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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

OR

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

FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                      TO

Commission File Number 001-38184

 

CAMBRIDGE BANCORP

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

 

Massachusetts

04-2777442

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

1336 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA

02138

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (617) 876-5500

 

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

 

Common Stock

CATC

NASDAQ

(Title of each class)

(Trading symbol)

(Name of each exchange on which registered)

 

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

None

(Title of class)

 

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 15(d) of the Act.    Yes     No  

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

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

☐ 

  

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.   

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes     No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act  (15 U.S.C. 726.2(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes   No  

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, based on the closing price of the shares of common stock on The NASDAQ Stock Market on June 30, 2020, was $378.5 million. The number of shares of Registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of March 12, 2021 was 6,960,194.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement relating to the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, scheduled to be held on May 17, 2021, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

1

Item 1.

Business

2

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

13

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

22

Item 2.

Properties

22

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

22

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

22

 

 

 

PART II

 

23

Item 5.

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

23

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

25

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

26

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

49

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

50

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

107

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

107

Item 9B.

Other Information

108

 

 

 

PART III

 

109

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

109

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

109

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

109

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

109

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

109

 

 

 

PART IV

 

110

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

110

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

112

Signatures

 

113

 

 

 

i

 


 

 

PART I

Unless the context requires otherwise, all references to the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our,” refer to Cambridge Bancorp.

Forward-Looking Statements

This report contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements about the Company and its industry involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Statements other than statements of current or historical fact, including statements regarding the Company’s future financial condition, results of operations, business plans, liquidity, cash flows, projected costs, and the impact of any laws or regulations applicable to the Company, are forward-looking statements. Words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “may,” “will,” “should,” and other similar expressions are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

national, regional, and local economic conditions may be less favorable than expected, resulting in, among other things, increased charge offs of loans, higher provisions for credit losses and/or reduced demand for the Company’s services;

 

disruptions to the credit and financial markets, either nationally or globally;

 

the duration and scope of the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic and its impact on levels of consumer confidence;

 

actions governments, businesses and individuals take in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;

 

the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken in response to the pandemic on global and regional economies and economic activity;

 

the pace of recovery when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides;

 

weakness in the real estate market, including the secondary residential mortgage market, which can affect, among other things, the value of collateral securing mortgage loans, mortgage loan originations and delinquencies, and profits on sales of mortgage loans;

 

legislative, regulatory, or accounting changes, including changes resulting from the adoption and implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, which may adversely affect our business and/or competitive position, impose additional costs on the Company or cause us to change our business practices;

 

the Dodd-Frank Act’s consumer protection regulations which could adversely affect the Company’s business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

disruptions in the Company’s ability to access capital markets which may adversely affect its capital resources and liquidity;

 

the Company’s heavy reliance on communications and information systems to conduct its business and reliance on third parties and affiliates to provide key components of its business infrastructure, any disruptions of which could interrupt the Company's operations or increase the costs of doing business;

 

that the Company’s financial reporting controls and procedures may not prevent or detect all errors or fraud;

 

the Company’s dependence on the accuracy and completeness of information about clients and counterparties;

 

the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government and its agencies;

 

the failure to satisfy capital adequacy and liquidity guidelines applicable to the Company;

 

downgrades in the Company’s credit rating;

 

changes in interest rates which could affect interest rate spreads and net interest income;

 

costs and effects of litigation, regulatory investigations or similar matters;

 

the inability to realize expected cost savings or implement integration plans and other adverse consequences associated with the mergers with Optima Bank & Trust Company (“Optima”) and Wellesley Bancorp, Inc. (“Wellesley”);

 

a failure by the Company to effectively manage the risks the Company faces, including credit, operational and cyber security risks;

1


 

 

increased pressures from competitors (both banks and non-banks) and/or an inability by of the Company to remain competitive in the financial services industry, particularly in the markets which the Company serves, and keep pace with technological changes;

 

unpredictable natural or other disasters, which could adversely impact the Company’s customers or operations;

 

a loss of customer deposits, which could increase the Company’s funding costs;

 

the disparate impact that can result from having loans concentrated by loan type, industry segment, borrower type or location of the borrower or collateral;

 

changes in the creditworthiness of customers;

 

increased credit losses or impairment of goodwill and other intangibles;

 

negative public opinion which could damage the Company’s reputation and adversely impact business and revenues;

 

the Company depends on the expertise of key personnel, and if these individuals leave or change their roles without effective replacements, operations may suffer;

 

the Company may not be able to hire or retain additional qualified personnel, including those acquired in previous acquisitions, and recruiting and compensation costs may increase as a result of turnover, both of which may increase costs and reduce profitability and may adversely impact the Company’s ability to implement the Company’s business strategies; and

 

changes in the Company’s accounting policies or in accounting standards which could materially affect how the Company reports financial results and condition.

Except as required by law, the Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to publicly release the result of any revisions which may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

Item 1. Business.

The Company

Cambridge Bancorp (together with its bank subsidiary, unless the context otherwise requires, the “Company”) is a Massachusetts state-chartered, federally registered bank holding company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Company is a Massachusetts corporation formed in 1983 and has one bank subsidiary, Cambridge Trust Company (the “Bank”), formed in 1890. On October 18, 2017, shares of the Company’s common stock commenced trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CATC. Prior to this date, the Company’s shares traded on the over-the-counter market. As of December 31, 2020, the Company had total assets of approximately $3.9 billion. Currently, the Bank operates 21 private banking offices in Eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire. As a private bank, we focus on four core services that center around client needs. Our core services include Wealth Management, Commercial Banking, Residential Lending, and Private Banking. The Bank’s customers consist primarily of consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses in these communities and surrounding areas throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The Company’s Wealth Management Group has five offices, two in Massachusetts in Boston and Wellesley, and three in New Hampshire in Concord, Manchester, and Portsmouth. As of December 31, 2020, the Company had Assets under Management and Administration of approximately $4.2 billion. The Wealth Management Group offers comprehensive investment management, as well as trust administration, estate settlement, and financial planning services. Our wealth management clients value personal service and depend on the commitment and expertise of our experienced banking, investment, and fiduciary professionals.  

 

The Wealth Management Group customizes investment portfolios to help clients meet their long-term financial goals. Through development of an appropriate asset allocation and disciplined security and fund election, the Company’s in-house investment team targets long-term capital growth while seeking to minimize downside risk. Our internally developed, research-driven process is managed by our skilled team of portfolio managers and analysts. We build portfolios consisting of our best investment ideas, focusing on individual global equities, fixed income securities, exchange-traded funds, and mutual funds.

The Company offers a wide range of services to commercial enterprises, non-profit organizations, and individuals. The Company emphasizes service to consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses in its market area. The Company makes commercial loans, commercial real estate loans, construction loans, consumer loans, and real estate loans (including one-to-four family and home equity lines of credit), and accepts savings, money market, time, and demand deposits. In addition, the Company offers a wide range of commercial and personal banking services which include cash management, online banking, mobile banking, and global payments.  

The Company’s results of operations are largely dependent on net interest income, which is the difference between the interest earned on loans and securities and interest paid on deposits and borrowings, and non-interest income largely from its wealth management

2


 

services. The results of operations are affected by the level of income and fees from loans, costs of deposits, and borrowings, as well as operating expenses, the provision for credit losses, the impact of federal and state income taxes, the relative levels of interest rates, and local and national economic activity.

 

Through the Bank, the Company focuses on wealth management, the commercial banking business and private banking for clients, including residential lending and relationship banking. Within the commercial loan portfolio, the Company has traditionally been a commercial real estate lender. However, in recent years the Company has diversified commercial operations within the areas of commercial and industrial lending to include Renewable Energy, Innovation Banking, which specializes in working with primarily New England-based entrepreneurs, and asset-based lending that helps companies throughout New England and New York grow by borrowing against existing assets. Through its renewable energy lending efforts, the Company provides financing for developers and operators of commercial and utility scale renewable energy projects. Financing is provided for the construction and permanent financing of new projects, the acquisition of completed projects, or the refinancing of existing operating projects. Target clients include experienced developer/operators who have built or managed other renewable energy facilities. The Innovation Banking Group has a narrow client focus for lending and provides a local banking option for life science, technology and entrepreneurial companies within our market area. Relationship banking focuses on providing exceptional service to clients and in deepening relationships.

Cambridge Trust Company

The Bank offers a full range of commercial and consumer banking services through its network of 21 private banking offices in Eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The Bank is engaged principally in the business of attracting deposits from the public and investing those deposits. The Bank invests those funds in various types of loans, including residential and commercial real estate, and a variety of commercial and consumer loans. The Bank also invests its deposits and borrowed funds in investment securities and has two wholly owned Massachusetts security corporations, CTC Security Corporation and CTC Security Corporation III, for this purpose. Deposits at the Bank are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) for the maximum amount permitted by FDIC regulations.

Investment management and trust services are offered through our two wealth management offices located in Massachusetts and three wealth management offices located in New Hampshire. The Bank also utilizes its subsidiary and non-depository trust company, Cambridge Trust Company of New Hampshire, Inc., to provide specialized wealth management services in New Hampshire. The assets held for wealth management customers are not assets of the Bank and, accordingly, are not reflected in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets.

The Bank is active in the communities we serve. The Bank makes contributions to various non-profits and local organizations, investments in community development lending, and investments in low-income housing all, of which strive to improve the communities that our employees and customers call home.

Merger with Wellesley Bancorp, Inc.

On June 1, 2020, the Company completed its merger with Wellesley (“the Wellesley Merger”), adding 6 banking offices in Massachusetts. Under the terms of the Agreement and Plan of Merger with Wellesley, each outstanding share of Wellesley common stock was converted into 0.580 shares of the Company’s common stock. As a result of the merger, former Wellesley shareholders received an aggregate of 1,502,814 shares of the Company’s common stock.  The total consideration paid amounted to $88.8 million, based on the closing price of $58.00 of the Company’s common stock, the value of Wellesley’s exercisable options, and cash paid for fractional shares on May 31, 2020.    

The Company accounted for the Wellesley Merger using the acquisition method pursuant to the Business Combinations Topic of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”). Accordingly, the Company recorded merger expenses of approximately $6.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The Company recorded total assets of $985.6 million, assumed total liabilities of $917.6 million, and recorded an additional $20.7 million in goodwill. Additionally, the Company recorded $8.6 million in provision for credit losses to reflect the impact of CECL merger accounting on June 1, 2020. See Note 4Mergers.  

