

 

Available for Sale Portfolio Maturity Distribution

 

   At December 31, 2017
   Within one year  After one but
 within five
 years
  After five but
 within ten
 years
  After ten years  Mortgage- backed  Other  Total
   ($ in thousands)
Securities of U.S. Government sponsored entities  $80   $66,635   $52,604   $-   $-   $-   $119,319 
Interest rate   5.84%   1.90%   1.97%   -%   -%   -%   1.94%
Securities of U.S. Government entities   124    -    1,466    -    -    -    1,590 
Interest rate   2.15%   -%   2.67%   -%   -%   -%   2.63%
Obligations of states and political subdivisions   11,256    27,948    100,863    45,154    -    -    185,221 
Interest rate   3.04%   5.23%   5.51%   3.49%   -%   -%   4.56%
Corporate securities   181,925    928,464    5,109    -    -    -    1,115,498 
Interest rate   1.86%   2.32%   2.73%   -%   -%   -%   2.24%
Subtotal   193,385    1,023,047    160,042    45,154    -    -    1,421,628 
Interest rate   1.93%   2.37%   4.23%   3.49%   -%   -%   2.52%
MBS   -    -    -    -    770,079    -    770,079 
Interest rate   -%   -%   -%   -%   2.05%   -%   2.05%
Other securities without set maturities   -    -    -    -    -    1,800    1,800 
Interest rate   -%   -%   -%   -%   -%   2.39%   2.39%
Total  $193,385   $1,023,047   $160,042   $45,154   $770,079   $1,800   $2,193,507 
Interest rate   1.93%   2.37%   4.23%   3.49%   2.05%   2.39%   2.35%

 

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 -29- 

 

The following table shows the amortized cost carrying amount and fair value of the Company’s investment securities held to maturity as of the dates indicated:

 

Held to Maturity Portfolio

 

   At December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   (In thousands)
Securities of U.S. Government sponsored entities  $-   $581   $764 
Agency residential MBS   545,883    668,235    595,503 
Non-agency residential MBS   4,462    5,370    9,667 
Agency commercial MBS   9,041    9,332    16,258 
Obligations of states and political subdivisions   599,478    662,794    693,883 
Total  $1,158,864   $1,346,312   $1,316,075 
Fair value  $1,155,342   $1,340,741   $1,325,699 

 

The following table sets forth the relative maturities and contractual yields of the Company’s held to maturity securities at December 31, 2017. Yields on state and political subdivision securities have been calculated on a fully taxable equivalent basis using the current federal statutory rate. Mortgage-backed securities are shown separately because they are typically paid in monthly installments over a number of years.

 

Held to Maturity Portfolio Maturity Distribution

 

   At December 31, 2017
   Within one year  After one but
within five
years
  After five but within ten
years
  After ten years  Mortgage- backed  Total
   ($ in thousands)
Obligations of states and political subdivisions  $50,295   $269,050   $277,170   $2,963   $-   $599,478 
Interest rate   2.99%   2.95%   4.38%   4.23%   -%   3.54%
MBS   -    -    -    -    559,386    559,386 
Interest rate   -%   -%   -%   -%   2.03%   2.03%
Total  $50,295   $269,050   $277,170   $2,963   $559,386   $1,158,864 
Interest rate   2.99%   2.95%   4.38%   4.23%   2.03%   2.81%

 

 

The following table summarizes total corporate securities by the industry sector in which the issuing companies operate:

 

   At December 31,
   2017  2016
   Market value  As percent of total corporate securities  Market value  As percent of total corporate securities
   ($ in thousands)
Basic materials  $35,219    3%  $14,083    2%
Communications   50,763    5%   40,744    5%
Consumer, cyclical   12,592    1%   44,491    5%
Consumer, non-cyclical   133,476    12%   56,543    6%
Financial   525,932    47%   583,658    68%
Industrial   129,989    12%   39,455    4%
Technology   71,708    6%   41,251    5%
Utilities   155,819    14%   40,632    5%
Total corporate securities  $1,115,498    100%  $860,857    100%

 

 

During the third quarter 2017, the Atlantic hurricane season caused severe damage within many US States and Territories. Management has evaluated investment security exposures within the counties receiving disaster designations. The Company’s exposures are limited to municipal and corporate bond investment securities from issuers within Texas, Florida and Georgia counties. The Company holds municipal bonds of $19 million issued by 17 municipalities within Texas counties, $8 million issued by eight municipalities within Florida counties and $6 million issued by four municipalities within Georgia counties. The market value of the bonds at December 31, 2017 was $20 million, $9 million and $7 million, respectively. The bonds mature as follows:

 

 -30- 

 

   2018  2019  2020  2021 and 2022  2023  2024  2025  2026  2027  Total
   (In thousands)
Texas  $280   $4,285   $3,220   $-   $4,460   $710   $4,435   $1,625   $350   $19,365 
Florida   1,000    2,185    -    -    1,755    600    340    635    1,405    7,920 
Georgia   -    -    -    -    -    -    1,325    4,880    -    6,205 
   $1,280   $6,470   $3,220   $-   $6,215   $1,310   $6,100   $7,140   $1,755   $33,490 

 

In Management’s judgment, each municipality’s financial resources and the availability of federal and state disaster funds mitigate the risk exposure of the bonds, particularly for intermediate-term and longer-term bonds.

 

In addition, the Company holds one $12.0 million (market value) corporate bond maturing in 2021 issued by a regulated utility in a Texas county which can recapture capital expenditures through rates charged customers; the market value of this corporate bond at December 31, 2017 was 119.0% of its par value, which reflects the bond’s 9.15% coupon rate.

 

Based on currently available information, Management does not expect any of the bonds affected by the hurricanes to become impaired; Management will continue to monitor the value of these bonds for impairment.

 

The following tables summarize the total general obligation and revenue bonds issued by states and political subdivisions held in the Company’s investment securities portfolios as of the dates indicated, identifying the state in which the issuing government municipality or agency operates.

 

At December 31, 2017, the Company’s investment securities portfolios included securities issued by 647 state and local government municipalities and agencies located within 44 states. None of the Company’s investment securities were issued by Puerto Rican government entities. The largest exposure to any one municipality or agency was $10.0 million (fair value) represented by nine general obligation bonds.

 

   At December 31, 2017
   Amortized  Fair
   Cost  Value
   (In thousands)
Obligations of states and political subdivisions:          
General obligation bonds:          
California  $104,330   $106,311 
Texas   66,636    66,699 
New Jersey   39,387    39,612 
Minnesota   30,485    30,707 
Other (36 states)   292,102    294,779 
Total general obligation bonds  $532,940   $538,108 
           
Revenue bonds:          
California  $38,838   $39,660 
Kentucky   21,731    21,958 
Iowa   17,304    17,287 
Colorado   14,956    15,086 
Washington   13,506    13,963 
Indiana   12,914    13,054 
Other (29 states)   130,196    131,301 
Total revenue bonds  $249,445   $252,309 
Total obligations of states and political subdivisions  $782,385   $790,417 

 

 -31- 

 

At December 31, 2016, the Company’s investment securities portfolios included securities issued by 698 state and local government municipalities and agencies located within 44 states. None of the Company’s investment securities were issued by Puerto Rican government entities. The largest exposure to any one municipality or agency was $10.0 million (fair value) represented by nine general obligation bonds.

