10-K 1 schw-12312017x10k.htm 10-K Document


UNITED STATES
SECURITIES  AND  EXCHANGE  COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM  10-K

ANNUAL  REPORT  PURSUANT  TO  SECTION  13  OR  15(d)
OF  THE  SECURITIES  EXCHANGE  ACT  OF  1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
Commission file number 1-9700
THE  CHARLES  SCHWAB  CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
94-3025021
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

211 Main Street, San Francisco, CA  94105
(Address of principal executive offices and zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:  (415) 667-7000

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock – $.01 par value per share
New York Stock Exchange
Depositary Shares, each representing a 1/40th ownership interest in a
 
   share of 6.00% Non-Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series C
New York Stock Exchange
 
Depositary Shares, each representing a 1/40th ownership interest in a
 
   share of 5.95% Non-Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series D
New York Stock Exchange
 
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 Exchange Act. Yes ☐   No ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒   No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T 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 is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10‑K. ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or 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 ☒

As of June 30, 2017, the aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $51.2 billion. For purposes of this information, the outstanding shares of Common Stock owned by directors and executive officers of the registrant were deemed to be shares of the voting stock held by affiliates.

The number of shares of Common Stock outstanding as of January 31, 2018, was 1,346,473,499.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Part III of this Form 10-K incorporates certain information contained in the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its annual meeting of stockholders, to be held May 15, 2018, by reference to that document.





THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Annual Report On Form 10-K
For Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
 
Item 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1A.

Item 1B.

Item 2.

Item 3.

Item 4.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 5.
 
 

Item 6.

Item 7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7A.

Item 8.

Item 9.

Item 9A.

Item 9B.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Item 10.

Item 11.

Item 12.
103

Item 13.
103

Item 14.
103

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Item 15.
104

 
105

 
110

 






THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


PART I

Item 1.
Business

General Corporate Overview

The Charles Schwab Corporation (CSC) is a savings and loan holding company, headquartered in San Francisco, California. CSC was incorporated in 1986 and engages, through its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as Schwab or the Company), in wealth management, securities brokerage, banking, asset management, custody, and financial advisory services. At December 31, 2017, Schwab had $3.36 trillion in client assets, 10.8 million active brokerage accounts, 1.6 million corporate retirement plan participants, and 1.2 million banking accounts.

Significant business subsidiaries of CSC include the following:

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (CS&Co), incorporated in 1971, a securities broker-dealer with over 345 domestic branch offices in 46 states, as well as a branch in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In addition, Schwab serves clients in England, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia through various subsidiaries;
Charles Schwab Bank (Schwab Bank), a federal savings bank; and
Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM), the investment advisor for Schwab’s proprietary mutual funds (Schwab Funds®) and Schwab’s exchange-traded funds (Schwab ETFs™).

Schwab provides financial services to individuals and institutional clients through two segments – Investor Services and Advisor Services. The Investor Services segment provides retail brokerage and banking services to individual investors and retirement plan services, as well as other corporate brokerage services, to businesses and their employees. The Advisor Services segment provides custodial, trading, banking, and support services, as well as retirement business services, to independent registered investment advisors (RIAs), independent retirement advisors, and recordkeepers. These services are further described in the segment discussion below.

As of December 31, 2017, Schwab had full-time, part-time, temporary employees, and persons employed on a contract basis that represented the equivalent of approximately 17,600 full-time employees.

Unless otherwise indicated, the terms “Schwab,” “the Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our” mean CSC together with its consolidated subsidiaries.

Business Strategy and Competitive Environment

Schwab was founded on the belief that all Americans deserve access to a better investing experience. Although much has changed in the intervening years, our purpose remains clear – to champion every client’s goals with passion and integrity. Guided by this purpose and the aspiration of creating the most trusted leader in investment services, management has adopted a strategy described as “Through Clients’ Eyes.”

Under this approach, our strategic goals are focused on putting clients’ perspectives, needs, and desires at the forefront. Because investing plays a fundamental role in building financial security, we strive to deliver a better investing experience for our clients – individual investors and the people and institutions who serve them – by disrupting longstanding industry practices on their behalf and providing superior service. We aim to offer a broad range of products and solutions to meet client needs with a focus on transparency and value. In addition, management works to couple Schwab’s scale and resources with ongoing expense discipline to keep costs low and ensure that products and solutions are affordable as well as responsive to client needs. Finally, we seek to maximize our market valuation and stockholder returns over time.

Management estimates that investable wealth in the U.S. currently exceeds $30 trillion, which means the Company’s $3.36 trillion in client assets leaves substantial opportunity for growth. Our strategy is based on the principle that developing trusted relationships will translate into more assets from both new and existing clients, ultimately driving more revenue and, along with expense discipline, generate earnings growth and build long-term stockholder value.


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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Within Investor Services, our competition in serving individual investors includes a wide range of brokerage, wealth management, and asset management firms, as well as banks and trust companies. In the Advisor Services arena, we compete with institutional custodians, traditional and discount brokers, banks and investment advisory firms, and trust companies.

Across both segments, our key competitive advantages are:

Scale and Size of the Business – As one of the largest investment services firms in the United States (U.S.), we are able to spread operating costs, amortize new investments over a large base of clients, and have the resources to evolve capabilities to meet client needs.
Operating Efficiency – Coupled with scale, our operating efficiency and sharing of infrastructure across different businesses creates a cost advantage that enables us to competitively price products and services while profitably serving many different client channels.
Operating Structure – Adding bank and asset management capabilities to the broker-dealers helps serve a wider array of client needs, thereby deepening client relationships, enhancing the stability of client assets, and enabling diversified revenue streams.
Brand and Corporate Reputation – In an industry dependent on trust, Schwab’s reputation and brand across multiple constituents enables us to attract clients and employees while credibly introducing new products to the market.
Service Culture – Delivering a great client experience earns the trust and loyalty of clients and increases the likelihood that those clients will refer others.
Willingness to Disrupt – Management’s willingness to challenge the status quo to benefit clients fosters innovation and continuous improvement, which helps to attract more clients and assets.

Sources of Net Revenues

Our major sources of net revenues are net interest revenue, asset management and administration fees, and trading revenue. These revenue streams are supported by the combination of bank, broker-dealer, and asset management operating subsidiaries, each of which brings specific capabilities that enable us to provide clients with the products and services they are looking for.

Net interest revenue is the difference between interest generated on interest-earning assets and interest paid on funding sources, the majority of which is derived from client cash balances held by Schwab as part of the clients’ overall relationship with the Company. While certain client cash balances are held on CS&Co’s balance sheet or swept to our money market funds, a substantial amount of existing cash balances and most new client cash inflows are swept to a banking subsidiary. Over time, as supporting capital has been available, we have been directing a growing proportion of client cash sweep balances to a banking subsidiary relative to those going to the broker-dealer or money market funds. This shift has been effected through changes to default sweep options and the periodic bulk transfer of larger balances. Bank sweep balances have access to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance protection, as allowed, and provide us with greater flexibility in terms of options for investing the cash and administering the interest rate paid.

The majority of asset management and administration fees are earned from proprietary money market mutual funds, proprietary and third-party mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and fee-based advisory solutions.

Trading revenue includes commissions earned for executing trades for clients in individual equities, options, futures, fixed income securities, and certain third-party mutual funds and ETFs, as well as principal transaction revenue earned primarily from actions to support client trading in fixed income securities.

Products and Services

We offer a broad range of products to address our clients’ varying investment and financial needs. Examples of these product offerings include the following:
Brokerage – an array of full-feature brokerage accounts with margin lending, options trading, and cash management capabilities including third-party certificates of deposit;
Mutual funds – third-party mutual funds through the Mutual Fund Marketplace®, including no-transaction fee mutual funds through the Mutual Fund OneSource® service, which also includes proprietary mutual funds, plus mutual fund trading and clearing services to broker-dealers;

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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Exchange-traded funds – an extensive offering of ETFs, including many proprietary and third-party ETFs available without a commission through Schwab ETF OneSource™;
Advice solutions – managed portfolios of both proprietary and third-party mutual funds and ETFs, separately managed accounts, customized personal advice for tailored portfolios, specialized planning, and full-time portfolio management;
Banking – checking and savings accounts, first lien residential real estate mortgage loans (First Mortgages), home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and pledged asset lines (PALs); and
Trust – trust custody services, personal trust reporting services, and administrative trustee services.

This full array of investing services is made available through two business segments – Investor Services and Advisor Services. Schwab’s major sources of revenues are generated by both of the reportable segments. Revenue is attributable to a reportable segment based on which segment has the primary responsibility for serving the client. The accounting policies of the reportable segments are the same as those described in “Item 8 – Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” (Item 8) – Note 2. For financial information related to the Company’s reportable segments, see “Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Operations” (Item 7) and Item 8 – Note 22.

Investor Services

Charles Schwab initially founded the Company over 40 years ago to provide individual investors with access to the financial markets at a reasonable cost. The Company has been expanding offerings over time in response to client needs, aiming to provide a compelling and often disruptive solution in the marketplace. As products and services have evolved over the years, the Investor Services segment has expanded and now includes the Retail Investor, Retirement Plan Services, Mutual Fund Clearing Services, and Off-Platform Sales business units.

Through the Retail Investor business unit, we offer individual investors a multi-channel service delivery model, which includes online, mobile, telephone, and branch capabilities. We provide personalized service at competitive prices while giving clients the choice of where, when, and how they do business with us. Financial Consultants (FCs) in Schwab’s branches and regional telephone service centers focus on building and sustaining client relationships. We have the ability to meet client investing needs through a single ongoing point of contact, even as those needs change over time. We believe that this ability to give those clients seeking help, guidance, or advice with an individually tailored solution – ranging from occasional consultations to an ongoing relationship with a Schwab FC or an independent RIA in the Schwab Advisor Network® – is a competitive strength compared to the more fragmented or limited offerings of other firms.

Our service delivery model provides quick and efficient access to an extensive array of information, research, tools, trade execution, and administrative services, which clients can access according to their needs. For example, clients that trade more actively can use these channels to access highly competitive pricing, expert tools, and extensive service capabilities – including experienced, knowledgeable teams of trading specialists, and integrated product offerings. Management also believes the Company is able to compete with the wide variety of financial services firms striving to attract individual client relationships by complementing these capabilities with a range of investment and banking products.

Schwab strives to educate and assist clients in reaching their financial goals. Educational tools include workshops, webcasts, interactive courses, and online information about investing, from which Schwab does not earn revenue. Additionally, we provide various online research and analysis tools that are designed to help clients achieve better investment outcomes. As an example of such tools, Schwab Equity Ratings® is a quantitative model-based stock rating system that provides all clients with ratings on approximately 3,000 stocks, assigning each equity a single grade: A, B, C, D, or F. Schwab Equity Ratings International®, an international ranking methodology, covers stocks of approximately 4,000 foreign companies.

Clients may seek specific investment recommendations, either from time to time or on an ongoing basis. Schwab provides clients seeking advice with personalized solutions. Our approach to advice is based on long-term investment strategies and guidance on portfolio diversification and asset allocation. This approach is designed to be offered consistently across all of Schwab’s delivery channels.

Schwab Private Client features a personal advice relationship with a designated Portfolio Consultant, supported by a team of investment professionals who provide individualized service, a customized investment strategy developed in collaboration with the client, and ongoing guidance and execution.


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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


For clients seeking a relationship in which investment decisions are fully delegated to a financial professional, Schwab offers several alternatives. We provide investors access to professional investment management in a diversified account that is invested exclusively in either mutual funds or ETFs through the Schwab Managed Portfolios and Windhaven Investment Management, Inc. (Windhaven®), or equity securities and ETFs through ThomasPartners® programs. We also refer investors who want to utilize a specific third-party money manager to direct a portion of their investment assets to the Schwab Managed Account program. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios®, available since 2015, are for clients who are looking to have their assets professionally managed via a fully automated online investment advisory service. In late 2016, we introduced Schwab Intelligent Advisory® to offer our clients a hybrid advisory service which combines live credentialed professionals and algorithm-driven technology to make financial and investment planning more accessible to investors. Finally, clients who want the assistance of an independent professional in managing their financial affairs may be referred to RIAs in the Schwab Advisor Network. These RIAs provide personalized portfolio management, financial planning, and wealth management solutions.