 

Merger with Optima Bank & Trust Company

 

The Company completed its merger with Optima on April 17, 2019. Under the terms of the Agreement and Plan of Merger with Optima, each outstanding share of Optima common stock was converted into $32.00 in cash or 0.3468 shares of the Company’s common stock, with the transaction structured as 95 percent common stock and 5 percent cash.  As a result of the merger, former Optima shareholders received an aggregate of approximately 722,746 shares of the Company’s common stock and an aggregate of approximately $3.5 million in cash. The total consideration paid amounted to $64.3 million.

3


 

The Company accounted for the merger using the acquisition method and recorded total assets of $555.7 million, assumed total liabilities of $491.4 million, and recorded an additional $30.8 million in goodwill. Additionally, the Company recorded merger expenses of $3.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.  

Market Area

The Company operates in Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Our primary lending market includes Middlesex and Norfolk counties in Massachusetts and Rockingham and Hillsborough counties in New Hampshire. We benefit from the presence of numerous institutions of higher learning, medical care and research centers, a vibrant innovation economy in life sciences and technology, and the corporate headquarters of several significant financial service companies within the Boston area. Eastern Massachusetts also has many high-technology companies employing personnel with specialized skills. These factors affect the demand for wealth management services, residential homes, multi-family apartments, office buildings, shopping centers, industrial warehouses, and other commercial properties.

Our lending area is primarily an urban market area with a substantial number of one-to-four-unit residential properties, some of which are non-owner occupied, as well as apartment buildings, condominiums, office buildings, and retail space. As a result, our loan portfolio contains a significantly greater number of multi-family and commercial real estate loans compared to institutions that operate in non-urban markets.

Our market area is located largely in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Metropolitan Statistical Area (“MSA”). The United States Census Bureau estimates that as of April 2020, the Boston metropolitan area is the 10th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located adjacent to major transportation corridors, the Boston metropolitan area provides a highly diversified economic base, with major employment sectors ranging from services, education, manufacturing, and wholesale/retail trade, to finance, technology, and medical care. According to the United States Department of Labor, in December 2020, the Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Massachusetts/New Hampshire MSA had an unemployment rate of 6.9% compared to the national unemployment rate of 6.5%.

Competition

The financial services industry is highly competitive. The Company experiences substantial competition with other commercial banks, savings and loan associations, securities and brokerage companies, mortgage companies, insurance companies, finance companies, money market funds, credit unions, and other non-bank financial service providers in attracting deposits, making loans, and attracting wealth management customers. The competing major commercial banks have greater resources that may provide them a competitive advantage by enabling them to maintain numerous branch offices and mount extensive advertising campaigns. The increasingly competitive environment is the result of changes in regulation, changes in technology and product delivery systems, additional financial service providers, and the accelerating pace of consolidation among financial services providers.  

The financial services industry has become even more competitive as a result of legislative, regulatory, and technological changes and continued consolidation. Banks, securities firms, and insurance companies can merge under the umbrella of a financial holding company, which can offer virtually any type of financial service, including banking, securities underwriting, insurance (both agency and underwriting), and merchant banking. Also, technology has lowered barriers to entry and made it possible for non-banks to offer products and services traditionally provided by banks, such as automatic transfer and automatic payment systems.

Some of the Company’s non-banking competitors have fewer regulatory constraints and may have lower cost structures. In addition, some of the Company’s competitors have assets, capital, and lending limits greater than that of the Company, greater access to capital markets, and offer a broader range of products and services than the Company. These institutions may have the ability to finance wide-ranging advertising campaigns and may also be able to offer lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits than the Company can offer. Some of these institutions offer services, such as international banking, which the Company does not directly offer.

Various in-state market competitors and out-of-state banks continue to enter or have announced plans to enter or expand their presence in the market areas in which the Company currently operates. With the addition of new banking presences within our market, the Company expects increased competition for loans, deposits, and other financial products and services.

The Bank is a private bank, stressing the holistic client relationship, and relies upon local promotional activities, personal relationships established by officers, directors, and employees with their clients, and specialized services tailored to meet the needs of the communities served. While the Bank’s position varies by market, management believes that it can compete effectively as a result of local market knowledge, local decision making, and awareness of client needs.

4


 

Supervision and Regulation

General

Banking is a complex, highly regulated industry. Consequently, the performance of the Company and the Bank can be affected not only by management decisions and general and local economic conditions, but also by the statutes enacted by the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, and the regulations and policies of, various governmental regulatory authorities. These authorities include, but are not limited to, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”), the Massachusetts Division of Banks (the “MA DOB”), the State of New Hampshire Banking Department, and the FDIC.

The primary goals of bank regulation are to maintain a safe and sound banking system and to facilitate the conduct of sound monetary policy. In furtherance of these goals, the U.S. Congress and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have created largely autonomous regulatory agencies that oversee and have enacted numerous laws that govern banks, bank holding companies, and the banking industry. The system of supervision and regulation applicable to the Company and the Bank establishes a comprehensive framework for the entities’ respective operations and is intended primarily for the protection of the Bank’s depositors and the public, rather than the shareholders and creditors. The following summarizes the significant laws, rules, and regulations governing banks and bank holding companies, including the Company and the Bank, but does not purport to be a complete summary of all applicable laws, rules, and regulations governing bank holding companies and banks or the Company or the Bank. The descriptions are qualified in their entirety by reference to the specific statutes, regulations, and policies discussed. Any change in applicable laws, regulations, or regulatory policies may have a material effect on our businesses, operations, and prospects. The Company is unable to predict the nature or extent of the effects that economic controls or new federal or state legislation may have on our business and earnings in the future.

In addition to the summary below, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. bank regulators issued several letters and other guidance to bank holding companies and banks regarding expectations for supporting the community and certain related temporary regulatory changes or accommodations, including, for example, temporary relief for banks that may exceed certain regulatory asset thresholds due in large part to their participation in government programs established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company continues to monitor guidance and developments related to COVID-19.

Regulatory Agencies 

The Company is a legal entity separate and distinct from its first-tier bank subsidiary, the Bank, and its second-tier subsidiaries, Cambridge Trust Company of New Hampshire, Inc., a New Hampshire state-chartered non-depository trust company, and CTC Security Corporation and CTC Security Corporation III, which are used to invest the Bank’s deposits and borrowed funds in investment securities. As a bank holding company, the Company is regulated under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (“BHC Act”), Massachusetts laws applying to bank holding companies and Massachusetts corporations more generally. The Company is subject to inspection, examination, and supervision by the Federal Reserve and the MA DOB.

As a Massachusetts state-chartered insured depository institution, the Bank is subject to supervision, periodic examination, and regulation by the MA DOB as its chartering authority, and by the FDIC as its primary federal regulator. The prior approval of the MA DOB and the FDIC is required, among other things, for the Bank to establish or relocate any additional branch offices, assume deposits, or engage in any merger, consolidation, purchase, or sale of all or substantially all the assets of any insured depository institution.

Cambridge Trust Company of New Hampshire, Inc. is subject to supervision, periodic examination, and regulation by The State of New Hampshire Banking Department.

Bank Holding Company Regulations Applicable to the Company

The BHC Act and other federal laws and regulations subject bank holding companies to particular restrictions on the types of activities in which they may engage and to a range of supervisory requirements and activities, including regulatory enforcement actions for violations of laws and regulations. As a Massachusetts corporation and bank holding company, the Company is also subject to certain limitations and restrictions under applicable Massachusetts law.

Mergers & Acquisitions  

The BHC Act, the Bank Merger Act, the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts applicable to financial institutions, and other federal and state statutes regulate acquisitions of banks and their holding companies. The BHC Act generally limits acquisitions by bank holding companies to banks and companies engaged in activities that the Federal Reserve has determined to be so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident thereto. The BHC Act requires every bank holding company to obtain the prior approval of the Federal Reserve before (i) acquiring more than 5% of the voting stock of any bank or other bank holding company, (ii) acquiring all or substantially all the assets of any bank or bank holding company, or (iii) merging or consolidating with any other bank holding company.

5


 

In reviewing applications seeking approval of merger and acquisition transactions, the bank regulatory authorities generally consider, among other things, the competitive effect and public benefits of the transactions, the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the combined organization (including the capital position of the combined organization), the applicant’s performance record under the Community Reinvestment Act (see —Community Reinvestment Act), fair housing laws, and the effectiveness of the subject organizations in combating money laundering activities.

Non-bank Activities

Generally, bank holding companies are prohibited, under the BHC Act, from engaging in, or acquiring direct or indirect control of more than 5% of the voting shares of any company engaged in, any activity other than (i) banking or managing or controlling banks or (ii) an activity that the Federal Reserve determines to be so closely related to banking as to be a proper incident to the business of banking. The Federal Reserve has the authority to require a bank holding company to terminate an activity or terminate control of, or liquidate or divest, certain subsidiaries or affiliates when the Federal Reserve believes the activity or the control of the subsidiary or affiliate constitutes a significant risk to the financial safety, soundness, or stability of any of its bank subsidiaries.

A bank holding company that qualifies and elects to become a financial holding company is permitted to engage in additional activities that are financial in nature or incidental or complementary to financial activity. The Company currently has no plans to make a financial holding company election.

Bank holding companies and their non-banking subsidiaries are prohibited from engaging in activities that represent unsafe and unsound banking practices. For example, under certain circumstances the Federal Reserve’s Regulation Y requires a holding company to give the Federal Reserve prior notice of any redemption or repurchase of its own equity securities if the consideration to be paid, together with the consideration paid for any other redemptions or repurchases in the preceding year, is equal to 10% or more of the bank holding company’s consolidated net worth. The Federal Reserve may oppose the transaction if it believes that the transaction would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice or would violate a regulation. As another example, a bank holding company is prohibited from impairing its subsidiary bank’s soundness by causing the bank to make funds available to non-bank subsidiaries or their customers if the Federal Reserve believes it is not prudent to do so. The Federal Reserve has the power to assess civil money penalties for knowing or reckless violations if the activities leading to a violation caused a substantial loss to a depository institution. Potential penalties can reach as high as almost $2.0 million for each day such activity continues.

Source of Strength  

In accordance with Federal Reserve policy, the Company is expected to act as a source of financial and managerial strength to the Bank. Section 616 of the Dodd-Frank Act codifies the requirement that bank holding companies serve as a source of financial strength to their subsidiary depository institutions. Under this policy, the holding company is expected to commit resources to support its bank subsidiary, including at times when the holding company may not be in a financial position to provide it. As discussed below, the Company could be required to guarantee the capital plan of the Bank if it becomes undercapitalized for purposes of banking regulations. Any capital loans by a bank holding company to its subsidiary bank are subordinate in right of payment to deposits and to certain other indebtedness of such subsidiary bank. The BHC Act provides that, in the event of a bank holding company’s bankruptcy, any commitment by the bank holding company to a federal bank regulatory agency to maintain the capital of a bank subsidiary will be assumed by the bankruptcy trustee and entitled to priority of payment. 