 

   At December 31, 2016
   Amortized  Fair
   Cost  Value
   (In thousands)
Obligations of states and political subdivisions:          
General obligation bonds:          
California  $105,129   $106,391 
Texas   69,017    68,671 
New Jersey   40,111    40,102 
Pennsylvania   37,384    37,543 
Minnesota   32,946    32,847 
Other (36 states)   280,488    279,571 
Total general obligation bonds  $565,075   $565,125 
           
Revenue bonds:          
California  $47,415   $48,429 
Kentucky   22,854    22,902 
Pennsylvania   18,568    18,683 
Iowa   18,086    18,302 
Colorado   15,574    15,674 
Other (30 states)   157,452    159,054 
Total revenue bonds  $279,949   $283,044 
Total obligations of states and political subdivisions  $845,024   $848,169 

 

At December 31, 2017 and 2016, the revenue bonds in the Company’s investment securities portfolios were issued by state and local government municipalities and agencies to fund public services such as water utility, sewer utility, recreational and school facilities, and general public and economic improvements. The revenue bonds were payable from 22 revenue sources at December 31, 2017 and 23 revenue sources at December 31, 2016. The revenue sources that represent 5% or more individually of the total revenue bonds are summarized in the following tables.

 

   At December 31, 2017
   Amortized  Fair
   Cost  Value
   (In thousands)
Revenue bonds by revenue source:          
Water  $50,737   $51,854 
Sewer   30,427    31,030 
Sales tax   30,233    30,777 
Lease (renewal)   20,007    20,235 
College & University   17,230    17,087 
Other (17 sources)   100,811    101,326 
Total revenue bonds by revenue source  $249,445   $252,309 

 

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 -32- 

 

   At December 31, 2016
   Amortized  Fair
   Cost  Value
   (In thousands)
Revenue bonds by revenue source:          
Water  $55,401   $56,826 
Sewer   37,996    38,497 
Sales tax   31,146    31,835 
Lease (renewal)   24,242    24,235 
College & University   17,856    17,762 
Other (18 sources)   113,308    113,889 
Total revenue bonds by revenue source  $279,949   $283,044 

 

See Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information related to the investment securities.

 

Loan Portfolio

 

The Company originates loans with the intent to hold such assets until principal is repaid. Management follows written loan underwriting policies and procedures which are approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Loans are underwritten following approved underwriting standards and lending authorities within a formalized organizational structure. The Board of Directors also approves independent real estate appraisers to be used in obtaining estimated values for real property serving as loan collateral. Prevailing economic trends and conditions are also taken into consideration in loan underwriting practices.

 

All loan applications must be for clearly defined legitimate purposes with a determinable primary source of repayment, and as appropriate, secondary sources of repayment. All loans are supported by appropriate documentation such as current financial statements, tax returns, credit reports, collateral information, guarantor asset verification, title reports, appraisals, and other relevant documentation.

 

Commercial loans represent term loans used to acquire durable business assets or revolving lines of credit used to finance working capital. Underwriting practices evaluate each borrower’s cash flow as the principal source of loan repayment. Commercial loans are generally secured by the borrower’s business assets as a secondary source of repayment. Commercial loans are evaluated for credit-worthiness based on prior loan performance and borrower financial information including cash flow, borrower net worth and aggregate debt.

 

Commercial real estate loans represent term loans used to acquire or refinance real estate to be operated by the borrower in a commercial capacity. Underwriting practices evaluate each borrower’s global cash flow as the principal source of loan repayment, independent appraisal of value of the property, and other relevant factors. Commercial real estate loans are generally secured by a first lien on the property as a secondary source of repayment.

 

Real estate construction loans represent the financing of real estate development. Loan principal disbursements are controlled through the use of project budgets, and disbursements are approved based on construction progress, which is validated by project site inspections. A first lien on the real estate serves as collateral to secure the loan.

 

Residential real estate loans generally represent first lien mortgages used by the borrower to purchase or refinance a principal residence. For interest-rate risk purposes, the Company offers only fully-amortizing, adjustable-rate mortgages. In underwriting first lien mortgages, the Company evaluates each borrower’s ability to repay the loan, an independent appraisal of the value of the property, and other relevant factors. The Company does not offer riskier mortgage products, such as non-amortizing “interest-only” mortgages and “negative amortization” mortgages.

 

For loans secured by real estate, the Bank requires title insurance to insure the status of its lien and each borrower is obligated to insure the real estate collateral, naming the Company as loss payee, in an amount sufficient to repay the principal amount outstanding in the event of a property casualty loss.

 

Consumer installment and other loans are predominantly comprised of indirect automobile loans with underwriting based on credit history and scores, personal income, debt service capacity, and collateral values.

 

For management purposes, the Company segregates its loan portfolio into two segments. Loans originated by the Company following its loan underwriting policies and procedures are separated from loans purchased from the FDIC. Loan volumes have declined due to payoffs and problem loan workout activities, particularly with purchased loans, and reduced volumes of loan originations. The Company did not take an aggressive posture relative to loan portfolio growth during the post-recession period of historically low interest rates. Management increased investment securities as loan volumes declined.

 

 -33- 

 

The following table shows the composition of the loan portfolio of the Company by type of loan and type of borrower, on the dates indicated:

 

Loan Portfolio

 

   At December 31,
   2017  2016  2015  2014  2013
   (In thousands)
Commercial  $335,996   $354,697   $382,748   $391,815   $364,159 
Commercial real estate   568,584    542,171    637,456    718,604    799,019 
Construction   5,649    2,555    3,951    13,872    13,896 
Residential real estate   65,183    87,724    120,091    149,827    185,057 
Consumer installment and other   312,570    365,564    389,150    426,172    465,613 
Total loans  $1,287,982   $1,352,711   $1,533,396   $1,700,290   $1,827,744 

 

The following table shows the maturity distribution and interest rate sensitivity of commercial, commercial real estate, and construction loans at December 31, 2017. Balances exclude residential real estate loans and consumer loans totaling $377.8 million. These types of loans are typically paid in monthly installments over a number of years.

 

Loan Maturity Distribution

 

   At December 31, 2017
   Within One Year  One to Five Years  After Five Years  Total
   (In thousands)
Commercial and Commercial real estate  $151,661   $195,110   $557,809   $904,580 
Construction   5,649    -    -    5,649 
Total  $157,310   $195,110   $557,809   $910,229 
Loans with fixed interest rates  $49,271   $85,095   $61,134   $195,500 
Loans with floating or adjustable interest rates   108,039    110,015    496,675    714,729 
Total  $157,310   $195,110   $557,809   $910,229 

 

Commitments and Letters of Credit

 

The Company issues formal commitments on lines of credit to well-established and financially responsible commercial enterprises. Such commitments can be either secured or unsecured and are typically in the form of revolving lines of credit for seasonal working capital needs. Occasionally, such commitments are in the form of letters of credit to facilitate the customers’ particular business transactions. Commitment fees are generally charged for commitments and letters of credit. Commitments on lines of credit and letters of credit typically mature within one year. For further information, see the accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.