To meet the specific needs of clients who actively trade, Schwab offers integrated web- and software-based trading platforms, which incorporate intelligent order routing technology, real-time market data, options trading, premium stock and futures research, and multi-channel access, as well as sophisticated account and trade management features, risk management and decision support tools, and dedicated personal support.

For U.S. clients wishing to invest in foreign equities, we offer a suite of global investing capabilities, including online access to certain foreign equity markets with the ability to trade in their local currencies. In addition, Schwab serves both foreign investors and non-English-speaking U.S. clients who wish to trade or invest in U.S. dollar-based securities. In the U.S., Schwab serves Mandarin-, Cantonese-, Spanish-, and Vietnamese-speaking clients through a combination of its branch offices, web-based and telephonic services.

We also offer equity compensation plan sponsors full-service recordkeeping for stock plans, stock options, restricted stock, performance shares, and stock appreciation rights. Specialized services for executive transactions and reporting, grant acceptance tracking, and other services are offered to employers to meet the needs of administering the reporting and compliance aspects of an equity compensation plan. In addition, we provide software and services for compliance departments of regulated companies and firms with special requirements to monitor employee personal trading, including trade surveillance technology.

Our Retirement Plan Services business unit offers a bundled 401(k) retirement plan product that provides retirement plan sponsors a wide array of investment options, trustee or custodial services, and participant-level recordkeeping. Retirement plan design features, which increase plan efficiency and achieve employer goals, are also offered, such as automatic enrollment, automatic fund mapping at conversion, and automatic contribution increases. In addition to an open architecture investment platform, we offer access to low cost index mutual funds and ETFs. Individuals investing for retirement through 401(k) plans can take advantage of bundled offerings of multiple investment choices, education, and third-party advice. This third-party advice service is delivered online, by phone, or in person, including recommendations based on the core investment fund choices in their retirement plan and specific recommended savings rates. Services also include support for Roth 401(k) accounts, profit sharing, and defined benefit plans.

Lastly, the Mutual Fund Clearing Services business unit provides custody, recordkeeping, and trading services to banks, brokerage firms, and trust companies, and the Off-Platform Sales business unit offers proprietary mutual funds, ETFs, and collective trust funds outside the Company. They are included within the Investor Services segment given their leveraging of the products and services offered to individual investors.

Advisor Services

More than twenty-five years ago, Schwab supported a small group of entrepreneurial advisors who challenged the industry by creating independent firms. Through the Advisor Services segment, Schwab has become the largest provider of custodial, trading, banking, and support services to RIAs and their clients. We also provide retirement business services to independent retirement advisors and recordkeepers. Management believes that we can maintain our market leadership position primarily through the efforts of our sales, support, and business consulting service teams, which are dedicated to helping RIAs grow, compete, and succeed in serving their clients. In addition to focusing on superior service, we utilize technology to provide RIAs with a highly-developed, scalable platform for administering their clients’ assets easily and efficiently. Advisor Services sponsors a variety of national, regional, and local events designed to help RIAs identify and implement better ways to expand and efficiently manage their practices.

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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION



RIAs who custody client accounts at Schwab may use proprietary software that provides them with up-to-date client account information as well as trading capabilities. The Advisor Services website is the core platform for RIAs to conduct daily business activities online with Schwab, including viewing and managing client account information and accessing news and market information. The website provides account servicing capabilities for RIAs, including account opening, money movement, transfer of assets, trading, checking status, and communicating with our service team. The site provides multi-year archiving of statements, trade confirms, and tax reports, along with document search capabilities.

To help RIAs grow and manage their practices, we offer a variety of services, including business management and technology and operations consulting on a variety of topics critical to an RIA’s success including strategic business planning, client segmentation, growth strategies, technological strategies, and succession planning. The Advisor Services website provides interactive tools, educational content, and research reports to assist advisors thinking about establishing and managing their own independent practices.

We also offer an array of services to help advisors establish their own independent practices through the Business Start-up Solutions package. These services include access to dedicated service teams and outsourcing of back-office operations, as well as third-party firms who provide assistance with real estate, errors and omissions insurance, and company benefits.

We provide a variety of educational materials, programs, and events to RIAs seeking to expand their knowledge of industry issues and trends, as well as sharpen their individual expertise and practice management skills. We update and share market research on an ongoing basis, and hold a series of events and conferences every year to discuss topics of interest to RIAs, including business strategies and best practices. Schwab sponsors the annual IMPACT® conference, which provides a national forum for the Company, RIAs, and other industry participants to gather and share information and insights, as well as a multitude of smaller events across the country each year.

RIAs and their clients have access to a broad range of our products and services, including individual securities, mutual funds, ETFs, managed accounts, cash products, and bank lending. By functioning as the custodian, Schwab earns revenue associated with the underlying client assets invested in our products and utilization of the services we provide. In this capacity, we do not charge an explicit custodial fee.

The Advisor Services segment also includes the Retirement Business Services and Corporate Brokerage Retirement Services business units. Retirement Business Services provides trust, custody, and retirement business services to independent retirement plan advisors and independent recordkeepers. Retirement plan assets are held at the Business Trust division of Schwab Bank. The Company and independent retirement plan providers work together to serve plan sponsors; combining the consulting and administrative expertise of the administrator with our investment, technology, trust, and custodial services. Retirement Business Services also offers the Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account®, a self-directed brokerage offering for retirement plans.

Corporate Brokerage Retirement Services serves plan sponsors, advisors, and independent recordkeepers seeking a brokerage-based account to hold retirement plan assets. Retirement plans held at Schwab are either self-trusteed or trusteed by a separate, independent trustee. Corporate Brokerage Retirement Services also offers the Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account®, and the Company Retirement Account, both of which are self-directed brokerage-based solutions designed to hold the assets of company-sponsored retirement plans.

Regulation

As a participant in the securities, banking and financial services industries, Schwab is subject to extensive regulation under both federal and state laws by governmental agencies, supervisory authorities, and self-regulatory organizations (SROs). We are also subject to oversight by regulatory bodies in other countries in which we operate. These regulations affect our business operations and impose capital, client protection, and market conduct requirements.

As a result of the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 (Dodd-Frank), the adoption of implementing regulations by the federal regulatory agencies, and other recent regulatory reforms, we have experienced significant changes in the laws and regulations that apply to us, how we are regulated, and regulatory expectations in the areas of compliance, risk management, corporate governance, operations, capital, and liquidity.



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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Holding Company and Bank Regulation

CSC is a savings and loan holding company and is regulated, supervised, and examined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve). CSC’s principal depository institution subsidiary, Schwab Bank, is a federal savings bank and is regulated, supervised, and examined by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the FDIC. CSC and Schwab Bank are also subject to regulation and various requirements and restrictions under state and other federal laws.

This regulatory framework is designed to protect depositors and consumers, the safety and soundness of depository institutions and their holding companies, and the stability of the banking system as a whole. This framework affects the activities and investments of CSC and its subsidiaries and gives the regulatory authorities broad discretion in connection with their supervisory, examination and enforcement activities and policies.

Financial Regulatory Reform

Following the enactment of Dodd-Frank, the federal banking agencies have adopted a number of implementing regulations and other regulatory reforms that are significant for CSC and its banking subsidiaries. These regulations are highlighted below.

Basel III Capital and Liquidity Framework

Banking organizations are subject to the regulatory capital rules issued by the Federal Reserve and other U.S. banking regulators, including the OCC and the FDIC. In addition to minimum risk-based capital requirements, banking organizations must hold additional capital, referred to as a capital conservation buffer, to avoid being subject to limits on capital distributions and discretionary bonus payments to executive officers.

The regulatory capital rules provide for a “standardized approach” framework for the calculation of a banking organization’s regulatory capital and risk-weighted assets. Depository institutions and their holding companies with consolidated total assets of $250 billion or more, or total on-balance-sheet foreign exposure of $10 billion or more, are also required to calculate their regulatory capital and risk-weighted assets using an “advanced approaches” framework and must satisfy the minimum capital requirements under both approaches. Such companies must also maintain a minimum supplementary leverage ratio of at least 3.0%, must include accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) in their calculation of their capital ratios, and are subject to certain other enhanced provisions, including additional reporting requirements. CSC and its banking subsidiaries are currently only subject to the “standardized approach” framework but will become subject to the “advanced approaches” framework upon exceeding either of the thresholds.

The liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) rule requires banking organizations with consolidated total assets of $250 billion or more, or total on-balance-sheet foreign exposure of $10 billion or more and their depository institution subsidiaries with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets to hold high quality liquid assets (HQLA) in an amount equal to at least 100% of their projected net cash outflows over the 30-day period, calculated on each business day. Other bank and savings and loan holding companies with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more are subject to a modified LCR rule requiring them to hold HQLA in an amount equal to at least 70% of their projected net cash outflows over the 30-day period, calculated as of the last business day of the month.

Capital Stress Testing

Savings and loan holding companies and federal savings bank with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion are required to conduct annual company-run stress tests. Under the Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test (DFAST) rules, CSC (for the first time in 2017) and Schwab Bank must conduct annual stress tests using certain scenarios and prescribed stress-testing methodologies, report the results to the Federal Reserve and, for Schwab Bank, the OCC, and publish summaries of the results of their stress tests.

As a savings and loan holding company, CSC is not subject to the annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) process, which requires certain financial institutions to submit annual capital plans to the Federal Reserve. CSC continues to enhance its stress testing policies, procedures, systems, and governance structures to be consistent with regulatory expectations for a firm of its size and complexity.


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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Insured Depository Institution Resolution Plans

The FDIC requires insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more to submit to the FDIC periodic plans providing for their resolution by the FDIC in the event of failure (resolution plans or so-called “living wills”) under the receivership and liquidation provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. Schwab Bank is required to file with the FDIC an annual resolution plan demonstrating how the bank could be resolved in an orderly and timely manner in the event of receivership such that the FDIC would be able to: ensure that the bank’s depositors receive access to their deposits within one business day; maximize the net present value of the bank’s assets when disposed of; and minimize losses incurred by the bank’s creditors.

Consumer Financial Protection

The CFPB has broad rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement authority for a wide range of federal consumer protection laws relating to financial products. The CFPB has examination and primary enforcement authority over depository institutions with $10 billion or more in consolidated total assets.

Deposit Insurance Assessments

The FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) provides insurance coverage for certain deposits, generally up to $250,000 per depositor per account ownership type, and is funded by quarterly assessments on insured depository institutions. The FDIC uses a risk-based deposit premium assessment system that, for large insured depository institutions with at least $10 billion in total consolidated assets, uses a scorecard method based on a number of factors, including the institution’s regulatory ratings, asset quality and brokered deposits. The deposit insurance assessment base is calculated as average consolidated total assets minus average tangible equity.

The Dodd-Frank Act (i) raised the minimum reserve ratio for the DIF to 1.35% (from the former minimum of 1.15%) and (ii) required that the DIF’s reserve ratio reach 1.35% by September 30, 2020.

In July 2016, the FDIC imposed a flat-rate quarterly surcharge on insured depository institutions with total assets of $10 billion or more and certain of their bank affiliates to pay for the increase. The surcharge took effect at the same time as a scheduled reduction in the regular FDIC insurance. As a result, Schwab’s banking subsidiaries are now subject to a 3 basis point regular assessment on their respective assessment bases (down from 5 basis points) and a new 4.5 basis point surcharge on the amount of their aggregate assessment base in excess of $10 billion that will remain in effect until the earlier of the DIF reaching 1.35% or December 31, 2018. If DIF has not reached 1.35% by such date, the FDIC will impose a shortfall assessment.

Community Reinvestment Act

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA) requires the primary federal bank regulatory agency for each of Schwab’s depository institution subsidiaries to assess the subsidiary’s record in meeting the credit needs of the communities served by the bank, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and persons. Institutions are assigned one of four ratings (“outstanding,” “satisfactory,” “needs to improve,” or “substantial noncompliance”). The failure of an institution to receive at least a “satisfactory” rating could inhibit the institution or its holding company from undertaking certain activities, including acquisitions or opening branch offices.