Regulatory agencies have promulgated regulations to increase the capital requirements for bank holding companies to a level that matches those of banking institutions. See — Capital Adequacy and Prompt Corrective Action and Safety and Soundness.

Annual Reporting & Examinations  

The Company is required to file annual and periodic reports with the Federal Reserve and such additional information as the Federal Reserve may require. The Federal Reserve may examine a bank holding company and any of its subsidiaries and charge the Company for the cost of such an examination.

Imposition of Liability for Undercapitalized Subsidiaries

Pursuant to Section 38 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (the “FDIA”) federal banking agencies are required to take “prompt corrective action” should an insured depository institution fail to meet certain capital adequacy standards. In the event an institution becomes “undercapitalized,” it must submit a capital restoration plan. The capital restoration plan will not be accepted by the regulators unless each company “having control of” the undercapitalized institution has “guaranteed” the subsidiary’s compliance with the capital restoration plan until it has been “adequately capitalized” on average during each of four consecutive calendar quarters. For purposes of this statute, the Company has control of the Bank. Under the FDIA, the aggregate guarantee liability of all companies controlling a particular institution is limited to the lesser of 5% of the depository institution’s total assets at the time it became

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undercapitalized or the amount necessary to bring the institution into compliance with applicable capital standards. The FDIA grants greater powers to the federal banking agencies in situations where an institution becomes “significantly” or “critically” undercapitalized or fails to submit a capital restoration plan. For example, a bank holding company controlling such an institution can be required to obtain prior Federal Reserve approval of proposed distributions or might be required to consent to a merger or to divest the troubled institution or other affiliates. See — Capital Adequacy and Prompt Corrective Action and Safety and Soundness.

Dividends  

Dividends from the Bank are the Company’s principal source of cash revenues. The Company’s earnings and activities are affected by legislation, regulations, and local legislative and administrative bodies and decisions of courts in the jurisdictions in which we conduct business. These include limitations on the ability of the Bank to pay dividends to the Company and our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders. It is the policy of the Federal Reserve that bank holding companies should pay cash dividends on common stock only out of income available over the past year and only if prospective earnings retention is consistent with the organization’s expected future needs and financial condition. This policy provides that bank holding companies should not maintain a level of cash dividends that undermines the bank holding company’s ability to serve as a source of strength to its bank subsidiary. Consistent with such policy, a banking organization should have comprehensive policies on dividend payments that clearly articulate the organization’s objectives and approaches for maintaining a strong capital position and achieving the objectives of the policy statement. The Company has a comprehensive dividend policy in place.

The FDIC has the authority to use its enforcement powers to prohibit a bank from paying dividends if, in its opinion, the payment of dividends would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice. Federal law also prohibits the payment of dividends by a bank that will result in the bank failing to meet its applicable capital requirements on a pro forma basis. Under applicable Massachusetts law, the Bank’s board may declare from net profits cash dividends annually, semi-annually, or quarterly, but not more frequently, and noncash dividends at any time, although no dividends may be declared, credited, or paid so long as there is any impairment of capital stock. The MA DOB Commissioner’s approval is required in order to authorize the payment of a dividend, if the total dividends declared in a calendar year exceed that year’s net profits combined with retained net profits for the preceding two years, less any required transfer to surplus or a fund for the retirement of any preferred stock.

Transactions with Affiliates 

Transactions between a bank and its affiliates are subject to certain restrictions under Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act (the “FRA”) and the Federal Reserve’s implementing Regulation W. The Company is considered an “affiliate” of the Bank under these sections. Generally, Sections 23A and 23B: (1) limit the extent to which an insured depository or its subsidiaries may engage in covered transactions (a) with an affiliate (as defined in such sections) to an amount equal to 10% of such institution’s capital and surplus and (b) with all affiliates, in the aggregate, to an amount equal to 20% of such capital and surplus; and (2) require all transactions with an affiliate, whether or not covered transactions, to be on terms substantially the same, or at least as favorable to the institution or subsidiary, as the terms provided or that would be provided to a non-affiliate. The term “covered transaction” includes the making of loans to an affiliate, purchase securities issued by an affiliate, purchase of assets from an affiliate, issuance of a guarantee on behalf of an affiliate, and other similar types of transactions.

Capital Adequacy

In July 2013, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), and the FDIC approved final rules (the “Capital Rules”) establishing a new comprehensive capital framework for U.S. banking organizations. The Capital Rules generally implement the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s (the “Basel Committee”) December 2010 final capital framework referred to as “Basel III” for strengthening international capital standards. The Capital Rules revise the definitions and the components of regulatory capital, as well as address other issues affecting the numerator in banking institutions’ regulatory capital ratios. The Capital Rules also address asset risk weights and other matters affecting the denominator in banking institutions’ regulatory capital ratios and replace the existing general risk-weighting approach with a more risk-sensitive approach.

The Capital Rules: (i) include “Common Equity Tier 1” (“CET1”) and related regulatory capital ratio of CET1 to risk-weighted assets; (ii) specify that Tier 1 capital consists of CET1 and “Additional Tier 1 capital” instruments meeting certain revised requirements; (iii) mandate that most deductions/adjustments to regulatory capital measures be made to CET1 and not to the other components of capital; and (iv) expand the scope of the deductions from and adjustments to capital as compared to existing regulations. Under the Capital Rules, for most banking organizations, including the Company, the most common form of Additional Tier 1 capital is non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock, and the most common forms of Tier 2 capital are subordinated notes and a portion of the allocation for allowance for credit losses, in each case, subject to the Capital Rules’ specific requirements.

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Pursuant to the Capital Rules, effective January 1, 2015, the minimum capital ratios are as follows:

 

4.5% CET1 to risk-weighted assets;

 

6.0% Tier 1 capital (that is, CET1 plus Additional Tier 1 capital) to risk-weighted assets;

 

8.0% Total capital (that is, Tier 1 capital plus Tier 2 capital) to risk-weighted assets; and

 

4.0% Tier 1 capital to average consolidated assets as reported on consolidated financial statements (called “leverage ratio”).

The Capital Rules also include a “capital conservation buffer,” composed entirely of CET1, in addition to these minimum risk-weighted asset ratios. The capital conservation buffer is designed to absorb losses during periods of economic stress. Banking institutions that do not hold the requisite capital conservation buffer will face constraints on dividends, capital instrument repurchases, interest payments on capital instruments and discretionary bonus payments based on the amount of the shortfall. Thus, the capital standards applicable to the Company include an additional capital conservation buffer of 2.5% of CET1, effectively resulting in minimum ratios inclusive of the capital conservation buffer of (i) CET1 to risk-weighted assets of at least 7%, (ii) Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 8.5%, and (iii) total capital to risk-weighted assets of at least 10.5%.

The Capital Rules provide for a number of deductions from and adjustments to CET1. These include, for example, the requirement that mortgage servicing assets, deferred tax assets arising from temporary differences that could not be realized through net operating loss carrybacks, and significant investments in non-consolidated financial entities be deducted from CET1 to the extent that any one such category exceeds 10% of CET1 or all such items, in the aggregate, exceed 15% of CET1. In November 2017, the Federal Reserve finalized a rule pausing the phase-in of these deductions and adjustments for non-advanced approaches institutions. In July 2019, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC adopted a final rule intended to simply the Capital Rules described above for non-advanced approaches institutions. Institutions could implement the provisions of the simplification rule beginning on January 1, 2020 and were required to implement them by April 1, 2020. The transition provisions to the Capital Rules issued by these agencies in November 2017 ceased to apply to an institution in the quarter in which it adopted the simplification rule.

In addition, under the current general risk-based capital rules, the effects of accumulated other comprehensive income or loss items included in shareholders’ equity (for example, mark-to-market of securities held in the available for sale portfolio) under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) are reversed for the purposes of determining regulatory capital ratios. Pursuant to the Capital Rules, the effects of certain of the above items are not excluded. However, banking organizations, including the Company, that are not subject to the advanced approaches rule, could make a one-time permanent election to exclude these items. The Company made the one-time permanent election to exclude these items.

The Capital Rules also preclude certain hybrid securities, such as trust preferred securities, from inclusion in bank holding companies’ Tier 1 capital, although bank holding companies that had total consolidated assets of less than $15 billion at December 31, 2009 may include trust preferred securities issued prior to May 19, 2010 as a component of Tier 1 capital.

The risk-weighting categories in the Capital Rules are standardized and include a risk-sensitive number of categories, depending on the nature of the assets, generally ranging from 0% for U.S. government and agency securities, to 1,250% for certain credit exposures, and resulting in higher risk weights for a variety of asset classes.

In September 2019, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, and the FDIC adopted a final rule that is intended to further simply the Capital Rules for depository institutions and their holding companies that have less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets, such as us, if such institutions meet certain qualifying criteria. This final rule became effective on January 1, 2020. Under this final rule, if we meet the qualifying criteria, including having a leverage ratio (equal to tier 1 capital divided by average total consolidated assets) of a certain size (greater than 8.5 percent through 2021 and 9 percent thereafter), we will be eligible to opt into the community bank leverage ratio framework. If we opt into this framework, we will be considered to have satisfied the generally applicable risk-based and leverage capital requirements in the Capital Rules (as modified pursuant to the simplification rule) and will be considered to have met the well-capitalized ratio requirements for PCA purposes. The Bank has not elected to adopt this framework.

The Company and the Bank are in compliance with the currently applicable capital requirements.  

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Prompt Corrective Action and Safety and Soundness

Pursuant to Section 38 of the FDIA, federal banking agencies are required to take “prompt corrective action” should a depository institution fail to meet certain capital adequacy standards. At each successive lower capital category, an insured depository institution is subject to more restrictions and prohibitions, including restrictions on growth, restrictions on interest rates paid on deposits, restrictions, or prohibitions on payment of dividends, and restrictions on the acceptance of brokered deposits. For example, “well-capitalized” institutions are permitted to accept brokered deposits, but banks that are not well-capitalized are generally restricted or prohibited from accepting such deposits. Furthermore, if an insured depository institution is classified in one of the undercapitalized categories, it is required to submit a capital restoration plan to the appropriate federal banking agency, and the holding company must guarantee the performance of that plan. Based upon its capital levels, a bank that is classified as well-capitalized, adequately capitalized, or undercapitalized may be treated as though it were in the next lower capital category if the appropriate federal banking agency, after notice and opportunity for hearing, determines that an unsafe or unsound condition or an unsafe or unsound practice warrants such treatment.