 

Loan Portfolio Credit Risk

 

The Company extends loans to commercial and consumer customers which expose the Company to the risk borrowers will default, causing loan losses. The Company’s lending activities are exposed to various qualitative risks. All loan segments are exposed to risks inherent in the economy and market conditions. Significant risk characteristics related to the commercial loan segment include the borrowers’ business performance and financial condition, and the value of collateral for secured loans. Significant risk characteristics related to the commercial real estate segment include the borrowers’ business performance and the value of properties collateralizing the loans. Significant risk characteristics related to the construction loan segment include the borrowers’ performance in successfully developing the real estate into the intended purpose and the value of the property collateralizing the loans. Significant risk characteristics related to the residential real estate segment include the borrowers’ financial wherewithal to service the mortgages and the value of the property collateralizing the loans. Significant risk characteristics related to the consumer loan segment include the financial condition of the borrowers and the value of collateral securing the loans.

 

 -34- 

 

The preparation of the financial statements requires Management to estimate the amount of losses inherent in the loan portfolio and establish an allowance for credit losses. The allowance for credit losses is maintained by assessing or reversing a provision for loan losses through the Company’s earnings. In estimating credit losses, Management must exercise judgment in evaluating information deemed relevant, such as financial information regarding individual borrowers, overall credit loss experience, the amount of past due, nonperforming and classified loans, recommendations of regulatory authorities, prevailing economic conditions and other information. The amount of ultimate losses on the loan portfolio can vary from the estimated amounts. Management follows a systematic methodology to estimate loss potential in an effort to reduce the differences between estimated and actual losses.

 

The Company closely monitors the markets in which it conducts its lending operations and follows a strategy to control exposure to loans with high credit risk. The Bank’s organization structure separates the functions of business development and loan underwriting; Management believes this segregation of duties avoids inherent conflicts of combining business development and loan approval functions. In measuring and managing credit risk, the Company adheres to the following practices.

 

·The Bank maintains a Loan Review Department which reports directly to the audit committee of the Board of Directors. The Loan Review Department performs independent evaluations of loans to challenge the credit risk grades assigned by Management using grading standards employed by bank regulatory agencies. Those loans judged to carry higher risk attributes are referred to as “classified loans.” Classified loans receive elevated Management attention to maximize collection.

 

·The Bank maintains two loan administration offices whose sole responsibility is to manage and collect classified loans.

 

Classified loans with higher levels of credit risk are further designated as “nonaccrual loans.” Management places classified loans on nonaccrual status when full collection of contractual interest and principal payments is in doubt. Uncollected interest previously accrued on loans placed on nonaccrual status is reversed as a charge against interest income. The Company does not accrue interest income on loans following placement on nonaccrual status. Interest payments received on nonaccrual loans are applied to reduce the carrying amount of the loan unless the carrying amount is well secured by loan collateral. “Nonperforming assets” include nonaccrual loans, loans 90 or more days past due and still accruing, and repossessed loan collateral (commonly referred to as “Other Real Estate Owned”).

 

Nonperforming Assets

 

   At December 31,
   2017  2016  2015  2014  2013
   (In thousands)
                
Nonperforming nonaccrual loans  $1,641   $3,956   $14,648   $17,494   $19,893 
Performing nonaccrual loans   4,285    4,429    350    110    1,409 
Total nonaccrual loans   5,926    8,385    14,998    17,604    21,302 
Accruing loans 90 or more days past due   531    497    295    502    410 
Total nonperforming loans   6,457    8,882    15,293    18,106    21,712 
Other real estate owned   1,426    3,095    9,264    6,374    13,320 
Total nonperforming assets  $7,883   $11,977   $24,557   $24,480   $35,032 

 

Nonperforming assets have declined during 2016 and 2017 due to payoffs, chargeoffs and sale of Other Real Estate Owned. At December 31, 2017, one loan secured by commercial real estate with a balance of $4.3 million was on nonaccrual status. The remaining five nonaccrual loans held at December 31, 2017 had an average carrying value of $328 thousand and the largest carrying value was $1.0 million.

 

Management believes the overall credit quality of the loan portfolio is reasonably stable; however, classified and nonperforming assets could fluctuate from period to period. The performance of any individual loan can be affected by external factors such as the interest rate environment, economic conditions, and collateral values or factors particular to the borrower. No assurance can be given that additional increases in nonaccrual and delinquent loans will not occur in the future.

 

 -35- 

 

Allowance for Credit Losses

 

The Company’s allowance for loan losses represents Management’s estimate of loan losses inherent in the loan portfolio. In evaluating credit risk for loans, Management measures loss potential of the carrying value of loans. As described above, payments received on nonaccrual loans may be applied against the principal balance of the loans until such time as full collection of the remaining recorded balance is expected.

 

The following table summarizes the allowance for loan losses, chargeoffs and recoveries for the periods indicated:

 

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015  2014  2013
   ($ in thousands)
Analysis of the Allowance for Loan Losses               
Balance, beginning of period  $25,954   $29,771   $31,485   $31,693   $30,234 
Provision for loan losses   (1,900)   (3,200)   -    2,800    8,000 
Loans charged off:                         
Commercial   (961)   (2,023)   (756)   (2,152)   (4,472)
Commercial real estate   -    -    (449)   (1,022)   (1,816)
Construction   -    -    (431)   -    (237)
Residential real estate   -    -    -    (30)   (109)
Consumer and other installment   (4,957)   (4,749)   (3,493)   (4,214)   (4,097)
Total chargeoffs   (5,918)   (6,772)   (5,129)   (7,418)   (10,731)
Recoveries of loans previously charged off:                         
Commercial   762    4,028    1,174    2,275    1,765 
Commercial real estate   88    554    290    213    273 
Construction   1,899    -    45    53    - 
Consumer and other installment   2,124    1,573    1,906    1,869    2,152 
Total recoveries   4,873    6,155    3,415    4,410    4,190 
Net loan losses   (1,045)   (617)   (1,714)   (3,008)   (6,541)
Balance, end of period  $23,009   $25,954   $29,771   $31,485   $31,693 
                          
Net loan losses as a percentage of average loans   0.08%   0.04%   0.11%   0.17%   0.33%

 

The Company's allowance for loan losses is maintained at a level considered appropriate to provide for losses that can be estimated based upon specific and general conditions. These include conditions unique to individual borrowers, as well as overall loan loss experience, the amount of past due, nonperforming and classified loans, recommendations of regulatory authorities, prevailing economic conditions and other factors. A portion of the allowance is individually allocated to impaired loans whose full collectability of principal is uncertain. Such allocations are determined by Management based on loan-by-loan analyses. The Company evaluates for impairment all loans with outstanding principal balances in excess of $500 thousand which are classified or on nonaccrual status and all “troubled debt restructured” loans. The remainder of the loan portfolio is collectively evaluated for impairment based in part on quantitative analyses of historical loan loss experience of loan portfolio segments to determine standard loss rates for each segment. The loss rate for each loan portfolio segment reflects both the historical loss experience during a look-back period and a loss emergence period. Liquidating purchased consumer installment loans are evaluated separately by applying historical loss rates to forecasted liquidating principal balances to measure losses inherent in this portfolio segment. The loss rates are applied to segmented loan balances to allocate the allowance to the segments of the loan portfolio.