Source of Strength

The Dodd-Frank Act codified the Federal Reserve’s long-held position that a depository institution holding company must serve as a source of financial strength for its subsidiary depository institutions, the so-called “source of strength doctrine.” In effect, the holding company may be compelled to commit resources to support the subsidiary in the event the subsidiary is in financial distress.


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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Broker-Dealer and Investment Advisor Regulation

Schwab’s principal broker-dealer is CS&Co. CS&Co is registered as a broker-dealer with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. CS&Co and CSIM are registered as investment advisors with the SEC. Additionally, CS&Co is regulated by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with respect to the commodity futures and trading activities it conducts as an introducing broker.

Much of the regulation of broker-dealers has been delegated to SROs. CS&Co is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), NYSE Arca, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). In addition to the SEC, the primary regulators of CS&Co are FINRA and, for municipal securities, the MSRB. The National Futures Association (NFA) is CS&Co’s primary regulator for futures and commodities trading activities.

The principal purpose of regulating broker-dealers and investment advisors is the protection of clients and securities markets. The regulations cover all aspects of the securities business, including, among other things, sales and trading practices, publication of research, margin lending, uses and safekeeping of clients’ funds and securities, capital adequacy, recordkeeping and reporting, fee arrangements, disclosure to clients, fiduciary duties owed to advisory clients, and the conduct of directors, officers, and employees.

CS&Co is subject to Rule 15c3-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Uniform Net Capital Rule) and related SRO requirements. The CFTC and NFA also impose net capital requirements. The Uniform Net Capital Rule specifies minimum capital requirements intended to ensure the general financial soundness and liquidity of broker-dealers. CSC itself is not a registered broker-dealer and it is not subject to the Uniform Net Capital Rule. If CS&Co fails to maintain specified levels of net capital, such failure could constitute a default by CSC of certain debt covenants under its credit agreement.

The Uniform Net Capital Rule prohibits CS&Co from paying cash dividends, making unsecured advances or loans or repaying subordinated loans if such payment would result in a net capital amount of less than 5% of aggregate debit balances or less than 120% of its minimum dollar requirement of $250,000.

In addition to net capital requirements, as a self-clearing broker-dealer, CS&Co is subject to cash deposit and collateral requirements with clearing houses, such as the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation and Options Clearing Corporation, which may fluctuate significantly from time to time based upon the nature and size of clients’ trading activity and market volatility.

Financial Service Regulation

Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 and USA PATRIOT Act of 2001

CSC and its subsidiaries that conduct financial services activities are subject to the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (BSA), as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, which requires financial institutions to develop and implement programs reasonably designed to achieve compliance with these regulations. The BSA and USA PATRIOT Act include a variety of monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements (such as currency transaction reporting and suspicious activity reporting), as well as identity verification and client due diligence requirements which are intended to detect, report and/or prevent money laundering, and the financing of terrorism. In addition, CSC and various subsidiaries of the Company are subject to U.S. sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Available Information

Schwab files annual, quarterly, and current reports, proxy statements, and other information with the SEC. The SEC filings are available to the public over the Internet on the SEC’s website at https://www.sec.gov. You may read and copy any document that the Company files with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.

On Schwab’s website, https://www.aboutschwab.com, the following filings are posted after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC: annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION



In addition, the website also includes the Dodd-Frank stress test results and our regulatory capital disclosures based on Basel III.

All such filings are available free of charge either on our website or by request via email (investor.relations@schwab.com), telephone (415-667-7000), or mail (Charles Schwab Investor Relations at 211 Main Street, San Francisco, CA 94105).


Item 1A.
Risk Factors

We face a variety of risks that may affect our operations, financial results, or stock price and many of those risks are driven by factors that we cannot control or predict. The following discussion addresses those risks that management believes are the most significant, although there may be other risks that could arise, or may prove to be more significant than expected, that may affect our operations or financial results.

For a discussion of our risk management, including operational risk, compliance risk, credit risk, market risk, and liquidity risk, see Risk Management and Capital Management in Part II, Item 7.

Developments in the business, economic, and geopolitical environment could negatively impact our business.

Our business can be adversely affected by the general environment – economic, corporate, securities market, regulatory, and geopolitical developments all play a role in client asset valuations, trading activity, interest rates, and overall investor engagement, and are outside of our control. Deterioration in the housing and credit markets, reduction in short-term interest rates, and decreases in securities valuations negatively impact our results of operations and capital resources.

Extensive regulation of our businesses may subject us to significant penalties or limitations on business activities.

As a participant in the securities, banking, and financial services industries, we are subject to extensive regulation under federal, state, and foreign laws by governmental agencies, supervisory authorities and SROs. The costs and uncertainty related to complying with such regulations continue to increase. These regulations affect our business operations and impose capital, client protection, and market conduct requirements on us.

In addition to specific banking laws and regulations, our banking regulators have broad discretion in connection with their supervisory and enforcement activities and examination policies and could require CSC and/or our banking subsidiaries to hold more capital, increase liquidity, or limit their ability to pay dividends or CSC’s ability to repurchase or redeem shares. The banking regulators could also limit our ability to grow, including adding assets, launching new products, making acquisitions, and undertaking strategic investments, could limit our banking subsidiaries’ ability to accept deposits swept from client brokerage accounts and brokered deposits and could prevent us from pursuing our business strategy.

Despite our efforts to comply with applicable legal requirements, there are a number of risks, particularly in areas where applicable laws or regulations may be unclear or where regulators could revise their previous guidance. Any enforcement actions or other proceedings brought by our regulators against us or our affiliates, officers or employees could result in fines, penalties, cease and desist orders, enforcement actions, suspension, disqualification or expulsion, or other disciplinary sanctions, including limitations on our business activities, any of which could harm our reputation and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

While we maintain systems and procedures designed to ensure that we comply with applicable laws and regulations, violations could occur. In addition, some legal/regulatory frameworks provide for the imposition of fines or penalties for noncompliance even though the noncompliance was inadvertent or unintentional and even though systems and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations were in place at the time. There may be other negative consequences resulting from a finding of noncompliance, including restrictions on certain activities. Such a finding may also damage our reputation and our relationships with our regulators and could restrict the ability of institutional investment managers to invest in our securities.


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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Legislation or changes in rules and regulations could negatively affect our business and financial results.

New legislation, rules, regulations and guidance, or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing federal, state, foreign and SRO rules, regulations and guidance, including changes relating to mutual funds, broker-dealer fiduciary duties and regulatory treatment of deposit accounts, may directly affect the operation and profitability of Schwab or its specific business lines. Our profitability could also be affected by rules and regulations that impact the business and financial communities generally, including changes to the laws governing taxation, electronic commerce, client privacy and security of client data. In addition, the rules and regulations could result in limitations on the lines of business we conduct, modifications to our business practices, more stringent capital and liquidity requirements, increased deposit insurance assessments or additional costs. These changes may also require us to invest significant management attention and resources to evaluate and make necessary changes to our compliance, risk management, treasury and operations functions.

Failure to meet capital adequacy and liquidity guidelines could affect our financial condition.

CSC, together with its banking and broker-dealer subsidiaries, must meet certain capital and liquidity standards, subject to qualitative judgments by regulators about the adequacy of Schwab’s capital and Schwab’s internal assessment of its capital needs. The Uniform Net Capital Rule limits CS&Co’s ability to transfer capital to CSC and other affiliates. New regulatory capital, liquidity, and stress testing requirements may limit or otherwise restrict how we utilize our capital, including paying dividends, stock repurchases, and redemptions, and may require us to increase our capital and/or liquidity or to limit our growth. Failure by either CSC or its banking subsidiaries to meet minimum capital requirements could result in certain mandatory and additional discretionary actions by regulators that, if undertaken, could have a negative impact on us. In addition, failure by CSC or our banking subsidiaries to maintain a sufficient amount of capital to satisfy their capital conservation buffer requirements (as phased in) would result in restrictions on our ability to make capital distributions and discretionary cash bonus payments to executive officers. Any requirement that we increase our regulatory capital, replace certain capital instruments which presently qualify as Tier 1 capital, or increase regulatory capital ratios or liquidity, could require us to liquidate assets, deleverage or otherwise change our business and/or investment plans, which may adversely affect our financial results. Issuing additional common stock would dilute the ownership of existing stockholders.

With $243.3 billion in consolidated total assets at December 31, 2017, we are currently only subject to the “standardized approach” capital framework of Basel III and modified liquidity requirements. When our consolidated total assets equal or exceed $250 billion, we will become subject to the “advanced approaches” framework, including being subject to a supplementary leverage ratio, the inclusion of AOCI in regulatory capital, the unmodified LCR, enhanced Basel III disclosures, and a more complex calculation of risk weighted assets that includes an assessment of the impact of operational risk. In addition, federal banking agencies have broad discretion and could require CSC or its banking subsidiaries to hold higher levels of capital or increase liquidity above the applicable regulatory requirements.

Significant interest rate changes could affect our profitability.

The direction and level of interest rates are important factors in our earnings. A decline in interest rates may have a negative impact on our net interest revenue. A low interest rate environment may also have a negative impact on our asset management and administration fee revenues if we have to waive a portion of our management fees for certain Schwab-sponsored money market mutual funds in order to continue providing a positive return to clients.

Overall, we are positioned to benefit from a rising interest rate environment. A rise in interest rates may cause our funding costs to increase if market conditions or the competitive environment forces us to raise our interest rates to avoid losing deposits. Higher funding costs without offsetting increases in yields on interest-earning assets can reduce our net interest revenue.

The manner in which interest rates are calculated could also impact our net interest revenue. For example, certain securities in Schwab’s investment portfolios have floating interest rates based on benchmarks like the one-month LIBOR, which has been the subject of recent regulatory guidance and proposals for reform. These reforms may cause LIBOR to perform differently than in the past, or be replaced as a benchmark, and could result in lower interest payments and a reduction in the value of the securities.


- 10 -



THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


A significant change in client cash allocations could negatively impact our net interest revenue.
We rely heavily on bank deposits as a low cost source of funding to extend loans to clients and purchase investment securities. Our bank deposits are primarily driven by our bank sweep feature: uninvested cash balances in our client brokerage accounts are swept to our banking subsidiaries. A significant reduction in our clients’ allocation to cash, a change in the allocation of that cash, or a transfer of cash away from the Company, could reduce net interest revenue.
Security breaches of our systems, or those of our clients or third parties, may subject us to significant liability and damage Schwab’s reputation.

Our business involves the secure processing, storage, and transmission of confidential information about our clients and us. Information security risks for financial institutions are increasing, in part because of the use of the internet and mobile technologies to conduct financial transactions, and the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, activists, hackers and other external parties, including foreign state actors. Our systems and those of other financial institutions have been and are likely to continue to be the target of cyber attacks, malicious code, computer viruses and denial of service attacks that could result in unauthorized access, misuse, loss or destruction of data (including confidential client information), account takeovers, unavailability of service or other events. Despite our efforts to ensure the integrity of our systems, we may not be able to anticipate or to implement effective preventive measures against all security breaches of these types, especially because the techniques used change frequently or are not recognized until launched, and because security attacks can originate from a wide variety of sources. Data security breaches may also result from non-technical means, for example, employee misconduct.

Given the high volume of transactions that we process, the large number of clients, counterparties and third-party service providers with which we do business and the increasing sophistication of cyber attacks, a cyber attack could occur and persist for an extended period of time before being detected. The extent of a particular cyber attack and the steps we may need to take to investigate the attack may not be immediately clear, and it may take a significant amount of time before an investigation is completed and full and reliable information about the attack is known. During such time we would not necessarily know the extent of the harm or how best to remediate it, and certain errors or actions could be repeated or compounded before they are discovered and remediated, all or any of which would further increase the costs and consequences of a cyber attack.