For purposes of prompt corrective action, to be: (i) well-capitalized, a bank must have a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 10%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 8%, a CET1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 6.5%, and a Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 5%; (ii) adequately capitalized, a bank must have a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 8%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 6%, a CET1 risk-based capital ratio of at least 4.5%, and a Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 4% (but not otherwise meet all of the criteria to be considered “well-capitalized”); (iii) undercapitalized, a bank would have a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 8%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 6%, a CET1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 4.5%, or a Tier 1 leverage ratio of less than 4% (but not otherwise meet all of the criteria to be considered “significantly” or “critically” undercapitalized); (iv) significantly undercapitalized, a bank would have a total risk-based capital ratio of less than 6%, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 4%, a CET1 risk-based capital ratio of less than 3%, or a Tier 1 leverage ratio of less than 3% (but not otherwise meet the criterion to be considered “critically undercapitalized”); and (v) critically undercapitalized, a bank would have a ratio of tangible equity to total assets that is less than or equal to 2%.

The Bank is currently well-capitalized, under the prompt corrective action standards.

Bank holding companies and insured banks also may be subject to potential enforcement actions of varying levels of severity by the federal banking agencies for unsafe or unsound practices in conducting their business, or for violation of any law, rule, regulation, condition imposed in writing by the agency or term of a written agreement with the agency. In more serious cases, enforcement actions may include: issuances of directives to increase capital; issuances of formal and informal agreements; impositions of civil monetary penalties; issuances of a cease and desist order that can be judicially enforced; issuances of removal and prohibition orders against officers, directors, and other institution−affiliated parties; terminations of the bank’s deposit insurance; appointment of a conservator or receiver for the bank; and enforcements of such actions through injunctions or restraining orders based upon a judicial determination that the agency would be harmed if such equitable relief was not granted.

Deposit Insurance

The Bank’s deposit accounts are fully insured by the Deposit Insurance Fund (the “DIF”) of the FDIC up to the deposit insurance limit of $250,000 per depositor, per insured institution, per ownership category, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

The FDIC uses a risk-based assessment system that imposes insurance premiums based upon a risk matrix that accounts for a bank’s capital level and supervisory rating (CAMELS rating). The risk matrix uses different risk categories distinguished by capital levels and supervisory ratings. The base for deposit insurance assessments is average consolidated total assets less average tangible equity.  Assessment rates are calculated using formulas that take into account the risk of the institution being assessed. The FDIC may increase or decrease the assessment rate schedule in order to manage the DIF to prescribed statutory target levels. An increase in the risk category for the Bank or in the assessment rates could have an adverse effect on the Bank’s, and consequently the Company’s earnings. The FDIC may terminate deposit insurance if it determines the institution involved has engaged in or is engaging in unsafe or unsound banking practices, is in an unsafe or unsound condition, or has violated applicable laws, regulations, or orders. The Bank is not aware of any practice, condition, or violation that might lead to the termination of its deposit insurance.

 

The FDIA and FDIC regulations generally limit the ability of an insured depository institution to accept, renew or roll over any brokered deposit unless the institution’s capital category is “well capitalized” or, with the FDIC’s approval, “adequately capitalized.” Depository institutions that have brokered deposits in excess of 10% of total assets are subject to increased FDIC deposit insurance premium assessments. However, for institutions that are well capitalized and have a CAMELS composite rating of 1 or 2, reciprocal deposits are deducted from brokered deposits. Section 202 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “Economic Growth Act”), which was enacted in 2018, amended the FDIA to exempt a capped amount of reciprocal deposits from treatment as brokered deposits for certain insured depository institutions.

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Depositor Preference

The FDIA provides that, in the event of the “liquidation or other resolution” of an insured depository institution, the claims of depositors of the institution, including the claims of the FDIC as subrogee of insured depositors, and certain claims for administrative expenses of the FDIC as a receiver, will have priority over other general unsecured claims against the institution. If an insured depository institution fails, insured and uninsured depositors, along with the FDIC, will have priority in payment ahead of unsecured, non-deposit creditors, including the parent bank holding company, with respect to any extensions of credit they have made to such insured depository institution.

Consumer Financial Protection

The Company and the Bank are subject to a number of federal and state consumer protection laws that govern their relationship with customers. These laws include the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Truth in Savings Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, the Expedited Funds Availability Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and these laws’ respective state-law counterparts, as well as state usury laws and laws regarding unfair and deceptive acts and practices. These and other federal laws, among other things, require disclosures of the cost of credit and terms of deposit accounts, provide substantive consumer rights, prohibit discrimination in credit transactions, regulate the use of credit report information, provide financial privacy protections, prohibit unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices, restrict the Bank’s ability to raise interest rates, and subject the Bank to substantial regulatory oversight. Violations of applicable consumer protection laws can result in significant potential liability from litigation brought by customers, including actual damages, restitution, and attorneys’ fees.

Further, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has broad rulemaking authority for a wide range of consumer financial laws that apply to all banks, including, among other things, the authority to prohibit “unfair, deceptive or abusive” acts and practices. While there are no statutory definitions for those terms, the CFPB has found an act or practice to be “unfair” when: “(i) it causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers; (ii) the injury is not reasonably avoidable by consumers; and (iii) the injury is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition.” “Deceptive acts or practices” occur when “(i) the act or practice misleads or is likely to mislead the consumer; (ii) the consumer’s interpretation is reasonable under the circumstances; and (iii) the misleading act or practice is material.” Finally, an act or practice is “abusive” when it: “(i) materially interferes with the ability of a consumer to understand a term or condition of a consumer financial product or service; or (ii) takes unreasonable advantage of (a) a consumer’s lack of understanding of the material risks, costs, or conditions of the product or service; (b) a consumer’s inability to protect his or her interests in selecting or using a consumer financial product or service; or (c) a consumer’s reasonable reliance on a covered person to act in his or her interests.”

Neither the Dodd-Frank Act, nor the individual consumer financial protection laws prevent states from adopting stricter consumer protection standards.

Community Reinvestment Act 

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (the “CRA”) requires depository institutions to assist in meeting the credit needs of their market areas consistent with safe and sound banking practice. Under the CRA, each depository institution is required to help meet the credit needs of its market areas by, among other things, providing credit to low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. These factors are also considered in evaluating mergers, acquisitions, and applications to open a branch or facility. The applicable federal banking agencies regularly conduct CRA examinations to assess the performance of financial institutions and assign one of four ratings to the institution’s records of meeting the credit needs of its community. The Bank received a “Satisfactory” rating during its last examination in July 2020.

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Insider Credit Transactions

Section 22(h) of the FRA and its implementing Regulation O restricts loans to directors, executive officers, and principal shareholders of a bank or its affiliates, and companies and political or campaign committees controlled by such persons (“insiders”). Under Section 22(h), a loan by a bank to any insider may not exceed, together with all other outstanding loans to such person and any company or political or campaign committee controlled by such person, the bank’s loan-to-one-borrower limit. Loans to insiders above specified amounts must receive the prior approval of the board of directors. Further, under Section 22(h) of the FRA, loans to insiders must be made on terms substantially the same as offered in comparable transactions to other persons, except that such insiders may receive preferential loans made under a benefit or compensation program that is widely available to the bank’s (or, if applicable, the bank affiliate’s) employees and does not give preference to the insider over the employees. Section 22(g) of the FRA places additional limitations on loans to executive officers. A violation of these restrictions may result in the assessment of substantial civil monetary penalties on the affected bank or any officer, director, employee, agent, or other person participating in the conduct of the affairs of that bank, the imposition of a cease and desist order, and other regulatory sanctions.

Financial Privacy

The Company is subject to federal laws, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (the “GLBA”), and certain state laws containing consumer privacy protection provisions. These provisions limit the ability of banks and other financial institutions to disclose nonpublic information about consumers to affiliated and non-affiliated third parties and limit the reuse of certain consumer information received from non-affiliated financial institutions. These provisions require notice of privacy policies to customers and, in some circumstances, allow consumers to prevent disclosure of certain nonpublic personal information to affiliates or non-affiliated third parties by means of “opt out” or “opt in” authorizations.

Financial Data Security

The GLBA requires that financial institutions implement comprehensive written information security programs that include administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect consumer information. Further, pursuant to interpretive guidance issued under the GLBA and certain state laws, financial institutions are required to notify customers and regulators of security breaches that result in unauthorized access to their nonpublic personal information.

Incentive Compensation

The Dodd-Frank Act requires the federal banking agencies and the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) to establish joint regulations or guidelines prohibiting incentive-based payment arrangements at specified regulated entities, including the Company and the Bank, with at least $1 billion in total consolidated assets that encourage inappropriate risks by providing an executive officer, employee, director or principal shareholder with excessive compensation, fees, or benefits that could lead to material financial loss to the entity. The federal banking agencies and the SEC most recently proposed such regulations in 2016, but the regulations have not yet been finalized. If the regulations are adopted in the form initially proposed, they will restrict the manner in which executive compensation is structured.

The Dodd-Frank Act also requires publicly traded companies to give shareholders a non-binding vote on executive compensation and on so-called “golden parachute” payments in connection with approvals of mergers and acquisitions.

Anti-Money Laundering Initiatives and the USA PATRIOT Act

Under Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act, all financial institutions are required to take certain measures to identify their customers, prevent money laundering, monitor customer transactions, and report suspicious activity to U.S. law enforcement agencies. Financial institutions also are required to respond to requests for information from federal banking agencies and law enforcement agencies. Information sharing among financial institutions for the above purposes is encouraged by an exemption granted to complying financial institutions from the privacy provisions of the GLBA and other privacy laws. Financial institutions that hold correspondent accounts for foreign banks or provide private banking services to foreign individuals are required to take measures to avoid dealing with certain foreign individuals or entities, including foreign banks with profiles that raise money laundering concerns, and are prohibited from dealing with foreign “shell banks” and persons from jurisdictions of particular concern. The primary federal banking agencies and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury have adopted regulations to implement several of these provisions. All financial institutions also are required to establish internal anti-money laundering programs. The effectiveness of a financial institution in combating money laundering activities is a factor to be considered in any application submitted by the financial institution under the Bank Merger Act. The Company has a Bank Secrecy Act and USA PATRIOT Act compliance program commensurate with its risk profile.

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act’s Red Flags Rule requires financial institutions with covered accounts (e.g., consumer bank accounts and loans) to develop, implement, and administer an identity theft prevention program. This program must include reasonable policies and procedures to detect suspicious patterns or practices that indicate the possibility of identity theft, such as inconsistencies in personal information or changes in account activity.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) Regulation

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. OFAC publishes lists of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers, designated under programs that are not country specific. These are typically known as the OFAC rules based on their administration by the OFAC. The OFAC-administered sanctions targeting countries take many different forms. Generally, they contain one or more of the following elements: (i) restrictions on trade with or investment in a sanctioned country, including prohibitions against direct or indirect imports from and exports to a sanctioned country and prohibitions on “U.S. persons” engaging in financial transactions relating to making investments in, or providing investment-related advice or assistance to, a sanctioned country; and (ii) a blocking of assets in which the government or specially designated nationals of the sanctioned country have an interest by prohibiting transfers of property subject to U.S. jurisdiction (including property in the possession or control of U.S. persons). Blocked assets (property and bank deposits) cannot be paid out, withdrawn, set off, or transferred in any manner without a license from OFAC. Failure to comply with these sanctions could have serious legal and reputational consequences.