 

The remainder of the allowance is considered to be unallocated. The unallocated allowance is established to provide for probable losses that have been incurred as of the reporting date but not reflected in the allocated allowance. The unallocated allowance addresses additional qualitative factors consistent with Management's analysis of the level of risks inherent in the loan portfolio, which are related to the risks of the Company's general lending activity. Included in the unallocated allowance is the risk of losses that are attributable to national or local economic or industry trends which have occurred but have not yet been recognized in loan chargeoff history (external factors). The primary external factor evaluated by the Company and the judgmental amount of unallocated reserve assigned by Management as of December 31, 2017 is economic and business conditions $0.5 million. Also included in the unallocated allowance is the risk of losses attributable to general attributes of the Company's loan portfolio and credit administration (internal factors). The internal factors evaluated by the Company and the judgmental amount of unallocated reserve assigned by Management are: loan review system $1.1 million, adequacy of lending Management and staff $0.5 million and concentrations of credit $1.3 million.

 

 -36- 

 

The following table presents the allocation of the allowance for loan losses as of December 31 for the years indicated:

 

   At December 31,
   2017  2016  2015  2014  2013
   Allocation of the Allowance Balance  Loans as Percent of Total Loans  Allocation of the Allowance Balance  Loans as Percent of Total Loans  Allocation of the Allowance Balance  Loans as Percent of Total Loans  Allocation of the Allowance Balance  Loans as Percent of Total Loans  Allocation of the Allowance Balance  Loans as Percent of Total Loans
   ($ in thousands)
Commercial  $7,746    26%  $8,327    26%  $9,559    25%  $5,460    23%  $4,005    20%
Commercial real estate   3,849    44%   3,330    40%   4,212    42%   4,245    42%   12,223    44%
Construction   335    1%   152    -%   235    -%   654    1%   617    1%
Residential real estate   995    5%   1,330    7%   1,801    8%   2,241    9%   405    10%
Consumer installment and other   6,418    24%   7,980    27%   8,001    25%   9,827    25%   4,591    25%
Unallocated portion   3,666    -%   4,835    -%   5,963    -%   9,058    -%   9,852    -%
Total  $23,009    100%  $25,954    100%  $29,771    100%  $31,485    100%  $31,693    100%

 

The 2017 decline in the allowance for loan losses was due to declines in classified loans, delinquent loans, and the overall loan portfolio. The increase in the allocation of the allowance for loan losses to commercial real estate and construction loans is due to increased loan volumes outstanding. The decline in the unallocated portion was due to improved economic conditions within the Company’s geographic markets.

 

   Allowance for Loan Losses
   For the Year Ended December 31, 2017
               Consumer      
      Commercial     Residential  Installment      
   Commercial  Real Estate  Construction  Real Estate  and Other  Unallocated  Total
   (In thousands)
Allowance for loan losses:                                   
Balance at beginning of period  $8,327   $3,330   $152   $1,330   $7,980   $4,835   $25,954 
Additions:                                   
(Reversal) provision   (382)   431    (1,716)   (335)   1,271    (1,169)   (1,900)
Deductions:                                   
Chargeoffs   (961)   -    -    -    (4,957)   -    (5,918)
Recoveries   762    88    1,899    -    2,124    -    4,873 
Net loan (losses) recoveries   (199)   88    1,899    -    (2,833)   -    (1,045)
Total allowance for loan losses  $7,746   $3,849   $335   $995   $6,418   $3,666   $23,009 

 

   Allowance for Loan Losses and Recorded Investment in Loans Evaluated for Impairment
   At December 31, 2017
   Commercial  Commercial Real Estate  Construction  Residential Real Estate  Consumer Installment and Other  Unallocated  Total
   (In thousands)
Allowance for loan losses:                                   
Individually evaluated for impairment  $4,814   $171   $-   $-   $-   $-   $4,985 
Collectively evaluated for impairment   2,932    3,678    335    995    6,418    3,666    18,024 
Purchased loans with evidence of credit deterioration   -    -    -    -    -    -    - 
Total  $7,746   $3,849   $335   $995   $6,418   $3,666   $23,009 
Carrying value of loans:                                   
Individually evaluated for impairment  $10,675   $14,234   $-   $208   $-   $-   $25,117 
Collectively evaluated for impairment   325,291    553,769    5,649    64,975    312,406    -    1,262,090 
Purchased loans with evidence of credit deterioration   30    581    -    -    164    -    775 
Total  $335,996   $568,584   $5,649   $65,183   $312,570   $-   $1,287,982 

 

Management considers the $23.0 million allowance for loan losses to be adequate as a reserve against loan losses inherent in the loan portfolio as of December 31, 2017.

 

See Note 3 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information related to the loan portfolio, loan portfolio credit risk, and allowance for loan losses.

 

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 -37- 

 

Asset/Liability and Market Risk Management

 

Asset/liability management involves the evaluation, monitoring and management of interest rate risk, market risk, liquidity and funding. The fundamental objective of the Company's management of assets and liabilities is to maximize its economic value while maintaining adequate liquidity and a conservative level of interest rate risk.

 

Interest Rate Risk

 

Interest rate risk is a significant market risk affecting the Company. Many factors affect the Company’s exposure to interest rates, such as general economic and financial conditions, customer preferences, historical pricing relationships, and re-pricing characteristics of financial instruments. Assets and liabilities may mature or re-price at different times. Assets and liabilities may re-price at the same time but by different amounts. Short-term and long-term market interest rates may change by different amounts. The timing and amount of cash flows of various assets or liabilities may shorten or lengthen as interest rates change. In addition, the changing levels of interest rates may have an impact on loan demand, demand for various deposit products, credit losses, and other elements of earnings such as account analysis fees on commercial deposit accounts and correspondent bank service charges.

 

The Company’s earnings are affected not only by general economic conditions, but also by the monetary and fiscal policies of the United States government and its agencies, particularly the Federal Open Market Committee (the “FOMC”). The monetary policies of the FOMC can influence the overall growth of loans, investment securities, and deposits and the level of interest rates earned on assets and paid for liabilities. The nature and impact of future changes in monetary policies are generally not predictable.

 

Management expects a high level of uncertainty in regard to interest rate levels in the immediate term, and Management’s most likely earnings forecast for the twelve months ending December 31, 2018 assumes market interest rates will gradually rise, with short-term rates rising more than long-term rates.

 

In adjusting the Company's asset/liability position, Management attempts to manage interest rate risk while enhancing the net interest margin and net interest income. At times, depending on expected increases or decreases in general interest rates, the relationship between long and short-term interest rates, market conditions and competitive factors, Management may adjust the Company's interest rate risk position in order to manage its net interest margin and net interest income. The Company's results of operations and net portfolio values remain subject to changes in interest rates and to fluctuations in the difference between long and short-term interest rates.

 

The Company’s asset and liability position was slightly “asset sensitive” at December 31, 2017, depending on the interest rate assumptions applied to the simulation model employed by Management to measure interest rate risk. An “asset sensitive” position results in a slightly larger change in interest income than in interest expense resulting from application of assumed interest rate changes. Simulation estimates depend on, and will change with, the size and mix of the actual and projected balance sheet at the time of each simulation. Management continues to monitor the interest rate environment as well as economic conditions and other factors it deems relevant in managing the Company's exposure to interest rate risk.

 

The Company does not currently engage in trading activities or use derivative instruments to control interest rate risk, even though such activities may be permitted with the approval of the Company's Board of Directors.