Security breaches, including breaches of our security measures or those of our third-party service providers or clients, could result in a violation of applicable privacy and other laws and could subject us to significant liability or loss that may not be covered by insurance, actions by our regulators, damage to Schwab’s reputation, or a loss of confidence in our security measures which could harm our business. We may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures or to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures.

We also face risk related to external fraud involving the misappropriation and use of clients’ user names, passwords or other personal information to gain access to clients’ financial accounts at Schwab. This could occur from the compromise of clients’ personal electronic devices or as a result of a data security breach at an unrelated company where clients’ personal information is taken and then made available to fraudsters. Such risk has grown in recent years due to the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime and other external parties, including foreign state-sponsored parties. Losses reimbursed to clients under our guarantee against unauthorized account activity could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Technology and operational failures or errors could subject us to losses, litigation, regulatory actions, and reputational damage.

We must process, record and monitor a large number of transactions and our operations are highly dependent on the integrity of our technology systems and our ability to make timely enhancements and additions to our systems. System interruptions, errors or downtime can result from a variety of causes, including changes in client use patterns, technological failure, changes to our systems, linkages with third-party systems and power failures and can have a significant impact on our business and operations. Our systems are vulnerable to disruptions from human error, execution errors, errors in models such as those used for asset management, capital planning and management, risk management, stress testing and compliance, employee misconduct, unauthorized trading, external fraud, computer viruses, distributed denial of service attacks, cyber attacks, terrorist attacks, natural disaster, power outage, capacity constraints, software flaws, events impacting key business partners and vendors, and similar events. For example, Schwab and other financial institutions have been the

- 11 -



THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


target of various denial of service attacks that have, in certain circumstances, made websites, mobile applications and email unavailable for periods of time. It could take an extended period of time to restore full functionality to our technology or other operating systems in the event of an unforeseen occurrence, which could affect our ability to process and settle client transactions. Moreover, instances of fraud or other misconduct might also negatively impact Schwab’s reputation and client confidence in the Company, in addition to any direct losses that might result from such instances. Despite our efforts to identify areas of risk, oversee operational areas involving risk, and implement policies and procedures designed to manage these risks, there can be no assurance that we will not suffer unexpected losses, reputational damage or regulatory action due to technology or other operational failures or errors, including those of our vendors or other third parties.

While we devote substantial attention and resources to the reliability, capacity and scalability of our systems, extraordinary trading volumes could cause our computer systems to operate at unacceptably slow speeds or even fail, affecting our ability to process client transactions and potentially resulting in some clients’ orders being executed at prices they did not anticipate. Disruptions in service and slower system response times could result in substantial losses and decreased client satisfaction. We are also dependent on the integrity and performance of securities exchanges, clearing houses and other intermediaries to which client orders are routed for execution and settlement. System failures and constraints and transaction errors at such intermediaries could result in delays and erroneous or unanticipated execution prices, cause substantial losses for us and for our clients, and subject us to claims from our clients for damages.
 
A significant decrease in our liquidity could negatively affect our business and financial management as well as reduce client confidence in Schwab.

Maintaining adequate liquidity is crucial to our business operations, including margin lending, mortgage lending, and transaction settlement, among other liquidity needs. We meet our liquidity needs primarily through cash generated by client activity and operating earnings, as well as cash provided by external financing. Fluctuations in client cash or deposit balances, as well as changes in regulatory treatment of client deposits or market conditions, may affect our ability to meet our liquidity needs. A reduction in our liquidity position could reduce client confidence in Schwab, which could result in the loss of client accounts, or could cause us to fail to satisfy our liquidity requirements, including the modified LCR. In addition, if our broker-dealer or depository institution subsidiaries fail to meet regulatory capital guidelines, regulators could limit the subsidiaries’ operations or their ability to upstream funds to CSC, which could reduce CSC’s liquidity and adversely affect its ability to repay debt and pay cash dividends. In addition, CSC may need to provide additional funding to such subsidiaries.

Factors which may adversely affect our liquidity position include CS&Co having temporary liquidity demands due to timing differences between brokerage transaction settlements and the availability of segregated cash balances, unanticipated outflows of company cash, fluctuations in cash held in banking or brokerage client accounts, a dramatic increase in our client lending activities (including margin, mortgage-related, and personal lending), increased capital requirements, changes in regulatory guidance or interpretations, other regulatory changes, or a loss of market or client confidence in Schwab.

When cash generated by client activity and operating earnings is not sufficient for our liquidity needs, we may seek external financing. During periods of disruptions in the credit and capital markets, potential sources of external financing could be reduced, and borrowing costs could increase. Although CSC and CS&Co maintain committed and uncommitted, unsecured bank credit lines and CSC has a commercial paper issuance program, as well as a universal shelf registration statement filed with the SEC which can be used to sell securities, financing may not be available on acceptable terms or at all due to market conditions or disruptions in the credit markets. In addition, a significant downgrade in the Company’s credit ratings could increase its borrowing costs and limit its access to the capital markets.

We may suffer significant losses from our credit exposures.

Our businesses are subject to the risk that a client, counterparty or issuer will fail to perform its contractual obligations, or that the value of collateral held to secure obligations will prove to be inadequate. While we have policies and procedures designed to manage this risk, the policies and procedures may not be fully effective. Our exposure mainly results from margin lending, clients’ options trading, futures activities, securities lending, mortgage lending, pledged asset lending, our role as a counterparty in financial contracts and investing activities, and indirectly from the investing activities of certain of the proprietary funds we sponsor.

When clients purchase securities on margin, borrow on lines of credit collateralized by securities, or trade options or futures, we are subject to the risk that clients may default on their obligations when the value of the securities and cash in their

- 12 -



THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


accounts falls below the amount of clients’ indebtedness. Abrupt changes in securities valuations and the failure of clients to meet margin calls could result in substantial losses.

We have exposure to credit risk associated with our investments. Those investments are subject to price fluctuations as a result of changes in the financial market’s assessment of credit quality. Loss of value of securities can negatively affect earnings if management determines that such securities are other than temporarily impaired. The evaluation of whether other-than-temporary impairment (OTTI) exists is a matter of judgment, which includes the assessment of several factors. If management determines that a security is OTTI, the cost basis of the security may be adjusted and a corresponding loss may be recognized in current earnings. Deterioration in the performance of available for sale (AFS) and held to maturity (HTM) securities could result in the recognition of future impairment charges. Even if a security is not considered OTTI, if we were ever forced to sell the security sooner than intended prior to maturity due to liquidity needs, we would have to recognize any unrealized losses at that time.
 
Our bank loans primarily consist of First Mortgages, HELOCs, and PALs. Increases in delinquency and default rates, housing and stock price declines, increases in the unemployment rate, and other economic factors can result in charges for loan loss reserves and write downs on such loans.

Heightened credit exposures to specific counterparties or instruments can increase our risk of loss. Examples include:

Large positions in financial instruments collateralized by assets with similar economic characteristics or in securities of a single issuer or industry;
Mortgage loans and HELOCs to banking clients which are secured by properties in the same geographic region; and
Client margins, options or futures, pledged assets, and securities lending activities collateralized by or linked to securities of a single issuer, index, or industry.

We sponsor a number of proprietary money market mutual funds and other proprietary funds. Although we have no obligation to do so, we may decide for competitive or other reasons to provide credit, liquidity or other support to our funds in the event of significant declines in valuation of fund holdings or significant redemption activity that exceeds available liquidity. Such support could cause us to take significant charges, could reduce our liquidity and, in certain situations, could, with respect to proprietary funds other than money market mutual funds, result in us having to consolidate a supported fund in our financial statements. If we chose not to provide credit, liquidity or other support in such a situation, Schwab could suffer reputational damage and its business could be adversely affected.

We are subject to litigation and regulatory investigations and proceedings and may not be successful in defending against claims or proceedings.

The financial services industry faces significant litigation and regulatory risks. We are subject to claims and lawsuits in the ordinary course of business, including arbitrations, class actions and other litigation, some of which include claims for substantial or unspecified damages. We are also the subject of inquiries, investigations, and proceedings by regulatory and other governmental agencies.

Litigation and arbitration claims include those brought by our clients and the clients of third party advisors whose assets are custodied at Schwab. Claims from clients of third party advisors may allege losses due to investment decisions made by the third party advisors or the advisors’ misconduct. Litigation claims also include claims from third parties alleging infringement of their intellectual property rights (e.g., patents). Such litigation can require the expenditure of significant company resources. If we were found to have infringed on a third-party patent, or other intellectual property rights, we could incur substantial damages, and in some circumstances could be enjoined from using certain technology, or providing certain products or services.

Actions brought against us may result in settlements, awards, injunctions, fines, penalties or other results adverse to us, including reputational harm. Even if we are successful in defending against these actions, the defense of such matters may result in us incurring significant expenses. A substantial judgment, settlement, fine, or penalty could be material to our operating results or cash flows for a particular future period, depending on our results for that period. In market downturns, the volume of legal claims and amount of damages sought in litigation and regulatory proceedings against financial services companies have historically increased.


- 13 -



THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


We rely on outsourced service providers to perform key functions.

We rely on external service providers to perform certain key technology, processing, servicing, and support functions. These service providers face technology, operating, business, and economic risks, and any significant failures by them, including the improper use or disclosure of our confidential client, employee, or company information, could cause us to incur losses and could harm Schwab’s reputation. An interruption in or the cessation of service by any external service provider as a result of systems failures, capacity constraints, financial difficulties or for any other reason, and our inability to make alternative arrangements in a timely manner could disrupt our operations, impact our ability to offer certain products and services, and result in financial losses to us. Switching to an alternative service provider may require a transition period and result in less efficient operations.
 
Potential strategic transactions could have a negative impact on our financial position.

We evaluate potential strategic transactions, including business combinations, acquisitions, and dispositions. Any such transaction could have a material impact on our financial position, results of operations, or cash flows. The process of evaluating, negotiating, and effecting any such strategic transaction may divert management’s attention from other business concerns, and might cause the loss of key clients, employees, and business partners. Moreover, integrating businesses and systems may result in unforeseen expenditures as well as numerous risks and uncertainties, including the need to integrate operational, financial, and management information systems and management controls, integrate relationships with clients and business partners, and manage facilities and employees in different geographic areas. In addition, an acquisition may cause us to assume liabilities or become subject to litigation or regulatory proceedings. Further, we may not realize the anticipated benefits from an acquisition, and any future acquisition could be dilutive to our current stockholders’ percentage ownership or to earnings per common share (EPS).

Our acquisitions and dispositions are typically subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the absence of material adverse changes in the business, operations or financial condition of the entity being acquired or sold. To the extent we enter into an agreement to buy or sell an entity, there can be no guarantee that the transaction will close when expected, or at all. If a material transaction does not close, our stock price could decline.

Our industry is characterized by aggressive price competition.

We continually monitor our pricing in relation to competitors and periodically adjust trade commission rates, interest rates on deposits and loans, fees for advisory services, expense ratios on mutual funds and ETFs, and other pricing to enhance our competitive position. Increased price competition from other financial services firms, such as reduced commissions to attract trading volume, higher deposit rates to attract client cash balances or reduced expense ratios to attract mutual fund or ETF investments, could impact our results of operations and financial condition.

We face competition in hiring and retaining qualified employees.

The market for qualified personnel in our business is highly competitive. At various times, different functions and roles are in especially high demand in the market, compelling us to pay more to attract talent. Our ability to continue to compete effectively will depend upon our ability to attract new employees and retain existing employees while managing compensation costs.

Our stock price has fluctuated historically, and may continue to fluctuate.

Our stock price can be volatile. Among the factors that may affect the volatility of our stock price are the following:

Our exposure to changes in interest rates;
Speculation in the investment community or the press about, or actual changes in, our competitive position, organizational structure, executive team, operations, financial condition, financial reporting and results, expense discipline, or strategic transactions;
The announcement of new products, services, acquisitions, or dispositions by us or our competitors; and
Increases or decreases in revenue or earnings, changes in earnings estimates by the investment community, and variations between estimated financial results and actual financial results.


- 14 -



THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Changes in the stock market generally, or as it concerns our industry, as well as geopolitical, corporate, regulatory, business, and economic factors may also affect our stock price.