Available Information

The SEC maintains an Internet website at http://www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

Our Internet website is https://www.cambridgetrust.com. You can obtain on our website, free of charge, a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, our current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such reports or amendments with, or furnish them to, the SEC. Our Internet website and the information contained therein or connected thereto are not intended to be incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Human Capital

As of December 31, 2020, the Company had 372 full-time and 11 part-time employees. At any given time, less than 1% of our employees are temporary. The Company’s employees are not represented by any collective bargaining unit.

 

The Company is committed to recruiting, developing and promoting a diverse workforce to meet the current and future demands of our business. In 2019, we instituted a policy which requires that all searches for positions Vice President and above include least one racially or ethnically diverse and one female candidate. All of our positions are listed on multiple job boards specifically targeted towards women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities.

 

As of December 31, 2020, our overall workforce was 54.8% female and 21.3% racially or ethnically diverse. Of those employees with position titles of Vice President and above, 42% were female and 12.5% were racially or ethnically diverse.

 

To ensure we provide a rich experience for our employees, we measure organizational culture and engagement by periodically engaging independent third parties to conduct cultural assessments and employee engagement surveys. Our employee driven Engagement Committee and Culture Task Force focus on monitoring and making continuous improvements to our work environment and employee engagement.

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The Company encourages employees to contribute their personal best while respecting the balance between work and personal life. To empower employees to reach their potential, we provide training and development programs including traditional classroom training and coaching and experiential learning through Company-wide initiative beyond the scope of their everyday responsibilities. We also provide access to virtual and self-directed online courses in topics ranging from compliance to management skills through our BAI Learning system. To identify and develop our next generation of leaders, we have a robust talent and succession planning process and specialized programs to support the development of our talent pipeline at different levels. The Company believes that its employee relations are good.

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Risks Related to our Business and Industry

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is adversely impacting us and our customers, counterparties, employees, and third-party service providers. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to an economic recession or other severe disruptions in the U.S. economy and may disrupt banking and other financial activity in the areas in which we operate and the adverse impacts on our business, financial position, results of operations and prospects could be significant.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused significant economic dislocation in the United States as many state and local governments have ordered non-essential businesses to close and residents to shelter in place at home. This has resulted in an unprecedented slow-down in economic activity and a related increase in unemployment. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, more than 70 million people have filed claims for unemployment, and stock markets have declined in value and in particular bank stocks have significantly declined in value. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve has reduced the benchmark fed funds rate to a target range of 0% to 0.25%, and the yields on 10-year and 30-year treasury notes have declined to historic lows. Various state governments and federal agencies are requiring lenders to provide forbearance and other relief to borrowers (e.g., waiving late payment and other fees). We have instituted payment deferral programs to aid existing borrowers with payment forbearance. In addition, the federal banking agencies have encouraged financial institutions to prudently work with affected borrowers and recently passed legislation has provided relief from reporting loan classifications due to modifications related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Certain industries have been particularly hard-hit, including the travel and hospitality industry, the restaurant industry, and the retail industry. Finally, the spread of COVID-19 has caused us to modify our business practices, including employee travel, employee work locations, and cancellation of physical participation in meetings, events, and conferences. We have many employees working remotely and may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine is in the best interests of our employees, customers, and business partners.

Given the ongoing and dynamic nature of the circumstances, it is difficult to predict the full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our business. The extent of such impact will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain, including when COVID-19 can be controlled and abated and when and how the economy may be reopened. As the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related adverse local and national economic consequences, we could be subject to any of the following risks, any of which could have a material, adverse effect on our business, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations:

 

demand for products and services may decline, making it difficult to grow assets and income;

 

if the economy is unable to substantially reopen, and high levels of unemployment continue for an extended period of time, loan delinquencies, problem assets, and foreclosures may increase, resulting in increased charges and reduced income;

 

collateral for loans, especially real estate, may decline in value, which could cause loan losses to increase;

 

our allowance for credit losses may have to be increased if unemployment forecasts increase or borrowers experience financial difficulties beyond forbearance periods, which will adversely affect our net income;

 

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

 

as the result of the decline in the Federal Reserve Board’s target federal funds rate to near 0%, the yield on our assets may decline to a greater extent than the decline in our cost of interest-bearing liabilities, reducing our net interest margin and spread and reducing net income;

 

a material decrease in net income or a net loss over several quarters could result in a decrease in the rate of our quarterly cash dividend;

 

our wealth management revenues may decline with continuing market turmoil;

 

our cyber security risks are increased as the result of an increase in the number of employees working remotely; and

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we rely on third party vendors for certain services and the unavailability of a critical service due to the COVID-19 outbreak could have an adverse effect on us.

These factors, among others, together or in combination with other events or occurrences not yet known or anticipated, could adversely affect our operations. In addition, other countries as well as the United States are currently experiencing a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus and if the rate of infections continues to rise, these factors will be exacerbated.

 

Deterioration in local economic conditions may negatively impact our financial performance.

The Company’s success depends primarily on the general economic conditions in Eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire and the specific local markets in which the Company operates. Unlike larger national or other regional banks that are more geographically diversified, the Company provides banking and financial services to customers primarily in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The local economic conditions in these areas have a significant impact on the demand for the Company’s products and services as well as the ability of the Company’s customers to repay loans, the value of the collateral securing loans, and the stability of the Company’s deposit funding sources.

A downturn in our local economy may limit funds available for deposit and may negatively affect our borrowers’ ability to repay their loans on a timely basis, both of which could have an impact on our profitability.

Variations in interest rates may negatively affect our financial performance.

The Company’s earnings and financial condition are largely dependent upon net interest income, which is the difference between interest earned from loans and investments and interest paid on deposits and borrowings. The narrowing of interest rate spreads could adversely affect the Company’s earnings and financial condition. The Company cannot predict with certainty, or control, changes in interest rates. Regional and local economic conditions and the policies of regulatory authorities, including monetary policies of the Federal Reserve, affect interest income and interest expense. High interest rates could also affect the amount of loans that the Company can originate because higher rates could cause customers to apply for fewer mortgages or cause depositors to shift funds from accounts that have a comparatively lower cost to accounts with a higher cost. The Company may also experience customer attrition due to competitor pricing.  If the cost of interest-bearing deposits increases at a rate greater than the yields on interest-earning assets increase, then net interest income will be negatively affected. Changes in the asset and liability mix may also affect net interest income. Similarly, lower interest rates cause higher yielding assets to prepay and floating or adjustable-rate assets to reset to lower rates. If the Company is not able to reduce its funding costs sufficiently, due to either competitive factors or the maturity schedule of existing liabilities, then the Company’s net interest margin will decline.

Although management believes it has implemented effective asset and liability management strategies to mitigate the potential adverse effects of changes in interest rates on the Company’s results of operations, any substantial or unexpected change in, or prolonged change in market interest rates could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

Changes in the economy or the financial markets could materially affect our financial performance.

Downturns in the United States or global economies or financial markets could adversely affect the demand for and income received from the Company’s fee-based services. Revenues from the Wealth Management Group depend in large part on the level of assets under management and administration. Market volatility that leads customers to liquidate investments, as well as lower asset values, can reduce our level of assets under management and administration and thereby decrease our investment management and administration revenues.

Our loan portfolio includes loans with a higher risk of loss.

The Bank originates commercial and industrial loans, commercial real estate loans, consumer loans, and residential mortgage loans primarily within our market area. Our lending strategy focuses on residential real estate lending, as well as servicing commercial customers, including increased emphasis on commercial and industrial lending, and commercial deposit relationships. Commercial and industrial loans, commercial real estate loans, and consumer loans may expose a lender to greater credit risk than loans secured by residential real estate because the collateral securing these loans may not be sold as easily as residential real estate. In addition, commercial real estate and commercial and industrial loans may also involve relatively large loan balances to individual borrowers or groups of borrowers. These loans also have greater credit risk than residential real estate for the following reasons:

 

Commercial Real Estate Loans. Repayment is dependent on income being generated in amounts sufficient to cover operating expenses and debt service.

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Commercial and Industrial Loans. Repayment is generally dependent upon the successful operation of the borrower’s business.

 

Consumer Loans. Consumer loans are collateralized, if at all, with assets that may not provide an adequate source of payment of the loan due to depreciation, damage, or loss.

Any downturn in the real estate market or local economy could adversely affect the value of the properties securing the loans or revenues from the borrowers’ businesses thereby increasing the risk of non-performing loans.

We may experience losses and expenses if security interests granted for loans are not enforceable.  

When the Company makes loans it sometimes obtains liens, such as real estate mortgages or other asset pledges, to provide the Company with a security interest in collateral. If there is a loan default, the Company may seek to foreclose upon collateral and enforce the security interests to obtain repayment and eliminate or mitigate the Company’s loss. Drafting errors, recording errors, other defects or imperfections in the security interests granted to the Company and/or changes in law may render liens granted to the Company unenforceable. The Company may incur losses or expenses if security interests granted to the Company are not enforceable.

If our allowance for credit losses is not sufficient to cover actual loan losses, then our earnings will decrease.

The Bank’s loan customers may not repay their loans according to their terms and the collateral securing the payment of these loans may be insufficient to pay any remaining loan balance. The Bank therefore may experience significant credit losses, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results. Material additions to our allowance for credit losses would materially decrease our net income, and the charge-off of loans may cause us to increase the allowance. The Bank makes various assumptions and judgments about the collectability of the loan portfolio, including the creditworthiness of our borrowers and the value of the real estate and other assets serving as collateral for the repayment of many of our loans. We rely on our loan quality reviews, our experience, and our evaluation of economic conditions, among other factors, in determining the amount of the allowance for credit losses. If our assumptions prove to be incorrect, our allowance for credit losses may not be sufficient to cover losses inherent in our loan portfolio, resulting in additions to our allowance.

Strong competition within our industry and market area could hurt our performance and slow our growth.

The Company operates in a competitive market for both attracting deposits, which is our primary source of funds, and originating loans. Historically, our most direct competition for deposits has come from savings and commercial banks. Our competition for loans comes principally from commercial banks, savings institutions, mortgage banking firms, credit unions, finance companies, mutual funds, insurance companies, and investment banking firms. We also face additional competition from internet-based institutions and brokerage firms. Competition for loan originations and deposits may limit our future growth and earnings prospects.