 

Market Risk - Equity Markets

 

Equity price risk can affect the Company. As an example, any preferred or common stock holdings, as permitted by banking regulations, can fluctuate in value. Management regularly assesses the extent and duration of any declines in market value, the causes of such declines, the likelihood of a recovery in market value, and its intent to hold securities until a recovery in value occurs. Declines in value of preferred or common stock holdings that are deemed “other than temporary” could result in loss recognition in the Company's income statement.

 

Fluctuations in the Company's common stock price can impact the Company's financial results in several ways. First, the Company has regularly repurchased and retired its common stock; the market price paid to retire the Company's common stock affects the level of the Company's shareholders' equity, cash flows and shares outstanding. Second, the Company's common stock price impacts the number of dilutive equivalent shares used to compute diluted earnings per share. Third, fluctuations in the Company's common stock price can motivate holders of options to purchase Company common stock through the exercise of such options thereby increasing the number of shares outstanding and potentially adding volatility to the book tax provision. Finally, the amount of compensation expense associated with share based compensation fluctuates with changes in and the volatility of the Company's common stock price.

 

 -38- 

 

Market Risk - Other

 

Market values of loan collateral can directly impact the level of loan chargeoffs and the provision for loan losses. The financial condition and liquidity of debtors issuing bonds and debtors whose mortgages or other obligations are securitized can directly impact the credit quality of the Company’s investment securities portfolio requiring the Company to recognize other than temporary impairment charges. Other types of market risk, such as foreign currency exchange risk, are not significant in the normal course of the Company's business activities.

 

 

Liquidity and Funding

 

The objective of liquidity management is to manage cash flow and liquidity reserves so that they are adequate to fund the Company's operations and meet obligations and other commitments on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. The Company achieves this objective through the selection of asset and liability maturity mixes that it believes best meet its needs. The Company's liquidity position is enhanced by its ability to raise additional funds as needed in the wholesale markets.

 

In recent years, the Company's deposit base has provided the majority of the Company's funding requirements. This relatively stable and low-cost source of funds, along with shareholders' equity, provided 98 percent of funding for average total assets in 2017 and in 2016. The stability of the Company’s funding from customer deposits is in part reliant on the confidence clients have in the Company. The Company places a very high priority in maintaining this confidence through conservative credit and capital management practices and by maintaining an appropriate level of liquidity reserves.

 

Liquidity is further provided by assets such as balances held at the Federal Reserve Bank, investment securities, and amortizing loans. The Company's investment securities portfolio provides a substantial secondary liquidity reserve. The Company held $3.4 billion in total investment securities at December 31, 2017. Under certain deposit, borrowing and other arrangements, the Company must hold and pledge investment securities as collateral. At December 31, 2017, such collateral requirements totaled approximately $716 million.

 

Liquidity risk can result from the mismatching of asset and liability cash flows, or from disruptions in the financial markets. The Company performs liquidity stress tests on a periodic basis to evaluate the sustainability of its liquidity. Under the stress testing, the Company assumes outflows of funds increase beyond expected levels. Measurement of such heightened outflows considers the composition of the Company’s deposit base, including any concentration of deposits, non-deposit funding such as short-term borrowings, and unfunded lending commitments. The Company evaluates its stock of highly liquid assets to meet the assumed higher levels of outflows. Highly liquid assets include cash and amounts due from other banks from daily transaction settlements, reduced by branch cash needs and Federal Reserve Bank reserve requirements, and investment securities based on regulatory risk-weighting guidelines. Based on the results of the most recent liquidity stress test, Management is satisfied with the liquidity condition of the Bank and the Company. However, no assurance can be given the Bank or Company will not experience a period of reduced liquidity.

 

Management continually monitors the Company’s cash levels. Loan demand from credit worthy borrowers will be dictated by economic and competitive conditions. The Company aggressively solicits non-interest bearing demand deposits and money market checking deposits, which are the least sensitive to changes in interest rates. The growth of these deposit balances is subject to heightened competition, the success of the Company's sales efforts, delivery of superior customer service, new regulations and market conditions. The Company does not aggressively solicit higher-costing time deposits; as a result, Management anticipates such deposits will decline. Changes in interest rates, most notably rising interest rates, could impact deposit volumes. Depending on economic conditions, interest rate levels, liquidity management and a variety of other conditions, deposit growth may be used to fund loans or purchase investment securities. However, due to possible volatility in economic conditions, competition and political uncertainty, loan demand and levels of customer deposits are not certain. Shareholder dividends are expected to continue subject to the Board's discretion and continuing evaluation of capital levels, earnings, asset quality and other factors.

 

Westamerica Bancorporation ("Parent Company") is a separate entity apart from Westamerica Bank (“Bank”) and must provide for its own liquidity. In addition to its operating expenses, the Parent Company is responsible for the payment of dividends declared for its shareholders, and interest and principal on any outstanding debt. The Parent Company currently has no debt. Substantially all of the Parent Company's revenues are obtained from subsidiary dividends and service fees.

 - 39 - 

 

 

The Bank’s dividends paid to the Parent Company, proceeds from the exercise of stock options, and Parent Company cash balances provided adequate cash for the Parent Company to pay shareholder dividends of $41 million in 2017, $40 million in 2016 and $39 million in 2015, and retire common stock in the amount of $314 thousand in 2017, $6 million in 2016 and $15 million in 2015. Payment of dividends to the Parent Company by the Bank is limited under California and Federal laws. The Company believes these regulatory dividend restrictions will not have an impact on the Parent Company's ability to meet its ongoing cash obligations.

 

Contractual Obligations

 

The following table sets forth the known contractual obligations, except deposits, short-term borrowing arrangements and post-retirement benefit plans, of the Company:

 

 

   At December 31, 2017
  

Within One

Year

  Over One to Three Years  Over Three to Five Years 

After Five

Years

  Total
   (In thousands)
Operating Lease Obligations  $6,481   $8,025   $2,194   $825   $17,525 
Purchase Obligations   8,138    16,652    8,518    -    33,308 
Total  $14,619   $24,677   $10,712   $825   $50,833 

 

Operating lease obligations have not been reduced by minimum sublease rentals of $2 million due in the future under noncancelable subleases. Operating lease obligations may be retired prior to the contractual maturity as discussed in the notes to the consolidated financial statements. The purchase obligation consists of the Company’s minimum liabilities under contracts with third-party automation services providers .

 

Capital Resources

 

The Company has historically generated high levels of earnings, which provide a means of accumulating capital. The Company's net income as a percentage of average shareholders' equity (“return on equity” or “ROE”) has been 8.4% in 2017, 10.9% in 2016 and 11.3% in 2015. The Company also raises capital as employees exercise stock options. Capital raised through the exercise of stock options was $25 million in 2017, $24 million in 2016 and $5 million in 2015.

 

The Company paid common dividends totaling $41 million in 2017, $40 million in 2016 and $39 million in 2015, which represent dividends per common share of $1.57, $1.56 and $1.53, respectively. The Company's earnings have historically exceeded dividends paid to shareholders. The amount of earnings in excess of dividends provides the Company resources to finance growth and maintain appropriate levels of shareholders' equity. In the absence of profitable growth opportunities, the Company has repurchased and retired its common stock as another means to return earnings to shareholders. The Company repurchased and retired 6 thousand shares valued at $314 thousand in 2017, 137 thousand shares valued at $6 million in 2016 and 344 thousand shares valued at $15 million in 2015.