Future sales of CSC’s equity securities may adversely affect the market price of CSC’s common stock and result in dilution.

CSC’s certificate of incorporation authorizes CSC’s Board of Directors, among other things, to issue additional shares of common or preferred stock or securities convertible or exchangeable into equity securities, without stockholder approval.
CSC may issue additional equity or convertible securities to raise additional capital or for other purposes. The issuance of any additional equity or convertible securities could be substantially dilutive to holders of CSC’s common stock and may adversely affect the market price of CSC’s common stock.


Item 1B.     Unresolved Securities and Exchange Commission Staff Comments

None.


Item 2.     Properties

A summary of Schwab’s significant locations is presented in the following table. Locations are leased or owned as noted below. The square footage amounts are presented net of space that has been subleased to third parties.
December 31, 2017
Square Footage
(amounts in thousands)
Leased
Owned
Location
 
 
Corporate headquarters:
 
 
San Francisco, CA
569
Service and other office space:
 
 
Phoenix, AZ
28
720
Denver, CO
731
Austin, TX
219
191
Dallas, TX
188
Indianapolis, IN
161
Orlando, FL
148
Richfield, OH
117
El Paso, TX
105
Chicago, IL
104
Substantially all of our branch offices are located in leased premises. The corporate headquarters, data centers, offices, and service centers support both of our segments.
໿


Item 3.
Legal Proceedings

For a discussion of legal proceedings, see Item 8 – Note 13.


Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.


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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

CSC’s common stock is listed on The New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SCHW. The number of common stockholders of record as of January 31, 2018, was 6,055. The closing market price per share on that date was $53.34.  

The quarterly high and low sales prices for CSC’s common stock and the other information required to be furnished pursuant to this item are included in Item 8 – Note 18 and Note 24.

The following graph shows a five-year comparison of cumulative total returns for CSC’s common stock, the Dow Jones U.S. Investment Services Index, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, each of which assumes an initial investment of $100 and reinvestment of dividends.
a10kschw2017.jpg
December 31,
2012

 
2013

 
2014

 
2015

 
2016

 
2017

The Charles Schwab Corporation
$
100

 
$
183

 
$
215

 
$
236

 
$
286

 
$
375

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
$
100

 
$
132

 
$
151

 
$
153

 
$
171

 
$
208

Dow Jones U.S. Investment Services Index
$
100

 
$
162

 
$
185

 
$
184

 
$
233

 
$
290



- 16 -



THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

At December 31, 2017, approximately $596 million of future share repurchases are authorized under the Share Repurchase Program. There were no share repurchases during the fourth quarter. There were two authorizations under this program by CSC’s Board of Directors, each covering up to $500 million of common stock that were publicly announced by CSC on April 25, 2007, and March 13, 2008. The remaining authorizations do not have an expiration date.

The following table summarizes purchases made by or on behalf of CSC of its common stock for each calendar month in the fourth quarter of 2017:
Month
Total Number of Shares Purchased
(in thousands)
 
Average
Price Paid
per Share
October:
 
 
 
Employee transactions (1)
4

 
$
44.12

November:
 
 
 
Employee transactions (1)
779

 
$
44.70

December:
 
 
 
Employee transactions (1)
2

 
$
48.97

Total:
 
 
 
Employee transactions (1)
785

 
$
44.71

໿
(1) Includes restricted shares withheld (under the terms of grants under employee stock incentive plans) to offset tax withholding obligations that occur upon vesting and release of restricted shares. CSC may receive shares delivered or attested to pay the exercise price and/or to satisfy tax withholding obligations by employees who exercise stock options granted under employee stock incentive plans, which are commonly referred to as stock swap exercises.



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THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION


Item 6.
Selected Financial Data

Selected Financial and Operating Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(In Millions, Except Per Share Amounts, Ratios, or as Noted)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Growth Rates
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Compounded
4-Year (1)
2013-2017
 
Annual
1-Year
2016-2017
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Results of Operations
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net revenues
12%
 
15%
 
$
8,618

 
$
7,478

 
$
6,380

 
$
6,058

 
$
5,435

Expenses excluding interest
7%
 
11%
 
$
4,968

 
$
4,485

 
$
4,101

 
$
3,943

 
$
3,730

Net income
22%
 
25%
 
$
2,354

 
$
1,889

 
$
1,447

 
$
1,321

 
$
1,071

Net income available to common stockholders
21%
 
25%
 
$
2,180

 
$
1,746

 
$
1,364

 
$
1,261

 
$
1,010

Earnings per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
20%
 
23%
 
$
1.63

 
$
1.32

 
$
1.04

 
$
.96

 
$
.78

Diluted
20%
 
23%
 
$
1.61

 
$
1.31

 
$
1.03

 
$
.95

 
$
.78

Dividends declared per common share
 
 
 
 
$
.32

 
$
.27

 
$
.24

 
$
.24

 
$
.24

Weighted average common shares outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
1%
 
1%
 
1,339

 
1,324

 
1,315

 
1,303

 
1,285

Diluted
1%
 
1%
 
1,353

 
1,334

 
1,327

 
1,315

 
1,293

Net interest revenue as a percentage of net revenues
 
 
 
 
50
%
 
44
%
 
40
%
 
38
%
 
36
%
Asset management and administration fees as a
percentage of net revenues
 
 
 
 
39
%
 
41
%
 
41
%
 
42
%
 
43
%
Trading revenue as a percentage of net revenues
 
 
 
 
8
%
 
11
%
 
14
%
 
15
%
 
17
%
Effective income tax rate
 
 
 
 
35.5
%
 
36.9
%
 
36.5
%
 
37.5
%
 
37.2
%
Performance Measures
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net revenue growth
 
 
 
 
15
%
 
17
%
 
5
%
 
11
%
 
11
%
Pre-tax profit margin
 
 
 
 
42.4
%
 
40.0
%
 
35.7
%
 
34.9
%
 
31.4
%
Return on average common stockholders’ equity
 
 
 
 
15
%
 
14
%
 
12
%
 
12
%
 
11
%
Financial Condition (at year end)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
14%
 
9%
 
$
243,274

 
$
223,383

 
$
183,705

 
$
154,635

 
$
143,633

Short-term borrowings
N/M
 
N/M
 
$
15,000

 

 

 

 

Long-term debt
26%
 
65%
 
$
4,753

 
$
2,876

 
$
2,877

 
$
1,892

 
$
1,894

Preferred stock
34%
 
 
$
2,793

 
$
2,783

 
$
1,459

 
$
872

 
$
869

Total stockholders’ equity
16%
 
13%
 
$
18,525

 
$
16,421

 
$
13,402

 
$
11,803

 
$
10,381

Assets to stockholders’ equity ratio
 
 
 
 
13

 
14

 
14

 
13

 
14

Debt to total capital ratio (2)
 
 
 
 
52
%
 
15
%
 
18
%
 
14
%
 
15
%
Employee Information
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Full-time equivalent employees (in thousands,
at year end)
6%
 
9%
 
17.6

 
16.2

 
15.3

 
14.6

 
13.8

(1) The Compounded 4-year growth rate is computed using the formula: Compound annual growth rate = (Ending Value / Beginning Value) .25 – 1.
(2) The Debt to total capital ratio is computed using the formula: Total Debt (short and long-term) / (Total Debt + Stockholders’ Equity).
N/M Not meaningful.


- 18 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations


FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

In addition to historical information, this Annual Report on Form 10-K contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are identified by words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “will,” “may,” “estimate,” “appear,” “aim,” “target,” “seek”, “could,” “would,” “continue,” and other similar expressions. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections, or other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s beliefs, objectives, and expectations as of the date hereof, are estimates based on the best judgment of Schwab’s senior management. These statements relate to, among other things:

Schwab seeking to maximize its market valuation and stockholder returns over time; the belief that developing trusted relationships will translate into more client assets which drives revenue and, along with expense discipline, generates earnings growth and builds stockholder value; and Schwab’s ability to pursue its business strategy and maintain its market leadership position; (see Business Strategy and Competitive Environment in Part I, Item 1);
The impact of legal proceedings and regulatory matters (see Legal Proceedings in Part I, Item 3 and Item 8 – Note 13);
The adjustment of rates paid on client-related liabilities; the stability, rate sensitivity, and duration of client-related liabilities; the opportunity to migrate non-rate sensitive cash in sweep money market funds to banking subsidiaries; increasing the duration of interest-earning assets; and Schwab’s positioning to benefit from an increase in interest rates and limit its exposure to falling rates; (see Net Interest Revenue in Part II, Item 7);
The estimated net reduction in Schwab’s effective income tax rate for 2018; (see Taxes on Income in Part II, Item 7);
Sources of liquidity, capital, and level of dividends (see Liquidity Risk in Part II, Item 7);
Capital ratios (see Regulatory Capital Requirements in Part II, Item 7);
The impact of changes in management’s estimates on Schwab’s results of operations (see Critical Accounting Estimates in Part II, Item 7);
The expected impact of new accounting standards not yet adopted (see Item 8 – Note 2); and
The impact of changes in the likelihood of indemnification and guarantee payment obligations on Schwab’s results of operations (see Item 8 – Note 13).

Achievement of the expressed beliefs, objectives and expectations described in these statements is subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expressed beliefs, objectives, and expectations. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or, in the case of documents incorporated by reference, as of the date of those documents.

Important factors that may cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to:
General market conditions, including the level of interest rates, equity valuations and trading activity;
Our ability to attract and retain clients, develop trusted relationships, and grow client assets;
Client use of our investment advisory services and other products and services;
The level of client assets, including cash balances;
Competitive pressure on pricing, including deposit rates;
Client sensitivity to interest rates;
Regulatory guidance;
Timing, amount, and impact of the migration of certain balances from sweep money market funds into Schwab Bank;
Changes to tax deductions;
Capital and liquidity needs and management;
Our ability to manage expenses;
The effect of adverse developments in litigation or regulatory matters and the extent of any related charges;
The availability and terms of external financing;

- 19 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


Potential breaches of contractual terms for which we have indemnification and guarantee obligations; and
Our ability to develop and launch new products, services and capabilities in a timely and successful manner. 

Certain of these factors, as well as general risk factors affecting the Company, are discussed in greater detail in Risk Factors in Part I, Item 1A.

- 20 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Active brokerage accounts: Brokerage accounts with activity within the preceding eight months.

Accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI): A component of stockholders’ equity which includes unrealized gains and losses on AFS securities and net gains or losses associated with pension obligations.

Asset-backed securities: Debt securities backed by financial assets such as loans or receivables.

Assets receiving ongoing advisory services: Client relationships under the guidance of independent advisors and assets enrolled in one of Schwab’s retail or other advisory solutions.

Basel III: Global regulatory standards on bank capital adequacy and liquidity issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

Basis point: One basis point equals 1/100th of 1%, or 0.01%.

Client assets: The market value of all client assets in our custody and proprietary products, which includes both cash and securities. Average client assets are the daily average client asset balance for the period.

Client cash as a percentage of client assets: Calculated as money market fund balances, bank deposits, Schwab One® balances, and certain cash equivalents as a percentage of client assets.

Clients’ daily average trades: Includes daily average revenue trades by clients, trades by clients in asset-based pricing relationships, and all commission-free trades.

Common Equity Tier 1 Capital (CET1): The sum of common stock and related surplus net of treasury stock, retained earnings, AOCI and qualifying minority interests, less applicable regulatory adjustments and deductions. Schwab made a one-time election to opt-out of the requirement to include most components of AOCI in CET1 Capital under the “standardized approach” framework.

Common Equity Tier 1 Risk-Based Capital Ratio: The ratio of CET1 Capital to total risk-weighted assets.

Core net new client assets: Net new client assets before significant one-time inflows or outflows, such as acquisitions/divestitures or extraordinary flows (generally greater than $10 billion) relating to a specific client.  

Customer Protection Rule: Refers to Rule 15c3-3 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Daily average revenue trades (DARTs): Total revenue trades during a certain period, divided by the number of trading days in that period. Revenue trades include all client trades that generate trading revenue (i.e., commission revenue or principal transaction revenue).