The Company’s ability to compete successfully depends on a number of factors, including, among other things:

 

the ability to develop, maintain, and build upon long-term customer relationships based on service quality, high ethical standards and reputation;

 

the ability to expand the Company’s market position;

 

the scope, relevance, and pricing of products and services offered to meet customer needs and demands;

 

the rate at which the Company introduces new products, services, and technologies relative to its competitors;

 

customer satisfaction with the Company’s level of service;

 

industry and general economic trends; and

 

the ability to attract and retain talented employees.

Failure to perform in any of these areas could significantly weaken the Company’s competitive position, which could adversely affect the Company’s growth and profitability, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

The Company’s earnings may not grow if we are unable to successfully attract core deposits and lending opportunities and execute opportunities to generate fee-based income. 

The Company has experienced growth, and our future business strategy is to continue to expand. Historically, the growth of our loans and deposits has been the principal factor in our increase in net-interest income. In the event that we are unable to execute our business strategy of continued growth in loans and deposits, our earnings could be adversely impacted. The Company’s ability to continue to

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grow depends, in part, upon our ability to expand our market share, to successfully attract core deposits and identify loan and investment opportunities, as well as opportunities to generate fee-based income. Our ability to manage growth successfully will also depend on whether we can continue to efficiently fund asset growth and maintain asset quality and cost controls, as well as on factors beyond our control, such as economic conditions and interest-rate trends.

There are substantial risks and uncertainties associated with the introduction or expansion of lines of business or new products and services within existing lines of business.

From time to time, the Company may implement new lines of business or offer new products and services within existing lines of business. There are substantial risks and uncertainties associated with these efforts, particularly in instances where the markets are not fully developed. In developing and marketing new lines of business and/or new products and services, the Company may invest significant time and resources. Initial timetables for the introduction and development of new lines of business and/or new products or services may not be achieved and price and profitability targets may not prove attainable.  External factors, such as compliance with regulations, competitive alternatives, and shifting market preferences, may also impact the successful implementation of a new line of business or a new product or service. Furthermore, any new line of business and/or new product or service could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the Company’s system of internal controls. Failure to successfully manage these risks in the development and implementation of new lines of business or new products or services could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, and financial condition.

The Company is subject to liquidity risk, which could adversely affect net interest income and earnings.

The purpose of the Company’s liquidity management is to meet the cash flow obligations of its customers for both deposits and loans.  One liquidity measurement the Company utilizes is called basic surplus, which captures the adequacy of the Company’s access to reliable sources of cash relative to the stability of its funding mix of average liabilities. This approach recognizes the importance of balancing levels of cash flow liquidity from short- and long-term securities with the availability of dependable borrowing sources which can be accessed when necessary.  However, competitive pressure on deposit pricing could result in a decrease in the Company’s deposit base or an increase in funding costs. In addition, liquidity will come under additional pressure if loan growth exceeds deposit growth.  To manage this risk, the Company has the ability to purchase brokered certificates of deposit, borrow against established borrowing facilities with other banks (Federal funds), and enter into repurchase agreements with investment companies. Depending on the level of interest rates, the Company’s net interest income, and therefore earnings, could be adversely affected.

Our ability to service our debt, pay dividends, and otherwise pay our obligations as they come due is substantially dependent on capital distributions from our subsidiary.

The Company is a separate and distinct legal entity from its subsidiary, the Bank. It receives substantially all of its revenue from dividends from the Bank. These dividends are the principal source of funds to pay dividends on the Company’s common stock.  Various federal and/or state laws and regulations limit the amount of dividends that the Bank may pay to the Company. Also, the Company’s right to participate in a distribution of assets upon a subsidiary’s liquidation or reorganization is subject to the prior claims of the subsidiary’s depositors and certain other creditors. In the event the Bank is unable to pay dividends to the Company, the Company may not be able to service debt, pay obligations, or pay dividends on the Company’s common stock. The inability to receive dividends from the Bank could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition, and results of operations.

The Company depends on its executive officers and key personnel to continue the implementation of our long-term business strategy and could be harmed by the loss of their services.

The Company believes that its continued growth and future success will depend in large part upon the skills of our management team. The competition for qualified personnel in the financial services industry is intense, and the loss of our key personnel, or an inability to continue to attract or retain and motivate key personnel could adversely affect our business. We cannot provide any assurance that we will be able to retain our existing key personnel, attract additional qualified personnel, or effectively manage the succession of key personnel. We have change of control agreements with our actively employed named executive officers, and the loss of the services of one or more of our executive officers or key personnel could impair our ability to continue to develop our business strategy.

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The Company relies on third parties to provide key components of its business infrastructure.

The Company relies on third parties to provide key components for its business operations, such as data processing and storage, recording and monitoring transactions, online banking interfaces and services, internet connections, and network access. While the Company selects these third-party vendors carefully, it does not control their actions. Any problems caused by these third parties, including those resulting from breakdowns or other disruptions in communication services provided by a vendor, failure of a vendor to handle current or higher volumes, cyber-attacks and security breaches at a vendor, failure of a vendor to provide services for any reason, or poor performance of services by a vendor, could adversely affect the Company’s ability to deliver products and services to its customers and otherwise conduct its business. Financial or operational difficulties of a third-party vendor could also hurt the Company’s operations if those difficulties interfere with the vendor’s ability to serve the Company. Replacing these third-party vendors could create significant delays and expense that adversely affect the Company’s business and performance.

The possibility of the economy’s return to recessionary conditions and the possibility of further turmoil or volatility in the financial markets would likely have an adverse effect on our business, financial position, and results of operations.

The economy in the United States and globally has experienced volatility in recent years and may continue to experience such volatility for the foreseeable future. There can be no assurance that economic conditions will not worsen. Unfavorable or uncertain economic conditions can be caused by declines in economic growth, business activity, or investor or business confidence, limitations on the availability or increases in the cost of credit and capital, increases in inflation or interest rates, the timing and impact of changing governmental policies, natural disasters, epidemics / pandemics, such as COVID-19, terrorist attacks, acts of war, or a combination of these or other factors. A worsening of business and economic conditions could have adverse effects on our business, including the following:

 

investors may have less confidence in the equity markets in general and in financial services industry stocks in particular, which could place downward pressure on the Company’s stock price and resulting market valuation;

 

economic and market developments may further affect consumer and business confidence levels and may cause declines in credit usage and adverse changes in payment patterns, causing increases in delinquencies and default rates;

 

the Company’s ability to assess the creditworthiness of its customers may be impaired if the models and approaches the Company uses to select, manage, and underwrite its customers become less predictive of future behaviors;

 

the Company could suffer decreases in demand for loans or other financial products and services or decreased deposits or other investments in accounts with the Company;

 

customers of the Company’s Wealth Management Group may liquidate investments, which together with lower asset values, may reduce the level of assets under management and administration, and thereby decrease the Company’s investment management and administration revenues;

 

competition in the financial services industry could intensify as a result of the increasing consolidation of financial services companies in connection with current market conditions or otherwise; and

 

the value of loans and other assets or collateral securing loans may decrease.

The Company may be adversely affected by the soundness of other financial institutions, including the FHLB of Boston.

Our ability to engage in routine funding transactions could be adversely affected by the actions and commercial soundness of other financial institutions. Financial services companies are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty, or other relationships. The Company has exposure to different industries and counterparties, and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, mutual and hedge funds, and other institutional clients. As a result, defaults by, or even rumors or questions about, one or more financial services companies, or the financial services industry generally, have led to market-wide liquidity problems and could lead to losses or defaults by us or by other institutions. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or client. In addition, our credit risk may be exacerbated if the collateral held by us cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the loan or derivative exposure due us. There is no assurance that any such losses would not materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, or results of operations.

The Company owns common stock of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (“FHLB of Boston”) in order to qualify for membership in the FHLB system, which enables it to borrow funds under the FHLB of Boston’s advance program. The carrying value and fair market value of our FHLB of Boston common stock was $5.7 million as of December 31, 2020. There are 11 branches of the FHLB, including Boston, which are jointly liable for the consolidated obligations of the FHLB system. To the extent that one FHLB branch cannot meet its obligations to pay its share of the system’s debt, other FHLB branches can be called upon to make the payment. Any adverse effects on the FHLB of Boston could adversely affect the value of our investment in its common stock and negatively impact our results of operations.

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Risks Related to an Investment in the Company’s Securities

The Company’s common stock price may fluctuate significantly.

The market price of the Company’s common stock may fluctuate significantly in response to a number of factors including, but not limited to:

 

the political climate and whether the proposed policies of the current presidential administration in the U.S. that have affected market prices for financial institution stocks are successfully implemented;

 

changes in securities analysts’ recommendations or expectations of financial performance;

 

volatility of stock market prices and volumes;

 

incorrect information or speculation;

 

changes in industry valuations;

 

announcements regarding proposed acquisitions;

 

variations in operating results from general expectations;

 

actions taken against the Company by various regulatory agencies;

 

changes in authoritative accounting guidance;

 

changes in general domestic economic conditions such as inflation rates, tax rates, unemployment rates, labor and healthcare cost trend rates, recessions, and changing government policies, laws, and regulations; and

 

severe weather, natural disasters, epidemics / pandemics such as COVID-19, acts of war or terrorism, and other external events.

Future issuance of our common stock may have a dilutive effect and may reduce the voting power and relative percentage interests of current common stockholders in our earnings and market value, and there may be future sales or other dilution of the Company’s equity, which may adversely affect the market price of the Company’s stock.

Future issuances of shares of our common stock, including for acquisitions, may have a dilutive effect and may reduce the voting power and relative percentage interests of current common stockholders in our earnings and market value. Additionally, the Company is not restricted from issuing additional common stock, including any securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for, or that represent the right to receive, common stock. The Company also grants shares of common stock to employees and directors under the Company’s incentive plan each year. The issuance of any additional shares of the Company’s common stock or securities convertible into, exchangeable for or that represent the right to receive common stock, or the exercise of such securities could be substantially dilutive to shareholders of the Company’s common stock. Holders of the Company’s common stock have no preemptive rights that entitle such holders to purchase their pro rata share of any offering of shares or any class or series. Because the Company’s decision to issue securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions, its acquisition activity and other factors, the Company cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing, or nature of its future offerings. Thus, the Company’s shareholders bear the risk of the Company’s future offerings reducing the market price of the Company’s common stock and diluting their stock holdings in the Company.

Risks Related to Legal, Governmental and Regulatory Changes

The Company is subject to extensive government regulation and supervision, which may interfere with its ability to conduct its business and may negatively impact its financial results.