 

The Company's primary capital resource is shareholders' equity, which was $590 million at December 31, 2017 compared with $561 million at December 31, 2016. The Company's ratio of equity to total assets was 10.71% at December 31, 2017 and 10.46% at December 31, 2016.

 

The Company performs capital stress tests on a periodic basis to evaluate the sustainability of its capital. Under the stress testing, the Company assumes various scenarios such as deteriorating economic and operating conditions, unanticipated asset devaluations, and significant operational lapses. The Company measures the impact of these scenarios on its earnings and capital. Based on the results of the most recent stress tests, Management is satisfied with the capital condition of the Bank and the Company. However, no assurance can be given the Bank or Company will not experience a period of reduced earnings or a reduction in capital from unanticipated events and circumstances.

 - 40 - 

 

 

Capital to Risk-Adjusted Assets

 

On July 2, 2013, the Federal Reserve Board approved a final rule that implements changes to the regulatory capital framework for all banking organizations. The rule’s provisions which most affected the regulatory capital requirements of the Company and the Bank:

 

·Introduced a new “Common Equity Tier 1” capital measurement,
·Established higher minimum levels of capital,
·Introduced a “capital conservation buffer,”
·Increased the risk-weighting of certain assets, and
·Established limits on the amount of deferred tax assets with any excess treated as a deduction from Tier 1 capital.

 

Under the final rule, a banking organization that is not subject to the “advanced approaches rule” may make a one-time election not to include most elements of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, including net-of-tax unrealized gains and losses on available for sale investment securities, in regulatory capital. Neither the Company nor the Bank is subject to the “advanced approaches rule” and both made the election not to include most elements of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income in regulatory capital.

 

Banking organizations that are not subject to the “advanced approaches rule” began complying with the final rule on January 1, 2015; on such date, the Company and the Bank became subject to the revised definitions of regulatory capital, the new minimum regulatory capital ratios, and various regulatory capital adjustments and deductions according to transition provisions and timelines. All banking organizations began calculating standardized total risk-weighted assets on January 1, 2015. The transition period for the capital conservation buffer for all banking organizations began on January 1, 2016 and will end January 1, 2019. Any bank subject to the rule which is unable to maintain its “capital conservation buffer” will be restricted in the payment of discretionary executive compensation and shareholder distributions, such as dividends and share repurchases.

 

The final rule did not supersede provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act (FDICIA) requiring federal banking agencies to take prompt corrective action (PCA) to resolve problems of insured depository institutions. The final rule revised the PCA thresholds to incorporate the higher minimum levels of capital, including the “common equity tier 1” ratio.

 

The capital ratios for the Company and the Bank under the new capital framework are presented in the table below, on the dates indicated.

 

               To Be
         Required for  Well-capitalized
         Capital Adequacy Purposes  Under Prompt
   At December 31, 2017  Effective  Effective 

Corrective

Action

   Company  Bank 

January 1,

2017

 

January 1,

2019

 

Regulations

(Bank)

                
Common Equity Tier I Capital   15.36%   12.50%   5.75%(1)   7.00%(2)   6.50%
Tier I Capital   15.36%   12.50%   7.25%(1)   8.50%(2)   8.00%
Total Capital   16.17%   13.52%   9.25%(1)   10.50%(2)   10.00%
Leverage Ratio   8.86%   7.16%   4.00%   4.00%   5.00%

 

(1) Includes 1.25% capital conservation buffer.

(2) Includes 2.5% capital conservation buffer.

 

               To Be
         Required for  Well-capitalized
         Capital Adequacy Purposes  Under Prompt
   At December 31, 2016  Effective  Effective 

Corrective

Action

   Company  Bank 

January 1,

2016

 

January 1,

2019

 

Regulations

(Bank)

                
Common Equity Tier I Capital   14.85%   11.70%   5.125%(3)   7.00%(4)   6.50%
Tier I Capital   14.85%   11.70%   6.625%(3)   8.50%(4)   8.00%
Total Capital   15.95%   13.02%   8.625%(3)   10.50%(4)   10.00%
Leverage Ratio   8.46%   6.63%   4.000%   4.00%   5.00%

 

(3) Includes 0.625% capital conservation buffer.

(4) Includes 2.5% capital conservation buffer.

 - 41 - 

 

 

The Company and the Bank routinely project capital levels by analyzing forecasted earnings, credit quality, securities valuations, shareholder dividends, asset volumes, share repurchase activity, stock option exercise proceeds, and other factors. Based on current capital projections, the Company and the Bank expect to maintain regulatory capital levels exceeding the highest effective regulatory standard and pay quarterly dividends to shareholders. No assurance can be given that changes in capital management plans will not occur.

 

Deposit Categories

 

The Company primarily attracts deposits from local businesses and professionals, as well as through retail savings and checking accounts, and, to a more limited extent, certificates of deposit.

 

The following table summarizes the Company’s average daily amount of deposits and the rates paid for the periods indicated:

 

Deposit Distribution and Average Rates Paid

 

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   Average Balance  Percentage of Total Deposits  Rate  Average Balance  Percentage of Total Deposits  Rate  Average Balance  Percentage of Total Deposits  Rate
   ($ In thousands)
                            
Noninterest-bearing demand  $2,095,522    44.4%   -%  $2,026,939    44.1%   -%  $1,968,817    44.4%   -%
Interest bearing:                                             
Transaction   888,116    18.8%   0.03%   862,581    18.8%   0.03%   822,156    18.5%   0.03%
Savings   1,492,725    31.6%   0.02%   1,428,059    31.1%   0.06%   1,312,100    29.6%   0.06%
Time less than $100 thousand   136,324    2.9%   0.17%   154,022    3.4%   0.26%   172,836    3.9%   0.33%
Time $100 thousand or more   109,563    2.3%   0.38%   118,750    2.6%   0.43%   161,710    3.6%   0.42%
Total (1)  $4,722,250    100.0%   0.07%  $4,590,351    100.0%   0.08%  $4,437,619    100.0%   0.10%

 

(1) The rates for total deposits reflect value of noninterest-bearing deposits.

 

The Company’s strategy includes building the value of its deposit base by building balances of lower-costing deposits and avoiding reliance on higher-costing time deposits. From 2015 to 2017 higher costing time deposits declined from 7% to 5% of total deposits. The Company’s average balances of checking and savings accounts represented 95% of average balances of total deposits in 2017 compared with 94% in 2016 and 93% in 2015.

 

Total time deposits were $232 million and $256 million at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The following table sets forth, by time remaining to maturity, the Company’s total domestic time deposits. The Company has no foreign time deposits.