Debt to total capital ratio: Calculated as total debt divided by stockholders’ equity and total debt.

Delinquency roll rates: The rates at which loans transition through delinquency stages, ultimately resulting in a loss. Schwab considers a loan to be delinquent if it is 30 days or more past due.

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank): Regulatory reform legislation containing numerous provisions which expanded prudential regulation of large financial services companies.

Duration: The expected change in value of a financial instrument for a 1% change in interest rates, expressed in years. 
 
Final Regulatory Capital Rules: Refers to the regulatory capital rules issued by U.S. banking agencies which implemented Basel III and relevant provisions of Dodd-Frank, which apply to savings and loan holding companies, as well as federal savings banks.


- 21 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


First mortgages: Refers to first lien residential real estate mortgage loans.

Full-time equivalent employees: Represents the total number of hours worked divided by a 40-hour work week for the following categories: full-time, part-time and temporary employees and persons employed on a contract basis.

High quality liquid assets (HQLA): Assets with a high potential to be converted easily and quickly into cash.

Interest-bearing liabilities: Includes bank deposits, payables to brokerage clients, short-term borrowings, and long-term debt on which Schwab pays interest.

Interest-earning assets: Includes cash and cash equivalents, cash and investments segregated, broker-related receivables, receivables from brokerage clients, investment securities, and bank loans on which Schwab earns interest.

Investment grade: Defined as a rating equivalent to a Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) rating of “Baa” or higher, or a Standard & Poor’s Rating Group (Standard & Poor’s) or Fitch Ratings, Ltd (Fitch) rating of “BBB-” or higher.

Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR): The ratio of HQLA to projected net cash outflows during a 30-day stress scenario.

Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio: Calculated as the principal amount of a loan divided by the value of the collateral securing the loan.

Margin loans: Advances made to brokerage clients on a secured basis to purchase securities reflected in receivables from brokerage clients on the consolidated balance sheets.

Master netting arrangement: An agreement between two counterparties that have multiple contracts with each other that provides for net settlement of all contracts through a single cash payment in the event of default or termination of any one contract.

Mortgage-backed securities: A type of asset-backed security that is secured by a mortgage or group of mortgages.

Net interest margin: Net interest revenue divided by average interest-earning assets.

Net new client assets: Total inflows of client cash and securities to Schwab less client outflows. Inflows include dividends and interest; outflows include commissions and fees. Capital gains distributions are excluded.

Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR): Measures an organization’s “available” amount of stable funding relative to its “required” amount of stable funding over a one-year time horizon.

New brokerage accounts: All brokerage accounts opened during the period, as well as any accounts added via acquisition.

Nonperforming assets: The total of nonaccrual loans and other real estate owned.

Order flow revenue: Net compensation received from markets and firms to which the broker-dealer subsidiaries send equity and options orders. Reflects rebates received for certain types of orders, minus fees paid for types of orders for which exchange fees or other charges apply.

Pledged Asset Line® (PAL): A non-purpose revolving line of credit from Schwab Bank secured by eligible assets held in a separate pledged brokerage account maintained at the broker-dealer subsidiaries.

Return on average common stockholders’ equity: Calculated as net income available to common stockholders annualized divided by average common stockholders’ equity.

Risk-weighted assets: Computed by assigning specific risk-weightings to assets and off-balance sheet instruments for capital adequacy calculations.


- 22 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


Tier 1 Capital: The sum of CET1 Capital and additional Tier 1 Capital instruments and related surplus, less applicable adjustments and deductions.

Tier 1 Leverage Ratio: Tier 1 end of period capital divided by adjusted average total consolidated assets for the quarter.

Trading days: Days in which the markets/exchanges are open for the buying and selling of securities. Early market closures are counted as half-days.

U.S. federal banking agencies: Refers to the Federal Reserve, the OCC, the FDIC, and the CFPB.

Uniform Net Capital Rule: Refers to Rule 15c3-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which specifies minimum capital requirements that are intended to ensure the general financial soundness and liquidity of broker-dealers.

- 23 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


OVERVIEW

Management focuses on several client activity and financial metrics in evaluating Schwab’s financial position and operating performance. We believe that metrics relating to net new and total client assets, as well as client cash levels and utilization of advisory services, offer perspective on our business momentum and client engagement. Data on new and total client brokerage accounts provides additional perspective on our ability to attract and retain new business. Total net revenue growth, pre-tax profit margin, EPS, and return on average common stockholders’ equity provide broad indicators of Schwab’s overall financial health, operating efficiency, and ability to generate acceptable returns. Total expenses, excluding interest, as a percentage of average client assets, is a measure of operating efficiency. Finally, management believes the Consolidated Tier 1 Leverage Ratio is the most restrictive capital constraint currently imposed by regulators. Results for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015 are:
 
Growth Rate
1-Year
2016-2017
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Client Metrics:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net new client assets (in billions)
86%
 
$
233.1

 
$
125.5

 
$
139.4

Core net new client assets (in billions) (1)
58%
 
$
198.6

 
$
125.5

 
$
134.7

Client assets (in billions, at year end)
21%
 
$
3,361.8

 
$
2,779.5

 
$
2,513.8

Average client assets (in billions)
17%
 
$
3,060.2

 
$
2,614.7

 
$
2,531.8

New brokerage accounts (in thousands)
32%
 
1,441

 
1,093

 
1,070

Active brokerage accounts (in thousands, at year end)
6%
 
10,755

 
10,155

 
9,769

Assets receiving ongoing advisory services (in billions, at year end)
21%
 
$
1,699.8

 
$
1,401.4

 
$
1,253.7

Client cash as a percentage of client assets (at year end)
 
 
10.8
%
 
13.0
%
 
13.0
%
Company Financial Metrics:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total net revenues
15%
 
$
8,618

 
$
7,478

 
$
6,380

Total expenses excluding interest
11%
 
4,968

 
4,485

 
4,101

Income before taxes on income
22%
 
3,650

 
2,993

 
2,279

Taxes on income
17%
 
1,296

 
1,104

 
832

Net income
25%
 
$
2,354

 
$
1,889

 
$
1,447

Preferred stock dividends and other
22%
 
174

 
143

 
83

Net income available to common stockholders
25%
 
$
2,180

 
$
1,746

 
$
1,364

Earnings per common share  diluted
23%
 
$
1.61

 
$
1.31

 
$
1.03

Net revenue growth from prior year
 
 
15
%
 
17
%
 
5
%
Pre-tax profit margin
 
 
42.4
%
 
40.0
%
 
35.7
%
Return on average common stockholders’ equity
 
 
15
%
 
14
%
 
12
%
Expenses excluding interest as a percentage of average client assets

 
 
0.16
%
 
0.17
%
 
0.16
%
Consolidated Tier 1 Leverage Ratio (at year end)
 
 
7.6
%
 
7.2
%
 
7.1
%
(1) 2017 excludes an inflow of $34.5 billion relating to mutual fund clearing services clients. 2015 excludes an inflow of $6.1 billion to reflect the final impact of the consolidation of its retirement plan recordkeeping platforms, an inflow of $10.2 billion relating to a mutual fund clearing services client, and an outflow of $11.6 billion relating to the Company’s planned resignation from an Advisor Services cash management relationship netting to an adjustment of ($4.7) billion.

2017 Compared to 2016

Net income available to common stockholders rose in 2017 by $434 million, or 25%, from the prior year, resulting in diluted EPS of $1.61 in 2017 – an increase of 23% compared to $1.31 in 2016. Net revenues improved by $1.1 billion, or 15%, while expenses excluding interest increased $483 million, or 11%, compared to 2016.

Our steady focus on operating ‘through clients’ eyes’ and our goal to continually challenge the status quo helped Schwab achieve another strong growth year in 2017. Clients opened 1.4 million new brokerage accounts in 2017 and trusted Schwab with $198.6 billion of core net new assets in 2017, up 58% from 2016. Total assets receiving ongoing advisory services grew 21% in 2017 to $1.70 trillion. Our success with clients was bolstered by strength in the equity markets – the Standard & Poor’s 500® Index (S&P 500) finished 2017 up 19% from the prior year end. Also in 2017, the Federal Reserve increased

- 24 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


the overnight federal funds target interest rate three times for a total of 75 basis points. Strong client activity and the positive economic environment resulted in total client assets rising to $3.36 trillion as of December 31, 2017 – a 21% increase since the end of 2016.

Schwab’s 2017 financial results demonstrate the power of our financial formula working as designed: our robust business growth supported strong revenue growth through multiple sources in 2017, which we combined with continued expense discipline to drive significantly improved profitability.

Net revenues grew by 15% in 2017 compared to 2016 through contributions from our two largest revenue sources. Net interest revenue rose 29% while asset management and administration fees grew 11% in 2017 when compared to the prior year. Trading revenue declined in 2017 by 21% due to price reductions announced early in 2017.

Consistent with our expectations, expenses grew 11% in 2017 compared to the prior year. This increase was primarily due to higher incentive compensation and higher staffing related to our strong asset gathering, as well as expenses related to project spending and third-party fees tied to higher balances in our asset management business.

This combination of revenue growth and expense discipline drove the pre-tax profit margin to 42.4% – an increase of 240 basis points over the prior year. Earnings before income taxes rose 22% to $3.7 billion in 2017 compared to $3.0 billion in the prior year.

The effective tax rate in 2017 was 35.5% compared to 36.9% in 2016 reflecting the benefit from the adoption of new accounting standards requiring the recognition of a portion of tax deductions related to equity compensation partially offset by the remeasurement of deferred tax assets and other tax adjustments associated with the enactment in 2017 of a new tax act (see Current Regulatory Environment and Other Developments for more information).

2016 Compared to 2015

In 2016, net income available to common stockholders increased $382 million, or 28%, from the prior year, resulting in diluted EPS of $1.31 in 2016 compared to $1.03 in 2015. Net revenues improved by $1.1 billion, or 17%, while expenses excluding interest increased $384 million, or 9%, compared to 2015.

Strong client momentum continued as our innovative, full-service model resonated with clients and drove growth during the year. We added 1.1 million new brokerage accounts to our client base during 2016, which contributed to bringing the total active brokerage accounts to 10.2 million by year-end. Core net new assets from new and existing clients totaled $125.5 billion in 2016, which helped grow total client assets to $2.78 trillion as of December 31, 2016. Also during 2016, investors increasingly turned to Schwab’s advice offerings resulting in a 12% increase in client assets enrolled in one of our retail advisory solutions and those guided by independent advisors, to $1.40 trillion at the end of the year.

Client assets grew by 11% during an environment that had periods of marked volatility, but ultimately included improving economic conditions. The S&P 500 ended 2016 10% higher than the prior year end. After years of ultra-low interest rates, the Federal Reserve’s move to increase the overnight federal funds target rate by 25 basis points in December 2015 helped throughout 2016; the Federal Reserve’s subsequent additional 25 basis point increase in December 2016 had little time to impact 2016 results. Other short-term rates also rose in 2016. The one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) improved 34 basis points to .77% at December 31, 2016 compared to December 31, 2015.

These external drivers and the solid client growth helped produce strong net revenue growth. Schwab’s 17% net revenue growth was led by increased net interest revenue and asset management and administration fees, which more than offset lower revenue from trading and other revenue. Net interest revenue improved $797 million, or 32%, in 2016 compared to 2015, and asset management and administration fees improved $405 million, or 15%.

Strong net revenue growth provided room for increased investment in people and technology, resulting in a 9% expense growth for 2016. This increase allowed for a 780 basis point gap between net revenue and expense growth and a pre-tax profit margin of 40.0% in 2016, compared to 35.7% in 2015.


- 25 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


Subsequent Event

On February 8, 2018, CSC redeemed all of its outstanding 1.500% Senior Notes due March 10, 2018. The aggregate principal amount of the notes was $625 million.

Current Regulatory Environment and Other Developments

On December 22, 2017, P.L.115-97, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Tax Act), was signed into law. Among other things, the Tax Act lowers the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, effective for tax years including or commencing January 1, 2018.