The Company, primarily through the Bank, Cambridge Trust Company of New Hampshire, Inc., and certain non-bank subsidiaries, are subject to extensive federal and state regulation and supervision. Banking regulations are primarily intended to protect depositors’ funds, the DIF and the safety and soundness of the banking system as a whole, not shareholders. These laws and regulations affect the Company’s lending practices, capital structure, investment practices, dividend policy, and growth, among other things. Congress and federal and state banking agencies continually review banking laws, regulations, and policies for possible changes. Changes to statutes, regulations, or regulatory policies, including changes in interpretation or implementation of statutes, regulations, or policies, could affect the Company in substantial and unpredictable ways. Such changes could subject the Company to additional costs, limit the types of financial services and products the Company may offer, and/or limit the pricing the Company may charge on certain banking services, among other things. Compliance personnel and resources may increase our costs of operations and adversely impact our earnings.

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Failure to comply with laws, regulations, or policies could result in sanctions by regulatory agencies, civil money penalties, and/or reputation damage, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. While the Company has policies and procedures designed to prevent any such violations, there can be no assurance that such violations will not occur.

State and federal banking agencies periodically conduct examinations of our business, including for compliance with laws and regulations, and our failure to comply with any supervisory actions to which we are or become subject as a result of such examinations may adversely affect our business.

Federal and state regulatory agencies periodically conduct examinations of our business, including our compliance with laws and regulations. If, as a result of an examination, an agency were to determine that the financial, capital resources, asset quality, earnings prospects, management, liquidity, or other aspects of any of our operations had become unsatisfactory or violates any law or regulation, such agency may take certain remedial or enforcement actions it deems appropriate to correct any deficiency. Remedial or enforcement actions include the power to enjoin “unsafe or unsound” practices, to require affirmative actions to correct any conditions resulting from any violation or practice, to issue an administrative order that can be judicially enforced against a bank, to direct an increase in the bank’s capital, to restrict the bank’s growth, to assess civil monetary penalties against a bank’s officers or directors, and to remove officers and directors. In the event that the FDIC concludes that, among other things, our financial condition cannot be corrected or that there is an imminent risk of loss to our depositors, it may terminate our deposit insurance. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) also has authority to take enforcement actions, including cease-and desist orders or civil monetary penalties, if it finds that we offer consumer financial products and services in violation of federal consumer financial protection laws.

If we are unable to comply with future regulatory directives, or with the terms of any future supervisory requirements to which we may become subject, then we could become subject to a variety of supervisory actions and orders, including cease and desist orders, prompt corrective actions, memoranda of understanding, and other regulatory enforcement actions. Such supervisory actions could, among other things, impose greater restrictions on our business, as well as our ability to develop any new business. The Company could also be required to raise additional capital or dispose of certain assets and liabilities within a prescribed time period, or both. Failure to implement remedial measures as required by financial regulatory agencies could result in additional orders or penalties from federal and state regulators, which could trigger one or more of the remedial actions described above. The terms of any supervisory action and associated consequences with any failure to comply with any supervisory action could have a material negative effect on our business, operating flexibility, and overall financial condition.

The Company may be subject to more stringent capital requirements.

The Bank and the Company are each subject to capital adequacy guidelines and other regulatory requirements specifying minimum amounts and types of capital which each of the Bank and the Company must maintain. From time to time, the regulators implement changes to these regulatory capital adequacy guidelines. If we fail to meet these minimum capital guidelines and other regulatory requirements, then our financial condition would be materially and adversely affected. Any changes to regulatory capital requirements could adversely affect our ability to pay dividends or could require us to reduce business levels or to raise capital, including in ways that may adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.

Replacement of the LIBOR benchmark interest rate could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.    

 

In 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), announced that the FCA intends to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit the rates required to calculate LIBOR after 2021. This announcement indicates that the continuation of LIBOR on the current basis cannot and will not be guaranteed after 2021. The U.S. bank regulators issued a Statement on LIBOR Transition on November 30, 2020 encouraging banks to transition away from U.S. Dollar (USD) LIBOR as soon as practicable and in any event by December 31, 2021 for new contracts. LIBOR is currently anticipated to be fully phased out by June 30, 2023. At this time, it is not possible to predict whether and to what extent banks will continue to provide submissions for the calculation of LIBOR. Similarly, it is not possible to predict whether LIBOR will continue to be viewed as an acceptable market benchmark, what rate or rates may become accepted alternatives to LIBOR or what the effect of any such changes in views or alternatives may be on the markets for LIBOR-indexed financial instruments.

 

We have other financial instruments with attributes that are either directly or indirectly dependent on LIBOR. The transition from LIBOR, or any changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of LIBOR, could have an adverse impact on the market for or value of any LIBOR-linked securities, loans, and other financial obligations or extensions of credit held by or due to us, could create considerable costs and additional risk and could have an adverse impact on or overall financial condition or results of operations. Since proposed alternative rates are calculated differently, payments under contracts referencing new rates will differ from those referencing LIBOR. The transition will change our market risk profiles, requiring changes to risk and pricing models, valuation tools, product design and hedging strategies. Furthermore, failure to adequately manage this transition process with our customers could adversely impact our reputation. Although we are currently unable to assess what the ultimate impact of the transition from LIBOR will be, failure to adequately manage the transition could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

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Accounting standards periodically change and the application of our accounting policies and methods may require management to make estimates about matters that are uncertain.

 

The regulatory bodies that establish accounting standards, including, among others, the FASB, and the SEC, periodically revise or issue new financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. The effect of such revised or new standards on our financial statements can be difficult to predict and can materially impact how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, management must exercise judgment in appropriately applying many of our accounting policies and methods so they comply with generally accepted accounting principles. In some cases, management may have to select a particular accounting policy or method from two or more alternatives. In some cases, the accounting policy or method chosen might be reasonable under the circumstances and yet might result in our reporting materially different amounts than would have been reported if we had selected a different policy or method. Accounting policies are critical to fairly presenting our financial condition and results of operations and may require management to make difficult, subjective, or complex judgments about matters that are uncertain.

Our controls and procedures may fail or be circumvented, which may result in a material adverse effect on our business.

Management regularly reviews and updates our internal controls, disclosure controls and procedures, and corporate governance policies. Any system of controls, however well designed and operated, is based in part on certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurances that the objectives of the system are met. Any failure or circumvention of the controls and procedures or failure to comply with regulations related to could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

Legal proceedings to which we are subject or may become subject may have a material adverse impact on our financial position and results of operations.

Like many banks and other financial services organizations in our industry, we are from time to time involved in various legal proceedings and subject to claims and other actions related to our business activities brought by customers, employees, and others. All such legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable and, regardless of the merits of the claims, litigation is often expensive, time-consuming, disruptive to our operations and resources, and distracting to management. If resolved against us, such legal proceedings could result in excessive verdicts and judgments, injunctive relief, equitable relief, and other adverse consequences that may affect our financial condition and how we operate our business. Similarly, if we settle such legal proceedings, it may affect our financial condition and how we operate our business. Future court decisions, alternative dispute resolution awards, matters arising due to business expansion, or legislative activity may increase our exposure to litigation and regulatory investigations.  In some cases, substantial non-economic remedies or punitive damages may be sought. Although we maintain liability insurance coverage, there can be no assurance that such coverage will cover any particular verdict, judgment, or settlement that may be entered against us, that such coverage will prove to be adequate, or that such coverage will continue to remain available on acceptable terms, if at all. Legal proceedings to which we are subject or may become subject may have a material adverse impact on our financial position and results of operations.

The Company is exposed to risk of environmental liabilities with respect to properties to which we obtain title.

A significant portion of our loan portfolio is secured by real estate. In the course of our business, we may foreclose and take title to real estate and could be subject to environmental liabilities with respect to these properties. The Company may be held liable to a government entity or to third parties for property damage, personal injury, investigation, and clean-up costs incurred by these parties in connection with environmental contamination or may be required to clean up hazardous or toxic substances or chemical releases at a property. The costs associated with investigation and remediation activities could be substantial. In addition, if we are the owner or former owner of a contaminated site, we may be subject to common law claims by third parties based on damages and costs resulting from environmental contamination emanating from the property. These costs and claims could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and prospects.

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Risks Related to Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

A breach of information security, including cyber-attacks, could disrupt our business and impact our earnings.

The Company depends upon data processing, communication, and information exchange on a variety of computing platforms and networks and over the internet. In addition, we rely on the services of a variety of vendors to meet our data processing and communication needs.  Despite existing safeguards, we cannot be certain that all of our systems are free from vulnerability to attack or other technological difficulties or failures. During the normal course of our business, we have experienced and we expect to continue to experience attempts to breach our systems, none of which has been material to the Company to date, and we may be unable to protect sensitive data and the integrity of our systems. If information security is breached or difficulties or failures occur, despite the controls we and our third-party vendors have instituted, information can be lost or misappropriated, resulting in financial loss or costs to us, reputational harm, or damages to others. Such costs or losses could exceed the amount of insurance coverage, if any, which would adversely affect our earnings.

The Company may be adversely affected by fraud.

The Company is inherently exposed to operational risk in the form of theft and other fraudulent activity by employees, customers, and other third parties targeting the Company and/or the Company’s customers or data. Such activity may take many forms, including check fraud, electronic fraud, wire fraud, phishing, social engineering, and other dishonest acts. During the normal course of our business, we have been subjected to and we expect to continue to be subject to theft and fraudulent activity, none of which has been material to the Company to date.

The Company continually encounters technological change and the failure to understand and adapt to these changes could hurt its business.

The financial services industry is continually undergoing rapid technological change with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. The effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial institutions to better serve customers and to reduce costs. The Company’s future success depends, in part, upon its ability to address the needs of its customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands, as well as to create additional efficiencies in the Company’s operations. Many of the Company’s competitors have substantially greater resources to invest in technological improvements. The Company may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services or be successful in marketing these products and services to its customers. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological changes affecting the financial services industry could have a material adverse impact on the Company’s business and, in turn, the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Acquisitions

The risks presented by acquisitions, such as the acquisition of Optima and the Wellesley Merger, could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

The business strategy of the Company may include growth through acquisition such as the acquisition of Optima and the Wellesley merger.  Any such future acquisitions will be accompanied by the risks commonly encountered in acquisitions.  These risks may include, among other things:

 

our ability to realize anticipated cost savings;

 

the difficulty of integrating operations and personnel, and the loss of key employees;

 

the potential disruption of our or the acquired company’s ongoing business in such a way that could result in decreased revenues, the inability of our management to maximize our financial and strategic position;

 

the inability to maintain uniform standards, controls, procedures, and policies; and

 

the impairment of relationships with the acquired company’s employees and customers as a result of changes in ownership and management.