 

Time Deposits Maturity Distribution

 

   At December 31, 2017
    (In thousands) 
2018  $179,421 
2019   23,096 
2020   11,990 
2021   11,329 
2022   5,979 
Thereafter   3 
Total  $231,818 

 

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 - 42 - 

 

 

 

The following sets forth, by time remaining to maturity, the Company’s domestic time deposits in amounts of $100 thousand or more:

 

Time Deposits $100,000 or more Maturity Distribution

 

   At December 31, 2017
    (In thousands) 
Three months or less  $41,560 
Over three through six months   21,336 
Over six through twelve months   25,415 
Over twelve months   25,659 
Total  $113,970 

 

Short-term Borrowings

 

The following table sets forth the short-term borrowings of the Company:

 

Short-Term Borrowings Distribution

 

   At December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   (In thousands)
Securities sold under agreements to repurchase the securities  $58,471   $59,078   $53,028 
Total short-term borrowings  $58,471   $59,078   $53,028 

 

Further detail of federal funds purchased and other borrowed funds is as follows:

 

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   ($ in thousands)
Federal funds purchased balances and rates paid on outstanding amount:         
Average balance for the year  $5   $5   $8 
Maximum month-end balance during the year   -    -    - 
Average interest rate for the year   1.53%   0.77%   0.48%
Average interest rate at period end   -%   -%   -%
Securities sold under agreements to repurchase the securities balances and rates paid on outstanding amount:               
Average balance for the year  $69,666   $61,271   $75,046 
Maximum month-end balance during the year   82,126    74,815    89,484 
Average interest rate for the year   0.06%   0.06%   0.07%
Average interest rate at period end   0.06%   0.06%   0.06%
FHLB advances balances and rates paid on outstanding amount:               
Average balance for the year  $-   $-   $494 
Maximum month-end balance during the year   -    -    - 
Average interest rate for the year   -%   -%   0.20%
Average interest rate at period end   -%   -%   -%

 

 

 

 

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 - 43 - 

 

 

Financial Ratios

 

The following table shows key financial ratios for the periods indicated:

 

   At and For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
Return on average total assets   0.92%   1.12%   1.16%
Return on average common shareholders' equity   8.39%   10.85%   11.32%
Average shareholders' equity as a percentage of:               
Average total assets   10.96%   10.34%   10.21%
Average total loans   45.34%   38.08%   32.08%
Average total deposits   12.63%   11.81%   11.70%
Common dividend payout ratio   83%   68%   67%

 

 

 

 

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ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

The Company does not currently engage in trading activities or use derivative instruments to control interest rate risk, even though such activities may be permitted with the approval of the Company’s Board of Directors.

 

Credit risk and interest rate risk are the most significant market risks affecting the Company, and equity price risk can also affect the Company’s financial results. These risks are described in the preceding sections regarding “Loan Portfolio Credit Risk,” and “Asset/Liability and Market Risk Management.” Other types of market risk, such as foreign currency exchange risk and commodity price risk, are not significant in the normal course of the Company’s business activities.

 

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

  Page
Management’s Internal Control Over Financial Reporting 46
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 47
Consolidated Statements of Income for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 48
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 49
Consolidated Statements of Changes in Shareholders’ Equity for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 50
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 51
Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements 52
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm 89

 

 - 45 - 

 

 

MANAGEMENT’S REPORT ON INTERNAL CONTROL OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING

 

Management of Westamerica Bancorporation and subsidiaries (the “Company”) is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, and for performing an assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017. Internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The Company’s system of internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the Company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the Company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of Management and Directors of the Company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition of the Company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

 

Management performed an assessment of the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017 based upon criteria in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”). Based on this assessment, Management determined that the Company’s internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2017 based on the criteria in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by COSO.

 

The Company’s independent registered public accounting firm has issued an attestation report on Management’s assessment of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Their opinion and attestation on internal control over financial reporting appear on page 89.

 

Dated: February 27, 2018

 

 

 

 

 - 46 - 

 

 

WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

     

   At December 31,
   2017  2016
Assets:          
Cash and due from banks  $575,002   $462,271 
Investment securities available for sale   2,193,507    1,890,758 
Investment securities held to maturity, with fair values of: $1,155,342 at December 31, 2017 and $1,340,741 at December 31, 2016   1,158,864    1,346,312 
Loans   1,287,982    1,352,711 
Allowance for loan losses   (23,009)   (25,954)
      Loans, net of allowance for loan losses   1,264,973    1,326,757 
Other real estate owned   1,426    3,095 
Premises and equipment, net   35,301    36,566 
Identifiable intangibles, net   3,850    6,927 
Goodwill   121,673    121,673 
Other assets   158,450    171,724 
Total Assets  $5,513,046   $5,366,083 
           
Liabilities:          
Noninterest-bearing deposits  $2,197,526   $2,089,443 
Interest-bearing deposits   2,630,087    2,615,298 
Total deposits   4,827,613    4,704,741 
Short-term borrowed funds   58,471    59,078 
Other liabilities   36,723    40,897 
Total Liabilities   4,922,807    4,804,716 
           
Contingencies (Note 13)          
           
Shareholders' Equity:          
Common stock (no par value), authorized - 150,000 shares Issued and outstanding: 26,425 at December 31, 2017 and 25,907 at December 31, 2016   431,734    404,606 
Deferred compensation   1,533    1,533 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (16,832)   (10,074)
Retained earnings   173,804    165,302 
Total Shareholders' Equity   590,239    561,367 
Total Liabilities and  Shareholders' Equity  $5,513,046   $5,366,083 

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.                

 

 - 47 - 

 

 

WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

         

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
    (In thousands, except per share data)
Interest and Loan Fee Income:               
Loans  $61,740   $69,139   $78,441 
Investment securities available for sale   44,664    34,276    31,263 
Investment securities held to maturity   27,432    30,636    26,825 
Total Interest and Loan Fee Income   133,836    134,051    136,529 
Interest Expense:               
Deposits   1,856    2,077    2,370 
Short-term borrowed funds   44    39    53 
Federal Home Loan Bank advances   -    -    1 
Total Interest Expense   1,900    2,116    2,424 
Net Interest and Loan Fee Income   131,936    131,935    134,105 
Reversal of Provision for Loan Losses   (1,900)   (3,200)   - 
Net Interest and Loan Fee Income After Reversal of Provision For Loan Losses   133,836    135,135    134,105 
Noninterest Income:               
Service charges on deposit accounts   19,612    20,854    22,241 
Merchant processing services   8,426    6,377    6,339 
Securities gains   7,955    -    - 
Debit card fees   6,421    6,290    6,084 
Trust fees   2,875    2,686    2,732 
ATM processing fees   2,610    2,411    2,397 
Other service fees   2,584    2,571    2,689 
Financial services commissions   639    568    695 
Other noninterest income   5,506    4,817    4,690 
Total Noninterest Income   56,628    46,574    47,867 
Noninterest Expense:               
Salaries and related benefits   51,519    51,507    52,192 
Occupancy and equipment   19,430    19,017    19,394 
Outsourced data processing services   9,035    8,505    8,441 
Loss contingency   5,542    3    - 
Amortization of identifiable intangibles   3,077    3,504    3,856 
Professional fees   2,161    3,980    2,490 
Courier service   1,732    1,952    2,329 
Impairment of tax credit investments   625    -    - 
Other noninterest expense   10,171    13,284    16,598 
Total Noninterest Expense   103,292    101,752    105,300 
Income Before Income Taxes   87,172    79,957    76,672 
Provision for income taxes   37,147    21,104    17,919 
Net Income  $50,025   $58,853   $58,753 
                
Average Common Shares Outstanding   26,291    25,612    25,555 
Diluted Average Common Shares Outstanding   26,419    25,678    25,577 
Per Common Share Data:               
Basic earnings  $1.90   $2.30   $2.30 
Diluted earnings   1.89    2.29    2.30 
Dividends paid   1.57    1.56    1.53 

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.                        