As a result of the reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate, generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (GAAP) require companies to remeasure their deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities as of the date of enactment, with the resulting tax effects accounted for in the reporting period of enactment. Schwab has recorded a one-time non-cash charge to taxes on income associated with the remeasurement of net deferred tax assets and other tax adjustments related to the tax reform legislation in the fourth quarter of 2017. Our 2018 effective income tax rate will be reduced as a result of these changes.

In May 2016, the Federal Reserve, the OCC and the FDIC jointly issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would impose a minimum NSFR on certain banking organizations, including CSC. The comment period for the proposed rule ended on August 5, 2016 and the impact to the Company cannot be assessed until the final rule is released.

In October 2015, the Federal Reserve issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity and long-term debt that, among other things, would have required certain financial institutions that are subject to the Federal Reserve’s capital rules to deduct from their regulatory capital the amount of any investments in or exposure to unsecured debt issued by U.S. bank holding companies identified as global systemically important banking organizations (GSIBs). In December 2016, the Federal Reserve issued a final rule that did not include this regulatory capital deduction proposal. At the same time, the Federal Reserve did indicate its intent to work with the OCC and FDIC to develop a proposed interagency approach towards the regulatory capital treatment of GSIB unsecured debt. The Company will evaluate any such proposal when it is issued.

- 26 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Total Net Revenues

Total net revenues of $8.6 billion and $7.5 billion for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively, grew 15% and 17% from the prior periods, reflecting significant improvements in both net interest revenue and asset management and administration fees.
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
Growth Rate
2016-2017
 
Amount
% of
Total Net
Revenues
 
Amount
% of
Total Net
Revenues
 
Amount
% of
Total Net
Revenues
Net interest revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest revenue
32
 %
 
$
4,624

54
 %
 
$
3,493

46
 %
 
$
2,657

42
 %
Interest expense
100
 %
 
(342
)
(4
)%
 
(171
)
(2
)%
 
(132
)
(2
)%
Net interest revenue
29
 %
 
4,282

50
 %
 
3,322

44
 %
 
2,525

40
 %
Asset management and administration fees
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mutual fund and ETF service fees
10
 %
 
$
2,045

24
 %
 
1,853

25
 %
 
1,479

23
 %
Advice solutions
14
 %
 
1,043

12
 %
 
915

12
 %
 
898

14
 %
Other
6
 %
 
304

3
 %
 
287

4
 %
 
273

4
 %
Asset management and administration fees
11
 %
 
3,392

39
 %
 
3,055

41
 %
 
2,650

41
 %
Trading revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Commissions
(23
)%
 
600

7
 %
 
779

10
 %
 
822

13
 %
Principal transactions
17
 %
 
54

1
 %
 
46

1
 %
 
44

1
 %
Trading revenue
(21
)%
 
654

8
 %
 
825

11
 %
 
866

14
 %
Other
7
 %
 
290

3
 %
 
271

4
 %
 
328

5
 %
Provision for loan losses
(100
)%
 


 
5


 
11


Total net revenues
15
 %
 
$
8,618

100
 %
 
$
7,478

100
 %
 
$
6,380

100
 %

Net Interest Revenue

Schwab’s primary interest-earning assets include cash and cash equivalents; cash and investments segregated; margin loans, which constitute the majority of receivables from brokerage clients; investment securities; and bank loans. Revenue on interest-earning assets is affected by various factors, such as the composition of assets, prevailing interest rates at the time of origination or purchase, changes in interest rates on floating rate securities, and changes in prepayment levels for mortgage-related securities and loans. Fees earned on securities borrowing and lending activities, which are conducted by CS&Co on assets held in client brokerage accounts, are included in other interest revenue and expense.

Schwab’s interest-bearing liabilities include bank deposits, payables to brokerage clients, short-term borrowings, and long-term debt. We establish the rates paid on client-related liabilities, and management expects that it will generally adjust the rates paid on these liabilities at some fraction of any movement in short-term rates. Client-related liabilities have historically been very stable and are largely expected to remain so. Given the stability and low rate sensitivity of these liabilities, management believes their duration is relatively long, somewhere in excess of three and a half years.

Management believes that the extended period of extraordinarily low interest rates running from the financial crisis to the present has likely resulted in certain sweep cash balances retaining some level of latent rate sensitivity. To the extent short-term rates increase, management expects some sweep cash balances to migrate to purchased money market funds or other higher-yielding alternatives. At the same time, Schwab will retain the opportunity to migrate the remaining non-rate sensitive cash in sweep money market funds to bank sweep deposits.

We have positioned Schwab to benefit from an increase in interest rates, especially short-term interest rates, by managing the duration of interest-earning assets to be shorter than that of interest-bearing liabilities, so that asset yields will move faster than liability costs.

In order to keep interest-rate sensitivity within established limits, management monitors and responds to changes in the balance sheet. As Schwab builds its client base, we attract new client sweep cash, which, along with the bulk transfer of

- 27 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


existing sweep cash balances from money market funds, is a primary driver of balance sheet growth. As the proportion of sweep cash balances to total liabilities has grown, the measured duration of liabilities has grown as well. By increasing the duration of interest-earning assets as necessary, we are positioned to continue to gain from increasing rates while limiting exposure to falling rates to an acceptable level. Approximately half of our investment securities and loans re-price or reset based on short-term interest rates such as one-month LIBOR. 

Non-interest-bearing funding sources include certain cash balances, stockholders’ equity and other miscellaneous assets and liabilities.

The following table presents net interest revenue information corresponding to interest-earning assets and funding sources on the consolidated balance sheets:
Year Ended December 31,
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
Average
Balance
 
Interest
Revenue/
Expense
 
Average
Yield/
Rate
 
Average
Balance
 
Interest Revenue/
Expense
 
Average
Yield/
Rate
 
Average
Balance
 
Interest Revenue/
Expense
 
Average
Yield/
Rate
Interest-earning assets:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
9,931

 
$
109

 
1.10
%
 
$
11,143

 
$
57

 
0.51
%
 
$
9,358

 
$
24

 
0.26
%
Cash and investments segregated
18,525

 
166

 
0.90
%
 
20,104

 
93

 
0.46
%
 
18,606

 
31

 
0.17
%
Broker-related receivables (1)
430

 
3

 
0.70
%
 
558

 
1

 
0.22
%
 
274

 

 
0.07
%
Receivables from brokerage clients
16,269

 
575

 
3.53
%
 
15,001

 
497

 
3.31
%
 
15,212

 
502

 
3.30
%
Available for sale securities (2)
53,040

 
815

 
1.54
%
 
72,586

 
883

 
1.22
%
 
62,249

 
629

 
1.01
%
Held to maturity securities
103,599

 
2,354

 
2.27
%
 
57,451

 
1,402

 
2.44
%
 
38,280

 
957

 
2.50
%
Bank loans
15,919

 
472

 
2.97
%
 
14,715

 
400

 
2.72
%
 
13,973

 
369

 
2.64
%
Total interest-earning assets
217,713

 
4,494

 
2.06
%
 
191,558

 
3,333

 
1.74
%
 
157,952

 
2,512

 
1.59
%
Other interest revenue
 
 
130

 
 
 
 
 
160

 
 
 
 
 
145

 
 
Total interest-earning assets
$
217,713

 
$
4,624

 
2.12
%
 
$
191,558

 
$
3,493

 
1.82
%
 
$
157,952

 
$
2,657

 
1.68
%
Funding sources:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bank deposits
$
163,998

 
$
148

 
0.09
%
 
$
141,432

 
$
37

 
0.03
%
 
$
113,464

 
$
29

 
0.03
%
Payables to brokerage clients
25,403

 
16

 
0.06
%
 
26,311

 
3

 
0.01
%
 
25,651

 
2

 
0.01
%
Short-term borrowings (1)
3,503

 
41

 
1.17
%
 
1,864

 
9

 
0.48
%
 
21

 

 
0.27
%
Long-term debt
3,431

 
119

 
3.47
%
 
2,876

 
104

 
3.62
%
 
2,717

 
92

 
3.39
%
Total interest-bearing liabilities
196,335

 
324

 
0.17
%
 
172,483

 
153

 
0.09
%
 
141,853

 
123

 
0.09
%
Non-interest-bearing funding sources
21,378

 
 
 
 
 
19,075

 
 
 
 
 
16,099

 
 
 
 
Other interest expense
 
 
18

 
 
 
 
 
18

 
 
 
 
 
9

 
 
Total funding sources
$
217,713

 
$
342

 
0.15
%
 
$
191,558

 
$
171

 
0.09
%
 
$
157,952

 
$
132

 
0.08
%
Net interest revenue
 
 
$
4,282

 
1.97
%
 
 
 
$
3,322

 
1.73
%
 
 
 
$
2,525

 
1.60
%
(1) Interest revenue or expense was less than $500,000 in the period or periods presented.
(2) Amounts calculated based on amortized cost.

Net interest revenue increased $960 million or 29%, in 2017 from 2016, and $797 million, or 32%, in 2016 from 2015, primarily due to higher interest rates and growth in interest-earning assets driven by bank deposits.

Higher short-term interest rates reflecting the Federal Reserve’s December, June, and March 2017 and December 2016 interest rate hikes, coupled with growth in interest-earning assets, have resulted in a 24 basis point improvement in net interest margin to 1.97% in 2017. Net interest margin was 1.73% in 2016, representing an improvement of 13 basis points compared to 2015.



- 28 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


In 2017 and 2016, average interest earning assets have grown by 14% and 21%, respectively, from the prior years. This growth has been driven primarily by higher bank deposits, which increased through a combination of: 

Gathering additional assets from new and current clients;
Transferring uninvested cash balances in certain client brokerage accounts to the bank sweep feature; and
Establishing the bank sweep feature as the default investment option for uninvested cash balances within all new Investor and Advisor Services brokerage accounts during 2016.

In 2017, clients allocated more of their cash to equity, fixed income and other investments which affected growth in bank sweep deposits.

In March 2017, $24.7 billion of debt securities were transferred from the AFS category to the HTM category. The transfer had no effect on the overall net interest margin. For additional information on the transfer, see Item 8 – Note 5.

Asset Management and Administration Fees

Asset management and administration fees include mutual fund and ETF service fees and fees for other asset-based financial services provided to individual and institutional clients. Schwab earns mutual fund and ETF service fees for shareholder services, administration, and investment management provided to its proprietary funds, and recordkeeping and shareholder services provided to third-party funds. Asset management and administration fees are based upon the daily balances of client assets invested in these funds and do not include securities lending revenues earned by proprietary mutual funds and ETFs, as those amounts, net of program fees, are credited to the fund shareholders. The fair values of client assets included in proprietary and third-party mutual funds and ETFs are based on quoted market prices and other observable market data.

We also earn asset management fees for advice solutions, which include managed portfolios, specialized strategies, and customized investment advice. Other asset management and administration fees include various asset-based fees such as trust fees, 401(k) recordkeeping fees, mutual fund clearing fees, collective trust fund fees, and non-balance based service and transaction fees.

Asset management and administration fees vary with changes in the balances of client assets due to market fluctuations and client activity.

The following table presents a roll forward of client assets for the Schwab money market funds, Schwab equity and bond funds and ETFs, and Mutual Fund OneSource® and other non-transaction fee (NTF) funds. The following funds generated 53% of the asset management and administration fees earned during 2017 and 2016 and 47% during 2015:
 
 
Schwab Money
 
Schwab Equity and
 
Mutual Fund OneSource®
 
 
Market Funds
 
Bond Funds and ETFs
 
and Other NTF (1) Funds
Year Ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Balance at beginning of period
 
$
163,495

 
$
166,148

 
$
167,909

 
$
125,813

 
$
102,112

 
$
88,450

 
$
198,924

 
$
207,654

 
$
234,381

Net inflows (outflows)
 
(486
)
 
(2,765
)
 
(1,947
)
 
30,771

 
13,858

 
15,542

 
(27,485
)
 
(22,469
)
 
(23,014
)
Net market gains (losses) and other (2)
 
641

 
112

 
186

 
25,024

 
9,843

 
(1,880
)
 
53,763

 
13,739

 
(3,713
)
Balance at end of period
 
$
163,650

 
$
163,495

 
$
166,148

 
$
181,608

 
$
125,813

 
$
102,112

 
$
225,202

 
$
198,924

 
$
207,654

(1) Non-transaction fee.
(2) Includes transfers from other third-party mutual funds to Mutual Fund OneSource® in the second quarter of 2017.