The Company cannot provide any assurance that we will be successful in overcoming these risks or any other problems encountered in connection with acquisitions. Our inability to overcome these risks could have an adverse effect on the achievement of our business strategy and results of operations.

The integration of the Company and Wellesley will present significant challenges that may result in the combined business not operating as effectively as expected or in the failure to achieve some or all of the anticipated benefits of the transaction.

The benefits and synergies expected to result from the Wellesley merger will depend in part on whether the operations of Wellesley can be integrated in a timely and efficient manner with those of the Company. The Company will face challenges in consolidating its

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functions with those of Wellesley, and integrating the organizations, procedures, and operations of the two businesses. The integration of the Company and Wellesley will be complex and time-consuming, and the management of both companies will have to dedicate substantial time and resources to it. These efforts could divert management’s focus and resources from serving existing customers or other strategic opportunities and from day-to-day operational matters during the integration process. Failure to successfully integrate the operations of the Company and Wellesley could result in the failure to achieve some of the anticipated benefits from the transaction, including cost savings and other operating efficiencies, and the Company may not be able to capitalize on the existing relationships of Wellesley to the extent anticipated, or it may take longer, or be more difficult or expensive than expected to achieve these goals. This could have an adverse effect on the business, results of operations, financial condition, or prospects of the Company and/or the Bank after the transaction.

General Risks

 

Natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, the impact of health epidemics and other adverse external events could detrimentally affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, and other adverse external events could have a significant negative impact on our ability to conduct business or upon third parties who perform operational services for us or our customers. Such events also could affect the stability of our deposit base, impair the ability of borrowers to repay outstanding loans, impair the value of collateral securing loans, cause significant property damage, result in lost revenue or cause us to incur additional expenses.

 

The recent COVID-19 outbreak could negatively impact the ability of our employees and customers to engage in banking and other financial transactions in the geographic areas in which the Company operates. The Company also could be adversely affected if key personnel or a significant number of employees were to become unavailable due to a coronavirus outbreak in our market areas. Although the Company has business continuity plans and other safeguards in place, there is no assurance that such plans and safeguards will be effective. In the event of a natural disaster, the spread of the coronavirus to our market areas or other adverse external events, our business, services, asset quality, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

The effects of widespread public health emergencies may negatively affect our local economies or disrupt our operations, which would have an adverse effect on our business or results of operations.

 

Widespread health emergencies, such as the recent coronavirus outbreak, can disrupt our operations through their impact on our employees, customers and their businesses, and the communities in which we operate. Disruptions to our customers could result in increased risk of delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, and losses on our loans, negatively impact regional economic conditions, result in a decline in local loan demand, loan originations and deposit availability and negatively impact the implementation of our growth strategy. Any one or more of these developments could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

 

Item 2. Properties.

The Company conducts its business through 21 private banking offices, including its main banking office and headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Company also has operations centers in Burlington and Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, five wealth management offices, and two off-site ATMs.  

 

From time to time, the Company and its subsidiaries may be parties to various claims and lawsuits arising in the ordinary course of their normal business activities. Although the ultimate outcome of these suits, if any, cannot be ascertained at this time, it is the opinion of management that none of these matters, even if it resolved adversely to the Company, will have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position. The Company is not currently party to any material pending legal proceedings.  

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

None.

22


 

PART II

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

 

Market Information

On October 18, 2017, shares of the Company’s common stock commenced trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “CATC”. Prior to this date, the Company’s shares traded on the over-the-counter market.

 

As of February 28, 2021, there were 6,940,649 shares of the Company’s common stock outstanding held by 559 holders of record. The number of record-holders may not reflect the number of persons or entities holding stock in nominee name through banks, brokerage firms, and other nominees. The closing price of the Company’s common stock on December 31, 2020 was $69.75. The Company declared cash dividends of $2.12 and $2.04 per share in 2020 and 2019, respectively.  

The continued payment of dividends depends upon our profitability, debt and equity structure, earnings, financial condition, need for capital and other factors, including economic conditions, regulatory restrictions, and tax considerations. We cannot guarantee the payment of dividends or that, if paid, that dividends will not be reduced or eliminated in the future.

The only funds available for the payment of dividends on our capital stock will be cash and cash equivalents held by us, dividends paid to us by the Bank, and borrowings. The Bank will be prohibited from paying cash dividends to us to the extent that any such payment would reduce the Bank’s capital below required capital levels.

The Company’s primary source of funds for dividends paid to shareholders is the receipt of dividends from the Bank. A discussion of the restrictions on the advance of funds or payments of dividends by the Bank to the Company is included in “Supervision and Regulation – Dividends.”

 

Stock Performance Graph

The following compares the cumulative total shareholder return on the Company’s common stock against the cumulative total return of the KBW NASDAQ Index and the SNL U.S. Bank and Thrift Index from December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2020. The results presented assume that the value of the Company’s common stock and each index was $100.00 on December 31, 2015. The total return assumes reinvestment of dividends.

Source:  S&P Global Market Intelligence © 2021

 

23


 

 

This performance graph shall not be deemed “filed” for the purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or incorporated by reference into any filing by us under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act, except as shall be expressly set forth by specific reference in such filing.

Issuer Purchase of Equity Securities

The following table sets forth the information regarding the Company’s repurchases of its common stock during the three months ended December 31, 2020:  

 

 

 

Total Number of

Shares Repurchased (1)

 

 

Weighted Average

Price Paid Per Share

 

Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 1 to October 31, 2020

 

 

 

 

$

 

November 1 to November 30, 2020

 

 

172

 

 

$

69.74

 

December 1 to December 31, 2020

 

 

 

 

$

 

Total

 

 

172

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

Shares repurchased by the Company relate to shares tendered by employees to pay their income tax liability on current period equity award vestings.

 

On March 15, 2021, the Company's board of directors authorized a stock repurchase program to acquire from time to time up to 5.0% shares of the Company’s common stock through March 15, 2022, provided that the aggregate purchase price does not exceed $26.0 million.  The timing and amount of any shares of the Company’s common stock repurchased will be determined by the Company’s management based on its evaluation of market conditions and other factors.  The stock repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

There were no unregistered sales of equity securities during the year ended December 31, 2020.

 

24


 

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data.

The selected consolidated financial data set forth below does not purport to be complete and should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified in its entirety by, the more detailed information including the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes and the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

 

(dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 

Operating Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest Income

 

$

129,378

 

 

$

96,339

 

 

$

69,055

 

 

$

61,191

 

 

$

57,028

 

Interest Expense

 

 

9,145

 

 

 

17,643

 

 

 

5,467

 

 

 

3,587

 

 

 

3,355

 

Net Interest and Dividend Income

 

 

120,233

 

 

 

78,696

 

 

 

63,588

 

 

 

57,604

 

 

 

53,673

 

Provision for Credit Losses

 

 

18,310

 

 

 

3,004

 

 

 

1,502

 

 

 

362

 

 

 

132

 

Noninterest Income

 

 

39,525

 

 

 

36,401

 

 

 

32,989

 

 

 

30,224

 

 

 

28,661

 

Noninterest Expense

 

 

98,085

 

 

 

78,175

 

 

 

63,987

 

 

 

59,292

 

 

 

56,750

 

Income Before Taxes

 

 

43,363

 

 

 

33,918

 

 

 

31,088

 

 

 

28,174

 

 

 

25,452

 

Income Taxes

 

 

11,404

 

 

 

8,661

 

 

 

7,207

 

 

 

13,358

 

 

 

8,556

 

Net Income (a GAAP Measure)

 

$

31,959

 

 

$

25,257

 

 

$

23,881

 

 

$

14,816

 

 

$

16,896

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Net Income (a non-GAAP measure)*

 

$

43,870

 

 

$

29,156

 

 

$

24,024

 

 

$

18,687

 

 

 

16,896

 

Average shares outstanding, basic

 

 

6,289,481

 

 

 

4,629,255

 

 

 

4,061,529

 

 

 

4,030,530

 

 

 

3,990,343

 

Average shares outstanding, diluted

 

 

6,344,409

 

 

 

4,661,720

 

 

 

4,098,633

 

 

 

4,065,754

 

 

 

4,028,944

 

Total shares outstanding

 

 

6,926,728

 

 

 

5,400,868

 

 

 

4,107,051

 

 

 

4,082,188

 

 

 

4,036,879

 

Basic Earnings Per Share

 

$

5.07

 

 

$

5.41

 

 

$

5.82

 

 

$

3.64

 

 

$

4.19

 

Diluted Earnings Per Share

 

$

5.03

 

 

$

5.37

 

 

$

5.77

 

 

$

3.61

 

 

$

4.15

 

Operating Diluted Earnings Per Share (a non-GAAP measure)*

 

$

6.90

 

 

$

6.20

 

 

$

5.80

 

 

$

4.56

 

 

$

4.15

 

Dividends Declared Per Share

 

$

2.12

 

 

$

2.04

 

 

$

1.96

 

 

$

1.86

 

 

$

1.84

 

Dividend payout ratio (1)

 

 

42

%

 

 

38

%

 

 

34

%

 

 

51

%

 

 

44

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Condition Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Assets

 

$

3,949,297

 

 

$

2,855,563

 

 

$

2,101,384

 

 

$

1,949,934

 

 

$

1,848,999

 

Total Deposits

 

 

3,403,083

 

 

 

2,358,878

 

 

 

1,811,410

 

 

 

1,775,400

 

 

 

1,686,038

 

Total Loans

 

 

3,153,648

 

 

 

2,226,728

 

 

 

1,559,772

 

 

 

1,350,899

 

 

 

1,320,154

 

Shareholders' Equity

 

 

401,732

 

 

 

286,561

 

 

 

167,026

 

 

 

147,957

 

 

 

134,671

 

Book Value Per Share

 

 

58.00

 

 

 

53.06

 

 

 

40.67

 

 

 

36.24

 

 

 

33.36

 

Tangible Book Value Per Share (a non-GAAP measure)*

 

$

50.07

 

 

$

46.66

 

 

$

40.57

 

 

$

36.14

 

 

$

33.26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performance Ratios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return on Average Assets

 

 

0.91

%

 

 

0.97

%

 

 

1.21

%

 

 

0.79

%

 

 

0.95

%

Operating Return on Average Assets (a non-GAAP measure)*

 

 

1.25

%

 

 

1.12

%

 

 

1.21

%

 

 

1.00

%

 

 

0.95

%

Return on Average Shareholders' equity

 

 

9.09

%

 

 

11.40

%

 

 

15.35

%

 

 

10.47

%

 

 

12.77

%

Operating Return on Tangible Common Equity (a non-GAAP measure)*

 

 

14.38

%