 

 

 - 48 - 

 

 

WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

             

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
   (In thousands)
Net Income  $50,025   $58,853   $58,753 
Other comprehensive loss:               
    Changes in net unrealized gains on securities available for sale   (3,767)   (18,610)   (8,028)
    Deferred tax benefit   1,585    7,825    3,375 
    Reclassification of gains included in net income   (7,955)   -    - 
    Deferred tax expense on gains included in net income   3,345    -    - 
        Changes in unrealized gains and losses on securities available for sale, net of tax   (6,792)   (10,785)   (4,653)
    Post-retirement benefit transition obligation amortization   59    61    61 
    Deferred tax expense   (25)   (25)   (25)
        Post-retirement benefit transition obligation amortization, net of tax   34    36    36 
Total Other Comprehensive Loss   (6,758)   (10,749)   (4,617)
Total Comprehensive Income  $43,267   $48,104   $54,136 

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.                        

 - 49 - 

 

 

WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

                         

   Common
Shares
Outstanding
  Common
Stock
  Deferred
Compensation
  Accumulated
Other
Comprehensive
Income (loss)
  Retained
Earnings
  Total
   (In thousands)
                   
Balance, December 31, 2014   25,745   $378,132   $2,711   $5,292   $140,468   $526,603 
Net income for the year 2015                       58,753    58,753 
Other comprehensive loss                  (4,617)        (4,617)
Exercise of stock options   108    4,848                   4,848 
Tax benefit decrease upon exercise and expiration of stock options        (1,284)                  (1,284)
Restricted stock activity   17    874    (133)             741 
Stock based compensation        1,272                   1,272 
Stock awarded to employees   2    105                   105 
Retirement of common stock   (344)   (5,089)             (10,003)   (15,092)
Dividends                       (39,124)   (39,124)
Balance, December 31, 2015   25,528    378,858    2,578    675    150,094    532,205 
Net income for the year 2016                       58,853    58,853 
Other comprehensive loss                  (10,749)        (10,749)
Exercise of stock options   499    24,031                   24,031 
Tax benefit increase upon exercise and expiration of stock options        394                   394 
Restricted stock activity   15    1,798    (1,045)             753 
Stock based compensation        1,494                   1,494 
Stock awarded to employees   2    90                   90 
Retirement of common stock   (137)   (2,059)             (3,721)   (5,780)
Dividends                       (39,924)   (39,924)
Balance, December 31, 2016   25,907    404,606    1,533    (10,074)   165,302    561,367 
Net income for the year 2017                       50,025    50,025 
Other comprehensive loss                  (6,758)        (6,758)
Exercise of stock options   509    24,583                   24,583 
Restricted stock activity   13    707                   707 
Stock based compensation        1,824                   1,824 
Stock awarded to employees   2    104                   104 
Retirement of common stock   (6)   (90)             (224)   (314)
Dividends                       (41,299)   (41,299)
Balance, December 31, 2017   26,425   $431,734   $1,533   $(16,832)  $173,804   $590,239 

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.                                                

 

 - 50 - 

 

 

WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

     

   For the Years Ended December 31,
   2017  2016  2015
Operating Activities:  (In thousands)
Net income  $50,025   $58,853   $58,753 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:               
Depreciation and amortization/accretion   26,082    19,939    16,402 
(Reversal of) provision for loan losses   (1,900)   (3,200)   - 
Net amortization of deferred loan fees   (46)   (340)   (310)
Increase in interest income receivable   (2,068)   (1,316)   (780)
Life insurance premiums paid   (842)   (828)   (782)
Decrease in net deferred tax asset   27,018    4,380    830 
Increase in other assets   (890)   (2,493)   (1,046)
Stock option compensation expense   1,824    1,494    1,272 
Tax benefit (increase) decrease upon exercise and expiration of stock options   -    (394)   1,284 
(Decrease) increase in income taxes payable   (6,650)   (40)   265 
Decrease in interest expense payable   (31)   (52)   (86)
(Decrease) increase in other liabilities   (3,016)   2,026    (5,754)
Gain on sale of other assets   (1,004)   -    - 
Gain on sale of securities   (7,955)   -    - 
Write-down/net loss on sale of premises and equipment   60    30    109 
Net loss/write-down (gain) on sale of foreclosed assets   147    (422)   247 
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities   80,754    77,637    70,404 
Investing Activities:               
Net repayments of loans   66,065    183,506    164,093 
Change in payable to FDIC1   (63)   (127)   - 
Purchases of investment securities available for sale   (635,814)   (1,080,959)   (946,794)
Proceeds from sale/maturity/calls of securities available for sale   319,324    737,625    967,118 
Purchases of investment securities held to maturity   -    (246,956)   (437,935)
Proceeds from maturity/calls of securities held to maturity   178,429    204,054    153,014 
Purchases of premises and equipment   (2,720)   (1,818)   (4,474)
Net change in FHLB2 securities   -    -    940 
Proceeds from sale of foreclosed assets   1,521    7,412    1,774 
Net Cash Used in Investing Activities   (73,258)   (197,263)   (102,264)
Financing Activities:               
Net change in deposits   122,872    164,082    191,476 
Net change in short-term borrowings and FHLB2 advances   (607)   6,050    (56,756)
Exercise of stock options/issuance of shares   24,583    24,031    4,848 
Taxes paid by withholding shares for tax purposes   -    (356)   (357)
Tax benefit increase (decrease) upon expiration/exercise of stock options   -    394    (1,284)
Retirement of common stock   (314)   (5,424)   (14,735)
Common stock dividends paid   (41,299)   (39,924)   (39,124)
Net Cash Provided by Financing Activities   105,235    148,853    84,068 
Net Change In Cash and Due from Banks   112,731    29,227    52,208 
Cash and Due from Banks at Beginning of Period   462,271    433,044    380,836 
Cash and Due from Banks at End of Period  $575,002   $462,271   $433,044 
                
Supplemental Cash Flow Disclosures:               
Supplemental disclosure of noncash activities:               
Loan collateral transferred to other real estate owned  $-   $821   $4,911 
Securities purchases pending settlement   -    -    2,885 
Supplemental disclosure of cash flow activities:               
Interest paid for the period   1,931    2,202    2,533 
Income tax payments for the period   17,351    19,264    17,666 

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

1 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC")

2 Federal Home Loan Bank ("FHLB")

 

 - 51 - 

 

 

WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

Note 1: Business and Accounting Policies

 

Westamerica Bancorporation, a registered bank holding company (the “Company”), provides a full range of banking services to corporate and individual customers in Northern and Central California through its wholly-owned subsidiary bank, Westamerica Bank (the “Bank”). The Bank is subject to competition from both financial and nonfinancial institutions and to the regulations of certain agencies and undergoes periodic examinations by those regulatory authorities. All of the financial service operations are considered by management to be aggregated in one reportable operating segment.

 

The Company has evaluated events and transactions subsequent to the balance sheet date. Based on this evaluation, the Company is not aware of any events or transactions that occurred subsequent to the balance sheet date but prior to filing that would require recognition or disclosure in its consolidated financial statements. Certain amounts in prior periods have been reclassified to conform to the current presentation.

 

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

 

The consolidated financial statements are prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The following is a summary of significant policies used in the preparation of the accompanying financial statements.