- 29 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)



The following table presents asset management and administration fees, average client assets, and average fee yields:
Year Ended December 31,
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
Average
Client
Assets
 
Revenue
 
Average
Fee
 
Average
Client
Assets
 
Revenue
 
Average
Fee
 
Average
Client
Assets
 
Revenue
 
Average
Fee
Schwab money market funds
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
before fee waivers
$
160,735

 
$
875

 
0.54
%
 
$
164,120

 
$
962

 
0.59
%
 
$
161,381

 
$
947

 
0.59
%
Fee waivers
 
 
(10
)
 
 
 
 
 
(224
)
 
 
 
 
 
(672
)
 
 
Schwab money market funds
160,735

 
865

 
0.54
%
 
164,120

 
738

 
0.45
%
 
161,381

 
275

 
0.17
%
Schwab equity and bond funds and ETFs
158,625

 
223

 
0.14
%
 
115,849

 
217

 
0.19
%
 
102,486

 
217

 
0.21
%
Mutual Fund OneSource® and other
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NTF funds
215,333

 
706

 
0.33
%
 
199,389

 
676

 
0.34
%
 
225,347

 
764

 
0.34
%
Other third-party mutual funds and ETFs (1)
286,111

 
251

 
0.09
%
 
254,584

 
222

 
0.09
%
 
251,491

 
223

 
0.09
%
Total mutual funds and ETFs (2)
$
820,804

 
2,045

 
0.25
%
 
$
733,942

 
1,853

 
0.25
%
 
$
740,705

 
1,479

 
0.20
%
Advice solutions (2) :
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fee-based
$
203,794

 
1,043

 
0.51
%
 
$
177,409

 
915

 
0.52
%
 
$
172,302

 
898

 
0.52
%
Non-fee-based
48,936

 

 

 
35,262

 

 

 
29,118

 

 

Total advice solutions
$
252,730

 
1,043

 
0.41
%
 
$
212,671

 
915

 
0.43
%
 
$
201,420

 
898

 
0.45
%
Other balance-based fees (3)
417,659

 
258

 
0.06
%
 
339,071

 
235

 
0.07
%
 
324,701

 
226

 
0.07
%
Other (4)
 
 
46

 
 
 
 
 
52

 
 
 
 
 
47

 
 
Total asset management
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
and administration fees
 
 
$
3,392

 
 
 
 
 
$
3,055

 
 
 
 
 
$
2,650

 
 
(1) Includes Schwab ETF OneSource.
(2) Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2017, a change was made to add non-fee based average assets from managed portfolios. Average client assets for advice solutions may also include the asset balances contained in the mutual fund and/or ETF categories listed above. Prior periods have been adjusted to accommodate this change.
(3) Includes various asset-related fees, such as trust fees, 401(k) recordkeeping fees, and mutual fund clearing fees and other service fees. Beginning in the first quarter of 2017, a prospective methodology change was made to average client assets relating to 401(k) recordkeeping fees to provide improved insight into the associated fee driver, which resulted in an increase of approximately $25 billion. There was no impact to revenue or the average fee.
(4) Includes miscellaneous service and transaction fees relating to mutual funds and ETFs that are not balance-based.

Asset management and administration fees increased by $337 million, or 11%, in 2017 from 2016, primarily due to higher average client assets invested in advice solutions, mutual funds, and ETFs, and lower fee waivers on money market funds. Partially offsetting these increases were lower fee rates on proprietary money funds and other indexed mutual funds and ETFs due to fee reductions implemented by Schwab in 2017.

Asset management and administration fees increased by $405 million, or 15%, in 2016 from 2015 due to higher net yields on money market fund assets as short-term interest rates rose in 2016, and growth in client assets enrolled in advisory offers, partially offset by a reduction in client assets in Mutual Fund OneSource.

Trading Revenue

Trading revenue includes commission and principal transaction revenues. Commission revenue is affected by the number of revenue trades executed and the average revenue earned per revenue trade. Principal transaction revenue is primarily comprised of revenue from trading activity in fixed income securities with clients. To accommodate clients’ fixed income trading activity, Schwab maintains positions in fixed income securities, including U.S. state and municipal debt obligations, U.S. Government and corporate debt, and other securities. The difference between the price at which the Company buys and sells securities to and from its clients and other broker-dealers is recognized as principal transaction revenue. Principal transaction revenue also includes adjustments to the fair value of these securities positions.


- 30 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


The following table presents trading revenue and the related drivers:
Year Ended December 31,
Growth Rate
2016-2017

 
2017

 
2016

 
2015

DARTs (in thousands)
10
 %
 
321.3

 
291.6

 
292.0

Clients’ daily average trades (in thousands)
8
 %
 
608.8

 
561.8

 
536.9

Number of trading days
(1
)%
 
250.0

 
251.5

 
251.0

Daily average revenue per revenue trade
(27
)%
 
$
8.20

 
$
11.23

 
$
11.83

Trading revenue
(21
)%
 
$
654

 
$
825

 
$
866


Trading revenue decreased by $171 million and $41 million in 2017 and 2016, respectively, when compared to the prior years primarily due to lower commissions rates on DARTs.

During the first quarter of 2017, we announced two trading price reductions which lowered standard equity, ETF, and option trade commissions from $8.95 to $4.95 and lowered the per contract option fee from $.75 to $.65. These reductions in commission rates reflect our continuing belief that pricing should never be an obstacle for choosing Schwab and our commitment to share the benefits of scale with clients.

With these changes, trading revenue has declined from a peak of 50%-60% of total revenue in the early 1990’s to the current low of 8% in 2017, 11% in 2016 and 14% in 2015.

Other Revenue

Other revenue includes order flow revenue, other service fees, software fees from our portfolio management solutions, exchange processing fees, and nonrecurring gains.

Order flow revenue was $114 million during 2017, and $103 million for both 2016 and 2015. In 2016 and 2015, other revenue also included net litigation proceeds of $16 and $75 million, respectively, relating to our non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities portfolios.


- 31 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


Total Expenses Excluding Interest

The following table shows a comparison of total expenses excluding interest:
 
Growth Rate 2016-2017
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Compensation and benefits
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Salaries and wages
9
 %
 
$
1,496

 
$
1,368

 
$
1,258

Incentive compensation
16
 %
 
797

 
689

 
618

Employee benefits and other
9
 %
 
444

 
409

 
365

Total compensation and benefits
11
 %
 
$
2,737

 
$
2,466

 
$
2,241

Professional services
15
 %
 
580

 
506

 
459

Occupancy and equipment
10
 %
 
436

 
398

 
353

Advertising and market development
1
 %
 
268

 
265

 
249

Communications
(3
)%
 
231

 
237

 
233

Depreciation and amortization
15
 %
 
269

 
234

 
224

Regulatory fees and assessments
24
 %
 
179

 
144

 
107

Other
14
 %
 
268

 
235

 
235

Total expenses excluding interest
11
 %
 
$
4,968

 
$
4,485

 
$
4,101

Expenses as a percentage of total net revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Compensation and benefits
 
 
32
%
 
33
%
 
35
%
Advertising and market development
 
 
3
%
 
4
%
 
4
%
Full-time equivalent employees (in thousands):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
At year end
9
 %
 
17.6

 
16.2

 
15.3

Average
6
 %
 
16.9

 
15.9

 
15.1

໿

Expenses excluding interest increased in 2017 and 2016 from the prior years by 11% and 9%, respectively. The largest drivers of the increase in both years were compensation and benefits and professional services.

Salaries and wages increased in 2017 and 2016 from the prior years, primarily due to increases in employee headcount to support the growth in the business and annual salary increases.

Incentive compensation increased in 2017 and 2016 from the prior years, primarily due to increased net client asset flows and increased employee headcount.

Employee benefits and other expenses increased in 2017 and 2016 from the prior years as a result of the increases in employee headcount, salaries, wages and incentive compensation.

Professional services expense increased in 2017 and 2016 from the prior years, primarily due to higher spending on technology projects and an increase in asset management and administration related expenses resulting from growth in the Schwab Funds® and Schwab ETFs™.

Occupancy and equipment expense increased in 2017 and 2016 from the prior years, primarily due to increased software maintenance expense relating to information technology systems and increases in facility operational expenses attributable to growth in Schwab’s geographic footprint.

Depreciation and amortization expenses were higher in 2017 and 2016 from the prior years, due to higher amortization of internally developed software associated with our investment in software and technology enhancements.


- 32 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


Regulatory fees assessments increased in 2017 and 2016 from the prior years, primarily due to an increase in FDIC insurance assessments which rose as a result of higher bank deposits and the effect of a new surcharge that commenced in the third quarter of 2016.

Other expenses have increased in 2017 from the prior year due to travel and entertainment, asset volume-related increases, and some miscellaneous items.

Capital expenditures were $412 million, $353 million, and $285 million in 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively. The increase in capital expenditures in both 2017 and 2016 from the prior years was due to our growing geographical expansion in the U.S. and investments in technology projects. The largest component of capital expenditures was capitalized costs for developing internal-use software of $157 million, $130 million, and $107 million in 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively.

Taxes on Income

Effective January 1, 2017, Schwab adopted Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-09, which prospectively changes the accounting treatment of a portion of the tax deductions relating to equity compensation. These deductions were previously reflected directly in additional paid-in capital, a component of stockholders’ equity, and are now included in taxes on income, a component of net income. As a result of this change, our tax expense was reduced by approximately $87 million in 2017. Future effects will depend on our share price, restricted stock vesting, and the volume of equity incentive options exercised.

As previously discussed under Current Regulatory Environment and Other Developments, the Tax Act was signed into law during 2017. Among other things, the Tax Act lowers the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, effective for tax years including or commencing January 1, 2018.

In connection with our initial analysis of the impact of the Tax Act, Schwab recognized a $46 million one-time non-cash charge to taxes on income in the fourth quarter of 2017 associated with the remeasurement of net deferred tax assets and other tax adjustments related to the Tax Act.

Schwab’s effective income tax rate on income before taxes was 35.5% in 2017 compared to 36.9% in 2016. The decrease in rates between the two years reflects the net impact of the above two items. The effective rate in 2015 was 36.5%.

We estimate our effective income tax rate to be between 23% and 24% in 2018 as a result of the Tax Act.

Segment Information

Schwab provides financial services to individuals and institutional clients through two segments – Investor Services and Advisor Services. The Investor Services segment provides retail brokerage and banking services, retirement plan services, and other corporate brokerage services to individual investors. The Advisor Services segment provides custodial, trading, banking, and support services as well as retirement business services to independent RIAs, independent retirement advisors and recordkeepers. Revenues and expenses are attributed to the two segments based on which segment services the client. Management evaluates the performance of the segments on a pre-tax basis. Segment assets and liabilities are not used for evaluating segment performance or in deciding how to allocate resources to segments. Net revenues in both segments are generated from the underlying client assets and trading activity; differences in the composition of net revenues between the segments are based on the composition of client assets, client trading frequency, and pricing unique to each. While both segments leverage the scale and efficiency of our platforms, segment expenses reflect the dynamics of serving millions of clients in Investor Services versus the thousands of RIAs on the advisor platform.


- 33 -


THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(Tabular Amounts in Millions, Except Ratios, or as Noted)


Financial information for our segments is presented in the following table:
 
 
Investor Services
 
Advisor Services
 
Total
 
 
Growth Rate
2016-2017
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
Growth Rate
2016-2017
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
Growth Rate
2016-2017
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net interest revenue
 
25
 %
 
$
3,231

 
$
2,591

 
$
2,133

 
44
 %
 
$
1,051

 
$
731

 
$
392

 
29
 %
 
$
4,282

 
$